Articles chosen with care. Your comments welcomed.
Linked articles in bold purple
◆ Third night of disturbances in St. Louis after white police officer acquitted in shooting of black driver
Headline in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Police make dozens of arrests after protesters break windows downtown. The protests Sunday began with about 1,000 people.
Police, many of them armed in riot gear, forced dozens of protesters late Sunday night into the intersection of Washington Avenue and Tucker Boulevard to be arrested.
Following a night of protests that had outbursts of vandalism downtown, the officers had the protesters perfectly surrounded. They pressed forward in lines, stepping to the cadence of batons beaten on the pavement. No one was allowed past. –St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Earlier in the day, protesters held a “die in” at police headquarters, holding up signs reading “no justice, no peace” and “Black Lives Matter”
Additional information about crime in St. Louis: Official statistics show St. Louis is the 8th most dangerous city in the US.
With a population of only 317,095, 188 murders were reported in the last calendar year within the city creating a murder rate of 27.75 [per 100,000]. –World Atlas (link here)
Despite the continued debate and legal wrangling over whether college affirmative action efforts are too aggressive, black and Hispanic freshmen were more underrepresented at the nation’s top schools in 2015 than they were in 1980, the Times analysis found.
That may come as a surprise to some skeptics of affirmative action, including those in the Trump administration, who see such efforts as having remade the admissions landscape to the detriment of Asian-Americans and whites. But on campuses across the country, many admissions officials say that affirmative action as it is traditionally understood — taking race into consideration when assessing applications — falls short as a diversity strategy, and that further-reaching efforts are needed to recruit a student body that even comes close to reflecting the country’s demographics.
Nationwide, 15 percent of 18-year-olds were black and 22 percent were Hispanic in 2015, according to federal data. At the elite colleges examined by The Times, 6 percent of noninternational freshmen were black and 13 percent were Hispanic. –New York Times
The NYT report does note that this emphasis on percentages has its critics.
Critics of affirmative action, however, say focusing on enrollment numbers is the wrong goal. Because race-based discrepancies in academic achievement emerge in early childhood, “college is way too little, too late to source the pipeline” said Amy Wax, a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania. Aggressive affirmative action policies lead to “trouble down the road” for admitted students, she said. “When you put people in who are struggling to compete, that’s very hard on them.” –New York Times
Comment: The topic is as vexing as it is important.
The NYT report is useful but fails to follow-up on several crucial points and slides over others, notably the discrimination against high-achieving Asian-Americans (which is the subject of litigation for some Ivies). It doesn’t investigate Prof. Wax’s point, which suggests that, in an effort to raise minority enrollment, universities are admitting students who are not well-prepared for those particular schools and therefore perform poorly or drop out. If that’s the result, as some studies have shown, then these efforts to help minority students may actually harm many of them. The NYT report doesn’t shed any light on that question.
Second, the report notes that at Pomona (the hook for the NYT story) a stunning half of the admissions budget is allocated to recruiting underrepresented students.” That’s an enormous effort. One can only hope it produces good outcomes for the school and the targeted students. It should be noted, however, that any student recruited to selective schools like Pomona would almost certainly have gone to another fine school if scholarship funds were available. If so, then Pomona’s gain is a loss for Emory or Vanderbilt or others. If they have to reach further down in the applicant pool to reach their diversity targets, then the good intentions of each school could yield an unintended outcome collectively.
I only hope that these schools, which work so hard to recruit minority students, put an equal effort into providing them a supportive environment on campus. Admission is only the beginning. We want these students to succeed, whichever college they attend.U
◆ Clarice’s Pieces is an interesting read each week, and this installment is a gem (link here) (Clarice Feldman in The American Thinker)
This week, the sorest loser since Dickens’ Miss Havisham in Great Expectations, Hillary Clinton, began peddling her latest book What Happened. –Clarice Feldman
Comment: Don’t remember Miss Havisham? A wealthy, controlling spinster, she was stood up at the altar years ago and, ever since, has worn her wedding dress.
◆ In surprise move, Chicago Bears announce they will play the rest of the season
The startling decision, considered futile by experts, comes after Sunday’s 29-7 loss to Tampa Bay.
Aides to the team have not yet decided who will tell the coaches and players that their next two opponents are the Pittsburgh Steelers and Green Bay Packers.
The Chicago Tribune headline: Ugly loss to Bucs goes beyond quarterback as Bears aren’t competitive
Comment: I Last season, I offered readers valuable advice early in the schedule. Do something else with your Sundays. The same advice applies this season.
Unless you are the “M” in “S&M,” do not watch these beatings.