Thursday, November 10, 2022

Diversity Thursday

This week I want to return to our topic from last week, the critically important case presently with the US Supreme Court, Students for Fair Admission v. President and Fellows of Harvard College & the University of North Carolina

I'm going to bring out an extended pull quote from the Amicus Brief of Veterans for Fairness and Merit. You can read it all at the prior link, but this is coming from pages 27-28.

It makes so many of the points we have been making here for the last 18-years about the raw and unfair racialist policies our military practices in general, and our service academies do in particular. 

We have said for years to all who would listen that these sectarian policies could not survive the light of day - the primary reason DivThu exists. While DivThu is but a flickering candle in the wilderness, the battle at SCOTUS is a WWII BB's searchlight.

I'll bold those parts that I find particularly important and, to be transparent, validating for the stand we have taken here. I don't take joy in this being fact. Indeed, I am saddened not just by those people denied an opportunity in the USA simply based on their race, but I feel sorry for those who were set up to fail by being admitted in to programs they simply were not able to compete in. Equally damaged are those who would have been admitted in a color-blind admissions process anyway but will always be under a shadow placed there by racialists who simply had to make their metrics look a certain way - innocent teenagers be damned.

I also feel sad for our institution - living a lie for decades. Our Navy and its leaders have all been soiled with this institutional lie.

The Front Porch should be content that we now have such supporting fires. This is out in the open and not just 'Ole Sal you can reference. You can now ask questions to power quoting Amicus Briefs full of footnotes.

Regardless of what happens when the ruling comes out, take the "W."

The Service Academies’ Experience With Racial Preferences Illustrates This Threat To National Security.

Military academies, once the gold standard for excellence and personal accountability, now fully reflect this trend of racial preferences diluting merit. Data from West Point and the Naval Academy demonstrate that racial identity plays a significant role in admissions, and, as a result, minority students are disproportionately failing at these schools.

For example, research conducted on 1990s admissions data from West Point showed there were “155 Asian rejectees (43 percent) and 1,647 white rejectees (33 percent) who ha[d] both math and verbal SATs equal to or higher than the black admittee math and verbal SAT medians . . . [and] 160 Asians (38 percent) and 2,626 whites (37 percent) [were] rejected by the U.S. Military Academy who attained a class rank equal or better than the rank of the black admittee median.”

This same research paper used similar admissions data from the United States Naval Academy to estimate the odds of acceptance at the Academy based on the applicant’s race. Using “ethnic group membership, gender, SAT scores, and high school rank as predictor variables,” the researchers estimated that the “black-to-whites odds of admission are 4.44 to 1, the Hispanic-to-white odds are 3.32 to 1, and the Asian-to-white odds are 0.67 to 1.2.”57 These racial disparities reflect significant harm to less favored races seeking admission.

Another researcher who examined data provided by the U.S. Military Academy found similar results.

His examination of demographic data for the classes of 2000 to 2020 showed substantial differences in standards, specifically, substantially lower scores and higher admissions rates for Black individuals, and to

a lesser extent Hispanic individuals, compared to White and Asian individuals. 

The author concluded that the academy intentionally seeks racial diversity and is willing to alter its admissions standards to achieve it.

The same study found that performance for cadets who graduated tracked demographic SAT trends, with the composite grade point average (for academic, military, and physical performance during the 4-year period, called “CQPA”), averaging 3.06 for Asian individuals, 3.02 for White individuals, 2.76 for Hispanic individuals, and 2.51 for Black individuals. Attrition rates followed the same trend, with the Asian rate at 17%, the White rate at 21%, the Hispanic rate at 24%, and the Black rate at 31%.

The researcher concluded that, in deliberate pursuit of class composition goals, the Academy employs race-based admission strategies and that these strategies include extension of “preferences to minority candidates who, on average, have significantly lower SAT scores than non-minority candidates who have higher SAT scores.” He also noted that Academy racial diversity admissions (“class composition”) goals are explicitly identified.

The researcher further showed that, to achieve class composition goals for minorities, the Academy admits “marginally qualified candidates with a known and higher probability of failure [and that] marginally qualified candidates are failing by the Academy’s own metrics.” 

He further concluded that “more marginal performers are graduating into the Army *** [while] marginally qualified candidates [as cadets] consume resources to try to get to graduation, and take up slots that other, available, better qualified individuals could have filled.

The researcher further observed that “[t]here are real and tangible costs to pursuing the diversity strategy, and no supporting quantifiable argument [is] offered for pursuing the strategy.”

He concluded that the academy “is deliberately seeking and tolerating low performance and accepting high failure rates that hurt cadets to meet arbitrary student body composition goals by skin color.” When the data are examined critically, the researcher observed, it is clear that this strategy yields “worse outcomes” than would result if racial preferences were not used.

This harmful emphasis on race is also reflected in the Navy’s recent decision, described above, to cease “blind review” of personnel files by officer promotion boards after the blind reviews led to fewer minority promotions than before. If the objective is to find the most qualified candidate, it is unclear how a photograph’s revealing race or ethnicity is relevant to a promotion selection decision—as opposed to being guided in that decision solely by the record of the officer’s experiences and performance reports—would further this goal. Although the officer promotion procedure is distinct from the admissions procedures at service academies, statements like these by high-ranking military officials reveal a leadership mindset toward training and selecting officers that values race for its own sake, rather than merit.

In short, in the military as elsewhere, as the Chief Justice wrote in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, treating racial balancing as an end in itself would effectively ensure that race will always be relevant in American life, and that the “ultimate goal of eliminating entirely from governmental decision-making such irrelevant factors as a human being’s race will never be achieved.” And in the military setting, racial balancing affirmatively harms rather than promotes national security.

No comments: