Supreme Court Vacancy: No White nor Male Folk Need Apply

Our current president has promised (or was strongarmed by James Clyburn into promising, you might correctly say) that he would nominate a black woman as Supreme Court Justice before the formal selection process ever began. 

As the Babylon Bee points out, Biden’s desire for black representation in the Court should come as quite a shock to the esteemed Justice Clarence Thomas, against whom Biden attempted to carry out a “high-tech lynching” in order to prevent his selection just thirty years ago.  But, in general and in principle, there is so much wrong with this promise having been made that it’s hard to imagine it ever occurred in the same country I was raised in.  Race doesn’t matter in the slightest when it comes to the value one is able to provide in a free market of labor and ideas, after all.  If there was one central premise around the idea of race during most of my lifetime, that was it.

First of all, let’s consider the practical failings of Biden’s approach.  If the object is to select the very best jurisprudential arbiter for the Supreme Court that our society has yet produced, Biden has unnecessarily and extraordinarily narrowed the field of candidates. 

Let’s presume, for a moment, that a prerequisite to being considered as a Supreme Court Justice requires a formal educational background in law.  Neither the Constitution nor I require this litmus test, but it’s safe to say that is a de facto provision these days, and whomever Biden nominates to the Court will likely have a formal education in law.  Now, consider that black Americans represent roughly 13-percent of the population, and yet only account for 4.7-percent of the population among American attorneys. 

But let’s be both practical and generous, and assume that out of every one hundred candidates considered for the Supreme Court, five happen to be black.  Of those, let’s assume that two are women.  This means that 98 of every 100 potential candidates for the Supreme Court could simply be tossed aside from consideration due to their skin color, ethnicity, and/or sex.

Does this mean that the best candidate cannot emerge from that 2-percent of eligible candidates?  Of course not.  But unnecessarily culling 98-percent of the candidates dramatically reduces the odds that the best candidate will be selected, to say the least.

No reasonable or honest person would ever accept this “appropriate skin color + appropriate sex = objective excellence” formula when it comes to, say, who is performing heart surgery on their mother or who is shooting three-pointers for their favorite team, because, as a policy, it’s not only morally evil but practically destructive to the very aim of “excellence” in every regard.  Perhaps that’s why more than three-quarters of Americans, according to recent polling, agree that race and gender “should not play a factor” in his selection of a nominee to the Supreme Court.

That’s not a slim majority.  As the previously cited poll suggests, the idea behind “diversity, equity, and inclusion” is anything but popular, but the fact that it’s both unpopular and blatantly racist hasn’t stopped government or colleges from prioritizing jobs or admissions based upon some theoretically ideal racial makeup of the faculty and student body.  The fact that it’s both blatantly racist and unquestionably illegal under the Civil Rights Act to prioritize employment opportunities on the grounds of racial makeup hasn’t stopped corporations from doing it, either.

How comfortable this sort of illegally manifested racism has become in the corporate world would have been unimaginable just a few years ago.  A colleague of mine, whom I’ve considered a friend in our years of knowing one another, recently said, in a broad company setting, that “when we encounter candidates of color, we need to make a space for them.”  This is an utterly insane proposition, but it’s supported by the implied purpose of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” initiatives, even if it’s not explicitly so. 

The problem, as my colleague sees it, is that he’s only had the opportunity to interview a small number of “people who look like him.”

A similar conundrum exists in our business, though to a lesser extent, that exists in Biden’s misguided quest to find a black female justice.  The problem is that fewer minorities exist in the category which might be labeled as “objectively qualified” or interested in the kinds of positions we offer.  Simply put, if a very small number of the most qualified candidates are black, then black applicants will not often find themselves at the top of the heap among candidates.

Though there are two basic approaches to this conundrum, only one doesn’t result in the decay of the institutions making the choice.

Both approaches begin with the recognition of the basic fact that fewer black people are objectively qualified for most positions that require substantial skills or education.

The first approach to the recognition of that fact is to aim toward an understanding of why that fact is observed.  What is the root cause of fewer black people having attained such skills or objective qualifications?

We’re well beyond the point of suggesting that racism in accepting applicants to higher education is the culprit.  This has been the suggestion bolstering affirmative action for the past 50 years, but in academia, you’re far more likely to be accepted to the university of your choice as a minority than a white person (unless you suffer the unfortunate, immutable characteristic of having been born of Asian descent, in which case Harvard, for example, almost always would reject you in favor of someone less objectively qualified). 

Affirmative action, however, has been an unequivocal failure.

Closer to the quick, we find that minority children are more often reared in a manner that is less conducive to the establishment of skills and values that are required to have success in higher education.  This is a more complex question, one which requires an answer. But the answer is one that the government and its crowers in the media don’t seem to like very much.   Not so long ago, in 2008, Barack Obama recognized it.  “More than half of all black children live in single-parent households, a number that has doubled – doubled – since we were children,” he said.  In as close to a pure act of honesty and concern as politicians are capable of, he scolded absent fathers by telling them that “responsibility does not end at conception” and that they are “acting like boys instead of men.”

He went on, “children who grow up without a father are five times more likely to live in poverty and commit crime; nine times more likely to drop out of schools and 20 times more likely to end up in prison.”

None of that is factually incorrect.  But it’s certainly inconvenient for anyone arguing that “systemic racism leads to economic inequity,” because it yields an uncomfortable question.  If fatherlessness leads to a systemic failure of children, then the real villain in this story is not the white American patriarchy, but the white Democratic Party elite that ushered in the welfare state.  Consider that between 1940 and 1960, the poverty rate among black Americans fell by 40 percent and that, in 1960, “only 22 percent of black children were raised with only one parent, usually the mother.  Thirty years later, two-thirds of black children were raised without a father present.”

Fatherlessness is culturally destructive, as Barack Obama and anyone able to look at numbers or with half a brain could observe.  Fatherlessness in the black community has more than tripled in the wake of the Great Society and the establishment of the welfare state in America. 

That all leads to easily understood conclusions.  But leftists today are insisting that these obvious conclusions are wrong, preferring a second approach in explaining why there are fewer minorities in positions that require substantial amounts of education or accomplishment.

That is, America is racist.  Yes, universities, corporations, and the government blatantly announce their intention to discriminate against white men in order to promote more minorities and women. But the real problem is that they’re not discriminating against them hard enough to give minorities an appropriate advantage in theatrically objective competition.  That’s why we now have a president who will select our next Supreme Court Justice predicated upon the stupidest and most racist and sexist premise imaginable.

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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