Thursday, December 1

Amazing Proof!

George Eff Will, "The unintended consequences of letting darkies mingle with the Quality". November 30

OKAY, so we're never going to be rid of that right-wing jungle fever thing, can we--forty years after Nixon used racial resentment to craft an obstructionist 19th century political coalition, thirty years after Reaganism destroyed the middle class, and less than a full term shed of the worst--and most purely ideologically "conservative"--administration in the history of the Republic, and while we still fight its two hand-picked walkover patriotic conflicts--can we, I ask, at lest lose "unintended consequences" when George Eff Will dies?
The Supreme Court faces a discomfiting decision. If it chooses, as it should, to hear a case concerning racial preferences in admissions at the University of Texas, the court will confront evidence of its complicity in harming the supposed beneficiaries of preferences the court has enabled and encouraged.

Somehow it's not surprising that in the highest "conservative" "intellectual" circles "confronting evidence" of an error would be considered discomfiting at the least. Unthinkable is probably a better term.
In the 1978 Bakke case concerning preferences in a medical school’s admissions, Justice Lewis Powell, the swing vote on a fractured court, wrote that institutions of higher education have a First Amendment right — academic freedom — to use race as one “plus” factor when shaping student bodies to achieve viewpoint diversity. Thus began the “educational benefits” exception to the Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection of the laws.

Oh, it did no such thing. The Court used Powell's rationale as a cover for issuing a political decision, the sort of thing it's done a few hundred times. But the majority did not agree with his Equal Protection argument, just with where it got them. In fact Baake was found to have equal protection under laws prohibiting discrimination based on race, and schools were found to have a right to regard social interests in their admissions policies. It's a decision--however cockeyed--that conservatives should have praised to the skies. But one which "conservatives" saw as insufficiently anti-Negro.

And, of course, since no "conservative" is racist--not these days--they'd never argue it that way. Instead, Affirmative Action programs are wrong because they give minorities the false hope they can compete with the Master better academically prepared races.
But benefits to whom? For 33 years, the court has been entangled in a thicket of preferences that are not remedial and hence not temporary. Preferences as recompense for past discrimination must eventually become implausible, but the diversity rationale for preferences never expires.

"[T]hat are not remedial" meaning, apparently, that the Court should have ordered all African slaves dug up and taught to read. "[E]ventually" as in "eventually become implausible" means "as soon as the Nixon administration could cook up opposition to 'quotas' and get away with it." The reader is reminded that by the 1980s self-serving "conservative" windbag independent political observer Andrew Sullivan had espied, from his perch on a spanking bench at Reigate Grammar, that Affirmative Action had, in a decade, surpassed four centuries of overt racism on the scale of Enormities as Experienced by White People.
Liberals would never stoop to stereotyping, but they say minorities necessarily make distinctive — stereotypical? — contributions to viewpoint diversity, conferring benefits on campus culture forever. And minorities admitted to elite universities and professional schools supposedly serve the compelling goal of enlarging the minority component of the middle class and professions.

1) Right, the stereotyping of minority groups as contributing to diversity must end now; 2) I believe you mean "serve the supposedly compelling goal, not "supposedly serve"; and 3) hasn't it? And clearly?

By the way, where's this evidence?
But what if many of the minorities used in this process are injured by it? Abundant research says they are, as two amicus curiae briefs demonstrate in urging the court to take the Texas case….

A brief submitted by UCLA law professor Richard Sander and legal analyst Stuart Taylor argues that voluminous research refutes the legal premise for such racial classifications: They benefit relatively powerless minorities.

“Academic mismatch” causes many students who are admitted under a substantial preference based on race, but who possess weaker academic skills, to fall behind. The consequences include especially high attrition rates from the sciences, and self-segregation in less-demanding classes, thereby reducing classroom diversity.

Except, for one thing, that the argument simply assumes what it purports to prove, namely that the failure rates are due to affirmative action admissions. The problem there being that they aren't.

Then again, when the only products of Affirmative Action you're personally familiar with are Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas, I guess it's to be expected.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

George Eff Will, lying again???

Shocked, stunned, and such as.

P.S. I posted a link to your post over there in the comments. Who knows, maybe someone will learn something.

satch said...

It's hilarious... Clarence Thomas will never stop whining about how oppressed he was when he was admitted to Yale under Affirmative Action, which rendered his diploma not worth the paper it was printed on. And yet, here he is... a Supreme Court Justice. No better way to stick it to The Man.

KWillow said...

If Affirmative Action based on race "harms" the beneficiary, it must cause even worse "harm" to white given preferential treatment, especially Legacy Admissions like Bush Minor.

R. Porrofatto said...

A second brief, submitted by three members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (Gail Heriot, Peter Kirsanow and Todd Gaziano), argues that racial preferences in law school admissions mean fewer black lawyers than there would be without preferences that bring law students into elite academic settings where their credentials put them in the bottom of their classes.

Wow, members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights! That's impressive and sounds, like, totally objective. Of course, these three particular members are the most right-wingiest Heritage types who've been whining about the darker complexion of their elite institutions for decades. Surprise.

As KWillow points out, if you substitute the word "legacy" for minority and "wealth" for race in these briefs, it's clear that bottoms of classes are bottoms for a whole bunch of reasons.

Anonymous said...

Conservatives always argue that affirmative action admittees have worse "credential" or "weaker academic skills" when, actually, they usually have better grades but worse test scores than their white male competitors.