Scholars declare Trump worst modern-era president for 'diversity,' 'overall leadership'

Northwestern University’s Center for Diversity and Democracy recently published a poll that lists President Donald Trump as the worst “diversity and inclusion” president in the modern era, seven places below President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who placed Japanese-Americans in internment camps during World War II.

The poll gathered results from 113 academic researchers around the country and oversampled professors from The Princeton Review’s “Top-20 Most Conservative” colleges. Those colleges included Baylor University, Wheaton College, and Texas Christian University

Northwestern University asked the 113 scholars to rank modern-era presidents based on how well they used their executive power to “protect the constitutional rights of” racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT Americans, and women, how well they used “inclusive rhetoric, and how well they included minorities in their administration.

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The academics then gave presidents a score of 0-100 in the categories “overall leadership ability” and “rhetoric on diversity and inclusion.”

President Franklin D. Roosevelt received the highest “overall leadership” score (83) while President Barack Obama received the highest “diversity and inclusion” score (75).

President Trump received the lowest scores in both “overall leadership”  and “diversity and inclusion.”

Franklin D. Roosevelt was ranked seven places higher than Trump on “diversity and inclusion,” despite Roosevelt imprisoning Japanese-Americans in internment camps during World War II, an act that the History Channel declared “one of the most atrocious violations of American civil rights in the 20th century.”

Similarly, a majority of Americans (66 percent) said they believe race relations got “a lot worse” or “a little worse” during Obama’s two terms, according to Gallup. Despite this, however, Obama was ranked as the best leader for “diversity and inclusion” in America.

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Trevor Smith, research director of WPA intelligence, told Campus Reform that although he believes diversity to be important, Northwestern had “an agenda to push” with the poll. Smith also questioned the accuracy of the poll’s questioning, as he noted that LGBTQ inclusion was less relevant to the presidents’ agendas prior to the 21st century.

Out of the 113 scholars, Northwestern noted that only 13 percent identified as either “moderate, slightly conservative, or conservative.” This is consistent with a national trend in colleges across America, as the poll acknowledges “the consensus view within the literature is that about 10 percent of the faculty are self-identified ‘conservatives.’”

The poll did not mention, however, how many scholars identified as “moderates” compared with those who identified as “conservative,” as well as which of the 20 most conservative colleges produced the poll’s participants. 

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JohnPHasson