Tuesday, July 01, 2003

Here's John Bloom, also known as Joe Bob Briggs, on affirmative action from the National Review. Our position is very simple: Racial quotas have to go. Now.

I am particularly anti-affirmative action because I feel like I was one of those who got screwed over by it. I was a typical bright young male student in high school, not grades-crazy but I had something like a 3.5 GPA in all honors classes. I never studied much, partly because I was actually doing extracurricular activities (track and cross-country, school newspaper, College Bowl) and partly because I was busy leading a normal life. I scored 1430 on the SAT--780 verbal, 650 math, just the opposite of what bright boys usually score--, which is 99th percentile; in fact, I have never taken a standardized test in which I didn't score in the 99th. I also scored over 700 on 3 College Board achievement tests, English, European history, and American history. I figured that ought to get me into any college in the country. Was I ever wrong. They all turned me down, because I'm a middle-class white boy from Johnson County, Kansas, and I wound up at good old State U. while a whole lot of people with considerably fewer achievements than mine--I bet none of them ever finished a marathon in three hours, twenty-seven minutes--got into all the fancy schools.

I blame affirmative action.

But, surprise, surprise. My mother and her sisters have been doing some genealogical digging around and they've now got the papers. Their grandfather (my great-grandfather, of course), James Lafayette Shoemake, was not on the 1924 Cherokee Nation roll, but his two brothers were, and we can now prove it in a court of law if necessary. (For some reason I had thought they were Choctaw.) They've found their graves in Talequah, Oklahoma, along with a bunch of other information. James Lafayette didn't use Indian ways, he was a cowboy and worked on the Border Patrol out in West Texas, but he was a honest-to-God half-Injun. Half at the very least, that is. They still haven't found much about James Lafayette's mother. My Aunt Johnine, who is still in her early fifties, is going to get herself registered as a Native American, since that ethnic classification can only help her in her public school teaching career.

I just might do the same thing if it's not too much trouble. Jeez, an Indian with a 1430. I could have written my own ticket. I'd have gotten Jayson Blair's job on the New York Times.

Now, of course, I'm about as Indian as Prince Charles, culturally speaking. But if you can use the system to your benefit, it's not your fault, it's the system's. And all the affirmative action system does is give places in universities and jobs that were actually earned by someone else to undeserving middle-class "minorities". I'm fed up with it. I think I'm gonna be a minority.

Here's a great story from the Weekly Standard about how nutty the competition to get into the top schools can get, and about how nutty parents can get while making their kids into superachievers, or, like the girl in question here, hollow, empty superachievers. Definitely read this one.

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