I love John McWhorter as a linguist, and I greatly admire his willingness to say what he believes he has evidence for and solid reasoning for, not what he is supposed to say as an educated black man. This article in the Atlantic about acting white is a good example. He examines the claims and counterclaims quite reasonably. I think he still misses an important point, and it ends up hurting African-Americans.
I don't want to defend the black students who criticise others as acting white. Yet I don't have the same level of condemnation that others do. Is it my empathy or my racism that causes me to ask "What else have they got?" While there are black students who can compete at any academic level, the 1SD difference in testing means that many African-Americans are not going to do well at school. Are they supposed to live vicariously through the better students? Are they supposed to take one for the team and assent to a status designation that leaves them behind? I put myself in the head of a black teenager IQ 85 trying to find a place in this world. Well shoot, even though I'm good at some other things, let's have status be based on abstract reasoning and academic achievement. I will gladly sacrifice my self-worth, community status, and employment/friendship/mating prospects for the sake of those other black people like Obama. Screw my life, I lay it down for them.
This is what happens when we make education a god, when we make IQ a god, when we demean crafts and trades, when we count piety, honesty, determination, or resilience as of little value - and when we pretend that it must just be environment, or good schools, or the presence of dads, or turning off that damn rap music or whatever. We condemn many African-Americans to low status and call the very people who try to help them racist.
I don't think the military has it down perfectly, but they've got a good start on it. The ASVAB and other recruitment requirements eliminates everyone regardless of race below a certain IQ, a certain level of fitness, a certain level of determination, a certain level of avoiding criminality and drug abuse. That way, everyone knows that everyone else has met those minimums. This then frees everyone to perform WRT other qualities which matter just as much, or more, and excel according to those standards. It doesn't do jack for those who don't make it in, but that's not what the military is designed to do anyway, and it works for them attaining their own excellence.