White liberals think black people are incapable. Controversial and politically incorrect statement, right? But it must be true if they’re proposing the insanity which is the new College Board SAT ‘Adversity Score’, a metric based not on merit, achievement and excellence, but zip codes, illegitimacy and poverty. And when I say poverty and illegitimacy I’m not denouncing those who grow up in those situations, but rather the idea of giving them an elevated status as the basis for evaluating a test score. A test crucial in determining whether they gain entrance into colleges and universities.
In the latest round of ‘the soft bigotry of low expectations’, the Social Justice Warriors of The College Board, which administers the SAT, have announced that they will now take into consideration a student’s social and economic background to produce a separate ‘adversity score’ for the test. The adversity score will make assessments based on 15 factors, divided into three environments: home, neighborhood and school. ‘Home’, will measure things like family income and whether the student’s parents are married: the second will assess the student’s neighborhood, including home prices and crime rates; and the third will measure ‘academic environment’ such as how many students are eligible for free lunch and how many advanced-placement classes were offered at the school.
In the era of the Operation Varsity Blues scandal, where wealthy and influential celebrities bribed officials to falsify records and create fake bios for their children, what could possibly go wrong with creating this kind of end-run around basic standards assessment?
This subversion of anti race-based affirmative action court decisions like Michigan’s, where the Supreme Court upheld a Michigan constitutional amendment that bans affirmative action in admissions to the state’s public universities demonstrates how profoundly obstinate the Left is on this issue. It’s not just anti-white policies they aim to install in the name of diversity, but anti-achievement as well, as testament to the Harvard lawsuit which argues that ‘Harvard’s admissions office holds Asian-Americans to a higher standard and uses a subjective “personal rating” to limit their admission to the elite Ivy League school. Students for Fair Admissions, the group behind the lawsuit, says students of Asian descent have the strongest academic records yet receive the lowest scores on the personal rating, which scores applicants on traits including “courage” and “likability.”
In the name of ‘diversity’, which for the Left is always of hue and melanin, rather than intellect and ideology, they’re punishing the most academically successful students, which at Harvard in that case are Asians. Since the most successful students aren’t white but actually Asian, will there be ‘Asian privilege’ classes added to the curriculum? No, of course not, and rather than encourage all students to ‘model’ whatever behavior creates the same success the Asian students have, they’ll just continue to blather on about white privilege, while refusing to consider that their policies have created whatever achievement gap they seek to correct.
The sad reality is that white liberals, which own the educational system at a ratio of 12-1 liberal to conservative, obviously don’t think black people can meet the standards, and thus seek to make exceptions to them. And it’s not that they can’t meet the standards for one, and two, yes, this is all about black students, regardless of what they say. What’s at play in this tragic scenario, which feels right out of Waiting for Superman, is that 60 years of Democrat policies targeted at a demographic which votes overwhelmingly for those Democrats, has harmed them. Not all of course, but in particular inner city schools, and it needn’t be that way.
As evidenced in one Harlem Charter school, when you expect success and hold students accountable – regardless of their ‘environmental’ situation, you’ll receive it. A recent New York Times article notes, ‘Though it serves primarily poor, mostly black and Hispanic students, Success is a testing dynamo, outscoring schools in many wealthy suburbs, let alone their urban counterparts. In New York City last year, 29 percent of public school students passed the state reading tests, and 35 percent passed the math tests. At Success schools, the corresponding percentages were 64 and 94 percent.’ While it’s true that charter school system has received criticism for being overly strict and creating performance and failure anxiety in the students, and whether that’s the best method is a conversation to have. But the bottom line is that we must equip all students to meet general standards of education and excellence, and expect excellence from all students as well. Anything else is simply racist.
Unfortunately, white liberals, in order to assuage the white guilt they’ve been inculcated to internalize, are regularly teaching black students that they’re victims, and now radical black professors are doing the same. It’s not new, Al Sharpton has made a lifetime and a lot of fame and money doing this, but it’s despicable and needs to stop. Oprah Winfrey, endured an extremely difficult childhood to become the richest black woman in America, and one of the richest women in the world, period, and she grew up in a time when there was still legalized segregation. She also had to break into an industry that was predominantly male and white, but she not only succeeded, likely after struggle, hardship, and even racism, but she thrived and dominated, creating one of the most successful and influential shows on television history.
Why was Oprah so successful? Because she was educated and focused on education, and because she persevered in spite of her hardship. She didn’t get the standards lowered for her, she met the standards and exceeded them. She didn’t get a show because she was a shakedown artist like Al Sharpton, or because she protested, she got a show because she was good at what she did. We are less segregated, less racist now, and more black students are in college than ever before, but somehow they’re infantilized to believe that they shouldn’t have to meet the same standards that their forebears met under a much more difficult and legally oppressive system? It’s astonishing, but what’s more insane is that it’s not only accepted but encouraged.
Somehow or other, when it comes to how white liberals view black Americans, excellence is only expected or promoted in two fields – athletics and entertainment. No one wants a lousy basketball player in the NFL, or a bad singer on the radio (well, they used to not want it anyway). In fact, anyone who knows about Showtime at the Apollo knows the crowd could be brutal if the person on stage had no talent. Yet under the soft bigotry of low expectations, it’s become an acceptable idea to lower academic standards instead of expecting and equipping all to meet them – and yet teachers still want more money. I remember when there was a teacher’s strike in Chicago a few years ago, where, in a city with the worst student performance the teacher’s wanted pay raises, and there was a teacher with a picket sign that was spelled wrong. A simple, easy word. It told you everything you need to know.
The Boston firefighter case is an example of how reverse discrimination to make up for failure in achievement helps neither the victims nor the people it sought to help. ‘Four white men who sued the Boston Fire Department for discrimination when they were passed over for firefighting jobs in favor of minority candidates who scored lower on civil service tests must be hired as soon as possible, a federal judge ruled…A fifth plaintiff who was hired also will get a pay raise under the ruling. “I think hopefully we’re just going back to normal, the way it was meant to be, so that now they are just hiring the best person, regardless of race or color,” said Harold Lichten, the firefighters’ attorney.
Unfairness in the name of fairness is not fairness, so I’ll say this – it’s racist to say that some people ought to be held to a standard of excellence but not others.
It’s racist to discriminate on behalf of one group over another. It’s racist to assume that some people would be excellent at physical pursuits but not intellectual pursuits. It’s racist to lower scores on a test for one group but expect another group to make a higher score because they tend to excel academically on the whole. We’re supposed to be moving away from racism, not toward racism. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and though I disapprove of their methods, I’ll assume The College Board’s motives are good. However, I hope they feel the heat and find a better way to achieve the outcome of opportunity they seek.