Disparate Wonkery: Matt Yglesias Has Never Heard Of Griggs v. Duke Power Co.
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I'm surprised to learn, on Twitter, that internationally famous policy wonk Matt Yglesias has never heard of the infamous Griggs v. Duke Power decision—and a number of others: 

In a 2012 Slate article defending affirmative action Yglesias said

Conservatives have entrenched into law the idea that policies with a “disproportionate impact” on racial minorities don’t constitute an illegal form of discrimination, which may be the wise approach, in which case it may be that Ivy League schools aren’t doing anything illegal to Asian applicants. But it’s clear enough that the structure of their admissions policies has the effect of disadvantaging Asian applicants

Well, no, we haven't entrenched this idea into law, because we can't. Griggs vs. Duke Power, 1971, did entrench into law  "disparate impact" theory, of which,  as I've said before, "The message of Griggs and 'disparate impact' theory: if minorities fail tests at a higher rate than whites, it's the test that's wrong."

If that's not clear enough, maybe I should put it this way: "If blacks do worse than whites in any way (employment tests, IQ tests, admissions tests, criminal records background tests, or random drug tests), it's white people's fault."

We recently saw this when Ibram X. Kendi said that if black kids weren't passing the test to get into Boston Latin School, it couldn't possibly be because they were dumber.

Why do Black and Latinx children routinely get lower scores on the standardized tests? Either there’s something wrong with the test takers or there’s something wrong with the tests. Why are Black and Latinx children routinely under-represented in the exam schools? Either there’s something wrong with Black and Latinx children or there’s something wrong with Boston’s admissions policies.

There’s something wrong with the test and the admissions policies. And to say there’s something wrong with Black and Latinx children is to espouse racist ideas. And those who say racist ideas, typically deny their ideas are racist. …

See The Triumph Of Ibram X. Kendi's Logic: The Kids MUST Be Equal, So The Tests Are At Fault.

A cheerful note:

For the record, the other Yglesias-unknown cases are "school prayer (Engel v. Vitale)," "taxpayer funded defense lawyers for criminals (Gideon v. Wainwright)"  and "school boards are required to bus black children to white schools and vice versa (Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education)."


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