Was Justice Scalia Right When He Said Blacks Should Attend Less-Advanced Schools?
During oral arguments concerning an Affirmative Action case, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia “suggested that black students do better in ‘less-advanced schools’ that are on ‘slower tracks.’”
“There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas.” (H/T: National Review)
Keep in mind that Affirmative Action only applies favorably to blacks. Justice Scalia could have said “blacks and whites,” but Affirmative Action by design excludes and discriminates against other races, especially Asian Americans.
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Furthermore, “Scalia was not talking about black students in general. He was specifically responding to” Gregory Garre, the lawyer defending the university, and his “point about the specific subset of black students who would not be admitted unless you considered their race, who Garre contended would no longer be admitted under a race-neutral or race-blind admissions policy. He was making a practical argument about educational outcomes.” (H/T: The Federalist)
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Walter Williams said something similar in 2008 in his article “Academic Mismatch I.” For those of you who don’t know, Williams is black:
“Which serves the interests of the black community better: a black student admitted to a top-tier law school, such as Harvard, Stanford or Yale, and winds up in the bottom 10 percent of his class, flunks out, or cannot pass the bar examination, or a black student admitted to a far less prestigious law school, performs just as well as his white peers, graduates and passes the bar? I, and hopefully any other American, would say that doing well and graduating from a less prestigious law school is preferable to doing poorly and flunking out of a prestigious one.”
“Think of it this way. Suppose you asked, ‘Williams, would you teach me how to box?’ I say yes and the first matchup I arrange for you is against Lennox Lewis [who is 6’ 5” and was the last undisputed world heavyweight champion]. You might have the potential to ultimately be an excellent boxer, but you’re going to get your brains beaten out before you learn how to bob and weave. It’s the same with any student — black or white. He is less likely to succeed if he is placed in an academic environment where his credentials don’t begin to match those of his peers. He is likely to do much better in a slower paced, less competitive environment where he might receive more personal help.”
What good is it if some black university-bound students get preferential treatment at a top-tier school so they can be “turned into failures so that in the name of diversity race hustlers and white liberals can feel better”? There’s no shame — in fact, it’s smart — to start at a less academically rigorous school and move up the academic ranks if a student’s academic record does not measure up.
If you’ve ever seen the 1993 sports film Rudy, you know what I mean. Rudy “travels to South Bend, Indiana, to the campus but fails to get admitted to Notre Dame. With the help and sponsorship of a local priest, Rudy enrolls at Holy Cross College, a nearby junior college, hoping to get good enough grades to qualify for a transfer.”
And the rest is sports history. Watch this less than two-minute clip:
Academically challenged young people do this all the time. Some start at a junior or community college. It’s a good way to hone study skills.
I know something about this topic. I had terrible grades in high school. I was bored, didn’t study, and didn’t’ care. My school’s counselors told my parents, “Gary is not college material.” And they were right.
I had nearly 30 scholarship offers to some of the best schools in the United States based on my track and field accomplishments. I was ranked fifth in the shot put my senior year in 1968.
Let’s assume I was black with the athletic accomplishments I had. Where could I have gone to college? I could have gone almost anywhere because my race would have trumped my poor academic record. Affirmative Action would have made it possible.
In all likelihood, however, I would have flunked out. It wasn’t that I was not potentially capable, but my high school transcript was an evidentiary document that indicated that I was not college material.
I did the smart thing and chose a college that was less academically challenging. I did well my fest semester and transferred to Western Michigan University where I graduated in 1973. I then went on to spend three years in seminary where I took Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, along with courses in history, philosophy, and apologetics.
Since then I’ve written 30 books, write nearly 400 articles every year, and make a good income doing it. Not going to Harvard, Yale, or Princeton didn’t do me an economic harm.