Monday, July 25, 2005

Somebody may have missed the point

Dawn Turner Trice's column in the Trib examines a fellow-student of Justice John Roberts, a dark face in the crowd of palefaces attending prep school together, in the same drama club photo. It seems that the young black man was Paris Barclay, originally from Harvey, IL, and now a (self-declared liberal) screenwriter/director/producer for some of television's Emmy winners. "At about the same time Barclay was entering his high school freshman year, La Lumiere was hoping to diversify its all-white student body by recruiting black students." Thus was an intelligent young man brought into an exclusive educational establishment.

Trice concludes with a warning, should Roberts be approved for the SCOTUS: "I just hope that if Roberts is confirmed and, down the line, a case involving say, racial diversity comes before him--dare I say the words affirmative action--he looks back on his days at La Lumiere fondly."

I think Trice missed the part where the prep school was voluntarily changing its make-up. Did it occur to her that mandating this sort of thing more often than not leads to (a) resentment, (b) mistrust of the system and its products, and, as the POTUS once described, (c) "the soft bigotry of lowered expectations"?

Recognition of a fault is, of course, the first step in remedying it. It's easier (and usually more successful) when one finds the fault oneself, and takes one's own measures to correct the error, than it is to have somebody like the government force you to move on it. It's certainly easier to swallow your own pride than the dried, bile-seasoned crow someody else foists upon you.

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