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Why Are Smart People Excluded from the Diversity Celebration?

By Marty Nemko

Except in conservative circles, “celebrate diversity” is the 21st century’s unofficial motto.

Society’s main mindmolders--the schools, colleges, and media—relentlessly beat the diversity drum. School and college curricula magnify the contributions of women and minorities, and many newspapers and magazines even give cash bonuses to writers and photographers who do puff pieces on women and minorities.

The diversity celebration extends to have-nots of all races and both genders. The media endlessly trots out features about people from gritty (today’s politically correct word for slum) neighborhoods who now, for example, run a successful hair salon. Last week’s Time magazine featured a splashy spread celebrating that some Down’s Syndrome sufferers can work or marry.

Alas, The Diversity Machine stops celebrating when examining the far greater contributions of society’s haves. It’s well documented that high-IQ people have and continue to contribute mightily to society. Yet to get media coverage, high-IQ people must do much more than open a hair salon or get married. Unless they cure a disease, develop a life-enhancing product, or are a rock star, they usually must work in anonymity. Is not the run-of-the-mill physician who saves lives every day worthy of more coverage than a slum resident who makes decorative candles? Is not even the manager at an insurance company who ensures that the company provide an honorable product at a fair price while treating employees decently, at least as worthy as the student protesters enshrined in most social studies textbooks? I believe that if society’s mindmolders were to emphasize the contributions of its haves, we would be inspired to far greater accomplishments than with our current focus on deifying the have-nots.

I cannot end my excoriation of The Diversity Machine without pointing out that it claims to celebrate diversity of ideas, yet the celebration stops the moment an idea veers right of center. For example, I have no trouble getting published when I write politically correct things--I’ve had 500 articles published, most in major mainstream publications. But dare I, for example, argue that we should be spending more on gifted education and less on special education, let alone that affirmative action in practice is usually reverse discrimination to society’s great detriment, the media door slams shut. Indeed, I was fired from my long-held position as columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle because of two pro-male columns I submitted. I have written five critically acclaimed, commercially successful books. I was five for five. Yet I suddenly became unpublishable when I wrote my sixth book, the first politically incorrect one. The Silenced Majority painstakingly documents that today, white, and increasingly Asian men and boys are seriously discriminated against and yet are or feel constrained from speaking up. The manuscript was reviewed by the 30 most appropriate editors in the U.S., and all 30 responded similarly. The message was, “Great book. Can’t publish it. Feminists on the board would kill me and/or the mainstream media won’t review it because it’s politically incorrect and therefore won’t get the publicity it needs.” My colleague, Dr. Warren Farrell, who is probably the world’s most thoughtful expert on men’s issues, is having the same experience. When he was the first man to be elected three times to the National Organization for Women’s board in New York City, his work was routinely published, including op-eds in the New York Times. Now that he has seen NOW’s and the feminist movement’s anti-male strategies and is writing that the gender pendulum has swung so far it’s smashing men in the face, Farrell’s work is routinely censored, marginalized to small publishers where his work has no chance of significantly affecting the national discourse. The censorship by today’s liberal-dominated mainstream media dwarfs the McCarthyite censorship from the Right that the Left loves to point to.

How sad that in celebrating diversity, society’s mindmolders systematically shut out the high achievers, those who have most abetted our lives.

I applaud the celebration of tolerance, of diversity, but not a diversity that is hypocritical and exclusionary, setting different standards for celebrating women and minorities than for men and Mensans.

Dr. Nemko is a career coach specializing in people of high intelligence. He’s also Contributing Editor, Careers, for US News. 400+ of his published writings are free on

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