It used to be a joke.
Tom Lehrer made it about his military experience. “One of the many fine things (one has to admit) is the way that the Army has carried the American democratic ideal to its logical conclusion … not only do they prohibit discrimination on the grounds of race, creed and color, but also on the grounds of ability.”
Now it’s becoming reality. At least at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
A fairly recent set of directives from the august institution’s faculty senate called for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.”
We’re told that these goals were buried in a huge document, and the academics who approved it may not have known what they were approving, exactly.
Sounds like they’re ready for Washington, DC, where lack of reading skills can be compensated for by spin skills.
The idea that the thing to be achieved is some sort of demographic microcosm of the social macrocosm, proportioned at all levels, doesn’t hold water. Apparently, if 5 percent of the population were Lower Slobovian, the institution simply must mirror that five percent in its ranks.
Including a proportion of Slobovians getting high grades.
Whether this “proportionality” means what Katherine Timpf says it means — “good grades should be distributed equally among students of different races” — I don’t know.
But I do know the standards being scuttled here: ability, achievement, merit.
It’s obvious: trendy, “progressive-minded” academics and activists have so little sense of proportion (and so little sense of humor) that they can’t tell when their earnest efforts are themselves nothing more than jokes.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.