Thursday, September 18, 2014

Diversity Thursday

Quotas! (or fried air)

I don't know what I can really say. It is damning all by itself.
"The force that protects a democracy should reflect the population that it protects much more than we do today," he added.
U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus said more women should be serving in the Navy and Marine Corps, and plans to take action to boost their presence in those military branches.

"We don't have enough women in either the Navy or the Marine Corps," Mabus told the Reuters Aerospace and Defense Summit on Wednesday as he kicked off a drive to expand the number of women in the Navy.

Women represent 18 percent of the Navy and 8 percent of the Marine Corps, Mabus said.

"I don't know exactly what the goal ought to be, but I know those are too low," ... "The more diverse input you have into something, the better the organization is," Mabus said.
We have an all volunteer force. You get those who have the interest and entering qualifications to raise their right hand. Does he think there is active discrimination against women and minorities in accessions and promotion? If so, who is being brought up on charges?

I hope he doesn't, because that would mean that he has led that gaggle of bigots for over half a decade - but don't worry, he doesn't. No, he is just trying to sound all aflutter because graphs don't match. He wants them to - but to do so, you have to move numbers. To do what he wants though, you'd have to force it.

If you are going to try to force a number, then you going to wind up looking like a fool or a fiend. If you take 100 17-yr old boys and 100 17-yr old girls and ask them, "Step forward if you want to join the military." You are not going to get the same numbers. That is nature, that is what it is. 

More women than not would like to actually help raise their children or have more than one or two. Except in exceptional circumstances like a close friend of mine whose husband decided to go USNR and be a full time househusband, you can not do that and be a front running, fully deployable Sailor. Oh, and that's OK. Not everyone can or should stay in for 30 years.

The only way to move the needle any significant way is to create sub-optimal, misallocation of resources and discrimination on a broad scale. Is that really what he wants to do?

Anyway, read the whole thing. It is an intellectual and moral house of cards that I don't really need to beat up on it more - there is more fetid business about.

We have another place where leadership refuses to ask and address the very real causes and issues, and instead takes the intellectually lazy road of simply looking at numbers and wanting everything to magically match up.

Life is not that simple;
U.S. Army sociologists are worried that a lack of black officers leading its combat troops will have detrimental effect on minorities and lead to fewer black officers in top leadership posts.

“The issue exists. The leadership is aware of it,” Brig. Gen. Ronald Lewis toldUSA Today on Thursday. “The leadership does have an action plan in place. And it’s complicated.”
Just as the NBA and the Olympic curling team do not "look like America" - in an all volunteer force based on personal desire and objective criteria, it should not be a shock that differences exist.

If we are going to focus on the numbers of black Americans serving as the linked article does, then I would prefer that we not imply that the military is doing something wrong. It isn't, as a matter of fact, the military is one of the most inclusive organizations in our nation. The only people who actively promote discrimination based on race, creed, color, or national origin are those in the diversity and inclusion commissariat who rely on sectarianism for a paycheck.

There are huge societal and cultural reasons why, especially among officers, the numbers don't match up. If you are going to have a true meritocracy in place in the military, then you are going to have trouble having the numbers of blacks represented at senior levels in line with their general population numbers. 

Let's look at underlying causes; headwinds if you will, to a natural, balanced percentage breakout per race and ethnicity - and let's stick to cold, hard, neutral facts. 

First let's look at this graphic from The Economist - not exactly a St0rmfr0nt publication.
In 2012 America reported 14,827 cases of murder and manslaughter, ... That is 4.7 homicides per 100,000 people: the lowest rate in over 50 years but far higher than in other rich countries. Canada sees 1.6 murders per 100,000; western European countries, just one.

Three-quarters of all victims and nearly 90% of perpetrators are male. Black Americans are only 13% of the population, but over 50% of murder victims. Among black men between 20 and 24, the murder rate is over 100 per 100,000 (see chart). If this group were a country, it would be more violent than Honduras, the world’s most violent nation.
That is just one indicator of a sub-culture out of alignment with the rest of the nation with regard to crime. Check the FBI stats - the numbers are even more stark. Young men involved in crime are not those being brought in to the military in number - nor should they. This is just a small headwind.

The fact that the overwhelming percentage of crimes are made by men, and the military is also overwhelming male - this disparity of crime rates among races will manifest themselves even more when you are looking at groups of people eligible to serve. The headwind gets a bit stronger now.

What about basic academic ability based on objective testing? If you like statistics, you can dig through this work on the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery from '92, but I find this from The Brookings Institute more useful for a broad view of the challenge:
AFRICAN AMERICANS currently score lower than European Americans on vocabulary, reading, and mathematics tests, as well as on tests that claim to measure scholastic aptitude and intelligence. This gap appears before children enter kindergarten (figure 1-1), and it persists into adulthood. It has narrowed since 1970, but the typical American black still scores below 75 percent of American whites on most standardized tests. On some tests the typical American black scores below more than 85 percent of whites?

The black-white test score gap does not appear to be an inevitable fact of nature. It is true that the gap shrinks only a little when black and white children attend the same schools. It is also true that the gap shrinks only a little when black and white families have the same amount of schooling, the same income, and the same wealth. But despite endless speculation, no one has found genetic evidence indicating that blacks have less innate intellectual ability than whites. Thus while it is clear that eliminating the test score gap would require enormous effort by both blacks and whites and would probably take more than one generation, we believe it can be done.

This conviction rests mainly on three facts:

--When black or mixed-race children are raised in white rather than black homes, their preadolescent test scores rise dramatically. Black adoptees' scores seem to fall in adolescence, but this is what we would expect if, as seems likely, their social and cultural environment comes to resemble that of other black adolescents and becomes less like that of the average white adolescent.

--Even nonverbal IQ scores are sensitive to environmental change. Scores on nonverbal IQ tests have risen dramatically throughout the world since the 1930s. The average white scored higher on the Stanford-Binet in 1978 than 82 percent of whites who took the test in 1932. Such findings reinforce the implications of adoption studies: large environmental changes can have a large impact on test performance.

--Black-white differences in academic achievement have also narrowed throughout the twentieth century. The best trend data come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which has been testing seventeen-year-olds since 1971 and has repeated many of the same items year after year. Figure 1-2 shows that the black-white reading gap narrowed from 1.25 standard deviations in 1971 to 0.69 standard deviations in 1996. The math gap fell from 1.33 to 0.89 standard deviations. When Min-Hsiung Huang and Robert Hauser analyzed vocabulary scores for adults born between 1909 and 1969, the black-white gap also narrowed by half.
Very strong headwind. We prefer to enlist high school graduates. What about high school graduation rates?
In school year 2011–12, some 3.1 million public high school students, or 81 percent, graduated on time with a regular diploma. Among all public high school students, Asians/Pacific Islanders had the highest graduation rate (93 percent), followed by Whites (85 percent), Hispanics (76 percent), and American Indians/Alaska Natives and Blacks (68 percent each).
Commissioned officers need a college degree. What about college?
About 58 percent of whites and 69 percent of Asians who entered four-year colleges in 1996 had a bachelor’s degree six years later, compared to 39 percent of blacks and 46 percent of Hispanics,
This is well beyond the charter of the military to fix. We are on the receiving end of what society produces, and we cannot in good faith force the numbers to match. The only way to do that is through the unfair, dishonest, and dishonorable short cut of actively discriminating against people on the basis of race, creed, color and national origin. That is not only a disservice to those who are discriminated against, but automatically puts a cloud over those from racial and ethnic groups who would have qualified on their own merit regardless of preferences, but are put in a group that are given what is taken from others.

That is, after all, what Mabus the the Army as asking for - to put the thumb of favor towards preferred groups - taking away from the objectively more qualified and giving to the objectively unqualified only for one reason - to make the Cultural Marxists of the diversity and inclusion industry happy and employed. Just as Jim Crow laws kept the foam flecked bigots happy in the old Mississippi that both Mabus and I both know better than we like to discuss in polite company. He knows the pool he is playing in - our families come from the same background and history.

Emotions can get the best of people in this discussion - and that is a large reason why, as stated by Attorney General Eric Holder, we are cowards about race. The science can be uncomfortable ... but is fairly clear.

Does it apply to all individuals? Of course not - but we are talking about groups, and not all groups are the same - not today. Combine cultural, educational, and objective academic capability differences - and you have one heck of a headwind to fight, if you choose to fight it.

By not addressing the root cause of the difference in some numbers, is there an implied insult to everyone who is wearing the uniform? An implication that the numbers are what they are in 2014 because we are a racist institution against, in this case it seems, blacks and certain other race and ethnic groups? I really hope that isn't it, and I don't think it is. I just think that the diversity and inclusion commissariat have them by the short hairs and they don't have the strength to fight the good fight.

What is best is to accept the reality of what comes our way and evaluate everyone as individuals; individuals that if they choose to serve will each come to us with distinct knowledge, skills and attributes that they have to bring to the fight? Their race? Who cares? They, and we, can't do anything about that - nor should we.

We have come so far as a nation to try to weld such primitive, destructive, and retrograde answers to complicated questions. If you desire social justice, than you need to look to the family, to the schools, to the culture to chase that chimera - the military solved its problems decades ago. 

You can remove NROTC from every majority Asian and white college in the nation and set aside a larger percentage of NROTC scholarships to historically black colleges and universities until the crack of doom - but you will not change facts. No, you will only become what you like to tell people what you abhor - a race focused, practicing and proud bigot.

That is something we have no need for on our watch, on our ship, or on in our Navy.

Hat tip S.

UPDATE: DivThu seems to be in the air. Interesting posts at GreenieBoard and Instapundit. Also check out the guest poster at Thomas E. Ricks's blog over at FP.

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