Columbia High and the Farce of Proportionalism
April 5, 2005

Re: New York Times: The Segregated Classrooms of a Proudly Diverse School by Jeffrey Gettleman (requires registration). Also see related discussion thread on American Renaissance.


I am against proportionalism. I am against the idea that rewards for success in all fields should be proportionately allocated according to race, gender or any similar type of classification.

Unfortunately, that concept, generally cloaked by talk of "diversity" or "multiculturalism," is the basis for many arguments in academia, business, politics and even our legal system. Proportionalism -- not racism -- is one reason white people, especially white males, tend these days to feel beleaguered by "minorities" and sometimes by women who are not at all shy about broadcasting their great indignation whenever proportions somehow do not favor them. When proportions do favor them, they presume merit to be the only issue, and they vaunt their superiority over benighted, bigoted white males.

I believe most minorities and women are not guilty of the self-serving attitudes I'm writing about, but, these days, whenever there is great agitation and consternation and wringing of hands over racial or gender issues, the odds are excellent that you can remove the mask words "diversity" or "fairness" and you will see the ugly head of proportionalism

This is the case with the recent uproar at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey that is the topic of the above New York Times article. In some subjects, instruction is provided at different "levels" according to ability. As the article points out, you can easily guess what level a class is by noting its racial composition.

This fact, in and of itself, does not prove the existence of any unfairness or wrongful discrimination because, on the average, black people are not as academically talented as white people. Notice: I said on the average. Certainly, some black people are highly talented academically, and, as students, they should be given all the opportunities given to academically talented students of other races. That seems to the policy at Columbia High. The NYT article says that the "classrooms are largely segregated" [emphasis added] and that "white students make up the bulk of the advanced classes" [emphasis added]. If the smart black kids of 60 years ago could be transported forward in time to Columbia High School, 2005, they would believe they had found paradise. There would be many black people for social opportunities, plus classes with other smart kids.

Alas, over the last 50 years, black politics has degenerated into a social disease. Real injustice and oppression by white people against black people are hard to find in the America of 2005, but that doesn't slow down today's black racial agitators even a little bit. They have two main gimmicks: The phony hate crime, which I discuss in Virtual Racism at the University of Michigan in the Winter of 1987, and bitter complaints about proportion. The latter was the particular race card played by Columbia High student Quentin Williams, "leader of the Martin Luther King Association at the school."

Quentin and his band of bruthas, his unhappy few, were first planning to stage a walkout to protest the fell ratios plaguing them, but they finally "decided that holding an assembly would give them a better opportunity to publicly confront administrators, especially the principal, Renee Pollack." The assembly was "mandatory for all students."

I believe there is something in the air. The easy scripts of yesterday worked like this: Minorities and/or women weep and complain and threaten about all the disproportions besetting their lives, then administrators, now awakened to the injustices inherent in the systems they operate, set up committees which always recommend things like diversity training, affirmative action, and so on and so on. Sometimes key figures even illustrate how well they have been whipped into probity by awarding plaques to the agitators.

At the Columbia High mandatory assembly, something else happened: "Nathan Winkler, a skinny, intense senior, . . . grabbed the microphone and announced that he had no sympathy for people in lower levels because all it took was hard work to move up." That sparked an uproar which made the whole episode of interest to the New York Times. Of course, administrators at Columbia High are now working on reforms of the "level" system. But, if you think about it, those reforms could just as easily widen "the so-called achievement gap" as narrow it.

The truly significant point here is that black radicals can no longer play their silly games with impunity. White people are standing up and saying "No!" to all the baloney.

Nathan Winkler and others like him are a bit like Mario Savio. They speak out passionately and spontaneously against the unjust but extremely well-entrenched stupidities of our age. They are learning first hand the ugliness of racial politics, American style. More than that, they are precursors to a movement that will soon emerge and assert, on a very grand and glorious scale, the absolute right of white people to pursue excellence, ability, achievement and progress without any guilt whatsoever.

Copyright © 2005

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