Bill De Blasio’s Great White Lie – OpEd


When peddling left-wing equality policy, there’s no selling point quite like claiming there are too many whiteys about. So when there aren’t, you simply dissemble. A case in point is the effort by Mayor Bill de Blasio to “diversify” NYC’s “Elite Eight” public high schools.

De Blasio and his schools chancellor, Richard Carranza, are unhappy there aren’t “enough” blacks and Hispanics at the elite schools, so they’d cooked up a scheme to eliminate the institutions’ admissions exams (which, ensuring that only the most capable students gain entrance, are the only reason the schools are elite in the first place).

While de Blasio has started waffling on the plan — interestingly, coinciding with his presidential run’s termination — you can’t effect such a radical change without some powerful “social justice” angle. So de Blasio’s consistent selling point is, as the New York Post reported uncritically last week, that “he believes that removing the test is ‘the single best way to resolve’ the disproportionate rate of whites and Asians at leading city schools….”

Now, since de Blasio has said of the scheme’s future that they’re going to “start over and listen to everyone,” listen to this, mayor:

You’re peddling a far from innocent white lie — a great big one.

For there certainly is a “disproportionate” number of whites at the elite schools. They’re under-represented.

(Note: since “under- over-represented” is a propaganda term implying there’s something wrong with numerical group outcome disparities, I’ll henceforth use “under population percentage,” UPP; and “over population percentage,” OPP.)

Bearing in mind that non-Hispanic whites constitute 32 percent of NYC’s population and Asians only 14 percent, consider the Elite Eight’s relevant student body statistics:

  • Stuyvesant High School — whites, 19 percent; Asians, 74 percent.
  • Bronx High School of Science — whites, 26 percent; Asians, 64 percent.
  • Brooklyn Technical High School — whites, 23 percent; Asians, 61 percent.
  • High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering at City College — whites, 28 percent; Asians, 37 percent.
  • The Brooklyn Latin School — whites, 14 percent; Asians, 45 percent.
  • Queens High School for the Sciences at York College — whites, 6 percent; Asians, 79 percent.
  • The two outliers are Staten Island Technical High School, where whites are 49 percent of the student body and Asians 47 percent; and the High School Of American Studies At Lehman College (HSAS), where the white/Asian breakdown is 57-21.

Yet perspective is needed.

Unlike the other four boroughs, Staten Island is 65 percent non-Hispanic white and only 7.5 percent Asian; thus, whites are still UPP, and Asians OPP, at its elite school.

As for the HSAS, the New York Post informs that its enrollment is only 387 and that it specializes in history; in other words, it wouldn’t appeal as much to Asians, who tend to be STEM oriented (just ask Andrew Yang, who says he knows “a lot of doctors” because he’s Asian), as it would to liberal-arts-enamored white kids.

Regardless, the white student-body average of the Elite Eight is 27.75 percent and the Asian average 53.5 percent. And though I’ll confess to not being up on Common Core math, I suspect that 27.75 is still less than 32 and 53.5 is still more than 14.

The kicker is that at the Brooklyn Latin School, there are as many Hispanics as non-Hispanic whites (14 percent and 14 percent) and slightly more blacks (15 percent); and at the Queens High School for the Sciences at York College there are as many blacks as whites (6 percent and 6 percent) and slightly more Hispanics (7 percent).

In contrast, there’s not one elite school at which Asians aren’t greatly OPP. Even at HSAS, their 21 percent places them 50 percent above their group’s share of the city’s population, and well outstrips its percentage (4.5) in the school’s borough, the Bronx.

So to state the obvious, making whites’ presence in the elite schools “proportionate” would require granting them affirmative action.

Of course, since it’s inconceivable that NYC’s powers-that-be — Chancellor Carranza in particular — aren’t aware of these statistics, a conclusion is inescapable: They’re lying. Why?

The NYC social engineers’ equality-scheme pretext is that performance differences are due to historical biases and discrimination and to privilege. Yet it’s hard making the case that Asians benefit from such. Could you imagine how far leftists would get parading around bloviating about “yellow privilege”? As it is, angry Asian protesters in Brooklyn this summer swarmed Carranza’s car shouting “Fire the racist!”

The bottom line is that the social engineers need the white boogeyman. Without him as whipping boy, their scheme’s whole rationale collapses.

Another lesson from this story concerns the New York Post’s uncritical repetition of de Blasio’s Great White Lie. Being a more conservative paper, it’s unlikely the Post is practicing deception here. Very likely is that it’s exhibiting a common phenomenon: conservatives’ unwitting acceptance of many liberal suppositions.

No, conservatives don’t believe in trumping meritocracy or forced integration, but they may not question assertions of whites’ numerical dominance in a prestigious realm. I mean, isn’t that a given? No, it’s a prejudice.

All this said, awareness of the Elite Eight’s actual demographics won’t deter de Blasio and Co. (it never has); they worship equality of outcome and will just conjure up rationalizations such as, perhaps, how Asians are better able to tap into the system of “white privilege.” Public awareness, however, would help dissolve whatever limited support and moral authority they might enjoy.

But never fear, oh ye social engineer, there’s always another meritocratic mountain to destroy. For example, the average male/female ratio at NYC’s elite schools is 58-42. And, come to think of it, why hasn’t this been de Blasio’s and Carranza’s focus all along? They must be sexists.

Selywn Duke

Selywn Duke is a columnist and author.

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