My Father’s “less-advanced” education.

Malcolm Johnson
3 min readDec 10, 2015


So, apparently today, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Antonin Scalia said this:

There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well. One of the briefs pointed out that most of the black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.

He said this during oral arguments in Fisher vs. the University of Texas.

Ironically, my father was a Graduate of that very University, where he “did not do well enough” there to graduate with a B.S. in Mathematics.

They were good enough to dump a beer on him while he was watching a football game there. He doesn’t know if it was racially motivated or not, but he kinda suspects it is…and still won’t hook ’em horns to this day.

Dad followed that getting in a slower track school, Rice University in Houston, where he…well…was the first Black Student to ever attend that institution.

After completing Post-Doc at that Community College known as the University of Chicago (ironically at the same time as Ahmed Chalabi. They never met, BTW). Dad kept failing upwards, and wound up at the University of Maryland, College Park where they granted him Tenure and he taught there for almost 40 years.

Then he went back to Rice, where that institution welcomed him back as the Moody Visiting Professor for five years until he finally retired retired last year.

Yeah, all those schools were way too hard for him.

And there’s that whole…Presidential…Award…thing. (I’ve brought that up enough, haven’t I?)

Oh, and along the way, there was this nugget, we didn’t learn about until this year:

Houston was chosen as the site for the Manned Spacecraft Center, with the land donated by Rice University. But by charter, Rice did not admit African American students, which jeopardized the use of federal funds for the project. The university tried to amend its charter, but alumni sued to block this. Rice won and admitted Raymond Johnson to its graduate program in math; he became the insitution’s first African American student.

Just keep that in mind, two Alumni, probably sharing the same mentality that Justice Scalia has today…nearly derailed the Space Program, and for what?

The thought of a Black man attending their institution was too much for them.

This is the man we want ruling cases in this Country?