Thomas Sowell at www.realclearpolitics.com begins:
Years ago, when Jack Greenberg left the NAACP Legal Defense Fund to become a professor at Columbia University, he announced that he was going to make it a point to hire a black secretary at Columbia.What a great beginning! In just two sentences, Sowell’s stated and illustrated his thesis.
This would of course make whomever he hired be seen as a token black, rather than as someone selected on the basis of competence.
A reader can only conclude: “Sure, if Jack Greenberg says skin color is the essential qualification for the job, whomever he hires will be looked at as having gotten the job because of race, no matter how competent the person proves to be."
This reminded me of the first time I went to Milton Friedman's office when I was a graduate student at the University of Chicago back in 1960, and I noticed that he had a black secretary. This was four years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and there was no such thing as affirmative action.The rest of Sowell’s column’s here
It so happened that Milton Friedman had another black secretary decades later, at the Hoover Institution-- and she was respected as one of the best secretaries around.
When I mentioned to someone at the Hoover Institution that I was having a hard time finding a secretary who could handle a tough job in my absence, I was told that I needed someone like Milton Friedman's secretary-- and that there were not many like her.
At no time in all these years did I hear Milton Friedman say, either publicly or privately, that he had a black secretary.
William F. Buckley's wife once mentioned in passing, at dinner in her home, that she had been involved for years in working with a school in Harlem. But I never heard her or Bill Buckley ever say that publicly.
Nor do conservatives who were in the civil rights marches in the South, back when that was dangerous, make that a big deal.
For people on the left, however, blacks are trophies or mascots, and must therefore be put on display. Nowhere is that more true than in politics.
The problem with being a mascot is that you are a symbol of someone else's significance or virtue. The actual well-being of a mascot is not the point.
Most liberals will get upset at Sowell for shining a light on their mascot practices, but they engage in them; then expect the rest of us to think they’re virtuous.
But as Sowell tells us near the end of his column, liberals' mascoting of blacks has been shown to, on the whole, do more harm than good. Here's some of what he provides by way of exposing the consequences of mascoting blacks :
In academia, lower admissions standards for black students is about having them as a visible presence, even if mismatching them with the particular college or university produces high dropout rates.At the end of his column, Sowell says using human beings as mascots “is self-aggrandizement that is ugly in both its concept and its consequences.”
The black students who don't make it are replaced by others, and when many of them don't make it, there are still more others. …
Many, if not most, of the black students who do not make it at big-name, high-pressure institutions are perfectly qualified to succeed at the normal range of colleges and universities.
Most white students would also punch out if admitted to schools for which they don't have the same qualifications as the other students. But nobody needs white mascots.
Various empirical studies have indicated that blacks succeed best at institutions where there is little or no difference between their qualifications and the qualifications of the other students around them.
This is not rocket science but it is amazing how much effort and cleverness have gone into denying the obvious.
A study by Professor Richard Sander of the UCLA law school suggests that there may be fewer black lawyers as a result of "affirmative action" admissions to law schools that are a mismatch for the individuals admitted. …
Does anyone disagree?