Eleven years ago I spoke at a conference organized by the Black Law Students Association (BLSA) at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. I gave them a race-realist view of black under-achievement, supporting my case with statistics from the Law School Admission Council database of scores on the LSAT exam. You can read the talk on my personal website: Revisiting Race and Remedies: Should the Government Play A Role in Eliminating Racial Disparities in Education and Employment?, April 5, 2010.
Nobody screamed at me or made a fuss.
Socializing with the BLSA people afterwards, I encountered some disagreement, but everyone was cordial.
In an effort to improve this, colleges and universities give preferences to blacks. Blacks are accepted with educational credentials that, for students of other races, would be considered too low for admission [Group that sued Harvard asks Supreme Court to end use of race in college admissions, by Nick Anderson and Robert Barnes February 25, 2021].
“I was told by one official that the school had initially rejected me because ‘we assumed from your record that you were white.’ . . . Suddenly coy, he went on to say that the school had obtained ‘additional information that should have been counted in your favor’—that is, Harvard bad discovered the color of my skin.”
Consult the Gods of the Copybook Headings. What do you think they would predict as a consequence of those admissions policies?
The applicant pool for college admissions overall contains very few really bright black students. That race just doesn't have many academically gifted people. Behind those very few will be some larger number who are adequately bright—bright enough, I mean to cope with college-level material. And behind them is a larger number of applicants who will struggle with that material.
Call these three groups the Smarts, the Adequates, and the Strugglers.
A prestigious university will of course admit all the Smarts it can find from the preferred race, to demonstrate its earnestness to lift the race up.
In considering applicants from other races, they will have plenty of Smarts they can admit, with perhaps a scattering of Adequates—legacy admissions and such. No need to admit any Strugglers from these other races.
So when a class assembles for instruction, there will be a gratifying number of students from the preferred race in it.
Their statistical profile on ability, however, will be well below that for their classmates of other races.
Comes time for final examinations, students from the preferred race will mostly pool at the bottom of the class rankings.
That would be the prediction offered by the Gods of the Copybook Headings. Is it what we see in practice, in reality?
According to Professor Sandra Sellers, who has been teaching law at Georgetown University, it indeed is:
I hate to say this. I ended up having this, you know, 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. Get some really good ones but there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy.
Georgetown Law Professors complain about Black Students on Zoom Sandra Sellers David Batson, YouTube.com, March 10, 2021
Too much reality! Prof. Sellers actually said that to a colleague, David Batson, who was also a law professor at Georgetown…at that point.
There is no suggestion that either of them was anything other than a line-toeing liberal.
They'd been conducting a class on Zoom. The class was over; the two professors had stayed Zoom-connected for some discussion about the students. They weren't aware they were still being recorded.
The recording found its way to social media somehow, the Black Law Students Association declared their intention to commit mass seppuku on Cooper Field if something wasn't done to assuage their pain, and the university administration swung into action.
They fired Prof. Sellers.
They probably fired Prof. Batson, too. The news stories say he was put on administrative leave, then offered his resignation, which was accepted. In his resignation letter he groveled shamelessly:
I understand … that I missed the chance to respond in a more direct manner to address the inappropriate content of those remarks.
Second Georgetown Law professor leaves in midst of investigation over conversation about Black students, by Lauren Lumpkin, (pictured right) Washington Post, March 12, 2021
All that looks to me like cover for (a) them having demanded his resignation, (b) he having gotten lawyered up, (c) negotiations having taken place, and (d) a severance package having been agreed on, with the grovel as one of the conditions. I'm just speculating, though.
A friend on whom I tried out that speculation responded that academics in the generality are such spineless critters, they don't need any incentive to cringe and grovel before the Woke Enforcers. Not having any personal knowledge of Prof. Batson, I'll allow my friend may be right.
Wait a minute, though: The offending words were uttered by Prof. Sellers. What did Prof. Batson do to get himself fired? Did he say something hurtful too?
Actually, no. After Prof. Sellers spoke, Prof. Batson only nodded and made a noncommittal grunt [ Second Georgetown Law professor leaves university over ‘racist’ Zoom video , by Sara Dorn, NY Post, March 13, 2021].
That was it. That was his offense. When someone notices reality in your presence—some aspect of reality that contradicts the Ruling Class Narrative—it's not enough to just keep shtum. You have to jump up and denounce the other party for Hate Speech!
Since folks are trying to defend Prof. Batson: 1) he had an obligation to call her out on it & report her and did not, 2) the source was a student in their class, not him and not me, 3) this recording was up and available to students in the class for weeks before being taken down pic.twitter.com/toGUJb82dJ— Hassan (hassana.bsky.social) (@hahmad1996) March 11, 2021
Passivity in the face of counter-revolutionary speech is itself counter-revolutionary, comrade!
This little tale doesn't just tell you how far we have sunk, but also the rate at which we've been sinking—the first derivative, for you math geeks. In layman’s language, it’s going off the chart.
John Derbyshire [email him] writes an incredible amount on all sorts of subjects for all kinds of outlets. (This no longer includes National Review, whose editors had some kind of tantrum and fired him.) He is the author of We Are Doomed: Reclaiming Conservative Pessimism and several other books. He has had two books published by VDARE.com com: FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT (also available in Kindle) and FROM THE DISSIDENT RIGHT II: ESSAYS 2013.
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