De Blasio Cancels Competence

by | Oct 25, 2021 |

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Equity over competence! This is the latest battle cry of Progressive / Social Justice / Equity-Socialism elites. Equity, according to the online Mirriam-Webster dictionary, means “fairness or justice in the way people are treated.” Social Justice elites like NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio interpret that to mean “treat everyone the same regardless of their skills and abilities.”

As reported in The Epoch Times, Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled the gifted program in NYC schools: 

The gifted program, which faced criticism for enrolling low numbers of black and Latino students, will instead be replaced with a new framework called Brilliant NYC that will leave students identified for accelerated instruction in mixed classrooms but provide them with “extra attention,” de Blasio said

Starting next fall, New York City will stop testing kindergartners for entry into the gifted and talented program, which was the subject of a lawsuit (pdf) that claimed the screening was “racially discriminatory” and fueled racial segregation in the school system.

Racially discriminatory means choosing someone based on the color of their skin. The NYC testing measured aptitudes for math and other subjects, not skin color. Now the high aptitude children will be put into classrooms with not-so-high aptitude children. They will have to learn at a slower pace.

My prediction? The high aptitude children will be bullied for “acting white” and “you think you’re smarter than the rest of us?” They will quickly learn to act dumber than they are in order to survive. They will learn not to be curious. They will learn not to learn.

Thought Experiment: Hire the Least Skilled

Try this thought experiment. Imagine your roof leaks. Who do you hire to fix it? The experienced and skilled roofer? No! That would not be fair and equitable to many others who don’t know anything about roof repair. Hire a person who knows nothing about roofing. That is the fair and equitable thing to do.

What do you predict for the outcome? Your roof will still leak, and you are out the money you paid to the unskilled non-roofer. You may be the subject of a lawsuit if the unskilled person (who knows nothing of roofing safety procedures) falls off your roof and is injured. 

No Skill = No Competence. No Competence = Bad Results

Here is my prediction: more and more application of the equity over competence principle. This means outcomes such as:

  • No admission standards for music schools such as Julliard. Can’t read music? No problem! You can pretend to play an instrument. Audiences, don’t expect to recognize any performances of Beethoven symphonies or any other known piece. (Besides, weren’t musical notations invented by dead white Europeans? Ignore the score! Just plink out whatever sounds “equitable.”)
  • No admission standards for medical schools like Beth Israel. Heck, no graduation standards either! After all, equity of outcome is our goal. Everybody graduates, whether they know how to treat illness or not. Patients, don’t expect to recover from your illness when treated by this new generation of equity doctors. (BTW, weren’t medical treatments invented by dead white Westerners like Hippocrates, Lister, and Salk? Ignore known medicine! Just make up a treatment that sounds “equitable.”)
  • No admission standards for engineering schools like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. No graduation standards either. Everybody graduates! Isn’t that fair? Who needs to know how to calculate load-bearing factors for buildings? Who cares if buildings collapse? (Wasn’t the inventor of calculus a dead white European male?)
  • No standards for pilot certification. It is racist to expect someone to know how to recover from a stall or a spin. All airlines must honor diversity and equity of outcomes by hiring all applicants, whether or not they have piloting skills. (Besides, weren’t Orville and Wilbur Wright white males?)

Admire Competence, Don’t Resent It

I can’t read music, and I don’t play an instrument. I admire those who can read music and play an instrument. My life is enriched by musicians, orchestras, and conductors. I benefit from those who are competent at music. I’m grateful for their talent. 

Is it an equitable outcome that I can’t play an instrument? No, but life isn’t fair. I never persevered in taking music lessons. Whose fault is that? Mine. Even if I had, maybe I don’t have the musical aptitude. Should I resent those who do have an aptitude for music and make a rule that they can’t go to a music school because I couldn’t pass the audition? Who loses then? We all lose, because talented people do not get to develop their musical talents. Imagine an equitable world with no music. We would all be equally miserable without the beauty of music in our lives. That is de Blasio’s equitable world.

Moral of the story: admire competence, don’t resent it. We are all competent and talented in different ways. Develop and celebrate your own talents. Be glad that you don’t have to know how to do everything. I’m a good writer, but a lousy roofer. And I’m glad and grateful for competent roofers. 

Michael McCarthy

Michael McCarthy is a life-long student of liberty, limited government, and free-market economics. As a young man, he taught and crewed at the Flint School aboard the 156’ two-masted schooner Te Vega sailing in Europe. Atlas Shrugged was required reading.

In 2010 he saw the acceleration of big government control in politics, business, and culture. Hoping to reach the next generation through fiction entertainment, he wrote the prophetic novel The Noah Option. Powerful politicians target brilliant black scientist Dr. Grace Washington. Her story continues in the sequel, The Rainbow Option, when powerful elites unleash a deadly virus on unsuspecting Americans, and Grace must develop a cure. In The Timshel Option, ISIS invades and creates The New England Caliphate, making women second-class citizens. One teenage girl fights back.

"The things I predicted in my novels came true in the nightly news. Our country is in trouble. Like Abraham Lincoln, I hope for a new birth of freedom,” says McCarthy.

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