Are Quotas Good for Blacks?
RACE has never been an area noted for rationality of thought or action. Almost every conceivable form of nonsense has been believed about racial or ethnic groups at one time or another. Theologians used to debate whether black people had souls (today’s terminology might suggest that only black people have souls). As late as the 1920′s, a leading authority on mental tests claimed that test results disproved the popular belief that Jews are intelligent. Since then, Jewish IQ’s have risen above the national average and more than one-fourth of all American Nobel Prize-winners have been Jewish.
Today’s grand fallacy about race and ethnicity is that the statistical “representation” of a group-in jobs, schools, etc.-shows and measures discrimination. This notion is at the center of such controversial policies as affirmative-action hiring, preferential admissions to college, and public-school busing. But despite the fact that far-reaching judicial rulings, political crusades, and bureaucratic empires owe their existence to that belief, it remains an unexamined assumption. Tons of statistics have been collected, but only to be interpreted in the light of that assumption, never to test the assumption itself. Glaring facts to the contrary are routinely ignored. Questioning the “representation” theory is stigmatized as not only inexpedient but immoral. It is the noble lie of our time.
About the Author