John Hawkins has an amusing interview with economist Walter Williams on the virtues of affirmative action.

“You find the same thing at MIT. Black students in the engineering department, they score in the top 5% nationally in the quantitative portion of the SAT. However, close to 50% are on academic probation or flunking out at MIT. What’s the problem? Well, the rest of the students in the engineering department are in the top 1%, which puts the black students at MIT near the bottom of the student body. So those black student who are being turned into failures at MIT, if they’d gone to engineering school at University of Pennsylvania or Cornell, they’d be on the Dean’s list.

So it’s kind of like you’re saying to me, “Walter, would you teach me how to box?” Then, the first fight I get you is with Lennox Lewis. Now you might have the potential to be a good boxer, but you’re going to get your brains beaten out before you learn to bob and weave. So, the question for black people is, “do we have so many youngsters who score in the top 5% nationally that we can afford to have them turned into failures at MIT in the name of diversity and multiculturalism?” For me, my answer is no.”

Especially if they have to box Lennox Lewis when they get there.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.