As much as people on the Left would love to have you believe that multiculturalism sprang up from the immigrant communities and ethnic ghettoes of America as an expression of cultural aspirations, or communal needs, this was not the case. Like most of the destructive movements of the 20th century — socialism, fascism, nihilism — multiculturalism is an invention of well-fed intellectuals. David Horowitz, a converted Marxist himself, said in 1997 that:
[The] primary sponsor and most effective agency [of multiculturalism] has been the Ford Foundation, a ten billion dollar tax-dodge created to protect the fortune of America’s leading industrial bigot, Henry Ford. When Ford published the [notorious anti-Semitic hoax and forgery] Protocols of the Elders of Zion as a “public service” in the 1920s, he influenced Adolf Hitler’s anti-Semitic crusade, winning himself an Iron Cross in the process. After his death, his foundation passed into the control of the intellectual Left and its fellow-travelers, the bureaucratic mandarins and the parlor socialists of the monied elite.
Horowitz goes on to say that “Multiculturalism, as we know it, would not have been possible without the … catastrophe that has befallen our colleges and universities in the post-’60s era.” He points out that at the very beginning of the modern university era, for example, the Carnegie Foundation decided that it would be a good idea to give college teachers pensions. He writes, “A college president was pretty hard-pressed to refuse such a gift, if he wanted to retain the best faculty available. Accordingly, Carnegie attached other conditions to its grants, and it is these conditions that served to define the entire educational era that followed.”
Carnegie followed this by announcing that only colleges, as defined by itself, would be eligible for grants. Among other “conditions” the Foundation then defined a college as having at least eight departments, and with each department headed by a Ph.D. “That was how the Ph.D. became the key to the academic kingdom,” Horowitz notes.
This practice would come about during WWII when the OSS (remember them?) developed a need for “area specialists” for its intelligence operations. The military, it turned out, had no use for historians, political scientists, or economists, as such. They needed scholars to enter into what they referred to as “area studies” programs, and the foundations then set out to re-shape the university system to fulfill that need. The Russian Institute at Columbia and the Asian Studies Center at Berkeley, for instance, were prototypes of this new academic curriculum. No longer were universities concerned with the “disinterested pursuit of knowledge” as they traditionally had been.