Social Justice for White People
January 21, 2016

While checking out the Campus Reform web site a few days ago, I learned about a course, ELC 381, given by the Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. The title of ELC 381, "The Institution of Education", seems innocuous, but the readings are mostly multicultural leftist propaganda, often having little to do with education. Read Ed School Students Must Become Social Justice Warriors to Gain Licensure by Jay Schalin, posted on the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy web site, if you want details.

If you are taking Revital Zilonka's section of ELC 381, you will be "required to write your own personal/professional commitment to social justice" by the end of the semester. The purpose of this blog post is to offer some alternative ideas of what "social justice" is, mostly from a white perspective.

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Over the past 20 years or so, tens of millions of American manufacturing jobs have been shipped over to China. Many Americans are out of work as a result of that. A small number of Americans are much richer because they can pay cheap wages and bypass American worker protection and labor relations laws. I would call this a social injustice. Yet the typical advocates of "social justice" do not seem concerned with this development. (Maybe they are and I'm just not checking out the relevant web sites.)

Also over the past 20 years, tens of millions of people have entered the U.S.A. illegally, degrading neighborhoods, putting huge strains on our education and welfare systems, sometimes committing crimes, and of course taking jobs from American workers. Again, small numbers of people profit lavishly from this social injustice.

Here is one you might be right in the middle of. Young Americans are told over and over again that higher education is the key to a good life. So millions go to college and end up seriously in debt. The wonderful jobs they anticipated often do not materialize. So they get jobs easily filled by any high school graduates and end up with low incomes, heavily in debt and with not enough resources to start families. But colleges and universities all this time are wallowing in riches. They can afford to set up things like a "Department of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations." They steal your future and batten on the spoils. This is a social injustice.

Here is one you've probably never heard of: the doctrine of "disparate impact." It was established as law by the Griggs v. Duke Power Co. court decision. Quibbles and qualifications aside, it means a business cannot give any kind of test to potential employees if that test has a "disparate impact" on minority applicants.

Let me digress. I honestly believe that black people often have a kind of intelligence that many white people do not recognize. We recognize intelligence or the lack of it more easily in other white people. Some black educators complain that our school systems were designed by white people for the education of white children. There is some truth to that complaint. Yes, this is another social injustice, one you could perhaps write about and still pass your course.

On the other hand, average levels of aptitude for schoolwork are much lower in the black population than in the white population. Some black people, of course, are very intellectual and very good at schoolwork and various kinds of abstract reasoning. I'm talking about averages, which are hugely important because of things like "disparate impact." You might have a great deal of abstract reasoning ability, but a potential employer is not allowed to test for that, so you might not get a job you are well suited for.

There is no law against discriminating based on the college or university from which an applicant has graduated. That is what large companies do in order to select for intellectual skill without giving tests. So if you graduated from Dartmouth or Harvard or Brown or Skidmore or Smith or the University of Michigan, you get the job. If you graduated from Eastern Michigan University, sorry, but the answer is no. This is a grotesque social injustice.

It is also a grotesque social injustice that you are forced to absorb and regurgitate someone else's version of "social justice" in order to graduate and thus find work as a teacher.
 

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