[Make sure to read Daniel Greenfield’s contributions in Jamie Glazov’s new book: Barack Obama’s True Legacy: How He Transformed America.]
B is a high school student with a 4.2 GPA. One of his grandfathers fought in the Army on D-Day. Three of his family members are currently serving in the military. He would like to attend West Point Academy and continue a proud family tradition of military service, but there’s one problem.
The United States Military Academy is highly selective, but not in the way that it should be.
In 2019, Vice President Mike Pence addressed the graduates, hailing them as “the most diverse class in the history of the United States Military Academy” with the “highest number of Hispanic women graduates”. He told them that, “I couldn’t be more proud to stand before the graduating class of 2019 that includes the highest number of African American women cadets in the history of the United States Military Academy!” That’s been the emphasis at West Point for too long.
Earlier this year, West Point put out a press release boasting of its 38% minority enrollment as part of what a new lawsuit alleges is a practice of achieving its “desired percentages … of blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities” through systemic discrimination in admissions.
As the lawsuit filed by Students for Fair Admissions on the behalf of B, the anonymous student, lays out, “West Point sets benchmarks for the percentage of each class that should be filled by ‘African Americans,’ ‘Hispanics,’ and ‘Asians,’ and it meticulously tracks its compliance with those figures down to a tenth of a percentage point.” The problem is too many white people.
During the Biden administration’s defense of racial discrimination in Harvard’s admissions policies, the federal brief complained that, “white service members are 53% of the active force, but 73% of officers.” West Point’s goal is to match the percentage of officers to the number of enlisted men and so there needs to be only 53% white officers. The white officers must go.
Thomas Jefferson may have said that, “the price of Liberty is eternal vigilance”, but the price of diversity is eternal racial vigilance.
Military systemic racism is perpetually chasing racial quotas that are constantly changing because the national demographics and the racial demographics of a volunteer military are also in flux. And a military brass dedicated to systemic racism is responding with rigid racial quotas.
Students for Fair Admissions, whose previous Supreme Court lawsuit had defeated racial quotas that discriminated against Asian and white students in colleges, launched its lawsuit by showing just how rigidly the number of Asian students admitted to West Point by race really is.
“West Point enrolled 99 Asian Americans in the Class of 2022. The number of Asian Americans enrolled in West Point’s Class of 2023? Precisely 99,” the lawsuit shows. There’s only room for 99 Asians and there are far too many white people and not enough black people at West Point.
“West Point’s benchmark for African Americans in the Class of 2020 was ‘[greater than] 14%,’ even though only 13.1% of U.S. citizens are African American, and Director of Admissions Colonel Deborah McDonald told a West Point diversity conference that a “couple of years ago, every qualified African-American applicant were offered admission into West Point, yet the class composition goal was still lacking.” Meanwhile white students, no matter how qualified, are being kept out because there are too many of them and they stand in the way of ‘diversity’.
Like the rest of the military, West Point has rationalized its systemic racial discrimination by claiming that ‘diversity’ improves recruitment, institutional legitimacy and readiness. The Students for Fair Admissions lawsuit takes a sledgehammer to all of those excuses.
West Point claims that diversity makes Army units “more effective at accomplishing their missions”, but provides no evidence that “military units that choose their members based on race are more successful on the battlefield than units who select their members based on objective measures of tactical competency, regardless of skin color.”
West Point argues that the lack of diversity will “undermine the military’s legitimacy”, but “a significantly higher percentage of Americans expressed confidence in the U.S. military three decades ago than they do today”, and to “the extent that West Point’s mission is to solidify the public’s trust, its race-based admissions policy shoots itself in the foot—especially since 70% of Americans agree that universities should not be allowed to ‘consider race in admissions.’”
West Point contends that the lack of diversity will “harm recruiting efforts. But today, at the apex of West Point’s use of racial preferences, the Army is facing a recruiting crisis that is unprecedented in the modern, all-volunteer era. The Army is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to help would-be recruits satisfy basic eligibility requirements and is accepting enlistees who were previously rejected eight different times, but it still cannot meet recruiting goals.”
The woke brass, whether at West Point or anywhere else, have provided no evidence that systemic racism provides any measurable real world benefits. Embracing racial discrimination hasn’t improved the public perception of the military, it destroyed it, and also tanked recruitment.
SFA argues that the woke brass have just rebooted the old military arguments against desegregation using the same vague claims of “morale” and “civilian sentiment” to justify racial policies. President Truman’s military desegregation commission was cheered when it stated that, “to put racial restrictions upon job opportunities” was to “ignore completely the essential factor of individual differences. And insofar as a service refused to a single Negro the technical training and job for which he was qualified, by just so much did the service waste potential skills and impair its own effectiveness. Quite apart from the question of equal opportunity, the Committee did not believe the country or the military services could afford this human wastage.”
Racial military quotas have brought back the same arguments and the same “human wastage”. The same liberals who once cheered the dismantling of military segregation have become the fiercest advocates for it because somehow refusing a job to a black man was wrong, but refusing a job to a white man is the highest form of social justice.
The SFA lawsuit makes the case that what is undermining the military is a lack of merit.
“In-depth surveys and statistical studies of the Army’s personnel crisis—i.e., the rigorous analyses that West Point has failed to offer—show that the military’s emphasis on non-merit factors in admissions and promotions decisions is a leading cause of junior officer attrition. 71% of active duty officers believe the military would retain more talent if opportunities were based solely on merit.”
The military’s racial quotas are premised on the idea that “soldiers view their peers and superiors foremost in terms of race, rather than in terms of their ability or character traits like loyalty, devotion, and selflessness” and that “black soldiers will be more likely to trust a black officer” because “of their skin color, not their trustworthiness” while ignoring the “reams of evidence showing that trust between soldiers is formed through battlefield performance, and that servicemembers in war zones are more concerned with their leaders’ competency than with their skin color.”
There are no atheists in foxholes and no soldier under fire is looking for an evac chopper pilot who shares his skin color. The military was so effective as a desegregated institution because what matters on the battlefield is what you can do, not who you are.
West Point has betrayed its mission and its country through its decision to be “fully committed to affirmative action” rather than to elevating the best of the best. The SFA lawsuit against higher education established that college admissions could not be based on race, and there’s certainly no room for it in government institutions whose purpose is to produce the men and women who will defend our nation. Systemic racism at West Point is a betrayal of America and of ‘B’ and those young men like him who want to serve, but are the wrong race.
There should not be a ‘right’ or a ‘wrong’ race at West Point or anywhere in the military.