The world’s fastest human, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, retired last week from the sport of track and field. He won multiple gold medals in three consecutive Olympic games, setting world records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter events.
Like most Jamaicans – and most sprinters – Usain Bolt is of West African descent. No white or Asian man, and no woman of any race, is good enough to compete at his level.
Is it fair that in more than 30 years, no white man has won an Olympic medal in the 100-meter dash? In every Olympics since 1988, every finalist in the 100-meter dash has been a black male.
Usain Bolt’s amazing career provides a useful corrective to the politically correct assumption that all types of human activity must be “diverse.” Wherever competition determines the outcome, we see differences in human achievement.
We can all work to improve our skills with the talents God gave us, but not everyone can excel at the highest level of competition. Talents are not equally distributed, and some human differences are too great to overcome, even with hard work.
The same week that Usain Bolt retired, we learned that a woman dropped out of training to become a Navy SEAL. The unnamed female midshipman (can we still use that word?) failed to complete the initial three-week qualifying course, or “pipeline,” which is followed by six grueling months of training.
No woman has ever been good enough to become a Navy SEAL. Among other things, you have to lift yourself from the ocean into a small boat, a feat that requires upper-body strength that women just don’t have.
Women can excel in many fields that don’t require upper-body strength – writing computer code, for example. But as we learned from the 10-page memorandum written by James Damore, the 28-year-old engineer recently fired by Google, not that many women are interested in doing that kind of work.
Google has been under federal investigation to explain why only 21 percent of its technical workforce is female. In his well-researched paper seeking to explain that disparity, Damore mentioned various reasons why more men than women gravitate to tech work.
Researchers have found gender differences in infants, which suggests a biological origin. Baby girls respond more to faces, while baby boys respond to shiny objects. A few years later, girls seek relationships with people, while boys are interested in trucks, battles and adventures.
For a host of reasons, Damore wrote, “women on average show a higher interest in people and men in things. Women on average are more cooperative. Women on average look for more work-life balance, while men have a higher drive for status on average.”
Damore’s memo did not sit well with Google’s vice president for diversity and inclusion, who said it “advanced incorrect assumptions about gender.” The next day Damore was fired for “perpetuating gender stereotypes” and escorted off the premises, known as the Googleplex, with the promise that his personal effects would be mailed to him.
The Google engineer was careful to concede that “I’m not saying diversity is bad, or that we shouldn’t try to correct for existing biases,” but that wasn’t enough to save his job. The feminist dogma is that anything less than 50-50 representation can only be the result of discrimination, oppression and sexism.
Damore pointed out, “When it comes to diversity and inclusion, Google’s left bias has created a politically correct monoculture that maintains its hold by shaming dissenters into silence.” He added that at Google, and presumably other major corporations, there is “an ideological echo chamber where some ideas are too sacred to be honestly discussed.”
The CEOs of some of the biggest American corporations are “grandstanders,” as President Trump puts it, by quitting his Manufacturing Council in feigned protest over Trump's supposed lack of sensitivity to diversity issues. But fortunately, Trump does stand up for freedom of speech, and the CEOs of companies like Google that profit from freedom of speech should be the first to defend him.
It is ironic that Google wants freedom on the internet and insists on what is called "net neutrality" to defend Google's own self-interest, but at the same time censors speech among its employees. Google itself would never have become so profitable without the free speech that is allowed on the internet, and yet becomes the censor that it urges government not to be.
The most competitive math contest for college students is the annual William Lowell Putnam Mathematical Competition, sometimes called the "Olympics" of that field. So rarely do any women place among the top contestants that there is a separate award for women who do well on the grueling exam.
Phyllis Schlafly had granddaughters who excel in math and engineering, including one who became an actuary and another who majored in Mechanical Engineering. But Phyllis Schlafly was always the first to point out that there are important differences between men and women, and boys and girls, and it is harmful to pretend otherwise.
John and Andy Schlafly are sons of Phyllis Schlafly (1924-2016) whose 27th book, The Conservative Case for Trump, was published posthumously on September 6.