Friday, June 19, 2009

Quotas And Racism Hit The US Navy

I suppose with the new commander-in-chief and his appointees, it was just a matter of time.

As Professor Bruce Fleming, a 22-year veteran of the Annapolis Admissions board points out, the Naval Academy's new diversity first policy reeks of quotas and racially oriented lowered standards:

The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Gary Roughead announced in Annapolis recently that "diversity is the number one priority" at the Naval Academy.

The Naval Academy superintendent, Vice Adm. Jeffrey Fowler, echoed him. Everyone understands that "diversity" here means nonwhite skins.

Fowler insisted recently that we needed to have Annapolis graduates who "looked like" the Fleet, where enlisted people are about 42 percent nonwhite, largely African American and Hispanic.

The stunning revelation last week was that the Naval Academy had an incoming class that was "more diverse" than ever before: 35 percent minority.{...)

A "diverse" class does not mean the Naval Academy recruits violinists, or older students (they can't be 23 on Induction Day), or gay people (who are thrown out) or foreign students (other than the dozen or so sent by client governments).

It means applicants checked a box on their application that says they are Hispanic, African American, Native American, and now, since my time on the Admissions Board of the Academy, where I've taught for 22 years, Asians.

Midshipmen are admitted by two tracks. White applicants out of high school who are not also athletic recruits typically need grades of A and B and minimum SAT scores of 600 on each part for the Board to vote them "qualified." Athletics and leadership also count.

A vote of "qualified" for a white applicant doesn't mean s/he's coming, only that he or she can compete to win the "slate" of up to 10 nominations that (most typically) a Congress(wo)man draws up. That means that nine "qualified" white applicants are rejected. SAT scores below 600 or C grades almost always produce a vote of "not qualified" for white applicants.

Not so for an applicant who self-identifies as one of the minorities who are our "number one priority." For them, another set of rules apply. Their cases are briefed separately to the board, and SAT scores to the mid-500s with quite a few Cs in classes (and no visible athletics or leadership) typically produce a vote of "qualified" for them, with direct admission to Annapolis. They're in, and are given a pro forma nomination to make it legit.

Minority applicants with scores and grades down to the 300s with Cs and Ds (and no particular leadership or athletics) also come, though after a remedial year at our taxpayer-supported remedial school, the Naval Academy Preparatory School.

By using NAPS as a feeder, we've virtually eliminated all competition for "diverse" candidates: in theory they have to get a C average at NAPS to come to USNA, but this is regularly re-negotiated.

All this is probably unconstitutional. That's what the Supreme Court said about the University of Michigan's two-track admissions in 2003.

Once at Annapolis, "diverse" midshipmen are over-represented in our pre-college classes, in lower-track courses, in mandatory tutoring programs and less challenging majors. Many struggle to master basic concepts. (I teach some of these courses.)

The bill for this exercise in 'diversity' is being paid by the American taxpayer in two ways, First because they foot the bills for the military. And second, because it is their sons and daughters who may be at risk because an unqualified naval officer was greased through the system based on ethnicity. And that includes enlisted sailors from black and Hispanic backgrounds.

It will also cost the American taxpayer in legal fees when some unjustly excluded white candidate for Annapolis sues. And given the sentiments of President Obama's Naval appointees, it will likely take just that.

The Navy needs one standard for its officers regardless of their background - excellence. Those charged with defending our nation shouldn't be trying to fudge that for the sake of political correctness


B.Poster said...

This is really distressing news all the way around. As you correctly point out, the only standard should be excellence.

Unforuntately, as it stands right now, the United States military at all levels lags far behind Russia, China, and probably India as well right now. With policies like this this gap will only grow even larger with the United States falling even further behind.

Right now Russia and China are bitter enemies of the United States. While India does not seem to currently be an enemy of America, it is a major world power and there is a potential for conflict down the road. In order to properly represent its varied interests, the United States needs to have a credible military deterrent. With these bone headed policies that deterrent is seriously compromised.

In pushing these policies, the Obama Administration reveals itself to be either a.)wed to their ideology to the point that it has made them blind, b.)very, very stupid, or c.)evil anti-Americans. I think it is probably a. In any event, regardless which is correct, they MUST be stopped!! The survival of the country and millions of Americans may depend on these people being stoppped sooner rather than later!!

Yokel said...

I am not sufficiently acquainted with the UK forces to be able to talk with certainty, but it seems to me that the UK has once again got there first. And look how well we did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Chased out of Iraq for being spineless, and about to get the same treatment from Afghastlystan.

highlander said...

Anyone remember Patrick Chavis?

He's the minority student who was admitted to U.C. Davis Medical School in place of Allan Bakke despite the fact that both his college GPA and his scores on the MCAT exams were far lower.

Allan Bakke was eventually accepted after the Supreme Court declared U.C. Davis' affirmative action program unconstitutional, and he is currently a practicing anesthesiologist in Minnesota.

Patrick Chavis, after he had been made a poster-person for diversity by the liberal left, had his license to practice medicine suspended in 1997 by the Medical Board of California which warned of his "inability to perform some of the most basic duties required of a physician."

What's scary about the Annapolis diversity program is that, while a doctor may have a patient's life in his hands (one of Dr. Chavis' died), Naval officers can be responsible for the lives of many.

Kevin Kelley said...

This really isn't a new policy, as when I attended USNA in the mid to late 70's, there was a strong push to enroll black mids. Across the hall from me, were two black 3rd classmen, roommates, one of which had failed the mandatory navigation class twice. For a normal mid, failing the first time would have pretty much ended your career at the academy. The black guy was allowed to repeat the class until he got it "right".

30 years on, I wonder if he ever really did learn navigation, or if they finally just passed him through.

Anonymous said...

It was just the other day that I was talking to my 16 yo grandson about attending either Annapolis or West Point (he really wants to be a Marine Officer).

Now I'm not so sure he wouldn't be better off finding an ROTC program to go through with his college.

And since my Son is a career Navy enlisted man, it distresses me even more knowing that his life may be in the hands of an unqualified officer.