90 Miles From Tyranny : At West Point, Racism Becomes More Important Than Military Readiness

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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

At West Point, Racism Becomes More Important Than Military Readiness

Students for Fair Admissions, the same group that recently won a lawsuit against Harvard and the University of North Carolina challenging their illegal, racially discriminatory admissions policies, has filed a similar suit against the U.S. Military Academy.

Shockingly, the admissions policy at West Point, one of our premier military academies, is even more blatantly racist than Harvard and UNC, both of which tried to obscure what they were doing to some extent.

The dishonorable, racist policy described in the lawsuit by Students for Fair Admissions should not only anger the public and every military veteran. It also presents a clear and present danger to the military’s effectiveness and readiness, and thus America’s national security.

In a suit filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, SFA alleges that West Point has an explicit racial quota system that violates the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The Fifth Amendment, the group points out, has “an equal-protection principle that binds the federal government and is not less strict than the equal protection clause that binds the states” under the 14th Amendment.

The Supreme Court struck down the discriminatory admissions policies of Harvard and UNC pursuant to the 14th Amendment. The new lawsuit also cites multiple court decisions holding that the “military is subject to the Bill of Rights and its constitutional implications.”

For most of its history, West Point “evaluated cadets based on merit and achievements,” the suit says. There is a good reason for that, argues SFA, besides the fact that such an evaluation is required under our Constitution and various statutes that prohibit discrimination:

America’s enemies don’t fight differently based on the race of the commanding officer opposing them, soldiers must follow orders without regard to the skin color of those giving them, and battlefield realities apply equally to all soldiers regardless of race, ethnicity, or national origin.

But that changed over the “past few decades,” according to the suit, when West Point started focusing on race, even to the extent of implementing explicit numerical goals—racial quotas —for the composition of every entering class.
Race’s Place in Admissions

Admission to West Point is a two-step process. The first step requires passing medical and physical fitness tests and being nominated by the president, the vice president, or a member of Congress. Once that happens, an applicant will be considered for admission.

It’s in that second step where race becomes a determining factor, according to Students for Fair Admissions. Fewer than 10% of applicants who make it past the first hurdle are accepted for admission into a class of between 1,200 and 1,300 cadets.

Race is so important in the admissions process that, according to the complaint, West Point “meticulously tracks its compliance with” the racial quotas it sets as benchmarks for each incoming class of cadets—“down to a tenth of a percentage point.”

West Point, along with some retired military leaders, has tried to justify this process by saying the racial proportions of the officer ranks should be the same as the racial proportions of the enlisted ranks and “mirror the demographic population it serves.”

But as SFA argues, these claims are “tantamount to a declaration that West Point will never stop using race in its admissions.”

Moreover, as Students for Fair Admissions points out, West Point’s claim that the process is necessary to fulfill the Army’s mission to defend the nation “is devoid of evidentiary support.” The claim also reflects a patronizingly racist view of “soldiers primarily as members of racial groups, rather than as individuals,” the lawsuit alleges, and is “grounded in the assumption that minority service members all think and feel the...

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I've been getting more and more fed up with my Alma Mater for years. I'm proud to have graduated when I did, but the early seeds of "wokeness" were apparent way back in the 90s. Like everything else, if you spoke up against any of it, you were vilified and ostracized. I blame the general officers ... they are cowards for not doing the right thing, and only doing what will extend their career.

- Chi. USMA '90