They told me Obama’s election would result in a new wave of progressive thought: and they were right!
I’m of two minds on this. Yes, (white) Southerners deserve to feel that they, too have a stake in America, and that the accident of their birth in a region of poverty, ignorance, fundamentalism, high rates of unwed teen pregnancy, and Right-to-Work laws should not prevent them from climbing as high as their talents will take them.
But consider: If we start appointing token Southern whites to positions for which they are unqualified, won’t this just stoke the very prejudices that now limit Southerners’ opportunities, and at the same time generate resentful rage among those placed in positions they’re not really capable of filling, surrounded by people who perceive their incapacity?
It’s possible (I don’t know one way or the other) that at the University of Tennessee Law School Glenn Reynolds passes for an adequate professor. Would it be any real favor to him if, in the name of diversity, he were hired by Harvard?