Bestselling author Heather Mac Donald to give talk on pandering at college campuses | AspenTimes.com

Bestselling author Heather Mac Donald to give talk on pandering at college campuses

Kate Wilkins
The Aspen Times

Heather Mac Donald, New York Times bestseller and author of a book that looks at the “diversity delusion” on college campuses, is scheduled to speak Monday night in Aspen as part of a series.

Mac Donald said in a phone interview last week she was drawn to writing “The Diversity Delusion: How race and gender pandering corrupt the university and undermine our culture” out of her strong feelings of “sadness and rage” in regards to the current social and political climate of the United States.

The sadness, she explained, is directed toward institutions of higher education, which she feels are corrupted, and the rage is aimed at bystanders who enable this corruption and aren’t actively working to stop it.

This corruption is deeply rooted in the issue of “identity politics,” she said. Identity politics describe the tendency for people of specific races, sexual identities or genders to create political alliances based on exclusivity, which in turn “teaches students resentment and hate.” Mac Donald describes this phenomena as the “biggest driver of our societal divides today.”

Mac Donald believes that modern universities encourage students to have a “victim mentality,” which also encourages the idea that minorities are more at risk on college campuses. Such “pandering” as she calls it, “teaches people to think of themselves as perpetual victims and infuses an obsession with race and gender into every aspect of American life.”

Mac Donald described colleges as “the most tolerant environment in human history,” adding that they “actively celebrate the traits that can still get you flogged or stoned to death in many parts of the world.” Mac Donald believes there is nothing special or unique about being a minority, and that it does not pose a threat to a person’s quality of life.

She described our current political climate as “diversity obsessed,” where we often put emphasis on gender and race, which we use as a higher determining factor than “views and even character.”

Mac Donald will speak at 5 p.m. Monday at the Aspen Chabad Jewish Community Center (435 W. Main St.) to kick off more events there later in the week. The event is free and open to the public.

On Thursday, the center will host the second annual Aspen Healthcare Summit, which will include keynote speakers Deborah Mash (University of Miami), Michael Mansour (assistant professor at Harvard Medical School) and Peter Haaland (Harvard grad who worked at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity which is part of the office of the Director of National Intelligence). Topics will include opioid addiction, impact on the developing brain in connection to pot use by young people, drug-resistant superbugs, and artificial intelligence and the eventual impact on our daily lives. That event also is free and starts at 5 p.m.

For more information, go to jccaspen.com.


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