Hurting Diversity by Promoting Minorities


Here’s a telling revelation from a Providence Journal article by Lynn Arditi highlighting the fact that most Rhode Island colleges and universities have police forces that don’t match the racial composition of the student bodies.  It comes almost at the end of the article, and I’ve italicized the key point:

At URI, where minorities make up nearly 20 percent of the student body but only about 7 percent of campus police, the university has found it challenging to recruit and retain minority police officers, who can have more opportunities for higher pay and advancement at municipal departments, URI Director of Public Safety Stephen Baker said in an email.

Note that the statement is not that campus departments are having trouble maintaining their forces, but that minority officers are disproportionately harder to keep because they’re in greater demand at higher-paying departments.  If you don’t think folks — in police departments and elsewhere — notice such things, you’re ignoring an important piece of evidence in escalating racial tensions.

Be the sociology what it may, however, and turning to the specific article in question, there’s something unseemly, unfair, and deliberately divisive in using the front page of the state’s major daily newspaper to attack police departments at the bottom of the industry ladder because they can’t compete with the bigger players when it comes to answering progressive racial obsessions.  Obviously, the article could have delved into the actual dynamic that Baker described, but then its insinuations might not have served the desired narrative.

  • Max

    The problem at URI and Brown is worse than other colleges because police departments kill two birds with one stone by taking an academy trained minority. The state has also exacerbated the problem by extending the academy to six months. Municipalities may have to wait over a year to replace a street officer when they can grab a college officer and put him straight into their field training program. I think if you checked recruitment statistics by departments that maintain them, you’ll find a general lack of minority participation. It’s a bizarre dynamic.

  • Mike678

    ” Obviously, the article could have delved into the actual dynamic that Baker described, but then its insinuations might not have served the desired narrative.”
    One way of looking at it. Another may be just incompetence. I called a earlier this week and asked a similar question–why do you just repeat opinions and not investigate and inform? Just a he-said/she said article is divisive and does not educate–more designed to create/prolong controversy. His response was “that he was too busy and didn’t have the time.” I’m not sure I’ll have the time to renew my subscription…