Civil Rights
We used to all be Americans. Sure, we would point out differences in our heritage and notice cultural distinctions. All very normal human activities. But it wasn't a problem because we were all American and we all knew that. It wasn't until it became "politically correct" to draw more formal distinctions between Americans, that civil rights became a problem and not a solution. We are no longer Americans, we are now Hispanic American, African American, Asian American, Native American, et al. And these distinctions don't help. By definition they divide because the labels come with some past harm done or some cry for new rights that must be recognized and in some cases celebrated. That creates a debate when you demand certain things of the society and wrap that in your label. If we are all Americans, then civil rights becomes a part of what being an American is all about. And those rights are provided in the Constitution. And, yes, discrimination and worse have happened in our history. But also yes, we have corrected those horrible injustices. Yet, constant vigilance is necessary. It is an ongoing goal in any society that we guard against and punish radical extreme intolerance. George Washington cautioned future generations to watch out for "whatever may suggest even a suspicion that [the union] can in any event be abandoned, and indignantly frowning upon the first dawning of every attempt to alienate any portion of our country from the rest." Because of this principle, we fought a war and righted wrongs. There is no better place than the United States of America, where Americans, all share the same individual "life, liberty and pursuit of happiness".

Disparate Impact Thinking Is Destroying Our Civilization

by Heather MacDonald,
from Imprimus,
February, 2024:
The most consequential falsehood in American public policy today is the idea that any racial disparity in any institution is by definition the result of racial discrimination. If a cancer research lab, for example, does not have 13 percent black oncologists—the black share of the national population—it is by definition a racist lab that discriminates against competitively qualified black oncologists; if an airline company doesn’t have 13 percent black pilots, it is by definition a racist airline company that discriminates against competitively qualified black pilots; and if a prison population contains more than 13 percent black prisoners, our law enforcement system is racist. The claim that racial disparities are proof of racial discrimination has been percolating in academia and the media for a long time. After the George Floyd race riots of 2020, however, it was adopted by America’s most elite institutions, from big law and big business to big finance. Even museums and orchestras took up the cry. As a result of this falsehood, we are eviscerating meritocratic and behavioral standards in accordance with what is known as “disparate impact analysis.” Consider medicine. Step One of the medical licensing exam, taken during or after the second year of medical school, tests medical students’ knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology. On average, black students score lower on the grading curve, making it harder for them to land their preferred residencies. Step One, in other words, has a “disparate impact” on black medical students. The solution, implemented last year, was to eliminate the Step One grading disparity by instituting a pass–fail system. Hospitals choosing residents can no longer distinguish between high and low achieving students—and that is precisely the point! The average Medical College Achievement Test (MCAT) score for black applicants is a standard deviation below the average score of white applicants. Some medical schools have waived the submission of MCAT scores altogether for black applicants. The tests were already redesigned to try to eliminate the disparity. A quarter of the questions now focus on social issues and psychology. The medical school curriculum is being revised to offer more classes in white privilege and focus less on clinical practice. The American Association of Medical Colleges will soon require that medical faculty demonstrate knowledge of “intersectionality”—a theory about the cumulative burdens of discrimination. Heads of medical schools and chairmen of departments like pediatric surgery are being selected on the basis of identity, not knowledge. What is at stake in these changes? Future medical progress and, ultimately, lives. The federal government ....
  • Standards are falling in the legal profession...
  • The pressure to eliminate the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) requirement for law school admissions is growing, because it too has a disparate impact. As a single mother told an ABA panel, “I would hate to give up on my dream of becoming a lawyer just due to not being able to successfully handle this test.” Note the assumption: the problem always lies with the test, never with the test taker. The LSAT requirement will almost certainly be axed.
The curious state of our criminal justice system today....
  • district attorneys are not prosecuting whole categories of crimes—such as shoplifting, trespassing, or farebeating—it is because apprehending lawbreakers and prosecuting crime have a disparate impact on black criminals.
  • Walgreens, CVS, and Target would rather close down entire stores and deprive their elderly customers of access to their medications than confront shoplifters and hand them over to the law, because doing so would disproportionately yield black shoplifters, as the viral looting videos attest. ...
  • Even colorblind technology is racist. Speeding and red-light cameras disproportionately identify black drivers as traffic scofflaws. The solution to such disparate impact is the same as we saw with the medical licensing exam: throw out the cameras.
  • The result of this de-prosecution and de-policing has been widespread urban anarchy and, in 2020, the largest one-year spike in homicide in this nation’s history.
Uncomfortable Facts We need to face up to the truth: the reason for racial under representation across a range of meritocratic fields is the academic skills gap. The reason for racial over representation in the criminal justice system is the crime gap. If we cannot acknowledge the skills gap and the behavior gap, we are going to continue destroying our civilizational legacy. Here are the relevant facts.
  • In 2019, 66 percent of all black 12th graders did not possess even partial mastery of basic 12th grade math skills, defined as being able to do arithmetic and to read a graph.
  • Only seven percent of black 12th graders were proficient in 12th grade math, defined as being able to calculate using ratios.
  • The number of black 12th graders who were advanced in math was too small to show up statistically in a national sample.
The picture was not much better in reading.
  • Fifty percent of black 12th graders did not possess even partial mastery of basic reading, and only four percent were advanced.
  • According to the ACT, a standardized college admissions test, only three percent of black high school seniors were college ready in 2023.
  • The disparities in other such tests—the SAT, the LSAT, the GRE, and the GMAT—are just as wide.
in light of these skills gaps, it is irrational to expect 13 percent black representation on a medical school faculty or among a law firm’s partners under meritocratic standards. At present you can have proportional diversity or you can have meritocracy. You cannot have both.

As for the criminal justice system, the bodies speak for themselves. President Biden is fond of intoning that black parents are right to fear that their children will be killed by a police officer or by a white gunslinger every time those children step outside. The mayor of Kansas City proclaimed last year that “existing while black” is another high-risk activity that blacks must engage in. The mayor was partially right: existing while black is far more dangerous than existing while white—but the reason is black crime, not white vigilantes.

In the post-George Floyd era, black juveniles are shot at 100 times the rate of white juveniles. Blacks between the ages of ten and 24 are killed in drive by shootings at nearly 25 times the rate of whites in that same age cohort. Dozens of blacks are murdered every day, more than all white and Hispanic homicide victims combined, even though blacks are just 13 percent of the population. The country turns its eyes away. Who is killing these black victims? Not the police, not whites, but other blacks.

As for interracial violence, blacks are a greater threat to whites than whites are to blacks. Blacks commit 85 percent of all non-lethal interracial violence between blacks and whites. A black person is 35 times more likely to commit an act of non-lethal violence against a white person than vice versa. Yet the national narrative insists on the opposite idea—and too many dutifully play along.

These crime disparities mean that the police cannot restore law and order in neighborhoods where innocent people are most being victimized without having a disparate impact on black criminals. So the political establishment has decided not to restore law and order at all.

Civilization is at stake: It is urgent that we fight back against disparate impact thinking.
  • Even the arts are coming down. Classical music, visual art, theater—all are dismissed as a function of white oppression.
  • Only Western art is subjected to this kind of hostile interpretation. Chinese, African, and Indian cultural traditions are still treated with curatorial respect, their works analyzed in accordance with their creators’ intent.
We must stop apologizing for Western Civilization.
  • To be sure, slavery and segregation were grotesque violations of America’s founding ideals
  • Today, however, every mainstream institution is twisting itself into knots to hire and promote as many underrepresented minorities as possible. Yet those same institutions grovelingly accuse themselves of racism.
  • The West has liberated the world from universal squalor and disease
  • It has given the world plumbing, hot showers in frigid winters, flight, clean water, steel, antibiotics, and just about every structure and every device that we take for granted in our miraculously privileged existence—and I use the word “privilege” here to refer to anyone whose life has been transformed by Western ingenuity—i.e., virtually every human being on the planet.
  • It was in the West that the ideas of constitutional government and civil rights were born.
  • Every ideal that the Left uses today to bash the West—such as equality or tolerance—originated in the West.
The ongoing attack on colorblind excellence in the U.S. is putting our scientific edge at risk.
  • China ranks number one in international tests of K-12 math, science, and reading skills; the U.S. ranks twenty-fifth.
  • Meanwhile the American Mathematical Association declares math to be racist and President Biden puts a soil geologist with no background in physics at the top of the Department of Energy’s science programs... and publishes on such topics as “A Critical Feminist Approach to Transforming Workplace Climate.”
What do we do in response to such civilizational immolation?
  • We proclaim that standards are not racist and that excellence is not racist.
  • We assert that categories like race, gender, and sexual preference are never qualifications for a job.
  • I know for a fact that being female is not an accomplishment. I am equally sure that being gay or being black are also not accomplishments.
[Anyone who does thee things is] accused of waging a culture war. But it is the progressive elites, not their conservative opponents, who are engaging in cultural revolution! Most conservatives today are not even playing defense. Lowering standards helps no one since high expectations are the key to achievement. In defense of excellence we must speak the truth, never apologize, and never back down. More From Imprimus:

365 Days Page
Comment ( 0 )