Whether it's political divisions caused by the fast approaching midterm elections or how Americans react to the caravan marching to the U.S.-Mexico border, recent news has been dominated by ways Americans have been divided, classified, and characterized by opportunistic political forces.
Everyday, we are bombarded by unhinged and radical progressives using the politics of division to pigeonhole classes of people in the name of wars on racism, elitism, gender inequality, and economic inequality. These are conflicts with many casualties in their wake.
Casualties readily idenfiable as truth, temperance, common sense, and reasonableness.
Now you can add education to the list of the walking wounded.
The radical left, in their zeal to win and gain power, are waging a war on merit in the name of progressive overreach and faux diversity.
This war is being waged within our highest institutions of academic excellence.
Harvard, arguably the most esteemed college globally, has been accused in recent litigation , of discrimination and prejudicial practices against Asian-American minorities via their once highly secretive admissions process.
Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) presented evidence tending to prove that Harvard uses "subjective" factors in evaluating applicants, which placed Asian-American applicants who typically score higher on objective admissions testing at a distinct disadvantage.
Following the analyzing of tens of thousands of admissions documents, and reviewing sworn testimony elicited from the depositions of Harvard’s admissions staff and university officers, SFFA concluded that Harvard hamstrung the chances for admission of high achieving Asian-Americans in favor of other minorities with lesser academic achievement with the use of so-called "personal" characteristics.
While holding Asian-Americans to higher objective examination scores than other minorities, admissions officials typically scored Asian-Americans lower on subjective criteria such as whether they have a "positive personality," or have good "human qualities," which is obviously in the eye of the beholder.
The comparison is sharp when compared to those other minority applicants of lower income backgrounds, who admission officials typically scored higher in the personal evaluation categories.
In effect, Harvard has been accused of allegedly inventing a new form of discrimination —one openly favoring some minority groups to the detriment of Asian-American minorities, thus opening a new disturbing chapter of affirmative action never contemplated.
For its part, Harvard has dismissed the lawsuit as a politically motivated prosecution by a group who wants to remove race altogether from admissions consideration
Clearly, this case is on the fast-track to the Supreme Court, and it will be interesting to see how the newer Justices interpret Harvard’s alleged discrimination and whether the policies are sufficiently tailored to standards established by recent precedent.
The war on merit can also be seen in a change in policy for admission to New York City’s specialized high schools. New York City Mayor (the former Warren Wilhelm) now known as Bill de Blasio, admissions change for eight specialized high schools, including the prestigious Stuyvesant High School, would lead to 300 students who didn’t pass state tests in the seventh grade being offered admission, and 1,000 fewer students who not only passed, but thrived on state tests would be offered admission — all in the name of diversity.
Again, the target is Asian-Americans, who are the majority population in these specialized high schools. Mayor de Blasio’s concern is not about academic rigor, or that lower-performing students would be left behind through no fault of their own, but that specialized high schools lack diversity because black and Latino students lack the skills to pass the SHSAT examination — which de Blasio wants to scrap totally.
How exactly black and Latino students are helped by the conclusion that they lack the skills of other white and minority students is beyond reason — in fact, it's probably even more racist to think that than any objective test could ever be. When academic rigor is relaxed, the quality of education as a whole suffers, and no one is set up for real-world, global success.
Unequal standards are no standard at all.
Reasonable people may argue that affirmative action levels a playing field between white and minority students, but it is wholly unreasonable to contort and miconstrue affirmative action in such a way. Education must get back to basics. It must fulfill the promise to students who have been told that if you work hard, your achievements will speak for themselves regardless of your background.
Gene Berardelli is a street-smart trial attorney who, through his time as the Law Chair of the Republican Party in Brooklyn, New York, has developed a solid reputation as an election attorney successfully representing conservative candidates.
Russell Gallo is a security expert and combat veteran who attained the rank of First Sergeant in the New York Army National Guard, earning a Combat Action Badge in Iraq. Together, they host Behind Enemy Lines Radio, a national award-winning radio show and podcast broadcasting out of "The People's Republic of" New York that airs weekly on AM and FM radio stations as part of the Talk America Radio network. To read more of their reports — Click Here Now.
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