Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Civil Rights Rites

I kind of grew up with the Civil Rights movement, it was growing in the 50's at the same time I was. Being very naive, I thought it sounded like a good idea. All the little TV spots and most of the fiction I grew up reading certainly encouraged that kind of thinking. If you're as old as I am, maybe you'll remember the cute little TV spots telling us that diversity and tolerance were the coolest things ever. If you don't remember them, HERE'S a summary from Mama Lisa's World. Well, needless to say, all the tolerance went in one direction. The diversity/tolerance propaganda items were for White kids, and the nonWhite kids got all the "hate Whitey" propaganda, and all this is still going on, sometimes overtly, sometime subtly.

Since tolerance and diversity haven't worked out, we now have to find somebody to blame. You guessed it. Whitey again. Obviously, the mantras that EverybodyIsEqualEverybodyIsTheSame can't be wrong, so Whitey must be sabotaging the program. Despite the fact that the University authorities have done everything short of forcible kidnapping to get more minorities into college, somehow, some way, they've actually been keeping them out, despite the fact that they really really really want to learn stuff. Really. And that 15-point IQ gap will go away as soon as... as soon as then next really swell government program is implemented.  As Vonnegut would say, so it goes. This from Takimag:

Self-Esteem Über Alles

As the civil-rights movement settles into stagnation and one nostrum after the next fails to move the needle, public rituals celebrating the faith have become de rigueur. Nowhere is this religion-like activity more visible than when people beseech prestige universities to open their doors for more blacks and graduate them by hook or by crook. The college diploma has taken on a magical quality, the ticket to the middle class as if “the middle class” were an exclusive club requiring a BA to get by the doorman. That this give-us-a-diploma mania has been going on for decades with little to show for it makes scant difference—gotta keep the faith.

The latest public ceremony occurred on January 16, 2014. Here President Obama, egged on by First Lady Michelle, held a daylong White House “summit” attended by scores of college presidents, corporate heads, and nonprofit leaders. As the price of admission, all participants were obligated to bring a plan to increase minority college enrollments.

It was axiomatically assumed that intellectually talented black high-school students abound but that top colleges ignore them. Furthermore, these potential college graduates were allegedly often clueless regarding the admission process. Particularly odious according to the president were standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT that impede access to top schools. (In the civil-rights lingo, when blacks cannot pass a test, it is “a barrier.”) The president called for doubling of the National College Advising Corps where recent college graduates help students in “underserved” high schools complete the college admission process. He also advocated hiring new advisers and subsidizing college prep classes routinely available to rich white and Asian students.

Meanwhile, the University of Michigan also witnessed another ritualistic we-need-more-diplomas event. Here agitated black students were outraged that blacks comprised 14% of the state’s population but only 5% of the student body. So on the High Holy Day of Martin Luther King’s birthday, the activists granted the university seven days to respond to seven demands or face “physical actions” by Monday, January 27, 2014. Demands included emergency scholarships for black students unable to concentrate as a result of the school’s hostile racial climate, inexpensive on-campus housing for blacks, and doubling black enrollment to 10%. No mention was made of the state law that bars the university from using race in college admissions.

To a clear-eyed Martian, such rituals are truly bizarre given the plain-to-see reality. SAT scores do predict college success, and blacks and whites on average differ by 100 points on the reading, math, and writing tests. These gaps have remained unchanged for 25 years. (Keep reading HERE.)

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