Dr. King’s Dream or George Orwell’s Nightmare – the University of Virginia at a Crossroads

by James C. Sherlock  Updated Aug. 17 at 8:24 AM

This letter is a response to the recommendations of the University of Virginia’s Racial Equity Task Force which are to be taken up this week by President Jim Ryan and the University’s Board of Visitors.

Dear President Ryan,

Martin Luther King dreamed of the day that his children would “one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” The University seems poised to go in a different direction. You charged your racial equality task force to focus on the color of skin.

A focus on class would have produced a far better and more constitutionally sound set of recommendations and honored Dr. King’s vision. Picking a racial group for preferential treatment runs head on into constitutional equal protection guarantees and any sense of true equity.

In doing so you assured a very racially divisive and highly politicized result. Regrettably but unsurprisingly, the recommendations of the task force view education as a means by which to advance a form of race-based social justice that aligns with a specific political viewpoint.

The report asserts controversial and arguable positions as dogmatic certainties. Some schools of the University have already adopted those same critical theory positions. Course listings and reading lists and the writings of many professors in the University’s humanities and social science departments and the Curry school already indicate large-scale enforcement of this viewpoint.

From Aaron Alexander Zubia, Universities Abandon Reason for a False Idea of ‘Empowerment’, Wall Street Journal, August 14, 2020:

“This instrumentalization of the humanities subordinates the pursuit of truth to the achievement of preordained social outcomes. It impedes free inquiry, which in turn diminishes the power of judgment that a liberal-arts education is supposed to create.”

“A dogmatic education is not a genuine education. The Roman philosopher Cicero wrote that “for the discovery of truth it is necessary to argue against all things and for all things.” On that model, course requirements in the humanities would be established broad-mindedly to promote the zealous pursuit of truth, not the enforcement of the current preferred ideologies. Students would not be placed under “compulsion to support all the dogmas laid down for us almost as edicts,” as Cicero put it. They would instead be urged to develop independent powers of judgment by arguing for and against various viewpoints, adhering to that which is most probable, and drawing closer to universal truth in the process.”

Your task force has recommended both required university-wide indoctrination in a specific viewpoint and a vastly expanded and a policing system empowered to enforce it. To imagine that this approach will sustain civil discourse and free inquiry and result in better understanding is magical thinking.

Those recommendations, if accepted, portend a dystopian future for the University. They are sufficiently intrusive on student privacy, freedom and faculty concentration on quality education and research to qualify as Orwellian — the University as Animal Farm — a parable of speech and thought control.

If we can’t reason together and sometimes disagree, then there will be no University.

The Recommendations of the Task Force

Let us now consider the actual recommendations (in italics below) of the task force.  See University of Virginia Racial Equity Task Force, Audacious Future: Commitment Required, August 10, 2020 for quotations below.

They are buttressed in virtually every case by what the authors clearly think are unchallengeable assertions. They will certainly prove unchallengeable if the recommendations are adopted.

First, we see the abolition of privacy, freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry and imposition of a enforcement bureaucracy to police the new “company policy”.

Provide anti-racism education to all members of the University community. “Students, faculty, and staff are eager to be courageous and clear in their work to dismantle racist policies and practices in the systems around them but need more anti-racist education to develop these skills and to foster a culture of belonging at UVA.”

Nowhere that I have seen in my review of online course examples does anti-racism education permit intellectual challenge to its core tenets.  It is presented as dogma.  Perhaps the University can present it differently, but based on other examples of retribution for dissenting opinion, I am not hopeful.

The recommendations of the task force seek control of the University, its endowment, leadership, faculty, staff and students through pervasive, University paid and enabled thought police and a racial spoils system.

Endow Equity at UVA. Many of our Task Force focus group conversations with stakeholders included people expressing the need for better funding of the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DDEI) to assist faculty, staff, and students to meet their racial equity goals. That Division will be essential infrastructure to steward many of the initiatives herein, so ensuring their team is resourced is critical to meeting most other goals we identified.

Launch the Equity Scorecard. In order to redress the serious challenges to racial equity in staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion, and procurement, we heard a need for close audits of key points of intervention where policies and procedures might be reinforcing entrenched inequities. To implement the Equity Scorecard will require an investment in data infrastructure, visualization, and analysis.

No kidding. The example “student lifecycle indicator set across multiple dimensions of inclusive excellence” offered by the task force has 26 “key metrics/indicators” as example “admission offers”, “perceptions of being valued”, “unmet need”, “trust in the Institution” and “median earnings”, each to be analyzed against ten different “equity disaggregation” metrics that require possibly illegal compilation of very private personal data such as gender identity and sexual orientation.  Each of the metrics has multivariable answers, many subjective, some of which require lifetime tracking of each student.  

I will leave the estimates of the total number of permutations and combinations of such data to the mathematics department. Scorecards will be compiled “within each school and major operational/administrative division, including the Medical Center.”

In case you missed it, under this equity scorecard system, you will serve at the pleasure of your antiracism staff.

Fund the Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Fund and empower the Division for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion so that it can fulfill its overall mission and execute or coordinate efficiently against all of these initiatives.

See “Launch the Equity Scorecard” above for some of what the Division for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion will do.

Second, we see the abolition of excellence as a controlling standard for admission into the faculty and student communities at Virginia and replacing it with a constitutionally unsound focus on racial quotas.

Commit to represent Virginia in student body demographics. As a public institution, we should serve the Commonwealth equitably—so our student population should strive to reflect the racial and economic demographics of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which will require bold commitments to recruitment and retention.

What solution other than quotas is offered?

Launch the Inclusive Faculty Initiative. A lack of diversity amongst faculty is one of the main reasons people (regardless of racial identity) consider leaving UVA, and most certainly harms our ability to attract top students. Doubling the amount of underrepresented minority faculty by 2030 would be tremendously beneficial to all aspects of the University.

The assertion that the University has difficulty attracting top students is drawn out of thin air.

Review tenure and academic policies. Tenure and other academic policy review came up consistently as a set of systems where transformation was required in order to ensure inclusive excellence. In order to redress the serious challenges to racial equity in staff hiring, wages, retention, promotion, and procurement, we heard a need for close audits of key points of intervention where policies and procedures might be reinforcing entrenched inequities.

Again, what intervention other than quotas can be meant here?

An Alternate View by A Black Academic

City Journal published on July 16 an interview with Glenn Loury, a professor of economics who teaches at Brown University conducted by one of his former students. At the age of 33, professor Loury became the first black tenured professor of economics in the history of Harvard University. He is currently the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and Professor of Economics at Brown University. He has a bachelors degree in mathematics from Northwestern and a Ph.D. in economics from MIT.  The quotations below are from Glenn C. Loury and Glenn Yu, Race and Equality, City Journal, July 16, 2020.

“I object to the soft tyranny of having political postures put forward as self-evident truths to which every decent member of this community should subscribe. I object to that. That’s the last thing that a university should be doing. It’s malpractice. It is administrative malpractice of this precious institution to be swept along by political fad and fancy, and then demand the assent of every administrator, in lockstep, without any dispute among themselves. This is horrible, I thought. I thought the propagation of such groupthink at our university was just horrible.”

Loury said in that same interview that:

“‘Structural racism’ has become an explanation for everything and disparities are seen not as signs of individual choices or group behaviors but proof of the need for more direct control over outcomes.”

“People cry, “structural racism.” Is that why the homicide rate is an order of magnitude higher among young black men? They say structural racism. Is that why the SAT test-score gap is as big as it is? They say structural racism. Is that why two in three black American kids are born to women without a husband? Is it all about structural racism? Is everything structural racism? It has become a tautology explaining everything. All racial disparities are due to structural racism, evidently. Covid-19 comes along and there’s a disparity in the health incidence. It’s due to structural racism. They’re naming partners at a New York City law firm and there are few black faces. Structural racism. They’re admitting people to specialized exam schools in New York City and the Asians do better. This has to be structural racism, with a twist—the twist being that this time, the structural racism somehow comes out favoring the Asians.” …

“And just so I don’t sound like a right-winger, observe that if I were a Marxist, I’d be furious at these people going around talking about “structural racism.” Structure, yes. Racism, no.” …

“I don’t necessarily have to agree with Das Kapital to understand that it’s a serious engagement with history. …”

“Structural racism, by contrast, is a bluff. It’s not an engagement with history. It’s a bullying tactic. In effect, it’s telling you to shut up. …”

“Everybody pretty much has the same information available to them, but people are very selective of what information they avail themselves. There’s also a confirmation-bias problem that we all suffer from, where we want to pay attention to evidence that confirms our prior beliefs and dis-attend evidence that contradicts them.”

“What groups are on top? What about the Jews? You could say, “There are too many Jews in positions of influence.” If there are too few black lawyers who are partners in big law firms, doesn’t it follow that are too many Jews who are partners at these big firms? If there are too few blacks who are professors of mechanical engineering at places like Carnegie Mellon, why aren’t there too many Korean professors at these places?”

“If the system is structured to deny the potentiality of black humanity, then the system is structured as to affirm the humanity of the particular groups that are overrepresented in the prized venues of American life. People don’t realize that they’re playing with fire when they take these disparities as ipso facto evidence of systemic failure. They insist on wholesale interventions into people’s exercise of their liberty in order to enact a reduction or elimination of disparities, yet a world without any disparities is a world where you don’t have so many—name your group—who’ve got so much money or so many prizes. There are only so many positions. There is no under-representation without over-representation. This is arithmetic.”

“What is the nature of the world that we live in? Why would I ever expect that there would be parity across the board between ethnic, racial, cultural, and ancestral population groups in an open society? It’s a contradiction because difference is a very fact of groupness. What do I mean by a group? Well, it’s genes, to some degree; it’s culture; it’s networks of social affiliation, of intermarriage and kinship. I mean the shared narrative, the same hopes, the dreams, the stories. I mean the practices of parenting and filial piety and whatever else there might be.”

My Recommendations

The underlying thesis of the report suggests that the pathway to equality is direct control of racial outcomes. Yet following the recommendations of the task force risks far more damage to the racial group it favors than an approach which attempts to lift all the boats of an underprivileged class, the poor.

There are proven strategies to lift those boats. They are focused on improving the quality of the primary and secondary education and health care of poor people in the communities were they live. Success Academy has accomplished extraordinary results with the poorest students in New York. That success has exposed as a lie the suggestion that children of color in poor communities cannot learn and indeed thrive when challenged with traditional learning objectives in a supportive environment.

The Curry school is all in for critical race theory instruction for K-12 children.  Critical race theory education at this level teaches children of color why they can’t learn, rather than teaching them to learn.  This theory of “pedagogy” as Curry calls it is fiercely controversial among parents and school boards.  My recommendations for help to K-12 education purposely exclude Curry participation as counterproductive.

Consider these different examples for potential University contributions:

  1. Adopt the concept of the all-expenses paid one-year prep schools operated by the military academies to raise candidates for admission to the level of excellence expected in the first year of a university education.
  2.  Consider the University’s options for improving basic educational k-12 achievements.  Contribute both money and expertise to expand the educational opportunities in primary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth’s zip codes with the worst achieving schools.  Consider partnering with Success Academy to offer University-sponsored charter schools in these communities.
  3. Sponsor through the Medical Center and Medical School the improvement of primary care in the communities with the lowest county health rankings in Virginia as ranked annually by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

You made a fundamental mistake in convening a task force charged to focus on race. You got what you must have expected.

You now have a choice between Dr. King’s dream and George Orwell’s nightmare.

Choose wisely.

James C. Sherlock
Captain, United States Navy (Ret.)
College ’66

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96 responses to “Dr. King’s Dream or George Orwell’s Nightmare – the University of Virginia at a Crossroads

  1. Jim s. Did you know a Fred williams, college 66? He is my first cousin

  2. An excellent post, with an adrift title.

    “Dr. King’s Dream or George Orwell’s Nightmare – the University of Virginia at a Crossroads.”

    The intent of the University of Virginia’s Racial Equity Task Force report “Audacious Future: Commitment Required” is far more banal and squalid than Orwell. It is the establishment of mafioso laundering machine for redistributing public and private monies and rights of other people solely in order to steal status, money and power from one falsely identified group of people to another falsely identified group of people, solely on the basis of peoples’ skin color. As such it is an abomination. The establishment of a interlocking structures and despicable practices to gain control of the University by a small groups of Administrators and faculty by an ideological diktat based on skin color that is totally contrary to liberal governance and education, and to a free society of independent individuals equal before the law, replacing that free and open society with a form of race based fascism (no less than a sick variant of Nazism) that is driven by tribalism, indoctrination, and tyranny, all disguised as equity in education.

    This abhorrent proposal (or set of demands) of the University of Virginia’s Racial Equity Task Force cannot stand in free, open, liberal and fair society. It must defeated, thrown into the waste bin of history where it belongs.

    • I like the title. I thought of a bunch of them that turned out not to be appropriate.

      • “That Black Lives Matters should have tendrils connecting it directly to the Marxist terrorist network of the 1960s and 70s is entirely unsurprising. It would be surprising if it were otherwise. That is the stuff of 2020.

        BLM co-founder Patrisse Cullors describes herself as a “trained Marxist.” … She tells Democracy Now! that her entree into politics came under the guidance of Eric Mann, the Weather underground terrorist who was convicted of conspiracy to commit murder after shooting up a Massachusetts police station …

        For radicals of that kind, it is easy to see the appeal not of Marxism per se but of Carl Marx himself and the Marxist style: Never mind the socialism, Marx offer up radical anti-individualism, a totalitarian prefiguration of contemporary contemporary identity politics, pathological anti-Semitism, the pretense to science, and many other ingredients in the soup of radical politics du jour …

        Marxism, as reported here and elsewhere, is making a little bit of an comeback among American progressives who have put out of their minds the 100 million corpses produced by socialism in the 20th century, along with the corpses socialism continues to produce in 21st century – in Cuba, Venezuela, in North Korea. That is the story we must never stop telling because socialism is the author of horrors (worldwide) we must never forget …”

        For more see: “The Celestial Afterlife of Karl Marx, Man of letters, Jew-hating bigot, patron saint of Black Lives Matter, by Kevin D. Williamson in Aug. 24, 2020 issue of National Review.

  3. Cc Daily Progress?

  4. “Commit to represent Virginia in student body demographics. As a public institution, we should serve the Commonwealth equitably—so our student population should strive to reflect the racial and economic demographics of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which will require bold commitments to recruitment and retention.”

    I can’t wait to see the rosters of next year’s football and basketball team! Should be interesting. We’ll see if UVA TRULY supports this dribble [no pun intended].

  5. You seem to be asking a great deal of the University during a period of declining financial support from the Commonwealth and coupled with loss of international student tuition and rising costs due to Covid. There are aspects of affirmative action that have been found to be Constitutional and most people would prefer to attend a less bigoted institution. Structural racism does lead to disparities in outcomes but all such outcomes are not due to structural racism.

  6. In his online work-in-progress, “Principia Politica,” Nassim Nicholas Taleb takes issue with what he terms “chromoclassification,” which was once the province of Northern European racists and now has become a tool of the political left. He writes:

    Tagging people with top-down classifications and “identities” that stifle the idosyncratic attributes of the individual is fundamentally racist. Chromo-categorization using terms like “white” and “PoC” (people of color” is fundamentally racist and inspired by colonial classifications — even when used by the “left.”

    A characteristic of chromo-classification is the use of invidious stereotypes to describe all the individuals of a group. In the past, white racists might have said, “blacks are lazy” or “blacks are hyper-sexualized,” or some such. Thankfully, those stereotypes have been thoroughly debunked and discredited in our time.

    Sadly, academia is substituting a new invidious stereotype: “All white are _____” fill in the blank… racist, fragile, privileged.

    Simply put, critical race theory is the new racism in the United States today, and here in Virginia the University of Virginia and Virginia Commonwealth University are in the vanguard.

    • I modified the post to ensure that the University understands that I recommend keeping the Curry School of Education, a bastion of critical race theory, walled off from execution of any of my K-12 educational recommendations.

    • Bacon
      We still have plenty of “old” racism without having to get worked up about the “new” racism. It would be nice to see some concrete ideas to address the racial inequalities which clearly exist in the Commonwealth.

  7. If President Ryan has failed at reversing UVA’s ‘systemic racism’ in two years, shouldn’t he resign? And shouldn’t all those staff members who have been there much longer also step down for their inaction too?

  8. What would King think today? umm.. that we still do not have a color-blind society? Well, perhaps not what some are thinking…

    About 7% of UVA is black enrollment. I do wonder if you subtracted the black athletes what that number might be.

    I think the critics would have more legitimacy if they actually had an idea how to proceed other than this way. Failing that, they’re pretty much nowhere…

    Race-based admissions is wrong- I agree – but when only 1 or 2% of blacks actually legitimately qualify on academic merit – we got a lot of wrong that needs dealing with beyond just attributing it to bad culture and bad genes.

    What would King think today? I suspect not what some would like to think.

    • I honestly think he would approve of my recommendations.

    • “I think the critics would have more legitimacy if they actually had an idea how to proceed other than this way. Failing that, they’re pretty much nowhere…”

      What are you talking about? Mr. Sherlock offered a list of ideas regarding how to proceed “other than this way”. Did you even read what he posted?

      • Jim did – and I give him credit. But he is pretty much alone compared to other critics.

        In general, the critics are critics and not much else.. they know what they are opposed to – they don’t really give a rats behind about how to try to solve the issue and go forward.

        Notice also that Jim is proposing things that most of the critics would staunchly oppose.

        That’s the problem, The critics writ-large do not agree on ANY path forward – they only know what they oppose.

        A POX on them !

        • “Notice also that Jim is proposing things that most of the critics would staunchly oppose”

          And you know this… …how?

          • because they oppose favoring some groups?

            and they oppose the government spending tax money on “helping” folks?

            You really doubt that there are critics like this?

            this is the big problem with the critics. They cannot agree as a group on what they do agree with and want to go forward as an alternative.

          • Larry,

            Do I doubt there are critics like that? No.

            Do I think MOST of the people who oppose racial quotas and forced equal outcomes are like that? No.

            And by the way, I have NEVER seen you propose a solution to the problem. You just continually criticize those who oppose racial quotas and forced equal outcomes without offering any ideas of your own.

          • well then, you have not been listening, dude.

            pay more attention!

            but my original still hold – opponents have no ideas that they will unite on – so the bottom line is they oppose any/all.

            My basic view is that it is untenable to have a situation where almost no blacks qualify for advancement – regardless of what other things we think.

            The problem starts way before higher ed …

          • Okay. Let’s assume I wasn’t listening – perhaps my ADHD was not properly controlled the day(s) you were presenting your plan(s).

            Please indulge me by reviewing one of your suggestions for solving the issue of poor representation by blacks in schools/programs with high academic standards.

          • well, you obviously have not!

            stick around and pay attention!

            I don’t have a single solution – I say the current situation is
            untenable and we need to choose paths – even if none are ideal – as opposed to just chewing on the same “discrimination is wrong” bone over and over and on and on…

            I note, for instance, that the military actually does use merit but they also take a wide range of folks that have to be “trained up”. They take all kinds – all races, no matter their “rank” in academics and they manage to deploy one of the best if not the best institutions in the world – they make use of everyone not just the “top” academic.

            The real world works that way also. We do not operate with the best of the best – academically… There are a wide range of skills and abilities beyond academic that the economy needs to operate.

  9. John Roberts has written that “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race”. I think he has a point. If we do not move toward this, there will be endless divisions and repercussions.

    Jim Bacon has shown in earlier posts, based on FOIA information, that schools like UVA are already discriminating heavily in favor of blacks and to a lesser extent Hispanics in their admissions policy. Despite this, black enrollment at UVA has declined over time and is now about 7% in a state that is 19% black. (For this reason, UVA and other schools prefer to reference their increases in enrollment of persons of color, which is actually largely driven by significant increases in Asian enrollment.)

    Black students with average UVA qualifications are often enrolling at schools like Princeton, which is more prestigious, and due to generous financial aid, likely less expensive. If UVA increases black enrollment, it will be at the expense of schools like JMU, which then can only increase black enrollment at the expense of another state school. Virginia State and Norfolk State end up being the most impacted in the end.

    The focus needs to be on addressing primary and secondary school performance, regardless of the race of students.

  10. I was sort of with you until here:

    ” The focus needs to be on addressing primary and secondary school performance, regardless of the race of students”

    white folks don’t have any trouble getting the required academic bona fides for UVA and similar. Black folks on the other hand tend to score lower in K-12 and many cannot qualify on academic merit alone …. even for in-county magnet college-prep schools.

    I note that even in schools with both black and white kids – the blacks tend to score lower …. how does that get fixed?

    • Larry, you have bought into a false narrative.

      In Virginia, both the poorest performing school districts and the poorest performing health districts contain black, brown and white citizens.

      The bottom quadrant of localities in health outcomes for 2020 based on 2019 results as ranked by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation are, in order from 100 to 133 and last:

      Richmond City
      Prince Edward
      Radford City
      Colonial Heights City
      Norton City
      Portsmouth City
      Roanoke City
      Charles City
      Bristol City
      Emporia City
      Danville City
      Martinsville City
      Hopewell City
      Galax City
      Franklin City
      Covington City
      Petersburg City

      There is no such ranking for academic achievement, but you would not miss it by much if you transposed the health outcomes rankings with K-12 academic achievement rankings. As I offered in my essay above, it is a class issue, not a race issue. If race is your hammer, everything looks like a nail.

      • I did not see anything about health districts in your post or perhaps I missed it?

        Please give your definition of “class”

        How would “class” be used by UVA “properly” ?

        • You did miss it. My recommendations to UVa addressed both of your questions directly.

          • No I saw that.. but I did not understand how you classified it or how it would work to replace racial…..

            Are you just saying do away with race all together and use class but give preference to class even if it is academically inferior?

          • Larry: Race – for example all black, hispanic, white, or Asian people. Class – all poor people.

          • Got that. So set quotas for class?

          • Larry, nothing in my essay recommended quotas for anyone. What it recommended was extra help in K-12 and if necessary another year of a free prep school so that the poor make the merit-based cut at UVa without any quota.

          • Don’t the poor already have academic merit but they just cannot afford UVA?

            Are you saying that UVA admits on academic merit only – and those that can’t pay are accepted and subsidized by others?

            This is what Dr. King would have wanted?

            On a separate question – what is your answer to the idea that UVA enrollment should represent the population demographics?

          • Larry, you have exhausted me.

          • Sorry about that. It’s a tough issue that does not yield easy answers – at least for me.

            I have to ask myself what are we really trying to achieve and why.

            I don’t like racial quotas but I also don’t like the idea that only a fraction of blacks end up qualifying on academic merits.

            We need to have a just and equitable society or else we’re forever going to be not happy with what we have.

            We cannot fix it by telling blacks “tough shit”.

          • OK, I’ll try one more time. You are being resolutely thick-headed. Please look again at my three recommendations for class-based intervention in K-12 education, in which I include health care as a basis for education, and ask yourself whether you think Virginia blacks will be over-represented in the population of those poor people helped by these programs. You will find the answer is yes.

            If that translates into “tough shit” for you, then I can’t fix that.

          • I’m probably thick headed but I clearly do not understand what health care has to do with being able to attain the academic achievement necessary to qualify on merit-alone for college.

            Is there some connection between health care and academic achievement in K-12 that I am missing?

            Black folks don’t want “frees stuff” in exchange for being discriminated against… no? I know that is a meme for some but in the real world, most black folks just want a piece of the pie…

            They don’t want all of it and they don’t want it for free… they just want the same chance to earn it.

            The idea that we need to “give” them something is in and of itself a bit offensive.

            I do not think they should be “given” – anything. I DO think they need to have equitable access to opportunities. It does not mean that any or all of them will be able to take advantage of them.

            I just again point out that when less than a dozen blacks qualify for college-prep schools in Loudoun and Fairfax – it’s NOT a situation where we debate over what we need to give them … it’s about what they are entitled to … from the get go.

          • Larry, did you really just ask if there was ” some connection between health care and academic achievement in K-12 that I am missing”.

            You are actually inquiring whether there is any relationship between chronically ill poor children and their (mostly single) parents and the kids’ academic success?

            Do you want a Mulligan on that question?

          • Jim – I suppose you realize that all low-income kids automatically get Medicaid, right?

            I’ve never heard a correlation between low income kids getting sick and poor academic performance

            So no mulligan.. I don’t think there is a connection.

            I WILL give you credit for the 3 suggestions which is more than a lot of critics do!

            !. Adopt the concept of the all-expenses paid one-year prep schools operated by the military academies to raise candidates for admission to the level of excellence expected in the first year of a university education.

            2. – Consider the University’s options for improving basic educational k-12 achievements. Contribute both money and expertise to expand the educational opportunities in primary and secondary schools in the Commonwealth’s zip codes with the worst achieving schools. Consider partnering with Success Academy to offer University-sponsored charter schools in these communities.

            3. – Sponsor through the Medical Center and Medical School the improvement of primary care in the communities with the lowest county health rankings in Virginia

            1. and 2. are a good faith attempt.

            I think we have to change the way we teach some kids.

            THe standard in most public schools is to teach kids as if they have been curated by their educated parents and if you teach that way to children who do not have educated parents – it don’t work as well.

            But at this point, if we ignore the claims that it’s culture and genes – I’m not sure we actually know a secret sauce but I will also give credence to Success Academy as well as the apparent success of some schools in SW Virginia.

            My circle of teacher friends tell me that if a child does not know how to read – well – by the 3rd grade that they are doomed unless intervention is taken.

            When I go to the VDOE build-a-table and I look at SOL reading scores for 3rd grade for blacks (and economically disadvantaged) it’s on the order of 50 and 60%. That’s about half that fail reading in the 3rd grade.

            At that point – they need to stop the conveyor belt.

            by the way – if you go look at VDOE build-a-table – blacks often score LOWER than even ED!

            So I do give you credit – you acknowledge the problem and you know we have to do something.

            Basically what Higher Ed is doing is – not waiting for K-12 to change and taking matters into their own hands – to get some level of representation of the demographic segments of the population.

            In terms of demographic percentages, I thought this interesting in terms of shifts in blacks:


          • Larry, if you have no primary care physician, that Medicaid card is not very useful until you are sick enough to go to the hospital. Even then someone needs to take you. I wrote legislation that was introduced in the GA to improve access to primary care in Virginia’s poorest zip codes. Dems killed it. It remains a big problem.

        • Jim – as far as I know most pediatricians take Medicaid and kids have good access to medical care.

          I’ve never read anything that says that low income kids are impacted academically by a lack of good medical care.

          Most kids are healthy as horses to start with, no?

          Give me something to convince me of your premise.

          • Yep. “knowing what they are doing” is about a whole lot more than just being good at math. Hopefully they know how to read, think critically, and articulate their ideas.

            I won’t argue with you strenuously on academic merit especially if it involves critical thinking – which is a mixture of skills.

            I too, do not want to see folks building bridges that did not meet pass the Professional Engineer tests but I think they are about a lot more than just math or SAT or equivalent but those tests are used as proxies for the type of material that will be encountered in College.

            I’ll also point out – as others here have – that no such academic rigor is used for Sports. So the whole idea of academic merit is tossed out if you have other “skills”. Are there other disciplines in College that might also use criteria other than academic merit for entrance ?

          • Larry; you ask ” Are there other disciplines in College that might also use criteria other than academic merit for entrance ?”

            Ivy League Schools: first criteria: Are you something other than Asian- American? but that’s gonna change soon….

    • Well don’t fix it by mandating outcomes at the college level through programs that are discriminatory. That’s a start. I am saying work to fix K-12 schools that are not performing, address funding inequities, etc.

      • So a question for you that I think Jim evaded. What is your view of Higher Ed policy for the student body to represent population demographics on a percentage basis?

        So if there are 30% of one race in the population – the College shoots for 30% of that race in their enrollment.

        should colleges represent population demographics?

        • Larry, what you describe is a straight up quota system which has been unconstitutional since the Bakke ruling in 1978. (I’ll let some of the lawyers on here correct me if I am wrong.) Are you really going from saying you are in agreement with Chief Justice Roberts on the statement “the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race” to suggesting Bakke should be reversed, or is this one of your endless rhetorical games?

          I would say diversity could be a factor, but clearly many colleges are exploiting this as a loophole to effectively discriminate against Asians and in favor of other minority groups. Looking again at the FOIA data Jim Bacon showed on a post on 11 September, 2019, the median SAT for admitted Asians is already 240 points higher than the median for admitted black students. The 25th percentile score for Asians is 60 points higher than the 75th percentile score for blacks. If UVA wanted to push its black enrollment from 7% to 19%, what would this difference be? If overall enrollment stayed the same, Asian numbers would be even higher and the scores for blacks would likely be considerably lower. It could be a 400 point difference. Is that what you think is right? I don’t. As I said, I’m all for fixing K-12 schools and working for equal opportunity, but not for mandating equal outcomes.

          Meanwhile, there is a university in China called Tsinghua University that based the design of its first building, built in 1917, on the Rotunda at UVA. Tsinghua today is ranked #1 in USNews ranking for best global universities in computer science. UVA does not feature in the 250 schools ranked. Do you think Tsinghua is merit based?

          • re: ” stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race” to suggesting Bakke should be reversed, or is this one of your endless rhetorical games?”

            Discriminating on the basis of class?

            Discriminating on the basis demographics?

            Discriminating on the basis of merit?

            Some folks say that College is more than just academics.

            Tsinghua , merit based? I dunno..

            don’t want to be rhetorical endless here… you know…

            but did not realize that admitting by demographic percentage was “illegal” … or that only academic merit was legal for discriminating….

          • but did not realize that admitting by demographic percentage was “illegal” … or that only academic merit was legal for discriminating….

            The Bakke decision said quotas by race are illegal. It didn’t say race couldn’t be a factor in admissions. But your 30% of spots reserved for a race in your hypothetical is really a quota.

            “or that only academic merit was legal for discriminating” Not sure what you even mean by that. Most schools base admissions on academic credentials. That would be why applicants submit grades and standardized test scores. They say that on the application criteria.

          • Larry: Bakke decision, formally Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, ruling in which, on June 28, 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court declared affirmative action constitutional but invalidated the use of racial quotas. The medical school at the University of California, Davis, as part of the university’s affirmative action program, had reserved 16 percent of its admission places for minority applicants.

          • so are “demographic quotas” the same as “racial quotas”.

            Jim- you said economically disadvantaged, no?

            isn’t that also a “quota”?

            What makes academic merit .. THE only “legal” quota?

          • “so are “demographic quotas” the same as “racial quotas”.
            Jim- you said economically disadvantaged, no?
            isn’t that also a “quota”?
            What makes academic merit .. THE only “legal” quota?

            I suspect Jim doesn’t favor a quota for anything. He is probably talking about programs targeting economically disadvantaged. A quota is a specific target number or percentage based solely on race. Your hypothetical (30% of a race matching the state population) was a quota. Bakke made quotas based solely on race unconstitutional. (It did not invalidate using race as a consideration in admissions.) Given the current makeup of the Supreme Court, Bakke is unlikely to be reversed at least in the near term, and some part of what Ibram X Kendi appears to want would not meet the standard.

            Academic merit is not a quota. It is a logical criteria for admission to a selective academic institution. Just like a basketball team wants to have the best basketball players. The most qualified are chosen. Otherwise, you will lose to the competition.

            You noodle on everyone else’s comments. What do you think should happen. If it were legal, should UVA enroll 19.55% black students? If that involved having a 400 point differential on the SAT for Asians and black students, is that OK? Is it UVA’s responsibility to address K-12 and other economic issues if it means radically moving away from academic merit as the basis for admissions?

            If UVA does target enrolling 19.55% black students, what is OK for them to do to achieve it? Should they direct more aid to get some of the black students back that would otherwise go to Princeton, even if that meant taking aid away from someone who has more demonstrated financial need? Should they admit black students that would otherwise end up attending James Madison University to increase their percentage? What then happens to JMU? And Norfolk State and Virginia State?

          • “noodle’ ? geeze

            Is the best academic performance the only goal of higher ed?

            If that what assures success in the economy?

            what is the ultimate goal for students in the Darden Business School or the UVA Medical School? Is it top scores?

            I don’t think the purpose of College is to produce the highers academic scoring grads but what do we make that the entrance criteria?

            On the Demographics… I don’t know the answer to it but I do ask the question and I do not that some Colleges say that it their goal – to represent society demographically.

            What I do think is that something is not right when so few black folks qualify on academic merit – and I totally reject the idea that it’s because of culture or genes and goes directly to how they learn and perform in K-12 – which I admit – is, to date, a failure.

            And I support other types of schools – as long as they accept the demographics that are at issue and they provide transparency as to the effectiveness of their efforts – and if they also fail – then we know it and we keep looking for a more successful path.

          • Larry,

            As I suspected, you answered nothing. That is probably because you have nothing.

            You wrote: “I don’t think the purpose of College is to produce the highers academic scoring grads but what do we make that the entrance criteria?”

            Not entirely sure what that means, but I suspect you were questioning why colleges have academic criteria for admission. Admission to engineering schools has a focus on math achievement? Why? Not because we want to graduate math achievers from engineering school, but because we’d like to graduate engineers that design buildings, dams, and bridges that don’t collapse and medical equipment that actually works. That involves applied math. That isn’t very difficult to understand, is it?

          • Izzo – you think most Doctors and Engineers were the best academically?

            May successful people in the world were not so hot at math and some just dropped out of college that are now billionaires!

            I think there is more to it that just pure academics but I think academics is still pretty important just no the only factor.

            Some colleges think this way also.

          • Larry,

            You still have answered nothing.

            Given how selective medical school admission is, yes, I do think doctors did well academically in college. UVA’s medical school accepts 10%, has a 3.9 average GPA and scored near the 98th percentile on the MCAT. They also take other factors like work experience and interviews into consideration. It may just be me, but I like to think that my doctors know what they are doing.

            You can always cite that Steve Jobs didn’t graduate from college, but again, don’t you think engineers should understand the math required in their field?

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            Izzo says:
            “Larry, You can always cite that Steve Jobs didn’t graduate from college …”

            Yes, true, because Steve Jobs was bored in college, given the fact that he was overly academically qualified for undergraduate academic work, and wanted to get on the life he was already prepared for as an academic genius whose genius was off the charts, a one in fifty million academy genius.

            This proves Izzo’s point in spades.

          • Reed Fawell 3rd

            Editorial corrections to earlier comment.

            Izzo says:
            “Larry, You can always cite that Steve Jobs didn’t graduate from college …”

            Yes, true, because Steve Jobs was bored in college, given that he was overly academically qualified for undergraduate academic work, and so he wanted to get on with his life’s work that he was already academically prepared for as an academic genius whose genius was off the charts, a one in fifty million academic genius.

            Steve Job’s college experience based on his academic qualifications proves Izzo’s point.

      • Mark Zuckerberg — cofounder and CEO, Facebook. …
        Matt Mullenweg — founder, WordPress. …
        James Park — cofounder and CEO, Fitbit. …
        John and Patrick Collison — cofounders, Stripe. …
        Jack Dorsey — cofounder and CEO, Twitter and Square.
        Michael Dell.
        Steve Jobs. …
        Evan Williams. …
        Mark Zuckerberg. …
        Larry Ellison. …
        Jan Koum.

        this is just the tech world…

        • not bad odds.. out of what — 331,000,000 Americans? that’s …. 0.000000034375% of success without a degree.

        • Larry,

          You still have answered nothing. You are only trying to draw yet another new line in the sand and have someone else respond to it.

          Are you saying colleges should not have standardized tests or criteria for admission? If so, what would or should they then base admission on? (After all, if you remove admission criteria, no one will be able to point out that reverse discrimination happening because there will be no data on which to base that conclusion. There will also be no objective criteria for determining who gets in and who doesn’t. No need for Felicity Huffman to hire someone to fix her daughter’s SAT answers.)

          Are you suggesting that there is no value in colleges because you provided a list of college dropouts? (Although 6 dropped out of Harvard, MIT, or Chicago, which kind of signals to the world that they are probably pretty smart because they got through the entrance requirements like standardized tests.) If so the ROI data doesn’t seem to support this conclusion (graduate school graduates earn the most, followed by college graduates, followed by college dropouts, followed by high school graduates followed by high school dropouts).

          Are you saying colleges are thinking that admissions criteria like standardized tests are not relevant? Perhaps, but I think the real reason is they want to be able to admit whomever they want without leaving evidence of discrimination. They don’t want the FOIA data, for instance, that shows Asians have to score much, much higher than other groups to be admitted. They also want to be able to admit legacy donor children without leaving evidence of favoritism.

          • yeah, it’s kinda frustrating… 😉

            I think Higher Ed can (and already do ) establish a number of criteria that they will use to determine who would be a good
            fit for their school.

            Right now, I expect willingness to pay for admission would be
            pretty much a gimme! 😉

            Yes, they would have to provide information about percentages and almost surely most of the various higher ed enrollments will undoubtedly not match anyone’s idea of what it should… but they would just stand behind it.

            Many schools will take freshmen who do need some remedial help. How much probably depends on the school but the bigger point is that they do take them instead of not.

            Some of them probably would not make their enrollment targets these days without that.

            So – it appears to me that they don’t have to take students only on academic merit – and how much they do or don’t is not so easy to find out if they have more criteria than just academic merit.

            Can you take a kid who reads at a 10th grade level and remediate him as a Freshman?

            So what I AM opposed to is taking anyone who more than likely cannot make the 4 years. They are just too far behind. And as soon as I get those words out of my mouth – we both know they do that for athletes – which has nothing what-so-ever to do with the core mission of Higher Ed – other than people like it.

            Not all schools do that. Some schools don’t have sports at all and others require minimum academic standards for athletes.

            Finally – I do not think higher ed can “fix” the problem where some kids of color can’t even get into K-12 magnet schools in Loudoun and Fairfax. If they don’t qualify to get into those schools, they’re not going to come close to a 4-year school.
            Had some blacks been actually able to get into those magnet schools, chances are that would get them into a 4-year.

            You’re not going to get any bright blue line opinions from me on this other than I feel strongly that we cannot have a society where large numbers of people of color are not getting a college-ready education, can’t even get into college-prep magnet schools.

            If a child cannot read well (not even proficiently) by 3rd grade, the path, unchanged, will not lead to 4-year but it might lead to other education at Community Colleges where they can get an Occupational cert or enough credentials to get a decent job in the economy.

            Sorry to talk your head off and not give you much satisfaction other than to say that affirmative action is a hornets nest of disagreement… and rightly so.

          • Larry, please give it up.

  11. Jim
    Would you care to comment on the percentage of black and brown residents versus that of white in the districts identified by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation? Or even on these percentages when compared to the averages in the Commonwealth?

    • I would not mind commenting, but I do not know those details. To give you an example that you are seeking, however, only 5% of Wise County residents are black and 1% Hispanic. In Buchanan County, less than 5% are Black and Hispanic combined.

  12. Thank you Mr. Sherlock for the interesting article.

  13. I long for the days when an American leader said, “There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

    But no more…….

    • Well, I think the liberals came up with a solution for blacks who were disadvantaged academically – and Conservatives weren’t having their solution.

      Yes, we ought to try to find a way forward. No question.

      It’s truly terrible that only a tiny percentage of black folks truly qualify on academic merit for College. They apparently don’t even qualify for College-prep curricula in high schools…

      And this has been going on for decades…

  14. Jim
    You acknowledged the point in a post above where you stated that black (and brown) residents will indeed be over-represented in the populations of these poor districts. As we know class is often also about race.

  15. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    Well being from a VPI family all the way back to the 1870s this pretty much sums up how I feel about the UVA equity plan.

    • Count me in starting with my dad’s class of ’05 and my class ’50.

    • Only 1?

    • You need to renew your registration

    • Tech is going down the same path I’m afraid. The “leaders” of our universities are terrified of the critical race theory mob. They’re not wrong to be afraid. Their careers are at the sufferance of that mob.

      • James Wyatt Whitehead V

        You are right Captain. The leaders of VPI of have already condemned the father of all Va Tech traditions because he was a 20 year old private in Marse Robert’s army. Slippery slope has turned into a cliff.

        • Soon, the VT Corps of Cadets will be disbanded — its uniform, after all, is modeled after the Confederate Grey of the ANV.

          Plus, Skipper will be melted down for paper weights as it is a reproduction of Confederate 3-lb cannon………

          And then will come the burning of all the books Bud Robertson wrote about the Lost Cause….

  16. The Task Force’s woke recommendations are predicated on core belief reported in a recent issue of the Alumni Association’s magazine that there was “rampant racism” during the years 1961-1969 when I attended The University. In my view, based on my years as a student who was very active and engaged, including having the privilege of serving on the Honor Committee, that belief is erroneous and misplaced.

    • I was attended the University from 1963 to 1967. Based on my experience there for those four years, the charge contained in the University of Virginia’s Alumni Association’s Magazine of “rampant racism” on the grounds is a gross lie.

  17. I took a lesson from a useful criticism of my statement on antiracism education.

    I originally wrote:

    “Anti-racism education is today at its core reverse racism. Nowhere does anti-racism education permit intellectual challenge to its core tenets.”

    The last thing I want to do is let the opponents of my recommendations change the subject to antiracism education rather than the dystopian future of the University if it accepts the core recommendations of its Racial Equity Task Force.

    So I updated my post to replace the original two sentences above with:

    “Nowhere that I have seen in my review of online course examples does anti-racism education permit intellectual challenge to its core tenets. It is presented as dogma. Perhaps the University can present it differently, but based on other examples of retribution for dissenting opinion, I am not hopeful.”

    The criticism was helpful.

    • Steve.

      As you may know there is a very fine discussion of “anti-racism” issues in the cover story of the August 1o, 2020 issue of National Review titled: “How the Left’s Racial Politics Became Mainstream – And Will Make Everything Worse.”

      Inside that issue’s cover, on pg 24, you’ll find Christoper Caldwell’s fine article titled:

      “The Prophet of Anti-racism – Ibram X Kendi says we must fight racism with discrimination, and that it’s racist to disagree.”

      Here we find the ideologue’s swerve off the cliff into chaos that then must be coerced into a totalitarian leviathan state.

  18. “We must fight racism with discrimination, and that it is racist to disagree.”

    “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race”

    Well, these views will never be reconciled.

  19. Izzo – here is Kendi’s argument, in his own words, in a nutshell:

    “The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity. If the discrimination is creating equity, then it is anti-racist. If the discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. … The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

    Hence, the swerve over the cliff.

    • Lets here, for the record, help to fill out Izzo’s very fine discussion of the point I raised regarding Kendi’s argument that:
      “The defining question is whether the discrimination is creating equity. If the discrimination is creating equity, then it is anti-racist. If the discrimination is creating inequity, then it is racist. … The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

      There follows an extract from a book review by Barton Swaim in today’s Wall Street Journal:

      ‘The Cult of Smart’ Review: Social Justice Goes to School” – Modern liberalism, mistaking intellectual capacity for intrinsic worth, can’t abide the idea that some students are brighter than others.”

      … That some children lack the intellectual aptitude to achieve anything but modest academic success ought to be obvious to any moderately observant person. That is not to say that academically deficient kids are stupid or lazy. A brief look at the list of gargantuan stupidities promoted by pre-eminent intellectuals over the past 300 years is sufficient to invalidate any correlation between academic aptitude and either wisdom or decency. The uneducated shopkeeper, if I may bang the populist drum for a moment, frequently has far more to contribute to human flourishing than any Ivy-educated mandarin.

      But, alas, the dominant outlook in American public education is militantly egalitarian and thus unable to permit any suggestion of intrinsic difference. Even to suggest the possibility that some kids are naturally better in school than others is enough to invite nervous warnings against bigotry and eugenicism.

      Of course, some differences in scholastic achievement are attributable to socioeconomic circumstances, but not to the degree most education professionals suppose. “Students in abject poverty sometimes escape to lives of tremendous intellectual achievement,” Mr. deBoer notes, “and the children of affluence are sometimes dumb as rocks.”

      If you are persuaded by his argument and you are a good American liberal, you are in trouble. Twenty-first-century liberalism, mistaking intellectual capacity for intrinsic moral worth, cannot abide the supposition that some students are naturally brighter than others. Conservatives are quite at home with this view, just as they are accustomed to the bogus accusations of racism that usually come with it. But Mr. deBoer is neither a liberal nor a conservative nor a libertarian. He is a Marxist. He isn’t a Marxist in the way academic literary critics call themselves Marxists—they believe in some form of historical materialism but aren’t interested in an actual revolution. When Mr. deBoer writes “I am a Marxist,” he means it. …” End Quote.

      For more of this fine book review go to:

  20. I received a personal note from Jim Ryan, the President of the University of Virginia, this morning thanking me for writing and sharing my blog post with him. He said he appreciates it. I in turn appreciate him taking the time to read it and respond.

  21. Published on August 12, 2020, in Quillette.

    “Look Who’s Talking About Educational Equity”, written by Lyell Asher

    “In the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, college presidents scrambled to issue condemnations of racism, police brutality, and white supremacy. They often buttressed those condemnations with promises to expand their institution’s administrative bureaucracy. For instance, among other things, the University of Kentucky will institute cultural proficiency and diversity training for faculty and students, and install “diversity and inclusion officers” within each of its 17 colleges. Out west, the University of the Redlands issued an 18-point plan, including an “Activist Residence” program, racial climate surveys, anti-racism workshops, racial healing workshops, and enhanced hiring procedures and performance evaluations that will monitor contributions to “diversity and inclusion.” Similar plans are afoot in colleges across the nation.

    However well intentioned, these programs will likely increase inequities rather than reduce them, and push the nation’s colleges still closer to the low level of its public schools. The reason? As I have explained before, most of the college administrators who work in offices promoting “Diversity and Inclusion” and “Equity and Social Justice” and the like have been credentialed by the same dysfunctional institutions that have monopolized the training and licensure of K-12 (kindergarten through 12th grade) teachers, principals, and superintendents for 50 years—education schools.

    A century ago, Harvard president Lawrence Lowell described the university’s education school as “a kitten that ought to be drowned,” and in the decades since, successive studies have reached the same conclusion: Most of our training schools for K-12 teachers lack rigorous standards for admission, graduation, and research—but they’re filled to the brim with ideology.

    Worse still are ed school programs in leadership, from which most student-facing college administrators now take their degrees. As early as 1987, when the focus of these programs was almost entirely on K-12 administrators, the National Commission on Excellence in Educational Administration recommended closing more than 300 of the nation’s 500 educational-leadership programs due to lackluster academic standards and professional irrelevance. Because these programs raked in tuition dollars, however, that advice was ignored.

    Two decades later, a study undertaken by former Teachers College President Arthur Levine discovered that the number of leadership programs had actually increased by 20 percent. Their quality had not. “Inadequate to appalling” is how Levine rated the majority of programs in leadership and administration in 2005, and he highlighted economic incentives that were creating “an army of unmotivated students seeking to acquire credits in the easiest way possible.” Education schools met that demand with new doctoral programs that were “little more than graduate credit dispensers.”

    This race to the bottom has only accelerated with the proliferation of degree programs for college administrators. A study from 2016 reveals that in the brief period between 2011 and 2014, directors of programs in higher education administration tended to reduce research and credit-hour requirements, remove program enrollment caps, and move more coursework online. So-called “executive” doctoral programs in higher education are the newest development, with classes taking place in monthly weekend meetings, in online modules, or in some combination of the two.

    Remarkably, the less there is to distinguish ed schools from diploma mills, the more power their graduates have been wielding on college campuses—and not just over students. In the fall of 2018 San Diego State took the inevitable next step by creating several faculty positions in “Diversity and Inclusion” and “Equity in Education,” positions which will report to the ed-school-trained Associate Vice President for Faculty Diversity and Inclusion. More recently, ed schools at North Carolina State and University of Colorado at Denver launched, respectively, PhD and doctoral programs in “educational equity,” just in time to meet a rising demand.

    It would be one thing if ed schools had demonstrable expertise in achieving the laudable goal of educational equity. Ideological bias and even low academic standards might be a price worth paying if the institutions had a record of helping low-income and minority students close the learning gap that exists between themselves and their more advantaged peers. But they have no such record—just the opposite in fact.

    Their longstanding opposition to coherent, grade-by-grade, knowledge-based curricula, for example, is one of the reasons why colleges and universities have had to spend seven billion dollars a year on remedial courses in an attempt to get 40 percent of first-year college students ready for college-level work. For more than …” End Quote.

    For more of this very fine article go to:

  22. This earlier comment dovetails with concerns expressed by Jim Sherlock in above post.

    To better understand what is what is happening in the Virginia House of Delegates, the Virginia Governor’s office, at the University of Virginia., and increasingly around the state in colleges and universities and local government agencies, how we all are on the cusp of a Marxist revolution in Virginia and America, everyone here needs to read this essay by Yoram Hazony, The Challenge of Marxism, found in Quillette.

    Here is that article’s frightening introduction:

    “I. The collapse of institutional liberalism

    For a generation after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, most Americans and Europeans regarded Marxism as an enemy that had been defeated once and for all. But they were wrong. A mere 30 years later, Marxism is back, and making an astonishingly successful bid to seize control of the most important American media companies, universities and schools, major corporations and philanthropic organizations, and even the courts, the government bureaucracy, and some churches. As American cities succumb to rioting, arson, and looting, it appears as though the liberal custodians of many of these institutions—from the New York Times to Princeton University—have despaired of regaining control of them, and are instead adopting a policy of accommodation. That is, they are attempting to appease their Marxist employees by giving in to some of their demands in the hope of not being swept away entirely.

    We don’t know what will happen for certain. But based on the experience of recent years, we can venture a pretty good guess. Institutional liberalism lacks the resources to contend with this threat. Liberalism is being expelled from its former strongholds, and the hegemony of liberal ideas, as we have known it since the 1960s, will end. Anti-Marxist liberals are about to find themselves in much the same situation that has characterized conservatives, nationalists, and Christians for some time now: They are about to find themselves in the opposition.

    This means that some brave liberals will soon be waging war on the very institutions they so recently controlled. They will try to build up alternative educational and media platforms in the shadow of the prestigious, wealthy, powerful institutions they have lost. Meanwhile, others will continue to work in the mainstream media, universities, tech companies, philanthropies, and government bureaucracy, learning to keep their liberalism to themselves and to let their colleagues believe that they too are Marxists—just as many conservatives learned long ago how to keep their conservatism to themselves and let their colleagues believe they are liberals.

    This is the new reality that is emerging. There is blood in the water and the new Marxists will not rest content with their recent victories. In America, they will press their advantage and try to seize the Democratic Party. They will seek to reduce the Republican Party to a weak imitation of their own new ideology, or to ban it outright as a racist organization. And in other democratic countries, they will attempt to imitate their successes in America. No free nation will be spared this trial. So let us not avert our eyes and tell ourselves that this curse isn’t coming for us. Because it is coming for us.

    In this essay, I would like to offer some initial remarks about the new Marxist victories in America—about what has happened and what’s likely to happen next.

    II. The Marxist framework

    Anti-Marxist liberals have labored under numerous disadvantages in the recent struggles to maintain control of liberal organizations. One is that …” End Quote.

    For more of this fine essay see:

  23. Reed, you truly get it. That is exactly what is going on. Thank you, as always.

    Most classical liberals have been quickly outflanked and embarrassed/threatened into silence. Ignoring the clear signs, they did not acknowledge that they needed to defend freedom of speech and freedom of inquiry until they lost both.

    Cowed, they hope someone else will pick up the fallen banner.

    You and I are not among them, perhaps in part because we have, relatively, nothing to lose. But we are a distinct minority whatever the motivation of the silent.

    Nothing ventured, nothing gained. We must attempt to preserve America for our grandchildren.

  24. Jim, you and I agree totally here.

    As you know, political revolutions typically proceed in steps. These often include massive propaganda campaigns, followed by street violence and intimidation to gain by force and coercion what cannot be otherwise gained by lawful means. This we have seen recently in Virginia time and again.

    These initial steps are often followed by unlawful government acts, including the breaking of government laws by government officials, to gain political advantage that cannot by obtained lawfully by those rogue government officials. This too we have seen recently in Virginia time and again.

    The next and final steps often include the passage of laws in legislatures that seize full and permanent control of the government, its functions, and its processes, by a small group of people intent on seizing total control of the government, the society, and the people, creating a totalitarian state for benefit of those few. Now we see the beginnings of this latter phase of revolution being put into place.

    For example, consider this by Krystina Skurk:

    “House Democrats Propose A Racism Czar To Control National Memorials

    Section 754 of a bill presented by House Democrats proposes to regulate names on federal property based on ‘diversity, equity, and inclusion,’ which really means discriminating by race and ethnicity.

    House Democrats are proposing a bill that would institutionalize identity politics in America if passed into law. Section 754 of the bill presented by the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee proposes the creation of a Commission on Federal Naming and Displays. This commission is instructed to evaluate “property names, monuments, statues, public artworks, historical markers, and other symbols owned by the Federal government or located on property owned by the Federal government.”

    The standards by which the committee is instructed to judge each of the above are the values of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” — leftist buzzwords that typically result in discriminating based on race, sex, and ethnicity.

    Although re-evaluating the people and symbols we honor is appropriate from time to time, this proposal is problematic, to say the least. It will only serve to further the “cancel culture” that has been persecuting individuals, businesses, and institutions. It will also set forth an arbitrary standard by which to judge our national symbols.

    Identity politics is already being pushed by media and academic elites. Schools and corporations alike have capitulated and instituted mandatory diversity training. The entire California school system is partnering with the National Equity Project, an organization that provides resources to companies and schools on how to teach white privilege …

    Many of the left’s most recent ideas on how to handle race and racism come from Dr. Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of “antiracism.” In Kendi’s book, “How To Be an Antiracist,” he argues that there is no such thing as a neutral idea, institution, policy, or law. Everything is either racist or antiracist.

    For Kendi and his ilk, the definition of racism has also changed. Racism now means the support of any policy or institution that creates inequity. In this telling, capitalism is racist and so are capitalists.

    Section 754 of Democrats’ renaming bill legitimizes Kendian philosophy and is eerily close to something Kendi wrote. When asked by Politico Magazine how inequality in America should be confronted, he argued for passing an “anti-racist” constitutional amendment. Kendi writes:

    ‘The amendment would make unconstitutional racial inequity over a certain threshold, as well as racist ideas by public officials (with ‘racist ideas’ and ‘public official’ clearly defined). It would establish and permanently fund the Department of Anti-racism (DOA) comprised of formally trained experts on racism and no political appointees. The DOA would be responsible for preclearing all local, state, and federal public policies to ensure they won’t yield racial inequity, monitor those policies, investigate private racist policies when racial inequity surfaces, and monitor public officials for expressions of racist ideas. The DOA would be empowered with disciplinary tools to wield over and against policymakers and public officials who do not voluntarily change their racist policy and ideas.”

    Kendi’s complete disregard for federalism and America’s constitutional system aside, this Antiracist Department is not as far fetched as it sounds upon first reading. Many of Kendi’s recommendations have already started to be realized, often spontaneously. Afraid of being deemed racist, companies, brands, universities, sports teams, school districts, and local governments are purging themselves of any names or symbols that can even remotely be suggested to connote racism or racial stereotypes.

    Today antiracist concepts like “diversity, equity, and inclusion” are being used by the far left as instruments of force and conformity. Tolerance has always been a linchpin of liberal societies, but today’s new left will brook no difference of opinion.

    This was made clear when an open letter published by Harper’s Magazine and signed by notable thinkers on the left was maligned because it called for tolerance and the protection of free speech. The letter … END QUOTE.

    For more of this fine article written by Krystina Skurk, dated August 20, in the Federalist, go to:


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