Great news: New EEOC checkbox category emerges

posted at 9:16 am on May 5, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Hey, I tried to anticipate the next expansion in ethnic categorization yesterday with my proposal for recognition of left-handed Finns as a protected minority, but that obviously doesn’t have the same ring to it as Jehmu Green’s contribution in this clip.  Last night, the Democratic strategist paired off with The Daily Caller’s Tucker Carlson over the controversy surrounding Elizabeth Warren and her claims to Native American heritage, and Green dismissed Carlson as nothing more than a “bow tie’n white boy”:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQfl-ThAjyA&feature=player_embedded

CARLSON: It was unfair when it happened under segregation, it’s unfair now. Indeed, it’s indefensible and that’s why she doesn’t want to talk about this, because she did gain material advantage by lying about her ethnic background. And no one should gain advantage because of his ethnic background, period.

GREENE: Tucker! Tucker! Elizabeth Warren has been very clear that she has not gained advantage…

CARLSON: No she has not been clear.

GREENE: And at the end of the day, she won the teaching award at Harvard two years in a row, she won teaching awards at the University of Pennsylvania, at the University of Michigan, at the University of Houston. To question this woman on her qualifications is going to be something that does appeal to…folks like you, voters like you, bow tie’n white boys, but at the end of the day it is going to backfire…

The most humorous part of this exchange takes place just after this, when Carlson scolds Green for name-calling, and she says, “I didn’t call you a name!”  After the break, Megyn Kelly conferred with producers and apologized on the air to Carlson for Green’s slam, which can only be called …. racist.  Had Carlson tossed out a dismissive insult based on Green’s skin color on the air, his career would be over, and everyone knows it.  I doubt the same thing will happen to Green, and that’s the kind of bias that isn’t funny at all.

For the record, though, Warren’s qualifications for her post at Harvard are open to question, as Paul Bedard noted this week:

That “box checking,” as critics call it, likely played a role in her Harvard hiring especially when her background is compared to those of the other near-100 Harvard Law School professors and assistant professors, according to an analysis of law schools the professors attended. Most graduated from Harvard, and all from the nation’s top 10. Warren graduated from Rutgers University in Newark, ranked 82nd by Top-Law-Schools.com.

What’s more, only Rutgers has current law school professors who graduated from Rutgers. And in the analysis of the law school degrees of the roughly 350 Ivy League law school professors provided by a Warren critic, only one graduated from a lower-ranked law school than Warren, a Yale professor who attended the University of Nebraska Law School, ranked 89.

Did she get hired only on the basis of that checkbox?  Perhaps or perhaps not, but it’s no secret that Harvard itself saw that as a marketing asset; they didn’t put her on a list to brag about hiring people from law schools that ranked only in the 80s, or having faculty with “high cheekbones.”  That’s the problem with affirmative action; it calls into question hiring and placement motivations, even when those questions would otherwise be unfair.  It’s a great argument for ending the practice.  If we want to put our efforts into equal opportunity, we should start by fixing primary education with school choice and competition, especially in our urban centers, where we usually find our worst-performing schools.


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