In his novel “That Hideous Strength” author CS Lewis offered a warning through fiction. He told the story of a man who is hired by a strange, politically-connected so-called “scholarly” organization that actually is a front for a multi-generational cabal intent on taking over the British countryside and supplanting the old traditions with a top-down collective hive mind.
It sounds outlandish, but Lewis was not only prescient in his warning of this kind of central-authority-connected dark agenda, he perfectly hit the troubling mindset of the “go-along-to-get-along” human being. The main character is offered benefits and a better professional position if he only conforms to the unjust system, if he only allows his morals and soul to get worn away. This man must make a decision – the kind of decision many lower-level aides of evil have made, one way, or the other: his career, or his soul?
Today, Lewis' England also is America. Today, with the centralized, Federal Reserve-funded, federal government-managed, politically-enticed soft fascism that we confront, we know that this is America. Today, with the follow-the-orders lockdowns and enforcement of clearly unconstitutional, immoral diktats, we know, this is America.
Millions of people -- from police officers, to soldiers, to bureaucrats, to teachers, and even employees of private businesses – are faced with an ethical choice: “Do I conform and, in cowardly silence, either watch others enforce the ludicrous, totally arbitrary edicts of the political-money-pushers, or enforce the orders myself, acting as a mobster to make sure the boat is not rocked by non-conformists?”
The American Bar Association is the latest organization to display what possibly could become one of Lewis’ “go-along-to-get-along” situations.
Aaron Siberium reports for the Washington Free Beacon that the American Bar Association (ABA):
…which accredits nearly every law school in the United States, is mulling a plan that would require schools to ‘provide education to law students on bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism,’ including a mandatory ethics course instructing students that they have an obligation to fight ‘racism in the law.’ Schools would also be required to ‘take effective actions’ to ‘diversify’ their student bodies—even when doing so risks violating a law that ‘purports to prohibit consideration of" race or ethnicity.’
And that last bit could run afoul of the 1964 Civil Rights Act as well as push law schools onto the same legal path as Harvard, the evidently race-heavy admissions system of which has landed it in Supreme Court.
Laws prohibiting schools from considering race in admissions are ‘not a justification for a school's non-compliance’ with the diversity requirement, one standard reads.
And, notes Siberium:
Though universities can use race as a ‘plus factor’ in admissions, they cannot set hard floors or ceilings for any particular racial group. The ABA’s accreditation plan would encourage law schools to set those ceilings anyway, through the same sort of chicanery Harvard allegedly employs.
And the ABA proposal also would force law schools to adopt “diversity” courses, and mandate them for students to receive their juris doctorates.
The plan mandates a course on ‘professional responsibility’ that stresses lawyers' ‘obligation’ to fight racism in the legal system—implying the legal system is racist—and requires students to learn about ‘bias, cross-cultural competency, and racism’ at least two other times before graduating. ‘Courses on racism and bias in the law’ are one way of satisfying that second requirement. Insofar as this curriculum assumes the law is unjust, it supplies a justification for disobeying it.
While Siberium might jump to a conclusion thinking that courses designed to have students “fight racism in the legal system” are the same as, “fighting an entirely racist legal system,” the message is obvious.
The message is that legal institutions should be transformed – even more – into machines of “social justice,” where, in fact, honest sensitivity to racial disparities in the wording of statutes, or to disparities in the enforcement or judicial management of statutes, is not enough, and, instead, reverse-racism, quotas, and the misapplication of universal laws occurs as a matter of course.
The patterns in the ABA plan are clear, and they smack of “affirmative action” and “diversity training.”
Which are euphemisms for “categorical racism, today, employed to harm living people who have not committed any racist act against another person trying to enter a school” and “diversity of what left-collectivists demand: preferred racial groups, not ideas.”
This certainly could run afoul of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.
But there’s something being left out of this story – something that should be remembered long after the controversy abates.
That’s the fact that if these schools were privately owned (rather than subsidized by tax cash), they should be able to do what they like, and rise and fall according to their decisions.
In a free world, these schools could choose to adopt these seemingly-race-based policies or not. In a free world, the ABA also would have multiple competitors, not its virtual monopoly in every state, and so schools would be freer to adopt its standards or those of other professional organizations. But the American Bar Association has a virtual stranglehold on each state’s judicial bar and the state regulations regarding who can practice law, and, of course, most of the schools accept government money, so a move like this from the ABA could see all 199 of the schools signatory to the ABA standards fall in line, just like CS Lewis warned in “That Hideous Strength.”
And that, as some observers of the proposed standards worry, could land the ABA and its signatory schools in hot water, because they would be engaging in race-based discrimination, contrary to federal law.
Freedom is a better answer.
But, sadly, that hasn’t been part of the mindset of many law schools or the lawyers they produce, for quite some time in the United States.
If the ABA idea is adopted, it’s only going to make things worse.