As I shake my head in confusion at the policy decisions being made in the name of equality I tend to make predictions. I often wonder if my predictions will be accurate.
Men in the ladies' room? An obviously terrible idea fraught with entirely predictable danger.
ObamaCare? An idea so bad it is impossible to understand how anyone with a brain could think it a good idea.
Abandoning, for whatever high-minded set of ideals, the incredibly successful criminal law and policing regimes of the past twenty-five years, is an astonishingly stupid idea. Crime rates are a fraction of what they were in the 1990's. No, we have not accomplished this by incarcerating an entire race of people. Any guesses as to what happens now?
The list goes on and on. Most of them are so obviously wrongheaded to me because they defy human nature. I described my thoughts on human nature here (scroll to the 2nd post).
I often wonder whether my analyses are correct and look for evidence that they are, or not, in an effort to stay honest and avoid confirmation bias.
I am joined by multitudes in concluding that Affirmative Action programs in higher education were always a bad idea. Some people knew just how counter-productive they
would be from the start. One man predicted, in 1969, exactly where we would find ourselves as a result of installing Affirmative Action programs. His name was Macklin Fleming and at the time he wrote his incredibly prescient letter he was a Justice on the California Court of Appeals.
He was writing the Dean of Yale Law School (his alma mater) about the school's announced intention to admit 38 black students who could not qualify under the school's normal standards.
The letters between the Dean and Fleming, as well as analysis can be found here .
I will share some excerpts taken from the link.
"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... 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.
...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 demands–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
Exactly what has occurred. Re-segregation. It is inconceivable to me that a large number of people, including those promoting the policy, were not able to see its short comings and pitfalls. They subscribed to it anyway.
Their complacency was probably a combination of fear of being judged racist and the "hope" that their good intentions would usher in their desired result. "Hope" as we all know, is not a strategy. Human nature, while ameliorable, in my opinion, simply cannot be ignored. Ignoring it is just a short-cut to ensuring its assertion and the failure of the preferred policy.