Almost Overnight, Standards of Color-Blind Merit Tumble Across American Society

Quality and standards are out.  Emotions, racism and quotas are in.  Schools have to graduate people based on a quota of color, not ability to pass tests.  In LAUSD they have almost completely stopped suspending and expelling students, because kids of color were the most involved.  Of course, the district is 91% NON white—so what would you expect.  This is why your child is not safe in an LAUSD classroom.

“Over the last few months, many Ivy League and flagship state universities have moved away from a seemingly neutral measure long used to assess applicants – standardized test scores – to give minorities a better shot at admissions.

In May, Hewlett-Packard, the technology company with 50,000 employees worldwide, decreed that by 2030 half of its leadership positions and more than 30% of its technicians and engineers have to be women and that the number of minorities should “meet or exceed” their representation in the tech industry workforce. 

That same month, United Airlines announced that half of the 5,000 pilots it would train at its proprietary flight school between now and 2030 will be women or people of color, with scholarships provided by United and JPMorgan Chase helping with tuition. There was nothing in the United announcement showing that there were enough qualified blacks and women in the pipeline so that a black/female quota of 2,500 new pilots could be filled, and nothing about what the company would do if there weren’t enough qualified candidates.

Government and major businesses have gone from hiring the most qualified, to hiring JUST on the basis of race or gender identification.   Feel safe when you know your pilot got the job based on race and gender, not qualifications?  Even the military is lowering standards to get in and for training.  Why work hard when it is your color or gender that determines your job, your pay and your position?

Almost Overnight, Standards of Color-Blind Merit Tumble Across American Society

By Richard Bernstein, RealClearInvestigations, 6/9/21 

A broad revolution is underway in the United States as traditional standards used to measure achievement and provide opportunity are being rejected by schools, corporations, and governments in favor of quotas based on race and gender.

On taking office, President Biden signaled that the nation’s long-held principle of equality for all had come to an end, signing executive orders to advance racial equity “across the Federal Government” — equity referring to the idea that merely treating everybody the same is not enough, and that an equal outcome for all people has to be the goal.

Over the last few months, many Ivy League and flagship state universities have moved away from a seemingly neutral measure long used to assess applicants – standardized test scores – to give minorities a better shot at admissions.

In May, Hewlett-Packard, the technology company with 50,000 employees worldwide, decreed that by 2030 half of its leadership positions and more than 30% of its technicians and engineers have to be women and that the number of minorities should “meet or exceed” their representation in the tech industry workforce. 

That same month, United Airlines announced that half of the 5,000 pilots it would train at its proprietary flight school between now and 2030 will be women or people of color, with scholarships provided by United and JPMorgan Chase helping with tuition. There was nothing in the United announcement showing that there were enough qualified blacks and women in the pipeline so that a black/female quota of 2,500 new pilots could be filled, and nothing about what the company would do if there weren’t enough qualified candidates.

Delta Airlines, Ralph Lauren, and Wells Fargo are among other major American companies to announce hiring quotas recently as a way to redress racial imbalances, according to Bloomberg News

These are just some of the many “woke” initiatives embraced by many of the pillars of American society in the year since social justice protests erupted across the country in response to the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

Supporters argue that racial preferences and quotas are necessary to end deeply entrenched disparities. Critics say that they are a new form of discrimination, no more justified than old forms that are widely rejected. And while the stated goal of affirmative action was to simply eliminate unfair discrimination, the equity movement is rooted in a far more expansive and pessimistic view of the United States as irredeemably white supremacist, a view meant to continually challenge American institutions and values.

The rapid transition from equality of treatment to equality of outcomes tests one of the basic post-civil rights principles of American life, namely that the same standards should be applied to all people. Once a measure is applied, not to the unique individual but to that individual’s group identity, the idea that there are neutral, common, universally applicable standards gives way to something else, something subjective and political, with different measures applied to different people, depending on their sex, race, or other characteristics.

The issue of standards, moreover, is not just a matter of values or fairness. With the United States falling behind other countries in math and science, most notably China, standards are matters of competitiveness and national security — even as the military, CIA and other federal agencies embrace equity.

But discontent over the pace of racial progress, fueled in the past year by the Black Lives Matter movement, has led to an explicit rejection of meritocracy and a call for old standards to make way for new ones. Explaining the company’s adoption of quotas, Hewlett-Packard Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown said the COVID-19 epidemic and the George Floyd murder has “really allowed us to do the double-click down on racial equality and the systematic and structural discrimination that exists.”

In the recent past, that effort often involved working with the existing ideological framework of equality of opportunity and merit to identify worthy candidates. Now, the trend is to reject and redefine those standards.

 “As a community, we need a more comprehensive framework for what constitutes ‘best’ in hiring faculty and staff,” Gregory Washington,  the president of George Mason University in Virginia, wrote in an email sent recently to the entire school. Washington, who is GMU’s first ever black president, denied that his call for greater diversity amounted to a quota system; instead, he said, “it is a recognition of the reality that our society’s future lies in multicultural inclusion.”

Certainly it is true that the American future is multicultural. Still, to say that the concept of “best” needs to be redefined in racial terms is already a significant departure from the idea of neutral standards. To go from there to the notion that meritocracy is a racist stratagem is a sea change, but there is a lot of evidence that that is exactly where society is going, in both small ways and large.

In May, the Princeton University classics department announced that in an effort to combat “systemic racism,” it would no longer require classics majors to take Latin or Greek. This may be a good thing or a bad thing, but certainly it says that what was until recently a foundational qualification for the study of “the classics” — the ability to read texts in their original language — no longer applies, because some students, especially minority ones, didn’t have the opportunity to study Latin or Greek in high school. But is it really OK for future professors of classics not to know Latin? Is that simply a new standard or a decline in standards?

From a very different area of American life, none other than the very august American Medical Association announced in May a new Strategic Plan to Embed Racial Justice and Advance Health Equity in medical education and practice.

The 80-page plan calls for, among other things, an expansion of “medical school and physician education to include equity, anti-racism, structural competency, public health and social sciences, critical race theory, and historical basis of disease.” It doesn’t say whether adding those subjects to the medical school curriculum, which sounds a lot like instruction in the indelibly racist nature of America, will take away time from such other subjects as anatomy, microbiology, and genetics that are clearly more germane to the practice of medicine.

“Scientific evidence tells us that racism has caused significant harm to people – and their health – throughout our nation’s history,” Gregory E. Harmon, M.D., the AMA’s president elect, who is white, said in an email to RCI, explaining the initiative.

Perhaps the most striking passages in the AMA document are those that have to do with equality and meritocracy, which it calls “malignant narratives.”

“Seeking to treat everyone the ‘same’ ignores the historical legacy of disinvestment and deprivation,” the document says of equality, while meritocracy is “a narrative that attributes success and failure to individual abilities and merits. It does not address the centuries of unequal treatment that have historically robbed communities of the vital resources needed to thrive.”

Some critics have noted that the Strategic Plan says nothing about competency; several doctors posting to the blog Legal Insurrection asked if members of the AMA would be comfortable allowing them or their families to be treated, as one of them put it, “by those who have MD attached to their names solely in the name of equity … not because of meritocracy or qualification.”

The AMA rejects that view.  “Not only must we follow our oath to do no harm,” Harmon said in his email to RCI, “we must also prevent the harm that that inequity inflicts on communities and our nation.”

About Stephen Frank

Stephen Frank is the publisher and editor of California Political News and Views. He speaks all over California and appears as a guest on several radio shows each week. He has also served as a guest host on radio talk shows. He is a fulltime political consultant.

Comments

  1. Jim Coles says

    Unequivocal yes or no; right or wrong, proven right or proven wrong in math & science are now ‘racist.’ Whatever feels right is the correct answer.
    Yeah, I can believe future H.P. products will be great.
    Yeah, I know passengers will be perfectly safe with a POC pilot chosen for the job only because s/he is a POC.
    Twice during my (pathetic excuse for a) career I was forced to hire women of color speech writers who could not compose a correctly written American-English sentence; much less write speeches, or prepare talking points for media interviews.
    So terrified of the “color lobby” in my organization were our leadership that I was forced to repair the work of these semi-literates, put their names on the final product and then give them promotion-qualifying performance evaluations.
    My successor, a woman of color, was so bad at the job that arranging public engagement events by the leadership was subcontracted out to a PR company; yet the women kept their six-figure jobs.
    Go figure.
    If America really is headed down the race & gender first & foremost path then we’re done as a nation.

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