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The Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor are currently scheduled to begin thisMonday, July 13.

The Democrats want to rush Sotomayor through with merely some celebrations of her Hispanicness, and no tough questioning. For example, these will be the first Supreme Court nominee hearings in decades that National Public Radio, that adjunct of the Obama Administration, won’t broadcast live.

Some Republican Senators have been talking about trying to postpone the hearings until September, claiming that they need more time to review her complex record.

In reality, Sotomayor’s record isn’t all that complicated. It consists of two parts.

  • Her legal opinions are those of a grind: not brilliant, but not so lame that you couldn’t imagine her as one of the dimmer bulbs on the Supreme Court.

Of course, the problem with being on the Court of Appeals (likeSotomayor at present) is that if you indulge your political biases too much, you’ll get embarrassingly overruled by the Supreme Court (asSotomayor got overturned on the Ricci v. DeStefano case).

Once you are on the Supreme Court, however, you are (effectively)above the law. So past opinions you’ve written are of less predictive value about how you will rule when unfettered than your off-hours volunteering.

And this is the second part of Sotomayor’s record:

Racial preferences have been very, very good to Sonia Sotomayor. And it would be only natural for her to be very, very good to preferences when she’s on the Supreme Court.

Obviously, Sotomayor is going to be approved. The Democrats have 60 Senators and she only needs 50.

And many Republican Senators would no doubt like to foldquietly, what with, as we are constantly told in the media,Hispanics accounting for nine percent of the vote according to exit polls in 2008. (Actually, the Hispanic share of the vote in 2008 turned out to be, according to the gold standard Census Bureau survey of 50,000 households, only 7.4 percent, but who cares about reality?)

The tactical issue for the Republicans, however, is whether they are going to forfeit all the political mileage they could get out of the Ricci victory—in which the Supreme Court brusquely junked Sotomayor’s decision upholding corrupt racial discrimination against white firemen in New Haven.

The Main Stream Media, of course, has every intention of shoving Riccifar down the Memory Hole. The only way to remind the public of what is at stake is to make Ricci the central focus of the Sotomayor hearings.

The strategic issues for Republicans are manifold:

  • Are they going to acquiesce in the growing assumption in the press that minorities, such as Obama and Sotomayor, are beyond criticism on anything related to race? If so, what does that bode for the future of the GOP?
  • Will they forego their best opportunity to point out that Obama not the post-racial uniter of David Axelrod’s imagination, but is merely Sotomayor with a more oleaginous prose style?
  • Will they use the high unemployment rate to go on the offensive against racial preferences, especially against preferences for immigrants?

Allow me to offer some advice and questions for the Senators.

First, go easy on the excruciatingly boring questions aboutjudicial philosophy.

The Obama Administration will no doubt have provided Judge Sotomayor with test-marketed talking points. Anyway, the public doesn’t much care about judicial philosophy in the abstract. It cares about philosophies when they lead to injustices done to actual people, such as what Sotomayor authorized be done to Ricci and his colleagues.

Second, you don’t have to ask Sotomayor the toughest questions about the Ricci case. The media is all prepared to raise a stink about evil white male Senators being unchivalrous and insensitive being toward a Latina. But, fortunately, there’s a sleazy white male stand-in for Sotomayor.

Make Ricci v. DeStefano humanly vivid to the public by calling as witnesses both parties: the victim-turned-winner, fireman Frank Ricci, and the victimizer-turned-loser, New Haven Mayor John DeStefano, Jr.

Then let the eight-term politician (who happened to be a Democrat) have it with both barrels for his slimy acts of racial discrimination against Ricci.

As the basis for your questioning use Justice Samuel Alito’s blistering concurring opinion in Ricci, which vividly spells out how the mayor badgered the Civil Service Board into cheating Ricci.

An argument among three Italian-American guys—Ricci, DeStefano, and Alito—is less easy for the media to spin along its usual ethnic/gender “Who? Whom?” lines. So, for once, people will beallowed to think simply about principles of justice.

It won’t be hard to show that, in practice, “diversity” is just another word for DeStefano’s Boss Tweed- type politics.

Here are my questions to ask the wise Latinaafter you’ve worked out on DeStefano.

Obviously, she’ll bob and weave around most of them,refusing to answer on the usual specious grounds employed by past nominees. But these questions would be worth asking for their own rhetorical sake:

  • Much as Chief Justice John Roberts asked during oral arguments over Ricci… Can you assure us, JudgeSotomayor, that your decision in Ricci for the City of New Haven would have been the same if minorityfirefighters scored highest on this test in disproportionate numbers, and the City said we don’t like that result, we think there should be more whites on the fire department, and so we’re going to throw the test out?
  • On the South Wall of the Supreme Court Building’s courtroom are carvings of the “great lawgivers of history.” The second earliest lawgiver depicted is Hammurabi, king of Babylon, who is honored for carving the laws in stone and putting them up in public—which meant that even the king couldn’t change the laws after the fact to suit his convenience. Why should Mayor DeStefano enjoythe privilege that King Hammurabi denied himself: to see what the final score turned out to be, thenchange the rules of the game?
  • In the Obama Administration’s friend of the court brief to the Supreme Court on the Ricci case, the Obama Administration called for your decision forsummary judgment in favor of Mayor DeStefano to be overturned and the Ricci case to be remanded to local district court for retrial on the facts. Why did you vote for a more extremist outcome than the Obama Administration later called for?
  • Chief Justice Robert s recently wrote, “[t]he wayto stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.” Do you agree?
  • Here’s a guest question from Emily Bazelon of Slateand the Yale Law School about your terse judgment in Ricci: “The problem for Sotomayor, instead, is why she didn’t grapple with the difficult constitutional issues, the ones Cabranes pointed to. Did she really have nothing to add to the district court opinion? In a case of this magnitude and intricacy, why would that be?”
  • Is the primary point of our civil rights laws to protect minorities or to protect individuals of all races?
  • You have described yourself on video as “a product of affirmative action” and an “affirmative action baby” and that it is “critical that wepromote diversity.” Considering your often-expressed passionate views on the topic and personal self-interest in promoting ethnic preferences, how could Frank Ricci have expected even-handed, colorblind justice from you?
  • Yes, but, according to the Supreme Court, Frank Ricci didn’t get justice from you, now did he?
  • I realize you resent these questions, but aren’t doubts about racial bias inevitably created by the act of treating people of different races differently, acts which you endorse?
  • Considering the personal benefits that ethnic preferences have provided you over the years, shouldn’t you have recused yourself from the Riccicase?
  • Will you promise to recuse yourself in all future cases involving quotas, affirmative action, discrimination, or disparate impact?
  • Six years ago, in the previous major affirmative action case, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor wrote in her majority decision in Gratz, “We expect that 25 years from now, the use of racial preferences will no longer be necessary to further the interest approved today. “ (That’s now only 19 years from 2009.) Do you agree?
  • Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in her dissenting opinion on Ricci: “The Court’s order and opinion, I anticipate, will not have staying power.” Do you agree?
  • Should immigrants be eligible for racial and ethnic preferences?
  • Why?
  • Judge Sotomayor, you were a member of the National Council of La Raza from 1998 to 2004 . What do the words La Raza mean in English?

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative.

His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Supreme Court 
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This Monday, June 29, is supposed to be the day when we’ll find out if the Supreme Court overturns Sonia Sotomayor’s notorious decision in Ricci v. DeStefano. Sotomayor permitted New Haven to junk the results of its fire department promotional exams because too many whites had done well on them.

Last week, Slate ran a 5000 word article about the New Haven Fire Department, The Ladder, by senior editor Emily Bazelon and internNicole Allan. The article turns into an inadvertent reductio ad absurdumof the Sotomayorian conventional wisdom.

Bazelon’s ultimate objection to New Haven’s discarded 2003 testing process is that it wasn’t subjective and arbitrary enough to promote as many minorities as she’s like. She ends her article with a ringing call for a more random selection method that will produce lessknowledgeable fire captains and lieutenants:

“The city could come up with a measure for who is qualified for the promotions, rather than who is somehow best. And then it could choose from that pool by lottery.”

Bazelon apparently doesn’t know that lotteries are exactly what cities such as Chicago are already doing with the results of firefighter tests, in an attempt to comply with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Four-Fifths Rule. This regulation puts the burden of proof in discrimination cases on employers when blacks aren’t hired or promoted at least 80 percent as often as whites.

There’s a reason you don’t see much in the newspapers about cities hiring firefighters by lottery: this method is terrifying to anybody who might someday be trapped in a burning building. So politicians don’t explain too vividly to the public what exactly they are up to.

In 2006, the new Chicago hiring test passed all but the bottom 15 percent of the folks who walked in off thestreet wanting jobs as firefighters. And then, just asBazelon recommends for New Haven, the Chicago citygovernment picked “randomly” from the top 85 percent—the crème de la crème of the Disparate Impact Age.

Why did Chicago have to go so low?

You can use Microsoft Excel’s Normdistfunction to figure out how low you must set the bar when drawing from “normally distributed”populations to allow blacks to pass a test at the EEOC-mandated rate of Four-Fifths as much as whites.

Assume whites average an IQ of 100 and blacks average one standard deviation lower at 85. (Keep in mind that this model is useful not just for IQ but for most valid cognitive predictors of job performance.)

If you set the IQ cutoff at 100, then 16 percent of blacks and 50 percent of whites pass. Sixteen divided by fifty is only 32 percent, or about One-Third, which doesn’t come close to meeting the EEOC Four-Fifths regulation.

What about setting a minimum IQ of 85? That seems pretty low. Can you get away with that minimal of a standard without the EEOC siccing the burden of proof on you?

Answer: no. Unfortunately, an 85 IQ minimum means that 50 percent of blacks and 84 percent of whites pass. That wouldn’t even meet a Three-Fifths Rule, much less the Four-Fifths Rule.

Not until you cut the IQ bar down to 74 would the EEOC be truly happy: 77 percent of blacks and 96 percent of whites pass. Exactly Four-Fifths!

But, seriously, what’s the point of even giving a test so easy that 96 percent of white people can pass? White people aren’t so smart that somebody at the 5th percentile of the white bell curve is going to make an adequate firefighter.

Bazelon’s lotteries are an incredibly stupid idea because cities end up hiring incredibly stupid people of all races. My own opinion is that, before matters come to this absurd pass, citizens would be much safer if fire departments gave up and used explicit racial quotas. Then at least fire departments could hire the top-scoring firefighters from within each race.

Bazelon asks:

Why Did New Haven’s White Firefighters Test Better Than Blacks and Hispanics?

However, it never seems to occur to Bazelon to look at the countless similar situations in which whites, on average, both out-test and out-perform blacks and Hispanics. For example, New Haven’s own Yale Law School makes intensive use of the Law School Admission Test(LSAT). It has a black-white gap comparable to the New Havenfirefighter’s tests: the median black law school hopeful would score at only the 12th percentile among whites.

But the Yale Law School most definitely does not use a lottery to randomly choose among all applicants whose LSATs are high enough for them to become lawyers. reports:

“Admissions to Yale Law School can be considered the most competitive in thecountry based on the school’s 7.3% admit rate alone. The oft-cited 25th to 75th percentile ranges for admissions run around 3.77-3.97 (GPA) and 170-177 (LSAT). … On the flip side, an average of 3 students who had scored below 160 on the LSAT were admitted per year, although an average of 937students with comparable scores were rejected each year.”

Clearly, Yale Law School can’t choose by lottery because, well, it’s Yale Law School, and it’s ever so important that it have an average LSAT score at least as high as Harvard Law.

But the New Haven Fire Department should use a lottery because rescuing people from burning buildings is for blue-collar lunkheads. How much do you really have to know about saving lives anyway?

Seriously, the careful reader can figure out from Bazelon’s article why New Haven’s white firemen averaged higher on the controversial tests for leadership positions: Because, on the whole, they knew more about how to fight fires.

And why did the whites know more?

In part, because they studied harder.

And, to Bazelon’s mind, that’s just not fair. Bazelon is much exercised by the racial injustice inherent in white firefighters knowing more about how to do their jobs. She says:

“Is this the best way to choose the leaders of a municipal fire department—the best memorizers win?”

Worse, the white firemen are unjustly learning more about fire fighting because they care more about fighting fires. Bazelon continues:

“As one Hispanic quoted anonymously by the New Haven Independent put it, the test favored ‘fire buffs’—guys who read fire-suppression manuals on their downtime …”

To Bazelon, evidently, this is a bad thing.

By the way, here’s more from the original newspaper article interviewing two Hispanic firefighters in New Haven:

“The pair contended that the real issue isn’t about race: Instead, they argued that the way the test was designed favored ‘fire buffs’ who have spent their whole lives reading fire suppression manuals, and studied like maniacs for the exam. Incidentally, most firefighters matching that description happened to be white, they said. … Those whoaced the test were nerds who read fire-fighting books just for fun, said Cordova’scohort.” [Latino Group Backs White Firefighters, by Melissa Bailey, New Haven Independent, February 6, 2009]

In Bazelon’s utopia of racial equality, the whites would bejust as apathetic and uninformed about firefightingtechniques as the minorities are.

Moreover, Bazelon laments, some of the white firemen fight fires for free in their spare time:

“Meanwhile, the [predominantly white]firefighters from the suburbs are more likely to have experience as volunteer firefighters—which gives them a leg up on skills when they apply for the job …”

The white firemen also are advantaged, Bazelon says, because they tend

“… to come from families in which firefighting is a legacy. … Frank Ricci has an uncle and two brothers who are firefighters. He studied fire science at college.”

This annoys the Firebirds, the black firefighter’s association. According to Bazelon,

“The Firebirds see the family ties of men like Heins and Ricci as part of a network of influence that only white firefighters can tap into. ‘If you look at the history of the department there’s a group of folks, their fathers, their grandfathers, their uncles—they’re all part of this network,’ said GaryTinney, the head of the Firebirds and one of nine black lieutenants out of about 50 in the department.”

In other words, the white firemen often grew up in households where discussions of firefighting techniques were common around the kitchen table. Sure, this means fewer New Havenites burn to death—but it’s unjust to more ignorant firefighters.

I looked up Emily Bazelon on Wikipedia (accessed 16.59 ET, June 28 2009) and discovered that while she’s very bright, she’s notexactly the most self-aware person. When read in light of her biography, her Slate article about privileged white firemen becomes anamusing epitome of unthinking Gown v. Town prejudice.

Wikipedia tells us:

[Bazelon] graduated from Yale College in 1993 and from Yale Law School in 2000.”

After clerking for a federal judge, she pursued a career inlaw-related journalism:

“Before joining Slate, Bazelon was a senior editor of Legal Affairs. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The New Republic as well as other publications. She has worked as a reporter in the San Francisco Bay Area and as a freelance journalist in Israel.”

Now, she has a fellowship at Yale Law School:

“Bazelon is a Senior Research Scholar in Law and Truman Capote Fellow for Creative Writing and Law at Yale Law School.”

You might think that Bazelon would be better qualified to offer advice on admissions and promotion to Yale Law School rather than to the New Haven Fire Department. By Bazelon’s logic, Yale Law School should hire by lottery. Perhaps—just to get the ball rolling—she couldpublicly offer to give up her position to some randomly chosen person?

Moreover, this legal writer’s concern about the advantages Frank Ricci garnered by being related to firemen seems a little ironic in light of this Wikipedia line:

“She is the granddaughter of Judge David L. Bazelon and cousin of feminist Betty Friedan.”

Actually, as her 2005 Slate article Shopping with Betty suggests, she’s more like the second cousin twice removed of the proto-feminist (and crypto-communist) authoress of the bestselling Feminine Mystique. Still, the two were fairly close despite their age difference.

More strikingly, the legal journalist’s grandfather David Bazelon was the most powerful judge in America not on the Supreme Court when he served from 1962-1978 as Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

Indeed, considering his close relationship with the Svengali of the Warren Court, William J. Brennan, quite possibly Bazelon was more powerful than several Supreme Court Justices.

Needless to say, I’m not implying that Emily Bazelon’s career as a writer on legal affairs has depended upon nepotism.

Rather, I’m pointing out that a family developing and passing on expertise in a particular field—whether the Riccis in firefighting or theBazelons-Friedans in law and punditry—is a good thing for society in general, because expertise is always in short supply.

Now tell me: why should we have one law for Frank Ricci and another for Emily Bazelon?

Email Emily Bazelon.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative.

His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Supreme Court 
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That the Supreme Court may overrule President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor in the crucial Ricci case continues to stimulate the Race & IQ Strawman-Stomping Reflex among MSM commentators.

Since I’m one of the few journalists who have bothered to explain exactly how the civil rights doctrine of disparate impact inevitably works to foster Ricci-style discrimination against whites on a mass scale, I’ve recently been attacked by name in The New Republic,Slate, Bloggingheads, and Marginal Revolution.

And then there are the two New York Times columnists, David Brooks and Nicholas D. Kristof, who devote many column inches to debunking caricatures of what few journalists other than me dare to say.

For example, Kristof punditized Saturday in the NYT (Rising Above I.Q.June 6, 2009):

“In the mosaic of America, three groups that have been unusually successful are Asian-Americans, Jews and West Indian blacks—and in that there may be some lessons for the rest of us. … These three groups may help debunk the myth of success as a simple product of intrinsic intellect, for they represent three different races and histories. “

Who actually advocates a “myth of success as a simple product of intrinsic intellect”?

I don’t even say that!

Everybody knows that a strong work ethic matters.

The controversial questions are about whether you should be allowed to even mention the existing cognitive differences between groups when discussing, say, the Ricci case.

And, if you are allowed to bring up the racial gaps in intelligence, must we then all assume for purposes of public policy that they can somehow be made to vanish quickly?

Or will we get kicked to the curb like James D. Watson for expressing doubts?

Of course, Kristof’s emphasis upon the importance of hard work would logically suggest that Non-Asian Minorities (NAMs) ought to work harder. But Kristof, who presumably likes his job at the NYT and wishes to keep it, won’t say that. So he ends up repeating by rote irrelevant talking points about spending more on education:

“What’s the policy lesson from these three success stories?

It’s that the most decisive weapons in the war on poverty aren’t transfer payments but education, education, education. For at-risk households, that starts with social workers making visits to encourage such basic practices as talking to children. “

Exactly how do these conclusions follow from Kristof’s premises?

Did the Czar send social workers around to encourage Jewish mothers to talk to their children?

In reality, although the highest average income groups in America—Jews, Asian Indians, and Scots (not Scots-Irish)—tend to have the most education, there are also numerous American ethnic groups that tend to make more money than their educational levels might suggest. (For example, Cubans, Israelis, Lebanese Christians, Armenians, Italians, and Greeks.)

Furthermore, it’s not uncommon for African-Americans to be more ambitious about acquiring academic credentials than is optimal for them. It’s clear, for example, that too many blacks attempt law school: 43% of blacks who enter law school never pass the bar exam. That over-optimism exacts a high toll in tuition and wasted years among black college graduates.

Moreover, it’s obtuse of Kristof to cite Asians, American Jews, and West Indians as examples of the importance of hard work relative to IQ since all three stand out in terms of IQ. American Jews average about 10 points higher and Northeast Asians about 5 points higher than gentile whites. The Bell Curve‘s analysis of the huge National Longitudinal Study of Youth database reported that children of black immigrants score five points higher on the military’s IQ entrance test than children of American-born blacks.

It would be more persuasive if Kristof were instead to focus on groups with unexceptional average IQs who still do well enough in America. For example, Filipino-Americans only rarely reach the very highest levels of prominence—’s Michelle Malkin might be the most famous Filipino-American on Wikipedia’s list of famous Filipino-Americans—but, they’ve carved out a niche for themselves by being law-abiding, well-mannered, and specializing in burgeoning medical careers, such as nursing and drawing blood.

Studying Filipino-Americans would be particularly useful because they show the paradoxical benefit of not being constantly targeted by diversity outreach. Nobody much cares that Filipinos are more likely to become nurses than, say, lawyers, but African-Americans are constantly lured in over their heads by affirmative action.

Kristof says:

“West Indian blacks, those like Colin Powell whose roots are in the Caribbean, are one-third more likely to graduate from college than African-Americans as a whole, and their median household income is almost one-third higher. “

There’s no question that West Indian-Americans stand out disproportionately among successful blacks in the U.S. For example, Obama’s Attorney General Eric Holder is a Bajan—a person whose ancestry traces back to Barbados, the most affluent and educated West Indian island. Although 12,200 web pages describe Holder as the “first African-American Attorney General,” Nation News of Barbados reported last summer that Holder “was born in New York and was raised in what was essentially a West Indian enclave in Queens…”

For some reason, Holder forgot to mention that fact in his February speech demanding that Americans stop being “a nation of cowards”and spend each February out of our “race-protected cocoons”having a National Dialogue on Race. Indeed, Holder’s father, a Barbadian immigrant, and his mother, the daughter of Barbadian immigrants, strove to cocoon him away from African-American culture while he was growing up.

Still, it’s not clear that West Indian-Americans having a one-third higher household income on average than African-Americans is all thatimpressive. Many West Indians are concentrated in New York City and other metropolises with high costs of living, and so few live in cheap small towns in the South. When housing prices finally collapse in New York, it’s likely that West Indians will wind up defaulting at high rates.

Kristof asserts:

“Richard Nisbett cites each of these groups in his superb recent book, Intelligence and How to Get It. Dr. Nisbett, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan, argues that what we think of as intelligence is quite malleable and owes little or nothing to genetics. “I think the evidence is very good that there is no genetic contribution to the black-white difference on I.Q.,” he said, adding that there also seems to be no genetic difference in intelligence between whites and Asians. As for Jews, some not-very-rigorous studies have found modestly above-average I.Q. for Ashkenazi Jews, though not for Sephardic Jews. Dr. Nisbett is somewhat skeptical, noting that these results emerge from samples that may not be representative.”

Don’t you love how this is phrased to appeal to ignorant New York Times readers’ ample self-regard? Well, sure, lowbrows may think that Jews tend to be smart, and, well, yes, I guess the social science research does support this stereotype … but us smart sophisticates all know that the “samples that may not be representative”—so there!

Kristof continues:

“In any case, he says, the evidence is overwhelming that what is distinctive about these three groups is not innate advantage but rather a tendency to get the most out of the firepower they have. A common thread among these three groups may be an emphasis on diligence or education, perhaps linked in part to an immigrant drive. “

The concept of “immigrant drive” is the kind of thing that passes for Deep Thought without much thinking ever being devoted to it:

  • First, in cases where “immigrant drive” really does exist, it’s in large part a selection effect: the more intelligent and/or energetic tend to immigrate.
  • Second, there are giant examples of foreign countries where America is clearly not skimming the cream: most importantly,Mexico, whose well-educated seldom end up in America. There’s little evidence of educational “immigrant drive”among Mexican-Americans. Fourth generation Mexican-Americans have only a six percent college graduation rate.
  • Third, it’s ridiculous to attribute the high levels of achievement observed among young Jews in 2009 to “immigrant drive.”Most of them are third to sixth generation Americans.
  • Fourth, do Jews in America show more “immigrant drive”than do the small number of Jews back home in Russia? I wouldn’t be surprised if Jews in Russia are more likely to become billionaires than Jews in America.
  • Fifth, do Chinese in America show more “immigrant drive”than Chinese back in long-booming Guangdong? Maybe, maybe not. It’s not obvious.
  • Sixth, so that leaves West Indian-Americans, who havetraditionally been more enterprising than either African-Americans or West Indians.

Remember the recurrent segment on the 1990s Fox comedy sketch show In Living Color called “Hey Mon with the Hedleysabout a hard-working West Indian family? The comic point was to express African-American incredulity over West Indian families’ high rates of moonlighting at multiple poorly-paid service jobs. For example, Damon Wayans complains about his daughter wanting to marry an American doctor who has only one job, explaining, “I never loved your mother. I just married her because she had six jobs.”

Kristof continues some more:

“Among West Indians, the crucial factors for success seem twofold: the classic diligence and hard work associated with immigrants, and intact families. The upshot is higher family incomes and fathers more involved in child-rearing.”

In other words, the greater success of West Indian-Americans over African Americans is due less to education than to hard work and monogamy.

That’s plausible, although there’s an explanation for these behavioral differences that Kristof won’t touch: the most successful West Indian-Americans, such as Colin Powell, Eric Holder, and Malcolm Gladwell, tend to come from the islands’ mulatto middle class.

As the final chapter in Gladwell’s bestseller Outliers about his mother’s Jamaican family implies, the West Indian middle class worked hard for generations to keep their posterity as “light and bright” as possible by discouraging their daughters from socializing with boys from the darker agricultural and working classes.

Look, if Kristof were actually serious about cultural explanations for the low average levels of achievement by Non-Asian Minorities, then he would recommend a policy of making it clear to them that we aren’t accepting excuses anymore—especially not the pervasive discrimination rationalization.

If we actually want to get a message through to low-achieving minorities, the obvious place to start would be for the Supreme Court to overturn Sonia Sotomayor’s vote in the Ricci case—and for the Senate to reject Sotomayor over that case.

I shall await Kristof’s column advocating these simple, practical, cost-saving steps.

But I won’t be holding my breath.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative. His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S “STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE”, is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Supreme Court 
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President Barack Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter is hardly surprising. Indeed, writing in a couple of weeks before Souter even announced he was hanging it up, I referred to “potential ObamaSupreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor” in connection with her vote against Frank Ricci and the other New Haven firemen whosehard-earned promotions had been stolen from them in the name of disparate impact.

I didn’t have any special insight. It was pretty obvious. Obama had a well-known checklist. It consists of items like Hispanic,” “female,”“not too old,” and “liberal.” Among individuals meeting his requirements, only Sotomayor had the credentials (she’s a judge on the Court of Appeals) to seem at least plausible on the Supreme Court.

Let’s not act too scandalized that Sotomayor was nominated more for reasons of identity politics than of judicial talent. The SupremeCourt is an inherently political institution. A large fraction of Supreme Court nominees are appointed for reasons of identity (or, in the case of Souter—the original stealth nominee—lack of identity). Sometimes, as in the case of Clarence Thomas, they turn out to be impressive. Other times, as in the case of Sandra Day O’Connor…not so much.

But, needless to say, and also for reasons of identity politics, it’s hard to imagine Sotomayor bringing unbiased judgment to affirmative action cases.

In law school, Sotomayor took discussion of the mere existence of affirmative action to be a personal affront. Sharon Theimer reports for the Associated Press:

“Yet years ago, during a recruiting dinner in law school at Yale, Sotomayor objected when a law firm partner asked whether she would have been admitted to the school if she weren’t Puerto Rican, and whether law firms did a disservice by hiring minority students the firms know are unqualified and will ultimately be fired.”

“Afterward, Sotomayor confronted the partner about the questions, rejected his insistence that he meant no harm and turned down his invitation for further job interviews. She filed a discrimination complaint against the firm with the university, which could have barred the firm from recruiting on campus. She won a formal apology from the firm.”

Sotomayor’s conduct is reminiscent—guess who?—Michelle Obama‘s “rage of a [legally] privileged class.” Mrs. Obama also alwayswanted to enjoy the advantages of affirmative action—while being peeved that anyone might notice that she was enjoying them.

Ironically, the current unwelcome attention being paid to Sotomayor’s past statements is the outcome of the remarkable lack of media attention paid to Barack Obama’s past statements in his 1995 memoir Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.

Why the difference?

First, Sotomayor isn’t as slippery a prose stylist as Obama is.

Second, blacks are far more central to the reigning mythos of contemporary America than are Latinos.

Third, some Republicans are starting to wake up to the fact that if they give every minority candidate a pass in the way they gave Obama a pass in 2008, then they will keep on losing like they did in 2008. What’s more interesting than Obama’s nomination of Sotomayor for her “story of race and inheritance are the long-term implications of the shortage of individuals who could characterize themselves with any degree of credibility as Judge Sotomayor did in her notorious address to La Raza:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

This is a classic statement the usual diversity dogma that is now the received wisdom of 21st Century America. (Of course, most “diverse” individuals, much less federal judges, have the wisdom not to cite themselves as examples. But, hey, at least Sotomayor didn’t describe herself as vibrant.”)

According to the most recent Census Bureau projections, the number of Hispanics residing within the United States is expected to grow from 35 million in 2000 to 132 million in 2050 — an increase in a half century of a staggering 97 million.

This wholesale demographic change, engineered by American elites with little input from the American people, has vast implications for the law and for the fundamental competence of American society.

Consider test scores on the Law School Application Test. For Puerto Ricans, such as Judge Sotomayor, the average score would only fall at the 6th percentile of the non-Hispanic white distribution.

This exceptionally dreadful performance by Puerto Ricans perhaps stems from the fact that the English-only LSAT is mandated for students applying to Puerto Rico’s Spanish-only law schools. Yet the performance of Hispanics in general on the LSAT doesn’t come close to meeting the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s “Four-Fifths Rule.” (Under the reigning civil rights doctrine of “disparate impact,” any selection process, such as the fireman’s test passed by Frank Ricci, is legally suspect if any minority group passes it on average at less than “four-fifths” the rate of the highest scoring group.)

Overall, Hispanics average a score that would fall only at the 24th percentile of the non-Hispanic white distribution.

Mexican-Americans do a little better on the LSAT, scoring at the 29th percentile. But that’s largely because Mexican-Americans make up only 1.6 percent of all those taking the LSAT, even though they make up 10.2 percent of all residents of America between 20 and 24. This suggests that only relatively elite Mexican Americans take the LSATand that their average scores would be worse if more took the test. (In contrast, African Americans make up a sizable 10.6 percent of those who sit LSAT, and the black average would fall at the 12th percentile among whites.)

Needless to say, many employers use surreptitious racial / ethnic quotas to stay out of legal trouble.

Law schools get around the Four-Fifths Rule problem in two ways.

  • First, by using quotas (although the 1978 Bakke and the 2003 Grutter and Gratz decisions said that you aren’t allowed to call them “quotas”).
  • Second, they exploit that fact that judges tend to assume that the law is special, and obviously requires cognitive firepower, unlike all those simpleminded professions—such as, well,commanding fire companies.

In the 1970s, “disparate impact” was implicitly viewed–but not articulated — as an affordable system of reparations for slavery. It was seen as not too costly because whites greatly outnumbered blacks, so the burden on whites, on average, was not immense.

Unfortunately, the Disparate Impact system, invented by the Supreme Court in the 1971 Griggs v. Duke Power case, was also always rationalized not as reparations, but as an anti-discrimination measure to hunt out hidden (and even unwitting) discrimination.

In 1973, the Nixon Administration—looking for Hispanic votes, a familiar story with historically-challenged GOP Presidents— extendedaffirmative action privileges to minority immigrant groups.

(Puerto Ricans aren’t immigrants, but Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico don’t consider themselves to be exactly Americans either: Puerto Rico competes in the Olympics as a separate country. In fact, in 2004, the Puerto Rican basketball team beat the underachieving American team.)

Extending disparate impact benefits to Hispanics has set up a potentially devastating dilemma. Now America was inviting in foreigners, both legal and illegal immigrants, and immediately rewarding them with legal privileges in hiring over the white population.

Just as General Motors’ retiree health insurance system has collapsed because the ratio of retirees benefiting from the system to currentworkers contributing to the system has swollen, so the vast growth in the number of affirmative action beneficiaries, (chiefly Hispanic), to benefactors, (chiefly white) threatens to bankrupt the entire economy over the next two generations.

(By the way, how’s the economy doing lately—especially in diversity-is-strength California?)

So far, the devastation wrought by the affirmative action dilemma has been mitigated by the lack of ambitiousness that appears widespread among Hispanics—especially among Mexican Americans, as seen intheir low rates of advanced degree test-taking. (Mexican Americans only make up one out of 40 takers of the Graduate Record Exam and Medical College Admission Test).

At present, Hispanics appear less likely than African Americans to pursue jobs where they are underqualified.

Of course, this lack of ambition also means that Hispanics have not been moving up the social ladder over the generations, as has been so often reflexively predicted by pundits like Michael Barone. The college graduation rate among fourth generation Mexican Americans is only sixpercent.

And, no doubt, we will now insistently told that Judge Sotomayor is a crucial role model” for Hispanics.

The real question, however, is: what kind of Supreme Court Justice she will make for Americans?

And that doesn’t look good—regardless of what Obama checklist she satisfies.

[Steve Sailer (email him) is movie critic for The American Conservative.

His website features his daily blog. His new book, AMERICA'S HALF-BLOOD PRINCE: BARACK OBAMA'S "STORY OF RACE AND INHERITANCE", is available here.]

(Republished from VDare by permission of author or representative)
• Category: Ideology • Tags: Supreme Court 
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Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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