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Culture » Texas law professor blames black students’ bad grades on single moms

Texas law professor blames black students’ bad grades on single moms

Lino A. Graglia is a professor at the School of Law at the University of Texas at Austin. Although Graglia has written extensively on subjects pertaining to constitutional law, anti-trust, race discrimination and affirmative action, he has begun to receive considerably more attention from the public for recent comments he made.

While speaking with the BBC, Graglia stated that he could “hardly imagine a less beneficial or more deleterious experience than to be raised by a single parent, usually female, uneducated and without a lot of money.”

Consequently, his remarks have caused a significant amount of backlash since they basically assert that black and Hispanic students are failing academically because they have been raised in single-parent homes, usually by females.

To support his postulation, the professor of law inferred that the proof lies in the fact that the average black performance on the SAT test is 200 points lower than that for the average white student, and that among the black population almost three quarters of children are now born outside of marriage.

Graglia did not leave it there. He continued. “How well do these kids do in math and reading is basically it, and they do less well,” adding “and admitting them into selective schools with large gaps in qualification is not the answer.”

In 1997, Graglia was accused of racism after telling a conservative student group that black and Mexican-American cultures “set children up for failure” since they come from a “culture that seems not to encourage achievement.” –torrance stephens

Lino A. Graglia

Graglia is a native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and obtained his B.A. and LL.D. from the City College of New York in 1952, and Columbia University Law School in 1954, respectively.



  1. zobop republic on December 14, 2012 at 11:50 am

    The reason why Black students get bad grades is because people like, Lino A. Graglia, makes idiotic comments in public.

    • UncleChuck2 on December 14, 2012 at 1:24 pm

      How, exactly, does a remark by “…people like, Lino A. Graglia…”, cause ANY student to get bad grades?

      • Samuel Crusher on December 14, 2012 at 10:49 pm

        because it’s never the black fault, you should know that by now!

        • UncleChuck2 on December 17, 2012 at 1:14 pm

          Sam…we’re talking about GRADES here; please stay on topic.

      • zobop republic on December 17, 2012 at 11:55 am

        Statements like this brings down a persons self-esteem. That’s how.

        • UncleChuck2 on December 17, 2012 at 1:15 pm

          How does a statement by a person you don’t know bring down YOUR self-esteem?

          • zobop republic on December 17, 2012 at 1:59 pm

            A college professor should encourage students. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anyone.

          • UncleChuck2 on December 17, 2012 at 10:22 pm

            If you know those statements not to be true they should not bother you at all!

          • zobop republic on December 18, 2012 at 12:01 pm

            I suppose it shouldn’t, but everyone doesn’t think that way.

          • UncleChuck2 on December 18, 2012 at 12:35 pm

            Shouldn’t we also research the premise that Graglia MIGHT be right?

          • zobop republic on December 19, 2012 at 12:09 pm

            Not all single mothers raised failing students. You can’t paint a social group with a broad brush. Not all stereotypes are true.

          • UncleChuck2 on December 19, 2012 at 3:36 pm

            Which stereotypes are we talking about?

          • zobop republic on December 20, 2012 at 11:09 am

            The stereotype of Black students getting bad grades.

          • UncleChuck2 on December 21, 2012 at 11:10 pm

            The real question is …why do we defend sub-par performance in school, and single parent families; two things that hurt us in the long run? Why are we OK with that?

          • Lanie on December 22, 2012 at 11:43 pm

            @UncleChuck2 AGREED 100%!! We should stop defending single parenthood and low academic standards for black children!! Stop the excuses. I don’t care if this Graglia is white, he’s right!!

          • Lu Foremost on December 25, 2012 at 12:39 pm

            You are a bigot. I teach students from all races, ethnicities and creeds. Your stereotype is nothing more than an association with bigotry. I’d hate to see what your grades were in College. Last semester I caught a white male plagiarizing. Does that now mean all white males are guilty of plagiarism? Oh and by the way, he had one mother, one father and both were gainfully employed and ‘shocked’ at his behavior.

          • UncleChuck2 on December 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm

            Which one of us is the “bigot”? And this discussion is about the article above, not white male plagiarism.

          • zobop republic on December 24, 2012 at 12:06 pm

            So, what are we suppose to do with these kids and their bad grades?
            Just let them fail? That will hurt us in the long run too.
            The only option is to educate them. If they do fail anyway, we’ll all pay for it in long run. Catch-22!

          • UncleChuck2 on December 25, 2012 at 12:57 pm

            No Catch-22. The objective is to get the failure rate as low as possible so that we BENEFIT in the long run.

            My main point is: we, as Blacks, must nurture and educate our own (in addition to normal schooling) and not leave our children at the mercy of those who might not have our best interests in mind; it’s up to US!

          • Altheman0767 on December 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

            Yeah but the statistics prove that single parents make less money . And this usually means living in a bad neighborhood and bad school. But we should also know that humans are dynamic and can change the cycle . It’s hard but it can be done

          • Cleo Brown on December 21, 2012 at 9:36 pm

            No research is needed,the premise that Graglia is white, middle aged ,college educated, and so he must be right. Think again ,it is only his educated guess and we can all have one. Since he has so much time to do research maybe he can research why all these educated, two parent , caucasian males are serial killers, child murderers and pedophiles. That is just as interesting as minority kids raised by single parents failing grades isn’t it. or is it .

          • UncleChuck2 on December 21, 2012 at 10:53 pm

            So, you’re saying that we’re OK with our children being raised by a single parent, usually female, uneducated and without a lot of money, three quarters of whom are now born outside of marriage.

    • BayBruin on January 12, 2013 at 5:43 am

      You honestly believe that the reason that black students under achieve is because some guy said they face exceptional challenges being raised in a single family household with little money, and an uneducated parent? That’s a hard one to sell. You would have a more compelling argument by saying that those racists who say they lag behind is because blacks are intellectually inferior due to their biology. Come on Zobop. You can find tons of research on the influence of broken homes, poverty and the parents education level on academic performance. Tell you what….let’s say you have a two parent family, economically they do well, and both parents are college educated (label them whatever ethnicity you care to…doesn’t matter). Then lets say there is another family with a single mother who is struggling financially, works long hours with no health care, and has little to no education. Each family has a son. If you had to lay $10,000 on one of those kids to finish high school and go on to college where would you put your money and why? The answer to that question is the basis for this professor’s argument. Statistics overwhelmingly back him up on this. I doubt you would find any studies that suggest black students are lagging behind because they read journal or newspaper articles about what a law professor said about their academic prospects.

  2. Dee on December 15, 2012 at 10:43 am

    An example of an educated fool. I have met many white people who are intellectually inferior to African Americans

    • deshawn on December 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm

      sure…sure you do…

    • BayBruin on January 12, 2013 at 5:19 am

      And your point is? It’s a fact that blacks and Latinos on average score materially less than other ethnic groups. This guy is saying it’s not because of their RACE it’s because of a broken family structure and socioeconomic factors that impede success. But I see you’d rather play the “this race is smarter than that race” game. Good luck. Maybe next time you can stay on topic.

  3. im just saying on December 21, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Well I guess it safe to say that crazy white people is the reason why they trying to get gun control because they like to shoot up schools and movie theaters

    • UncleChuck2 on December 25, 2012 at 1:03 pm

      What’s that statement got to do with the article?

    • BayBruin on January 12, 2013 at 5:32 am

      Ahhh…and in other news…I think I’ll order a pizza. Next random topic please?

  4. Altheman0767 on December 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    People should take sociology. What he’s saying is not that far off. Single parent homes tend to be more poor and there children usually go to bad schools . Which them means bad grades . Which then means a bad paying job.

  5. singleblackmomraisingascholar on December 26, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Well my sister and myself were raised by a single mother and bad grades were not allowed in her house. We also lived in one of the worst neighborhoods because she didn’t have a lot of money and we both have college educations. So please dont say that blacks and hispanics do bad in school because of single mother’s it just makes u look dumb

    • BayBruin on January 12, 2013 at 5:31 am

      My hats off to your mom. She really stepped up. But sadly, many poor, uneducated, single moms don’t have the time, energy or wherewithal to do the same. Look at statistics, they don’t lie. These students lag materially behind their peers. So ask yourself….WHY? It wasn’t because they were born less smart that other babies. Bill Cosby has lecture extensively on the disintegration of the african american family and the dire consequences of that. Is he a racist too?

  6. Maroonsista AtTwitter on December 27, 2012 at 1:45 am

    Equating single moms to lower SAT scores doesn’t make sense to me, especially considering I graduated Cum Laude from college but did very poorly on the SATs. Some people are better test takers, but in other cases the problem is the topics that are taught are so incredibly boring that students lose interest too fast. I have said repeatedly that if subjects were more diverse, I truly believe some students’ grades would be better. As far as being raised by a single mom though, does he realize our president was raised by a single mom, too? Looks like he did all right in education and politics and…well, hell, as a human being in general. I’m not going to say ALL single moms are doing the best job when it comes to kids but I think this is more of a personality issue and not a matter of whether someone is married or not. If the mom values education (especially if she has one) she will probably encourage education more.

  7. cat on December 27, 2012 at 11:52 am

    So, if blacks kids poor grades are based on single mothers does this mean white kids with single mothers and high IQ who kill innocent mobs of people is normal!

    • BayBruin on January 12, 2013 at 5:27 am

      Take a statistics course and reading comprehension course and things will become a lot more clear. Not all blacks and Latinos raised by poor, uneducated, single mothers struggle academically. But MANY do (I don’t know the exact statistics but I would hazard a guess most do). He’s not blaming the kids…he’s blaming the circumstances these kids face. I guess he could just shut up and let those kids continue to lag behind their peers and allow others to view them as innately less intelligent, and even let some of these kids themselves believe that they were just born that way and aren’t as “smart” as the other kids. So cat…tell me…why do these kids lag behind their peers? I don’t assume you are suggesting it’s biological? If you were that is staggeringly racist. Go ahead and think about it…I’ll wait on your response.

  8. Deshawn on December 30, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    The truth hurts…