I read, with the joy that I usually reserve for recurrent migraines, that Precedent Obama will establish an Office of African-American Education, thus furthering the racial Balkanization of the country, providing makework jobs for useless bureaucrats and, predictably, accomplishing nothing. I read also that the NAACP has filed complaint with the Department of Education against Fairfax County, Virginia, just outside of Washington, because its high school for the very bright, Thomas Jefferson High, doesn’t have enough blacks.
Probably I should give up reading.
It never ends. Charges of discrimination, demands for special privilege, endless laws, wringing of teeth and gnashing of hands, lowered standards, no positive results, and start over again.
Readers may not know this, but I suffer from a rare mental condition called “predictive clairvoyance,” that lets me read newspaper headlines from far in the future. Really. I’m serious. Psychologists know about it. This morning I channeled a story from the Beijing Times from the year 5012 (Beijing being the world capital):
“NAACP files suit against school board over test scores, citing discrimination and lingering effects of slavery.”
One Charisse Espy Glassman of the NAACP says (of the Fairfax complaint, not the Beijing, though the two are barely distinguishable) that the county needs to pour resources into the early grades, find gifted blacks and Hispanics, and funnel them into Thomas Jefferson High. It’s because, see, discrimination starts in kindergarten, blah, blah, blah.
What is the woman smoking? Somebody must have put something in her drugs. Her delusion is beyond Paraquat. Yes, racial discrimination exists. This I concede. Racial discrimination pervades American society, apparently ineradicably, rising over window sills, clogging storm drains—and all of it in favor of blacks. Try:
Head Start, the federal Department of Education, NCLB, forced integration, forced busing, free after-school programs, Youth Scholars, welfare, grants given to universities,medical schools, and law schools for developing minority outreach programs, affirmative action in school admissions, government contracts, government and private-sector jobs, unidirectional hate-crime laws, and so on. And on. And on.
Everything in America aims at somehow keeping blacks happy. Think this is just my idea? Walter Williams, the black and sensible columnist, has written, “Academic intelligentsia, their media, government and corporate enthusiasts worship at the altar of diversity. Despite budget squeezes, universities have created diversity positions, such as director of diversity and inclusion, manager of diversity recruitment, associate dean for diversity, vice president of diversity and perhaps minister of diversity.”
Exactly, observably, undeniably. The United States has tied itself into knots that would baffle a wind-era sailor to keep thirteen percent of the population placated. And done it unsuccessfully. All we hear is slavery, send money. We be discriminate, send money. Give us a job we can’t do very well, or perhaps at all. That is what affirmative action is.
No nation has ever made such desperate, soul-wrenching efforts to convince a large minority to for God’s sake do your homework. And this is what it comes to. I say to black parents: Your kids do not do poorly in school because of discrimination, but because they don’t know the answers. We evil whites can give you schools and books. We can’t read them for you. And we can’t make your children read them. That’s your job.
Now, since Ms. Glassman is in Fairfax County, where I once lived, she might look next door to the District of Columbia. The schools in DC are entirely under the control of blacks, and the per capita expenditure is very high. Yet the schools are almost the worst in the country. Why is that, Ms. Glassman? Might it—just conceivably, you understand: I don’t want to fall into wild speculation—have something to do with the quality of teachers hired by the black government, the degree of orderliness required of the black students, and the degree of insistence by their parents that they do their homework?
Now, as I look at the figures for Thomas Jefferson High, I see that 64.2 percent of the students are Asian, though Asians are a tiny part of the population, and only 26.2 percent are whites, who are a huge part of the population. That is, Asians are wildly overrepresented with respect to my pale species, in fact by a factor of about ten. Ms. Glassman, do you hear me whimpering that I be discriminate? That everything is someone else’s fault? That Asians are mistreating me, send money?
No. I figure that the Asian kids got there because they were smarter than the whites, or studied harder, or both. I don’t argue that it’s because my Anglo-Saxon ancestors were mistreated by the Norman French under Henry II.
Actually it is whites who suffer discrimination. Blacks get into Ivy schools ahead of us because they can’t do the work, and Asians get in ahead of us because they can, so we get sqwoze out from above and below. I feel very sorry for us, send money.
Implicit in all the solemn trumpery about race is that vile and malevolent whites want to exploit blacks, or see advantage in holding them down. Oh? I suspect that if rationality were oil, race hustlers would be about a quart low, so let me explain some facts. Most whites do not want to hold blacks down. On purely selfish grounds, it is very much in the interest of whites for blacks to prosper. If all blacks shot into the middle class tomorrow, we could tax them instead of paying for welfare. We could fire three-quarters of most urban police departments. We could live in the cities. We could take the wrong exit into Newark and expect to come out alive.
I don’t know how many blacks could get into Thomas Jefferson if they tried, you know, like, studying. I do know that the pathetic illiteracy of so many urban blacks is unnecessary, and that they don’t have to speak that awful he be, we be, muhfuh, muhfuh linguistic goulash sometimes called ebonics. In France, blacks speak French and in Mexico, Spanish, not Franbonics or Hisbonics. Why not English in America?
I know. I’m a dangerous radical.
And I know that anyone who really wanted to improve education for blacks could look to the Catholic schools of Washington, which do, or did when I last looked, a far better job than a dimwitted, vote-for-me Office of African-American Education. How did the artful mackerel-snappers do it? By demanding courtesy, expelling trouble-makers, insisting on done homework, and assuming that students were capable of it. Duh.