October 16, 2013

When Nina Totenberg is calling affirmative action "racial preferences," affirmative action is in trouble.

Here's her report — at the NPR website — on yesterday's oral argument in a case she doesn't mention the name of but which I happen to know is Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. This is the case where the people of Michigan — after the Supreme Court approved of the University of Michigan Law School's use of race in admissions — amended their constitution to require that the state "not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin." Another way to put that is to say: The state constitution bans affirmative action.

Under U.S. Supreme Court case law, affirmative action in university admissions does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution when it is done in a way that is narrowly tailored to the compelling interest in the benefits of classroom diversity. In Schuette, the question is not whether the university can choose not to have a policy of affirmative action, but whether the policy against affirmative action can be put in the state constitution — where, as a political matter, it becomes difficult to change. The idea is: 1. The political process has been restructured along racial lines, and 2. That restructuring violates Equal Protection.

It's a difficult argument to make, since it sounds like choosing equality imposes inequality, but there are a couple old cases upon which to build. I just want to focus here on Totenberg's (perhaps) careless adoption of the state's characterization of affirmative action as "racial preferences." Boldface added:
Students seeking to enact or get rid of other preferences can lobby the regents, [the ACLU's Mark] Rosenbaum observed. But racial minorities cannot lobby for reinstatement of consideration of race in college and university admissions decisions. Moreover, he said, to get back their preferences, minority students would have to embark on a difficult and multimillion-dollar campaign to re-amend the state constitution in a state that is more than three-quarters white.

Also arguing against the referendum was lawyer Shanta Driver. Justice Stephen Breyer posed this hypothetical to her: Most cities have "a vast number of administrators" of all kinds of programs. Suppose an administrator of one project decides to adopt a racial preference, for a good reason, but then the city council votes to abolish that preference. Would that be unlawful?

"No," replied Driver. Breyer pressed on, asking "Where's the line?" How do you avoid giving every individual administrator the power "to decide on his own whether to use racial preferences without a possibility of a higher-up veto?"
So there's Justice Breyer saying it too. Perhaps Totenberg picked up the cue from him. It seems to me, if you want affirmative action to be accepted as important, good, and — as we say in legal doctrine — compelling, you don't want to encourage the habit of thinking of it as preferences, which seem to be special benefits that some people get because of their race. You want people to think in terms of taking into account all of the many factors that play a role in the university's practicing of a subtle art of composing a student body with a marvelously fine-textured, beneficial-to-all diversity.

If that way of thinking is lost, affirmative action is doomed.

58 comments:

chrisnavin.com said...

Harder to trust the wizardry of college administrators these days.

I trust NPR will find a way to make sure equality gets back into the pie if and when it's growing again.

That just, peaceful, and verdant society is just around the corner.

betamax3000 said...

"A Student Body, Marvelously Fine-textured, Marbled, garnished with glistening hors d’Ĺ“uvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold. Grants are Available."

Affirmative Action at the Gatsby College of Food Management.

RAH said...

Good.
Racial preference is discrimination based on race. Just a preferential discrimination.

betamax3000 said...

"Most cities have "a vast number of administrators" of all kinds of programs."

We Will Reach the Promised Land when Every Citizen Has His or Her Own Personal Government Administrator.

Mark O said...

It is increasingly difficult to disguise a racial preference as something legal.

betamax3000 said...

Naked Kraftwerk Robot Says:

I am adding
And subtracting
I'm controlling
And composing

I'm the operator with my Own Personal Government Administrator
I'm the operator with my Own Personal Government Administrator

cubanbob said...

Betamax in his unique style nailed it. It's all about the Benjamin's. A lot of AA administrators are contemplating the unemployment line.

betamax3000 said...

Re: "You want people to think in terms of taking into account all of the many factors that play a role in the university's practicing of a subtle art ..."

Administrators and a 'Subtle Art' and "Beneficial to All": Behold, the Venn Diagram of Fail.

Hagar said...

Encouraging young people to spend $100-150,000 and waste 4-5 years of their youth for a "college degree" in "Black Studies" ought to be a chargeable offense under fraud statutes.

PB Reader said...

Affirmative action was intended to eliminate racial preferences. it's clear, what we have now is other racial preferences. The effort of diversity is created the new separate by equal or modern apartheid.

betamax3000 said...

Diversity is a Finely-Tuned Instrument that Only Plays Schoenberg.

Michael K said...

Blacks will gradually lose their protected status as Hispanic immigration grows. They've had 150 years to get equal and now it is the other guy's turn. Black immigrants have very little or no problem.

pduggie said...

I think that way of thinking of it (super-valuable fine tuned diversity benefits all) already dooms "affirmative action" since its no longer redressing a racial grievance, or taking into account the actuality of worse outcomes for black people without help.

Scott M said...

Encouraging young people to spend $100-150,000 and waste 4-5 years of their youth for a "college degree" in "Black Studies" ought to be a chargeable offense under fraud statutes.

Now, now. There's a huge demand for critics of black bayou jazz that have never set foot in NawLins.

Isn't there? Hello?

Dr.D said...

AA is the death of merit and achievement. Why study, work hard, and do all of the right things, when you know that the school admission, job, or promotion is going to some boob who can barely tie his (or her) own shoe laces? I have personally suffered from this anti-white discrimination, and it is a bitter thing.

About 10 years ago, I was considering applying for a management position in a US Navy laboratory where I was already an employee. I was an engineer with 40 years of experience, a PhD in the field, and a registered professional engineer in two states. I was advised not to apply. The job was already "assigned" to a black woman who was just then trying to finish a PhD is a field with no direct bearing on the work. But she was black and would soon have a PhD, so how could I compete with that?

Is this right? Is this the sort of freedom of opportunity that our forefathers fought to give us? I don't think so, but it is what we have today.

The Godfather said...

If the legitimate purpose of affirmative action is to achieve the educational benefits of classroom diversity, then the (ostensible) beneficiaries of affirmative action are ALL students, not just minority students. The "preferences" for minority students are simply an incidental side effect of affirmative action, not some "right" particular to them, for which they should have a privileged opportunity to lobby.

The question ought to be framed as to whether the state constitution can overrule the state university officials' judgment about the educational benefits of diversity, but I don't see that issue being addressed.

whswhs said...

But really, isn't this talk about diversity and student body texture an after-the-fact rationalization? In fact, isn't it something that advocates of affirmative action started coming up with after the original rationale, that of compensatory racial preferences, began to become increasingly unpopular?

The original argument was that black people were entitled to attend universities because they had been unfairly excluded from doing so for a long time, and that had to be made up to them; that's an appeal to what's good for black people, and to their having a right to get it. Now the argument is that having black people there—and Hispanic people, and Asian people, and indigenous American people, and so on—is good for everyone, including white students, in giving them a richer educational and cultural experience, as if they were dishes being offered at some vast banquet. That's a very different ethical theory, and one that's much harder to sell as required by essential considerations of justice.

Scott M said...

Black immigrants have very little or no problem.

Every time I see the argument that you can't compare American blacks to black immigrants, it makes me that much more intolerant of the constant complaining. Apples to oranges, they'll say, because those coming here from other countries represent the best and brightest, while the indigenous are here by accident of birth.

(luck at beating 3 to 1 odds just being born, if you look at the abortion stats, but that's another thread)

Most of the argument about diversity doesn't rest on culture or "best and brightest". Most of the affirmative advocates seem to pin everything on skin color alone.

Bob Ellison said...

Ann Althouse said, "If that way of thinking is lost, affirmative action is doomed."

I don't think so. The original argument was that AA ("affirmative action", not the blogger) was for reparation. Lyndon Johnson said, "You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say you are free to compete with all the others, and still just believe that you have been completely fair."

The Civil Rights Act had already made that legally unsound, but it took a while for society to adjust. Now we've adjusted, and the reparations argument is mostly dead.

And yet AA lives! Proponents put forth the "diversity" argument only starting about twenty years ago or so. That's it! Do it that way!

So if the diversity argument fails, AA proponents will find another one. Let's get them started.

1) Hybrid vigor. By increasing diversity and miscegenation, the human species probably gains strength, producing healthier individuals. We all want that, right?

2) Hybrid crap. By encouraging crap degrees, the human species encourages its own demise, which will be good for the planet. That's desirable, no?

3) Mulattos are often beautiful. Take Barack Obama. We want a pretty world, don't we? So mix it up!

4) We're just gonna take what we want, when we want it, and however we can get it. This one could be a winner; it works in most of the world.

I'm just spit-balling here. I can be reached at politicalcrap@lefty.com.

Insufficiently Sensitive said...

the university's practicing of a subtle art of composing a student body with a marvelously fine-textured, beneficial-to-all diversity.


That argument has failed, intellectually, ever since Bakke, since 'diversity' is knowingly, deliberately not universal. In the myopic Court decisions, it applies to skin color only, as a tactic to force entry into University classes for persons less prepared for high-level studies than those they would displace.

'Diversity' was camouflaged as a world of varying CULTURES, and that was the supposed benefit that all would learn from. But cultures include far more than skin color, and absolutely include ideas and opinions. It's those ideas and opinions which have been excluded from the supposedly beneficial 'diversity, leaving nothing but skin color as shrunken cultural relics.

Time for a change. The people of Michigan have got it right.

Sorry, NPR, you'll have to indoctrinate a lot more everyday citizens to overturn the ordinary blokes who still remember what the Constitution is about.

Dr.D said...

And just what are the so-called " the educational benefits of classroom diversity"?

If I am taking a course in calculus, and there is a significant group of people in the class who cannot do algebra, all they can possibly contribute to the educational atmosphere is ignorance. They will slow the class, cause less material to be covered, sidetrack the discussion because they cannot understand, and generally cause everyone in the class to achieve less than if they were not there. On the other side, if those same seats had been occupied by well prepared, intelligent folks, the whole class would achieve much more, and there would truly be an educational benefit.

Students do not take calculus, differential equations, vector analysis, advanced mechanics, quantum physics, etc. so that they can learn that there are stupid, unprepared, people in the world. That just is not the subject matter. There is no "educational benefit" to having the misfits present.

Smilin' Jack said...

It seems to me, if you want affirmative action to be accepted as important, good, and — as we say in legal doctrine — compelling, you don't want to encourage the habit of thinking of it as preferences, which seem to be special benefits that some people get because of their race. You want people to think in terms of taking into account all of the many factors that play a role in the university's practicing of a subtle art of composing a student body with a marvelously fine-textured, beneficial-to-all diversity.

It seems to me, looking at the effectiveness of educational systems around the country and around the world, that one can make a far more compelling case for the benefits of homogeneity.

aritai said...

I'm intrigued by Tyler Cowen's thesis in "Average is Over." (see R. Roberts Econtalk for a recent interview).

If he's correct even in part any country that isn't largely a pure meritocracy will be left in the dustbin. Where "preferences" that weigh against the able succeeding and being richly rewarded will just hasten the decline (as will any non-merit based selection bias).

And it's amusing to consider that today's 1% will become 15% (likely without today's wall-street component - since that compensation largely hasn't been based on merit but on arbitraging government-guarantee-created moral hazards) - allied with the retired as the new majority. Where there's never been room for racial or other discrimination nonsense at the merit-selected top - as seen in a visit the Intel lunch-room where it's clear that the few pasty-faced folks are largely working for people of different color.

Bruce Hayden said...

The question ought to be framed as to whether the state constitution can overrule the state university officials' judgment about the educational benefits of diversity, but I don't see that issue being addressed

I think because it would be undefendable. State universities, colleges, etc are state institutions, not that different legally than the state parks, state police, etc. You are suggesting that they are somehow magically different, better, and superior, just because they are institutions of higher learning, and as a result, the bureaucrats running them are somehow wiser and more omniscient than those running other state institutions.

BTW, think that this sort of argument has come up before in regards to gun laws, where state universities have claimed to be exempt from liberal state gun laws, notably concealed carry laws One I think was the University of Colorado. They most often seem to lose, as they whine about their special circumstances, but then fail to show such empirically.

Bill R said...

"....minority students would have to embark on a difficult and multimillion-dollar campaign to re-amend the state constitution"

Well they could do that. Or they could, y'know, study.

Scott M said...

Where there's never been room for racial or other discrimination nonsense at the merit-selected top - as seen in a visit the Intel lunch-room where it's clear that the few pasty-faced folks are largely working for people of different color.

Can you expand on that?

Terry said...

The 13th, 14th, and 15 amendments are the 'Civil War' amendments. They deal with the rights of classes of people, rather than with individual rights.
The 14th is probably the most wide-ranging, since it is so long and is not precisely worded.
Amendments should be very short. The 19th:

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."

El Pollo Raylan said...

Smilin' Jack said...It seems to me, looking at the effectiveness of educational systems around the country and around the world, that one can make a far more compelling case for the benefits of homogeneity.

DrD said...And just what are the so-called " the educational benefits of classroom diversity"?

I volunteer a few hours a week at a local high school tutoring chemistry. Our city is a pretty diverse community and the kids in the class are a balance of blacks, whites, and latinos. There are as many girls as boys. Everybody is struggling at this point, but I haven't noticed any segregation. Everybody works together to learn a challenging subject. That alone is a benefit, I think.

BarrySanders20 said...

That crafty Althouse. She knows what the adminstrators are doing, which is anything but discerning, yet chooses to describe it as "practicing of a subtle art." That's what they want you to believe, because quota-making based on skin color sounds too creepy, and illegal to boot. Obscuring things to deceive takes subtlety, but when the scam is exposed, subtlety doesn't work anymore. That's what the voters of Michigan said in response to the Supremes' subtlety in crafting the AA decisions of the last 20 years. Screw you and the precedents you rode in on.

But the lawyers in support of the Michigan amendment will cite precedent that favors them, since that's the game they have to play. Whoever posted that quote from Adarand nailed it: the Constitution does not require that which it barely permits.

Dr.D said...

El Pollo Raylan has told us of the educational benefits he has observed in a racially mixed class room. Let me tell you about mine.

I have taught mechanical engineering at the university level for a total of 17 years at several different schools. I have had some all white classes and some racially mixed classes. I have never had a black or brown student that excelled. I have never had a black or brown student that was not seriously behind the white students in the class. I have spent many hours with the black and brown students (the few who will come for help), but to little avail. I have seen quite clearly that they are uniformly unprepared for college and only able to be there due to AA and free money. That is a waste.

Alexander said...

We are told that America education sucks and will only improve if we follow the education models of China, Korea, Japan, Denmark, etc. etc.

Tell me, how much diversity do you expect to find in an East Asian school? Or a Scandinavian (excluding the past decade or so in the urban centers)?

El Pollo Raylan said...

#DrD: I'm just trying to help anyone get to college. Admission decisions are not mine.

BarrySanders20 said...

"Tell me, how much diversity do you expect to find in an East Asian school? Or a Scandinavian..."

Just look at those Claymation mock-ups of the average 30 year old man from a few days back. Racial purity yields the results modern women seek -- smart and fit. What is all this diversity clap-trap in the face of science?

The Drill SGT said...

Students seeking to enact or get rid of other preferences can lobby the regents, [the ACLU's Mark] Rosenbaum observed. But racial minorities cannot lobby for reinstatement of consideration of race in college and university admissions decisions. Moreover, he said, to get back their preferences, minority students would have to embark on a difficult and multimillion-dollar campaign to re-amend the state constitution in a state that is more than three-quarters white.

The problem with the shifting rationalizations for racial preferences (1st reparations, then after that was restricted, diversity) is that the plaintiffs in this case are arguing not from a diversity justification, but from a reparations basis. If the legacy kid can get his preference, why can't the black kid get his preference.

preferences are preferences, and these are racial, hence the term, racial preferences.

n.n said...

Next on the chopping block: diversity. The only legitimate and legal policy is to respect individual dignity and promote the general Welfare. At least until this nation is supplanted by another, or the founding directives are ignored or distorted by an authority.

Peter said...

"If the legitimate purpose of affirmative action is to achieve the educational benefits of classroom diversity, then the (ostensible) beneficiaries of affirmative action are ALL students, not just minority students."

Well, perhaps. But it was once claimed that "separate but equal" (segregation) benefitted everyone. And given the racial attitudes of that day, perhaps in some ways it did (for example, fewer false accusations would arise from social interactions between persons of different races if there were fewer such interactions).

Yet "separate but equal" imposed costs on all, and especially large costs on minorities (not the least of which was that "separate but equal" in practice was always very unequal).

So, assuming we can hold our noses at this contemporary use of racial preferences, what are the costs- and who pays them?

Illuninati said...

"It seems to me, if you want affirmative action to be accepted as important, good, and — as we say in legal doctrine — compelling, you don't want to encourage the habit of thinking of it as preferences, which seem to be special benefits that some people get because of their race...."

The truth hurts doesn't it?

Skyler said...

We will have justice when they call it what it is: Racism.

FuzzyFace said...

It's especially unfortunate, because affirmative action wasn't supposed to be about racial preferences in the first place.

The name actually meant something when JFK first used it - it meant that federal contractors (and later others) were to take positive steps to ensure that hiring decisions, etc. were not based on racial preferences.

But that wasn't easily testable, so the powers-that-be decided that we could tell that there was no discrimination by checking the ratios of affected people - which turned into quotas.

And then when it turned out that all races weren't equally prepared to take the positions in question, it turned into lowered standards for minorities - that is, racial preferences.

So an action intended to root out racial preferences turned into a program of racial preferences.

William said...

Jim Crow lasted a long time, not because of the validity of the Constitutonal arguments but because there were enough people who wanted things that way. Affirmative action will endure or fall for similar reasons......If, as with Jim Crow, enough people look at it and say " that's just unfair", then the institution will begin to atrophy......Scars can cause more pain than wounds. True. But cosmetic surgery to remove the scar doesn't always work either. Some affirmative action programs are to fairness what Joan Rivers face is to a youthful appearance.

n.n said...

FuzzyFace:

Exactly. The goal was integration, or assimilation, not diversity. It certainly was not to leverage discrimination of one individual to benefit another. It was also not to establish a lower standard. It was not retributive or even redistributive change.

Chris said...

"You want people to think in terms of taking into account all of the many factors that play a role in the university's practicing of a subtle art of composing a student body with a marvelously fine-textured, beneficial-to-all diversity."

Because if universities just admitted students based on achievement that would be ... bad?

Peter said...


"Where there's never been room for racial or other discrimination nonsense at the merit-selected top - as seen in a visit the Intel lunch-room where it's clear that the few pasty-faced folks are largely working for people of different color."

It wouldn't surprise me if many of those in the Intel lunchroom were from India, as Indians (no, not that kind!) can be found in very large numbers in electrical engineering programs at American Universities. Although I can't say, as I've never been in Intel's lunchroom.

But it reminded me of reading Shelby Steele's book, "The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race In America." In this book Shelby postulates that a time comes when "the affirmative action runs out." That is, employers can't afford to have any but the best in some positions. And therefore, if someone has received preferences up until that point, that person will be at a disadvantage (even if that person has the required ability) because he/she has never really had to fully compete at that level.

Shelby compares this to a hurdles race where the hurdles have been lowered for some but not all. When the hurdles are suddenly raised for everyone, those who have never had to compete at that level are likely to stumble.


In any case, I'd like to think that a time truly does come when "the affirmative action runs out," but, does it? Will it run out for a medical doctor before that doctor can injure patients?

FuzzyFace said...

"You want people to think in terms of taking into account all of the many factors that play a role in the university's practicing of a subtle art of composing a student body with a marvelously fine-textured, beneficial-to-all diversity."

Wonderful in theory. I don't know what experiences you had in college, but when I was there, most of the Black students self-segregated, as did most of the Latino students. The rest of us did not therefore benefit from any "fine-textured... diversity."

The Drill SGT said...

In any case, I'd like to think that a time truly does come when "the affirmative action runs out," but, does it? Will it run out for a medical doctor before that doctor can injure patients?

I used to think that the Army was a fairly strong meritocracy and that though it had AA, that when it selected a Black or Brown officer to be promoted to Major, it wasn't strictly based on a quota, and that it was just a tie breaker among a group of Captains that were all qualified to be Major.

After all, one ought to be able to make a case for diversity in the Army. When some people are sending other people on missions where lots of people are going to die, it's good to have some diversity in both the sending groups and the groups being sent.

Major Hasan convinced me otherwise, so no, absolutely no. It won't run out before Doctors can be put in a position to kill people. With both guns and scalpels.

Bart DePalma said...

This observation applies to all leftist spin terms.

When mothers were able to see their children on sonigrams, the appeal of a "choice" to kill that child in an abortion lost its appeal for a majority of people.

When you use the term taxes instead of revenues, support for tax increases collapses.

When you use the term spending instead of "investments," support for spending increases or even current spending levels plunges.

Now, the left needs to come up with a deceiving spin term for debt.

Gahrie said...

If that way of thinking is lost, affirmative action is doomed

You say that like it is a bad thing....

El Pollo Raylan said...

Now, the left needs to come up with a deceiving spin term for debt.

Riffing on Nietzsche, there is one: guilt or obligation.

Birches said...

Affirmative action will end, but there will be socioeconomic action, next, or something like unto it.

The problem is some of the kids might be smart enough to succeed, but their environment has woefully unprepared them for life.

I'm not sure if Althouse linked to this article, or if I found it by other means, but it encapsulates the problem of trying to get everyone to succeed.

LA Times

JimMtnViewCa said...

Coming back to Totenberg, what's the back-story? Did a grandchild get denied access to college or something?

This whole deal of punishing people who had nothing to do with historic discrimination, and boosting people who didn't actually suffer under historic discrimination sucks when it hits you or yours.
Otherwise...no big deal, right?

mtrobertsattorney said...

To refer to an act that clearly awards benefits to a class of persons based on race as "a subtle art of composing a student body with a marvelously fine-textured, beneficial-to-all diversity" is to practice the art of deception.

But this nothing new. The Sophists of ancient Greece introduced the art of verbal deception to Western Civilization. And they were paid well for it.

Fast forward to today. The question now is whether our law schools should be teaching the art of deception, or should they be teaching the skill to expose it.

Which approach will benefit a democractic society? Or asked differently, which approach will weaken a democratic society?

David said...

Could the lefties be coming to their senses about basing policies on a person's race?

"Running from Crazy."

I am not counting on it.

Archie said...

Remember a few years ago when homosexuals used to advocate the term "sexual preference"? That seems to have fallen flat now the homosexuality is a born trait (the science is settled). Race is a born trait too. This matter requires study by minority lawyers. If the link can be made between in-born traits and a novel-dare I say laughable- new concept of marriage, there should be room for a doctrine of explicit racial entitlement to any number of things as long as the "haters" can be subdued. Worth study.

WDOR said...

I was perplexed reading all of the pro-affirmative action signs that said "Keep Affirmative Action--Equality for All!", when the concept of affirmative action meant, by definition, inequality based on race (but for 'diversity', so it is OK).

The problem isn't that you have two very close students with almost identical grades, and are just barely putting your finger on the minority scale. At my law school it was a sledgehammer, and the number of white males rejected before a single person 'of color' was immense.

The first Justice Harlan was right--the Constitution is colorblind and discrimination on the basis of race is wrong. Calling discrimination 'affirmative action' does not change this.

rcocean said...

Seriously, this is how screwed the Federal courts are. People are now asserting that its against the constitution for a state to ban preferences based on race - in a state constitution.

Where the hell is ANY of that anywhere in the actual Constitution?

Why don't we quit the charade that anything the Federal Courts do has ANYTHING To do with the actual words in the constitution and are acting as they just a un-elected legislature.

Which means get rid of life time terms, and have people elect them.

Dr.D said...

El Pollo Raylan saud, "I'm just trying to help anyone get to college. Admission decisions are not mine."

That is precisely where the problem lies. Not just anyone should go to college. The nation still has a legitimate need for cooks, bakers, electricians, carpenters, plumbers, grocery clerks, and a host of other, non-academically oriented jobs. There is NO REASON for everyone to go to college!! None!

If our high schools were doing their educational job, instead of being simply indoctrination institutions, most people could live nicely with only a high school diploma. Previous generations did this, and we are more advanced in some ways, but we are also more backwards in some ways, than they were.

When just anyone goes to college, it degrades the educational opportunity that the college should provide. We must stop trying to send everyone to college. It is utter nonsense.

A fry cook does not need algebra, trig, English composition, history, chemistry, or a host of other college studies to be a fry cook. The same is true with electricians, carpenters, mechanics, and insurance salesmen. They might find college enriches their life, but that is not really what college is about. It is not for dilettantes.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Dr.D said...
El Pollo Raylan saud, "I'm just trying to help anyone get to college. Admission decisions are not mine."

Hey DrDoofus: It's actually an AP chemistry class, so I'm helping kids who pass and pass the test to avoid a college chemistry course.

From your much earlier 10:51 AM comment, you sound as if you think brown and black students are predisposed to failure. I will cut and paste your earlier remarks here to memorialize them:

Dr.D said...
El Pollo Raylan has told us of the educational benefits he has observed in a racially mixed class room. Let me tell you about mine.

I have taught mechanical engineering at the university level for a total of 17 years at several different schools. I have had some all white classes and some racially mixed classes. I have never had a black or brown student that excelled. I have never had a black or brown student that was not seriously behind the white students in the class. I have spent many hours with the black and brown students (the few who will come for help), but to little avail. I have seen quite clearly that they are uniformly unprepared for college and only able to be there due to AA and free money. That is a waste.

10/16/13, 10:51 AM


I hope others see your comment and associate you with it.

Dr.D said...

Well, El Pollo (The Chicken), I appreciate your effort in re-posting my comments. I am happy when people associate me with the truth, so that is no problem at all.

Your reply is tinged with anger, which is not surprising since I am raining on your multicultural parade. Yes, I do think that the vast majority of black and brown students are disposed to fail. It is in their culture to disdain intellectual accomplishment in favor of macho or brute strength "accomplishments" (to use that word - accomplishments - very loosely).

There are a few for whom this is not the case, and they rise to the top and do well. Prof. Thomas Sowell at Stanford, a black man, is arguably the smartest man in America today. Being black did not stop him at all. He got to where he is by working hard and actually competing. He did not demand or need AA.

Oh, and an AP Chem class - wow! I'm impressed. You must be really smart!

My experience, however, still stands, and I suggest that it represents a far larger sample than yours. As I recall, without looking back to find it, you said that the kids all learn to work together in the class where you help. You don't suppose, do you, that a homogeneous class might also be able to do that as well? Nah, couldn't happen. It depends on diversity (LOL).