The Myth of Equality
In 21st century America,
institutional racism and sexism remain great twin
evils to be eradicated on our long journey to the
wonderful world where, at last, all are equal.
What are we to make, then, of a
profession that rewards workers with fame and fortune,
yet discriminates ruthlessly against
women; an institution where Hispanics and Asians, 20
percent of the U.S. population, are neither sought after
In this profession,
white males, a third of the population, retain a
third of the jobs. But black males, 6.5 percent of the
U.S. population, have 67 percent of the coveted
positions—10 times their fair share.
We are talking of the NFL.
Yet no one objects that women are
not permitted to compete in the NFL. Nor do many object
to the paucity of Asian and Mexicans, or the
over-representation of blacks, even as
males dominate the National Hockey League and the
When it comes to sports—high
professional—Americans are intolerant of lectures
about diversity and inclusiveness. They want the
best—the best in the NFL, the best in the NBA, the best
Augusta, the best at
Wimbledon, the best in the
Olympics, the best in the All-Star Game, the World
Series, the Super Bowl.
When it comes to artistic ability,
musical ability, acting ability, athletic ability,
Americans accept the reality of inequality. We are not
all born equal, other than in our God-given and
We are not all equally gifted.
There are prodigies like pianist
Van Cliburn, chess wizard
Bobby Fischer, actress
Shirley Temple. Every kid halfway through first
grade knows who can spell and sing and who cannot, and
who is bright and talented and athletic, and who is not.
What most Americans seek is a level
playing field on which all compete equally, for what we
ultimately seek is excellence, not equality.
Why, then, cannot our elites accept
that, be it by nature, nurture, attitude or aptitude, we
are not all equal in academic ability?
What raises this issue is the
anguish evident in New York over the latest state test
scores of public school students, which reveal that the
ballyhooed progress in closing the racial achievement
gap never happened.
That gap approached closure only by
lowering the pass-fail score and by using similar tests,
year-after-year, so teachers could prepare the kids to
After a new, tougher state test was
used in 2010, where 51 correct answers, not 37, meant
achieving the desired grade, the old gaps between
blacks, whites and Asians reappeared as wide as they
were when Mayor
Michael Bloomberg and city schools chief Joel Klein
set out to close them.
"We are closing
the shameful achievement gap faster than ever,"
blared Bloomberg in 2009, in the euphoria of what The
New York Times
now calls "the
test score bubble."
"Among the students in the city`s third through eighth grades, 40
percent of black students and 46 percent of Hispanic
students met state standards in math, compared with 75
percent of white students and 83 recent of Asian
students. In English, 33 percent of black students and
34 percent of Hispanic students are now proficient,
compared with 64 percent of whites and Asians." [Triumph
Fades on Racial Gap in City Schools,
By Sharon Otterman and Robert Gebeloff, August 15, 2010]
Appalling, when one considers New
York City usually ranks first or second in the nation in
Nor has George W. Bush`s vaunted
Child Left Behind program fared better. Results of
national tests conducted in 2009 make New York students
look like the Whiz Kids.
"Forty-nine percent of white students and 17 percent of black students
showed proficiency on the fourth-grade English test, up
from 45 percent of white students and 14 percent of
black students in 2003."
One in six African-American
fourth-grade kids is making the grade.
How many scores of billions did
this pathetic gain cost us?
Since 1965, America has invested
trillions in education with a primary goal of
equalizing test scores among the races and genders.
Measured by U.S. test scores, it has been a waste—an
immense transfer of wealth from private citizens to an
education industry that has grown bloated while
failing us again and again.
Perhaps it is time to abandon the
goal of educational equality as utopian—i.e.,
unattainable—and to focus, as we do in sports and art,
Teach all kids to the limit of
their ability, while recognizing that all are not equal
in their ability to read, write, learn, compute or
debate, any more than they are equally able to play in a
band or excel on a ball field. For an indeterminate
Mexican kids are not going to match Asian kids in math.
The beginning of wisdom is to
recognize this world as it is, not as what we would wish
it to be.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Patrick J. Buchanan
no introduction to
VDARE.COM readers; his book State
of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and
Conquest of America, can
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Hitler, and "The Unnecessary War": How
Britain Lost Its Empire and the West Lost
Paul Craig Roberts.