Guest Opinion: Set Up to Fail

Barb Wire

Like many of my fellow black students at UC San Diego, I received special consideration as an Equal Opportunity Placement admission, facilitating my entrance into that college. What that means is, I got in because I was poor and not solely due to academic merit. Other students got in because of their race as part of affirmative action. Progressives to this day believe that these types of programs are the way to help the less fortunate, but as is the case with almost all of their beliefs, good intentions notwithstanding, these programs are a failure that can result in nothing less than personal disaster.

University of San Diego law professor Gail Heriot has written extensively on the subject of our society setting students up for failure by virtue of throwing them into a competition for which they are ill-equipped to succeed. The difficulties arise because liberals love to blur the line between proficiencies and preferences. To be precise, the real world proficiency, or lack thereof, with regard to a student’s academic wherewithal can’t be overcome by the well wishes of race and income-based preferential admission policies. This isn’t rocket science. Facilitating entrance does nothing to assure academic success.

The ironic insult to injury? These affirmative action programs are the prime suspect as to why more black students are not majoring in science, including rocket science. Many of these students had every intention to major in science and technology with the aspiration to become physicians and engineers, but the competition was too stiff. They instead end up taking a worthless social science class, like the one at UCSB that discusses why black women get paid less than whites for appearing in porn flicks — a real career builder. Yet, at the historically black colleges and universities, where there is no affirmative action program and the students who enrolled there had to get in on their own merit, well, in those cases, they are able to compete and succeed.

Professor Heriot points out that an astonishing 33 percent of black students awarded Ph.D degrees in science or engineering received their bachelor’s degrees at one of the historically black institutions of higher learning. Professor Heriot indicates that at other colleges, given race-based preferential admissions, black student credentials otherwise cluster at the bottom, pointing to the reality that these race-based preferences are dream killers. They set up these students for failure because once they are in the classroom, they can’t get the grades necessary to advance in what would be their choice career field, so they switch majors.
After the crash of 2008, this tendency of destructive meddling should come as no surprise.

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Financial institutions were forced to underwrite loans to people of color because liberals believe everyone has the right to own their own home regardless of their ability to afford the same. You can thank a former community activist and lawyer by the name of Barack Obama for helping set up that colossal failure of common sense and fiduciary responsibility, back in the day.

First published at Santa Barbara News Press

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

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