Pat Buchanan hits the fallacy jackpot over at Human Events. Here's his article in a nutshell: we should reconsider the utopian dream of educational equality, because educational ability across races is not equal. He starts with the familiar argument from athletics. In the NFL, blacks outnumber whites and all other races:
In this profession, white males, a third of the population, retain a third of the jobs. But black males, 6.5 percent of the U.S. population, have 67 percent of the coveted positions — 10 times their fair share. . . . Yet no one objects that women are not permitted to compete in the NFL. Nor do many object to the paucity of Asian and Mexicans, or the over-representation of blacks, even as white males dominate the National Hockey League and the PGA. When it comes to sports — high school, collegiate or professional — Americans are intolerant of lectures about diversity and inclusiveness. They want the best . . .
When it comes to athletic ability, we have very different native capacities, and so it should follow for educational abilities, too.
Why, then, cannot our elites accept that, be it by nature, nurture, attitude or aptitude, we are not all equal in academic ability?
Buchanan's evidence for this difference in ability between the races is what he sees as the permanent achievement gap in the New York math and language achievement tests. Whites and Asians generally outperform Hispanics and blacks, even after a good deal of work has been poured into the system to even the numbers.
Since 1965, America has invested trillions in education with a primary goal of equalizing test scores among the races and genders. Measured by U.S. test scores, it has been a waste — an immense transfer of wealth from private citizens to an education industry that has grown bloated while failing us again and again. Perhaps it is time to abandon the goal of educational equality as utopian — i.e., unattainable — and to focus, as we do in sports and art, on excellence.
Oh, in case you didn't get the point, Buchanan is telling us to re-calibrate our academic expectations for people who are brown:
For an indeterminate future, Mexican kids are not going to match Asian kids in math.
Fallacy checklist: Equivocation on 'equality'? Check! Inequality in ability (even in native abilities) does not mean that one deserves less. False analogy between sports and athletics? Check! If you can't throw a curveball, no biggie. Can't read, well… Vicious use of racial stereotypes? Check! Seriously, this guy ran for president and almost won the Republican nomination in '96.