March 13, 2021

"[I]t would appear that 'racist' means 'anything that a black person doesn’t like for some reason,' and we are to bow down and accept this..."

"... as post-Enlightenment, morally binding truth because black people have a hideous history. That is not a real discussion. It renders black people something less than human, in feigning that we are beyond serious critique. We are lying to one another and nervously hoping nobody will blow the whistle on what we are told to pretend is about 'social justice.' But lowering standards is not 'social justice,' nor is pretending that the standards have no value and calling for their elimination.... Nor is it 'social justice' to dragoon black students into a diversity diorama and then watch them complain about being foisted with the responsibility of representing their race, while also assailing the school for not addressing their 'diversity' in the right way, when what really should have happened is that they settled in at schools prepared to teach them effectively. Do I think [Sandra] Sellers should have been fired? Well, all I can say is that in our current climate I don’t see how she could teach effectively, although I’m not sure if that’s fair, because I cannot know whether she is 'a racist,' because what she said did not demonstrate that at all, even if not said with optimal grace.... I am seeking to find some sense in things. I’m afraid the Sellers story as we are being given it does not, in the true way, make sense."

Writes John McWhorter in "So there was a law professor at Georgetown who was a racist. And now she's gone, but wait -- what do we mean by "racist" these days? And why am I a heretic to even ask the question and want real answers?" (Substack). 

Much more at the link, including background on the case of Professor Sellers. 

If you really care about systemic racism, it's perverse just to go after those who blurt out something crude that can be denounced as explicit racism. If that's your tactic, you're teaching everyone to guard their expression. You are cutting off the flow of evidence of racism, making it harder to detect.

But it's still there, that's the idea of systemic racism. It would be more rational to look at the whole system and attempt to explain how it may be perpetuating white supremacy. The system at Georgetown is seeking diversity by admitting black students with lesser credentials, which means they come in with a lower "FYP" — first-year predicted average. The admissions committee sees that prediction on the report it receives from the company that administers the LSAT. 

Sellers's observation that black students tend to be in the bottom of the class sounds nasty, but it is what the institution knows in advance. Of course, it wants to be more discreet about its own policy, but I think if you're serious about Critical Race Theory, you need to examine the hypothesis that the admissions policy is racist. In that light, one might observe that white supremacy is served by using black students as a cushion to protect white students from falling into the bottom of the class. 

Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there.

189 comments:

MayBee said...

Chris Harrison is out as host of The Bachelor too. We are in a purge. A moral panic.


And yes, if the black students are predicted to not do as well because you’ve lowered your standards to let them in, you can keep hoping someone won’t notice it, and it can’t be racist to mention it.

Mark said...

Sounds like you are concern trolling.

Mr Wibble said...

If you really care about systemic racism, it's perverse just to go after those who blurt out something crude that can be denounced as explicit racism. If that's your tactic, you're teaching everyone to guard their expression. You are cutting off the flow of evidence of racism, making it harder to detect.

They don't actually care about racism. It's a convenient excuse used for the exercise of power.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Making everything a white person says or does as a racist action is only going to increase the distance between blacks and whites.

Why would a white person want to have any interactions ever with a black person when even the most innocent word can "trigger" racist accusations? The result is going to be an ever widening gap between the groups. Avoidance of any interactions or proximity.

Instead of coexisting together, we are moving towards strict self segregation.

Is t his what Martin Luther King predicted or hoped for?

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

The left are out of control with the doxxing.

OUT OF CONTROL.

Douglas B. Levene said...

The only solution that will ever satisfy the Crits is to have separate grading curves for black students and all other students. That way, black students will get the "right" number of As and won't be condemned to fill out the bottom of the class. Lani Guinier was just ahead of her time.

Michael K said...

This problem was recognized almost ten years ago, back when colleges were still sane.

The debate over affirmative action has raged for over four decades, with little give on either side. Most agree that it began as noble effort to jump-start racial integration; many believe it devolved into a patently unfair system of quotas and concealment. Now, with the Supreme Court set to rule on a case that could sharply curtail the use of racial preferences in American universities, law professor Richard Sander and legal journalist Stuart Taylor offer a definitive account of what affirmative action has become, showing that while the objective is laudable, the effects have been anything but.

Oh well, the sentiment is nice. Hubert Humphrey on the Senate floor said that if quotas resulted from the civil rights bill, he would eat the bill. He didn't live long enough.

Tommy Duncan said...

DBQ said: "Making everything a white person says or does as a racist action is only going to increase the distance between blacks and whites."

The objective is not to foster a discussion or dialog or to to seek truth. The objective is to maintain a permanent political wedge issue, an issue that feeds ravenously on emotion and self pity.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Real systematic racism -= Antifa and the hierarchy of the democrat party who promote and excuse White Antifa.

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

the real racism is the corrupt left who want to divide us by skin color.

Carol said...

Can't the schools just put them at the top of the class, for justice?

Then let BigLaw sort it out.

rhhardin said...

Average American black IQ is 86, which via disparate impact correction produces a predictable chain of events, all of them bad for blacks.

Having an IQ of 86 itself is not a problem, provided you have good character, a quality that's now discouraged in blacks, lest blacks do well. That's the systemic racism.

Hide the path to success from the kids.

Lurker21 said...

Doing away with "systematic racism" means overturning everything, the entire system. That's not something most people are willing or able to do. So instead they snipe at people who have made comments that they don't like.

Much of it just seems to be an excuse to get the old White male "dead wood" out of the way to make room for more recent female and minority hires. Also, it gives people something to do, something to talk about, something to think about (or think that they are thinking about). In an exhausted culture that still has a lot of time and column inches and megabytes to fill, that is something in itself.

Notice the useful ambiguity, too. "Systemic racism" is inequality. "White supremacy" is the traditional cultural hegemony. If you tell people you are fighting systemic racism, they assume you are going after people who use nasty words. If you talk about white supremacy, they assume you are talking about the KKK. The words have both a light and a heavy, a minimalist and a maximalist meaning, and the confusion is very useful. The fight goes on and on, even though people aren't sure about what it means and when or whether it will be over.

n.n said...

Diversity dogma (i.e. color judgment), not limited to racism, is not only a systemic condition, but a progressive process. #HateLovesAbortion

Lurker21 said...

On my screen, this article appears under an ad for "White Fox" swimwear with a picture of four tanned, but apparently white, models in bikinis. Is this something that should be fixed?

Dave Begley said...

The adjunct law prof who got fired just stated the facts: Many of her poorest performing students are Black. But there were some high performing ones.

Kind of like the fine people on both sides discussion by Trump.

I guess the Black Law Students Association now want to go back in and check the grades.

At Creighton, the tests were scored blindly. The profs never knew the identity of who wrote the exam answers.

But there was one exception. One of our two Contracts professors was bopping one of the female students. She put some kind of code in her exam answers and she got a great grade. But she kept failing the Nebraska Bar. She was failing the Contracts section of the exam.

Where this is going is all pass/fail in law schools.

rhhardin said...

(So do not believe the monster when he tells you that he is monstrous because others treat him as monstrous. He is monstrous because he lets the task of becoming human wait upon how others treat him. Circumstances may have forced this upon him; he may have a chance to rebel; part of what he will rebel against will be his own monstrousness. For a child, a correct waiting here is necessary, it is legitimate. It is part of the monster's monstrousness that he was never a child; he therefore has not lost what human grownups have lost.)

- Stanley Cavell, The Claim of Reason

Dave Begley said...

I wonder what the grade distributions - by race - are at the University of Wisconsin Law School.

Fernandinande said...
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wendybar said...

Growing up in a diverse neighborhood, the FIRST time I ever got called a RACIST was by a WHITE Liberal all because I didn't vote for Saint Obama. It has gotten a thousand times worse now....all you need to do is be WHITE, and not be a progressive and you are automatically a White Supremacist. All the while they are throwing our tax dollars at crooks, thugs and violent haters trying to appease them because of the color of their skin. MLK is rolling over and over and over again in his grave.

Francisco D said...

The desperate desire for elite universities to have POC creates a mismatch that Dinesh DiSouza (If I recall correctly) talked about. A Black kid who has the ability to successfully make it through the University of Illinois gets recruited to Harvard and struggles with much higher expectations and much greater competition.

Who benefits from this competitive AA policy? Not students of color.

My theory is that much of the micro aggression and systemic racism BS we hear today is from neurotic POC students who were shoe horned into Harvard and Yale and needed to explain to themselves why they struggle so much.

n.n said...

if the black students are predicted to not do as well because you’ve lowered your standards to let them in

Colored... People of Color (i.e. color bloc, identity defined by skin color, racism).

Every Child Left Behind, a notable outcome in Atlanta, Georgia. A small world, indeed.

To their credit, People of Asia are standing up to the Twilight cult, Pro-Choice quasi-religion ("ethics"), State-established Progressive Church/Synagogue/Temple/Mosque/Office/Chamber/Clinic etc, and so are People of Brown, and People of Black, and People of Red, and People of White, and People of Orange, too. Only People of Fetus still suffer through prosecutorial discretion and unprecedented excess deaths following summary judgment to cannibalize profible parts and sequester carbon pollutants. Social justice anywhere is injustice everywhere.

deepelemblues said...

How is simply stating the facts, that black students are admitted at a lower proficiency level, which almost invariably results in their achieving lower grades, crude? The facts were not stated to disparage the black students achieving lower grades, or blacks in general. Professor Sellers and her colleague were discussing a situation that they both viewed as not ideal, and expressed their wish that they could change it, ie help black students achieve higher grades.

Professor, calling the remarks "crude" is civility bullshit.

Jack Klompus said...

She committing the sin of noticing something true.

Fernandinande said...
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Ann Althouse said...

"The adjunct law prof who got fired just stated the facts: Many of her poorest performing students are Black. But there were some high performing ones."

If you look at the actual words, she does do more than that.

The quote is: "You know what? I hate to say this. I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks — happens almost every semester. And it’s like, ‘Oh, come on.’ You know? You get some really good ones. But there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy."

It's crudely put: "a lot of my lower ones."

And she says she has "angst" and is driven "crazy." What's that emotion about? The school knows it is bringing in black students with a lower predicted first year average, so everything is going as planned if the black students mostly end up in the bottom of the class. If you don't like that, it's the policy that ought to drive you crazy. It's like she's frustrated by the students themselves, but there's absolutely no reason to say "Oh, come on" to them. What is happening is exactly what the Admissions Committee engineered. There's no reason to think the black students aren't working hard enough or that they misrepresented their readiness to undertake the program. I think frustration with *them* is really inappropriate.

rhhardin said...

She's not frustrated with the students themselves. She's worried that she'll look racist when the blacks lump at the bottom and can't fix it. That's driving her crazy.

Bilwick said...

I thought "racism"--like "fascist" or "alt-right"-- was anything the "liberal" Hive didn't approve of.

Jupiter said...

"On my screen, this article appears under an ad for "White Fox" swimwear with a picture of four tanned, but apparently white, models in bikinis. Is this something that should be fixed?"

Hmmmm... Maybe I need to turn off my ad-blocker.

Jupiter said...

That should fix it.

Original Mike said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jupiter said...

McWhorter seems to have forgotten the article he wrote for National Review, which argued precisely that white academics had no legitimate reason to discuss the intellectual failings of black people, and ended by pointing out, with evident satisfaction, that doing so would damage or end their academic careers.

jaydub said...

You sure throw the term "white supremacy" around cavalierly. Affirmative Action is white supremacy?

Original Mike said...

"Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there."

Because we need a way to determine who doesn't have the ability to be a lawyer or a doctor or an engineer. The reason certain people can't perform is worthy of study (maybe it can be fixed) but first and foremost we need to protect their potential future customers.

This used to be understood as obvious. I don't know if it no longer is or if it still is but people are lying about it.

Rabel said...

"Average American black IQ is 86..."

Yea, but what would it be if Crack weren't around to bend the curve?

deepelemblues said...

It's crudely put

No, it is not. There is literally nothing crude about it.

Civility bullshit.

deepelemblues said...

Reading that remark as being frustrated with the students is tendentious and incorrect. No frustration is expressed at the students. Frustration is expressed at the situation, which is dictated by the admissions office and university administration in general. Not the students.

chickelit said...

Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there.

Are statistics racist?

Sebastian said...

"[I]t would appear that 'racist' means 'anything that a black person doesn’t like for some reason,'"

Not any "black person," but a black person who spouts prog gospel and claims victimhood.

"and we are to bow down and accept this..."

Indeed. Making people bow is the essence of prog hegemony.

"It renders black people something less than human, in feigning that we are beyond serious critique."

Well, but the humanity of black people is beside the point. They are tools.

"But lowering standards is not 'social justice,'"

Actually, it is. Lowering standards drags down everyone and the institutions. Win-win.

"I am seeking to find some sense in things."

Progs rule. They'll do whatever they damn well please. Get used to it. The actual wellbeing of actual blacks is secondary.

"You are cutting off the flow of evidence of racism, making it harder to detect."

As if evidence matters. Whites are racist, some are just a little more obvious about it. The beauty of systemic racism is that you don't need evidence.

Both Althouse and McWhorter still operate in nice-liberal mode. It's a little late for that.

jaydub said...

"Why is there a top and bottom in the first place?"

Because if there were no class rankings a person who finished 76th in a class of 85 could potentially become president. Oh, wait....

chickelit said...

Dust Bunny Queen said...Making everything a white person says or does as a racist action is only going to increase the distance between blacks and whites.

Why would a white person want to have any interactions ever with a black person when even the most innocent word can "trigger" racist accusations? The result is going to be an ever widening gap between the groups. Avoidance of any interactions or proximity.


What if the goal isn't to foster better race relations but is really just to get recompense for past grievances? Every interracial interaction becomes a nuisance with the hope of extorting relief. I think we're at that point.

Breezy said...

Grades are one way to measure success, but they’re not the only ones. Do these students graduate and go on to lead successful lives and careers that meet their needs and dreams? There are plenty of lawyer roles that don’t require the top students to fill them. Are there no guidance counselors at law schools? Need the prof worry about this if that’s what admissions proscribes?

Douglas B. Levene said...

@Arturo: Citations please. Not that I'd suspect you of making something up. Trust but verify.

John henry said...

Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there

Well you arethe one, or one of many, wh has defended grading on a curve in the past.

As a college teacher of more than 40 years experience,that has always seemed absolutely abhorrent to me.

All students must be graded on their own work as individuals. They must never be graded on their work relative to others in the class.

It seems to be a thing in law schools particularly. Thankfully the schools I taught at always discouraged it.

Caveats:

In a team assignment everyone gets the same grade. But for their team, not relative to other teams.

If a large part of the class blew a question, I might adjust points if I thought the question poorly worded, variance between my lecture and the tex or some other problem with the question or assignment.

But I had no problem giving everyone an A, C or even anF if that is what they earned.

Grading on a curve, as I understand the practice, is just plain wrong and should be forbidden.

Apologies for the rant, it is a pet peeve of mine as an educator. Education should not be a "Survivor" type contest. It should be about learning.

John Henry

rhhardin said...

There's lots of blacks in the top 95% of their law school class.

Problem gone.

Yancey Ward said...

Alhouse wrote:

"And she says she has "angst" and is driven "crazy." What's that emotion about? The school knows it is bringing in black students with a lower predicted first year average, so everything is going as planned if the black students mostly end up in the bottom of the class. If you don't like that, it's the policy that ought to drive you crazy."

You are approaching this from the rational point of view- that the results is what should have been expected given the characteristics of the admitted students. Now, put yourself in Sellers' shoes and ask yourself this- "How would I feel about the results if I didn't really believe, or didn't know, the LSAT scores were predictive?"

Sellers is apparently upset because she has swallowed the Kool-Aid that equal opportunity must lead to equal outcomes. This isn't racist, nor is her way of expressing this frustration crude- she is honestly confused. Had Sellers been caught saying, "Well, it makes sense my black students make up most of the bottom in my class scores- they have the worse LSAT scores," does anyone really believe being honest and honest for the right reasons would have turned out better for her? Really?

John henry said...

I don't mid ranking based on grades. A 3.7 ranks higher than a 3.2 and so on.

I don't see the point generally but I am OK with it. It tells more about the school than the student and a histogram of grades for the class, how many C, B, A etc would be more useful.

My objection is to assigning grades on the basis of forcing individuals to to fit some pre-conceived distribution curve.

John Henry

unknown said...

Law school grading is blind. At least in my experience it was. About all a professor can tell is whether the test taker is a man or a woman based on the handwriting. Right?

gspencer said...

From the American philosopher Ann Landers, "No one can take advantage of you [or call you a racist] without your permission"

Gahrie said...

Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there.

Repeal the 19th.

bagoh20 said...
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Sebastian said...

"there's absolutely no reason to say "Oh, come on" to them . . . I think frustration with *them* is really inappropriate"

Evidence that it's about "them"?

bagoh20 said...

This is also not the path out of this collective insanity. The only way out is the truth, and the truth is:

1) Noticing group differences, what we are calling "racism", is a natural human function that virtually all normal humans employ.
2) No group is free of doing it or having it done to them, and all at relatively equal levels.
3) Our culture assigns it different permissibility depending on race, and that is changeable.
4) The characteristics assigned to a race can be factual or imaginary.
5) We should accept the factual ones and discard the imaginary.
6) Morally, legally, and factually, the rights, abilities, and dignity of the individual supersedes race, and nobody should be bound by the characteristics assigned to any race even when they are factual for the group.

The United States was designed to be the home of the individual. The only such place in history. An extremely high and difficult goal, but one the human race needs and deserves more than ever. Only we can make it or lose it. Nobody else is even trying, and less than half of us love the idea enough to be committed to it.

That's likely the same ratio committed to it at the founding. The creation of such a nation and legal system was a miracle and seems more so today. It's infinitely more important and promising than social justice based on race, which has no future beyond continued injustice and strife.

gspencer said...

When I took my law exams I was assigned a number which was to appear on the exam booklet. It's a good system. Not unlike music auditions where the player is behind a curtain, never seen by the judges even after the completion of his/her audition.

tcrosse said...

Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there

What do they call someone who graduates at the bottom of the class at Med School? Doctor.

DavidD said...

Ann Althouse said...

“In that light, one might observe that white supremacy is served by using black students as a cushion to protect white students from falling into the bottom of the class. Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there.”


So it’s white supremacy to not let in blacks and it’s white supremacy to let in blacks. I see.

Also, there’s always a top and bottom. Even 5-year-olds understand this.

John henry said...

Michael,

The Hump died in 78.

Racial quotas under the civil rights Bill were already in force by the end of the 60s

While Humphrey was sitting vp lbj implemented a quota in the astronaut program "Goddamit, I don't care what you have to do, you will find a negro and put him through the program" (quote from memory)

Griggs v Duke Power opened the quota floodgates. That was 1970. Hump was a senator then.

He lied in 1964. About what would happen and about what he would do. He was always fine with quotas.

John Henry

Night Owl said...

The objective is not to foster a discussion or dialog or to to seek truth. The objective is to maintain a permanent political wedge issue, an issue that feeds ravenously on emotion and self pity.

Certainly the result of much of leftist policies is to divide us and set us against each other; black vs white, male vs female, middle-class vs poor. And along the way create more victims that need to be saved by the self-proclaimed enlightened lefties that make things worse.

For example, the result of critical race theory will be to prop-up the concept of white supremacy, because if you tell young minorities that striving for success is bad because it is "acting white", you set them on the road to failure. The useful idiots in academia and the media, blinded by their self-righteousness and oversized-egos, can't and/or refuse to see how much damage they are doing, especially to the young and impressionable.

Is this some communist plot to destroy the USA? Who knows; but the end result of divisive leftist policies, if they are allowed to go on long enough, would be a civil war. I don't think we will let things get that bad, since even wealthy left-leaning parents are starting to see the harm of CRT being taught to their children in the elite private schools.

We need to have the courage to resoundingly reject the neo-racist policies being taught to our young. If we can't unite to do that then we'll get what we deserve, won't we?

Michael said...

Actually, as has been said, a "racist" today is anyone who is winning an argument with a Progressive. There remain, of course, true racists, but the term has by now been stretched beyond all usefulness.

Gahrie said...

And she says she has "angst" and is driven "crazy." What's that emotion about?

She's frustrated by the failure of a system she was promised would work.

The school knows it is bringing in black students with a lower predicted first year average, so everything is going as planned if the black students mostly end up in the bottom of the class. If you don't like that, it's the policy that ought to drive you crazy. It's like she's frustrated by the students themselves,

She can't be driven crazy by the policies, because that would imply that the ideas behind them are wrong which would be heresy. She's not so much frustrated BY the students, as frustrated by the fact that they haven't been able to overcome the systematic racism that prevented them from success in the past, which must mean that her system is racist, which means that she is racist. But she knows she isn't racist, and cannot reconcile the dichotomy, thus the frustration.

It's the second biggest problem with Leftism: anger and frustration that reality does not match up with their desires. The biggest problem is the inability to see that reality does not match up with their desires.

Tim said...

Thanks Obama! Back to Jim Crow!

n.n said...

The objective is to maintain a permanent political wedge issue, an issue that feeds ravenously on emotion and self pity.

Yes, diversity dogma, not limited to racism, breeds adversity, and is traditionally exploited for leverage by minorities (e.g. democratic/dictatorial duality) seeking to consolidate capital and control, build consensus, and force people... persons to kneel.

Josephbleau said...

“It's crudely put: "a lot of my lower ones."
Would it still be crude to say that on a hierarchical scale racial groups cluster to different means? Is it the style that makes it crude?

“ Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there”
I thought it was to motivate students. Why would a student study for a test instead of going out to a bar if they got the same grade as everyone else? I hated group projects due to the free rider effect.

n.n said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

The destruction of American free culture started with an insane rule of awarding a trophy to all participants instead of winners. It has warped into a rule of awarding a trophy to losers only and to hell with the white majority. This is an old rule in government institutions where the trophy is for getting the most pay for the least work.

Hey Skipper said...

Admissions standards are, a least in theory, established because the are predictive of success.

Affirmative action casts the standards aside. The consequences speak for themselves. What is surpassing odd, though, is that university admissions aren't the problem, so affirmative action is almost certainly not going to be a, never mind the, solution.

Several lives ago (late 1990s), I was a pilot training squadron commander. Periodically, there were commanders conferences. The subject of one was the lack of diversity among the students — at the time about 94% white male — and how to increase it.

To get into military pilot training, the first hurdle is a college degree, and the second is a high score on the officer qualifying test.

The first thing I learned at the conference is that the score limit isn't arbitrary — the closer to the limit, the higher the washout rate, and the faster it gets higher. Washouts are not only extremely expensive, but they affect the entire pipeline. Particularly correlated with success were scores in mechanical reasoning, spatial orientation, and verbal.

The second thing I learned is that very, very few Blacks scored above the lower limit. And that women were far less likely to score sufficiently well in mechanical reasoning and spatial orientation.

The theory, and it made sense, for few Blacks doing well is that most, having graduated college, could do extremely well in the private sector, skewing the population trying to get into the military.

Disparate impact seems to have put paid to most aptitude testing for employment (huge increase in emphasis on college degrees just a coincidence? I THINK NOT.) But in some occupations, where lives and lots of money are on the line, they survive.

And I sure as heck wouldn't be talking about this if I was still in the military.

n.n said...

From colored people (i.e. low-information physical attribute) to People of Color (i.e. color bloc, identity defined by skin color, racism). One step forward, two steps backward.

Jim Crow!

Affirmative action need not be affirmative discrimination, but that's how it has evolved with secular incentives after conception then progressive mutation.

Josephbleau said...

I believe that the racism industry is captained by rich progressive bicoastal white people and operated for political purposes. Black people participate as actors working for scale. Is that crude?

Jupiter said...

McWhorter is a man of considerable intelligence and intellectual honesty. He is unwilling to accept and repeat patent absurdities, as is expected of a public intellectual in America today. But he is also unwilling to deal with the very extensive evidence that racial differences in mental traits have genetic causes, just like racial differences in physical traits. Instead, he clings to the increasingly threadbare argument that the circumstances of black lives -- poverty, crime, systemic racism! -- are the causes of their failure to succeed academically and professionally. But the peculiar logic of CRT is that, since it is self-evidently impossible that black people are intellectually inferior to white people for genetic reasons, it is equally self-evident that white people are morally inferior to black people. Presumably, for genetic reasons. McWhorter is not comfortable with this po-faced evasion, especially when he sees it harming people he likes and respects. He wants to say that the system is racist, but the human beings who are the moving parts of that system are not racist. He wants a way out. But there is no way out.

rehajm said...

He's figured it out.

Rabel said...

Here's the problem at Georgetown (and I think it fits with Althouse's point about admissions standards):

You can operate your discriminatory admissions system in a manner that provides a 10 percent AA student body as does Georgetown, or you can operate your discriminatory admissions system in a manner that provides a 3 percent AA student body as does Wisconsin Law.

In the first example, you end up with a lot of students who don't belong. In the second example, you don't really have a problem. It's a supply issue.

However, to use the second example without effective accusations of racism which could lead to actual change a school must present itself as being on the leading edge of progressive thought with a constant stream of hypocritical leftist blather.

UW is doing it right, and the large boulder will have to go.

Gahrie said...

Also, there’s always a top and bottom. Even 5-year-olds understand this.

Althouse is simply rejecting the idea of a meritocracy, which is standard for the Left these days. Apparently meritocracies aren't fair, because they reward results rather than good wishes. Notice a problem that Black people are often late, simply proclaim that being on time is a characteristic of "Whiteness". Notice that Black kids do bad at math? Start insisting that math is racist, and that 2+2 doesn't always equal 4.

The goal isn't equality anymore, that's too hard. Today they just want to switch who's at the top of the pile and who is at the bottom in the name of "justice".

Witness Coca-Cola. They no longer want to teach the world to sing in harmony, now they want to eliminate Whiteness.

Josephbleau said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jupiter said...

John henry said...
"My objection is to assigning grades on the basis of forcing individuals to to fit some pre-conceived distribution curve."

John, the curve is not "pre-conceived". The intention of curve grading is that the difficulty of the test will be assessed after it is taken, on the basis of how difficult the class as a whole found it to be. I'm not saying it's a good idea, or a bad one. But you are the one arguing for grading to a preconceived standard. Sorry, but there it is.

Josephbleau said...

I wonder why professional and college sports authorities are allowed to use a rating scale that places teams at the bottom. Why is this not a crisis too. Are grades the only thing that matters?

Lurker21 said...

John McWhorter is a very secure and self-confident man, as you'd expect from somebody who was born "John Hamilton McWhorter V." When White person in college wanted to touch his hair, he apparently thought it was cute and funny. Most of his relationships were with White European women and he mentioned them (obliquely and in passing) in his courses. Sixty years ago, he would have had much grief for that, but it's not a big deal for him. Most people aren't so secure, and everybody seems to have a grudge they have to express. It's not just a Black thing. Taking offense has become a prime form of social interaction nowadays.

itzik basman said...

I sent John McWhorter this email after I read his piece:

Dear Professor McWhorter:

A few points on “So there was a law professor at Georgetown who was a racist.”

In what sense is Sellers’ private conversation with Batson “grimy”? She’s speaking colloquially and informally to a friend. And as I read her, it’s an agony or an anxiety for her that semester after semester her black students are overrepresented at the bottom of the class. And if she’s used an “unideal” word, “Blacks,” so what? It doesn’t hardly deserve a mention. I see no grime. I rather see a bit of a plain spoken cri de couer.

I can see how assigning racism as the cause of that overrepresentation “gets closer to sense.” But that is only to say that that proposition isn’t as off as is a lie—there is no such overrepresentation. I don’t see how citing racism gets any closer to sense than the idea that for her to have spoken so is rude.

Considering that Sellers was speaking privately with an expectation of privacy, to whom could she have conceivably been rude? This isn’t a reason you address. You instead focus on the rightness of being able to speak up about reality. But isn’t the privacy point closer to actuality and, so, more directly salient?

Similarly without sense, how can racism as a cause apply to underperforming students admitted to one of the most prestigious and demanding law schools in America? The very act of admission vouches the law school’s expectation that the admittees will succeed. The law school in principle will admit no one it expects to fail. Moreover, while some may claim and argue for it, the plain fact is that it’s preposterous to see the law school as a racist institution. So from where, how ever, can racism be offered as a reason why, generally, these black students do worse than other students?

Your point about noting black student overrepresentation at class bottoms that “Leaving it there is what makes statements like Sellers’ and Wax’s so repulsive to many, and this is understandable...” isn’t fully clear to me. Are you saying that it’s understandable that many will find what Sellers said repulsive because she didn’t say more, offer a solution? But If so, the contexts were qualitatively different for Wax and Sellers. Wax was in the midst of a public discussion with Glenn Loury. She had no expectation of privacy. (That said, I think it not at all understandable that many people would find what Wax said repulsive by reason of her not saying more. She was stating what she saw as a fact. What more was there for her necessarily to say? What solution could she conceivably have offered? What disavowals was it her duty to make? That she was expected obligatorily to say more is unreasonable.) Sellers, as noted, thought she was in the midst of a private conversation with a sympathetic colleague. So the notion that she needed to say more to save what she said from being seen by many as repulsive doubly makes no sense.

Finally, this is also unclear to me: “Note that what I am saying fully acknowledges the existence of systemic racism, and also points the way towards a better future for black people.” Either you’re saying, that you acknowledge the existence of systemic racism or you’re in effect saying by implication, “Even if I don’t acknowledge the existence of systemic racism, what I’m proposing can be read as acknowledging it exists; in other words, my proposal accommodates that characterization of America regardless of whether that’s so.” If it’s the first, then it seems to me at odds with your conversations with Glenn Loury on Bloggingheads. I stand to be corrected but it’s my firm impression you both disavow that way of seeing America.

Sincerely,
Itzik Basman

Gahrie said...

John henry said...
"My objection is to assigning grades on the basis of forcing individuals to to fit some pre-conceived distribution curve."


John, the curve is not "pre-conceived". The intention of curve grading is that the difficulty of the test will be assessed after it is taken, on the basis of how difficult the class as a whole found it to be.


You're responding to John's objection to the reality of how grade curves are being used, with the theory of how they should be used. In theory, you're right, it's about responding to the test. However , in reality, it's about producing desired results. These desires are based on pre-conceived expectations.

Lurker21 said...

From John McWhorter's Substack:

THE ELECT: THE THREAT TO A PROGRESSIVE AMERICA FROM ANTI-BLACK ANTIRACISTS
Serial excerpt No. 3: We can only move on in full awareness that this is a religion. Not "like" one -- but an actual one.

Ironclad said...

I’m an engineer. Around 50% of my freshman class dropped the first year - could not pass the math. We lost another 20% after the next year. And maybe a third of the starting class graduated. It’s called suitability for your degree. And no amount of “remedial studies” is going to get your brain working in the right groove if you don’t have the innate aptitude.

But it’s racist now to suggest otherwise. God help us all.

Original Mike said...

"What do they call someone who graduates at the bottom of the class at Med School? Doctor."

Yes, of course, but the people below him are NOT called Doctor.

walter said...

She was struggling with a perceived injustice in the achievement outcome.
"Come on, man!"
With even math currently being challenged wrt accuracy vs context, certainly a Law Prof could find her way to prejudice grading so as to do her part to pull them up by her bootsraps.
Way back in the only barely woke late 80's I had a TA explain to me that he gave my project partner a better grade because she was "older and a woman".
This was the same TA who I struggled to understand through his thick Korean accent.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Seems like her frustration is with the system that is giving her a disproportionate number of black lower-ranking students. This forces her to give what, to a cursory look, would appear to be racistly distributed grades.

Original Mike said...

"John, the curve is not "pre-conceived". The intention of curve grading is that the difficulty of the test will be assessed after it is taken, on the basis of how difficult the class as a whole found it to be."

Yep, even after 30 years of writing them, I really didn't know how hard a particular test was until I got them back.

Bitter Clinger said...

Gahrie is correct, one reason for a curve is to protect the students from a professor who is cruel or incompetent at writing an exam. One of my physics professors in undergrad took great pleasure in humiliating students by crushing them on the exam. I scored 35/125 points on the mid-term and it was the highest score in the class. It was an A because of the curve, without it would I have failed the course?

Second reason for a curve is to prevent grade inflation. An "A" student doesn't end up in my office crying about his/her grade. He/she also is very unlikely to complain to the dean. Consequently, incentives run toward grade inflation. A forced curve eliminates that and gives me support for lower grades. I tell the students during the first class that I'm not allowed to give them all As, and I don't like assigning grades randomly, so the exams will be difficult in order to create a distribution of scores that indicate a meaningful difference in knowledge.

Michael K said...

Witness Coca-Cola. They no longer want to teach the world to sing in harmony, now they want to eliminate Whiteness.

The market share for soft drinks is collapsing. Coke is down something like 20% in revenue over the last five years. Some is the war on sugar and some is probably changing tastes. My son and his wife don't let their kids drink pop.

I was in a market this week and could not find Diet Coke. There was an aisle of Coke products but no Diet Coke. I have generally not been a fan of Pepsi which takes like cherry syrup has been added but I took home a dozen Diet Pepsis. Coke may have lost me as a customer after more than 50 years.

"Get Woke. Go Broke."

Joe Smith said...

Nobody wants a brain surgeon that graduated near the bottom of their class, black or white.

But it's especially bad if one of them was given diversity points to get into medical school in the first place.

And then extra coddling once they're in. What professor will risk their job if they give honest grades, and the bad grades go mostly to minority doctors in training?

Of course, the general public is usually not privy to these kinds of details.

That's why affirmative action is insidious. It lumps the brilliant minorities (like Ben Carson) in with the idiots.

Original Mike said...

"Of course, the general public is usually not privy to these kinds of details.
That's why affirmative action is insidious. It lumps the brilliant minorities (like Ben Carson) in with the idiots."


The only practical coping strategy for the public is to avoid all professionals of color. Insidious indeed.

The Vault Dweller said...

This sounds like an aftermath of the various Critical Theory courses and ideas that have been taught for the last few decades. One of the most glaring effects of the Critical Theory ideas is that it has enabled many to rationalize away, or otherwise ignore inconvenient truths. The truth is is that performance on standardized tests matter. They are a decent measure of a person's academic potential. In particular LSAT performance strongly correlates with performance in Law School, and more importantly performance on the bar. If a person goes to law school they have invested 3 years of their time which could have been spent earning money and developing skills that could have been useful in another career. If after those 3 years of time spent, plus the likely $100k plus they have gone in debt they are unable to pass the bar they have significantly harmed themselves. It isn't unrecoverable, but it was a bad decision. But people come up with reasons for how standardized tests aren't completely accurate, and have a history of racism associated with them, and are part of systemic racism today so they can ignore the inconvenient truth they represent. Not everyone is equally prepared or has an equal chance at succeeding at any given task. Not only does this hurt people who are not given the chance that might have succeeded it also hurts those who are put into a position where they become more likely to fail than their peers. Proponents of affirmative action bring up that it unreasonable to expect Black folks in America to be able to immediately catch up to white folks after slavery when they don't have the same resources or knowledge that their white counterparts did. This is a fair point. However affirmative action operates as a microcosm of that same idea. Many beneficiaries of affirmative action will not be able to perform up to the same standards as their counterparts because they aren't as prepared or ready as them.

Michael K said...

Blogger Original Mike said...
"What do they call someone who graduates at the bottom of the class at Med School? Doctor."

Yes, of course, but the people below him are NOT called Doctor.


The AAMC, the accrediting body for medical schools (It's not the AMA) is now moving toward an "equity" stance on medical education. Applicants will be admitted by quota and GRADUATED by quota, if this holds. So, the bottom may be flexible according to race. The people who will suffer, aside from patients of course, are competent black doctors. My wife has had two black internists over the past ten years. One was African, the other from Jamaica. Both were good. This sort of thing will make it hard for them or at least for new black grads.

The black medical student who took Alan Bakke's place at UC Davis when Bakke lost his case, was later convicted of second degree murder in a malpractice case that was that gross. Bakke is still practicing anesthesia with an MD from another medical school.

Michael K said...

That's why affirmative action is insidious. It lumps the brilliant minorities (like Ben Carson) in with the idiots."

The reason why standardized tests were invented, beginning with the SAT, was to give poor kids like Carson, the ability to get admission to good schools. Another example like Carson is the Fox News guy, Charles Payne. Single mother and inner city. He joined the Air Force to get GI Bill. I used to listen to his Saturday program before I knew he was black. He sounded like a Chicago Irishman.

Eleanor said...

A high school guidance counselor will suggest to a student he should choose a college or university where his SAT scores, GPA, and class standing put him solidly in the upper half of the average incoming class. That's the best predictor of successfully completely the degree program in 4 years. If he decides to choose a "reach school", one where his credentials will put in him the bottom half of the class, he needs to be prepared to put in the extra work and will sometimes find himself feeling like he's in part two of a course never having taken part one.

It's not to say he shouldn't "reach", but his chances of succeeding are far less, and if there are a lot of school loans involved, he should weigh that into his decision. If after arriving at the "reach", he finds himself completely overwhelmed, he should start the process of transferring soon so he can stop digging the hole he's put himself in. Better to have a degree from a second tier school than to be a dropout. I assume the same strategy works for graduate school.

Clark said...

"And she says she has "angst" and is driven "crazy." What's that emotion about?"

I hear that in quite a different way from Althouse. Preferential admissions practices together with blind grading and a mandatory curve means that law professors will face the situation she is describing. (See Volokh on this.) I found it painful even though there was nothing I could do about it. I hear the Georgetown professor describing that pain.

As for the mandatory curve itself, I have no idea how I would have been able to grade in any other way than on a curve. I would give complex 3 hour exams. I would grade them in a way that would allow me to measure the performance of the students relative to one another. That would generate a bell curve. Why would I second guess the curve?

JPS said...

About grading curves: As I see it there are two types, and they tend to get mixed up. One is a population distribution, the idea that some preconceived fraction of kids will get A's, B's, C's, etc. I object to this as strongly as john henry does: Never used one, never will.

The other type gets called curving but it's different. Say I write an exam that's just way too hard, and my strongest students run out of time having completed 45% of it. What they have on the page reflects an excellent understanding. I may decide that's an A. And that a 35 represents a B, if what's there is really actually pretty good.

Now, I need to work on my exam-writing if this happens. Unlike Bitter Clinger's physics prof, I take no enjoyment in humiliating anyone. And there's nothing to say the best job any student did rates an A. Maybe the content making up that 45 only struck me as solidly good, not excellent. OK, then a 45 is a B.

But I used to tell my students off the bat: If you all do a mediocre job, you all get C's. If you all do an excellent job, you'll all get A's.

The Vault Dweller said...

Blogger Michael K said...
The black medical student who took Alan Bakke's place at UC Davis when Bakke lost his case, was later convicted of second degree murder in a malpractice case that was that gross. Bakke is still practicing anesthesia with an MD from another medical school.


Do you have any articles that talk about this. Not that I think you are making it up, but it would be interesting to read about.

JPS said...

As for race and admissions, I'd be at least in trouble for stating my view, which is that we take minorities who are at the most privileged end of the spectrum, the ones who were always going to succeed anyway. We push them further out in front of their peers, and congratulate ourselves that we're Doing Something. Because it's a hell of a lot easier to admit more underrepresented minorities, than to fix the reasons they're underrepresented. Hooray for us, for we care. (We actually do, but I think that's beside the point.)

Unknown said...

At this point i am reluctant to do business with, hire, have conversations with any black person. It is not racist to want to protect yourself from danger.

The Vault Dweller said...

Blogger JPS said... stuff about grading curves

I recall first encountering a grading curve in college. I was taking Organic Chemistry I. It was the first test, and I thought I was prepared for it. But when I took it I felt awful. There far too many questions that I felt I either did not know or did not have a good idea about. This was very different than all my experiences in k-12 before where I knew most questions. I was very worried afterwards. Then I got my test back. It was a 68%. My heart sank. I thought this is it. I got a D. What was I going to do. Chemistry was supposed to be my major and I got a 68 on the first test. Then the professor started writing percent ranges on the board and to my amazement my 68 percent was actually a straight A.

Joe Smith said...

A long-dead relative (born in '03 so give him a break) once said, 'If you ever need a doctor or a lawyer, get a Chink or a Jew.'

Slightly racist but not terrible advice.

Ken B said...

In a bridge tournament my partner and I qualified for the final group. Every other pair in the final round was a full time professional partnership, including several world champions. Do I need to tell you where we finished in the finals?

wholelottasplainin' said...

chickelit said...
Why is there a top and bottom in the first place? If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there.

Are statistics racist?
***********************************

When was the last time you heard a person on the left complain that way-low-in-his-law class Joe Biden(76th in a class of 85) winding up as as a Senator and POTUS is proof-positive of White Supremacy?

Mary Beth said...

Yes, of course, but the people below him are NOT called Doctor.

They can be if they switch their major to Education.

Mark said...

Did you all know that Georgetown used to own slaves? That it used to buy and sell human beings? That part of its current endowment is rooted in trading in human life?

Ken B said...

Big Mike: “ This used to be understood as obvious. I don't know if it no longer is or if it still is but people are lying about it.”

Lying.

No one on earth thinks LeBron James is average at basketball.

Ken B said...

As for the crazy driving,I think AA has misread and that Hardin and Clark get it right. It’s not remotely clear to me she is complaining about the students' work ethic rather than the circumstances she finds herself in.

wholelottasplainin' said...

I went to GWU Law at night, while working in a patent law firm during the day.

By my 4th year (the standard 8-semester night school course) I was doing pretty well, close to the upper third. Not brilliant, but respectable. I had also passed the Patent Agent exam administered by the US Patent Office.

That year I took a Patent Law course, taught by a prof who was notorious for his brutal exams, often failing half the class. I got a "D" on his final, and was resigned to having that black mark on my grades.

A week later I got a call from the prof to advise me he had made a "terrible mistake": I didn't get a "D"...I got an "F". It was a crusher--even though the lawyers I worked with said, "He's known to be a crazy sumbitch, so don't sweat it."

But I sweated it, and wound up working at something very different.

I've always wondered how he screwed up---maybe he needed one more person to reach his "half the class will flunk" quota?




Douglas B. Levene said...

There are two theories about grading. One is that grades represent some degree of mastery of a particular subject, with 100 being complete mastery and so on down to failing. That might work for a subject with a defined curriculum, like math.

The other is that grades are just the statistical distribution of scores around a median.

In my (law school) classes, rarely do students get more than 1/2 of the possible points. I could keep adding complexity and nuance to the essay questions and no student would ever get more than 1/4 of the possible points. My goal is to write an exam that produces a wide spread between the weakest and the strongest so that I can distinguish between them, i.e., assign grades that are more than arbitrary. Then I take the median, give it whatever grade the school guidelines say to give the median, and fill out the curve from there. I would wager that's what the Georgtown professors were doing in their class, too.

Original Mike said...

"Big Mike: “ This used to be understood as obvious. I don't know if it no longer is or if it still is but people are lying about it.”

I'm not Big Mike. Maybe this explains why you think I've said things that I haven't.

Rory said...

"About all a professor can tell is whether the test taker is a man or a woman based on the handwriting."

I don't think that this is right. These are essay exams, at least in smaller classes many individual classroom voices will come through the writing.

Caligula said...

"The market share for soft drinks is collapsing. Coke is down something like 20% in revenue over the last five years. Some is the war on sugar and some is probably changing tastes. My son and his wife don't let their kids drink pop."

Coca-Cola has been diversifying away from sodas for years; it's a global company that owns more than 500 brands.

Coca-Cola's problem is that most of these brands are not as valuable as Coca-Cola, in the sense that people don't pay as much of a premium for the branded product as compared to an off- or store-brand. The result has been smaller margins, resulting in lower profits despite strong sales.

Although if more were to learn of the Company's racist politics that might reduce these margins even more.

As for the effect on physicians who may have been Affirmative-Actioned, I think most people don't much care so long as the stakes are low; i.e., for routine medical care all one really needs is "good enough." It's when you may have something life-threatening (or even "just" seriously quality-of-life threatening) that you'll start taking a much stronger interest in determining whether the physicians treating you are more than just minimally competent.

Tinderbox said...

As someone who throughout my whole life was already sympathetic and sensitive towards them, I now find it safer and wiser to not have any interaction with them anymore when it can possibly be avoided. And it's not a racial thing, but a cultural one. There are none of these issues with first-generation immigrants I know. They find it ludicrous and pathetic.

virgil xenophon said...

Has it not occurred to people that the 1964 Civil Rights Act created a defacto 2nd Constitution whose philosophical/operational basis and all that it enshrined eg., "affirmative action" and the long train of court decisions which flowed from it carving out other dubious propositions like "diversity" etc. stands directly in opposition to the operating basis of the original constitution? And that which of the two Constitution's competing rules/guidelines/laws etc. hold sway on any given day depending solely on the personal predilections of judges on any given day at any level in our court system about any subject. i.e., it's a pure crap-shoot and one helluva way to run a societal railroad..

Michael K said...

It's when you may have something life-threatening (or even "just" seriously quality-of-life threatening) that you'll start taking a much stronger interest in determining whether the physicians treating you are more than just minimally competent.

There is another side to that. The primary care doc is concerned with wide breadth, not deep skills. Screening a population in primary care requires an ability to recognize patterns. A lot of patterns. Medicine is not like Engineering. Primary care needs a doc to recognize lots of not very common conditions, or at least be aware of the possibility. It's more like geography. Picking out anomalies.

Michael K said...

Blogger Joe Smith said...
A long-dead relative (born in '03 so give him a break) once said, 'If you ever need a doctor or a lawyer, get a Chink or a Jew.'

Slightly racist but not terrible advice.


There is a hilarious Eddie Murphy routine that I saw years ago, maybe in one of his movies. He is a small time crook and in jail. His lawyer shows up and is a black guy. Murphy says loudly, "I don't want no affirmative action lawyer. I want a Jew !"

h said...

Putting her comments in the best light: "I am aware that racism exists, and I want to resist it, or at least not contribute to it. Therefore at the end of every semester I check my course grades and compare those grades side by side with the thumbnail photos of students provided by the university as part of my class list. I notice every semester that the top grades are earned by students who are "less black" -- fewer blacks in this group than in the class average. And the bottom grades are earned by students who are "more black" --- more blacks in this group than in the class average. This troubles me, and causes me anxiety about whether I have fallen subject to "unconscious racism". I've gone back over my grading, with an eye to finding examples where I have graded a black student harder, or a non-black student easier, and I can't find any such examples."

Skeptical Voter said...

It's not so bad being at the bottom of your law school class. While you are not going to be invited to join a white shoe law firm, you could still wind up as President of the United States. Look at Joe Biden--graduated 76 out of 86 from Syracuse Law. And there is a rumor that John McCain was the anchor clanker in his graduating class at the Naval Academy.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Well it’s not like they are searching for *real* racism. No “system” is racist by design or purpose. To pretend they are is what drove McWhorter to write this.

Michael K said...

Do you have any articles that talk about this. Not that I think you are making it up, but it would be interesting to read about.

Here is one that does not mention the second degree murder but does describe his gross negligence.

It says he died in a carjacking in LA but no mention of criminal convictions.

Here is an article in WaPoo that says his license was revoked but does not mention criminal conviction.

Then, it all started to go wrong for Dr. Chavis. As reported by conservative commentators as well as by such newspapers as The Washington Post and the Boston Globe, Dr. Chavis lost his medical license in 1997. He had switched his practice from ob-gyn to cosmetic surgery, including liposuction, areas in which he met with difficulties and was accused of malpractice.

An administrative law judge found Dr. Chavis guilty of gross negligence and incompetence in the treatment of three women, one of whom died, and the California medical board suspended his license, saying he had an "inability to perform some of the most basic duties required of a physician."


I recalled a gross negligence and second degree murder but could be wrong about the latter.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ Where this is going is all pass/fail in law schools.”

I am skeptical. The problem is that starting salaries out of LS vary greatly - probably by a factor of 3 or 4 (at least when I graduated 30 years ago). Big firms pay a lot, and that differential stays with the graduates for awhile after graduation. Ann was the type of student they look for - bright and hard working. (I had the bright (99th percentile on LSATs, 97th percentile on the Multistate Bar Exam) but not the hard work - I was too easily distracted). You combine LS grades with LSATs, and you get a decent proxy for who will do well in the biggest law firms. Currently, the firms with the atmospheric starting salaries can just set a cutoff of maybe top 10% of mid range schools, lower for top schools, even lower for Harvard and Yale, and not typically consider anyone else. Of course, they go much lower for Blacks - but that that can still be quantified.

Keep in mind that Big Law dominates the ABA, and that spills over into certification of Law Schools. They probably have the power to block this, if they want to. And it is hard in most states to sit for their bar exam, if you didn’t graduate from an ABA accredited LS - the states that I have looked at required 7 years of practice first, which usually meant in CA. On the negative side, LS pass/fail would hit their bottom line - maybe significantly. On the other hand, Big Law is, if anything, obsessed with political correctness. That may win out.

Interestingly, we had mandatory pass/fail for my sophomore and junior years in college (1969-1971). The problem was that a lot of us wanted to go to grad school. It was esp important for the pre-meds. The college broke down and had the profs calculate grades for them, but only for them. No relief for those heading for LS, etc. which meant that my class was applying to non-Med grad schools with their grades for their freshman year, and maybe half their senior year. And freshman year did not start all that auspiciously for many. The well meaning experiment was declared a fiasco after those two years. I think that the class ahead of us fared even worse (losing grades for their last two years of college), in terms of admission to grad schools. Anecdotally, law school and STEM PhD admissions seemed down for those two years.

Bruce Hayden said...

“ And there is a rumor that John McCain was the anchor clanker in his graduating class at the Naval Academy.”

He did make Captain, but, family does matter, with his father and grandfather having been full admirals. I have been told by reliable sources that, absent that, he never would have made flight school. Not even close.

Oso Negro said...

Dear Hostess, you once wrote:

"Successful blog writing is sharp and clear. Controversial opinions will look quite stark. You lay it on the line, and you mean to startle readers and make your opponents mad. Academic writing is temperate and swathed in verbiage. It creates a comfortable environment for academics and wards off casual readers. In the blogosphere, you're newly exposed, and it's a rough arena, where you have far less control over what happens to you. That's part of what makes blogging empowering and, often, great fun. But it's a big risk, and of course, it risks your career.

You are retired now, and though commenting on your personal experience relative to AA students would have put your career at risk when you were still teaching, I don't see the same risk now, unless your retirement pay is contingent on your continued personal presentation of sensitive topics with optimal grace. So how about you startle us, your devoted readers, with your personal insight, based on the application of your demonstrably keen wit to your body of experience teaching law at UW? I KNOW you have an opinion about it! Come on, drop the sangfroid that keeps your cruel neutrality from running hot. What was your lived experience? Hmm?

Michael K said...

The last two years of my medical school (class of 1966) were pass/fail/honors. I did not get Honors in Internal Medicine because of a case discussed in class with the chairman of the department who was famously anti-Surgery. Long story but I raised my hand and asked why the lung cancer case had not been taken to surgery. I was slapped down verbally (long story why) but the autopsy showed the tumor was resectable.

I did get 99 on the National Boards in Medicine so it was OK. That chairman, a few year later, was operated on by a friend of mine for a rupturing aneurysm he had not recognized in himself.

h said...

replying to JPS at 2:48 who discusses "grading on a curve". When I began teaching at a university I heard another very senior Professor complaining that "this year's class was very poor," by which he meant they had low scores on the final (approximately). I asked how he could be sure that this year's exam wasn't harder than exams of the past. He poo-pooed the idea. My own early grading followed a different approach: I sorted grades from high to low; I looked for "breaks" in the distribution (example no grades between 80 and 82) and I drew a line at those breaks. Of course there were more breaks (for example 9) than grade levels (5, a-f, excluding e). So I used a subjective judgment about what was a desirable grade distribution about which breaks to use. (Example if only 7% of the class scored above the first break, but 19% of the class scored between the first break and the second break, I would use the second break to define A and give 26% of the class As.) As time went on, I stopped using this because it was so hard to explain and justify to students, and I went to a strict 90-100 = A, 80-90 = b, etc. I still made some adjustments to get the overall grade distribution that was close to what I wanted (like adding 5 points to every student's score). But I never explained this process or revealed it to anyone. No student ever complained ("my grade should have been an 88 but you show it as a 93") and if they had I would have apologized and thanked them, and said that I didn't want to punish them for their honesty, so the higher grade would stand.

Joe Smith said...

I was told there would be no math...

wild chicken said...

Interestingly, we had mandatory pass/fail for my sophomore and junior years

Wasn't it Evergreen that was always pass/fail? Or Reed?

I would have hated that.

exhelodrvr1 said...

The real racism is the friends we lost along the way.

Mark said...

I'm springing forward NOW.

Francisco D said...

Joe Smith said...Nobody wants a brain surgeon that graduated near the bottom of their class, black or white.

Yet we have a long term influential Senator, VP and now POTUS who graduated near the bottom of his LS class.

We almost had a long term Senate powerhouse and almost POTUS who graduated near the bottom of his naval academy class and holds the Navy record for crashed planes.

Hmmm. What does that say about the people who rule us?

Narr said...

I can't recall much about grade-curving in H.S. I did well when I liked something and lousy when I didn't.

In college there was a lot of curve-grading, but I don't remember anything that worked for or against me. The more I've been able to focus on topics of interest, the better my grades in all my grad programs.

I loathe group assignments, but was often just so damn good that I could drag the dumbasses with me to a win. I never gave any when I taught, though I was big one for group study (theirs, I never did that shit).

As part of the gen-ed core requirements for most of my sporadic teaching as an adjunct, the history survey courses I taught had to include written assignments and exam questions in addition to some matching and multiple guess.

Oh what a misery it was to go through forty or more bluebooks filled mostly with barely- or sub-literate crap. Read without marking except for + or = or - and sort into three piles.
Then go back through the + pile and mark. Ditto the other two. Do the math and see how they distribute--and usually they had a nice bell-curve going on requiring little or no adjusting. I always thanked (on the exam) those who made A's and B's for their attentiveness.

I frustrated quite a few students with my standards, including some who wanted to go to law school, including some minorities, but only once did a student try to play the race card on me and she didn't make it far.

Narr
Don't get me started on geographical ignorance

tim in vermont said...

It’s not so much black people calling out every little thing as “racist” as the white left. Power is everything to the white left, which is what this is about. I am not saying that racism isn’t a real thing, I am just saying that not every single white person who holds views different than those of the white left is racist.

tim in vermont said...

I am still bitter about losing an A decades ago because the prof threw out a question because I was the only one who got it right and the class made the argument that it was the professor’s fault, when really, it just took a little bit of logic to work it out, logic which he had failed to spoon feed the class. Bitter I say!

Still, I never really gave a shit about grades, more about whether I would be prepared for my career, which I was.

Joe Smith said...

"Hmmm. What does that say about the people who rule us?"

It says more about the moron voters...

Can Of Cheese for Hunter said...

Power is everything to the white left.

Indeed.

Mark said...

I've been acquainted with a number of Georgetown Law grads, as well as grads from other "lower-tier" area schools. It is the graduates of those other schools who are practicing real-people law in the area state and local courts.

Invariably, the Black Georgetown Law grads did not impress me. The Hispanic Georgetown Law grads did not impress me -- anyone calling him- or herself LatinX impressed me even less. The Asians did not impress me. AND the White folks DID NOT IMPRESS ME.

Practically every Georgetown Law grad I've known was a dim-bulb mediocrity. Just the kind of people that elite business and government and judiciary love -- and just the kind of mediocrities that have totally effed up the law and legal profession, and that is ideology aside.

John henry said...

Blogger Clark said...

I would give complex 3 hour exams.

Me too but mine were 4 hour exams. 1 entire class period was allocated. A few would finish in 2 hours. Most in 2.5-3 hours, a few would keep me there for the full 4 hours. 2 exams per class usually, midterm and final. The school required at least 1, "recommended" 2. In the graduate business school, anyway, where I taught. Same school, education dept where I was a student, "recommended" no exams, quizzes, tests or anything like.

Pure essay type questions. In some courses, like Operations Management, Compensation Management, there was some math required.

Almost all questions came out of the backs of the textbook chapters and I told my students that the first night of class. That would give me a 150-200 questions to choose from.

I would grade them in a way that would allow me to measure the performance of the students relative to one another.

And THAT is precisely my objection.

Students should be graded on how well they understood the material. NOT how well they did relative to others. I don't think "evil" is too strong a word to use in condemning this practice. Perhaps not intentional evil, but evil nonetheless.

John Henry

John henry said...

How would one grade on a curve in a quantitative type class. I see how it can be done in law, business and English classes.

How about in finance where the question might be, given interest rate, time, and so on calculate the Net Present Value. There is a correct answer, X dollars. One correct answer, not subject to interpretation.

Or in engineering, calculate the flow rate through a section of pipe. Again, it is X gpm. One correct answer.

What do you do with a exam with a series of questions like this where every student calculates the correct value? And if you are going to evaluate how they got there, they all used the proper formulae etc.

If everyone gets all the answers correct, so you give them all an A? If not why not? And what possible method could you use to give them anything else? Penmanship? Not leaving enough margin space? Improper ink color?

John Henry

Rosalyn C. said...

"And she says she has "angst" and is driven "crazy." What's that emotion about?

Maybe there is more to this story which has not been reported and the fired professor was anticipating what would happen eventually and what actually did happen at her school -- that the Black law student association is claiming that the real reason Black students get lower grades is due to the lower expectations/racism of their White teachers. Plus the Black students have a disadvantage because they are under additional stress worrying about the racism of their professors, so that affects their performance. They don't seem to mention the possibility that most Black students enter the program with inferior preparation and are competing with the private school educated children of upper class private school educated elites. It doesn't matter how hard a public school educated kid works, he or she or it will probably never be at the same level. But it seems unlikely that the policy of the administration to expect lower scores from Black students was ever shared publicly with the students. Of course it wouldn't be. It would be too humiliating and demoralizing.

Perhaps the solution to the problem of Black students being and feeling badly about their lack of class standing might be that the professors will be expected to inflate the grades of their Black students. Do that or be accused of racism or perpertuating white supremacism. Being in that unenviable position might cause angst to an old fashioned, unwoke teacher who might be inclined to resign.

The cat is out of the bag. Perhaps it was the crime of having been honest about that pressure to guarantee outcomes and that the info went public is what got the professor fired, not the crude way she referred to her "lower" performing Black students. I don't think her attitude in the video towards her Black students was derogatory, just that her rhetoric was politically insensitive and incorrect. She said something outloud you are not allowed to discuss.

No one wants everyone to assume that a Black lawyer probably is substandard. Anyway, is there any correlation between standing in law school and success in the courtroom? IDK

John henry said...

Blogger JPS said...

The other type gets called curving but it's different. Say I write an exam that's just way too hard, and my strongest students run out of time having completed 45% of it. What they have on the page reflects an excellent understanding. I may decide that's an A. And that a 35 represents a B, if what's there is really actually pretty good.

I am OK with this, though I think it represents a failure on the teacher's part to communicate the material. Or perhaps a miscalculation in making up the exam. Or a combination of both. Students should not be penalized for this.

OTOH, suppose it is a class you have taught before and an exam you have used before, getting a reasonable distribution of grades. Some As, many Bs, some Cs and so on. Now you get everybody getting below 50%.

While it could be teacher or exam, it probably isn't. It is probably the students. They didn't learn the material and didn't demonstrate learning.

Should you artificially boost the grade? Or give everyone an F? I would opt for the latter and would likely get yelled at by my boss. But my answer would be "If you want to change the grades, change them. I will say nothing. But I will not participate in doing it."

John Henry

John henry said...

Blogger The Vault Dweller said...

I recall first encountering a grading curve in college. I was taking Organic Chemistry I. It was the first test, and I thought I was prepared for it. But when I took it I felt awful. There far too many questions that I felt I either did not know or did not have a good idea about. This was very different than all my experiences in k-12 before where I knew most questions. I was very worried afterwards. Then I got my test back. It was a 68%.

My first 2 classes in grad school were Managerial Economics and Sales Forecasting. Both very quantitative and taught by a raging marxist asshole.

I was not well prepared for either, going in and just kept sinking lower and lower. I remember getting my midterm exam back and having 29 points, out of 100. And I was not even the low grade.

I was so depressed that I wound up dropping the course, forfeiting the tuition.

OTOH, I got an A in the forecasting course. And when I retook Managerial Economics a few terms later, same prof, I managed to get an A.

But it was a horrible feeling.

Nobody graded on a curve at that school. Or any other school I've been affiliated with before or since.

John Henry

RigelDog said...

"Having an IQ of 86 itself is not a problem, provided you have good character,..."

Good friends of ours have two adopted daughters (not siblings). Each girl had a white bio-mom and a black bio-dad. One daughter was a natural student, tested out at about a 125 IQ, became President of her high school class, got a scholarship to college, paid her way through grad school, and now is making almost 100K working as a consultant doing some kind of gov't compliance regulatory stuff. Her parents are highly educated and made sure that both daughters went to good private schools, got tutoring if needed etc.

Their other daughter---a truly wonderful, empathetic, hard-working, giving person---always struggled terribly with learning. Her parents had her tested every which way and all tests showed that her IQ was about 85 and that she had no specific learning disabilities. The parents did everything you can imagine to support, tutor, and enrich her chances to learn. Her IQ results never changed.

They got her into a small college and continued to "help" her prepare for her college tests and help her write assignments.

That daughter now works as a social worker. I think she does a decent job at understanding people and their problems, but she still can't write a decent sentence and she can't pass licensing tests to advance in her field.

She's also got a great sense of style and is a gifted (unlicensed) cosmetician. And that's what she should be; she's always expressed a desire to make her living doing hair and make-up. But her PhD level parents could not accept that their daughter wasn't cut out for college and so they dragged her over the finish line to get a college degree.

I am not saying that black Americans overall have lower IQ, there's a lot of controversy around that question. I am saying that when you have a competitive academic situation, whoever has a lower IQ/lower SAT type testing relative to the other students at that school is going to struggle and there's almost no chance that their grades will be in the upper percentages of their class.

John henry said...

Blogger wild chicken said...

Wasn't it Evergreen that was always pass/fail? Or Reed?

In the 70s or 80s Harvard (or maybe Yale?) went to pass/fail for all course. Very quickly, it morphed into Honors/high pass/median pass/low pass/fail with more gradations than the traditional A-F scheme.

InterAmerican U where I got my MBA in 78 did not permit graduation with less than a C (2.0) average AND passing the comprehensive exam. 4 hours in the morning essay questions on core courses, 4 in the PM on concentration courses. Didn't matter whether you had taken the courses or if they had even been offered, they were fair game.

I think you needed 50% to pass. Only something like 60% of students passed it on their first try.

It was a horrible experience. I came out literally sick. In the event, I got a 70.Not great but it didn't count for GPA or anything else than graduation. It's not even on my transcripts.

John Henry

Browndog said...

First time seeing this post-

Took it as a Bat Signal for Crack. I guess he's still sleeping it off.

Unknown said...

I now find it safer and wiser to not have any interaction with them anymore when it can possibly be avoided.

Hence, whites in huge numbers fleeing NYC, Chicago, and Minneapolis.

Openidname said...

"Dust Bunny Queen said...

"Why would a white person want to have any interactions ever with a black person when even the most innocent word can 'trigger' racist accusations?"

Why is "trigger" in quotes? Is it because it contains 5/6ths of another word? Is it a dog whistle for that word? Is that other word what you really wanted to say?

Man, finding racism sure is easy. It's everywhere.

Banjo said...

"“The world we once regarded as normal no longer exists. If certain powerful figures in the political and medical communities have their will, we will never return to the way things were.”


"It is perhaps even more alarming that many people don’t seem to care that their world is collapsing, an attitude that only hastens the collapse. They no longer believe in their culture, their nation, and the formative values of the Judeo-Christian West, having succumbed to civilizational fatigue. “A civilization can survive only if its members… believe in its basic values,” writes Joel Kotkin in The Coming of Neo-Feudalism. “Today our key institutions…reject many of the fundamental ideals that have long defined Western culture.'”

"This is a pan-historical dilemma. As Arthur Bryant points out in his fascinating The Study of England: Makers of the Realm, a major reason for the decay of Rome lay in “a lack of faith and hope,” the gradual demoralization of a people seeing “no purpose either in society or their own lives,” indifferent to their history, disdainful of learning, lacking “individual character,” and recognizing no “ideal strong enough to inspire the masses to perform duty.” The result is despondency and self-despising, and I would hazard the suggestion that, mutatis mutandis, the analogy holds for the contemporary West as well.

"Indeed, there seems at times to be a masochistic contentment with the prospect of the end of normal civilized life. A community is being created, writes Charles Murray in Coming Apart, characterized by “weak social capital” where “the small daily pleasures of friendly exchange with neighbors and storekeepers dry up,” and the quality of life markedly decays.

"And people are buying into it. One detects a certain frivolity of mind, the readiness and even eagerness to capitulate to a prevailing orthodoxy, in effect, a superficiality of thought, a dwindling of intellectual range, a loathing for the things we ignorantly take for granted and a perverse desire to see them taken from us.

"This is what happens when you let your society be run by garbage people who fundamentally hate the society they run, because they quite reasonably hate themselves."

58Posted at 7:00 pm by Glenn Reynold

Marcus Bressler said...

I taught some Basic, Intermediate and Advanced Management classes at the local college that were made up of 100% USPS craft employees. One year I had to "explain" why the majority of my students got A's and just a few got B's and nothing lower. In the introductory class, these students were interested in upward mobility, seeking a certification in Postal Technology as a path to management positions. They weren't the type to get promoted because they were friends with existing management. They had to show initiative and take these classes on their own time at their own expense so that they would become viable candidates for promotion review boards and selecting officials. No one took the class to fill out their class load (such as physical education, art and music appreciation and the like). As a result, everyone attended, everyone participated in class, and everyone scored about 80% on the exams and quizzes. There were no slackers. So that explained it.

I fear that that explanation would not go today in a similar college environment.

THEOLDMAN

Michael K said...

While it could be teacher or exam, it probably isn't. It is probably the students. They didn't learn the material and didn't demonstrate learning.

After second year of medical school, we took the National Boards, step one. It was five subjects and one was pharmacology. I did well in this in class but the instructor had skipped one topic and told us to read about it in the textbook. Of course, I hadn't. The topic was a class of drugs called "Veratrim Alkaloids," which were obsolete and which were a mystery to me. I finished the rest of the exam, skipping that section. Then I went back and analyzed the questions. Those tests were multiple choice and I was able to figure out the answers purely by analyzing how the questions were structured. After the exam, I looked them up and had gotten all the answers right.

We had a professor of Medical Education whose claim to fame was passing the Pathology Board Exam without ever have taken a residency or even an MD. I think it has gotten a lot harder to do that now with exams online.

Clark said...

@John Henry:

If I give an exam with the right kind of complexity to 100 students——one which is well-designed to let the students demonstrate their mastery of the material——their performance will fall on a bell curve. There is nothing evil about this.

Hercules, not that one though said...

Hercules Roundup. You People, yes I said You People, get up before the Break of Sunset, signally a new Day. I cannot comment timely, only after the fact. HERE GOES...

Franciso D. ...much of the micro aggression and systemic racism BS we hear today is from neurotic POC students.

*Disagree. POCs are made neurotic by the Progressive nannyism that shows them a shortcut.
Who wouldn't take the shortcut. It's 2021. It's not 1964. Progs need their clients to never take off the training wheels. Understandably, POCs are pissed.


John Henry - Education should not be a "Survivor" type contest. It should be about learning.

I was in the Army for 3 years, then went to work at a factory to save up money for college. Got my thumb sliced off in a conveyor accident, but not to worry, I didn't need the thumb for college, anyway. 'Higher Education' I wanted to dive into it. Matriculated in 1979, as an 'older' student. Bartender on the weekends.
The very 1st class I had, the Professor was giving an overview of what we were going to study. A syllabus was handled out.

A few short years before my experience, the University umbrella afforded a Mens' and Women's College. The MRS degree was still a very real thing.

A girl from the back of my very 1st class asked, "Do we need to know this for the test?"
I really wanted this thing to be worth a thumb.

Day one, I was already learning about College. It wasn't actually a lesson about College, though. It was a lesson about Human Nature.

Skippy - "I was a pilot training squadron commander."

That's...pretty cool. Most of us can figure out 2 dimensions. Some take to the 3rd. Very cool.

Ann Althouse - It's like she's frustrated by the students themselves"

Ever hire someone who looked good on paper? and then they turned out to be a dud? It's frustrating. You need that person to handle the tasks. When they can't, it's frustrating. It's not about policy, or historical...anything. Can you do the job, or not?
College Professors dwell in the pipe dreams of Academic wishes. Clueless.

Lurker21. "When White person in college wanted to touch his hair, he apparently thought it was cute and funny."

I don't believe that. He made that up. White explorers in Africa in the 1800s may have done that.

Walter- This was the same TA who I struggled to understand through his thick Korean accent.

I took Calculus in undergrad. The Professor was Chinese, and I couldn't understand a word he was saying. Not a prob, the TA was gonna handle the load anyway...he was Indian. (Red Dot, not woo-woo) Couldn't understand a word he was saying. Dropped Calculus. Tried again in Grad School. Had an actual American Professor, there.

(Anyone get verkempt about (Red Dot, not woo-woo)? If so..This ain't your Country anymore.

Ann Althouse said...

“ "About all a professor can tell is whether the test taker is a man or a woman based on the handwriting."”

They’re all computer printed now, but even in the days of handwriting, I couldn’t tell and I also didn’t care..

“I don't think that this is right. These are essay exams, at least in smaller classes many individual classroom voices will come through the writing..”

This never happened once Not in 33 years.

mikesixes said...

If Black students had to meet the same entrance requirements as Whites, the class rankings would probably be more racially balanced. The prof's angst doesn't seem racist to me, it just seems like she's sorry to see these students, who could be doing well in a less prestigious school, struggling to make it at Georgetown. The average LSAT score for students admitted to Gtown is 42, I believe, whereas the average for Black students there is 36. When you're that far below average going in, it's likely you're not going to end up in the top half of your class.

Narr said...

To be clear, despite always scoring in the top 1-2% on standardized tests, I was able to graduate from high school in the top 50% of my class of 600+.

Narr
I didn't do as well on the playing fields and in the gym, though

Douglas B. Levene said...

At my law school, all the exams are still hand-written, and I can usually tell the difference between the boys and the girls. The girls usually have much better handwriting. However, I have never been able to tell who wrote which exam. Like Ann says, it's completely false to think that "individual classroom voices will come through the writing." It never happens.

John henry said...

Blogger Clark said...
@John Henry:

If I give an exam with the right kind of complexity to 100 students——one which is well-designed to let the students demonstrate their mastery of the material——their performance will fall on a bell curve.

I agree except to say that it will probably fall on the bell/normal curve. And if it does, so be it, no problem.

But what do you do when it doesn't?

Do you accept a non-normal distribution and grade accordingly? Or do you force the students to fit the pre-conceived normal distribution and adjust grades accordingly?

It is the second thing which I think is evil.

John Henry

John henry said...

The Navy used to promote to E-4 (Petty Officer 3rd Class) to E-7 (Chief PO) based on fleet wide exams. At Twice a year, for each rank, everybody trying for promotion would sit down to take the advancement exam for their specialty. About 65 at the time. I was a Machinist Mate so took the same exam every other Machinist Mate in the Navy took.

Multiple choice questions, mostly on the specialty, but some on military issues. It didn't matter what your subspeciality was, everyone was expected to know everything. It's why I know how to distill nitrogen from air. Enough to pass the test, anyway.

All exams were graded in Waukegan.

The test was, IIRC, worth 100 points. Then you got points for time in rate, time in Navy, service schools, performance evaluations, medals, special qualifications (eg; a point or two for qualifying with a .45)

Theoretically no maximum but practically 130-150 total points.

Everyone in the cycle would be listed in point order. Then the Navy would say, we need, worldwide, 875 Machinist Mates 1st class. The top 875 pointwise got promoted.

It was all blind, nobody had any say in who got promoted. I was good at taking tests and the MM rate was way undermanned so I got promoted every time I had enough time in. E-6 in under 5 years. Other ratings would only promote a few people out of hundreds elegible. I had a roommate for a bit who was a Molder. there were only a couple dozen left in the Navy at the time and many cycles they would promote nobody. He had more than 20 years and was still an E-5.

Absolutely, perfectly objective. At least once the requirements for each rating were determined. The only thing the chain of command could do would be to withhold permission to take the exam. They had to have a good reason, for example discipline problems, for doing that. They could screw with your performance ratings but those didn't count for that much of the total score and they could not screw with them without good reason.

I thought it a much better system than the other services where promotions were more local. (As I understood them. Correction welcome)

John Henry

The Crack Emcee said...

"[I]t would appear that 'racist' means 'anything that a black person doesn’t like for some reason,' and we are to bow down and accept this as post-Enlightenment, morally binding truth because black people have a hideous history. That is not a real discussion. It renders black people something less than human, in feigning that we are beyond serious critique."

Ah - that's what we're doing: "feigning that we are beyond serious critique" because we have "a hideous history" and want those who made our lives "hideous" (his word) to stop.

Fine - I'll feign anything to make hideous people stop fucking with me.

The Crack Emcee said...

"It renders black people something less than human" - WHEN WE'VE ALREADY BEEN TREATED AS LESS THAN HUMAN FOR CENTURIES.

I can see why whites love John McWhorter - he's the Don Lemon of the right.

The Crack Emcee said...

"You are cutting off the flow of evidence of racism, making it harder to detect."

I'm the only person I ever see here - except in this quote - talking about EVIDENCE of any kind. I was fighting with ST the other day - I put links and evidence everywhere while he ranted - and who did these assholes side with? Him. That's white folks and other stupid people like them. Go pray to your "God" for guidance.

You guys judge exclusively on your assumptions and they're always wrong.

The Crack Emcee said...

The way you guys ONLY quote blacks you like too - how many times has John McWhorter - a black hardly any other blacks respect - been featured by whites somewhere? Candace Owens?

Where are thoughtful blacks - who also challenge WHITES? You don't even know any - that's how into the subject you are.

You want human shields - for your racism and skin - and nothing more.

The Crack Emcee said...

As long as your heroes are people who threaten to run blacks down with their cars, you are on the side of racists.

John McWhorter can kiss my ass.


Marcus Bressler said...

Re: the differences in handwriting between men and women.

It can be difficult, but only women (or girls, if you wish) write in the "cute" style. Men never put circles above a letter to serve as a dot on their "i"s.

THEOLDMAN

Marcus Bressler said...


The Crack Emcee
4:56 AM (1 hour ago)


The Crack Emcee has left a new comment on the post ""[I]t would appear that 'racist' means 'anything t...":

As long as your heroes are people who threaten to run blacks down with their cars, you are on the side of racists.

Me: Anyone, of any race, creed or color, who dares to venture out on the expressway to block my path will lead me to conclude that they are likely to do me harm by attacking me inside my vehicle, will have to chance me running them over.

THEOLDMAN

If I find myself in the middle of a riot, and it's NOT a protest by taking over the expressway, I will try to avoid those idiots endangering lives, but if push comes to accelerate...

The Crack Emcee said...

Marcus Bressler,

Thank you for your reasoning behind being a racist - I asked yesterday and no one provided one - though, after centuries of whites BEING racists, it's not a very good one (Whites were "reasoning" this way - coming up with excuses to do us harm - long before the automobile was invented, and, so, were much more inventive, than merely claiming a right-of-way or you think your life is in danger - again). Please, try to maintain the image of supremacy I was raised under, when formulating your excuses. You know, "Manifest Destiny", or something.

This was just a let-down.





Gordon Scott said...

Just remember, Marcus, that the Hennepin County Attorney has not prosecuted one rioter, arsonist or looter from last May's riots in Minneapolis. The US attorney has, but not many.

The Hennepin County Attorney *is* prosecuting the poor unfortunate truck driver, the only one who was supposed to be on the freeway that day, and who hurt no one. Those who robbed and beat him, easily identifiable in videos due to their BLM Covid immunity, face no charges at all.

Gordon Scott said...

Marcus: "Anyone, of any race, creed or color, who dares to venture out on the expressway to block my path . . . ."

Crack: "Thank you for your reasoning behind being a racist . . . ."

Dang. It's almost like Crack wants a non-racist comment to be racist, just so he can whine. Or, perhaps he misread Marcus' words.

PB said...

Instead of merely remembering and honoring the heroes of the civil rights struggle era, we are into civil rights struggle reenactment. The performers feel their lives are emply for not having had to struggle so they reenact.

The Crack Emcee said...

PB said...
Instead of merely remembering and honoring the heroes of the civil rights struggle era, we are into civil rights struggle reenactment. The performers feel their lives are emply for not having had to struggle so they reenact.

How many actual black people do you really know - beyond at work, etc. - to say that?

You guys are your assumptions-as-white-fact kill me.

The Crack Emcee said...

Gordon Scott said...

"Perhaps he misread Marcus' words."

No, he misread mine:

"As long as your heroes are people who threaten to run blacks down with their cars, you are on the side of racists."

It's like when your heroes are Nazis,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Not a single word Marcus wrote refuted my statement - he just gave a reason for it.

The Crack Emcee said...

This is why you guys can't even be helpful in a racial conversation: You're so invested in wiggling out of it, you make fools of yourselves.

I am seriously bothered by Oprah - I ask everyone to do something about her daily - but do you guys recognize I'm asking you to attack a black person? Of course not. Why? YOU'RE NOT TRYING TO HELP[, LIKE I AM, YOU'RE TRYING TO NAIL ME AS A RACIST AND FREE YOURSELVES.

Nothing will ever get fixed until you're as invested in truth as I am - and not just saving your asses.

The Crack Emcee said...

The Greatest Generation were racists who raised bad kids, who became bad parents, and left blacks bad results to cope with, as we finally can embrace freedom.

The Crack Emcee said...

No one - who is the opposite of John McWhorter - gets featured on the blog. It's a one-sided racial conversation - white's.

White-approved blacks get featured - just like in slavery.

henge2243 said...

“ If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there.”

That’s what he said.

The Crack Emcee said...

I rarely see Ann feature a black person who makes whites back-the-fuck-up. They're always idiots whites can troll (Al Sharpton, say) or blacks that whites identify with for talking their side (McWhorter, Loury, etc.) but never anyone to make them go "Hmmm" or think they actually did fuck up in their reasoning.

Whites who speak to, and about blacks, like we matter, do NOT get featured here either. Not even comedians like Louis CK, Daniel Tosh, or Bill Burr, and them.

Instapundit is a blowtorch of ignorant white hostility (and quackery) when I read it. I'm not accusing Ann of that. But she does foster a place for an ignorant white hostility to go unchecked, amongst her readers, with her choices. It can't be right that every time I come here, within minutes, this place turns into a shooting gallery, just because y'all get triggered by the unspoken - and unchallenged - white orthodoxy in play.

The problem in America is we wrote lots of Civil Rights laws, but - since whites are so invested in their own "pursuit of Happiness" - left the shitty culture for blacks to fix, without resources, or help.

The Crack Emcee said...

henge2243 said...
“ If there is to be a bottom, somebody has to end up there.”

That’s what he said.

“If there is an upper class, Christopher's going to be in it.”

Hitchens' Mother.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

It is a clear cut case of racism. It was a hot mic situation after the end of class. The professor thought that some aspect of the class discussion that had just occurred was jumbled, and rather than attributing that to an individual student or students, she attributed it to “a lot of my lower ones are blacks.”

But was she fired for racism? Or was she fired for damaging the Georgetown Law School brand? She was an adjunct professor, “adjunct” meaning “something joined or added to another thing but not essentially a part of it.” I’m sure the tenured faculty of Georgetown Law School don’t consider her one of their own. It’s simply cheaper for colleges and universities to fire the occasional low paid employee for saying or doing something questionable than to pay the reparations that are rightfully due.

Lurker21 said...

And there is a rumor that John McCain was the anchor clanker in his graduating class at the Naval Academy.

The final class rankings at Annapolis and West Point were matters of public record. Maybe they still are. McCain was 894 out of 899. The spin now is that his low ranking was because of his rebellious and not academic inability -- he was a maverick even then. Or maybe it was because his skills were verbal and not mathematical and the academy stressed math and science. I don't know. Maybe he just a jerk even then. Or maybe just dumb.

Has it not occurred to people that the 1964 Civil Rights Act created a defacto 2nd Constitution

That was the idea behind Christopher Caldwell's recent controversial book. There is also the idea that we are on our third or fourth Constitution: the original, the Lincoln version, the FDR version, and maybe the LBJ version as well. Or maybe we've had just the one all along. If we had new ones every now and then, people might think we could get back to whatever the original was, and that's not going to happen. Change happens, it happens for reasons that you may not be able to get rid of, and when change happens, people change as well.

The Crack Emcee said...

Left Bank of the Charles said...

"But was she fired for racism?"

I've rarely been in favor of firing over racism in America - it's an integral part of our culture. That's not to say it should slide (as an integral part of our culture we should be aware of it) but it's not worthy of losing your livelihood, when that's our reality.

I got a white friend who had a "nigger" habit - he said it a lot. I never had to correct him - I say it, too - but he soon stopped just because he respects me.

That's what's wrong with the rest of you.

JAORE said...

"Sellers's observation that black students tend to be in the bottom of the class sounds nasty..."

And there it is in a nutshell. Observable fact presented in public. How NASTY!

We can't let facts get in the way of avoiding sounding "nasty" (as defined at 10:33 am CST on 03/14/2021).

As brought to you by the POS*.

* Party of Science

Narr said...

What do you want me to do about Oprah, Crack? Really, tell me what steps I can take and I'll exert ALL my racist superpowers against her.

The fired prof was adjunct? As such she has virtually no employee rights at all, so of course she'll be thrown under the bus by the hierarchs. That's what pawns are for.

Narr
Oprah: Fat fat the water rat!

The Crack Emcee said...

"What do you want me to do about Oprah, Crack? Really, tell me what steps I can take and I'll exert ALL my racist superpowers against her."

Expose her and give her no room to breathe. She's promoted con artists, cultists, conspiracy theorists, quacks, rapists, murderers, and now she's attempting to change history with the "1619 Project" movie.

Lay into her as an evil force and don't let up until she's gone - by any means necessary.

Sick Charlie Hebdo on her - David Duke - I really don't care.

JAORE said...

"I was told there would be no math..."

Just wait a bit, Joe. There are powerful forces trying to make that a universal default.

hstad said...


Blogger Douglas B. Levene said...
The only solution that will ever satisfy the Crits is to have separate grading curves for black students and all other students. That way, black students will get the "right" number of As and won't be condemned to fill out the bottom of the class. Lani Guinier was just ahead of her time. 3/13/21, 11:44 AM

Yes, 100% correct! Only one benefit it gets "black students" getting out of college. Once in the real world and employers start looking for talent what happens then? I remember well during the "quota" era of the past, every "black" graduate we interviewed was looked at with suspicion. In turn, over time "blacks" felt the disappointment of not making it in the real World and began to blame their real life failure on "racism". Interesting never experienced such behavior from Asians?

Narr said...

Crack, BION but I don't know anyone who pays attention to Oprah, not even my wife who pays attention to some goofy-ass stuff. No NewAge or spiritual practice (except? yoga), which seems good for her--she knows that would be grounds.

Those that DO pay attention to Oprah won't hear or heed what I say, anyway.

Narr
I have my struggles against lies, stupidity, and cowardice, too

The Crack Emcee said...

Narr said...
Crack, BION but I don't know anyone who pays attention to Oprah, not even my wife who pays attention to some goofy-ass stuff.

I know - and that's insane: she's the spiritual leader of the entire woke movement and you guys are like WHATEVER. She's got a production studio to make woke content and you guys are like WHATEVER. She can funnel money to any woke actor or org she wants and you guys are like WHATEVER.

Same with the Clintons: Bill and Hillary are controlling everything - destroyed Trump's Presidency - and even with FOUR RAPE ACCUSERS you guys are all GET THE NIGGERS FOR WOKE.

Just brilliant political strategists.

Narr said...

Crack, you have a very exaggerated notion of the power of "you guys," and FWIW I simply don't accept any responsibility for the triumph of the Slack Jawed Wokels.

Whatever else you may think, the crisis/rot/infection/WHATEVER is systemic, and has metastasized beyond even Whitey McWhiteyson's control.

I don't know or much care about the four (Clinton? I don't pay them much mind) accusers but perhaps, if they don't get justice from the courts some chivalrous fellow will take the guilty party out behind the bleachers and teach him to behave.

Narr
It ain't me, babe

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

The Crack Emcee,

The Greatest Generation were racists who raised bad kids, who became bad parents, and left blacks bad results to cope with, as we finally can embrace freedom.

The Greatest Generation was 100% white? Blacks after WWII got here by, what, spontaneous generation? Or is it the Blacks of that generation who were racists who raised bad kids, who became bad parents, who left current Blacks the mess you seem to agree we have? Seriously, I've heard a lot of silly shit, but the idea that mid-century Blacks were self-hating scumbuckets who deliberately messed up their own kids is a new one on me.

Terry Ott said...

One need not extrapolate far into our societal and cultural future to envision statues of, and plaques for, and qoutes attributrd to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr being torn down and banished, etc. Streets and schools named for him will have to be renamed. I hope I am dead and cremated before that happen.s. A few years ago you’d probably have labeled me as being a crazy alarmist for contemplating that this could ever happen. But now? Is it so outlandish?

The Crack Emcee said...

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

"The Greatest Generation was 100% white?"

Oops - I forgot: you can't speak colloquially on this blog unless you're white - my bad. Sorry.

"Blacks after WWII got here by, what, spontaneous generation?"

Nope, I don't think "spontaneous generation" was what got Rosa Parks so upset.

"Or is it the Blacks of that generation who were racists who raised bad kids, who became bad parents, who left current Blacks the mess you seem to agree we have?"

Blacks of that generation had very good reasons not to like whites, and some of that's been passed on, for very good reasons.

"Seriously, I've heard a lot of silly shit, but the idea that mid-century Blacks were self-hating scumbuckets who deliberately messed up their own kids is a new one on me."

Me, too, where'd you get that from?

Wealth determines outcomes [in American justice] not culpability. That's why it's so important for thieves to claim they earned their wealth - even to those they stole it from.