Monday, July 13, 2009

The jokes write themselves

Steve Sailer fisks a profoundly inaccurate op-ed in the NY Times by Lani Guinier and Susan Sturm.
Sturm und Guinier give away the hushed up fact that "civil rights" -- as currently understood by, say, Sonia Sotomayor -- is an assault on America's once proud tradition of civil service reforms.
Objective written tests for would-be government employees originated in Imperial China, and the idea was transmitted to Europe by early Jesuit missionaries, such as the great Matteo Ricci, who were impressed by how much better China was administered than their own countries. The Chinese tests were not seemingly all that "job-related" -- they consisted of questions requiring elegant essays on the Confucian classics, with bonus points for artistic calligraphy. That doesn't, at first glance, seem to have much to do with, say, keeping the Grand Canal dredged and open to shipping. But, of course, they were tests of IQ, literacy, and diligence, which predicts a lot more about job performance than, say, who you know.

Objective civil service benefited blacks in the first half of the 20th Century, with the heart of the black middle class settling in Washington D.C. because they could get federal jobs by passing blind-graded written tests.
However, as minority political power grew, minorities stopped wanting blind-graded testing extended to fight bigotry and instead wanted it rolled back to benefit themselves over more qualified job applicants.

Read the whole thing, and, as he suggests, read Alito's concurrence on the SCOTUS ruling.


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