Editor’s note: Michael Ackley’s columns may include satire and parody based on current events, and thus mix fact with fiction. He assumes informed readers will be able to tell the difference.
Yale Law School professors Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld caught a lot of flak this year for their book, “The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America.”
To the politically correct, their sin was saying some cultural groups – more than others – instill in their offspring traits that lead to academic and financial achievement.
Unfortunately for the politically correct, Chua and Rubenfeld’s thesis had a lot of Americans nodding in agreement, and the usual suspects crying “racism.”
Now comes the United States Supreme Court with a 6-2 ruling saying the people of the several states may decide for themselves whether to consider racial and ethnic differences in college admissions, public agency hiring and the like.
Oh! The moaning and gnashing of teeth! And again the familiar plaint: “Racism still exists! Discrimination still exists! Diversity benefits all! Oh! Woe!”
But let us consider the case of one minority family. They are not Americans of African descent, but Africans who are naturalized American citizens. They are the family of Boston Marathon winner Mebrahtom Keflezighi.
The father of this Eritrean native emigrated first to Italy, worked hard and saved until he was able to move his family to the United States. Eventually, he and his wife had 10 children. Consider the following intelligence from “Meb’s” website and from the magazine “Runner’s World”:
Meb, in addition to his athletic prowess, has a degree in communications from UCLA; one brother is an electrical engineer, another is an MBA. A sister graduated from UCLA Medical School and is a physician practicing in San Diego. Another brother, Meb’s manager, is a graduate of UCLA Law School.
Yet another brother holds a business management degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz; another recently graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics. Two other siblings are enrolled at University of California campuses. The youngest is still in high school. An older sister is “happily married” with four children.
Did all these high achievers succeed because of affirmative action or diversity? Or did they succeed because of a combination of intelligence and hard work?
Meb’s web page says, “Many family and friends have helped the Keflezighis achieve their goals. These supporters are too many to list and they know who they are. Just like (Meb’s parents) Russom and Awetash are proud of the achievements of their children … both the Eritrean and American communities should share in the accomplishments of this American Dream.”
That’s an affirmation we all should endorse. Diversity is fine, as long as it is in the context of unifying cultural values. Otherwise, diversity becomes a euphemism for tribalism.
Testing the sexually confused: The press recently has carried a number of stories about “sex assignment” surgery. There was the prisoner who wanted the state to pay for his surgical conversion from man to woman, and there was the story of a family bravely standing by a daughter who wished to be converted to male.
Each story contained the almost liturgical quotes, “I always felt I was a girl,” and, “I always felt I was a boy.”
It’s not surprising that such yarns are proliferating, given the fact that certain elements of society have an interest in confounding sex roles and promoting confusion, particularly among adolescents.
Among the unfortunate aspects of sexual confusion cases is the reality that sex-assignment surgery – apart from the pain and psychological trauma involved – is quite expensive. And since the state frequently is asked to foot the bill for sexual realignment, it is important that society devise a test to determine if the subject really is a transsexual or is just momentarily confused.
A dear friend and astute observer has the answer: Show the subject “The Three Stooges.” He suggests the classic “Malice in the Palace,” in which diners at a Stooges’ restaurant are convinced they are being served dog and cat.
Only men laugh at “The Three Stooges.” Therefore, if a male seeking sex-assignment surgery laughs at this farce, the state should in no way finance his conversion. If a female seeking to become male views the film and fails to laugh, she is indisputably a woman. Surgery should be denied.
Seeking no compensation, we commend this test to the appropriate authorities.
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