Racial grievances will pervade ethnic studies

Requiring all students to take a class in ethnic studies before graduation is well intentioned.  But I’ll bet that the classes will stress victimization, particularly of Blacks (“The Resilience of the Black American,” The Wall Street Journal, Aug. 7).

That’s unfortunate because it’s only one side of the story. There are many examples of Blacks who have succeeded by performance rather than by protest.  “Hidden Figures” is about three Black female mathematicians who were instrumental in John Glenn’s orbiting the earth aboard Friendship 7.  Then there are the Golden 13, the group of Blacks who became naval officers in 1944.

My point is that by focusing only on systemic racism, these courses shortchange precisely the students they are intended to help the most.  Black students need positive role models to emulate.

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2 Replies to “Racial grievances will pervade ethnic studies”

  1. “Ethnic studies” should, in theory, focus on all aspects of each of the various principal ethnic groups — positive as well as negative. Doubt that such a course would ever make it off the drawing board. There’s also the troublesome issue of what constitutes an ethnic group — Jews? All Jews together in one group or split between “regular” Jews and Orthodox Jews? Cubans (separate from other Latin American groups)? Recently-arrived-from-abroad blacks as opposed to blacks who have lived in the US for generations? Asians as a single group vs. Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese as separate groups? Hindu Indians vs. non-Hindu Indians?


  2. Labor Lawyer: No ethnic or racial groups is a monolith. Yet we persist in treating them as if they were. For example, Blacks born and raised in the U.S. are different in their values and views than Blacks born and raised in Jamaica.


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