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Freaking Out Over Scalia

Drama at the Supreme Court yesterday, as the justices heard oral arguments in an affirmative action case: [1]

The University of Texas has determined that if it excluded race as a factor, that remaining 25 percent would be almost entirely white. During the oral arguments, former US Solicitor General Greg Garre, who is representing the university, was explaining this to the justices. At that point, Scalia jumped in, questioning whether increasing the number of African Americans at the flagship university in Austin was in the black students’ best interests. He said:

There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.

He went on to say, “I’m just not impressed by the fact the University of Texas may have fewer [blacks]. Maybe it ought to have fewer. I don’t think it stands to reason that it’s a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible.”

Well, that caused a freakout on the left, where a number of folks overinterpreted this to mean that Scalia was saying that all blacks belong at “slower” schools (as distinct from those blacks who get into UT-Austin despite disqualifyingly low grades, because of affirmative action). The freakout seemed also based on the presumption that there is no basis for what Scalia said.

In fact, there is. In the Washington Post today, Yanan Wang explains [2]that there is research indicating that admitting black students to academic programs for which they lack adequate preparation hurts them. There is research data to dispute this, but the point is, Scalia didn’t make this up.

Back in 2003, the black linguist John McWhorter wrote a piece [3] meditating on his own “diversity” experience at his undergraduate school, but saying that what his college meant by diversity, and what diversity has generally come to mean at universities (more minority faces, regardless of qualification), are not the same thing. McWhorter wrote:

The dismal failure of the “diversity” experiment of the last two decades offers an important lesson for a post-affirmative-action admissions policy. Even as we seek diversity in the worthy, Simon’s Rock sense, we must recognize that students need to be able to excel at college-level studies. Nobody wins, after all, when a young man or woman of whatever color, unprepared for the academic rigors of a top university, flunks out, or a school dumbs down its curriculum to improve graduation rates. The problem, then, is to find some way to measure a student’s potential that still leaves administrators enough leeway to ensure that campus life benefits from a rich variety of excellences and life experiences.

As it turns out, we have—and use—the measure: the Scholastic Aptitude Test. James Conant invented the SAT as a meritocratic tool to smoke out talented individuals from the wide range of life circumstances in American society, not just the WASP elite who made up the vast majority of Ivy League student bodies in the pre-SAT era. Nowadays, a creeping fashion dismisses the SAT as culturally biased, claiming that it assesses only a narrow range of ability and is irrelevant to predicting students’ future performance. But while it is true that the SAT is far from perfect—if it were, students wouldn’t be able to boost their scores by taking SAT preparatory classes—the exam really does tend to forecast students’ future success, as even William Bowen and Derek Bok admit in their valentine to racial preferences, The Shape of the River. In their sample of three classes from 1951 to 1989 at 28 selective universities, Bowen and Bok show that SAT scores correlated neatly with students’ eventual class ranks.

For gauging student potential in the humanities, the verbal SAT, or SATV, seems particularly useful. Rutgers University English professor William Dowling compared the grades of kids in one of his classes over the years with how they did on the verbal test. “What I found,” Dowling notes, “was that the SATV scores had an extraordinarily high correlation with final grades, and that neither, in the many cases where I had come to know my students’ personal backgrounds, seemed to correlate very well with socio-economic status.” The reason, Dowling thinks, is painfully obvious: having a strong command of English vocabulary, usually gained through a lifelong habit of reading, is hardly irrelevant to how one engages advanced reading material. As Dowling argues, a student of any socioeconomic background who can’t answer correctly a relatively hard SAT question like this one—“The traditional process of producing an oil painting requires so many steps that it seems______to artists who prefer to work quickly: (A) provocative (B) consummate (C)interminable (D) facile (E) prolific”—will be fated to frustration at a selective university, at least in the humanities.

My own experience reinforces Dowling’s. I’ve taught students who, though intelligent, possessed limited reading vocabularies and struggled with the verbal portion of the SAT. I have never known a single one of these students to reach the top ranks in one of my classes. “I think I understand what Locke is saying,” one student told me in frustration while preparing for a big exam. But Locke isn’t Heidegger—his prose, while sophisticated, is clear as crystal. This student confessed that he was “no reader” and possessed only a “tiny vocabulary.” Without the vocabulary, he was at sea. Conversely, my textaholic students are usually the stars, gifted at internalizing material and interpreting it in fresh ways—and this is especially true of students immersed in high literature.

A post-preferences admissions policy, then, must accept that below a certain cut-off point in SAT scores, a student runs a serious risk of failing to graduate. As Thomas Sowell, among others, has shown, placing minorities in schools that expect a performance level beyond what they have been prepared to meet leads to disproportionate dropout rates—41 percent of the black students in Berkeley’s class of 1988, to take one typical example, did not complete their education, compared with 16 percent of whites. Many of these students may have flourished at slightly less competitive schools. Moreover, when minority students attend schools beyond their level, note Stephen Cole and Elinor Barber inIncreasing Faculty Diversity, poor grades often deter them from pursuing graduate degrees, contributing to the dearth of black Ph.D.s. Black and minority students overwhelmed on a too-demanding campus can succumb, too, to the bluster of seeing themselves as “survivors” in a racist country—becoming part of an embittered minority rather than proud members of a national elite. To prevent this kind of damage, the SAT can supply us with the rough parameters within which our admissions search for different kinds of merit—diversity, rightly understood—will proceed. All this makes the recent efforts by the affirmative-action claque to get rid of the SAT misguided in the extreme.

It makes sense to ask, as Scalia did, whether or not it serves the interests of minority students to admit them to a university for which they are not academically prepared. The answer might be “yes,” but that would require a good explanation. One doesn’t need to embrace a “Bell Curve” explanation for the poor preparation of black students for top-level college work. It could well be that a disproportionate number of black students come from bad public schools, or from impoverished families and cultural backgrounds where reading and academics were not given priority. These things are not the fault of the students, necessarily, but you cannot make up for them by affirmative-action fiat.

When I read the Scalia remarks and the controversy, I thought about my own humiliating experience with math. In junior high and high school, I was a straight-A student. I had to work harder in math, and didn’t really like it, but my grades were almost always As, or high Bs. In the fall of 1983, I entered the junior class at a public boarding school for gifted kids from all over Louisiana. Trigonometry hit me like a 2×4 upside the head. I couldn’t keep up. I looked around me and saw that other students from bigger schools had no problem following the accelerated pace at which our teacher went. I had been one of the top students in my old high school in rural Louisiana, but here, competing against some of the best students in the state, I was nothing.

I handled it badly. I shut down emotionally, and pretended that what was happening to me wasn’t really happening. In truth, I was not a bad math student, just one on the high side of average, which made me top of the class in my rural high school, where our math teacher, Mr. McKey, was terrific. Put in a classroom under conditions for which I was not qualified, I choked — and quit going to class, because facing my own severe limitations made me despise myself. I failed that class. I had never failed anything before, nor come close to it. I blame myself for not responding to that adversity by working harder, but boy, was it ever a psychological blow.

I never did quite recover from that. Math had been interesting to me before, but far from a passion. After that, math terrified me. It was the thing that made me feel like a failure, because I had failed at it. True, I demonstrated weakness of character by coming up against great adversity and collapsing, but the fact is, I was not remotely prepared to work at that school’s level in math, and there was no way to hide my weakness. Reading about the Scalia controversy made me reflect on all this, and on how damaging my experience in that math class was. Again, this is not the fault of the teacher or the school, and maybe not even entirely my fault either; after all, I was at the top of my class in math at my ordinary high school, and had no way of knowing my limitations, and my inability to exceed them. I’m almost 49 years old, and I still have anxiety dreams about that class, because the experience of failure was so traumatic that it made me radically doubt my own worth.

My own reasoning, and my own personal experience of academic failure, tells me that it is not good to put students in a position where they are set up to fail, and not just students. I’ve seen this happen with diversity hires in the workplace, in which everyone else in the office had to pretend that what was happening was not, in fact, happening — until the truth could no longer be denied, because work was not getting done. The point is not “no minorities should be hired or admitted because minorities can’t do the work,” but rather “people who aren’t qualified by training and background to do the work should not be hired or admitted because they are minorities.”

Maybe I’m wrong — but why can’t we at least talk about it? The fact that the audience in the Supreme Court chamber audibly gasped when Scalia made his comment indicates how taboo this commonsense point is for discussion among American elites. Steve Sailer is correct here: [4]

I’m not sure if Scalia’s question is totally true, but, obviously, it’s essential to discuss it to have an intelligent debate on affirmative action. And that’s precisely why it was so shocking that Scalia dared bring it up. Respectability in modern America is proportional to the number of plausible and important ideas you would never dream of mentioning, even if you are a Supreme Court justice or a Presidential candidate.

This kind of thing, says Victor Davis Hanson, partly explains the enduring popularity of Donald Trump [5]:

The public no longer respects U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the IRS, the VA, or the GSA. Even the once-hallowed Secret Service has become a near laughingstock of incompetency, corruption, and politicization. Is the purpose of NASA really Muslim outreach, as NASA chief Charles Bolden suggested in 2010?

The world that we are told about by our government bears no resemblance to what we see and hear every day.

More:

In short, millions of citizens think the nation is headed for a financial reckoning. They feel threatened by radical Islamic terrorism. They sense that cultural and social stability has disappeared. And they know that expression of these worries can be a thought crime — hounded down by politicians, media, universities, and cultural institutions that do not enjoy broad public support and are not subject to the direct consequences of their own ideologies.

Amid these crises and the present absence of responsible leadership, if there were not a demagogic Donald Trump ranting and raving on the scene, the country would probably have to invent something like him.

Whole thing here. [5] Hanson is right.

I do not like Donald Trump. I think that he is an empty-suited demagogue. The one thing I will say for him, though, is that I admire his willingness to say what he thinks, and I enjoy the fact that the GOP establishment is powerless before him. As Ross Douthat writes today, after the failures of the Bush presidency, the Republicans have little authority.  [6]They have created the situation that now vexes them. And so have liberal elites, in part by making legitimate questions about public controversies taboo to discuss. People don’t stop talking about those things privately, or thinking those things, just because the managerial class has made it impossible to speak those concerns in the public square. Trump says them crudely, because he does not give a rat’s rear end for respectability, and nobody can fire him for political incorrectness.

David French writes about the role Trump plays in shaking up the boundaries of national discourse: [7]

While many of Trump’s actual proposals are misguided, nonsensical, or untenable, by smashing the [Overton] window [8] [Note: the range of ideas it is permissible to talk about in public — RD], he’s begun the process of freeing the American people from the artificial and destructive constraints of Left-defined discourse. Serious and substantive politicians like Ted Cruz will get a more respectful hearing, and PC shibboleths about allegedly boundless virtues of Islam and immigration will be treated with the skepticism they deserve.

To be clear, this change is occurring both for good and for ill. The shattering of the window reflects the shattering of the American consensus, and the result will likely be deeper polarization, and even less civility, with further strains on the ties that bind our nation together. At the same time, however, the Left’s very success at defining the terms of discourse meant that the price of civility and unity was all too often an acceptance of liberal norms and manners. It meant swallowing liberal pieties and confining your discourse to Left-approved terms. In other words, it often meant surrender.

French says that this does not justify saying anything you want to just because it makes lefties mad, which seems to be the Trump strategy most of the time. Still, the “OMG Scalia is a racist!” freakout today serves as a great example of why Trump thrives, and why it’s mostly, but not entirely, a bad thing that he does.

 

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118 Comments To "Freaking Out Over Scalia"

#1 Comment By Rob G On December 11, 2015 @ 1:43 pm

“the point of this smart comment from Anglocat is that Scalia has dubious motives in saying this aloud. His job is to assess the constitutionality of the UT admissions policy, not to debate whether or not the UT admission policy is good policy.”

Hogwash. Scalia was responding to an assumed but unstated proposition, namely, that if the policy is “good” it should be constitutional.

Good on him for calling bullsh*t on the whole ludicrous notion that Diversity automatically equates to improvement. If that were the case you’d have pygmies in the NBA.

#2 Comment By Rob G On December 11, 2015 @ 1:48 pm

“Scalia made a good point badly.”

and

“Basically Scalia revealed himself to be a neanderthal in his viewing of blacks as human beings.”

Care to explain how both those statements can be true?

#3 Comment By Roger II On December 11, 2015 @ 1:49 pm

Two questions: (1) How does the country assist the underprivileged to succeed if factors other than numerical indicators cannot be taken into account? (2) Why would anyone, including Justice Scalia, assume that of those in the “marginal” category for acceptance to UT (including Abigail Fisher) blacks would perform worse than whites? I know of no evidence to support that belief and Justice Scalia certainly didn’t point to any. That said, I think the country would be better served by moving away from race-based diversity efforts to those aimed at the under-privileged of any race.

#4 Comment By Nothern Observer On December 11, 2015 @ 2:13 pm

Scalia is a jerk in the descriptive sense of the term and temperamentally unfit to sit as a supreme court justice, conservatives who support him reflexively as I think you have here, harm their larger argument about what ails society and what should be done. Scalia is a spoiler.

#5 Comment By C. L. H. Daniels On December 11, 2015 @ 2:50 pm

You almost lost me with your first paragraph but the rest turned out to be pretty good.

It’s very true that we’re not doing anyone any favors by thrusting them into situations with expectations that they are not prepared for. Here’s an interesting thought though – to what extent are the expectations at elite universities shaped by the cultural expectations of the white elites whom they have historically served? Are there alternative approaches that might serve both minorities and whites from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds better without sacrificing the quality of the education they receive?

#6 Comment By grumpy realist On December 11, 2015 @ 3:31 pm

We’d probably do much better if we changed “affirmative action” to be based off class, if we could ever figure out a way to measure it and we ever admitted that class existed in the American system. We’d be able to assist poor whites from Appalachia as well as poor blacks from Detroit.

In any case, at some point, I think it’s logical to request that both classes, the “leave them sink or swim” and the “give extra assistance to” MUST demonstrate that they can achieve at the same level. Otherwise it’s just continued pretending.

#7 Comment By Michael Guarino On December 11, 2015 @ 4:08 pm

Are there alternative approaches that might serve both minorities and whites from poorer socioeconomic backgrounds better without sacrificing the quality of the education they receive?

Honestly, the best solution is to abandon the fantasy that education is a strong driver of upward mobility. IQ differences are going to swamp any marginal effect of education spending and pedagogy. But if you absolutely want to pursue it, it needs to be done early. Bolster the system from elementary to high school.

Still, finding a way to bring back high-productivity but low-skill jobs would best serve those demographics. Because that is really where their comparative advantage is going to lie.

#8 Comment By panda On December 11, 2015 @ 4:13 pm

“I don’t have any confidence they will look beyond mere self-interest here, but it should be done.”

Fair enough- but that would require a total rejiggering of how we think about and fund universities.

#9 Comment By KD On December 11, 2015 @ 4:34 pm

Rod writes:

“French says that this does not justify saying anything you want to just because it makes lefties mad, which seems to be the Trump strategy most of the time.”

The Trump strategy is to utter the unspeakable, and then ride on the free publicity generated by the MSM’s condemnation of whatever stupid thing he said. It helps that the civil institutions of this country are pretty much discredited in the eyes of many, and no one like self-righteous prigs, even secular liberal self-righteous prigs.

#10 Comment By KD On December 11, 2015 @ 4:43 pm

To all the liberals saying Scalia is wrong to consider social science or the policy implications of a decision in the UT case, they should read Brown v. Board of Education, which overturned a decades old precedent stemming from 1896 (Plessy v. Ferguson) on the basis of some doll studies with a very small sample size.

Now this kind of consideration does not match exactly with Scalia’s originalism, but he can break out his originalist rationale, and then augment it with, “and by the way, your ideas suck on the empirics,” yes?

#11 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 11, 2015 @ 5:14 pm

Hogwash. Scalia was responding to an assumed but unstated proposition, namely, that if the policy is “good” it should be constitutional.

Then Scalia abandoned his constitutional principles, to respond to the extra-constitutional criteria underlying the argument he objected to.

It is true that “good idea” does not equal either “constitutionally mandated” or “constitutionally authorized.” James Madison thought that federal funding for road improvements was not authorized by the constitution, but thought it such a good idea he advocated a constitutional amendment to authorize doing so.

I would agree that too many of the arguments submitted to the Supreme Court revolve around why its a good idea, rather than, whether it is within the jurisdiction of X level of government to exercise discretion in deciding to implement a program, or not. That’s not the same as saying “Well, this doesn’t make much sense as a matter of policy anyway.”

“Scalia made a good point badly.”

and

“Basically Scalia revealed himself to be a neanderthal in his viewing of blacks as human beings.”

Care to explain how both those statements can be true?

Sure. Its a good point that not everyone needs to, or should need to, go to college. Its a good point that some people do better at one college, and some do better at another college. Its a good point that some people should pursue a less rigorous or less fast-paced program. But Scalia bordered on saying “A lot of these black folks just can’t handle advanced academics.” It takes only one counter-example to refute that framework, and the counter-examples are legion.

Brown v. Board of Education was decided (quite correctly) on sociological basis rather than (purely) constitutional one. I don’t think policy and constitutionality are all that separable. (After all, you’re arguing the flip side of what conservatives argued about Lawrence and Griswold.)

That’s a rather facile argument. Brown v. Board of Education had to address the court’s prior precedent, Plessy v. Ferguson, which ruled that separate facilities for designated “races” could fulfill the constitutional command for equal protection of the laws. The sociological evidence was brought in to weigh whether that proposition was true. Without actually overturning Plessy, although it was increasingly abandoned in other cases, the court made a rather narrow ruling that as far as public education was concerned, no, separate educational facilities were in fact inherently unequal, and therefore, could not withstand constitutional scrutiny.

The faux conservative arguments about Griswold are banal, self-serving, and indeed sociological. Griswold rests on the thesis of Louis Brandeis that the Bill of Rights establishes a rather broad right to be left alone. It would be a plausible constitutional argument to say, no, it does not. It would not be a plausible constitutional argument to say, ‘but if the government can’t intervene the result will be rampant immorality.’

That is also true of Roe v. Wade and Lawrence v. Texas. There are lots of people who argue that these decisions are fundamentally good or fundamentally bad, as public policy, but all the court ever ruled is, the government has no jurisdiction to intervene.

On the other hand, Obergefell was wrongly decided because, while licensing, regulating and taxing same-sex couples may be good public policy, it is not constitutionally mandated.

In Belarus, this distinction does not exist, but in American jurisprudence, it is quite real.

#12 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On December 11, 2015 @ 6:46 pm

We’d probably do much better if we changed “affirmative action” to be based off class, if we could ever figure out a way to measure it and we ever admitted that class existed in the American system. We’d be able to assist poor whites from Appalachia as well as poor blacks from Detroit.

The problem is that if you had class-based affirmative action, you’d end up giving university seats to working class white and East Asian students, not to Black ones. Working class white students have higher test scores than upper class Black ones.

The only way you really get fair representation of Black students is actual race-based preferences. Until such time as we figure out how to actually affect the brain to improve test scores (which actually may not be that far off).

#13 Comment By William Dalton On December 12, 2015 @ 2:10 am

Siarlys:

“Sure. Its a good point that not everyone needs to, or should need to, go to college. Its a good point that some people do better at one college, and some do better at another college. Its a good point that some people should pursue a less rigorous or less fast-paced program. But Scalia bordered on saying “A lot of these black folks just can’t handle advanced academics.” It takes only one counter-example to refute that framework, and the counter-examples are legion.”

Well, no, it doesn’t. The fact there are a legion of counterexamples does not refute there are many black students who can’t handle the academics of the schools to which they are admitted. There would be far fewer such cases if admission standards were the same for all, based upon predictors of academic achievement, regardless of race. As you say, there are many counterexamples to the expectations of failure to assure that black students will still be achieving, gaining admission, and, most importantly, graduating, in the numbers they are now, and from schools most congenial to them.

“That’s a rather facile argument. Brown v. Board of Education had to address the court’s prior precedent, Plessy v. Ferguson, which ruled that separate facilities for designated “races” could fulfill the constitutional command for equal protection of the laws. The sociological evidence was brought in to weigh whether that proposition was true. Without actually overturning Plessy, although it was increasingly abandoned in other cases, the court made a rather narrow ruling that as far as public education was concerned, no, separate educational facilities were in fact inherently unequal, and therefore, could not withstand constitutional scrutiny.”

And ever since white classrooms were opened to black students, without respect to ability, black achievement (and white achievement) in the classroom has gone down while the cost of education has gone up. This is not to say the cure to America’s educational woes is to return to segregation (perhaps by sex), but it puts the kibosh on the notion propounded as established fact in Brown that segregation was the cause of lower black achievement.

“The faux conservative arguments about Griswold are banal, self-serving, and indeed sociological. Griswold rests on the thesis of Louis Brandeis that the Bill of Rights establishes a rather broad right to be left alone. It would be a plausible constitutional argument to say, no, it does not. It would not be a plausible constitutional argument to say, ‘but if the government can’t intervene the result will be rampant immorality.’”

If there were a constitutional “right to be left alone” (even if only in the privacy of one’s own home) there would be a constitutional right to smoke pot, snort cocaine, shoot up heroin, commit incest, even cook and eat your slaves and children. But no, our constitutional rights only extend to the things a majority of the Supreme Court at any particular time think merit being declared a fundamental right.

#14 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 12, 2015 @ 1:12 pm

The fact there are a legion of counterexamples does not refute there are many black students who can’t handle the academics of the schools to which they are admitted.

Navel oranges and horse apples, Friend Dalton. The fact that there are a legion of counter-examples refutes the notion that black students, as black students, cannot handle academics. Of course there are black students who can’t handle the academics of certain schools, and students of any color who can’t make good use of the curriculum offered.

And ever since white classrooms were opened to black students, without respect to ability…

Since when did “ability” have ANYTHING to do with admission to public schools??? For that matter, when did “ability” offer any exceptions to Jim Crow? The point of Brown was not originally achievement… it was that Rev. Brown wanted his daughter to attend her neighborhood public school, a short walk from the family home, rather than have to walk a mile across a hazardous industrial area with several railroad tracks to catch a bus to the “Negro school” several miles away.

You set up quite a constitutional straw man with regard to the right to be left alone. First, Supreme Court justices may differ on the meaning and application of certain clauses, but they still have to build on the foundation of what is actually in the Bill of Rights. Second, the government’s jurisdiction or lack of jurisdiction is not, as stated in the constitutional text, purely geographic. There is search and seizure upon probable cause, for example. But there must be probable cause. Cooking and eating your children, or even intent to do so, provides probable cause. What the police cannot do is enter and trash every home in a square mile radius on the grounds that there must be at least ten drug houses somewhere in her, and this is the fastest way to identify them all.

One could make a reasonable argument for shooting heroin in the privacy of your own home, as opposed to out on the street, although that could perhaps be coupled with severe criminal and civil liability for then leaving the home in an altered state and inflicting damage upon others… But the fact that we differ about the exact contours does not mean that there is no such thing as a zone of privacy.

Brandeis, rightly or wrongly, cited to the Founders as having set forth the right to be left alone. He did not make it up out of whole cloth. Generally, most Americans are imbued with a deep sense that the government should keep its nose out of X… we only disagree on exactly which aspects of our neighbors lives should be subject to legal coercion, as opposed to what is sacrosanct in our own lives.

#15 Comment By EliteCommInc. On December 12, 2015 @ 1:32 pm

“If there were a constitutional “right to be left alone” (even if only in the privacy of one’s own home) there would be a constitutional right to smoke pot, snort cocaine, shoot up heroin, commit incest, even cook and eat your slaves and children.”

Unfortunately, each of these examples have consequences beyond one’s home in some manner tat impacts others. Hence the restrictions they are not soley a private matter.
__________________________

I think a lot on interesting conveerstaions have been made that don’t really address Justice Scalia’s angst. As with many whites, they attribute the assault on what was a normative standard of understanding moral objectivity in association with with the civil rights movement and blacks inparticular. That frustration spills out on issues with blacks with routine inappriateness.

Nevermind that the only group with the inside connections to do what is being done in the name of emotional feel goodness are whites. Every major issue that has undermined moral standard has been engaged by whites. From abortion to homosexual marriage, but black issues get the most visceral response – the blame.

_________________________

“That’s a rather facile argument. Brown v. Board of Education had to address the court’s prior precedent, Plessy v. Ferguson, which ruled that separate facilities for designated “races” could fulfill the constitutional command for equal protection of the laws. The sociological evidence was brought in to weigh whether that proposition was true.”

The sociological in these cases are directly linked to the mechanisms. There is nothing with separaret but equal. The reality is that segregation in the North, South, East or West demonstrated itself to be highly unequal in delivery and consequence.

One has to see blacks with apeculiar aweness. That they were able to establish anything akin to an edication programs at all given the animosity against them is telling of just how self controlled, capable, intelligent they are, whether one is talking about a Frederick Douglas or a Kathleen Bravo.

#16 Comment By sps On December 13, 2015 @ 12:39 pm

I drive past this house on my way to and from work in western Wisconsin which flies a Confederate flag. The fellow at this particular house didn’t put the flag up until after it came down from the grounds of the South Carolina courthouse. Amazing irony isn’t it! Why would this person do something like this when he never did before? Hmm? Because he thinks he’s a rebel? Because he’s exercising his right of free speech? Because he think he’s “anti-establishment?” Hmphf! I can think of some worse flags to fly if I really wanted to go against the “mainstream”. And if I really wanted to go against the establishment, I could be Abbie Hoffman too!

Bottom line is he’s a jerk and while I believe he speak as such from his home, I don’t believe “conservatism” should be used as a cover for jerkish behavior, either in public discourse or on campus or western Wisconsin. As I said before, it’s amazing all these “conservatives who are now members of the ACLU. Did Michael Dukakis give you all your membership cards?

Oh by the way, I wonder if certain colleges and universities should still be allowed to overlook certain deficiencies in reading and math if said prospective students can dribble and tackle?

#17 Comment By Hector_St_Clare On December 13, 2015 @ 6:22 pm

And ever since white classrooms were opened to black students, without respect to ability, black achievement (and white achievement) in the classroom has gone down while the cost of education has gone

Do you have the slightest bit of evidence of that remarkable assertion?

#18 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On December 13, 2015 @ 8:18 pm

I drive past this house on my way to and from work in western Wisconsin which flies a Confederate flag.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin now has a fringe among its state legislators who argue that a state has the right to nullify federal legislation, arrest federal officers performing their assigned duties, and I suppose would also argue for the right of a state to secede from the union. The Republican Party. Go figure. (They still have annual Lincoln Day dinners. Perhaps if New Orleans takes down the statue of Robert E. Lee, the Republicans will remove the name of “Lincoln” from their annual fundraisers).