Thursday, January 27, 2011

Some Are More Equal Than Others

The US military is supposed to be the great meritocracy, where excellence is the standard and performance is the only criterion. Sadly, this isn't true at the Naval Academy, where there's a significantly lower set of standards for some minorities:

According to (USNA Professor) Fleming, the admissions system is two-tiered because minority candidates have lower test scores and grades than their counterparts. In short, Fleming says that the Academy is rejecting better qualified white applicants to admit minority candidates with less impressive credentials.

The most pernicious effect of affirmative action plays out in Annapolis:

The environment is particularly toxic for talented black midshipmen...because they are perceived by some classmates as less-qualified.

And why wouldn't they be perceived thusly? Affirmative action, as practiced today, is bad enough because it legally discriminates against people on the basis of their skin color, but when you add in the cost to those it's designed to help, it's even more indefensible.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Racism says: Because you are a minority, you do not get the position.

Affirmative Action says: Because you are a minority, you do get the position.

Better for the individual but just as damning for the race. Plus, as you say, minorities who got in on their merits are always under suspicion that they may be underqualified and AA'd into place.

Most damning of all is AA's unspoken assumption: Some races are superior to others, so we have to have unequal measures to get equal results. Just once I'd like to see an AA supporter say this: Support Affirmative Action, because minorities are inferior!

That'll never happen of course, for it would require the AA supporter to admit their own secret biases. The truth is just too raw.