The Peril of Higher Education - Bias Training
British MPs are required to do “Unconscious Bias Training”. This article is about the woke peril coming from Western universities, seeping into workplaces. The article provides links to online “Bias Tests” and a “Bias Training Program” with similarity to what British MPs are expected to undergo. The “Bias Tests” aim to map your inherent bias against a topic of your choice, f.ex. racism. The tests are provided by Harvard and are currently open to anyone. I think this is systemized madness, but do not take my word for it. I suggest you read the article, do the bias training and take one or more of the tests - then think for yourself.
After Tony Blair’s election in 1997 he pledged to send half the population to universities. From 1960 where only 4% of the population attended university, 33% in 2000, more than 50% do so today. Higher education is related to increased intellectual status and many students have bought on to the presumption that vocational training gives both lower status and life-cycle income. Many conservatives expressed concerns and predicted a negative outcome for the nation when Tony Blair presented his aspirations. Today we can argue that the conservative scepticism was justified. Our young adults are more educated than ever, but a great number of them has chosen studies of inferior market value. 28% of graduates have jobs with no relevance to a degree. 70% of all UK graduates – the highest of any nation – fail to repay student loans in full after 30 years. Successful graduates have studied medicine, economics, law, maths and engineering. These graduates do very well on average. Those studying creative arts, things like graphic design, drama, end up making losses compared to earnings made if they had not gone to university at all. Having a degree used to make you stand out from the crowd, but educational inflation has made the value plunge.
Most sceptics to Tony Blair’s vision did not predict the long term political outcome from higher education. Many graduates leave universities with political ideas not promoting self-reliance in the pursuit of successes. The most indoctrinated students are inclined to engage in social grievances rather than taking responsibility to become productive citizens. This has already served a hard political blow to conservative values as it is well documented that young university graduates have political inclinations towards the left with strong beliefs in identity politics. In 2025, 75% of the US workforce will be made up by millennials. Demographics spell a dire future for conservative values when these graduates increase in stature and influence.
Left-wing graduates are already exerting influence on workplaces. Social grievances are seeping into all institutions and lately also corporations. In the UK several tens of thousands civil servants and police forces have been forced to undergo “unconscious bias training” (UBT) aiming to stamp out “white privilege” and “systemic racism”. The programs resemble gentler versions of a totalitarian re-educational program for political dissidents, like the ones we find in China and the former Soviet Union. Carrie Clark of the Free Speech Union explains that UBT is rooted in something called the Implicit Association Test (IAT) in which participants are asked to press a key on a keyboard in response to different words and images which flash up in quick succession. This test is sometimes referred to as the Implicit Bias Test or the Unconscious Bias Test or the Implicit Racial Bias Test. The IAT calculates your reaction speed when associating concepts (positive or negative words) and attributes (black or white faces). In other words, the race IAT is measuring how fast or slow you are to associate positive or negative words with different racial groups. The IAT feeds reaction times into an algorithm that categorises participants as having either a “slight”, “moderate” or “strong preference for white faces over black or vice versa. So a “strong preference” for white faces would be regarded as evidence of high levels of implicit anti-black bias. IAT was developed by three Harvard psychologists in 1998 and the test can still be taken on the Harvard University website. But since then it has been largely discredited by other social scientists.
Let us look into what some of the big techs are displaying about the woke issues. Google has since 2014 issued “Google annual diversity Report”, a 63-page report aiming to take the company to the highest moral level regarding woke orthodoxy. The hiring practice involves a selection process named “culture add” where the target is to find people of correct identity, meaning that race, gender, sexual orientation is of great, if not greatest, importance in the selection process. It is also informed that 150 offices have taken “culture add” training. Its content is not elaborated, and there is no telling what happens to employees exposing views against such training, but Google workers are threatened with pay sanctions if they fail to complete the biannual “sexual harassment training”
Microsoft is also telling the world how woke they have become. The company web informs that US racial minority representation has increased from 41,4%- 46,7% over the last 5 years. Moreover, Microsoft is sponsoring various employee resource groups based on race, gender, and other identities. For instance, there is a community for Blacks, Asian, Hispanics, Women and LGBT+ employees. It comes as no surprise that there are no communities for Whites. We can only imagine the rage from if such a community should be created. 70 000 employees have already undergone Microsoft’s “Bias Training” and it is reported that 88% supports the initiative on completion. The “Bias Training” is an e-course open to anyone who has a good hour to kill. The program spells out a clear message: Causing others to feel just uneasy is unacceptable. Both Google and Microsoft confirm that 90% of all employees support the initiative. This conforms to polls suggesting that 85-90% of university graduates define themselves as left-liberals.
Corporations are meant to have no other purpose than generating profit to shareholders. They have until a few years ago been mostly free from woke agendas, but university millennials have succeeded to breach the defences. The big corporations are enthusiastically embracing UBT to stamp out discrimination, but there is no evidence that UBT make things better. On the contrary, experiences suggest that it creates resentment and division. Microsoft even advocates that this is also good for the financial results. This idea relates to a claim that diverse companies generate more profits than non-diverse. It does not take a university degree to understand that competence and ability are better job qualifications than skin colour or gender.
Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Goldman Sachs, Coca-Cola have all taken on board the woke agenda and anyone who publicly challenges this new orthodoxy is not merely endangering their chances of promotion, but risk being fired. Other employers across the UK and US are increasingly put under pressure. Strict social governance rules are incorporated with UBT programs teaching that body language alone is enough to make others become offended. Equality policies are effectively legitimating victimhood and provide useful tools for vengeance. I think this will backfire. Small businesses make up 49,2% of US employment and cannot afford completely unproductive programs. Hiring from “underrepresented groups” brings serious risk for complaints and even lawsuits. I recently talked to a US employer who expressed frustration over this. He was surprisingly honest about his solution to the problem: “I hire a straight white man. Poor or rich – he will never claim victimhood or sue me for discrimination”. It is unlikely that he is the only business turning to such a solution. That is alone a testament of woke counterproductivity.
The Trump Administration issued September 4, 2020 a memorandum prohibiting federal funds to administer diversity training for executive branch staff that incorporate teachings about critical race theory and white privilege. The UK has no Trump so taxpayer money is still pouring into the Bias Training businesses.
Author: Thor Lihaug
Links: Harvard Bias Tests, Microsoft “Bias Training”