FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
I’m hoping the Progressives Have Enough of a Sense of Irony to See the Problem in VA.
It was 1978 and the general assembly of UNESCO was here to enlighten us all. Being the superior beings that UN bureaucrats typically are, they elected to lecture us all on the politically useful subject of racial prejudice. The blindingly obvious follows below:
• “All human beings belong to a single species.”
• “All peoples of the world possess equal faculties for attaining the highest level in intellectual, technical, social, economic, cultural and political development.”
• “The differences between the achievements of the different peoples are entirely attributable to geographical, historical, political, economic, social and cultural factors.”
• “Any theory which involves the claim that racial or ethnic groups are inherently superior or inferior, thus implying that some would be entitled to dominate and eliminate others, presumed to be inferior, or which bases value judgments on racial differentiation, has no scientific foundation and is contrary to the moral and ethical principles of humanity.”
Unfortunately, The State of Virginia can’t quite seem to figure these things out. They can, of course, when it is time to make remediation for prior history. They can when it is time to dole out further preferential hiring programs. However, when it is time to hold people from different racial backgrounds to an equivalent standard of competence, any sense of racial equality goes bye-bye.
As part of Virginia’s waiver to opt out of mandates set out in the No Child Left Behind law, the state has created a controversial new set of education goals that are higher for white and Asian kids than for blacks, Latinos and students with disabilities. Here’s what the Virginia state board of education actually did. It looked at students’ test scores in reading and math and then proposed new passing rates. In math it set an acceptable passing rate at 82 percent for Asian students, 68 percent for whites, 52 percent for Latinos, 45 percent for blacks and 33 percent for kids with disabilities.
Litigator turned Democratic Party Politico Donald McEachin is a State Senator and a leading African American politician in the Virginia State Legislature. He had enough of a sense of shame to see why this would enrage the soul of any decent parent. It’s almost as if McEachin wants the school system to produce a literate workforce instead an acceptable pass rate. He opines admirably below.
Alarmed by these numbers, McEachin and members of the Legislature’s black caucus denounced the new policy as a “backwards-looking scheme.” “If we don’t demand the best of our children, we won’t receive the best,” says McEachin.
This scheme lets Virginia off the hook for No Child Left Behind by implicitly assuming that Latinos, African-Americans and disabled kids are nice enough little sweeties – but they just can’t help themselves. It’s almost as if they’ve been reading up on Louis Aggaiz’s theory’s of so-called “Scientific Racism.”
What all of this gets back to is a classical philosophical problem. A has got to equal A. An object or a state of being can only be that which it is. If we believe all races and cultures are equal, than we have to hold them all to the same standards of performance. If we do not; we cannot expect our society to successfully function. To use the classic example, you never want to get wheeled into the ICU on a slab, see your doctor and have to wonder inside whether he really met a set of rigorous qualifications to perform emergency surgery on your maimed and bleeding person.
To make matters even worse, you do not want to get caught in the wrong part of town and come face-to-face with a thug with an IQ of 165 who was cheated out of a decent place in society so that someone genuinely less qualified could have that place instead. That will introduce you into the world of unrestrained hatred. That type of bitter and insanely aggrieved person will say “Merry Christmas” to you with the hollow-point ammunition.
The State of Virginia has given up any quest for basic decency and peace in a racially and culturally diverse population in order to avoid a bureaucratic penalty. They have admitted their own impotence in the face of basic standards and have opted to abolish the standard instead of pulling their heads out of their rectums. When Hannah Arendt decried the banality of evil, the mindset of the cowardly education bureaucrats in Virginia is precisely what she described. If our nation’s new motto is “Forward!” why is the Virginia school system moving rapidly in the wrong direction?