Any faculty member who fails to award special status to representatives of “Diversity” will probably, like Nicholas Christakis, then Master of Yale’s Silliman College, wind up being hounded out of his job.
Robert Weissberg describes how good intentions and compassion, over time, destroyed academic standards and created an entitled class of tyrants.
[W]hat changed in my department of political science was obvious: more bureaucratic paperwork, additional departmental offerings on race and ethnicity, a neglecting of traditional political science subjects, and untold meetings that accomplished nothing. Less obvious was the extra time spent by faculty personally tutoring struggling minority students and recruiting affirmative-action candidates at professional meetings. It’s hard to estimate all the hours taken away from our teaching and research responsibilities as a result.
Almost nobody challenged the underlying logic of this make-the-numbers pathway. Everyone just knew that this was the route to equality and justice.
Nor was there any need for bureaucratic heavy-handedness or incentives. Everything was voluntary, and since I taught American politics, a favorite among black students and an obvious place to attract more minority faculty, I was at the forefront of the campaign. That our efforts might be injurious to racial progress or create cures worse than the disease was unthinkable. Even today, it’s difficult to accept that our good intentions helped undermine the university’s commitment to intellectual excellence. Nevertheless, our fingerprints are all over the crime scene.
Subverting intellectual standards was most pervasive in the classroom, where many minority students were ill-prepared for rigorous college courses. Undeserved grades (“B-minuses” vs. “C-minuses”) were commonplace, as were overlooked breaches of the academic code.
One of my students, a troubled junior-college transfer, submitted a dreadful paper, an unambiguous “F,” but he also accidentally included the $25 invoice from an Internet site (“My Professor Sucks”). I did not fail him or begin proceedings to have him expelled. Instead, I consulted our department’s undergraduate advisor on how he could drop the course despite the official drop-date having passed. This was arranged, and he continued his college career.
Even blatant plagiarism was ignored, since it was apparent that culprits would never be prosecuted, and even filing charges put one’s career at risk.
In a particularly bizarre case, a colleague received a clearly plagiarized paper and, rather than bring expulsion proceedings, offered to forget the matter if the student would submit an original one. The student again plagiarized, and my colleague took the case to the dean of students. He explained that this was the sixth such episode involving the student, but the incidents were ignored since the dean believed that confronting the student might cause him to drop out.
Classroom discussions with black students were conducted gingerly. When one of my black students explained that some blacks resided in crime-ridden slums because such awful locations were given to them by whites, I said nothing. I learned to pre-emptively avoid any taboo topic that might risk accusations of racism. When receiving papers that made inaccurate assertions on race-related issues, I refused to pick a fight. In my comments, I might sheepishly offer, “Not sure,” but then I’d assign a respectable (though unearned) grade.
A walking-on-eggshells policy applied equally to graduate students, though here the stakes were more consequential, since Ph.D. recipients might one day teach thousands of students. Again, progress toward the degree was paramount, and foolish ideas were seldom challenged. Simultaneously, standards were lowered for passing comprehensive exams and for dissertation proposals.
In some instances, faculty virtually wrote dissertations for struggling students. These students were also discouraged from enrolling in demanding courses, such as Statistics, that might prove essential for future research. To repeat, it seemed axiomatic that the advanced degree itself was the goal, not providing the best possible education.
Lowered intellectual standards applied equally to faculty recruitment and were widely accepted as the price of progress. An almost religious faith held that intellectual deficiencies would somehow be only temporary. I recall one recruitment-committee meeting at which faculty took turns gleefully reading aloud embarrassing mistakes from a black candidate’s dissertation, including multiple misspellings of the names of well-known political figures. No matter.
Drinking the Kool-Aid hardly stopped at initial recruitment. Minority candidates were hired and continued past multiple reviews, including tenure and promotion to full professor. As was the case with students, serious discussions involving hot-button issues were off limits. We were there to help make the numbers, and we gladly acquiesced.
In a few decades, what began as improvised, temporary measures to move the needle on racial progress hardened into the official academic culture.
Paul Mirengoff shares insider gossip at his new Substack, Ringside at the Reckoning.
Ketanji Brown Jackson presents an unusual career trajectory for a Supreme Court Justice or, indeed, for a lawyer. After clerking on the Supreme Court for Justice Breyer, she became an associate at a prestigious law firm. There’s nothing unusual about that.
However, after only a year-and-a-half, she left that firm to join a small practice that specialized in negotiating resolution of disputes. A year-and-a-half later she moved on to a position as a staff lawyer on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.
This downward trajectory would normally raise yellow flags. However, as Ed Whelan documents, Jackson explains it as a way of doing “the ‘working mother’ thing.” Taking less demanding jobs enabled her “to spend some time with my wonderful husband and girls.”
It’s a plausible explanation. If accurate, it’s commendable.
However, there is reason to believe that Jackson wasn’t cutting it at her law firm. A former partner at the firm tells me she was a poor associate – “intellectually lazy” and “not very bright.”
He adds that partners were relieved when she left the firm. It saved them from having to make a difficult decision about whether to terminate her employment. Even 20 years ago, no law firm relished firing a black attorney, much less one who had clerked on the Supreme Court.
Some of Jackson’s former law firm colleagues, and not just conservatives, were “horrified” when she became a federal judge. Yet, now she will serve on the Supreme Court.
Given what my source, whom I trust, reports, “couldn’t cut it” seems like a more plausible explanation for Jackson’s strange career trajectory than “spend more time with the family.”
Jackson isn’t the same person she was 20 years ago. Almost certainly, she has advanced intellectually. However, it’s hard to imagine that she could advance from a mediocre law firm associate — and my source says she was worse than mediocre — to a Supreme Court-caliber legal mind.
Do Jackson’s writings as judge suggest that she has? Seemingly not. A legal writing guru, putting things as politely as he could, said that some might find her work “plodding, perhaps even painful.” In Ed Whelan’s estimation, “if someone applying for a clerkship submitted a writing sample of [the quality of this Jackson opinion], the applicant’s prospects would be damaged.”
Former “Professional Wedding Vow Writer” Charanna Alexander, now editing The New York Times Weddings section.
Christine Rosen, in Commentary, reports that the flood waters of insane Wokery have swept away another cultural landmark: the Sunday New York Times Weddings section.
The New York Times Weddings section, once infamously described in an episode of Sex and the City as “the women’s sports pages,” recently announced that it is questioning whether marriage is worth saving at all. “The Weddings Section Asks What It Means to Be Committed in 2022,” the headline announcing the section’s new focus noted, but the question was clearly rhetorical. Its new editor, Charanna Alexander, has already begun to “move away from the traditional Times wedding announcement” and noted that the “evolved Weddings section” would now be “exploring what it means to be committed in 2022, whether or not that includes marriage.”
Evidently only rubes think marriage is an institution for raising families and ensuring social stability. Times readers know better. “I really came in wanting to change everyone’s perception of the types of couples we feature,” Alexander said. “I wanted to not only make it more racially diverse, but also culturally diverse. I just really wanted to look for holes in our previous coverage, so that we can start to be a section that everyone can see themselves in.”
If you are an average person who sees yourself in a traditional marriage, the Times is putting you on notice that your status has been downgraded. The traditional Vows column that runs every Sunday still features a story of a single couple, but the shorter traditional announcements that were long the meat of the marriage pages are no more. Instead, readers are invited to submit their stories for the diminutive Mini-Vows section, which might more accurately be called Struggle Love, since that is what it elevates. As Alexander puts it, “the common thread of all of our Mini-Vows is that the couples all share some moments of transition where they have to overcome something together.”
Presumably the Mini-Vows approach is meant to yield a section less apt to celebrate the predictable joining of family assets and/or Ivy League résumés. But what it has produced in its stead is a lot of emotive hyperbole and oversharing, the overall effect of which is remarkably banal. The new submissions process asks couples “to really dig deep into their love story and tell us what makes them click: how they came together; what their relationship means to them, and maybe even the people in their lives; and how they’ve changed since they’ve been together.” Alexander adds: “We’re just asking couples to go a little deeper, which gives us a better sense, once we get a submission, to say, ‘Hey, this is really inspiring.’” Merely getting married is too vanilla for the Times reader. Now, your story must be akin to a TED talk; it must “inspire” others.
Vasko Kohlmayer, who grew up in Czechoslovakia under Communism, has the effrontery to confront directly our age’s biggest lie.
The notion that Blacks in America are oppressed by White people is a complete lie. The exact opposite is, in fact, the case. Rather than being discriminated against, American Blacks enjoy special rights, privileges, and advantages that are unavailable to White Americans. These advantages extend into every aspect of America’s public life and can be traced to legislation passed back in the 1960s.
As Paul Craig Roberts put it recently:
“A system of racial privileges for blacks was forced on universities, employers, and the population. Less qualified blacks were given preference over more qualified whites in university admissions, employment and promotion. Freezes are used against white admissions, employment, and promotion until racial balance is achieved.”
Rather than being institutionally oppressed, American Blacks have been accorded a whole array of institutional advantages over Whites.
This represents a truly remarkable state of affairs because it stands as the only known instance in history whereby a racial majority in power has voluntarily agreed to relinquish its standing and allow discrimination against themselves in favor of a racial minority.
We urge you to pause and spend some time contemplating the profound significance of this. Never before has such a thing happened in the annals of mankind.
Can you conceive of any other race that would ever do such a thing? Can you imagine an Arab majority voluntarily discriminating against themselves in favor of Blacks? Can you imagine the Chinese doing this? Or Indians? As far as Blacks themselves they have been known – when in power – to be among some of the most ruthless oppressors of other races and ethnicities. Can you imagine a ruling Black majority in any country relinquishing its power and discriminating against themselves in favor of a minority? This is simply unimaginable.
And yet White Americans have done precisely this. They are the only racial group in history about whom such a thing can be said. This is a historic achievement and a powerful testimony to the intrinsic kindness and goodwill of White Americans.
The help that White Americans have extended to Blacks is not limited to voluntary self-abnegation, reverse discrimination, and preferential treatment. In 2012, for example, nearly half of the Black population have been on some kind of federal means-tested program. According to the data provided by the United States Census Bureau, “at 41.6 percent, blacks were more likely to participate in government assistance programs in an average month” than any other racial demographic. As a point of comparison, Black participation in these programs was three times the rate of non-Hispanic Whites.
Thus, over the years, trillions of dollars have been pumped into the Black community through various government initiatives. From nearly thirty trillion spent on the war on poverty, a disproportionate share has flowed into the Black community. According to the analysis by Independent Institute:
The estimated aggregate cost of the War on Poverty is nearly $28 trillion, which is three and a half times higher than the $8 trillion total price tag of every major war since the American Revolution.
If we make the assumption that the rate of Black participation in the War on Poverty related programs has historically been around 40 percent (see here), Black people would have received more than 10 trillion dollars in government transfer payments as part of this initiative alone. Reparations, anyone?
And do you remember Barrack Obama, a Black man, who was elected President of the United States almost solely because of the color of his skin? Were Mr. Obama White, he would have stood no chance of being catapulted to the highest office in the land given his rather limited accomplishments at the time of his candidacy. Furthermore, Barrack Obama was elected president not once but twice with most of his votes coming from White people.
Back in the 1830s, Lord Melbourne declared he liked the Order of the Garter best of all his titles because there was â€œnone of that damned nonsense about merit” connected to it.
The elite community of fashion’s current enthusiasm for what is referred to as “Diversity, Equity, Inclusion” has a basic similarity to Lord Melbourne’s perspective, except his merit-free inclusion in the Garter Order was based on a supposed inherited excellence, while the Identity Groups singled out for special treatment under DEI base their claims to special privilege upon ressentiment.
David Swenson has a long record of achieving superior returns by his management of Yale’s endowment. Apparently, he now has decided either that other goals are more important or that anyone can achieve the same.
Americaâ€™s most prominent endowment chief has a message for the firms that manage the schoolâ€™s money: Hire more women and minorities, or possibly lose the universityâ€™s backing.
David Swensen is the veteran investment chief of Yale Universityâ€™s $31.2 billion endowment. Earlier this month, he told the dozens of firms that manage Yaleâ€™s money they would be measured on their progress increasing the diversity of their investment staffs. Mr. Swensen said the Yale Investments Office would be working to improve its own teamâ€™s composition, too.
It is hilarious the way people like this talk about Meritocracy, but their idea of Meritocracy has a heavy thumb on the scale in several class cases.
The old-time Jewish quota (which I strongly suspect still exists) is denounced, but the Asian quota is defended vigorously in court. Certain groups absolutely must be awarded super-proportional representation, at any cost, on the basis of historical disadvantage. But, other outsider groups, Appalachians and working class ethnic Catholics, for instance, also conspicuously historically little represented in Ivy League admissions and in elite financial circles are completely overlooked, simply due to their failure to agitate and complain. The hypocrisy and irrationality is astonishing.
Asher Liftin â€™21 admiring the new portrait of Edward Bouchet, Y’ 1874.
If you were born white, in order to have your portrait painted and hung in one of Yale’s residential colleges, you would need to have been an exceptionally important and renowned scholar who had made major contributions to his field.
If you were African-American, the standard is just a little easier. All you have to have done is be supposedly the first representative of your identity group to attend Yale.
[A] committee established by Head of [Saybrook] College Thomas Near … recommended commissioning Bouchetâ€™s portrait. Near, the students, and some of their fellow residents in Saybrook College had been having conversations about how to more fully represent Yaleâ€™s history in the dining hall.
â€œIn the very Gothic space, we have a collection of portraits that were loaned from the Yale University Art Gallery in 1933 when the college opened,â€ said Near. â€œWe also have a set of what I call â€˜family portraitsâ€™ â€” those who served Saybrook as the heads and deans of the college and their spouses. All of the people pictured are white, which is not representative of Yaleâ€™s true history.â€
The addition of the Bouchet portrait is just the start of bringing â€œthe narratives of people who have for too long been ignored, overlooked, and marginalized, to come to the surfaceâ€ to campus spaces, Near said at the unveiling. â€œIn North America there is no history that is not Black history, and this is absolutely true for the history of Yale.â€
Edward Bouchet is very probably the only Yale alumnus with merely a pedestrian career as a high school teacher to be so honored.
Unfortunately, on top of everything else, the powers that be at Yale, and at Saybrook College, are just plain wrong. Edward Bouchet, Class of 1874, was not the first student of color to graduate from Yale. That distinction belongs to Confederate Brigadier General, later Congressman and Senator from Louisiana, Randall Lee Gibson, valedictorian of the Yale Class of 1853.
The current issue of the Yale Alumni Magazine features a chin-stroking article identifying a PROBLEM and wondering whether or not SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.
The problem? 55 portraits hanging in Yale Medical Schoolâ€™s Sterling Hall of Medicine, honoring distinguished former faculty feature the images of 52 white men and three white women.
Walls lined with portraits of past Yale medical luminariesâ€”almost all of them white menâ€”lead some medical students to feel that they themselves donâ€™t belong at the school, a recent study found.
Two students interviewed 15 of their peers, asking them open-ended questions about their thoughts on the paintings in the Sterling Hall of Medicine. The portraits feature 52 white men and 3 white women.
Some students said the portraits displayed values of whiteness, elitism, maleness, and power. Some felt â€œjudged and unwelcomeâ€; one said, â€œIf these portraits could speak, they would not be so excited about me . . . being a student here.â€ Some reported joking about the portraits or avoiding Sterling altogether.
â€œFor many interviewed students, the portraiture signified that they did not fit the model of the ideal Yale physician,â€ wrote coauthors Nientara Anderson â€™06, â€™20MD, and Elizabeth Fitzsousa â€™21MD. (The study is online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.) To many women students and students of color, the portraits represent a constant force of disapproval, says Anderson. Medical students of color, she adds, often already face challenges to their right to care for patients in the hospital. Other researchers have found that students who feel theyâ€™re on the margins may experience greater stress, potentially eroding their ability to succeed.
What should become of the portraits? Itâ€™s hard to know, but the conversation has begun, Anderson says. â€œIn recent years, this is the first time this question is being raised with such force,â€ she adds. â€œThereâ€™s no road map.â€
Actually, Springer wants $39.95 for you to download and read the article. Nor is it available through a major research library like Yale University’s main library journal subscription service (accessible to alumni). You can only access that particular journal through Medical School libraries.
How worthwhile it would be to take the trouble to read the entire article is rather questionable. Why would anyone take seriously a “study” which consisted of soliciting the personal opinions of a mere 15 people?
Nonetheless, all three authors now sit on the Yale School of Medicine Committee on Art in Public Spaces, “work[ing] to ensure that artwork hung in public areas of the medical school reflects the mission, history, and diversity of the Yale medical community.” Anna Reisman M.D., who co-chairs the committee, says “this study is an important step in effecting institutional change.” And the Yale Alumni Magazine has joined in promoting it as “the beginning of a conversation” about just what’s going to happen to all those portraits of Dead, White Men.
I think we all know just how this kind of “conversation” always ends.
Head of Davenport College John Witt announced on Monday the formation of a student committee charged with improving the diversity of the portraits that hang from the walls of the college.
In a collegewide email, Witt â€” who last year chaired the faculty-led committee that drafted broad principles on renaming and who took over as head of Davenport this fall â€” wrote that the committee would explore ways to complement the portraits hanging in the college with â€œmore contemporary images of figures from a wide array of backgrounds and from many walks of life.â€
â€œItâ€™s â€¦ fair to say that the imagery of our walls has not quite kept up with our traditions,â€ Witt wrote. â€œFor several decades now, the imagery of our walls has not reflected the diversity of Davenportâ€™s student body, fellowship or staff.â€ …
College artwork played an important role over the last two years in the racially charged debate leading up to the renaming of Calhoun College in February. In the winter of 2016, Julia Adams, the head of the newly renamed Grace Hopper College, had portraits of John C. Calhoun, class of 1804, removed from the dining hall and college house. …
According to Tresa Joseph â€™18, co-president of the Davenport College Council and a former Production and Design Editor for the News, Witt solicited advice on the portrait project from the DCC and the college at large on multiple occasions before Mondayâ€™s announcement, including during a recent council meeting.
â€œI think he is someone who is genuinely open to input and collaboration with the students, which is why I think that this committee that heâ€™s forming is really promising,â€ Joseph said.
Other Davenport students interviewed also applauded Wittâ€™s initiative.
Tarek Ziad â€™20 said the portrait project epitomizes Wittâ€™s commitment to diversity and inclusivity, which several students said has defined the first weeks of his tenure as Davenport head. Witt has already assembled a group of black graduate affiliates to advise black Davenport students, Ziad said.
Kesi Wilson â€™21 said that given Yaleâ€™s tendency to sometimes honor the wrong leaders, it is important to line Davenportâ€™s walls with figures students can collectively admire.
So, the portraits of Yale’s first rector, John Davenport, and other great men who achieved real accomplishments of significance for Yale and the Nation are to come down to be replaced with representatives of currently favored identity groups, whose student members, fellows, and faculty are really only at Yale through the extraordinarily benevolent charity of the original Yale founding constituency (the one currently being purged) coupled with heavy-thumb-on-the-scale group favoritism.
Evidently admitting dubiously-qualified minorities to Yale, creating new departments of Bogus Group-Ego-Stroking Studies and hiring a bunch of academic fraudsters and mountebanks on the basis of skin color, sexual perversity, and virulently radical opinions was not enough. Having filled the University nest with cuckoos, the current presiding administration is proceeding with a purge of Yale’s history, eliminating the great men of European ancestry which contemporary snowflakes of color or sodomitical inclination can neither identify with nor admire.
Personally, I find in all of this prima facie evidence that new constituency intrinsically alienated from, and hostile towards, Yale’s and America’s past are insolently egotistical, poorly-educated barbarians and bad citizens utterly intellectually unqualified and morally unworthy of admission or teaching or administrative appointment in the first place.
“March of Resilience” protesting Christakises’s calls for Free Speech at Yale.
Bill Jacobson reports that the Trump Justice Department may be about to start making colleges resume admitting people on the basis of the content of their character, rather than the color of their skin.
Chief Justice Roberts had it right: â€œThe way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.â€
If a report in the NY Times is accurate, the Trump administration is getting ready to take on the most precious of liberal dogmas, the institutionalized racial discrimination in college admissions, aka affirmative action.
The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Departmentâ€™s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times.
The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on â€œinvestigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.â€
The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the divisionâ€™s front office, where the Trump administrationâ€™s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants and normally handles work involving schools and universities.
The document does not explicitly identify whom the Justice Department considers at risk of discrimination because of affirmative action admissions policies. But the phrasing it uses, â€œintentional race-based discrimination,â€ cuts to the heart of programs designed to bring more minority students to university campuses.
There is the predictable freak out, particularly from virtue-signaling white liberals.
Jonathan Haidt demonstrates that that today’s climate of racial discontent on elite university campuses was predicted to occur at the very beginning of the adoption of large-scale Affirmative Action by those universities.
[I]n 1969, at the dawn of racial preferences,… Macklin Fleming, Justice of the California Court of Appeal …[wrote] a personal letter to Louis Pollack, the dean of Yale Law School. Fleming was concerned about the plan Dean Pollack had recently announced under which Yale would essentially implement a racial quota â€“ 10% of each entering class would be composed of black students. To achieve this goal, Yale had just admitted 43 black students, only five of whom had qualified under their normal standards. …
Judge Fleming explained why he believed this new policy was a dangerous experiment that was likely to cause harmful stereotypes, rather than reduce them. …
The immediate damage to the standards of Yale Law School needs no elaboration. But beyond this, it seems to me the admission policy adopted by the Law School faculty will serve to perpetuate the very ideas and prejudices it is designed to combat. If in a given class the great majority of the black students are at the bottom of the class, this factor is bound to instill, unconsciously at least, some sense of intellectual superiority among the white students and some sense of intellectual inferiority among the black students. Such a pairing in the same school of the brightest white students in the country with black students of mediocre academic qualifications is social experiment with loaded dice and a stacked deck. The faculty can talk around the clock about disadvantaged background, and it can excuse inferior performance because of poverty, environment, inadequate cultural tradition, lack of educational opportunity, etc. The fact remains that black and white students will be exposed to each other under circumstances in which demonstrated intellectual superiority rests with the whites.
But Judge Fleming went much further. He made specific predictions about what the new policy would do to black students over the years, and how they would react. Here is his prophecy:
No one can be expected to accept an inferior status willingly. The black students, unable to compete on even terms in the study of law, inevitably will seek other means to achieve recognition and self-expression. This is likely to take two forms. First, agitation to change the environment from one in which they are unable to compete to one in which they can. Demands will be made for elimination of competition, reduction in standards of performance, adoption of courses of study which do not require intensive legal analysis, and recognition for academic credit of sociological activities which have only an indirect relationship to legal training. Second, it seems probable that this group will seek personal satisfaction and public recognition by aggressive conduct, which, although ostensibly directed at external injustices and problems, will in fact be primarily motivated by the psychological needs of the members of the group to overcome feelings of inferiority caused by lack of success in their studies. Since the common denominator of the group of students with lower qualifications is one of race this aggressive expression will undoubtedly take the form of racial demandsâ€“the employment of faculty on the basis of race, a marking system based on race, the establishment of a black curriculum and a black law journal, an increase in black financial aid, and a rule against expulsion of black students who fail to satisfy minimum academic standards.
Zerlina Maxwell appears regularly on Fox News, MSNBC, and is a commentator and guest host on Sirius radio’s XM Progress program. She writes as a political analyst for the New York Daily News, the Washington Post, and CNN.com. She has a B.A. in International Relations from Tufts, and J.D. from Rutgers.
Yesterday, Zerlina Maxwell argued, in the Washington Post, that we must always, as a default position, and regardless of due process, automatically believe that women who make accusations of sexual assault are telling the truth.
Many people (not least U-Va. administrators) will be tempted to see [the collapse of Rolling Stone’s UVA rape story] as a reminder that officials, reporters and the general public should hear both sides of the story and collect all the evidence before coming to a conclusion in rape cases. This is what we mean in America when we say someone is â€œinnocent until proven guilty.â€ After all, look what happened to the Duke lacrosse players.
In important ways, this is wrong. We should believe, as a matter of default, what an accuser says. Ultimately, the costs of wrongly disbelieving a survivor far outweigh the costs of calling someone a rapist. Even if Jackie fabricated her account, U-Va. should have taken her word for it during the period while they endeavored to prove or disprove the accusation. This is not a legal argument about what standards we should use in the courts; itâ€™s a moral one, about what happens outside the legal system.
The accused would have a rough period. He might be suspended from his job; friends might defriend him on Facebook. In the case of Bill Cosby, we might have to stop watching his shows, consuming his books or buying tickets to his traveling stand-up routine. But false accusations are exceedingly rare, and errors can be undone by an investigation that clears the accused, especially if it is done quickly.
The cost of disbelieving women, on the other hand, is far steeper. It signals that that women donâ€™t matter and that they are disposable â€” not only to frat boys and Bill Cosby, but to us. And they face a special set of problems in having their say.
Maxwell’s perspective that the supposed injuries of female victims awards them a morally privileged status which supersedes principles of due process, fair play, and objective justice is really just a version of the subjective moral reasoning of the lower-class criminal, who argues to himself that he is entitled to attack and rob other people in the street, because some people were born richer than himself, because of how much he has suffered, and because nobody ever gave him the breaks he believes he deserved.
The idea of Affirmative Action surely was to take people from the welfare-dependent and criminal underclass and give them the kind of elite education that would make them into responsible citizens subscribing to conventional morality with a rational sense of justice and assimilated into ordinary American society. What has obviously happened in Zerlina Maxwell’s case is that she has brought with her from the Hood the simple-minded, narcissistic, and self-entitled perspective of the congenitally stupid and the habitually immoral and is making a profession of persuading the establishment intelligentsia that they should share the mental habit patterns of the mugger, the gang banger, the heroin dealer, and the pimp. She is assimilating them, rather than vice versa.
The Washington Post, however, found it had, in publishing Maxwell’s editorial, gone just a bit too far for the interests of its own credibility. After being mocked all day on Twitter, they changed the editorial’s headline from “No Matter What Jackie Said, We Should Automatically Believe Rape Claims” to “No Matter What Jackie Said, We Should Generally Believe Rape Claims”. SooperMexican
Sonia Sotomayor’s dismal record of Supreme Court reversals is worse by one more. It now stands 6 out of 7, with the Court, however, unanimously rejecting her argument in the single ruling that was upheld. Sotomayor’s reasoning in that case, however, was not merely rejected. It was scathingly described as â€œfl(ying) in the face of the statutory language.â€
Stuart Taylor Jr. explains that on rejecting Sotomayor’s ruling this time the decision was not even close.
The Supreme Court’s predictable 5-4 vote to reverse the decision by Judge Sonia Sotomayor and two federal appeals court colleagues against 17 white (and one Hispanic) plaintiffs in the now-famous New Haven, Conn., firefighters decision does not by itself prove that the Sotomayor position was unreasonable.
After all, it was hardly to be expected that the five more conservative justices — who held that the city had violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act by refusing to promote the firefighters with the highest scores on a job-related promotional exam because none were black — would endorse an Obama nominee’s ruling to the contrary.
What’s more striking is that the court was unanimous in rejecting the Sotomayor panel’s specific holding. Her holding was that New Haven’s decision to spurn the test results must be upheld based solely on the fact that highly disproportionate numbers of blacks had done badly on the exam and might file a “disparate-impact” lawsuit — regardless of whether the exam was valid or the lawsuit could succeed.
This position is so hard to defend, in my view, that I hazarded a prediction in my June 13 column: “Whichever way the Supreme Court rules in the case later this month, I will be surprised if a single justice explicitly approves the specific, quota-friendly logic of the Sotomayor-endorsed… opinion” by U.S. District Judge Janet Arterton.
Unlike some of my predictions, this one proved out. In fact, even Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s 39-page dissent for the four more liberal justices quietly but unmistakably rejected the Sotomayor-endorsed position that disparate racial results alone justified New Haven’s decision to dump the promotional exam without even inquiring into whether it was fair and job-related.
It really ought to be a serious factor in the evaluation of a nominee for the Supreme Court that the person has compiled so consistent a record of decisions requiring reversal.