Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dream On, Dr. King

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

So spoke Dr. King over 46 years ago on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

I wasn't even born when he spoke those most powerful words; I've lived my entire life under their cooling shadow. I believe in them so much that they are, for me, part of what it means to be an American.

So how does this announcement mesh with Dr. King's words? The Coast Guard Academy isn't "diverse" enough, so the Congress is looking to change the way admissions are handled.

It's no secret in higher education that there are fewer than 1,000 super-qualified (academically) black high school graduates in the entire country each year, and every college and university fights for "their share" of that talent pool. Affirmative action and "diversity", though, force more elite schools to lower standards and admit lesser qualified black students. It's an ugly truth, but ignoring or not stating it doesn't make it less so.

The Coast Guard Academy itself isn't pleased with this new development, and not because its admissions people are racist:

The U.S. Coast Guard Academy says it is opposed to a proposal in Congress that would change the way the school admits students...

The other military service academies admit students by congressional nomination while the Coast Guard Academy has traditionally admitted students on the basis of academic merit, like civilian colleges and universities.

Merit, much of it based on academic performance in high school. Can't have that, can we?

Some day, Dr. King. Some day.

(P.S. Read this story about the Regimental Commander, the top-ranked cadet at the Coast Guard Academy, who is a black woman.)

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