Well, this puts a perfect exclamation point on my diversity column: Look at the p.c. pretzel that the Naval Academy twisted itself into in order to try and engineer picture-perfect diversity among its color guard:
Leaders of the U.S. Naval Academy tinkered with the composition of the color guard that appeared at a World Series game last month so the group would not be exclusively white and male.
Accounts differ as to who was added to or removed from the Oct. 29 color guard. But the net result was that one of the six who marched on Yankee Stadium’s field, Midshipman 2nd Class Hannah Allaire, was selected because her presence would make the service academy look more diverse before a national audience.
The incident has captured the attention of the Annapolis campus and stirred up the broader community of alumni and military observers, who see it as part of a campaign to bring more racial and sexual diversity to the academy. Diversity is a sensitive point at the Naval Academy, an institution that has been accused by some faculty members and alumni of forsaking fairness in its quest to build a brigade that mirrors the nation as a whole.
Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, elevated diversity to a “strategic imperative” during his tenure as chief of naval operations. Academy leaders, on their official Web site, call diversity “our highest personnel priority.”
That thinking reflects “a sea change, in that this initiative was generated from within the military, rather than imposed from without by civilian overseers,” said retired Marine Maj. Gen. Thomas Wilkerson, an academy alumnus and chief executive of the U.S. Naval Institute, an independent think tank. Some alumni, he said, “have voiced concerns that it will happen at the expense of quality and combat readiness.”
Ding, ding, ding!
La Shawn Barber at ACRI has more on the efforts to cover the whole p.c. kerfuffle up:
I’m sure you’ve heard about colleges removing white faces from brochures and catalogs and photoshopping in blacks or women for “diversity.” Comical.
It seems the Naval Academy performed some real-life photoshopping. Academy leaders removed two white men from the color guard line-up for a performance at the recent World Series and replaced them with a “non-white” man and a white woman for purposes of diversity. (Source)
But here’s the twist: the “non-white” man forgot part of his uniform and had to be replaced. The line-up was all-white, anyway, and the Naval Academy ended up with bad PR.
Other midshipmen and alumni complained about the apparent diversity shuffle. After the requisite he said/he said exchanges, where an academy spokesman denied that the school pulled the men because they were white, despite a press release apparently contradicting him, brigade commanders issued a gag order forbidding midshipmen to talk about the controversy to outsiders.
Diana West connects the dots between the Naval Academy photo flap and Fort Hood: The same cult of diversity is at work. This is how it metastasizes.
I repeat: P.C.-paralyzed America, heal thyself.
CDR Salamander has been all over this story. Go here for all the background links and more.