The reason I curtailed my discussion about the shredding of The Commons is that while I was preparing the show, something came up which I decided could not wait a week to get addressed.
The University of Texas admits three-quarters of its students each year in a so-called "race blind" program under which the students who are in the top 10% of their class at their high school get automatic acceptance. The other quarter of the admission class gain acceptance through a qualitative "holistic" review that includes race along with a number of other personal and academic factors, all with an idea of promoting diversity and recognizing potential.
And of course some self-important white kid who wasn't in the top 10% of her high school class and couldn't get in through the other program decided that it was just so totally unfair that some black kid got in when they didn't and so claimed that any consideration of race is just horribly wrong and mean and rotten and stuff.
|Justice Antonin Skeletor|
During those arguments, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Skeletor advanced the argument that affirmative action actually was hurting minority students by getting them into the University of Texas "where they do not do well."
Better, he said, for them to
go to a less-advanced school, a less -- a slower-track school where they do well ... where they do not feel that they're -- that they're being pushed ahead in -- in classes that are too -- too fast for them.The pauses, which are in the transcript, are significant because, I maintain, they indicate that Skeletor caught himself before he said what he actually meant to say - which is that he thinks that African-American students just aren't bright enough to go to a top-notch school, because I see no other reasonable way to read his statements.
Former US Solicitor General Gregory Garre, who is now representing the University of Texas before the Court, kept trying to interject, arguing that students admitted through the supplemental program, which is what's at issue in the case, "fare better" over time than those entering through the "top 10" policy, but Skeletor just plowed ahead with the claim that
most of the black scientists in this country don't come from schools like the University of Texas - they come from lesser schools.Which may well be true and is likely true of most white scientists in the country as well, but context and nuance are of no concern to Skeletor.
Garre did get to finish his summation by saying
I don't think the solution to the problems with student body diversity can be to set up a system in which not only are minorities going to separate schools, they're going to inferior schools. I think what experience shows - at Texas, California and Michigan - is that now is not the time and this is not the case to roll back student body diversity in America.But diversity is of no more concern to Skeletor than context and nuance are. What matters to him is putting an end to any form of affirmative action, even one as slight and limited as this one.
And now it's clear why he thinks affirmative action programs are pointless: He just thinks that overall, black folks just ain't as smart as white folks.
What an amazing pig of a man he is.
Sources cited in links: