Back in the 1960s, as large numbers of black students were entering a certain Ivy League university for the first time, someone asked a chemistry professor — off the record — what his response to them was. He said, “I give them all A’s and B’s. To hell with them.”

Since many of those students were admitted with lower academic qualifications than other students, he knew that honest grades in a tough subject like chemistry could lead to lots of failing grades, and that in turn would lead to lots of time-wasting hassles — not just from the students, but also from the administration.

He was not about to waste time that he wanted to invest in his professional work in chemistry and the advancement of his own career. He also knew that his “favor” to black students in grading was going to do them more harm than good in the long run, because they wouldn’t know what they were supposed to know.