06 Jan 2021

West Point’s Honor Code Now Has Minority Exceptions

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The military is different from civilian life. Officers in the course of their careers face a very real prospect of being forced to make life-or-death decisions, including decisions to sacrifice lives including their own, intentionally. Officers must be prepared to follow orders at any cost. And the word, the testimony, of an officer must be absolutely reliable.

The service academies are different from ordinary colleges. College students, in general, are having the time of their lives, partying, dating, experimenting with drugs, while service academy cadets are living monastic lives regulated by iron discipline.

A military officer’s career involves great responsibility and is held exceptionally in honor. Cadets traditionally pay a very serious four-year price for entry into the profession of arms.

There have in the past, on infrequent occasions, been service academy scandals, incidents of cadets cheating on exams and the like. Read about them in the newspapers, we civilians have invariably shuddered and experienced a sense of pity at the rigor and mercilessness of the service academies’ honor code. Similar behavior would almost certainly have gone utterly undetected at our own elite schools and, even had someone been caught, his punishment would most likely have been less severe.

Apparently, now, all that is over with. The famous West Point Honor Code is now just empty rhetoric.

There’s been a new West Point cheating scandal involving 73 cadets and a math test. Most of the guilty parties are described as athletes. The news accounts features the recognizable pause-and-throat-clearing before the code word. “Athletes” here is obviously the equivalent of “teens” in current news stories of looting and violent urban crime. Athletes means minority beneficiaries of affirmative action admission.

In past incidents, being detected cheating meant doom. Cheaters were expelled, period. Not today. Not for “athletes.” 55 of the guilty parties will be receiving “rehabilitation.”

John Hinderaker explains what has happened.

Lt. Gen. Darryl Williams, the superintendent at West Point, offered a guarded explanation in a memo to the faculty. He said the Academy’s honor code “has resulted in an inequitable application of consequences and developmental opportunities for select groups of cadets.”

But what is “inequitable” about expelling all cadets caught cheating on an exam? The honor code applies to all cadets regardless of “class.” The past practice of expelling violators applies equally to all cheaters regardless of “class.” This is a classic neutral rule.

Clearly, Williams is concerned that application of the neutral rule has a “disparate impact” on particular subgroups of cadets. That’s why he’s departing from past practice.

Williams didn’t specify which groups of cadets he’s talking about. Conceivably he was talking about athletes. Fifty-five of the accused cheaters play sports for West Point. Nearly half of that group is on the football team.

However, I doubt that athletes are the main “select group” Williams is concerned about. I suspect that the primary concern of Williams is with the impact of enforcing the honor code on Black cadets. I can’t say this for certain. It’s not even certain that a disproportionate number of the cheaters are Black.

But there are sound reasons to believe that Williams, who is Black, had race in mind when he decided not to expel the cheating cadets. Rod Dreher explains the grounds for this suspicion in a post for The American Conservative.

He points out that when someone talks about “equity” these days in the context of unequal outcomes, he is usually talking about race. As Dreher says, “if [Williams] is not talking about race here, then what is he talking about?” Equity for football players? That would be a new one.

The notion that there’s inequity when neutral rules adversely affect Blacks in disproportionate numbers is a key element of “critical race theory.” And critical race theory has spread to West Point.

Gramsci’s Long March Through the Institutions has even marched right through West Point.

5 Feedbacks on "West Point’s Honor Code Now Has Minority Exceptions"


The sad part of this surge to push minorities into positions they cannot qualify for is how then do you ever trust them to do their job? When you go to a doctor that is a minority and you know that more than likely they were pushed through medical school even though had they not been a minority they would have failed… Do you put your life in their hands or not? History is full of examples of incredibly stupid decisions by generals and other military leaders that resulted in defeat. What are the odds of this result of you intentionally do not choose military leaders based on intelligence and ability and worse accept cheaters?


How many minority cadets didn’t cheat? How many minority students don’t need affirmative action policies? How many minorities are fully capable of meeting the same standards as everybody else? And yet they’re all going to get tarred by the same brush, a suspicion that they aren’t qualified to make it on their own. And who is responsible for this soft bigotry of lowered expectations? Why, the anti-racists of course! They’re so proud of themselves for deigning to give a hand up to those poor helpless colored folks who – God love ’em – are as incapable of taking care of themselves as a newborn calf and need us white folks to teach them how to take care of theyselves.


I recall a tv show some years ago, following a group of marine recruits through their training. at one point there was a sit-down of the DI and his charges, his topic being refraining from lending and borrowing money, as the circumstances if gone sour could effect decision making. he explained such things can undermine trust between them, and they had to have no doubts of their trust in each other, given the seriousness of their occupations.


“Or tolerate those who do”… So this new policy is a violation of the honor code. And since the superintendent is white then there will be no problem in removing him for such a violation. Enjoy!


Joe, the Superintendent is black . . .


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