150 Law School Deans ask ABA to require "every law school [to] provide training and education around bias, cultural competence, and anti-racism"

Law schools should be very, very careful before imposing loyalty pledges and flawed social science testing on faculty and students.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Yesterday, I wrote about faculty and students being required to take pledges to support certain values, such as diversity and inclusion. These pledges do not define what actions have to be taken to support these values. There are great risks to sign.

Today, I learned that 150 law school deans (including my own) asked the American Bar Association to require "every law school provide training and education around bias, cultural competence, and anti-racism." The letter does not define what "anti-racism" training would consist of.

I suspect many schools will consider requiring students, and perhaps faculty, to take the Harvard University Implicit Bias Test, known as IAT. (The American Bar Association Section on Litigation already promotes the test.)

These tests do not accurately predict racism. The results cannot be replicated on multiple administrations. And there is a very weak correlation between test results and actual behavior. I encourage you to read a lengthy review in Vox (no right-wing rag) about the implicit bias test. Here is an excerpt:

Only the IAT doesn't predict subconscious racial biases, at least based on one test. So one time with the IAT might not tell you much, if anything, about your actual individual views and behavior.

As Lai told me, it's not clear if the test even predicts biased behavior better than explicit measures: "What we don't know is … whether or not the IAT and measures like the IAT can predict behavior over and above corresponding questionnaires of what we would call explicit measures or explicit attitudes."

The big problem with the test is it doesn't only pick up subconscious biases.

"The IAT is impacted by explicit attitudes, not just implicit attitudes," James Jaccard, a New York University researcher who's criticized the IAT, told me. "It is impacted by people's ability to process information quickly on a general level. It is impacted by desires to want to create a good impression. It is impacted by the mood people are in. If the measure is an amalgamation of many things (one of which is purportedly implicit bias), how can we know which of those things is responsible for a (weak) correlation with behavior?

Professor Brian Leiter (Chicago), whom I tend to disagree with on many things, pithily described the problem with IAT:

[The IAT] doesn't measure implicit bias, and what it does measure doesn't correlate with discriminatory behavior.

Law schools should not impose such a flawed test on their students and faculty.

In the abstract, I don't have any objections to mandatory training I disagree with. For example, we are all required to take Title IX training. I think various aspects of the Title IX regime violate federal law, and other aspects violate the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses. But I don't have an issue with clicking through an online presentation, and certifying my attendance.

But implicit-bias training is very different. It does not merely seek to convey information. It is designed to extract information, and use that information to force a person reconsider his or her own approach to society. And, students and faculty will not merely need to certify their completion of the course. I fear the reports of these tests may provide basis for further counseling, remediation, and re-education.

If a law school asks you to take a test, and simply certify that you completed the test, the harm is minimal. But if a school demands to know the results of your test, you should decline to take the test. That information can and will be used against you. And challenging the results will provide dispositive proof of bigotry, racism, and fragility. Again, there is no possible dissent from this new orthodoxy.

Our society is moving very, very quickly now. A few years ago, it was considered unthinkable for professional athletes to kneel during the national anthem. Now the handful of players who deign to stand have to explain themselves. Norms that were once well-entrenched are being unsettled rapidly. I understand the desire of law schools to take proactive steps to address pressing racial issues. But we should be very, very careful before we impose loyalty pledges and flawed social science testing on faculty and students. These measures are unlikely to succeed in changing hearts and minds, and are far more likely to backfire, and impede forward progress.

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  1. The New McCarthyism is moving so fast that all its proponents today will be its victims tomorrow. I wonder how its speed compares with the Roman Empire’s conversion from banning Christianity to mandating it (I know very little of that progression other than some Emperor (Constantine?) being associated with it.

    1. It’s worse than McCarthyism. This “anti-racism” push ironically is deeply embedded with racism.

      The bible of “anti-racism” is the book ‘How to Be an Antiracist,’ by Boston University’s Ibram X. Kendi. Its “key concept” is that to remedy the underrepresentation of minority groups, you need to engage in discrimination in the opposite direction — i.e., discriminate against whites. As the book explains,

      “The only remedy to racist discrimination is antiracist discrimination. The only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination. The only remedy to present discrimination is future discrimination.”

      Kendi’s axiom is that all racial disparities are discriminatory. He says, “When I see racial disparities, I see racism.”

      But in reality, many racial disparities are not due to racism. For example, Latinos live three years longer than whites, on average, even though doctors don’t discriminate in their favor. Asians make more money than whites, on average. And while blacks make less money than whites, on average, immigrants from African countries like Nigeria actually make more money than whites do.

      Racial disparities exist everywhere in society and the world, often for reasons unrelated to racism, as the black economist Thomas Sowell chronicled in his book Discrimination and Disparities. To abolish racial disparities would require a totalitarian government, notes black economist Glenn Loury.

      Yet Kendi’s tenets are now an article of faith on America’s college campuses. For example, Cornell’s president told her university to read “‘How to Be an Antiracist,’ by National Book Award winner Ibram X. Kendi.”

      As the Supreme Court noted in Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989) and U.S. v. Armstrong (1996), not all racial disparities are due to racism.

      1. “As the Supreme Court noted in Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co. (1989) and U.S. v. Armstrong (1996), not all racial disparities are due to racism.”

        How many are, Mr. Bader, in your judgment?

        I will understand if you elect not to answer.

        1. One example of a disparity partly based on racism is the higher rate at which black motorists are stopped by police, compared to white motorists. The higher rate is partly due to racial discrimination:

          https://5harad.com/papers/100M-stops.pdf

          On the other hand, the higher black arrest rate for violent crime is overwhelmingly due to the higher black crime rate, not racism. Half of all murders are committed by black people, who are only 13% of the U.S. population.

          Crimes and infractions are not evenly distributed across racial groups, as the Supreme Court noted in United States v. Armstrong, 517 U.S. 456 (1996). As that 8-to-1 Supreme Court ruling noted, there is no legal “presumption that people of all races commit all types of crimes” at the same rate, since such a presumption was “contradicted by” real world data, in which “more than 90% of” convicted cocaine traffickers “were black” in 1994, and “93.4% of convicted LSD dealers were white.”

          1. The racial profiling of motorists is also BS: “Black drivers speed twice as much as white drivers, and speed at reckless levels even more. Blacks are actually stopped less than their speeding behavior would predict—they are 23 percent of those stopped.”

            See: https://www.city-journal.org/html/racial-profiling-myth-debunked-12244.html

            1. I haven’t read that pdf, probably won’t, but how exactly do they measure race of speeding vehicles? Sounds like a circular argument to me — they stop more blacks for speeding, therefore more blacks speed. Unless they’ve got some really accurate race classification going on with radar guns and speed cameras, I don’t see how they can have any such statistics except from cars they’ve actually stopped.

              1. Good question, and while I don’t know the methodology of the study, it satisfied the US DOJ — and it was NOT based on cars that were stopped.

                One possible way would be photo radar and looking up the registered owner of the vehicle, many (not all) states record race as part of driver info.

              2. NJ DOT used cameras mounted over lanes on I95. They measured speed using distance and time. There was some lower threshold for speeding — 15mph over, or something like that.

                The study counted, where possible, the speeders’ ethnicities. No traffic stops were involved.

                Blacks were significantly over represented.

          2. The local news did an undercover special on a-holes that illegally park in handicap spots about a year ago. They spent a day sitting in a van watching people without handicap placards illegally parking. Each time they jumped out of the van and questioned the person. If the person did not move their car they alerted the police who would come and ticket it.

            Well, there was one common denominator about everyone that illegally parked in this suburban shopping center. (I’m sure you guessed it.) And that got them in trouble for “targeting minorities” etc. The news editor defended the work at the time saying they didn’t edit out any encounter. They included everyone who didn’t move their car in the final cut. They just happened to all have similar characteristics. After more outrage the news finally recanted and apologized. Doesn’t change the reality of the situation though…

      2. “Yet Kendi’s tenets are now an article of faith on America’s college campuses. ”

        Not on my campus. One example — and there are probably 17 examples — doesn’t really justify the generalization.

  2. This is truly terrifying because, unlike medicine, there is no mandate that a lawyer represent a client (until a new lawyer takes the case).

    This is Orwellian….

    1. And the other side of this: No one will admit that a vastly disproportionate percentage of the Kampus Kangaroo Korts are Black male students being accused by White female students.

      FERPA prevents anyone from saying anything publicly, but we all know this is happening…..

      1. Ed, you don’t have the credibility to put forth an unsupported fact and claim that we all know it is true.

        1. Actually, I do.

          Over the past 30 years, I have gained the trust of a lot of academic administrators and they have often told me things that they weren’t supposed to. And they are noticing a lot of Black faces — there’s been no statistical research on this, and no one IHE has a statistically valid population sample (of accused male students) in the first place.

          You can call me all the names you want, but PROVE ME WRONG….

          Put your “social justice” beliefs where they might actually do some good and get someone, somewhere, to mandate some actual research bring done. Even on a state level if not nationally, I think it would be really interesting to get some statistically significant data on the relative accusations.

          Don’t you????

          1. Over the past 30 years, I have gained the trust of a lot of academic administrators and they have often told me things that they weren’t supposed to.

            Uh huh. Your mother told me to tell you to stop making things up online.

            1. Prove me wrong.

              1. You tend to do that just fine without any outside assistance.

          2. Burden’s on you, not me, Ed.

            With your uncontrollable instinct for fabulation and right wing melodrama I do wonder that you can gain anyone’s trust.

            Research that goes looking for a particular problem is bad research.

            1. So said the Jim Crow era voting registrars….

            2. “Burden’s on you, not me, Ed.”

              I would say that the burden’s on the schools to show that their process is fair. And given the lack of transparency, it’s impossible for them to do that.

              1. Ed isn’t saying the process is unfair, TiP. He’s saying blacks can’t stop getting accused of rape on campus.

                Read especially carefully when defending Ed.

                1. Oh, Ed will say the process is unfair, too — I call them Kampus Kangaroo Korts for a reason.

                  And some of the racial disparity issue has made the public record — see: https://reason.com/2017/09/14/we-need-to-talk-about-black-students-bei/

                  “In the 2013–14 academic year, 4.2 percent of Colgate’s students were black. According to the university’s records, in that year black male students were accused of 50 percent of the sexual violations reported to the university, and they made up 40 percent of the students formally adjudicated.”

                  The underlying data was not statically significant, but this is disturbing….

                  1. Not helping your credibility there, chief.

                    1. He’s not helping his credibility by linking to evidence?

                      Ironically, this relates back to the subject of the OP: Defending yourself is evidence of guilt…

                    2. Even he admits it’s not statistically significant, Brett.

                    3. He’s not helping his credibility by linking to evidence?

                      Not when he admits that his evidence isn’t actually probative, no. (In general, Dr. Ed’s links tend to refute his claims rather than bolster them, although he often doesn’t save you the time of actually admitting as much in the comments).

                      Ironically, this relates back to the subject of the OP: Defending yourself is evidence of guilt…

                      No, being a serial fabulist is evidence that your unverifiable claims shouldn’t be taken seriously.

                      Now, unless you’re telling people which door to open in a logic puzzle, it’s hard work to be wrong about absolutely everything, and Dr. Ed certainly doesn’t seem like he has the intellectual horsepower to pull it off. So I suppose it’s likely that from time to time he’ll come up with some stuff that’s true, if only from sheer exhaustion or incompetence. But without some significant corroboration, I’m not going to accept that any given comment is among hem.

                    4. “Not when he admits that his evidence isn’t actually probative, no.”

                      George Floyd’s death isn’t statistically significant, either. (n=1)

                      Just because your evidence isn’t statistically significant doesn’t mean that it isn’t relevant — it indicates the need for statistically significant data.

                    5. That’s quite a new thesis.

                      Point is, you shouldn’t shoot your mouth off as though an anecdote were generalizable.

                    6. Here is more evidence. Noteworthy in the article is how difficult it is to obtain evidence.

                      https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2017/09/the-question-of-race-in-campus-sexual-assault-cases/539361/

  3. Amazed how you took “training on bias and anti-racism” and turned it into loyalty oaths and testing. Quite a slope you slipped on there.

    1. truth

    2. That quote does not appear in the letter or the post. What the letter seeks is “training around bias, cultural competence, and anti-racism [emphasis added].” “Around” is a peculiar word choice.

    3. ‘Words have only one obvious meaning! Theres no such thing as codewords! Stop assuming the worst something!’ says the guy who probably turns right around the next moment and fully supports a side that tries to erase the word ‘blacklist’ and ‘plantation’ and punishes people who ‘misgender’ and talks about bias and antiracism while pulling down statues and throwing molotov cocktails

      1. Accusing NateC of throwing moltov cocktails is quite a move there, Amos.

  4. Many many years ago I used IAT in conjunction with shoot / don’t-shoot drills. As I recall, the IAT combined blacks and whites with guns and not-guns to illustrate the delay of decision making.

  5. This post makes quite a leap from “training and education around bias, cultural competence, and anti-racism” to taking the IAT and all sorts of re-education camp musings.

    I will say I went and took the test and it seems silly to me. I’m dubious that fractional-second variations in response times really mean very much.

    1. Bernard,
      The test is worst than silly. In general it is a gross intrusion into one’s privacy by the relevant institution. As chair of professional prize committees and as a member of faculty search committees, it has been suggested every time that I take the IAT. I looked at this “test.” and found the questions so intrusive that I would never have given my university of professional society the list of my answers even to the questions that were not loaded. or seriously biased to begin with.
      Fortunately I was never asked to remove myself from any of the committees.
      However, I do not see JB as making much of a just. At least suggesting the IAT is to commonplace to say it is a reach.

      1. Is the IAT bad? Yeah. It was all the rage like 3 years ago but has been, if not debunked, called into question.

        But it has nothing to do with the ask Blackman has posted about. Blackman is speculating wildly and then being outraged about what he’s imagined.

        It’s pathetic self-validating rageaholic behavior, common among fringe Internet commenters. You’d think Blackman would be above that, but…

        1. Blackman is speculating wildly and then being outraged about what he’s imagined.

          Exactly right.

        2. ??? Firstly, “called into question” would be a massive understatement.

          Otherwise, what, pray tell, is the purpose of administrating such a test? You tell every person they are racist and then???

          1. There is no test being administered Allutz!

            1. They are calling for one to be…

              1. Nope. Just education and training.

                The test is just something Blackman speculated about and then wrote a bunch as though it was a new requirement.

  6. You’re shook about your own pure speculation.

  7. Here is the problem: professional licensure. They are attempting to use professional licensure of attorneys as a whip to get anyone who wants to practice law be forced to take their classes in left wing progspeak and progthought. Almost every state in the country requires ABA accredited law school graduation for sitting for their state bar exams. Requiring these classes for ABA certification essentially means that prospective lawyers must take them in order to be licensed by the various states as lawyers.

    The good news is that law schools are filled with prospective lawyers eager to try out their new found knowledge. That means that this will almost certainly be litigated across the country as a fairly blatant violation of the 1st Amdt (made applicable to the states via the 14th Amdt).

    1. How is a required course a 1stA violation, even at a public school?

      1. Because it is required for state licensure, and has more to do with politics than practicing law.

        1. Bruce, that is what the Jennifer Keeton case was all about.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWZO_zehR9w

      2. It amounts to making a set of beliefs a requirement for practicing a profession. (It should not matter whether the beliefs are labeled as a religion, they amount to the same thing.)

        1. And as bad as that is, the worse problem is that it amounts to denying those who do not hold those beliefs legal representation.

          This isn’t about unpopular people being denied the ability to practice law (as bad as that is) as much as it is the worse issue of denying a segment of the population their Constitutional right to representation….

      3. Let me add that the required classes appear to be nothing more than indoctrination with left wing gobbly gook.

      4. “…faculty and students being required to take pledges to support certain values, such as diversity and inclusion…”

    2. Bruce, it’s even worse than that.

      While I think that racists, Black or White, are A-holes, they are entitled to legal advocacy. It goes all the way back to John Adams defending the British soldiers in the Boston Massacre.

      With the (small “s”) state increasingly substituting civil process for criminal (where said “state” is required to find/provide counsel for the defendant), the situation becomes one where unpopular people are no longer able to obtain legal representation.

      And what the left fails to realize is that has historically led to a violent overthrow of the courts….

      1. News flash: threats of terrorism should never factor into anyone’s policy choices. And yet you keep bringing them up again and again.

        It seems there is nothing that in your mind doesn’t lead to right-wing reactionary violence.

        Not by you, of course. You’re just voicing your concern. Over and over.
        Threats by proxy like this just make you look sweaty.

        1. There is a very big difference between knowledge of history and having a background in Political Science and making “terrorist threats.”

          History has documented that no court or judicial system has long survived after it has lost the respect of the majority of the people subject to it. It will be forced to rely on inexorably draconian sanctions until said sanctions either exceed the logistical abilities of the (small “s”) state and/or exceed the willingness of the state’s actors to impose.

          An example of the former is the 55 MPH speed limit, and example of the latter is the fall of the Berlin Wall. The DDR troops might have been willing to shoot a few of their fellow Germans, but not a few thousand of them….

          There was a time in this country, not that long ago, when this distinction was well known. Sadly, it apparently no longer is.

          1. Oh please. You’re giving concern trolling a bad name.

            1. “Um, you might not want to jump off that cliff, there are rocks at the bottom.”

              “How dare you threaten to smash me against rocks!”

              1. This isn’t gravity, it’s right-wing terrorism.

                That distinction is why it’s not nature, it’s a weasley proxy threat.

                1. Oh, really? And if I told you it would be a bad idea to walk through certain neighborhoods of Detroit at night, would I be threatening to mug you? Pointing out any kind of danger is a threat?

                  What Ed is explaining is exactly why the Democrats’ gun control push in the 90’s resulted in Waco. Any real effort to enforce laws that don’t have the support of the majority of people has to evolve into terror, as authorities try to compensate for low probability of being caught with frightening consequences if you are.

                  Eventually the authorities either have to give up, or they push too hard and provoke a kickback.

                  The question is why governments get into this mindset where they try to impose these sorts of laws. I think it derives from a lack of respect for the people who they’re being imposed on, a belief their opinions simply shouldn’t be allowed to matter.

                  1. Right-wing terrorism is also not a mugging.

                    What Ed and you appear to be explaining is that if the US government doesn’t do what y’all like on a panoply of issues from guns to immigration to masks to freaking potential ABA training programs someone is going to start killing.

                    I and America don’t take kindly to bullies so fuck you and bring it on.

          2. May I point out that American law enforcement proved, just a few months ago, that they are quite willing to shoot at thousands of their fellow Americans. Sure, they were “less lethal” stuff. That have maimed, sterilized, caused permanent blindness, and so-on.

            So if this is your concern? Too late.

  8. ” Our society is moving very, very quickly now. ”

    ‘Our society is moving very, very quickly now, brethren. We need to slow this whole thing down, I tell you . . . why, if we are not careful here, one day these slaves will join the Italian and the Irishman, and all will act just like the white man, and some will be bold enough to intermarry with our daughters without so much as the father’s permission, and the homosexual will not hide but will expect to be treated with respect, any many will give them that respect, and women — our fair, church-going women — some of our women will own property and vote, and — no, no, this is true, I say, do not doubt me, for I foresee it — yes, friends, Jesus will be cast out of the schools and our children will be taught that they are cousins to monkeys, as if Satan his own self were at the front of the classroom, and you should know by now where all of this leads . . . the “liberals” will control all of America’s strong schools and they shall be victorious in what will be known as an American culture war!’

    — Jedidiah Ezekiel Calvin Blackman, circa 1865

    1. A great example of both red herring and strawman in the same post. Impressive AK.

    2. Kirkland, read _The Turner Diaries._

      And then realize that someone, possibly sober at the time, actually wrote that.

      Just sayin….

      1. Ed, threats of violence against an Internet poster like RAK via some old white supremacist fantasy are just so, so, sad.

        1. Where was the threat? I didn’t see one. He suggested AK read a book.

          You do like to make up these “threats” don’t you Sarc?

          1. And for the record, _The Turner Diaries_ scare the daylights out of me. Like I said, someone, possibly even sober, actually wrote that — and others apparently believe it.

            It doesn’t mean that I do….

            1. You can be sober and freaking nuts. And attract other nuts.

              Right wing nutsos have always been with us, and never been a statistical threat. I do not anticipate that changing. And if it does, the political movement that will be wrecked will be the American right.

            2. Unintended Consequences is a better book, if you ask me. Though the ending is awfully optimistic.

              1. Yeah, and you also like Camp of Saints.
                Right-wing terrorist fan-fiction is not predictive, Brett and Ed.

          2. Jimmy, I guess you haven’t heard of the book, then?

            Saying the Turner Diaries could come true is absolutely invoking right-wing violence against RAK.

            1. Ed said this for the record:

              “Kirkland, read _The Turner Diaries._

              And then realize that someone, possibly sober at the time, actually wrote that.

              Just sayin….”

              He didn’t say anything about The Turner Diaries coming true or wishing they would happen. He just said “read the book…”

              You are reading into what someone said which is your SOP. He didn’t in the least imply a threat. You are just assuming one because, well, I guess that is how you roll…

              1. What do you think ‘someone sober wrote that’ other than to take it’s violent fantasies seriously?

                You can’t do reading comprehension. Or, more likely, you’re trolling.

                1. Apparently I lack your skills of crime prediction and intent reading on a simple internet comment. To me it seems like he suggested someone read a book. That is not a threat.

                  1. You’re not this massively stupid, so I presume you’re trolling.

                2. For the record, I wrote: “someone, possibly sober at the time,…”
                  NOT “someone sober wrote that”

                  I was actually implying the opposite….

              2. Also read Ed’s further comment below.

                He’s not helping your case.

            2. Part of it already has — it was just a different group of nuts that flew a plane into the Pentagon….

      2. How is that civility project going, Prof. Volokh?

        Are you genuinely still claiming you have not engaged in viewpoint-controlled censorship — for example, banning a commenter for making fun of conservatives, removing posts for use of “c&p succ@r,” and warning against use of “sl@ck j@w’ while enabling conservatives to threaten violence and use vile slurs?

        Zyklon showers for liberals, gassing liberal judges, shooting liberals in the face upon opening a front door, liberals face-down in landfills, evocation of the Turner Diaries’ extermination of liberals — all expressed without censorship at the Volokh Conspiracy. This blog’s “civility” compass must be a movement conservative thing.

        After an apology for banning Artie Ray, I would mention this record less often.

        1. Kirkland, have you ever heard of reading everyone’s literature so you have some idea of what they are thinking?

          Notwithstanding that, reading the above makes me think you are confusing the use of vulgarities and ad hominems with viewpoint-based censorship. There’s a difference….

          1. We all know what white supremacists are thinking. We don’t need a 1978 novel to tell us that.

            You, however, seem to be taking the book as prophetic…

            1. And in your world, everyone to the political right of Vladimir Lenin is a white supremacist….

              1. No, but the Turner Diaries sure as heck is.

  9. I’m fine with the left continuing to push hard on this. There is still plenty of left before the election and would rather the extreme fascist left show their hand now then right after the election. So keep it up liberals!

    1. “So keep it up liberals!”

      Up a shade better than 8, according to 538.

      Up 7.4, according to the clingers at RCP.

      Up 6, according to the right-wing shills at Rasmussen.

      Up 10-15, according to the highest-rated polls.

      1. Talk to President Hillary about the accuracy of polls….

        1. Talk with Brad Parscale about how well the Trump campaign is doing . . .

          See you in November, clingers.

    2. Jimmy, I’m reminded that Nixon — as corrupt as he was — took 49 states in 1972.

      I don’t think Trump will do that well, but much of “middle America” defends free speech and doesn’t want to see the cops killing people, but has a visceral objection to rioting in the middle of the night…

  10. Who cares what law school deans think? They’re just bureaucrats tasked with making the faculty do the upper administration’s bidding.

    1. Right-wing law professors care.

  11. Indeed – I’m required to complete Micro-aggression training 30-day before the Due-Date, or explain the exceptional circumstances that prevented me from doing so. That’s an online 1hr course, after a 5hr live course – just for good measure. The Exec’s had the 1hr summary course, of course – all of those old white men…

    1. “Micro-aggression training”
      More bullshit leftist indoctrination material

    2. I have enough trouble getting staff to do a 1 hour workshop because they are so busy. I can’t imagine trying to get them to dedicate a whole day to professional development (assuming that they even would find such a subject interesting.)

    3. Truly, a lesser man would buckle under the oppression of this one course among what no doubt is many.

  12. “law school deans (including my own) asked the American Bar Association to require …”

    Why do the Deans need to ask the ABA’s permission? They could simply require it at their own school(s).

    The simplest answer is that the Deans demonstrating their racism via their choice of the ineffectual letter over real, effective change.

    1. Because if the ABA requires it, then any school that doesn’t provide the classes could lose their ABA accreditation, and thus be forced out of business, since their grads would no longer be eligible to sit for the bar exam in most states.

  13. I like how Prof. Blackman took a story with no facts that he knew nothing about and turned it into a rant about the IAT. It’s fine to criticize the IAT, but shouldn’t that wait for an occasion when someone proposed using the IAT?

    1. Well he’s successfully playing pied piper to the comentariat who loves some ‘schools are liberal indoctrination centers’ melodrama.

      1. But universities are liberal indoctrination centers. No one, even on the Left, really contests that reality.

        1. Our strongest schools are operated in the liberal-libertarian mainstream, but there are dozens (and likely hundreds) of low-ranked, shit-quality, conservative-controlled schools.

          They don’t come to mind as much — mostly because these censorship-shackled, nonsense-teaching schools have lousy reputations, nondescript faculties, lackluster alumni, and downscale students — but they exist.

          Don’t hate liberals for having all of the best schools. Liberals do not prevent conservatives from operating strong schools. The only things stopping conservatives from operating strong schools are superstition, ignorance, disdain of science, bigotry, dogma, and backwardness.

          1. Kirkland, half of your supposedly “strongest schools” won’t be here in a decade.

            1. Which ones do you have in mind?

            2. I gather your “Great Awakening” delusion features the closure of Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Penn, NYU, Cal-Berkeley, Michigan, Pittsburgh, Wisconsin, and Cal-Irvine . . . and the corresponding ascendance of Liberty, Ave Maria, Hillsdale, Regent, Wheaton, Grove City, Biola, Bob Jones, Oral Roberts, and Ouachita Baptist to occupy their rightful places as America’s best and most-respected schools?

              Mocking clingers gets easier every day.

        2. “No one, even on the Left, really contests that reality.”

          The issue might not be to contest it, but to offer a little more nuance. Research indicates that college student views of political issues are changed or reinforced more by their interactions with other students than with faculty. Students arriving at college, even for the first time, are usually adults with relatively well-formed political views, so any “indoctrination” they encounter is pretty much ineffective. The largest effect that I have seen in the research literature is that both conservative and liberal leaning students develop more tolerance of one another over their college years. That may be a good thing, and it may be a bad thing.

          And, the kind “indoctrination” that is referenced in such complaints generally refers to a relatively small swath of a university. When Business is the most common major in America, and large numbers of students major in STEM fields, the radical leftist indoctrination in, say, a Gender Studies program reaches less than 1% of all students, and is largely preaching to the choir there.

          1. “Research indicates that college student views of political issues are changed or reinforced more by their interactions with other students than with faculty. ”

            Well, sure, but you can curate those interactions by making the ones you don’t like highly perilous. The students coming in may have a normal distribution of political views, but they’re not all equally free to safely reveal them.

            1. Because college Republicans are not a common thing.

              The right-wing confirmation bias drumbeat working as intended, I see.

            2. Brett,

              It’s kinda like the former Soviet Union — people know what they are supposed to think so they pretend to think it. In reality, they don’t have any political values at all, other than how they can subvert they system (and others) to their personal gain.

              It’s really kinda scary — I know that there have always been ruthlessly self-centered persons but the Millennial Generation appear not to believe in anything other than themselves. They have no loyalty to other people or other causes unless it is to their personal benefit.

              Rush Limbaugh made an interesting point the other day — the BLM protests are largely being led by angry White Millennial women — angry because they were told from childhood that the world would revolve around them, and they’ve now learned that it doesn’t.

              I like to remind people that Soviet women *hated* Raisa Gorbacheva, not because of her personality but because she could stay home with her children — and they couldn’t. (She was the wife of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, they add an “a” to the spelling of the husband’s name to mean “wife of.”)

              But the larger issue is that higher ed is going to implode — even without the Wuhan Virus, it was going to happen as there aren’t enough bodies to fill all the seats. The true bomb will hit in 2026 when the children not born in 2008 won’t be turning 18…

            3. “The students coming in may have a normal distribution of political views, but they’re not all equally free to safely reveal them.”

              I doubt that they do have a normal distribution of political views, since a majority of younger people embrace liberal/progressive views — the point was that “indoctrination” is largely a fantasy of the Right. In fact, it is to be expected — when ideological groups sense that they are loosing power, they respond by imagining all sorts of demonic forces, conspiracies, cabals, etc.

              It is indeed borne out by research that college students are less likely to feel comfortable expressing conservative views, but that is a normal and every-day experience of participating in a group that tends to hold different beliefs. I keep my mouth shut when visiting my very conservative in-laws.

              The more important issue might be whether faculty suppress alternative views from students, and while we occasionally hear of some obnoxious faculty member ridiculing a conservative student or worse, taking some kind of action against such a student, these are rare cases, and tend to be restricted to a small realm of marginal disciplines. I’ve been teaching at major research universities for decades, and have only come across anything like that once, though it is also true that students feel pressure even when it might be applied.

          2. “And, the kind “indoctrination” that is referenced in such complaints generally refers to a relatively small swath of a university.”

            No, I’ve seen research finding that the admin is even more biased than the faculty, and that’s the dormitories and everything else.
            Also do not forget the Gen Ed requirements.

            And don’t underestimate the indoctrination from K-12 that these students are arriving with.

            1. 1) Biased doesn’t mean indoctrination.
              2) Membership in the Democratic Party does not make you biased
              3) Gen Ed requirements are not liberal indoctrination.

              1. Academia is so far to the left that no small percentage of them consider the Democratic Party to be a bastion of right-wing conservationism — consider AOC to be a moderate as they are to the left of even *her*.

                1. Then show the research that demonstrates that.

                2. I’ve been a university faculty member for decades, and have a very different experience than you describe — so let me second the call for any documentation of this claim.

  14. I had to take a loyalty oath both times I was sworn into a bar.

  15. The IAT is also ridiculously easy for takers to consciously game.

  16. Vox in 2017. Has the author been cancelled for his “racist” article yet? lol

  17. 2+2=5. It is coming faster than we want. This is an example of bad compliance. An administrator picks a test, any test, so that he or she can show compliance with a mandated rule to solve a problem. The fact that the test is ineffective does not matter; what matters is that it is an easy way to show compliance with the rule. This kind of false compliance is one of the matters destroying our country.

    1. There is no test. Blackman is making it up.

  18. So Harvard’s implicit bias test is bad. Got it. What bugs me about the article is that law school deans are asking an outsider to impose changes that they can make themselves. If “anti-racism” training is a good thing, just implement it. You’re the Dean, for gods’ sake. Don’t waste time whining to the ABA.

    And when the training you pick crashes and burns, accept responsibility and fix it rather than blame the outsiders that you lobbied for.

    1. Could it be that they realize that it inherently will crash & burn, so they need the ABA’s monopoly to implement it?

      And I wonder how much longer said monopoly will continue to exist.

      Remember that law school really isn’t needed in the way it was in the 1980’s when you had to learn a complicated library system.

  19. Good education on culture and racism would admit valid disputes on definitions and recognize that cultures will always compete, blend, and adapt. Cognoscenti thinking they have a lock on cultural competence are demonstrating a special kind of incompetence.

  20. Maybe it would be better to start by trying to provide students with some basic instruction on how to do such routine things as draft a complaint, prepare interrogatories and other discovery requests, conduct a deposition, try simple criminal and civil cases, and file a notice of appeal.

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