9 Lani Guinier Quotes from American Educator and Scholar

Lani Guinier was an educator, legal scholar, and civil rights thinker in the United States.

Best Lani Guinier Quotes

Most people ask questions because they want to know the answer; lawyers are trained never to ask questions unless they already know the answer. ~ Lani Guinier.

As a country, we are in a state of denial about issues of race and racism. And too many of our leaders have concluded that the way to remedy racism is to simply stop talking about race. ~ Lani Guinier.

Lani Guinier Quotes

In a racially divided society, majority rule is not a reliable instrument of democracy. ~ Lani Guinier.

The emphasis – and money – placed on demonstrating “merit” on applications, rather than on nurturing a student’s potential during the college years, results in institutions that lack meaningful race and class diversity. ~ Lani Guinier.

Famous Lani Guinier Quotes

Affirmative action’s weakness and vulnerability cooperate with, and perhaps unintentionally legitimate, a meritocracy that privileges test scores over other indicators of student potential in the first place. ~ Lani Guinier.

The tyranny of The Majority is just as much a problem of silencing minority viewpoints as it is of excluding minority representatives or preferences. We cannot all talk at once, but that does not mean only one group should get to speak. We can take turns. ~ Lani Guinier.

I endured the personal humiliation of being vilified as a madwoman with strange hair – you know what that means – a strange name and strange ideas, ideas like democracy, freedom and fairness that mean all people must be equally represented in our political process, but lest any of you feel sorry for me, according to press reports the president still loves me. He just won’t give me a job. ~ Lani Guinier.

Michelle Alexander’s brave and bold new book paints a haunting picture in which dreary felon garb, post-prison joblessness, and loss of voting rights now do the stigmatizing work once done by colored-only water fountains and legally segregated schools. With dazzling candor, Alexander argues that we all pay the cost of the new Jim Crow. ~ Lani Guinier.

The conventional understanding of meritocracy is that it is a system for awarding or allocating scarce resources to those who most deserve them. The idea behind meritocracy is that people should achieve status or realize the promise of upward mobility based on their individual talent or individual effort. It is conceived as a repudiation of systems like aristocracy where individuals inherit their social status. I am arguing that many of the criteria we associate with individual talent and effort do not measure the individual in isolation but rather parallel the phenomena associated with aristocracy; what we’re calling individual talent is actually a function of that individual’s social position or opportunities gained by virtue of family and ancestry. So, although the system we call “meritocracy” is presumed to be more democratic and egalitarian than aristocracy, it is in fact reproducing that which it was intended to dislodge. Michael Young, a British sociologist, created the term in 1958 when he wrote a science fiction novel called The Rise of Meritocracy. The book was a satire in which he depicted a society where people in power could legitimate their status using “merit” as the justificatory terminology and in which others could be determined not simply to have been poor or left out but to be deservingly disenfranchised. ~ Lani Guinier.

So these were the 9 top Lani Guinier quotes and sayings.

If you like these quotes and sayings, then you can also read my other posts on Topher Kearby quotes and Catherine McAuley quotes.