Respect that affirmative action denies

A strange comment below:

You can disagree with Positive Discrimination policies and disagree with the College Republicans’ stunt. I actually think they are behaving more egregiously that the progressive yahoos; their actions just further bolster the narrative that graduates of color are not real graduates, despite most of them not gaining priority because of positive discrimination policies. At its most simple – the McCain supporter chose his political philosophy and thus the risk of dispute that goes with it. Minority students did not choose to be from minorities and have their achievements undermined by others.

This is a laughable assertion in my opinion. Here’s a comment from a black Stanford law professor:

I appreciate the logical fire to which you put Maureen Dowd’s feet. I’m afraid, however, that you have missed an opportunity to challenge the racist premise that is central to her argument, a premise shared by many of those on the left.

In order to make her argument, Maureen Dowd assumes that Clarence Thomas, and all successful African Americans, owe their success to Affirmative Action as the but-for cause of their success. No African American, according to this premise, is capable of making it without a helping hand from omniscient social architects. Clarence Thomas must be an ingrate for refusing to acknowledge that very decent white people on the left made it possible for him to be where he is today. I’m sorry, but I am sick of this arrogant and utterly racist mind-set, and I refuse to tolerate it any longer.

In the current Affirmative Action environment, blessed by our Supreme Court this past Monday, there is nothing that any American of African descent can do that can separate himself or herself from the unspoken accusation that he or she is the beneficiary of more than they deserve.

Let me illustrate my point. I am willing to bet that I am the only member of this list who feels compelled to put his standardized test scores and National Merit award on his CV. Why do I do this? For those of you who do not know me personally, it is not a matter of braggadocio. Every September I have to deal with nearly 60 prima donna first year law students whose first and only (initial) reaction to my skin color is that they have been cheated out of a “real” Contracts professor, and are stuck with an “Affirmative Action” instructor. Many of them come around when, as some “gunners” often do, they look up my CV and find that I have outscored virtually every single one of them on the test around which they have centered their lives, the LSAT. Others usually come around by mid semester when they have had an opportunity to compare my teaching to that of their other instructors. If numbers (standardized test scores and teaching evaluations) could obscure my skin color, my life would be heavenly.

Yes, his LSAT is on his C.V. I really doubt that the students at Stanford Law are all Federalist Society members. Most are probably moderately liberal, and support affirmative action. Glenn Loury and John McWhorter have both admitted that as academics at elite schools, Berkeley, Columbia, and Brown, they’ve had to reconcile themselves to the reality that they have to quickly prove themselves to their students that they “know their stuff.” Most college students know the right things to say and do. But the idea that the Berkeley Republicans are introducing a shocking idea into the public marketplace is false. It’s just something you’re not supposed to talk about in public, but revealed preferences matter.

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2 Responses to Respect that affirmative action denies

  1. Jeannie says:

    The dude is angling for SCOTUS

  2. There are many complexities associated with affirmative action programs and policies. However, one issue which we continually ignore, as is the case with most government related programs and initiatives, is whether it is effective in addressing past wrongs. Think about this: How many beneficiaries of affirmative action programs have actually shared their good fortune with other members of their particular ethnic group, as opposed to using their increased opportunities and wealth to distance themselves from the masses of minority citizens?

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