May Contain Blueberries

the sometimes journal of Jeremy Beker

First, read the article (and notice the source, it gives the article more weight):

The Expanding Racial Scoring Gap Between Black and White SAT Test Takers This is a well written article full of disturbing facts. The source of the article moves it past many of the knee-jerk reactions to those facts. As one who would like to see a race neutral policy in place, I am bothered by this information. I feel that in many ways the race supporting policies currently in place do not help solve this solution; they only act as a crutch.

But in reading the article, and the information presented, it really make me wonder what is going on here. As an example:

Black students who study hard are often the subject of peer ridicule. They are accused of “acting white” by other blacks. This so-called “ghetto chic” in the form of peer pressure to shun academic pursuits undoubtedly has a dragging effect on average black SAT scores.

I see a clear dichotomy here. On one hand, it seems that many black leaders rail against how “white society” has towered above “black society.” I do not argue that has happened, but at the same time it seems that mainstream black society is preventing it’s own members from rising above the status quo.

The connection between academics, critical thinking, and education seems, in some people’s minds, to be tied to “whiteness.” Those concepts should transcend any individual and be accepted by all as a goal that is worthy of any individual regardless of race.

Ironically, the support system that has been put in place to attempt to compensate for past injustices against blacks has in some ways hampered their ability to overcome their past. By making a system that helps one race, it teaches society that those people need help and can’t achieve the same level of success without it. This is patently untrue, but I am afraid it is a value that has pervaded the thoughts of all races.

Every person, regardless of race has a level of academic ability that they can reach. This level is different for each person and every race will have it’s brilliant and it’s mediocre individuals; but I truly believe that the high and low and the distribution of people between those extremes is statistically identical no matter what race is looked at. The ability to reach this goal is the key; and that depends primarily upon the will of that individual and access to information.

The problem of access to information is often brought up as lacking for blacks of low socio-economic status. This appears to be a determining factor, but can not the same argument be made for other racial groups that find themselves in similar economic situations? Nor does this argument provide an explanation of the high end case, were one would assume both the black and white families have equal access to the internet, libraries, and schools.

The question that needs answering but was not, is the question of why even among blacks and whites of the same socio-economic group (whether high or low), that blacks consistently scored so poorly. This gets at the root of the problem; Is there some social or cultural difference that is at work here that is not being talked about or not found?

I have no answers to these questions.