Pity poor Stephen Farmer. The newly appointed vice provost for enrollment at the University of Virginia has a thankless job: fulfilling the goal of admitting more African Americans and Hispanics, even as Virginia’s flagship university has inadvertently branded itself as a racist institution.
Farmer’s appointment was highlighted in the most recent issue Virginia, the UVa alumni magazine. A UVa alumnus, Farmer was recruited from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he was vice provost for enrollment and undergraduate admissions. With a record of attracting more first-generation students and students from underrepresented minorities, Farmer has made “remarkable contributions to the shape of the class,” says Provost M. Elizabeth Magill.
Taking charge of both undergraduate admissions and student financial services, Farmer will build new strategies for attracting applicants and supporting students’ financial needs. “There’s a real logic in bringing them together,” Magill said.
He has two big challenges. First, in its recent report, “Audacious Future: Commitment Required,” UVa’s Racial Equity Task Force has articulated the goal of building a student body that “reflects the racial and economic demographics of the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Only 7.4% of the undergraduate student body is African-American, compared to about 20% of Virginia’s population. Only 7.4% is Hispanic, compared to about 10% of the state population. Asians are significantly over-represented: 17.1% of the student body compared to 5.6% of the state population. Whites are slightly under-represented. (These numbers are calculated from data published on UVa’s Diversity Dashboard, omitting foreign students and students whose race is unknown.) Continue reading →
The citizens of Loudoun and LCPS need to understand all the implications of the Attorney General’s determination.
This essay will offer questions that I sincerely recommend that LCPS pose to the Attorney General in order to get enough information to decide what to do. The AG’s office was given 60 days after the November 18 date on the determination to comply, so it should act immediately to get answers.
Immediately above Mr. Herring’s signature on the cover letter is the following statement:
Having found reasonable cause to believe that LCPS’s policies and practices resulted in a discriminatory impact on Black/African-American and Latin/Hispanic students, the Division of Human Rights request that the Charging Party (NAACP Loudoun) and Respondent (LCPS) engage in a post-determination conciliation process in an effort to resolve this matter. The final determination includes reforms and commitments that the Division believes are necessary to address the discriminatory disparate impact identified and help ensure equal opportunity for each student, as well as terms requested by the Charging Party in order to resolve this matter. (bold added)
In the finding, there were two types of reforms required by the government. One type was things that need to be accomplished to ensure a statistically representative student body at Loudoun Academies. The other had to do with hiring, retention and promotion of minority employees, anti-discrimination policies, student discipline, and complaint systems.
I offer a series of questions that LCPS may wish to pose to the Attorney General to clarify the determination.
Here is another salvo in the culture wars that have been reflected on this blog. An article in a newspaper today begins with this sentence: “From advanced-degree holders to high-school dropouts, Black workers have substantially higher unemployment rates at every level of educational attainment than white workers….”
And which woke newspaper with a critical race theory bias ran this article? Why, the Wall Street Journal, of course!
The article goes on to say that the disparity between Blacks and whites increased this year during the pandemic. (Black unemployment levels exceed those of Hispanics at every educational level, as well.) Finally, not only are Blacks more likely than whites to be unemployed, they are more likely to be underemployed. “Black employees with full-time jobs also earn less than similarly educated white workers.” The article quotes one economist as saying, “Frequently, Black workers need to send additional signals about their qualifications to get the same job. That’s why you’ll see a Black person with a master’s degree in a job that only requires a bachelor’s.”
The article suggests several reasons for these discrepancies:
“Black Americans more frequently attend lower-quality elementary and high schools in racially segregated neighborhoods, which may leave them less prepared to succeed in college or at their first jobs.”
“Black workers also can lack access to better, more stable jobs because they may not have the network of contacts to know about them.”
“They may face challenges like lack of access to transportation or child care.”
Finally, the economists interviewed in the article suggest that old fashioned discrimination plays a part. “There are negative penalties in the labor market associated with gender and race that can’t be explained by anything else,” they contend.
I just finished reading the 61-page “Final Determination of the Office of Attorney General Division of Human Rights in DHR Case No.: 19-2652, NAACP Loudoun Branch v. Loudoun County Public Schools.”
The first thing I discovered is that the Democrats in the last session created a kangaroo court within the Attorney General’s Office for civil rights cases. It is the new Division of Human Rights.
The second thing I noted was the state-sponsored extortion that was part of the “determination.” This essay will be about the new law that enabled this determination, the finding and its implications.
Part II will expose the state-sanctioned extortion that the “determination” endorses.
This case, while focused on public schools in Loudoun County, is a shot across the bow of every business in Virginia. Not only small businesses are in the crosshairs. Consider Boeing and Amazon, corporate nomads both. Good thing they established headquarters in Northern Virginia before this law. But then again, they are flexible with regards to the states in which they do business. Those two Goliaths used to call the states of Washington and then Illinois (Boeing) and Washington (Amazon) home.Continue reading →
The Virginia attorney general’s office has ruled that the Loudoun County school system committed illegal racial discrimination by admitting relatively few black and Hispanic students to its selective schools, the Academies of Loudoun.
For reasons that have nothing to do with racism, the Academies of Loudoun are much more heavily Asian than the Loudoun County Public Schools as a whole. They have fewer blacks, Hispanics, and whites than the Loudoun school district as a whole. The finding of “discrimination” against LCPS is wrong, because it is based on an apples-to-oranges comparison and concept of discrimination that likely does not apply to school systems.Continue reading →
In the previous post I gave a chronological account of how a classroom joke delivered by Associate Professor Jeffrey Leopold in University of Virginia business class exploded into a full-fledged racial controversy. The post was a straightforward, just-the-facts-ma’am narrative of what happened. I made every effort to give all sides of the story and to keep my opinions out of it. With this post, I’ll say what I think.
In the scale of injustice, the Leopold incident is trivial. A professor who knocks down a salary about twice the income of the average American household suffered personal embarrassment and was relieved from solo teaching of his class. He will go back to work. His life will return to normal. He did not die with a policeman’s knee pressing down on his neck.
But the story of how the drama unfolded tells volumes about the nature of race relations at the University of Virginia and, by extension, other elite institutions of higher education. The story illustrates the ever-morphing definition of what constitutes “racism,” the narrowing scope of what is permissible to say out loud, and how those who disagree with the cultural Marxist critique of America as a irredeemably racist nation are condemned and silenced as racists.
Those things are indisputable. But I would go farther. The Leopold incident reveals the depth of animosity that many minority students, especially African Americans, bear toward UVa. The young Asian woman who posted, “FUCK UVA” on the door of her lawn residence was not an outlier. She reflected the views of many on the grounds. The intellectual climate at UVa fosters the sense of minority victimhood and grievance. Perceived slights are viewed as acts of intolerable and unforgivable bigotry. Not only have the UVa administration and faculty allowed these sentiments to emerge but they have actively fostered the bitterness and resentment.
Jeffrey Leopold, a University of Virginia assistant professor, was assigned this fall to teach “COMM 1800 — Foundations of Commerce,” a prerequisite for students entering the McIntire School of Commerce. On October 22 he lectured the class on the topic of globalism. His purpose was to explain the necessity of adopting a “global mindset,” which among other things, required appreciating cultural differences.
Leopold kicked off his lecture, as he commonly did, by telling a joke. For this particular class, he told one that played on stereotypes of peoples around the world. It went like this:
The United Nations conducted a survey worldwide. The only question asked was: “Would you please give us your honest opinion about solutions to the food shortage in the rest of the world?” The survey was a complete failure…
In Africa they did not know what “food” meant.
In China they did not know what “honest” meant.
In Europe they did not know what “shortage” meant.
This appearance is however critically different in context from Ms. Love’s appearance at the University of Virginia School of Education.
The Tech online get together is for faculty, and I have no problem with that. It represents legitimate academic inquiry.
Presumably the audience will question Love on her recommendations for resegregation of the schools and a radically unique curriculum for black students. That should engender a lively debate that I will pay to see.
The UVa School of Education appearance was as a keynote speaker for K-12 teachers, which represents an endorsement.
While it is beyond dispute that de facto segregation persists, especially in inner-city school districts, the study provides no data to support the conclusion that the separation of races is intensifying. Indeed, the authors concede that black student enrollment has declined in urban school districts and increased in suburban districts — thus moving from highly segregated to less-segregated schools.
The main trend in school enrollment over the past decade has been a decline in the percentages of whites and blacks and an increase in the percentages of Hispanics and Asians. Continue reading →
In September President Trump issued an executive order banning bias and diversity training in the federal government that inculcates divisive concepts such as the idea that some people, by virtue of their race or sex, are inherently racist, sexist or oppressive.
Three days ago, Virginia’s attorney general, Mark Herring, joined a coalition of attorneys general in urging the president to rescind the order on the grounds that it could be “misconstrued” to roll back implicit bias training for federal contractors and federal grantees.
“Government should expand and increase its commitment to training centered on understanding and combating racial injustice,” said Herring in a press release. “Now is the time for greater communication and support for diversity, equity and inclusion, not less.”
Looking ahead the 2021 General Assembly session, Herring says Virginia police should undergo training to eliminate “implicit bias” and “racial bias,” among other topics meant to further racial justice. Meanwhile, the Virginia Department of Education and local school boards across the state are implementing “implicit bias” seminars and training sessions for teachers, administrators and even students. Continue reading →
Founders of the Jackson Ward Collective: (from left) Rasheeda Creighton, Kelli Lemon, and Melody Short.
by James A. Bacon
Alisha and Lamont Hawkins thought it would take 10 days to renovate their Inner City Blues barbecue restaurant in Richmond’s Church Hill neighborhood. Their effort tuned into a three-month “skirmish” with city regulators as they went up a painful learning curve. Hoping never to repeat the experience, Alisha joined the Jackson Ward Collective, an organization geared to connecting black entrepreneurs and promoting self help, writes the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
Founded by three black businesswomen in mid-September, the Collective has already reached its 150-member capacity. Members who join pay either $19.99 a month or an annual fee of $200. What they get in return is mentoring, networking, access to community resources through partnerships with established organizations. A top priority is helping members gain access to capital. Continue reading →
FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. — This past weekend, about 100 families, students, alumni and community members Thomas Jefferson High School for School and Technology stood on the grassy lawn in front of the school and held a symbolic memorial service for the nation’s No. 1 high school.
“Remember the glory of TJ,” said Yuyan Zhou, a Chinese-American alumni mother, as friends stood around her with trophies and medals that symbolized many of the shining moments from the school’s history. “How many of you know that a high school can launch a rocket into space?” she asked, holding a medal around her neck and saying, “I have the medal…Help us preserve that spirit and keep TJ alive!”
They (and I, as a TJ parent) were also grieving something else: a war on Asian Americans by educrats and activists pushing the controversial ideology of critical race theory that is sowing racial discord and division in K-12 school districts around the country. Today, parents and community members launched a Change.org petition to have Fairfax County Superintendent Scott Brabrand and TJ Principal Ann Bonitatibus lose their jobs, following months of behind-the-scenes activities by the two officials supporting the anti-Asian attack on the school’s students and families. Yesterday evening, the Chinese American Parents Association of Fairfax County sent a three-page letter to the Fairfax County Board of Education, opposing the lack of “respect” that Asian Americans have been facing in the debate over TJ admissions. Continue reading →
Rep Gerald Connolly: Expel VMI students guilty of racist conduct. Question: Who decides what’s “racist” — the Washington Post? Photo credit: Stream.org.
by James A. Bacon
Representative Gerald Connolly, D-Va., and other congressional Democrats have written Governor Ralph Northam, calling for the expulsion of students at the Virginia Military Institute who have been found guilty of “racist or discriminatory conduct.”
Citing a Washington Post article that alleged the existence of “relentless racism” at the military institute, the letter from the House Armed Service Committee decried “lynching threats, professors openly reminiscing about the Ku Klux Klan, a campus culture that venerates the Confederacy and little to no disciplinary action by VMI.”
“We are dismayed that racism is tolerated and has been allowed to persist throughout VMI,” says the letter. The congressmen made three requests:
Remove any statues or symbols that memorialize leaders of the Confederacy.
Conduct regular climate surveys of cadets and recent alumni “to gauge the prevalence of racist beliefs, experiences of discrimination, and harassment within the institution.”
Immediately expel “any offending cadet or faculty member who breaches the honor code through racist or discriminatory conduct.”
Washington Post reporter Ian Shapira does a victory dance in the newspaper today with his coverage of J.H. Binford Peay III’s resignation as superintendent of Virginia Military Institute. Last week the Post had published Shapira’s reporting based on quotes from a half dozen VMI cadets and graduates that alleged “relentless racism” at the military institute. Governor Ralph Northam ordered an investigation into the school’s culture, and Peay resigned on the grounds that Northam had lost confidence in his leadership.
“During Peay’s tenure, multiple accounts of racist incidents have surfaced at VMI,” summarized Shapira in his follow-up. In his original piece, he had recounted six or seven incidents over several years, which today’s article described five separate times as “relentless racism.” He quoted a half dozen or so sources who were unhappy with VMI, implying that their experiences and sentiments were typical of the 130 to 140 African-Americans enrolled at the institute. Continue reading →
J.H. Binford Peay III, superintendent of the Virginia Military Institute, has submitted his resignation, stating that Governor Ralph Northam and senior legislations had “lost confidence” in his leadership. The VMI board accepted his resignation “with regret.”
Peay’s departure follows a Washington Post article alleging an atmosphere of “relentless racism” at the military college. Two days later, Northam and top legislators announced an independent, third-party review of VMI culture, policies, practices and equity.
While racist acts have occurred at VMI in the past several years, most cited by the Washington Post were punished by the administration or involved private expressions of opinion by students or staff. I detailed my response to the Post article here. Continue reading →
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