Not being able to convince me that there was such a thing as black economics, I asked several of my colleagues what would be their response had some Polish or Italian students demanded a course in Polish or Italian economics? I answered the question for them by telling them they'd probably kick the rascals out of their offices.
That was just the tip of the guilt iceberg. One Temple University colleague took me to lunch and confided to me that he was having numerous academic problems with his poorly prepared black students.
I asked him what his response to their poor preparation was. He replied that he tried to take into consideration racial discrimination and the poor education they received. I asked him how he assigned grades, to which he responded: If they come every day and look as if they're taking notes, I give them a "C".
After I recovered, I told him that's very much like having a dog in an English class and one day the dog sits on his hind legs and says, "You not po da do dat." You'd give the dog an "A". Why? You don't expect the dog to speak at all, and no matter what he says you'd deem it laudable.
Motivated by these and other experiences, sometime ago I created a "Certificate of Amnesty and Pardon" for guilt-ridden Americans of European ancestry (available at: www.gmu.edu/departments/economics/wew ) under "Gift" on my webpage. I now extend that gift to Congress and White House supporters of the National Slave Memorial Act.
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