F. Roger Devlin’s review of Heather MacDonald’s When Race Trumps Merit: How the Pursuit of Equity Sacrifices Excellence, Destroys Beauty, and Threatens Lives appeared at AmRen.
This review is far more informative than Ann Coulter’s review which was posted here recently. You probably won’t be surprised by a whole lot, but some of the examples are amazing.
At present it is still possible, although dangerous, to challenge this fallacious idea by citing data on racial gaps in skills and behavior. But such data themselves are increasingly being attacked or hidden. This is the reason standardized test scores are being dropped from school admissions, for example. Such tests have never impeded the practice of racial preferences — different standards have simply been set for the different races. But they have continued to provide evidence of actual skill gaps. For that reason, nearly 2,000 colleges, including the entire University of California system, have now either banned the use of test scores or made them optional.
The next frontier is the rejection of the concept of accomplishment itself, since it leads inevitably to the realization that some people and groups accomplish more than others. The behavioral standards that make accomplishment possible cannot be left intact either. In the summer of 2020, the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, DC, declared that rationality, planning for the future, punctuality, delayed gratification, and being polite were aspects of white culture that “people of color” might not wish to internalize. We are sacrificing civilization itself to maintain the illusion of racial equality. …
An even fiercer reaction greeted Norman Wang of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in 2020 when he argued in the Journal of the American Heart Association for an end to racial preferences. Mr. Wang pointed out that years of research showed students admitted under quotas disproportionally drop out because of poor grades and have a harder time passing medical licensing exams. Miss Mac Donald quotes a president-elect of the American Heart Association who wondered out loud how such a paper could have been published, given its “unbalanced, unscientific, and untrue statements” — without citing a single example of such statements. The AAMC claimed Mr. Wang’s paper was factually inaccurate, also without examples. Another doctor denounced Mr. Wang’s “racist beliefs and paper” on Twitter. The editor of the journal apologized for publishing the article and retracted it [sounds familiar], assuring readers it would be “improving” its peer-review process to avoid such “missteps” in the future [in my case, the editor was fired]. Mr. Wang not only lost his position as director at the University of Pittsburgh Heart and Vascular Institute, but was banned from all contact with medical students and residents. A lawsuit is pending. …
Some of the incidents Heather Mac Donald describes, especially within the arts academy, are the kind that might have occurred a generation ago. However, certain novelties suggest that America’s racial revolution has entered a new phase. One such novelty already referred to is the growing impermissibility of mentioning racial gaps in skills and behavior, even when attributing them to “cultural” factors. Another is preemptive self-accusation: In the wake of the George Floyd riots, observers who thought they had lost the capacity to be surprised at America’s racial madness were bewildered to see eminent people and institutions rushing forward to confess their “racism” like the victims of Stalinist show trials. Miss Mac Donald has a noteworthy take on this:
The self-abasement common in the post-George Floyd era is actually a form of self-aggrandizement. Individuals and institutions blame themselves for inequalities for which they have no responsibility in order to claim a current impact they do not possess. [Thus they] position themselves as essential to the anti-racism crusade.
Under a regime of anti-racism, cultural authority can come from only two sources: “the assertion of victimhood or the acknowledgement of oneself as a victimizer.” Whites cannot adopt the first strategy, so “that leaves the vigorous assertion of racial guilt as the second-best means of retaining social capital.”
Frustrated by the failure of white and Asian men to fight back against the diversity juggernaut, the author asked one research scientist, “How much longer would they continue to allow their hard work and accomplishments to be disparaged and sidelined?” His reply:
We need our jobs. Our peers will turn on us. Speak out, lose job forever, be quickly forgotten and abandoned. I admire the bravery of those who speak out but they will be systematically exterminated until they are all gone. The system will have to rot from within and be reinvented, which will take 50-100 years.