Educational Cruelty to Black Students

From:,  by Walter E. Williams,  on Sep 21, 2016


Last year’s college news was about demands for safe spaces, trigger warnings and bans on insensitivity. This year’s college news is about black student demands for segregated campus housing and other racially segregated campus spaces and programs. I totally disagree with these calls by black students. It’s a gross dereliction of duty for college administrators to cave to these demands, but I truly sympathize with the problems that many black college students face. For college administrators and leftist faculty, the actual fate of black students is not nearly so important as the good feelings they receive from a black presence on campus. Let’s examine some of the problem.

A very large percentage of all incoming freshmen have no business being admitted to college. According to College Board’s 2015 report, the average combined SAT score for white students was 1576 out of a possible 2400. Black student SAT scores, at 1277, were the lowest of the seven reported racial groups ( The College Board considers an SAT score of 1550 as the benchmark that indicates a readiness for college-level work. Only 32 percent of white students scored at or above proficient in math, and just 7 percent of black students did. Forty-six percent of white test takers scored proficient in reading, and 17 percent of blacks did. The ACT, another test used for admission to college, produced similar results. The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education reports, in an article titled “A Major Crisis in College Readiness for Black Students,” that 34 percent of whites who took the ACT were deemed college-ready in all four areas — English, mathematics, reading and science. For blacks, it was only 6 percent (

These are significant differences in academic preparation between white and black students. I am sure that the differences give black students feelings of inferiority and being out of place. Black college students across the country have demanded segregated housing and other “safe spaces” on campuses designated for students of color. Students calling for segregated spaces do so because they allege their campuses are oppressive, are discriminatory and represent institutionalized racism. For decades, colleges have purchased peace by creating whole departments of ethnic, diversity and multicultural studies. All too often, these “studies” are about propaganda and not serious education. Plus, they provide students with an opportunity to get an easy A.

The most pervasive form of racial discrimination at most colleges is affirmative action. In the name of helping people from groups that have suffered past discrimination, colleges admit black students whose academic preparation differs significantly with that of their white peers. Those differences are not subtle. It should not come as a surprise that the intended beneficiaries of that “benign” discrimination feel themselves ridiculed, isolated and treated differently. As a result, students who might be successes in a less competitive environment are turned into failures. One faculty member at a historically black college put it this way: “The way we see it, the majority schools are wasting large numbers of good students. They have black students with admissions statistics (that are) very high, tops. But these students wind up majoring in sociology or recreation or get wiped out altogether.”

The problem of black education begins long before college. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as The Nation’s Report Card, shows that nationally in 2015, only 7 percent of black 12th-graders scored proficient in math, and only 17 percent did so in reading. This suggests that the average black 12th-grader has the academic proficiency of a white eighth- or ninth-grader. Consider the following question: If one admits 1,000 randomly selected eighth- and ninth-graders to college and admits 1,000 randomly selected 12th-graders, who do you think is going to come out on top? Who would be surprised if the eighth- and ninth-graders felt inferiority, oppression and insensitivity?

The academic elite feel righteous seeing blacks on campus, even if they are severely mismatched. Black people must ask: Are we going to sacrifice our youngsters so that white liberals can feel good about themselves?


We are now harvesting the fruit that was grown from the seeds of affirmative action planted by President Kennedy in 1961. Affirmative action has come to mean that a less-qualified individual can be hired/promoted, etc. over a more-qualified person based simply on race. Why is that not a racist act?

Mr. Williams takes note that most of the black students in high school and college haven’t attained a level of achievement comparable to white students. Racist black agitators will point to that and blame the black student’s poor showing on having less capable teachers and school facilities. The solution: more money; free tuition for blacks, free childcare for blacks, free books and materials for blacks, and a stipend paid while the student attends classes – all paid to blacks.

They never mention that black inner city youth have been conditioned to view education and studying with disdain; if caught studying, they’d be accused of “acting white.” Accordingly, becoming educated isn’t a high priority for millions of inner-city black youth. What do they need education for when their chosen profession is becoming a criminal?

Isn’t is funny that blacks are quick to extol their superiority in areas like sports (remember that “white men can’t jump”), but will turn quickly belligerent if someone suggests that maybe they just aren’t as smart? That possibility must be considered, regardless of the immediate and unrelenting cries of racism by people of color when such a thing is suggested. If black genetics can produce scores of 6’5″ men who’re in excess of 300 lbs, who can say that those same genetics can’t depress intelligence?

For my money, the evidence is there, in spades.



Categories: General


2 replies

  1. Another stellar essay by the esteemed Walter Williams. He is a brave man for telling the truth. I guess that makes him a racist.

    Mr. Willams says blacks must ask: “Are we going to sacrifice our youngsters so that white liberals can feel good about themselves?”

    The answer is already in, and it’s “hell yes!” The futures of black youths were traded long ago so that their parents could have an easy pass and for the freedom to never hear an uncomfortable truth.

    And you’re right, Garnet. It’s funny that we can admire blacks for their accomplishments and over-representation in sports but must keep silent about the truth when it comes to education. And here’s what’s even funnier: Liberals and blacks don’t care at all about what sacrifices others have to make in order to artificially boost blacks in education, as evidenced by Mr. Williams essay; but take note that no one, black or white, is concerned about the under representation of the small, clumsy or physically challenged in the field of professional sports. That’s a true demonstration of what the priorities are in this nation.

    BTW, Texans should take note that even their own state is not free from the diversity games that punish the better qualified. My son had an overall SAT score of 2120, including a 750 (out of a possible 780) in math, but was initially denied straight admission to his school of choice, Texas A&M, because he wasn’t in the top 25th percentile of his school (he was in the 26th), even though he had an average grade in high school of over 94%. Texas gives automatic admission to any state college to the top 10% of each school, and then to the top 25% if they achieve a high enough score on the SAT. This tips the scales in favor of kids at lower performing schools where it’s easier for average performers to get into those top percentiles. My son finally got into A&M, but it took an enormous effort. Can you tell I’m bitter?


    • I feel your pain, CW – truly.

      My daughter explained the same thing to me while we were talking about my granddaughter’s options for college (she is a senior in high school and a straight “A” student). But she is not in the top percentile of her excellent Dallas suburban high school. This article laments the situation where black kids were being accepted into college when they are woefully unprepared for the work. Those poor, poor underachieving black students (sob, sob).

      A top ten percenter in a poorly performing school would get in while being totally unprepared for the college workload, while my granddaughter, a high performer in a top notch school, gets left behind by the college “thumb on the scale” lottery.

      That’s affirmative action in action.


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