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The promise of a meritocratic society is that the most capable people will rise to the positions of the greatest authority. In a meritocracy, for example, you would hire heart surgeons because they’re good at heart surgery, not because of how they look or who their parents are. A meritocracy is the only fair way to run a society, and fairness matters to people, always everywhere. Plus, it works well. Fewer people die on the operating table when you do it that way.
For generations, this is how American society ran. If you were smart and you worked hard, you could compete on pretty much an equal footing against anyone else in America. They tell you that was never true, but it was true. It was called the “American Dream.” People moved here from all over the world to partake in that system, but there was a political problem with it. If you’ve got a meritocratic society, it’s pretty hard to play race politics because race plays no role in advancement. Individual initiative is what matters. Group interests are irrelevant in a meritocracy.
Now, that may sound idyllic to you. It may sound like the kind of country you’d want to live in, but for the Democratic Party, it was a disaster. How do you get your voters to the polls if they’re not racially aggrieved? It’s hard.
At the tail end of the civil rights movement, after all the legislation guaranteeing equality under the law had already been passed, Democrats introduced a new concept. They called it “affirmative action.” The idea was to punish or reward Americans based on the color of their skin. Ironically, this was precisely the evil practice that the civil rights movement was designed to abolish. Racial discrimination was unequivocally wrong. That was the whole point of the skirmish on the Edmund Pettus Bridge and the March on Washington.
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Oh, but no, said Democrats slyly repainting the slogans on the barn, actually, racial discrimination can be good. It all depends on who’s being discriminated against. That was their argument. That is still their argument more than 50 years later, but even now, after all of this time, most people, if you explain it clearly, don’t really buy it. Wait, I can’t have a job or get into college or get a federal contract because I was born with the wrong skin color? That sounds wrong.
And of course, they’re right. Affirmative action is wrong. It’s totally immoral.
It’s completely unfair and now, for the first time in years, the Democratic Party is being forced to defend it in public. The Supreme Court is now considering a case about affirmative action in college admissions at Harvard specifically. Because they understand that their power depends on maintaining the racial spoils system they created, Democrats are defending the indefensible with maximum ferocity. Unfortunately for them, it’s not that easy to do.
Affirmative action is not only the very definition of racism. It’s also highly embarrassing in its particulars. The closer you get to it, the more embarrassing it is. When you elevate people on the basis of their appearance, you tend not to get very impressive people. Why would you? Unless you’re buying sunscreen, skin tone is a totally irrelevant criterion. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor unwittingly made that point today.
Sotomayor openly concedes that she got her job because of affirmative action. She was completely and demonstrably unqualified for the position. Obama chose her because of the way she looked. Now, that may sound deranged, but it actually happened. No one disputes it.
Today we saw the consequences of this. During oral arguments, Sotomayor made a mistake that no first-year law student would ever make. She repeatedly confused the terms “de facto” and “de jure.” Now, if you’re a lawyer, that is an inconceivable mistake. It’s like your local service station confusing gasoline with diesel fuel.
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It doesn’t happen because the terms have entirely different meanings. “De facto” means something that’s not in the law but happens anyway. “De jure” means something that is happening that is sanctioned by the law. See the distinction? Of course, you do, and you’re not even a Supreme Court justice. But Sonia Sotomayor doesn’t see it. Watch.
JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR: So, even if we have de jure discrimination now or segregation now, Congress can’t look at that because we certainly have de jure segregation. The races are treated very differently in our society in terms of their access to opportunity.
We have racial segregation under the law in America? That’s what Justice Sonia Sotomayor just said. Why is this woman wearing a robe? Even after Justice Alito corrected her, Sotomayor kept saying it was de jure segregation. She said de jure segregation in 2022. Jim Crow is still on the books.
This is the society that affirmative action has created. Sonia Sotomayor doesn’t know what “de jure” means. Ketanji Brown Jackson can’t define what a woman is.
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It’s hard to imagine a more damning case against affirmative action than its results, and it’s always going to be that way because the color of your skin is irrelevant. And if we don’t believe that, then everything falls apart. As the arguments went on, the case against affirmative action somehow got stronger. Watch this exchange between Brett Kavanaugh and a state solicitor general.
JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: How are applicants from Middle Eastern countries classified from Jordan, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and the like?
MR. PARK: My understanding is that just like other situations where they might not fit within the particular boxes on the common application that we rely on self-reporting and we would ask, you know, they can volunteer, their particular country of origin.
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JUSTICE KAVANAUGH: But if they honestly check one of the boxes, which one are they supposed to check?
MR. PARK: I do not know the answer to that question.
Just to remind you, something you already know, but probably never think about, the U.S. government collects data on people’s races. Now, in a society where we’re all equal as citizens under the law, why would they do that? That’s what the Nazis did. So, we’re against keeping track of people on the basis of race, aren’t we? And with so much at stake, how do we determine someone’s race? How long before we’re taking blood tests or measuring the shape of people’s heads? It’s been done before. It happens in other countries to this day. It’s really dark and disgusting.
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The question in that exchange was: What box to the Middle Easterners check? Oh, no idea, but of course, everyone knows the answer. If you want to get into a competitive school, the best bet for those Middle Easterners would be to identify as Black. The studies prove it. According to a 2009 study by Princeton sociologists Thomas Espenshade, selective schools currently boost Black applicants to the point that Whites are penalized 310 points on the SAT for being White. Asians are penalized 450 points for being Asian. Talk about systemic racism!
How is that allowed in this country? Well, good question and if anything, this systemic racism and that’s exactly what it is, it’s racism at the systemic level, has intensified over the past decade in case you have noticed. In 2020, a trial court found that at Harvard skin color was determinative in admissions for more than half of all admitted African-American applicants and roughly one third of Hispanic applicants. How patronizing, by the way, to them. Look at this chart. It shows the average SAT score for admitted students by race at Harvard from 2000 to 2017. It’s almost unbelievable how different the standards are and this is happening, of course, not simply at Harvard, not simply other schools, but all over the entire society.
A few years ago, a senior fellow at AEI called Mark Perry found that Black and Hispanic students were heavily favored for admission into medical schools. Black students who had below average test scores were seven times more likely to be accepted into medical school, compared to White students with similar below average scores and they were nine times more likely when compared to Asian students with similar scores. That’s medical school. In the end, you will have bad doctors, not because African-American students make bad doctors, but because the process of picking people on the basis of irrelevant criteria like their skin tone is insane.
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It has nothing to do with medicine at all. In fact, the practice itself discredits the medical schools that engage in it because it’s so anti-science. This should make you uneasy, but wait, it gets worse.
Here’s an exchange from today. Clarence Thomas asked the solicitor general what the educational benefits of affirmative action might be. Here’s the response.
RYAN PARK: So, the most concrete possible scenario is stock trading and there are studies that find that racially diverse groups of people making trading decisions perform at a higher level, make more efficient trading decisions and the mechanism there is that it reduces groupthink and people have longer and more sustained disagreement and that leads to a more efficient outcome.
JUSTICE THOMAS: Well, I guess I don’t put much stock in that because I’ve heard similar arguments in favor of segregation too.
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Racial quotas decrease groupthink and allow for a diversity of viewpoint? Really? You live in a society that is defined by racial quotas. Is there more or less groupthink than there was when you were a kid? Is there a greater or smaller diversity of views than there used to be? It’s insane.
But the point is, to Clarence Thomas, it sounded very familiar. “I’ve heard similar arguments in favor of segregation, too,” said Thomas, who grew up under Jim Crow in Georgia. Not surprising, because all racist arguments sound the same, because fundamentally they are the same. Give me this because of how I was born. It was wrong then. It’s every bit as wrong now. The difference is we no longer acknowledge the victims of it, and most are too ashamed to say a word, but millions of them exist by definition.
There are people like Kaitlyn Younger, who’s a middle-class White girl from Texas with no family connections or special advantages. All she had was hard work and intelligence. She scored a near perfect 1550 on the SAT. Apparently, she hoped the system was fair enough to acknowledge her achievement. She was told, “Work hard, do the right thing and you’ll be rewarded.”
But she wasn’t and we know why. She was turned down from every selective college she applied to because of her skin color. How do you feel about that? How do liberals feel about that? Does anyone really want to live in a country like that?
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Well, if you do, Kristen Clarke does. Clarke runs the so-called Civil Rights Division at DOJ. Clarke didn’t get the job because she cares about civil rights. No, she was hired because she opposes civil rights and she has her entire public life. In 2020, (she’s also imbalanced), Clarke declared publicly that her political opponents should be killed. In response to a video of people chanting “Fire Fauci,” here’s what she wrote, head of the Civil Rights Division:
“These people should be publicly identified and named, barred from treatment in any public hospital if and when they fall ill and denied coverage under their insurance.”
Oh, just genocide them. That was her solution.
Affirmative action allows lunatics with violent fantasies like Kristen Clarke to ascend to power and they can do that because as they become more powerful, they continue to claim that they are victims, but they’re not victims. Kristen Clarke went to private school before she went to college, of course. She’s a product of privilege. What’s interesting is that even as they tell you the affirmative actions are single most important social policy, you’re not allowed to single out any individual person who’s benefited from it.
Oh, it’s great, but you can’t say you got your job because of it and of course, it’s totally not allowed to point out that people like Kristen Clarke are unqualified for the jobs they hold. It’s an insult to protected groups, but how are those protected groups doing? Are they benefiting from generations of affirmative action? Oh, no, they’re not.
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The kids of doctors are benefiting from affirmative action. We know that. SAT results for Black high school students are still abysmal. No one’s helping them. 25% of Asian high schoolers in Michigan, for example, scored above a 1400 last year in the SAT. What percentage of Black kids did? Zero. How are they being helped? Well, they’re not being helped again.
The children of nonprofit executives and doctors and network news anchors and Barack Obama, they’re all benefiting, but the people who need it are getting no benefit whatsoever. In fact, they’re being completely ignored. This is nonsensical. It’s immoral and it’s ridiculous and so, not surprisingly, the arguments we’re hearing in favor of it today.
According to Scientific American, for example, science compels a racial spoils system. This is real. “The Supreme Court could destroy affirmative action in higher education and STEM professional (science) must stand against the White supremacy and scientific racism that fuels arguments against it.” So, you’re a White supremacist if you’re against racial discrimination.
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Now, in a normal world, you would just dismiss that out of hand because it’s deranged. It’s the opposite of the truth. You are not a racist for arguing on behalf of a colorblind society. You are a good person arguing against bad people, in fact, argue against racists, but they’ve inverted that and successfully cowed people into silence. Joe Biden’s solicitor general, the former Miss Idaho he hired, argued today that affirmative action is somehow vital for national security too. Watch.
ELIZABETH PRELOGAR: Our armed forces know from hard experience that when we do not have a diverse officer corps that is broadly reflective of a diverse fighting force, our strength and cohesion and military readiness suffer. So, it is a critical national security imperative to attain diversity within the officer corps and at present, it’s not possible to achieve that diversity without race conscious admissions, including at the nation’s service academies. The military experience confirms what this court recognized in Grutter, that in a society where race unfortunately still matters in countless ways, achieving diversity can sometimes require conscious acts by our leading educational institutions.
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Does she know anything about the subject? Miss Idaho, do you? Do you? No, she doesn’t.
The U.S. military was the single most impressive institution in American life for generations, precisely because it was meritocratic, because people advanced on the basis of individual effort and not on the basis of group interest. It has been completely corrupted in the most recent generation. and that corruption has accelerated under Joe Biden.
The result of that? The Army is now dramatically short of its recruitment goal because nobody, no normal person of any color, wants to join a rigged system. That’s the truth. They’ve wrecked the military with this mind poison, which is evil. It was evil when it was practiced in the South 60 years ago, and it’s evil now.