The New York Times recently interviewed Cornell West and Henry Louis Gates, Jr. on the legacy of Brown v Board. Most of the video consists of them agreeing with each other and criticizing Clarence Thomas (with one exception - Gates agrees that separate does not necessarily mean unequal). But this portion caught my interest:
Henry Louis Gates, Jr: If we could make these predominantly black schools excellent, would that be a satisfactory goal? I say yes. Because I don't think there's anything magical about being around white people, necessarily. Inherently.
Cornell West: Yeah, yeah.
HLG: It's good for a multicultural society to have as much integration [as possible], but unless we have economic integration, we're not going to have residential integration.
So wait, there's nothing inherently good about being around white people? I must say, I wholeheartedly agree. Many white people are boring. Some have no sense of humor too. There are some I don't even like. And what's up with the Friends thing?
But Henry, you can't say this kind of stuff. Once you admit that there's nothing inherently valuable about the skin color of those around you from educational perspective, you've repudiated the whole basis for diversity-based college admissions. This is the last argument pro-affirmative action people can use to justify rich black kids getting into colleges ahead of poor white kids, even if the white kid has a lot of potential and the black kid is boring, has no sense of humor, etc. And goodness knows the horrors reversing that system would bring! Please try not to be so honest next time, Professor Gates.
Come to think of it, another interesting part of the interview is when Gates discusses "diversity" at Yale. He notes that most of the black students are middle- to upper-middle class. Moreover, an uncanny amount are the children of Gates' fellow black students when he attended Yale. He concludes that affirmative action is no longer a "class elevator" so much as it is a "class bridge" (citing Lani Guinier), benefiting the children of those who utilized it a generation ago.
So affirmative action isn't even helping the poor black kids get in to the top schools. I'm sure there are few poor applicants, but I'm also willing to bet that if Yale focused more on bringing bright disadvantaged kids to the institution, and less on meeting racial quotas, the poor black students would have a better chance. But hey, it makes the admissions officers feel just as good about themselves to admit a rich black person as a poor one, so why should they care? They all need our help, after all. The important thing is to temper one's guilt with paternalism and subtle condescension.
What a crock.
Saturday, May 15, 2004
- ► 2005 (19)
- The George Bush narrative
- Help A Poor Guy Out
- For Anyone Heading to LA This Summer
- The Story of the Weeping Camel
- Washingtonienne/Wonkette Interview on Fox News
- Massively Multiplayer Online Gaming Market
- Boalt Is Better Than This
- Snoop Dogg is Getting a Divizzle
- Boalt's silly petition
- News Aggregators
- Google apology ad
- You Learn Something New Everyday
- SNL Season Review
- Fockering around
- An Age-Old Debate Settled
- Schwarzenegger's Saliva for Sale
- Justice Served on Streisand
- Mobile Law Office
- 7th Circuit Follies
- Procrastination Aid
- Little Miss Hooters Contest
- Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
- Supreme Court of Mexico Newspaper Ad
- Star Wars: Episode III Proposal
- Virtual Church
- "New York Minute" review
- A Dissenting Opinion . . . By Press Release
- The Sweetest Box Score in All of Sports
- Standing on the Left? You Must Be on Vacation
- God's Gift to Football - Mark Brunell?
- Bad News for John Kerry?
- John Cleese Interview
- Kucinich Update
- Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s Dilemma: Diversity or Hon...
- Punitive Damages in the Extended Sphere
- Greece Struggles to Clear Hurdles in Sprint to Gam...
- Blog Meme
- Irony strikes again...
- Bork Bork Bork!
- The Incredibles
- A tad bitter?
- Misleading title
- Perfect price discrimination
- Legos Make Everything Better
- Scientology is a Cult
- Most Cited Legal Periodicals
- Slavery apology
- Crossing the Streams
- Michael Moore, Liar? Nah...
- They Come in All Shapes, Sizes, and Ages
- The Academy of Arts and Sciences' New Members
- Career Change
- Quote of the Day
- Wanda Baucus - Bitch, Bipolar, or Both?
- Cracker Barrel Agrees to Plan to Address Reports o...
- Ad Assails D.C. Cardinal for Stance on Communion
- The Art of the Pool Report
- Two delightful pieces
- Zagats and Naked Royalty
- Houston, We Have a Problem
- Spider-Man Web of Ads Unravels
- A Rent-Free Place, if You Can Find a Spot to Park
- Friends An Underachiever?
- Souterfest 2004
- Mind boggling
- Mariners Win in the Bottom of the 16th Inning
- Funny SNL Skit
- Credit where due
- The Numbers Game
- Peggy Noonan on Rasin in the Sun
- Book review #2
- Book review
- Sex In The Cities, by David Brooks
- European Enlargement
- The Circle of Garfield
- Psychologists in Need of Therapy
- Rep. McDermott Forgot 'Under God', Civil Rights Ac...
- In Re Scalia the Outspoken v. Scalia the Reserved ...
- Justice Souter Assaulted During Jog
- Trailer Watch
- Creationist Theme Parks
- ▼ May (86)