Appointments to the US Naval Academy and other service academies are done explicitly on the basis of Political Influence and hereditary privilege. This is not corruption, it's actually how the system is supposed to work—you are either appointed by your Congressman, or are the son of a Medal of Honor winner.
That being so, it is really urgent that the actual graduation and passing of courses are on a pure, uncorrupted, meritocratic basis so we get officers who can actually steer the ship without sinking it.
This is really, really, important because of some those ships are powered by nuclear reactors and have nuclear bombs on board, so affirmative action risks a lot more than the loss in a few dollars in profits in the division headed by the affirmative action case—which modern corporations think of as part of the cost of doing business.
Well, it turns out that that they no longer do that uncorrupted meritocratic thing. An Op-Ed by a civilian English instructor was published in the local paper:
(Excerpt) Midshipmen are admitted by two tracks. White applicants out of high school who are not also athletic recruits typically need grades of A and B and minimum SAT scores of 600 on each part for the Board to vote them "qualified." Athletics and leadership also count.
A vote of "qualified" for a white applicant doesn't mean s/he's coming, only that he or she can compete to win the "slate" of up to 10 nominations that (most typically) a Congress(wo)man draws up. That means that nine "qualified" white applicants are rejected. SAT scores below 600 or C grades almost always produce a vote of "not qualified" for white applicants.
Not so for an applicant who self-identifies as one of the minorities who are our "number one priority." For them, another set of rules apply. Their cases are briefed separately to the board, and SAT scores to the mid-500s with quite a few Cs in classes (and no visible athletics or leadership) typically produce a vote of "qualified" for them, with direct admission to Annapolis. They're in, and are given a pro forma nomination to make it legit.
Minority applicants with scores and grades down to the 300s with Cs and Ds (and no particular leadership or athletics) also come, though after a remedial year at our taxpayer-supported remedial school, the Naval Academy Preparatory School.
By using NAPS as a feeder, we've virtually eliminated all competition for "diverse" candidates: in theory they have to get a C average at NAPS to come to USNA, but this is regularly re-negotiated.
All this is probably unconstitutional. That's what the Supreme Court said about the University of Michigan's two-track admissions in 2003.
Once at Annapolis, "diverse" midshipmen are over-represented in our pre-college classes, in lower-track courses, in mandatory tutoring programs and less challenging majors. Many struggle to master basic concepts. (I teach some of these courses.)[Full text here]
Which we noted at the time, and which Pat Buchanan got a syndicated column out of:Dumbing-Down the U.S. Navy A National Disgrace. Of course, the Naval Academy in legally non-political, so retaliating against a professor for something like this is totally illegal—and absolutely predictable.
By Peter SchmidtThe U.S. Naval Academy has agreed to a legal settlement with a dissident faculty member after a federal investigation found evidence that it had illegally denied him a merit-pay increase to punish him for his public criticism of its affirmative-action policies.
The findings and settlement, announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, represent a significant victory for Bruce E. Fleming, a tenured professor of English. He is the civilian employee who filed a complaint with the federal agency in September 2009 after being denied a merit-pay raise that year.
The office's finding also represents the latest embarrassment related to affirmative action for the Naval Academy, where the superintendent resigned last year in the wake of a scandal over excessive administrative spending related to its diversification efforts and to athletics.[More]
Via Lawrence Auster who calls it A black eye for Black Run America.