Monday, January 18, 2010

The “Compassionate Blame Game” – Scapegoating, Liberal Style

There’s a game that upper-crust (almost exclusively white) liberals love to play. They like this game so much because it allows them to feign compassion for the very group they’re insulting and demeaning, while at the very same time, scapegoating that group to “the goobers” (their not at all affectionate term for working class white ethnics).

This game is especially popular among far-Left liberals because it undermines individual achievement by undermining common standards for achievement. Do you think the Gores’, the Bush’s and the Kennedy’s got into those Ivy League schools based on competitive merit?

If so, think again.

At any rate, this game starts off with our upper-crust liberals decrying how blacks, on average, do significantly poorer on standardized tests, from the PSATs and SATs, to the LSATs and MCATs, to various civil service entrance exams and private sector job performance and aptitude exams, and coming to the non-empirical conclusion that “it must be that something’s wrong with these tests.”

Fact is, there are numerous other disparate impacts (that is disparate or differing passing rates) between ALL ethnic groups - white, black and Asian.

Caribbean-born blacks tend to do significantly better on such exams than American-born blacks, and the various and sundry ethnicities among whites and Asians all have differing passing rates, as well.

Of course that fact is rarely, if ever mentioned, as it would ruin the game.

You see, “disparate impact” theory isn’t used to posit either (A) that since there are disparities in passing rates across all ethnic lines, we should advance what is most aptly called “proportionalism,” where every group must be represented exactly to its percentage of that region’s population, NOR (B) that any specific questions on such exams are demonstrably biased. To date, NO standardized exam has seen ANY specific questions shown to be demonstrably biased against any ethnic or racial group or groups.

What is apparently “biased” and/or “racist” about all these standardized exams are the outcomes, or results themselves – to wit, significantly less blacks doing well than whites.

But the purpose of that charge seems more about amplifying the poor performance of a particular ethnic group, by highlighting that blacks, on average, do less well than most other ethnic groups, than in addressing any actual “bias” in such testing.

But such group comparisons are invidious, as standardized tests are designed to measure individual performance and are only useful in comparing individuals to one another.

When we look at the outcomes of such exams by group performance, the results are effectively meaningless, given the myriad variables involved.

Not only do random groupings exhibit significantly differing/disparate passing rates on such standardized exams, but the results of any given exam is merely a snapshot in time of the sampling groups involved and the numerous and changing variables among those groups.

For instance, in New York City, one of the reasons given for the FDNY being so predominantly white and male is that more college educated whites take that test, some take only the emergency service exams (police and fire) and when that group tests out against a smaller pool of black and Hispanic applicants, with decidedly fewer College educated applicants, the results are skewed in favor of the white applicant pool.

Is it “racist” that more College educated whites are currently taking that exam?

Is that changeable and changing group dynamic somehow either “racist” or “unfair”?

At some time down the road, when there are more College educated blacks taking such exams than some other groups, will that also be “biased” and “unfair,” and if so, why, or how so?

As an example of how misguided these group comparisons are, back in February of 2009, the Justice Department (DOJ) sent a letter to Virginia Beach, alerting that Municipality that the DOJ had determined that the Virginia Beach Police Department had “engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination” against black and Hispanics applicants.

How so?

Because the Virginia Beach Police Department gave a very basic math exam to ALL of its police recruits. In fact, the only evidence of the “discrimination” cited, were the results of those very basic math exams that were given to all Virginia Beach police recruits. Those test results showed a wide gap between the passing rates for white applicants and the passing rates for black and Hispanics.

Apparently, the DOJ didn’t like the results of those basic math exams, in which approximately 85 percent of white applicants passed the math test from 2002 to mid-2005, compared with 66% of Hispanics and 59 percent of blacks. Personally, I don’t like those results either. No test should have such high passing rates. A “test” with any group achieving an 85% pass rate is really not a “test,” at least not a valid one.

So, I guess the DOJ must’ve concluded that there must be something wrong with basic math. After all, it couldn’t be that the applicants for those specific exams, at that particular time and in that particular place, differed in their performance for other factors unrelated to race/ethnicity like, more college educated whites taking those exams compared to other groups.

No, the unspoken conclusion of the DOJ, based on those results, is apparently that blacks and Hispanics are not capable of competing equally with whites and Asians because they are less able or intelligent. THAT is the unspoken, wrong-headed and pernicious rationale behind “disparate impact” and “protected groups.”

In short, this “game” allows these upper-crust liberals to feign compassion for blacks while at the very same time calling them “hopelessly incompetent” and “less intelligent” than other groups. That’s why I call their game, “the compassionate blame game.”

What’s been at least a little surprising to me has been how many blacks have bought into this “disparate impact” viewpoint built upon the dictum of “presumed black incompetence” simply because it delivers a little short-term gain.

But as those commercials say, “Wait, there’s more,” and it gets even better! The upper-crust liberals know that these arguments in favor of “disparate impact” and “protected groups” are not only both damaging and unfair, but that they inculcate and solidify the corrosive view of “black incompetence” (blacks being innately unable to compete) among both whites and blacks!

At nearly every turn, the games playing upper-crust liberals blame those poor and working class whites for, in effect, doing better than black applicants on these exams.

The government isn’t really blamed for designing the tests...and they deserve no blame for that! After all, there’s nothing wrong or “biased” about any standardized exam.

“Fairness,” or “equal opportunity” is, in essence, having everyone held to the same set of standards. So long as the rim is 10’ for us all, the fact that someone else worked harder, practiced more, and/or was born with greater natural athletic ability does NOT make the competition “unfair.” Forcing the better athletes to wear weighted vests, certainly would be unfair, but those who hold to that are today, derided as “bigots” by those playing “the compassionate blame game.”

A favorite aspect of this game is when “the goobers” (working class whites) oppose racial preferences, segregated standards and other “remedies” pursued due to “disparate impact,” they’re predictably called “racists” and “redneck bigots” for daring to support “equality before the law” (which the concept of “protected groups” violates) and “equality of opportunity” (which requires a single, common standard equally applied to all).

In every sense this game is as much a win-win for the upper-crust liberal pseudo elites as it is a lose-lose for the poor and working class, both black and white. Since most of today’s upper-crust liberals are the scions of yesterday’s exploiters, that age’s slave traders and plantation owners. It must be uproariously amusing for that group to see their penance pawned off on those who actually fought America’s Civil War, built its railroads, bridges and roads and dug its mines...funny stuff, indeed.

And they do this while at the very same time crippling American blacks even further by adding to an already ubiquitous and perverse entitlement-dependency culture, by hanging yet another albatross around the neck of black-America by highlighting via championing that group’s trumpeted “inability to compete” – further binding them in dependence to a State that is almost completely controlled by these self-same upper-crust Liberals.

What a game!

The problem is that it’s not a game at all. It’s a very real, vicious and cynical manipulation of the populace via a deplorable “divide and conquer” strategy, that keeps those with the least power and control, at each others throats and equally unaware of their both being had, by their so-called “betters.”


Bob Qat said...

You said, "'Fairness,' or 'equal opportunity' is, in essence, having everyone held to the same set of standards."

I'm glad you posted this.

A republic is based on the notion of one law for all. Put differently, no one is above the law. When the big government people get in power, they must have a separate law for themselves, in order to intrude with impunity. It would appeal to such people to confuse the question by enacting special privileges for a few others based on some phonied up class distinction.

JMK said...

"A republic is based on the notion of one law for all." (Bob Qat)

YES....without question, one standard for ALL or "equality before the law" and "equality of opportunity" (being held to the standard) NOT equality of result or outcome, is the foundation of our republic.

Today, Asian-Americans are dominating most of America's University-level math and science curriculum because they EARN those spots.

The answer DOES NOT lie in holding high-achieving Asians back (as some have sought to do), but in pressing students of other backgrounds to emulate what has worked, not just for Asians, but for ALL successful students past, present and future - hard work, dedication and focus.

A great book that you'd probably like very much is The 5,000 Year Leap ( by Cleon Skousen.

It delivers a brief history of the human miracle of the creation of the U.S. Constitution (an incredible advancement in human freedom), a Constitution rooted in free minds (freedom of speech, religion, etc.) PRIVATE PROPERTY rights and free markets.

What America's liberals seem to overlook is that ALL Liberty is rooted in economic liberty, as all freedom is ultimately based on property rights....and what we produce is "our property."

THANKS for a great and thought-provoking comment.....and if you haven't yet read The 5,000 Year Leap, I hope you get the chance to check it out.

American Ideas Click Here!