Leading American institutions have adopted a simple ideological explanation for the nation’s perceived ills: systemic racism. Why are black Americans overrepresented in prisons and underrepresented in C-suites? Why do members of different groups tend to perform differently on standardized tests? From the concert hall to the faculty lounge to the corporate boardroom, our leaders insist that racial disparities can be fixed only with racial discrimination traveling under the banner of “equity.” That threatens not only American excellence but also the signal achievements of Western Civilization, according to Heather Mac Donald, author of When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives.
In this wide-ranging interview, Mac Donald will join City Journal editor Brian C. Anderson to discuss her new book, which exposes the hollowness of America’s equity obsession. Mac Donald will show how simplistic disparate-impact thinking jeopardizes scientific progress, destroys public order, and poisons the appreciation of art and culture.
Heather Mac Donald is the Thomas W. Smith Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, a contributing editor of City Journal, and a New York Times bestselling author. She is a recipient of the 2005 Bradley Prize. Mac Donald’s work at City Journal has covered a range of topics, including higher education, immigration, policing, homelessness and homeless advocacy, criminal-justice reform, and race relations. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, and The New Criterion.