The U.S. Naval Academy's PowerPoint display explains diversity by saying, "Diversity is all the different characteristics and attributes of individual sailors and civilians which enhance the mission readiness of the Navy," adding that: "Diversity is more than equal opportunity, race, gender or religion. Diversity is the understanding of how each of us brings different skills, talents and experiences to the fight -- and valuing those differences. Leveraging diversity creates an environment of excellence and continuous improvement to remove artificial achievement barriers and value the contribution of all participants." Admiral Gary Roughead, chief of Naval Operations, says that "diversity is the No. 1 priority" at the academy.
Diversity at the Naval Academy, as at most academic institutions, is not about equal opportunity but a race and sex spoils system to achieve what the Navy brass see as a pleasing race and sex mix. They accomplish that vision by the removal of "artificial achievement barriers." Let's go over what the Naval Academy sees as an artificial achievement barrier. A black candidate with B and C grades, with no particular leadership qualities, and 500 on both portions of the SAT, is virtually guaranteed admittance. A white student, who's not an athlete, with such scores is deemed not qualified.
Many black students are admitted to the Naval Academy through remedial training at the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) in Newport, R.I., which is a one-year post-secondary school. Finishing the year with a 2.0 GPA, a C average, almost guarantees admission to the academy. A C average for remedial work is nothing to write home about. Occasionally, when students don't make the 2.0 GPA target, the target is renegotiated downward. Minority applicants with SAT scores down to the 300s and with Cs and Ds grades (and no particular leadership or athletics) are also admitted after a remedial year at the Naval Academy Preparatory School.
I suspected that the Naval Academy's diversity agenda would give rise to resentments so I asked Professor Fleming about it. He said there are two levels of resentment. Some black students, who were admitted to the academy meritoriously on the same basis as white students, resent the idea of being seen as having the same academic qualities as blacks who were given preferential treatment, in other words being dumb. Another level of resentment comes from white students who see blacks as being admitted and retained at lower levels of academic performance and being treated with kid gloves. If these whites openly complained about the unequal treatment, they would run the risk of being labeled as racists. This is one of the unappreciated aspects of preferential treatment. It runs the risk of creating racist attitudes, and possibly feelings of racial superiority, among whites and others who were formerly racially neutral.