man is not merely a molecule in thencosmic soup. As Chesterton brilliantlynput it in his book on Aquinas, man isnneither a thing like a mole, burrowingnin the earth (as the environmentalistsnwould have it), nor a thing like anballoon floating disembodied throughnthe sky (as in Neoplatonism, or as innthe modernist caricature of the orthodoxnChristian position), but rather anthing like a tree, rooted in earth, strivingnto reach the sun.nWho ever expected to see a Chroniclesncontributor praising a writer fornrejecting “normative proscription”n(does he mean prescription?), and forndedicating a book to “my family, in allnthe best senses of that word,” a phrasencleariy intended to subvert the traditionalnfamily and uphold lesbiannhouseholds and other innovations?nBut, of course, this typical Westernnwriter — a lesbian! a mother! hown6/CHRONICLESnLIBERAL ARTSn^^iifi^’nBUSH OPPOSES QUOTAS?n”On 16 May 1989 I announced my 5npoint program to increase representationnof Hispanics in the Department of thenNavy civilian workforce and established angoal of 5 percent Hispanic representationnby 1992. [0]ur Hispanic workforcenis now 3.7 percent while the UnitednStates Hispanic population is approximatelyn9 percent. This 3.7 percent representsnonly a .2 percent increase of ourncivilian workforce over the past 2 yearsnand causes me concern about meetingnmy 5 percent goal in 1992.n”In his speech before Congress celebratingnour Desert Storm victory, thenPresident said of the members of ournarmed forces ‘Let us honor them asnindividual men and women of everynrace, all creeds and colors, by setting thenface of this nation against discrimination,nbigotry and hate.’ We in the Departmentnof the Navy can do no less; wenmust provide greater access to job opportunitiesnfor a seriously underrepresentednsegment of our population.”n—from a November J 99 J administrativenmessage from the Secretary of thenNavy to all Navy personnel.nwonderful! — is acceptable, as long asnshe is Western.n— Jonathan ChavesnWashington, DCnMr. Williamson Replies:nWho is invoking the need for politicalncorrectness here. Chronicles or Mr.nChaves? At the foot of the magazine’snmasthead, Mr. Chaves will find thenprinted statement, “The views expressednin Chronicles are the authors’nalone.” The editors, once they havencommissioned or accepted an articlen(Mr. Bredahl’s was commissioned), donnot make it a practice to impose theirnown opinions upon the author. A. CarlnBredahl, as the author of a fascinatingnbook on Western narrative, has certainlynearned the right to have his ideasntreated with editorial respect, at Chron-nnnides as elsewhere.nBredahl’s central thesis, which is thatnAmerican literature has historically attemptednto erect a wall against then”chaos” beyond civilization that tonmany people is simply reality, makesnperfect sense to me. H.L. Mencken, innhis attack at the beginning of thisncentury upon literary Puritanism, wasnsaying essentially the same thing innother terms. As for “normative proscription,”nBredahl is praising a qualitynof literary freshness, not acts of sodomy.n(Thank goodness he didn’t mentionnthat Willa Cather was a ratherncandid lesbian.) The dedication ton”My family, in all the best senses ofnthat word” clearly refers to the novelist’sn300 rabbits.nNowhere in the essay does Bredahlncall Sheila Ortiz Taylor a “typicalnWestern writer,” and nowhere in thenissue is anyone praised for simply beingna Western writer, period. On balance, Inprefer the Southern ones, myself.n— Chilton Williamson, ]r.nOn ‘Race-Norming’nRobert G. Holland (Vital Signs, Februaryn1992) deserves great praise fornferreting out the insidious truth aboutnrace-normed tests. As he touched on,nrace-norming has been skirted by thenmainstream media because it hits just anlittle too close to home. Pick up virtuallynany trade journal for print or broadcastnmedia and chances are you will findnadvice on attracting minority talent.nOne oft-advanced thesis in suchnpieces is that “newsroom diversity” willnhelp attract readers and viewers in annage when younger generations havenlittle use for news. This, I submit, is onenof the most damaging fallacies of thenrace-driven worid view. Implicitiy, andnincreasingly explicitly, we are told thatnthere are certain things that the majoritynrace cannot understand. This meansnthat rational thought and discoursenhave littie value, that ill-informed prejudicesnand misconceptions will donwhen we talk about the great issues ofnthe day. Most importantly, it meansnthat there is no such thing as the truthnor facts. Little wonder, then, that thenmainstream media so often get themnwrong.n— Jeff A. TaylornSilver Springs, MDn