Wednesday, November 02, 2022

Affirmative Action Is Not About Affirmative Action

 ... it's about incentive structures.

The Catican Guards don't like our new house. There's no fence separating the house from the street, so they can see all the other dogs being walked in the neighborhood. As the Guards are small, the sight of all those dogs worries them, making walks here anxious affairs. Instead, I drive them over to the other house, the one we're remodeling, and walk them in their old neighborhood. They like that.

I listened to Matt Walsh talk about the Harvard affirmative action case at the Supreme Court as I drove the girls to their walk* yesterday. It hit me that the conversation is all wrong. It's not about racial justice or equality, it's about the behaviors we want in our fellow citizens.

In short, we want the people around us to practice discipline, sacrifice and hard work. Debates about crime are similar. We want less crime, so we want more cops and more jails, right? Wrong. We want self-discipline. Thomas Sowell, who grew up in New York City, and Walter E. Williams, who grew up in Philly, talk about living without fear of violence when they were kids in the 1950s. Now, their old neighborhoods are war zones.

Cops, jails and racial rulings are all downstream of childhood wherein discipline and sacrifice are instilled in us. They're downstream of the culture in which we swim. They are reactions to symptoms of a failed culture.

A rapper named Takeoff of the popular group, Migos, was shot and killed recently. I spent a little time on Twitter reading his fans lamenting his death. Much of the conversation was about how good their music was. Here's the lyrics from one of their songs. I won't excerpt any of it because we don't talk that way here at the 'Post. The lyrics are a horror.


Self-pity and grievance are antithetical to discipline and sacrifice. I know that personally as I have spent years wallowing in both for various reasons throughout my life. Affirmative action is both of those things, manifested in policy. The lyrics of the Migos song come from both of those things plus a healthy dose of sociopathic pride.

Affirmative action is wrong because its source is the opposite of what we want from each other and ourselves as well. We need discipline and sacrifice. We want maximal rewards with minimal work. Rewarding people with mediocre grades and test scores by admitting them to top-tier universities acts to depress sacrifice and discipline. That's why it's wrong.

* - Does that read as stupid as it sounds writing it?


Ilíon said...
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Ilíon said...