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Thursday, December 10, 2015

Racist? Maybe. But not everyone would agree.

United States Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia recently stated, "Most of the black scientists in this country do not come from the most advanced schools." He added that many such African-American scientists actually benefited from being given the opportunity to take a "slower track."

I caught this story on CNN. The newscaster was stunned by the remark by the supreme court justice. A discussion of the remark immediately followed the report. No time was taken to consider whether there was any substance, any support, for Scalia's stance.

Was I shocked by Scalia's remarks? A little. But, I had no immediate comment and I believe the on-air folk at CNN would do well to do a little research before launching an attack in which they quickly labeled the justice "racist."

If you are curious to know what others have said on this matter, folks whose views very well may have influenced the justice, follow the links:

  • The Painful Truth About Affirmative Action: Why racial preferences in college admissions hurt minority students -- and shroud the education system in dishonesty. -- from the Atlantic.
  • Does Affirmative Action Do What It Should: Scholars have been looking more closely at how affirmative action works in practice . . . some of these scholars have come to believe that affirmative action doesn’t always help the students it’s supposed to . . . some minority students . . . might actually be better served by attending a less elite institution . . . -- New York Times
  • And just this year the Harvard Political Review ran an article Matters of Mismatch: The Debate Over Affirmative Action's Effectiveness. The article examined the controversial theory of University of California School of Law professor Richard Sander who wrote a provocative 117-page article back in 2004 and published in the Stanford Law Review, "A Systemic Analysis of Affirmative Action in American Law Schools."

Is Antonin Scalia right? I don't know -- but I am certain the CNN folk are too-quick-to-voice-an-opinion. If I had the time, it would be interesting to discover just what exactly CNN has had to say on this issue in the past. When the Atlantic and the New York Times are two of the possible sources of Scalia's thoughts, it is hard not to imagine that CNN has reported Scalia's position in a more positive manner at other times.