Free Speech

Adjunct Law Professor Fired for Saying to Colleague, "A Lot of My Lower [Graded Students] Are Blacks"

Compare: “With the exception of traditionally black law schools ..., the median black law school grade point average is at the 6.7th percentile of white law students.”

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The New York Times (Michael Levenson) reports:

Georgetown University Law Center said on Thursday that it had fired an adjunct professor who made "abhorrent" remarks about Black students on a video call and had placed another adjunct who was on the call with her on administrative leave.

The two adjunct professors, Sandra A. Sellers and David C. Batson, seemed to be unaware they were being recorded, according to a roughly 40-second clip of their conversation that generated widespread outrage after it was shared online.

In the clip, Ms. Sellers … discussed the evaluation of Black students with Mr. Batson after their virtual class had ended ….

"You know what? I hate to say this," Ms. Sellers said on the video. "I end up having this angst every semester that a lot of my lower ones are Blacks — happens almost every semester. And it's like, 'Oh, come on.' You know? You get some really good ones. But there are also usually some that are just plain at the bottom. It drives me crazy."

As she spoke, Mr. Batson murmured, "Mm-hmm," but did not challenge her remarks.

What appears to be the video is here:

You can draw what conclusions you like about the tone of the conversation (which is of course a casual conversation, not a formally planned presentation). But I wanted to speak to the broader factual matter that the remarks raise—whether a disproportionate share of students at the bottom of the class in top law schools are indeed black.

There appears to be some data on this; here, for instance, is an observation from Yale law professors Ian Ayres & Richard R.W. Brooks in Does Affirmative Action Reduce the Number of Black Lawyers?, 57 Stanford Law Review 1807 (2005):

With the exception of traditionally black law schools (where blacks still make up 43.8% of the student body), the median black law school grade point average is at the 6.7th percentile of white law students. This means that only 6.7% of whites have lower grades than 50% of blacks. One finds a similar result at the other end of the distribution—as only 7.5% of blacks have grades that are higher than the white median.

This is data from the 1990s, but I have heard no evidence that the results are vastly different today; my colleague Rick Sander tells me that newer data has not been generally made available by administrators. Sander's theory is that this gap is a predictable consequence of race-based affirmative action:

  1. The usual predictors (the LSAT score and the undergraduate GPA) do a pretty good job of predicting law school performance; not perfect, of course, but the correlation is quite substantial.
  2. Therefore, if you let in any group with considerably lower predictors, they'll on average do worse than their peers (including on blind-graded exams, which are common in law schools), and will be particularly likely to fall near the bottom of the class.
  3. Race-based affirmative action programs in many law schools tend to let in black students with considerably lower predictors than other students; indeed, such programs are structured precisely to do that.

To quote Sander's testimony to the Commission on Civil Rights:

It's important to note that this performance gap has nothing to do with race per se; whites who attend law schools where their credentials are far below most of their peers have pretty much the same types of troubles. The performance gap is a function of preferences [i.e., race-based preferences in the admission. -EV].

Sander adds to me that, "My work found that virtually all of the black-white grade gap disappeared when one controlled for LSAT scores and undergraduate grades."

Now others take different views, and point to other possible reason for black students tending to cluster near the bottom of the class in most schools. Ayres & Brooks, for instance, write, "If not mismatch, then what explains black underperformance in law schools? One possibility is stereotype threat [presumably stemming from black students' being affected by the stereotype of blacks as less academically successful -EV] …. [S]tereotype threat is activated by the … subtle and pervasive mechanism of contending with situations in which one knows one can be viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype. It has little to do with expectations of poor performance and everything to do with the contextual environment that black law students face. 'Stereotype threat follows its targets onto campus, affecting behaviors of theirs that are as varied as participating in class, seeking help from faculty, contact with students in other groups, and so on.'"

But in any event the phenomenon of a disproportionate number of black students being near the bottom of the class at many law schools appears to be real. (This is of course an average effect; the actual grades differ by student and by school. Schools that don't have race-based admissions preferences, or that have smaller race-based preferences, might lack such an effect, or have a much smaller effect. My own UC campuses, for instance, are forbidden by law from offering race-based preferences; to the extent such a prohibition is complied with, one would expect both black students' predictors and their grades there to be much closer to the overall class median. I don't know what the actual statistics are for UC law schools, or for my UCLA law school in particular; to my knowledge, such numbers are generally not publicized.)

And this phenomenon is a serious matter for professors to consider, whether in considering affirmative action programs, strategies to fight "stereotype threat," or whatever else. It is also something that professors should feel free to talk about, and academic freedom principles indeed protect them in talking about it. To quote Georgetown University's official policy statement (based on the Chicago Principles),

Georgetown University is committed to free and open inquiry, deliberation and debate in all matters, and the untrammeled verbal and nonverbal expression of ideas. It is Georgetown University's policy to provide all members of the University community, including faculty, students, and staff, the broadest possible latitude to speak, write, listen, challenge, and learn.

The ideas of different members of the University community will often and naturally conflict. It is not the proper role of a University to insulate individuals from ideas and opinions they find unwelcome, disagreeable, or even deeply offensive. Deliberation or debate may not be suppressed because the ideas put forth are thought by some or even by most members of the University community to be offensive, unwise, immoral, or ill conceived.

It is for the individual members of the University community, not for the University as an institution, to judge the value of ideas, and to act on those judgments not by seeking to suppress speech, but by openly and vigorously contesting those arguments and ideas that they oppose…. [C]oncerns about civility and mutual respect can never be used as a justification for closing off the discussion of ideas, no matter how offensive or disagreeable those ideas may be to some members of our community.

And these free-and-open-inquiry principles on their face apply to all modes of speech, including casual conversations, and not just formal academic papers. Among other things, much thinking about research, teaching strategies, proposed changes to faculty policies, and the like starts in casual conversations. Conversely, punishing people for discussing such facts in casual conversations is quite likely to deter faculty (and students) from discussing them in other contexts as well.

Here is the letter from the Georgetown University Law Center dean, which doesn't seem to discuss whether the professors' factual assertions were accurate (or also just what "bystander responsibility" should be required—is there a call for faculty members to be obligated to report each other's supposedly racist statements?):

As I wrote to you last night, I am appalled that two members of our faculty engaged in a conversation that included reprehensible statements concerning the evaluation of Black students. I have further reviewed the incident and have now spoken to Professor Sellers and Professor Batson, giving each the opportunity to provide any additional context. I informed Professor Sellers that I was terminating her relationship with Georgetown Law effective immediately. During our conversation, she told me that she had intended to resign. As a result of my decision, Professor Sellers is no longer affiliated with Georgetown Law. Professor Batson has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action, the results of which will inform our next steps. Until the completion of the investigation, Professor Batson will have no further involvement with the course in which the incident arose.

We are taking significant steps to ensure that all students in this class are fairly graded without the input of Professor Sellers or Professor Batson.

This is by no means the end of our work to address the many structural issues of racism reflected in this painful incident, including explicit and implicit bias, bystander responsibility, and the need for more comprehensive anti-bias training. This is a matter of great concern to me. I will be writing to you soon with a range of actions and changes that we will implement to address these issues. I will also send information about a listening session for the Georgetown Law student community that we plan to hold tomorrow.

And here is a letter from black professors at the Georgetown law school:

We, the undersigned Georgetown University Law Center Black faculty, condemn the statements reportedly made by one of the school's adjunct professors deriding the capabilities of Black students in her class. Her taped Zoom comments reveal what we see as an underlying, damaging perception of Black law students that is grounded in white supremacist thought. Our classrooms should be intellectual and humane spaces for learning and growth. Every student deserves to be free of pre-set notions of their intellectual capabilities.

The content of the video is now widely-reported. In the taped meeting, the professor recounted how "some" Black students did well in her course but emphasized over and again that "a lot" were "at the bottom" each year. Racializing student performance casually was in itself unnecessary and recklessly conjured centuries old expectations of Black intellectual capacity and performance. What the professor failed apparently to consider is that, given the makeup of our diverse student body, white students also routinely fall at the bottom of class curves. In singling out Black students, the professor flagrantly and unfairly stigmatized them and in the process both revealed and propagated racial, and overtly white supremacist stereotypes about the intellectual ability of Black students.

The professor's comments also raise serious concerns about whether her own bias may be driving the outcomes she observed in her class. Broad statements as to the intellectual ability of students based on their race reflect more poorly on the speaker than those spoken of. Such beliefs spur behavior that is unlikely to create a fair playing field for all students in the classroom. If you expect Black students to behave poorly, your classroom performance as a professor and your grading can operate to confirm that bias. Your Black students then suffer irreparable harm as they experience the consequences of poor grades driven by racial bias. Such students find it harder to obtain letters of recommendation or pursue opportunities such as law review positions, externships, and ultimately, employment.

From what we understand, the professor's comments also brutally undermine our Black students' freedom to focus on learning. We are deeply concerned that our Black students will (rationally) spend their time worried that their law professors may hold white supremacist viewpoints. Many will preemptively strategize how and in what ways to approach faculty who in fact are employed to educate and promote their well-being. They will worry if their class performance will be assessed through a racialized lens. Responding to anti-Black racism and bias regularly consumes our Black law students' time and energy. It is demoralizing, and it is unfair. They deserve the same opportunities as other students to pursue excellence.

We stand in support of our Black law students. We welcome the investigation of this incident and the professor's past grading practices by the University's Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action.

We also look to these moments as an opportunity to not simply ensure accountability, but also to effectuate lasting systemic and institutional growth. We hope that this is a moment of reckoning for the Georgetown Law community.

While reprehensible, the professor's reported statements were not unique even if not typically spoken. The legacy of white supremacy is insidious and can explicitly and implicitly impact and infect some of our most vulnerable spaces and venerable institutions. Any law professor who operates from unspoken white supremacist notions of intellectual ability, whether intentional or not, should aspire to the same rigor and thoughtfulness that they professedly demand of their students. They must examine their own flawed thought patterns and correct them.

NEXT: Panel Discussion on Roman Catholic Diocese v. Cuomo

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  1. There are tons of what I will call “race based statistics” that portray minorities in a bad light. Crime statistics come to mind. I know in Florida Hispanics are over represented in the remedial English classes at both UF and FSU (the flagship universities in the state). Minorities in general are way over represented in remedial math classes at the same two schools. Sad to say same thing for graduation rates.

    On the other hand as an undergrad math major I can’t recall a single black student in any of my junior or senior math classes but some of the gimmie an A classes (like Modern Cinema) had black students.

    As a grad student in Urban and Regional Planning (which had a dual track to get a MS and JD) I was often shocked when some of the models were being taught and I was the only student who was able to recognize some of the results were simply the first derivative; seems I was the only student who had even taken first quarter calculus.

    Point is lots of university students should be in community college for their first two years be they black, white, whatever; and plenty of grad students in lots of subjects should never be in grad school.

    1. All -isms are folk statistics, mostly true, most of the time. Woke is denial of reality. I support the cancel of woke.

      1. Woke is denial of reality.

        “Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.” (George Orwell, 1984)

        1. No one is saying why the professor had to be fired. Woke is case. It is 100% the fault of the lawyer profession. The school was afraid of ruinous investigations and litigation. It was intimidated by Democrat burning of the cities this summer with impunity by the lawyer profession, and the bashing of the police, not of the Democrats by the lawyer profession.

          This is the most toxic occupation. It is 10 times more toxic than organized crime, that could not cause woke. The lawyer profession must be crushed to save our nation. I don’t mean regulate it better. I mean, arrest the 25000 traitors in its hierarchy. To deter.

          1. Two lawyers have said the professor should not have been fired, and that the firing violated Georgetown’s contractual academic-freedom guarantees to faculty.
            George Leef, an education researcher with a law degree, called the firing a violation of academic freedom in the National Review, in “Academic Freedom Keeps Shrinking,” March 13, 2021.
            Hans Bader, a former Education Department lawyer, called the firing a violation of contractual academic-freedom guarantees, at CNS News, in the article, “Georgetown Law Prof Fired for Telling the Truth,” March 11, 2021.
            On Twitter, lawyers such as Ed Whelan, Tim Sandefur, and Ted Frank criticized the firing.

  2. You’d have to be a lunatic to choose to see a young black doctor over a young Asian doctor given affirmative action in medical schools.

    1. Absolutely.

      I’d want a Black doctor who graduated med school before 1960, a female doctor who graduated before 1980, and a White or Asian MALE doctor who graduated afterwards.

      For exactly the same reason.

      1. I want a doctor who has treated 10000 patients with my disorder and stopped making mistakes 5000 patients ago.. I don’t care if his skin is green and a horn is coming out of his forehead.

        1. The problem is that the information people have to go on is limited. When the doctor stopped making mistakes is not available. Nor, in many cases unfortunately, are objective and frank peer evaluations.

      2. It’s one of the inevitable stigmas of being a member of a group that is the “beneficiary” of affirmative action. Thomas Sowell put it this way in A Personal Odyssey: “One of the ironies that I experienced in my own career was that I received more automatic respect when I first began teaching in 1962, as an inexperienced young man with no Ph.D. and few publications, than later on in the 1970s, after accumulating a more substantial record. What happened in between was “affirmative action” hiring of minority faculty. … I happened to come along right after the worst of the old discrimination was no longer there to impede me and just before racial quotas made the achievements of blacks looks suspect. That kind of luck cannot be planned.”

  3. “to my knowledge, such numbers are generally not publicized”

    Which is in itself evidence of what the numbers are, wouldn’t you think?

    1. Right. Affirmative action affirmatively corrupts institutions.

      First, the need for hiring/admissions to match preset numbers rather than the qualified pool of applicants corrupts hiring/admissions.

      Then the need to avoid firing/flunking rendering the admissions corruption pointless corrupts evaluation.

      Then the need to avoid exposing the corruption demands firing anybody who is honest about the results.

      The corruption tends to go much deeper in academics, especially in the student body, because merit can more safely be disregarded for a longer time, than in private sector business, where you really do need people capable of doing work for the business to survive.

      1. Racism corrupted the institutions. Racism has pretty much corrupted a whole swathe of US society. If anything’s being covered up, it’s that one fix for institutions corrupted by racism is either not working or being implemented incompetently. Ultimately, it’s black kids losing out, yet again, this one professor excepted.

        1. Says the guy who uses the N word as his screen name!

    2. Publication of the scores is what Amy Wax proposed after she said, about U. Penn Law School: “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class, and rarely, rarely in the top half,” and the dean declared such statements to be false. Wax had tenure, unlike this adjunct. Shows the danger of touching the third rail even in a supposedly private setting.

  4. Back in my day (1980’s) one top law school was forced to admit that every single white student entered with higher LSAT scores than every single black student.

    The point was often made that, if the LSAT was
    racially biased, it would underpredict subsequent performance. But the black students did just as badly on law school exams as they did on the LSAT’s.

    That was a long time ago, and since then we have become accustomed to intelligent, hardworking black politicians having their abilities questioned, while lazy white male idiots got a free pass. I wonder how the situation has changed.

    1. I can think of plenty of idiots in politics, and plenty of lazy people – those who are neither tend to intelligently and diligently promote…their own ambition (with sometimes a nod to the public interest). This need not be racial, nor would a clever politician need a high law school grade (or, hypothetically, any law school at all) in order to be a shrewd manipulator and wire-puller.

      1. It certainly is racial.

        Think of the many people who called Obama incompetent when he clearly wasn’t, and all the people who said Trump actually knew what he was doing when he clearly didn’t.

        1. So if you think we had a white Obama and a black Trump with everything else being the same all the Republicans would have a shrine to Obama and be throwing a party over how Trump was gone right about now with the Dems in mourning?

          1. A black Trump is a contradiction in terms.

              1. Wow that’s really reaching far. Someone in the sports world is overlooked for his faults. That makes him the “black Donald Trump”.

                There was a comic strip called “Krazy Kat” in the 1930s. That’s probably a closer analogy.

            1. Ummm, Trump got a higher percentage of Black votes than any Republican President since Eisenhower — and that’s without controlling for the fact that a lot of Democratic politicians in the 1950s were openly in the Klan.

              1. He went from microscopic to minuscule.

                1. Statically significant is, well, statistically significant…

                  1. Not significant.

                    1. So, the same as your IQ.

                    2. …and twice yours.

                2. Still breaks your narrative.

                  1. Black people didn’t have a black Trump to vote for so the ones who wanted a Trump had to vote for a white one actually confirms his narrative.

              2. ” and that’s without controlling for the fact that a lot of Democratic politicians in the 1950s were openly in the Klan.”

                As opposed to today’s Republicans (not counting David Duke) that are closeted Klan members.

            2. So you have no answer got it.

              1. See above and below.

            3. “A black Trump is a contradiction in terms.”

              How about dark orange?

              1. But who would he have inherited money from?

        2. Think of all the comments you’ve made showing your bias and ignorance.

          I should have stopped at the first word.

          1. Not a serious response.

            1. But accurate as to whether or not alphabet soup should have STFU.

        3. Applying the rule of ‘clearly’ are we?

          Before you get too enamored of your argument consider that it has been credibly asserted, based on Harvard Law’s admitted blacks Obama’s year, that Obama scored in the -94th percentile on the SAT which made him one of the TWO highest scoring Black LSAT takers in the US that year. This shouldn’t be surprising given his admission to Punahou School and the fact his father received an scholarship in Kenya as a consequence of receiving one of the FIVE top IQ equivalent test score in that country for his cohort year. In other words, Obama is living validation for genetic theories of intelligence.

          Your argument about Trump is just bluster and deserves no response.

          1. Citations needed.

            1. Plus Obama’s circumstances were decidedly nonstandard as well.

              But racists gotta racist.

          2. “Obama is living validation for genetic theories of intelligence.”

            Intelligence correlates with the matrilineal descent more than the patrilineal.

        4. Cap. You passed 1L. That did something to your mind. Trump was the greatest President since Washington. You have no idea why I am saying that. Trying to explain it is a waste of time. It is too late for you.

          1. ” Trump was the greatest President since Washington.”

            At cheating in golf, he was second to none.
            At being President, he is on the list of the top 46 Presidents ever. Until we elect another one.

        5. Seriously, Obama was competent? Cash for Clunkers which decimated the used car market, $500 million to a solar panel company owned by his donors which promptly went bankrupt because their product was more expensive than the Chines, Fast and Furious releasing guns to Mexican cartels, the Benghazi gun running fiasco, his support of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, his support of the Iran Deal?
          BTW, I bet you didn’t know that:
          •https://americanlookout.com/jpb-flashback-trump-received-award-in-1986-alongside-rosa-parks-for-helping-inner-city-youth/
          •https://dailycaller.com/2019/10/25/trump-bipartisan-justice-award-first-step-act/
          Operation Warp Speed, keeping the US out of new foreign wars, eliminating ISIS (what Obama called a generational problem we’d never get rid of in Syria/Iraq) etc.
          You bought into the Democratic Party propaganda that Trump and Trump supporters are racists. Of course now thanks to Biden we’ve got a non-crisis at the Southern border and no Trump to blame for thousands of children being held in cages, we won’t talk about.

      2. I did not call Obama “incompetent” — I called him “CORRUPT”!!!

        1. “I did not call Obama “incompetent” — I called him “CORRUPT”!!!”

          I didn’t say one thing that was factually incorrect, I said a completely different thing that was factually incorrect!

    2. As an undergrad math major my answer is something I kept hearing from my prof in math and chem; “Show your work”.

        1. Yea, I know.

          I was helping my niece with her math homework when she was in high school (her Mom was a legit CPA and was lost trying to help). It shocked both me and her Mom that there was a disclaimer on the homework that the process was more important than the correct answer. Her Mom said she wished she could use that line with the IRS.

          1. It shocked both me and her Mom that there was a disclaimer on the homework that the process was more important than the correct answer.

            On the other hand if the problem involves calculus and the student showed an understanding of the process but reached the wrong final answer as a result of a trivial transposition error, one can understand giving full credit, or perhaps with a minor deduction.

            1. Sounds reasonable. But even if you take points of because the student got the answer wrong, it’s not white supremacy.

              1. Your source slightly misstated what the teacher’s workbook was saying. It wasn’t saying that teachers shouldn’t require students to show their work but that the teacher shouldn’t say it’s wrong if the student’s work shows a different method followed. I agree with you that I don’t see why “white supremacy culture” should be implicated here, nor do I find anything wrong with a teacher requiring the student to show that he or she has learned the particular process that the teacher was teaching (is the process that the student used a “black” process, hence white supremacy?), nor can I understand what real-world problem prompted the inclusion of a page that was sure to be lampooned.

                Apparently the goal is that students should be allowed to “answer mathematical problems without using words or numbers” and that students should be able to show their thinking “with words, pictures, symbols.” The trouble is that when the boss asks for an average he wants a number not a picture, and he wants a process to be used that he understands.

                1. When the boss asks for an average, which kind of average does he want? We often assume that “average” means “arithmetic mean” but that isn’t necessarily true.
                  The “average American” has one breast and one testicle.

          2. One teacher friend said that disclaimers of that sort were intended to try and discourage secret calculator use, as several kids would have perfect homework assignments and then bomb every single test.

          3. ” Her Mom said she wished she could use that line with the IRS.”

            She can (though of course, success is not in any way guaranteed.) Creative accounting with a process that tracks with legal options and is otherwise obvious tax avoidance gets past the IRS on a fairly regular basis. They get fun nicknames like “Double Irish”.

    3. I agree everytime there is a black conservative politician the Dems come out with all the jeers about how they are stupid and insults so stereotypical you think they were out of a 20s theater show but nobody ever calls them on it.

      1. “If there were a list of the 1000 best qualified black possibilities for the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas would not be on it.@

          1. No question Bork was qualified. I heard him speak and ate with him once. Very intelligent man. That was not the problem though.

          2. ” Bork would.”

            Bork is on your list of the top 1000 best qualifie black candidates for Supreme Court? Who put your list together, Rachel Dolezal?

        1. “If there were a list of the 1000 best qualified black possibilities for the Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas would not be on it.”

          Yeah, that’s absurd. Thomas was Yale Law grad, worked in all 3 branches of the Federal Government as well as for a State Attorney General, was a presidential appointee at age-33, an agency head at 34, and a Circuit Judge at 42. Not many black lawyers had better credential in 1991.

          1. Being a black conservative is like being a left hand hitting catcher or a lefty one out guy. You can objectively suck and still get a job.

            1. Except if you’re playing at the major league level, you’re objectively one of the best in the world at playing baseball. So thanks for validating the ability of black conservatives, you waste of carbon molecules.

              1. Point to where anyone but you referenced the major league level.

            2. I wonder if you realize you’ve just made the case against affirmative action.

      2. Allen West is an example — he is not a stupid man, I’ve met him…

        1. Thomas Sowell is the gold standard.

          I use to get a headache after reading his articles and books. Not that he could not explain things in easy to understand terms; just that it over loaded my brain.

          1. I can tell you about when I witnessed Sowell talking to Bork.

    4. Worse than that, captcrisis was the situation in the 1990s where it was pointed out that while not a single White student had a score below a certain number (I forget which), not a single Black student had a score even that high because if they did, they would have gone to a more prestigious law school.

      I’ll freely admit that I have no idea what the LSAT score was, nor even if it was in the 3-digit numbers used today.

      As an aside, does anyone know what a “39” corresponds to today, assuming that there is a direct conversion from the 2 to the 3 digit scores?

      1. My first score was 39. The second time I got a 41. They averaged them. At the time I didn’t know there were prep courses. Perfect score was 48.

        1. Memory is that a 37 qualified for membership in MENSA.

          1. I forget the numbers but one of the standardized tests I took qualified me to join Mensa. I went to a local Mensa meeting and it was somewhat interesting. It started off playing some dice and board game like a combination of craps and scrabble I had never seen before. It took me maybe half a dozen rolls before I figured it out and was welcome into the group.

            Everyone there was white or Asian. Only group I have been in more race selected is sailboat racing. Never seen a minority sailboat racer in my life.

            1. “Only group I have been in more race selected is sailboat racing.”

              Republicans senators (especially female)?

              Republican House members (especially female)?

              Trump judicial nominees?

              Contributors to a certain movement conservative blog?

              1. You obviously have never been to a sailboat race.

                1. True.

                  I have, however, observed how remarkably White and male Republican caucuses, right-wing judges, and “often libertarian” conservative blogs are.

                  1. Recall what happened to General Powell? What about Condoleezza Rice?

                    Conservative blacks tend to hide their views from everyone due to extreme pressure in the black community.

                    1. My employer sent me to school to get my Engineering degree. The man assigned as my mentor was a Black Electrical Engineer. I spent many evenings sitting at his kitchen table with him trying to pound some of the theory into my head. He was a great guy with a fantastic Wife and kids. One thing that always bothered me was that he wouldn’t take his kids to visit his parents, who still lived in the neighborhood where he grew up. He would always bring his parents to visit his kids. When I asked him about it, he told me that he was afraid for his kids to be there because there were many people in his old neighborhood who felt that he “sold out to Whitey”. He was actually afraid that they would try to do something to his kids.

                    2. “Recall what happened to General Powell?”

                      His bosses sent him out to lie to Congress. Dr. Rice brought peace to the world so effectively, that President Obama won the Nobel Peace prize on the challenging basis of not being G W Bush.

    5. Capt,
      how do you explain the vastly large difference in the distribution of scores on the Graduate Record Physics exam between Asian, White, Hispanic and black students. The Asian curve is higher than the White curve by a statistically significant amount, the Hispanic curve is 50 points on the low side of the White curve and the black curve is more than 200 points to the low side of the white curve.
      I have never heard anyone considering any aspiring entrants for a Physics PhD to be described as “idioys.”

    6. ” just uttering bigoted remarks about her own students”
      In what sense were they bigoted? How do you make that judgement without hearing the full conversation? The professor might have been expressing genuine angst, or not. It seems that just reading what is hear we’re not in a position to judge.

      1. Imagine for a moment if a teacher were to express that the people whose names fell in the first half of the alphabet were outperforming the names in the back half. You might suspect that the teacher was doing something in grading that was favoring the people graded first at the expense of the later. This is because you (probably) don’t already have mental habits that are “namist”. But if you were already a “namist”, and the notion that having an early-letter name made you a superior student, you’d see this teacher’s observation as verification of the belief you already had.

    7. “That was a long time ago, and since then we have become accustomed to intelligent, hardworking black politicians having their abilities questioned, while lazy white male idiots got a free pass. I wonder how the situation has changed.”

      Eh, just selective news coverage, that’s all. Never forget that what you see reported in the media isn’t remotely a representative sample, it’s carefully curated to manipulate your opinions. (And that’s true for basically EVERY media outlet, left AND right.)

      1. Although some select for different things. For example, all media outlets select for things they think will get their audience to stay tuned in, with the for-profit ones having this trend the strongest, because they get paid for delivering eyeballs to advertisers.

    8. For someone who throws out “citation needed” a lot, you provide a notable dearth of evidence to support your own fanciful allegations.

      Do intelligent hardworking politicians have their abilities questioned? Of course they do. Opposition politicians will find any excuse to attack – that’s what opposition means. Do lazy idiots get a free pass from their own side? Again, of course. Racism has nothing to do with that.

      1. ” Opposition politicians will find any excuse to attack”

        They don’t even need their attacks to be factually accurate, as long as they fit in with what their partisan audience WANTS to believe. The less-interested in facts a partisan audience is, the fewer fact-based attacks their party leaders will bother with.

  5. blacks being at a particular grade is a factual statement. Either it is or it isn’t true. Its like getting offended at the speed of light. If they check the records and its true shouldn’t she be reinstated?

    1. Amos, you’re thinking that facts matter. Sadly, they don’t.

      And (as an educator) the thing that bothers me the most about this is that (IMHO) she likely is the person who cared the most about the Black kid’s success. The word “angst” has a meaning, it’s like she actually cared — which a lot of “talk the talk” folks very much don’t.

      1. “And (as an educator) the thing that bothers me the most about this is that (IMHO) she likely is the person who cared the most about the Black kid’s success.”

        To this Dr. Ed person, the word “useless” begins with an “H”.

    2. Woke-ism: Where everything’s made up and the facts don’t matter

      1. Sounds a LOT like Trumpland.

    3. “blacks being at a particular grade is a factual statement. Either it is or it isn’t true. Its like getting offended at the speed of light. If they check the records and its true shouldn’t she be reinstated?”

      Depends. Are you looking for proof that the black students are underperforming, or for proof that they’ve suffered a history of being given unfairly low grades?

  6. This may be bad. Or not. One thing I do know is there is going to be a lot of whining about this from every law school in the country.
    Serious question though: every law school exam I ever had was anonymous, so how would this possibly have affected the grades of her students?

    1. I don’t see how a person could look at this sort of weird stuff happening all the time and not agree that these places are cults. All these weird rituals and taboos that make no logical sense.

    2. Not sure I understand your question. The data is that at the end of the term black students are way over represented in the bottom of the class and way under represented in the top of the class.

      1. I meant this incident, not black student’s gpas. Honestly, their grades don’t matter if they play their cards right, since they can affirmative action into a nice job anyway

        1. No, their grades do matter: If you’re black and high performing, the sky’s the limit. If you’re bad at your job, AA may net you job security, but you’ll be kept around to make the numbers look good, and not be entrusted with anything important.

          1. You really need to look at who holds positions of power in this country.

            1. Interestingly enough, that’s the very subject of this discussion.

              What cutesy point were you trying to make?

            2. Sure. Rep. Hank Johnson. Not exactly trusted with running any committees, is he?

            3. Let me guess: adjunct law professors, right? They are invulnerable.

              1. Adjunct instructors tend to have real jobs. The adjunct instructors I had included the US Attorney for the district I happened to live in at the time, and a guy who was elevated to the federal bench less than two years after teaching me antitrust law, plus the city of Portland’s attorney who forced the cable company to open their network to other service providers, teaching telecommunications law.

    3. “so how would this possibly have affected the grades of her students?”

      Perhaps the law school did something similar to what UMass Amherst did for undergrads — send mid-semester lists of Black students to the professor and ask what their grades would be if the semester ended today. Maybe that isn’t possible in law school, but it’s highly likely that there is some support office that gave her a list of “Black” students and that she is likely commenting on her experiences with students on that/those list(s).

    4. It sounds like the class was a small, skills seminar. So there would not be anonymous grading like you have in large lecture courses.

      1. Like you SHOULD have, you mean.

    5. “Serious question though: every law school exam I ever had was anonymous, so how would this possibly have affected the grades of her students?”

      Serious follow-up question: Are you sure the grading was anonymous, or were you just told that it was, or would be? How would you know the difference?

  7. I believe that all universities should admit, and hire, based on merit alone, which for admission means high predictors. Letting in students with lower predictors does not do them a favor — it only means they and their families will waste time, effort, and money because they will wind up flunking out, unless the school decides to ruin the value of its degrees by “dumbing down” its grading criteria.

    No one disputes that it would be a great thing if minority students were as likely to do well in school as their peers. But that problem can only be solved in the K-12 schools, either by improving them or by giving the parents vouchers. (It will also help immensely if the new prejudice against merit-based selection that is part of Critical Race Theory were to go straight in the trash; it ruins every institution it touches and every young person who buys into it.)

    1. Lots of data that the most important factor in student performance is parental involvement. For certain groups (Asians for starters) it seems to ingrained in their culture; not so much for other groups. Sad to say this is not just based on race. Once the rate of illegitimate births skyrocketed in whites so did lack of parental involvement in that group.

      1. Rgebot — 76% Black illegitimacy rate.

        There ARE consequences of that…

        1. I got passed the first and second grade with no problem. In the third grade my teacher said she wanted to put me back in the second grade because I could not read. Thing was I would just look at the pix of Dick, Jane, and Spot and when the teacher/other student read what was written I would memorize it and repeat it when it was my turn. A lot easier than messing around with all those nouns, verbs, and other stuff.

          At the parent/teacher meeting my Mother said let me stay in the third grade for six weeks and she would teach me to read. She was not joshing; at the end of six weeks I was reading at a sixth grade level and Miss Chambers my third grade teacher was amazed.

          Still standing by my claim that parental involvement is the biggest factor in education.

          Still standing by my

          1. Do you have trouble distinguishing “b”, “d”, “p”, & “q”?

            Sounds to me like you overcame a learning disability without realizing it, Dyslexia being the most common.

          2. I hated Dick and Jane. Like my son, I was reading at adult levels before I hit school, and if you’re reading good literature, Dick and Jane is insulting torture.

            1. Dr. Seuis is worse because it is illogical.

              1. But generally at a higher reading level, at least.

              2. The illogic is part of the fun of it.
                I don’t know a single child who doesn’t love absurdist humor in some form or another.

          3. My kid could read before starting grade school. Started school at 4, left high school for college just after 16. Currently a graduate student.

        2. “There ARE consequences of that…”
          It gives the racists something to express their anguish over.

          1. Especially since only racists are worried about the illegitimacy rate.

            1. They seem to spend a great deal of effort gnashing teeth about it.

            2. The exact same racists like to complain about the number of abortions performed on black women, and then drone on about how many black children are born to unmarried women.

      2. Lots of data that the most important factor in student performance is parental involvement.

        I went to high school with a sizeable black population, in a mostly working -class area, that was a haven for Crip gangbangers because the primary school color was blue (the Bloods congregated around a rival about five miles away because THEIR primary school color was red). The black kids whose parents were actively invested in their education, and in their lives in general, were all in the middle-to-upper tiers of the class rankings and GPA scores. The ones whose parents weren’t, were in the gangs or trying to get into the gangs.

        Our class president was black and had a scholarship to an engineering college. One mixed-race kid in the grade ahead of me turned down a full-ride football scholarship to Stanford because “football takes too much out of life.” He got a track and field scholarship to the state university, got his degree in computer engineering, and taught ESL classes in Japan for two years (hilariously, the only B he ever got in high school was in Weightlifting, even though he was the strongest kid in school, because he never did the written tests). Both of them had active, caring parents who held them accountable and had high expectations for them.

        The same was true for every other race of kids at what was a legitimately diverse school at the time–being a working-class environment, the ones with heavy parental involvement stood out like sore thumbs.

        1. ” (hilariously, the only B he ever got in high school was in Weightlifting, even though he was the strongest kid in school, because he never did the written tests)”

          That’s perfectly fair, since there’s actually more to weightlifting than just lifting heavy stuff; You need to do it right to maximize returns and avoid injury. It isn’t calculus, but it does have an important intellectual component.

          1. That grade ended up costing him the valedictorian slot, but he couldn’t have cared less. Dude was one of the most unpretentious people I’ve ever met.

    2. “I believe that all universities should admit, and hire, based on merit alone, which for admission means high predictors. ”

      If you can get accurate predictors. For example, law schools use two: LSAT scores and undergraduate grade point averages. Both are imperfect. Hiring in the IT industry has three: Experience, education, and certification.

    3. I believe that all universities should admit, and hire, based on merit alone, which for admission means high predictors.

      Except they don’t actually do that anymore, and haven’t for a long while. College admissions are heavily democratized now, and the number of students taking remedial classes (60% at present) proves it. The whole point of getting a college degree went from serving as a finishing school for the truly elite, to trying to make every high school graduate “elite” through the attainment of said college degree. It’s little more than a cargo cult now, 13th-16th grade for overgrown teenagers.

      You still have to show some capability to be accepted into grad school, but even that is getting watered down now because Bachelor degrees in the workforce, like high school diplomas 50 years ago, are a dime a dozen.

      1. Back in the “good” days, when admissions were based on legacy admissions, they kept the riffraff out, and the sons and daughters of wealthy, powerful people didn’t have to compete academically, leaving them free to achieve success in business and politics.

  8. This is an extremely difficult situation. If Law Professors wish to discuss a perceived or actual disparity between students based on race, they should not only be allowed to do so, but encouraged so that they reach an understanding of the problem and arrive at a set of solutions.

    But if a part of this discussion is disparagement of students based on race then no, that discussion does not belong in the discourse and universities are right to remove those who show prejudicial positions.

    So what happened here? Hard to say, but it appears from the tone of the conversation it was more disparaging than constructive. In the reported part there was certainly no dicussion of how to fix the perceived disparity between performance of law students based on race. So some sort of action seems to be required, but termination by the University seems excessive, and the reaction of the Black Professors seems excessive. Someone should have found a way to make this a teaching momment since it did take place in a place of higher education.

    1. “Someone should have found a way to make this a teaching momment”

      …by releasing the statistics which definitively refute the professor’s claims?

    2. From what I can tell she was trying to be a good SJW here and ironically got fired over it.

      What she tried to do is one of the most popular ways to virtue signal as an SJW. I call it the ‘social justice stat flash’. It goes something like this.

      1. Express anguish at x designated oppressed group not doing as well as y designated oppressor group in some selected metric.

      2. Flash or mention some stat which supposedly supports your argument. Almost always this is a questionable correlation that at most simply shows a difference between groups. A difference which SJWs alternately vehemently deny and rend their garments over.

      3. Immediately jump to the conclusion that the ultimate cause of this correlation is some grand systematic unconscious/conscious conspiracy by whites/males/cisgender/etc to hold down x group because of their race/sex/etc.

      Her mistake is leaving out explicitly and clearly doing step number 3 and relying too much on people to assume it implicitly. Well that might work if the mob was logical and well intentioned but not if they are out to find people to destroy.

  9. “Someone should have found a way to make this a teaching momment since it did take place in a place of higher education.”

    What universe does this happen in?

  10. The Emperor has a full suit of clothes on. They are finely tailored by the best tailors in the world (all Italians). His fashion sense is to be envied by the whole populace.

    1. OK, now say it with more enthusiasm or you’re fired.

      And report any disinformation artists who repeat the debunked claim that the emperor is naked.

  11. Bottom line: there’s “talking the talk” and “walking the walk” — and those who do the latter often say things that can be quoted out of context. But who actually HELPS, or at least genuinely tries to???

    1. “Bottom line: there’s ‘talking the talk’ and ‘walking the walk'”

      Then there’s bumbling and stumbling, like you do.

      1. Bumblin & stumlin is still walking….

        1. But no way to win a footrace.

  12. THE VOLOKH CONSPIRACY

    This White, male, movement
    conservative blog has operated for
    ZERO (0) DAYS
    without gratuitous use of
    a vile racial slur and for
    685 DAYS
    without imposing partisan,
    viewpoint-driven censorship.

    (This conservative blog has published a
    vile racial slur on at least seven (7)
    separate days during the most recent month.)

    These bloggers figure
    they’ll make audience bigger
    by using . . . “n” word

    1. You realize that using the term ‘”n” word’ and saying what it rhymes with is just as bad as using the letter “n” followed by a dash?

      1. RAK no longer accepts n*** as change especially as they have the image of a slave holder on the face and the image of a plantation house on the rear.

      2. “People Who Annoy You”
        “I know it but I don’t think I should say it…..”

    2. Kirkland, if you genuinely have counted 685 days — almost 2 years — on a daily basis, you are not OK.

      1. Someone’s jealous because he can’t count that high…

  13. ” I wanted to speak to the broader factual matter that the remarks raise—whether a disproportionate share of students at the bottom of the class in top law schools are indeed black.”

    skip over the real question, which is “SHOULD they be?” When you are in charge of the grading, the students will be either in the top of the class or the bottom of the class entirely at your whim, since you’re the one who assigns the grades which separate the top of the class from the bottom of the class. The question is, do you have grading procedures that sort by actual merit, or do they sort by skin reflectivity? If you aren’t 100% sure it’s the first one, can you pretend the second one isn’t showing up? Convincingly?

    1. The technique is rather easy. Students are graded blind.
      Then the exams are match with the names and the scores are plotted. There is no need even to kink scores to racial self-identification.

      1. If, that is, exams are even used for grading. Which they are not always.

    2. No, instructors cannot assign grades based on a whim. Why make such an outlandish claim?

  14. If a Track coach said..”most of my slowest sprinters are white” would they get canned? Heck Larry Bird to this day says black players are better than whites? If we accept “diversity” we must accept that different cultural groups are better at different things…and besides if we get fired for saying a “truth” because it hurts someones woke narrative..that is unAmerican…truth matters the left tells us..truth does..

    1. “If a Track coach said..’most of my slowest sprinters are white would they get canned?'”

      Depends on whether or not they’re doing anything to slow down those poor white runners. Or if anyone can make a plausible case that they are, or might be.

  15. This post bothers me, a lot. For the same reason a thread by Ted Frank on Twitter making the same argument does.

    I think the “mismatch” scholarship is serious. There are detractors and people who claim it’s wrong, but it’s a totally legitimate scholarly debate. It’s also totally different than a professor popping off in a recorded video about how her OWN BLACK STUDENTS are allegedly underperforming. You can’t do that for a very simple reason- if those Black students then see the video, it’s going to seriously interfere with their learning environment. It’s as if the law professor put a collective dunce cap on their heads.

    And it’s also awful pedagogically. If you do perceive this, the first thing to look at is your own teaching- “am I getting through to these kids?”. Maybe your in-class examples are more accessible to white audiences, etc. But look there first.

    I have no problem with a robust continued debate about the mismatch thesis. But this lady was not contributing to that debate. She was just uttering bigoted remarks about her own students on a Zoom call. That’s highly unprofessional.

    1. “Maybe your in-class examples are more accessible to white audiences, etc.”

      Biff wants to start a yachting club. While he is doing business as the WASP Yachting Club, he contracts which Muffy, who is doing business as President of the Chic Catering Company, for the delivery of a shipment of wine, cheese, and cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off, to entertain guests at a fundraiser for the yachting club. The contract is between Muffy and Biff in their own names. Then Biff incorporates as the WASP Yachting Club, Inc., and Muffy incorporates as the Chic Catering Company, Inc. Biff and Muffy, as Presidents of their respective companies, sign a new catering contract repeating the terms of the old one. Then the Chic Catering Company, Inc. goes bankrupt because it’s so hard to get good help these days, am I right? Can Muffy be personally liable under the first contract?

      They file incorporation papers as WASP Yachting, Inc.

      1. Never mind that final paragraph, it’s from another exam question.

      2. Hank and Earl are NASCAR race-car drivers. They are ahead of the other cars and racing toward the finish line. Earl deliberately rams Hank’s car into a puddle of tobacco juice on the track, causing Hank’s car to overturn and breaking both of Hank’s arms. What causes of action, if any, does Hank has against Earl, against NASCAR, and against the company which made the chewing tobacco?

        1. Those are pretty good.

          But can you name three types of blues?

          It is sad when our national discussion of an important topic has progressed no more deeply than a very special episode of Diff’rent Strokes.

      3. Well, there was the math teacher who got fired — justifiably so — for using a ghetto math exam with similar questions in the terms of gangs & drugs.

    2. Tone-policing.

      If somebody gets so upset by a ‘disparaging’ tone (even though the prof is likely a liberal herself) then they probably have some mental issues

      1. Is that your official medical diagnosis?

    3. “And it’s also awful pedagogically. If you do perceive this, the first thing to look at is your own teaching- “am I getting through to these kids?”. Maybe your in-class examples are more accessible to white audiences, etc. But look there first.”

      Discussing the issue with a colleague might be helpful in trying to figure out what can be done about it. You can’t do that because black students might overhear you and it’ll destroy their education?

      Not buying it.

      1. Even if you are going to discuss it with a colleague, why do it on a Zoom call where it can be recorded? And why do it in a way that makes it sounds like you think your Black students are underachievers?

        1. Because you’re not allowed to do it face to face?

          And, did you ever consider that his black students might be underachievers? Or is that unthinkable?

        2. Because they are???

        3. No stats, just back-of-the seat pattern matching.

          Not hard to see how that’s self-reinforcing.

          1. You can just let the racists self-identify, and fire them one at a time.

      2. “Discussing the issue with a colleague might be helpful in trying to figure out what can be done about it.”

        If only these educational institutions would install some kind of authority structure into their faculty, and give them a kind of “chain of command” where they would have some teacher with lots of experience supervising the work of newer teachers so they’d have someone to talk to about questions of potential bias (racial or otherwise) that might be seeping into the institution.

  16. Can someone please explain to me what was abhorrent or racist about his comment? He was simply stating the fact that most of the black in his class did poorly. He was upset about it, but didn’t know what to do about it. He was stating a fact and he was upset the fact was true. What is abhorrent or racist about it?

    1. “He was simply stating the fact that most of the black in his class did poorly.”

      He’s the one who determines who is doing “poorly” in his class. You don’t see the problem?
      Suppose the problem is expressed regarding females with significant cup sizes. Or dudes with bald domes. Examine your own assumptions about people in those categories.

      If you happen to notice that your basketball team is mostly dudes over 6′ tall, no big deal, you can probably figure out why. But if your business’ management team is exclusively dudes over 6′ tall, why is that? Does being taller give you some advantage in making business decisions?

  17. I know Professor Volokh is being even handed, but it should come as no surprise that “stereotype threat” is dubious tripe. A truly mystical and unfalsifiable theory, similar to ‘implicit bias.’

    https://replicationindex.com/2017/04/07/hidden-figures-replication-failures-in-the-stereotype-threat-literature/

    1. Here’s a similar evaluation of the “stereotype threat” findings of the original widely-reported study by Steele & Aronson (1995): https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/rabble-rouser/201512/is-stereotype-threat-overcooked-overstated-and-oversold

      Put differently, declaring that “In the nonthreatening conditions, African American and White students performed equally (controlling for previous performance)” means essentially the same thing as “Tampa and Nome have the same temperatures (controlling for prior temperatures).”

      What say the statistically-adept among us?

  18. “Professor Batson has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation by the Office of Diversity, Equity and Affirmative Action,”

    Wait, if a man hears a woman say something he thinks is racist, he’s supposed to interrupt her and mansplain oppression to a more marginalized person? That can’t be right.

    1. I don’t think logic is the strong point here.

      1. I concur. TiP is not strong with logic.

    2. You know, I was thinking the same thing…

      1. “You know, I was thinking […]”

        Outright lying, or just optimistic about your ability?

  19. Jesus, Eugene, this is an awful lot to write and hang on the thin reed of an analysis based on data that is at least 20 years old.

    You are way too enthused about this “mismatch” theory, which you have written on repeatedly, without being (apparently) an expert in the area. I simply don’t understand why you want your biases to be so clear to your students.

    1. What confuses me is why, once the statistics started getting better, the universities and law schools didn’t just release them to prove that the grades of the various racial groups had grown more equal. What a powerful rebuttal to the mismatch theory and all that other stuff! Yet they won’t release the data to the public. What a defeat for the conservatives and racists if they can publicize that information!

      1. In fact, releasing the information would have given Professor Batson the ammunition with which to “correct” his colleague – a correction which he was required to make! Yet issuing the correction without the statistics to back it up is like making bricks without straw.

        Release the statistics! Prove that the 90s data is simply outdated. And deprive Batson of the excuse that “the school can’t require me to ‘correct’ alleged misinformation without furnishing me with the correct information first!”

        1. “Release the statistics! Prove that the 90s data is simply outdated.”

          My guess is that as high schools and undergrad colleges are now playing the same games of deception, the numbers now actually are far worse.

      2. Which raises the question are the numbers really getting better.

        Not trying to dis lawyers but I was able to make a lot more money with my MS in planning and JD in sorta land use law as a consultant and expert witness than guys in my class who went to work as a PD. As an undergrad I drove a cab in Miami over the holidays to support my habit of higher education and knew at least half a dozen cab drivers with a JD.

        Point is some one like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton makes a lot more money with their chosen gig than they would as a straight up lawyer. A smart black might well chose a different career path than the law.

        As was posted earlier the fact that law schools are not shouting at the top of their lungs with black students class ranking says lots about what the real numbers are.

        1. “and knew at least half a dozen cab drivers with a JD.”

          What did it for me was the guy with a JD doing manual labor on the dock — and what amazes me is the number of folk with a JD who aren’t practicing law 10 tears after graduation.

          1. “what amazes me is the number of folk with a JD who aren’t practicing law 10 tears after graduation.”

            It was about 50% for decades, then came the W Recession that wiped out the 2008, 2009, and 2010 classes of law school graduates. They came out into the world to find approximately 0 jobs if they didn’t have one lined up before starting law school. In theory, they could have gone into solo practice, except that most of them didn’t have the resources to hang a shingle right out of law school.

      3. It’s almost like the universities and law schools were aware of some kind of federal law regarding releasing information about students.

    2. Jesus, Eugene, this is an awful lot to write and hang on the thin reed of an analysis based on data that is at least 20 years old.

      What is questionable about a finding that students with lower LSAT and undergrad GPA scores perform at a lower level in law school than students with higher scores? Does crediting such a finding show bias? Is there something about this data that should make it suspect or no longer applicable to today’s students?

    3. Except, the entire point of the issue is that the professor is saying that this is happening. As we do not have information about this professor’s classes, we cannot say anything for certain whether it’s true. Therefore, analysis that shows not only that it happens, but that the racial discrepancy is common and quite severe is clearly reasonable.

      You cannot object to people using the best evidence available, even if its subpar, when there is nothing else to go on.

      1. Assuming it does happen, does it happen because blacks actually underperform, or does it happen because they are being graded unfairly?
        If grades are assigned anonymously (as most law school classes proclaim they are), how would a law prof KNOW that the black students are (allegedly) underperforming?

  20. In my 15 years here, I can’t count how many times this has happened: I read an EV post I more or less agree with. Then by the time I’ve finished reading the thread I want to puke at the takes my agreement put me in bed with.

    1. Maybe you’re confronting that your ‘tribe’ is invested in a lot of lies that the opposing ‘tribe’ isn’t, (They have their own lies.) but emotionally don’t want to acknowledge this?

      1. No, Brett, the comments are full of people who think black people are inherently dumb, and that’s fine.

        Baseline racism, and pretty screwed up to see.

        Hard do listen to arguments against affirmative action in the same arena as people explicitly showing their individual racism. Sometimes in the same post they claim affirmative action doesn’t address any current issues.

        1. Does affirmative action treat people differently on the basis of race?

          Yes or no?

          1. Yes, isn’t that the point of affirmative action?

        2. OK Sarcastr0, is the NBA, NFL, and Baseball racist because they have Black players in a far greater percentage than population statistics would indicate?

          Or are Blacks inherently better athletes as a group? And likewise maybe have lower IQs, again, as a group?

          Or is racism denying white guys these multi-million dollar contracts?

          1. “OK Sarcastr0, is the NBA, NFL, and Baseball racist because they have Black players in a far greater percentage than population statistics would indicate?”

            Black people are underrepresented in the MLB relative to the general American population. But setting that aside, I don’t think anyone believes that the NFL or NBA are racist towards white people, just because white people are underrepresented relative to the general population.

            “Or are Blacks inherently better athletes as a group?”

            To the extent black people are more likely to have inherited traits that make them better athletes as a group, there’s nothing about that which is “inherent”. So far as I can tell there’s no evidence that the genes that act on skin pigmentation also act on height, weight, muscle density, or anything else. To the extent that there is a correlation between black skin and any athletic trait, that is not the same thing as causation.

            “And likewise maybe have lower IQs, again, as a group?”

            It would be statistically unusual if arbitrary racial groups had any identical traits. But why do you assume that black people are the arbitrary group with the lower IQ?

            “Or is racism denying white guys these multi-million dollar contracts?”

            To understand how stupid this argument is, recall that between the NFL, MLB, and NBA, there is exactly one black owner (Michael Jordan). Is your argument that white owners are discriminating against white athletes…?

            1. “To understand how stupid this argument is, recall that between the NFL, MLB, and NBA, there is exactly one black owner (Michael Jordan). Is your argument that white owners are discriminating against white athletes…?”

              Lebron James just became an MLB part-owner by buying into the Fenway Group.

              Which makes the previous stupid argument neither smarter nor stupider.

          2. “Or are Blacks inherently better athletes as a group? And likewise maybe have lower IQs, again, as a group?”

            Why would you assume that the former implies the latter?

            Hint: At most universities, the highest-paid employees are the football coach and the basketball coach. Quick. If the offense is running a jet sweep, what should the weakside linebacker do? (in real life, you have about a tenth of a second to recognize the jet sweep, and remember what you’re supposed to do about it.)
            No, Athletes aren’t categorically stupid. That’s for education majors.

        3. “No, Brett, the comments are full of people who think black people are inherently dumb,”

          Who said black people are inherently dumb?

          1. I guess there are one or two accounts here that do that. And that’s about it.

            1. They do it a lot. And don’t like being called on it.

        4. “Hard do listen to arguments against affirmative action in the same arena as people explicitly showing their individual racism.”

          There’s no less a problem with people arguing FOR affirmative action and showing off their individual racism. It’s just that gets a pass, because the racism is kind of baked in when you’re arguing for racial discrimination.

          1. Are you saying that people who argue for affirmative action are racists towards white people, or are you saying that whites argue for affirmative action are racist towards black people?

  21. Assume for the sake of argument that black persons, on the whole, don’t do as well academically as others. Are the benefits of voicing that sentiment (and what exactly are the benefits if nothing can really be done about it?) outweighed by the costs (e.g., stigmatizing an entire group, hurting their feeling on account of something that they have no control over, etc.)? Is it really so terrible for society–by ostracizing dissenters–to require people to pretend that there are no differences? A noble lie would appear to be justified in these circumstances.

    1. One of the key skill I learned studying planning was how tricky it can be to do a good cost/benefit analysis. Not just that but how to do a cost benefit analysis that favors your side even if it distorts things.

      Like it or not EV has a thing about 1A stuff and what happened hear seems like a clear cut 1A violation. So telling a “noble lie” and throwing the 1A under the buss may not seem like such a good idea to not just EV but lots of other folks as well.

      I get it that it may hurt some feelings of folks who really are not responsible for their substandard prep and performance in law school and likely other places as well. Not to mention the non minority students who were better prepped and would likely perform better being thrown under the buss to spare feelings.

      There have been too many cost/benefit studies about how to deal with history that likely affects minority prep for law school/what ever that I am not about do detail. But I will point that the “War on Poverty” and other federal programs have costs that don’t come close to being justified given their benefits.

      I have little doubt even this cost/benefit analysis leaves out lots of costs and benefits others would feel are as important as the ones I have posted.

      1. “Like it or not EV has a thing about 1A stuff”

        When he is criticizing the liberal-libertarian mainstream, sure. When he is imposing viewpoint-based censorship at his blog, the devotion to freedom of expression changes substantially, and with a pronounced partisan slant.

        This blog also seems to have a thing about using a vile racial slur. At least a half-dozen different discussions at this blog have included that slur during the most recent month.

        1. Stop being such a N _ G G E R, hicklib.

    2. Conversely, does the Black community benefit from less able professionals who look like them. That’s what UC told Alan Baake, except that the Black kid who got his seat in med school had his license *revoked* after he butchered three Black women with his incompetence.

    3. “Assume for the sake of argument that black persons, on the whole, don’t do as well academically as others.”

      Sure. But is this because of a problem with black persons, collectively, or a problem with how “doing well academically” is defined, assessed, and recorded?

      One thing that all the black persons have is less reflectivity in their epidermis. Is that where your intelligence comes from?

  22. She was fired for noticing and stating her observation, not because she was wrong. You will note that the university did not contest her statement as relying upon some sort of false racial stereotype or inaccurate observation. They just merely said it was “unacceptable” for a professor to say what she did. The crime was noticing and saying something. Nothing else.

    1. And that’s why I fear the coming revolt of Joe Sixpack – who not only notices this but is oppressed by it.

      Maybe the paranoia about the January 6th Frat Party is based on some demographical research that we aren’t being told about.

      1. It was a frat party in the same sense that trying to burn down a courthouse in Oakland was merely an intensification of a peaceful demonstration.

        1. You apparently don’t know how out-of-control some frat parties can get, nor have any experience with the “afterwards.”

          For example, a “skidder” is a type of bulldozer that is used to haul tree-length logs out of the woods. The forestry fraternity had one displayed on its front lawn during rush week — it’s an impressive-looking piece of equipment that most city/suburban kids had never seen before.

          Well, the skidder went across the road and totally demolished a bench that had some significant meaning to a rival fraternity — not to mention tearing up that frat’s front lawn the way that only a skidder (with chains on) can — and terrifying people the way that being chased by a large multi-ton vehicle with a plow blade on front tends to do.

          Different night, different fraternity, someone offended someone at a party and that led to the brothers invading a dormitory and literally hanging at least one young man upside down out a fourth-floor window, holding him by his heels. That same fraternity, but on a different night and different party, someone tried to drive his 4×4 truck into the front entryway of said frat — except his truck was just a little bit wider than someone else’s — and got wedged into the doorjamb.

          A third fraternity was celebrating the end of finals week by burning all of their notebooks and such — I wasn’t there for this one and hence don’t know all the details but somehow airborne pieces of burning paper got sucked into the open upstairs windows and literally burned down the house. (This was before smoke detectors.)

          Yes. frat parties can get *way* out of hand — not to mention often killing pledges which is why just about every state now has laws against hazing. Because kids *did* get killed in that stupidity.

          By contrast, I don’t remember anything in DC being lit on fire last January 6th. I do remember that being done last summer — including arson of a *church* — but it was the Bitchy Little Marxists doing that, and hence it was somehow OK.

          Likewise — and this came out at the Congressional hearings — there were NO guns recovered *on Capitol grounds* and the *only* gunshot was the one which killed Ashley Babbit.

          1. The fact that the guns were seized before they could be brought onto the capitol grounds changes EVERYTHING!

    2. “She was fired for noticing and stating her observation, not because she was wrong”

      She was fired for not noticing that her observation was directly related to her own poor performance.

  23. It’s a shame that advocacy for black peoples’ interests is often so at odds with truth.

    1. It’s a shame that truth is sometimes so difficult to recognize by people who wish so very much not to see it.

  24. If it is measurably true that some students are performing less well than others, it ill serves anyone to suppress that information, let alone to destroy a career.

    1. Maybe, maybe not.
      If a measurable disparity exists because a biased teacher is putting it there, then a career absolutely SHOULD be destroyed.

  25. Georgetown is not a “top law school”, and is nothing more than a communist indoctrination factory. The black students there are probably too busy having sex with Sandra Fluke to study, so they score lower on exams.

  26. I just want to note that it’s a well-known fact that facts are shockingly racist.

    1. Except they aren’t (unless you really, REALLY want them to be, in which case they will sure look that way.)

  27. what if she were tenured instead of an adjunct? same result?

    1. This is why tenured faculty work to get tenure.

  28. “No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth.”

    1. I recently read a book about Sultan Selim I of the Ottoman Empire. It had its share of unlucky messengers.

  29. “a conversation that included reprehensible statements concerning the evaluation of Black students.”

    A totally absurd statement from a law dean. She only made a truthful observation from her experience. Not racist, not anything. What cowardice from people. Blacks are not a sacred race such that nothing negative can be said regarding them. This punishment of her is ridiculous.

    BTW what she pointed out is corroborated in the book Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It – by Richard Sander, Stuart Taylor Jr

    1. So, who does she sue first? The law school, obviously, but there is also the dean, the department chair, and the student association that made false claims in an explicit attempt to get the instructor fired. She made no “reprehensible” statements or “racist” statements. She said that she was disturbed at the pattern, a pattern that any responsible professor might notice, just as she would notice if most men did worse than women.

      1. Too bad she issued an abject apology and admitted fault.

      2. ” She said that she was disturbed at the pattern, a pattern that any responsible professor might notice”

        or might create…

  30. “[S]tereotype threat is activated by the … subtle and pervasive mechanism of contending with situations in which one knows one can be viewed through the lens of a negative stereotype.”

    I know of an easy way to get rid of “stereotype threat”: Stop engaging in racist “affirmative action” policies.

    When everyone knows they got to their school on their own individual merit, “stereotype threat” goes away.

  31. Truth is racist. Same for logic, grammar, history, science, and manners. The only thing that is not racist is basketball.

    1. Basketball is racist. Ask any 5’7″ white guy who can dunk like Spud Webb.

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