Thursday, December 10, 2015

Scalia a Racist!!! Said about blacks in Texas affirmative action case: "...having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower track school where they do well."

An important affirmative action case, now before the the Supreme Court, is about to be decided by a shockingly racist justice; Antonin Scalia!!! There's no question on this one.

The fact that the major media didn't lead with this story may be the next biggest headline. From Mother Jones:
Justice Scalia Suggests Blacks Belong at "Slower" Colleges: Yes, he really said that.

Scalia's comments came during arguments in Fisher v. University of Texas, a case over whether the university's use of race in a sliver of its admissions decisions is constitutional:

There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don't come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they're being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.”

"I'm just not impressed by the fact the University of Texas may have fewer [blacks]. Maybe it ought to have fewer. I don't think it stands to reason that it's a good thing for the University of Texas to admit as many blacks as possible."
Right wing bloggers are desperately trying to defend Scalia by pointing out he was only reflecting what other people have been saying, a familiar Republican smear tactic that shifts responsibility for their comments to some anecdotal source. I'm not buying it this time or ever. It's not actually a serious academic critique. In the real world we call it racism. Scalia's own statement above gives it his stamp of approval:
...once the transcript emerged, it turned out that critics had jumped the gun. Scalia wasn’t sharing his own views, he was asking about a very serious academic critique of affirmative action that others had made.
And while the above defense of Scalia will give every racist cover, it's is what it is, BS. In a shoot-the-messenger moment that completely and conveniently ignores the issue....

By the way, the brief cited by Scalia reminded me of anti-climate change researchers that typically trash the prevailing science for not being 100% perfect. Check it out here. For anyone to take this brief seriously, after reviewing the incendiary framing of affirmative action policy, you really have to wonder about the competence of any Justice pushing this crap. Here's an example:
The breadth of mismatch effects, and the failure of higher education institutions to grapple with the problems they raise, reinforce the importance of not deferring to the rhetoric of universities that pervades preference programs, and of pushing universities to be transparent and to demonstrate empirically the specific benefits they contend will flow from racial preferences in admissions.
Check out this analysis, which better explains away the theory above.

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