Race, Class, and Affirmative Action
Last week, I travelled to Providence College in Rhode Island, where I attempted to trick unsuspecting undergrads into believing that cognitive racial differences are real—and thus affirmative-action and “diversity” programs are bootless and destructive—by making crude appeals to… science. At least, that’s what the foul-smelling “anti-fascists” with hoops through their noses claimed as they tried to disrupt my talk.
My trip was sponsored by the Providence College Republicans, in conjunction with Youth For Western Civilization. (YWC’s Tim Dionisopoulos, who organized the event, has a helpful recap here; as you can tell by Tim’s intelligent explication of my arguments, he’s no ordinary undergrad.)
The screenshot of me smiling and waving before a banner that read “Hate Not Welcome” pretty much sums up the antifas’ epic failure:
- They weren’t able to shut us down. Indeed, they slinked off after I made it clear that I didn’t take them seriously and would not cease my presentation.
- More important, on the video, they themselves appear like “fascist” stereotypes. Image is (almost) everything, and the image of last week’s event is of sloppily dressed thugs screaming obscenities at a calm, civil gathering of students.
I doubt that the One People’s Project, which instigated the protest, will be bragging about a great blow struck for social justice any time soon.
Interestingly, the portion of my talk that prompted the ruffians’ leader to doff his jacket, Clark Kent-style, and reveal his antifa T-shirt, came when I displayed the following chart.
Apparently, talking about this graph makes me a racist and a classist. (Just ask Little Green Footballs.)
Let’s look at what I was actually arguing.
To the surprise of no one, a student’s SAT score is positively correlated with his parents’ income. Liberals usually say that this is due to the fact that rich people can afford private tutors and test-taking aids. And there’s no doubt that this has an effect. But the linear correlation is so unambiguous, and so uniform among the races, that one can only conclude that a) intelligence in heritable and b) wealthier families are simply smarter than poorer families.
But this is actually besides the point I was trying to make in the lecture. With regard to affirmative action and “diversity,” the most striking element of the chart is that Whites with family incomes below $10,000 a year (those likely to be on food stamps and living in mobile housing) have significantly higher SAT scores than Blacks that come from families with incomes over 70 grand (most likely resulting from cushy federal employment and work as diversity counsellors in law firms.) La Griffe du Lion has a more thorough break-down here.
I wasn’t interested in dwelling on the IQ-and-class correlation; my point instead was to highlight the necessity of strictly race-based admissions if universities are to create their desired universal, multicultural society on college campuses.
Left-liberals have developed all sorts of justifications for AA, including their claim that they seek to overcome the university’s own inveterate “institutional racism,” as well as the notion that all will benefit by exposure to “diversity.” Those who are willing to admit that AA is directed mostly at African-American and acts as some kind of historical redress, will say that race-based admissions aren’t really about race per se but about a class structure still defined by slavery and Jim Crow.
This is false. AA is all about race. As the above graph demonstrates, if the Left actually pursued strictly class-based admissions, this would be a great boon for poor White Americans. To choose a stereotypical example, a Southern hillbilly, whose parents were out of work, and who could score a respectable Math and Verbal combined score of 1250, would have a good shot of going to Harvard.
In turn, instituting class-based affirmative action would be absolutely devastating to the Black middle and upper-middle class, whose expected set-asides in the Ivy League would vanish.
The point is, of course, that Harvard will not pursue class-based affirmative action because Harvard does not want to bring poor Whites to Harvard. God-fearing, Southern, Protestant White men are not part of the universal society that Harvard, and most every other university, is attempting to fashion.
I don’t support class-based AA, for the reason that I don’t think most people should go to college: for the average guy, it’s a far better idea to learn a trade than get saddled with student loan debt and ideological conditioning.
That said, it’s interesting that I get labeled a “classist” for suggesting ways of improving the lot of poor White folks.