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Posts Tagged ‘affirmative action’

How Affirmative Action Screwed Up Michelle Obama – American Thinker

Posted by M. C. on July 15, 2020

One almost feels sorry for her.  She had to have been as anxious as Bart Simpson at Genius School, but Bart at least knew he was in over his head, and he understood why: he had cheated on his I.Q. test.  “It doesn’t take a Bart Simpson to figure out that something’s wrong,” he tells the principal and demands out.

If there is a “white privilege,” Bart nailed it: when “something’s wrong,” he has to look within.  He can’t blame the white man for his problems.

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2020/07/how_affirmative_action_screwed_up_michelle_obama.html

By Jack Cashill

In 1985, Michelle Obama presented her senior thesis in the sociology department of Princeton University.  Although Michelle drew no such conclusion, the thesis is a stunning indictment of affirmative action.  Those who benefited from it, Michelle most notably, may never recover from its sting.

Her thesis reads like a cry for help.  “I have found that at Princeton no matter how matter how liberal and open-minded some of my white professors and classmates try to be toward me,” she writes, “I sometimes feel like a visitor on campus; as I really don’t belong.”

She didn’t.  Michelle should never have been admitted to Princeton.  Thanks to the “numerous opportunities” presented by affirmative action, however, Princeton is where she found herself.  “Told by counselors that her SAT scores and her grades weren’t good enough for an Ivy League school,” writes biographer Christopher Andersen, “Michelle applied to Princeton and Harvard anyway.”  Sympathetic biographer Liza Mundy writes, “Michelle frequently deplores the modern reliance on test scores, describing herself as a person who did not test well.”

She did not write well, either.  She even typed badly.  Mundy charitably describes the thesis as “dense and turgid.”  The less charitable Christopher Hitchens observed, “To describe [the thesis] as hard to read would be a mistake; the thesis cannot be ‘read’ at all, in the strict sense of the verb.  This is because it wasn’t written in any known language.”

Hitchens exaggerates only a little.  The following summary statement by Michelle captures her unfamiliarity with many of the rules of grammar and most of logic:

The study inquires about the respondents’ motivations to benefit him/herself, and the following social groups: the family, the Black community, the White community, God and church, The U.S. society, the non-White races of the world, and the human species as a whole.

The design of the thesis is a disaster, but the idea behind it is not a bad one.  Michelle wanted to gauge the attitudes of black Princeton alumni on a range of variables.  She sent her survey to 400 alumni; 89 responded, 60 percent of whom were male, 80 percent of whom were between the ages of 25 and 34.

The survey is a stark exercise in black and white.  Michelle never uses the phrase “African-American.”  It had apparently not yet entered the lexicon.  Nor does she retreat to phrases like “people of color” or “minority groups.”  In her world, there are only black people and white people.

White people intimidate her, as they appear to do to many of the alumni.  Although most of the survey results are either impossible to decipher or irrelevant, one set of data is worth attention.  The alumni were asked whether they felt comfortable around whites.

On the question of social comfort, 17 percent of the respondents claimed to have been comfortable with whites before Princeton, 6 percent while at Princeton, and 2 percent post-Princeton.

On the question of intellectual comfort, 24 percent of the respondents claimed to have been comfortable with whites before Princeton, 8 percent while at Princeton, and 8 percent post-Princeton.  As Michelle notes, black students were forced “to compete intellectually with whites.”  For those like herself who didn’t test well, the competition had to deliver a body blow to the old self-esteem.

“Blacks may be more comfortable with Whites,” Michelle hypothesizes, “as a result of a greater amount of exposure to whites in an academic setting while at Princeton.”  This was standard academic cant then.  It still is today.  In fact, the exact opposite happened.  On the question of general comfort, 13 percent of the respondents claimed to have been comfortable with whites before Princeton, 4 percent while at Princeton, and only 1 percent post-Princeton.  Michelle had stumbled upon a seriously inconvenient truth.

Michelle was not among the one percent.  As a senior at Princeton, for instance, she imagines herself going forward “on the periphery of society; never becoming a full participant.”  In a sense, she never let herself.

Having learned little from her Princeton experience, Michelle applied to Harvard Law and was admitted for the same reason her husband would later be — not the content of her character, but the color of her skin.  The obvious gap between her writing and that of her highly talented colleagues marked her as an affirmative action admission, and the profs finessed her through.

One almost feels sorry for her.  She had to have been as anxious as Bart Simpson at Genius School, but Bart at least knew he was in over his head, and he understood why: he had cheated on his I.Q. test.  “It doesn’t take a Bart Simpson to figure out that something’s wrong,” he tells the principal and demands out.

If there is a “white privilege,” Bart nailed it: when “something’s wrong,” he has to look within.  He can’t blame the white man for his problems.

@jackcashill’s forthcoming book, Unmasking Obama: The Fight to Tell the True Story of a Failed Presidency, is available for pre-order at https://amzn.to/2VHOnS8.

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Colleges Dupe Parents and Taxpayers – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on January 1, 2020

One wonders just how far spineless college administrators will go when it comes to caving in to the demands of campus snowflakes who have been taught that they must be protected against words, events and deeds that do not fully conform to their extremely limited, narrow-minded beliefs built on sheer delusion.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/01/walter-e-williams/colleges-dupe-parents-and-taxpayers/

By

Colleges have been around for centuries. College students have also been around for centuries. Yet, college administrators assume that today’s students have needs that were unknown to their predecessors. Those needs include diversity and equity personnel, with massive budgets to accommodate.

According to Minding the Campus, Penn State University’s Office of Vice Provost for Educational Equity employs 66 staff members. The University of Michigan currently employs a diversity staff of 93 full-time diversity administrators, officers, directors, vice provosts, deans, consultants, specialists, investigators, managers, executive assistants, administrative assistants, analysts and coordinators. Amherst College, with a student body of 1,800 students employs 19 diversity people. Top college diversity bureaucrats earn salaries six figures, in some cases approaching $500,000 per year. In the case of the University of Michigan, a quarter (26) of their diversity officers earn annual salaries of more than $100,000. If you add generous fringe benefits and other expenses, you could easily be talking about $13 million a year in diversity costs. The Economist reports that University of California, Berkeley, has 175 diversity bureaucrats.

Diversity officials are a growing part of a college bureaucracy structure that outnumbers faculty by 2 to 2.5 depending on the college. According to “The Campus Diversity Swarm,” an article from Mark Pulliam, a contributing editor at Law and Liberty, which appeared in the City Journal (10/10/2018), diversity people assist in the cultivation of imaginary grievances of an ever-growing number of “oppressed” groups. Pulliam writes: “The mission of campus diversity officers is self-perpetuating. Affirmative action (i.e., racial and ethnic preferences in admissions) leads to grievance studies. Increased recognition of LGBTQ rights requires ever-greater accommodation by the rest of the student body. Protecting ‘vulnerable’ groups from ‘hate speech’ and ‘microaggressions’ requires speech codes and bias-response teams (staffed by diversocrats). Complaints must be investigated and adjudicated (by diversocrats). Fighting ‘toxic masculinity’ and combating an imaginary epidemic of campus sexual assault necessitate consent protocols, training, and hearing procedures — more work for an always-growing diversocrat cadre. Each newly recognized problem leads to a call for more programs and staffing.”

Campus diversity people have developed their own professional organization — the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education. They hold annual conferences — the last one in Philadelphia. The NADOHE has developed standards for professional practice and a political agenda, plus a Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, which is published by the American Psychological Association.

One wonders just how far spineless college administrators will go when it comes to caving in to the demands of campus snowflakes who have been taught that they must be protected against words, events and deeds that do not fully conform to their extremely limited, narrow-minded beliefs built on sheer delusion. Generosity demands that we forgive these precious snowflakes and hope that they eventually grow up. The real problem is with people assumed to be grown-ups — college professors and administrators — who serve their self-interest by tolerating and giving aid and comfort to our aberrant youth. Unless the cycle of promoting and nursing imaginary grievances is ended, diversity bureaucracies will take over our colleges and universities, supplanting altogether the goal of higher education.

“Diversity” is the highest goal of students and professors who openly detest those with whom they disagree. These people support the very antithesis of higher education with their withering attacks on free speech. Both in and out of academia, the content of a man’s character is no longer as important as the color of his skin, his sex, his sexual preferences or his political loyalties. That’s a vision that spells tragedy for our nation.

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The White Supremacy Hoax – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on September 11, 2019

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/09/thomas-woods/the-white-supremacy-hoax/

By

Tom Woods Show

We are supposed to believe that “white supremacy” is on the rise.

Tucker Carlson, who is sometimes wrong and sometimes right, says this is a myth. This is one of those cases when he’s right.

I’m scanning the headlines, and cannot actually seem to find anyone advocating legal racial subordination, or separate facilities by race, or special benefits available only to whites and not to nonwhites.

The existence of affirmative action would appear to suggest something like the opposite: I don’t recall affirmative action in apartheid South Africa, for example, which was what a white supremacist social order actually looks like.

The Donald Trump phenomenon is supposed to prove the existence of “white supremacy,” but Columbia University’s Musa al-Gharbi ran the numbers, and as he explained on episode #1159 of the Tom Woods Show, “racists” and “white supremacists” did not get Trump elected.

If “white supremacy” were truly gaining traction, the very accusation of being in favor of it wouldn’t destroy people’s careers and social standing, would it?

Anyway, my colleague Bob Murphy and I took up the topic in a recent episode of our weekly podcast Contra Krugman. I was shocked at how outraged the normally mild-mannered Bob became during the discussion.

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University Sources of Gender and Other Sexual Madness in Our Schools – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 15, 2019

I hypothesize that this was an “easy” way out for existing administrators and departments to accommodate new affirmative action demands that women be hired. It was the path of least resistance.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/08/michael-s-rozeff/university-sources-of-gender-and-other-sexual-madness-in-our-schools/

By

We have reached a point of utter madness where a child is ejected from a classroom for calling a boy a boy. How did this happen? Nuttiness like “gender studies” comes out of the universities.

Universities divide academics into departments and fields. Gender studies in universities is a “bullshit” field that sprang from other bullshit fields, meaning unscientific fields, with political and value-laden agendas kept in the background but always present.

The civil rights movement and affirmative action in universities created the initial thrust for the formation of these fields. Women’s lib took over from the civil rights movement. From the link above:

“After the universal suffrage revolution of the twentieth century, the women’s liberation movement of the 1960 and 1970s promoted a revision from the feminists to ‘actively interrogate’ the usual and accepted versions of history as it was known at the time. It was the goal of many feminist scholars to question original assumptions regarding women’s and men’s attributes, to actually measure them, and to report observed differences between women and men. Initially, these programs were essentially feminist, designed to recognize contributions made by women as well as by men.”

The major and early victory of the feminists was to get a SEPARATE area of study for themselves, women’s studies, a discipline separate from the history and other university departments. How did this occur? How did a bullshit field become a discipline with its own journals, budget, hiring, promotions, standards, funding, etc.

I hypothesize that this was an “easy” way out for existing administrators and departments to accommodate new affirmative action demands that women be hired. It was the path of least resistance. Furthermore, many existing academics were receptive to these new social ideas of equality. It made them look as if they were progressive and on the cutting edge of research and practice.

For administrators, it meant increased donations and government funding through an image of being modern and on the forefront of new findings and ideas. The image is false. No one can make sense of senseless ideas and impenetrable rhetoric and writing. Governments have no business funding departments that are promoting their preferred social and political agendas.

Administrators at all levels (presidents, deans, department chairs) like to promote growth. The more people and areas they run, the more capable they seem, especially if they innovate by adding new areas and departments. On paper they look better, and that means a better chance at moving up or moving to another university in a more responsible post. Their budgets rise and they have a stronger case for higher budgets as they add people. Their horizons are relatively short; their incentives are not typically aligned with long-term quality objectives. Universities have a large bureaucratic backbone.

The new areas/disciplines could call upon continental European obscure philosophers to gain respectability. After that, it’s just one step more and one thing more:

“Soon, men began to look at masculinity the same way that women were looking at femininity, and developed an area of study called “men’s studies”. It was not until the late 1980s and 1990s that scholars recognized a need for study in the field of sexuality. This was due to the increasing interest in lesbian and gay rights, and scholars found that most individuals will associate sexuality and gender together, rather than as separate entities.”

The major key to the society-wide spread of nutty ideas is the university acceptance of bullshit fields, because the university influences state funding and donor funding. It presents itself as a worthy recipient of funds. Under this hypothesis, these funding sources also are receptive to ideas of social justice and view the new fields of study as indicative of a progressive university. Besides, legislated funds do not get the scrutiny they should. Subcommittees of legislators interested in their specific little fiefdoms scratch each other’s backs. Donors do not think deeply about where their money is going or what it’s supporting…

Universities need to be taught a lesson, and the way to do that is to defund them. Stop donating freely and blindly. Defund them at the state and federal levels. The Department of Education became a cabinet-level department in 1980. Eliminate it.

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Why the Left Will Continue To Win – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on July 27, 2019

Thus, the left will continue to win the war as long as it is the only side that is intent upon fighting.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2019/07/jack-kerwick/why-the-left-will-continue-to-win-big-conservatism-and-the-failure-to-fight/

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One thing that is essential to victory is what Master Al calls, “ruthless intent.”

To prevail over the enemy, one must not only possess the capability to destroy him, but the willingness to do so.

Bearing this in mind, it should be painfully obvious that Big Conservatives, i.e. those in the so-called mainstream “conservative” media, or “the Big Con,” who are forever imploring the members of their audiences to “fight” the left so as to prevail in the “cultural wars,” or this “second Civil War,” are either dishonest or profoundly inept.

Big Conservatives at least speak as if they conceive of our contemporary politics as war by other means. We know that the left sees matters this way. Yet Big Conservatives, though they possess the ability—the resources in money and influence—to fight the left, their will for doing so is sorely lacking.

Anyone with any doubts about this should simply engage in the following thought-experiment.

Imagine that an alien from another planet, an alien, say, who knew nothing more than what “conservatives” and “liberals” claim to believe, came to Earth.  It’s inarguable that upon canvassing the scene for just the shortest periods of time, he would arrive at one of the following two conclusions:

(1)Self-identified conservatives cannot possibly believe what they claim to believe. The reason for this is quite simple: Between their talk—rhetoric regarding limited or Constitutional government; the sanctity of life; personal responsibility; equality before the law; equality of opportunity (as opposed to result); individual liberty; traditional marriage; revering the Founders, etc.—and their walk—the policies that they’ve either explicitly endorsed or permitted to be enacted—there lay an unbridgeable chasm.

(2)Second, self-identified conservatives are utterly ineffectual when it comes to arresting the advances of the left.

How could our alien draw any other inference?  Lip service to the Constitution notwithstanding, both Republican or “conservative” Presidents and Congresses, no less than their Democratic or “progressive” counterparts, have betrayed—repeatedly and dramatically betrayed—the vision of these United States that the men who ratified it originally intended for the Constitution to embody.

Consequently, given that the federal government has been divested of its federal character and made into precisely the sort of national behemoth that the Founders dreaded, the Constitution is, today, all but a dead letter, murdered by leftist ideologues, yes, but by self-avowed “conservatives” too.

Whether it is the income tax, fiat money, socialized medicine and health care (Medicare, Medicaid, etc.), or any number of the legions of government-subsidized agencies, programs and sectors that exist, Big Conservatives are as responsible as their ostensible opponents for, if not always necessarily the creation, then at least the preservation and expansion of these.

“Conservative” politicians, by way of the power with which their offices have endowed them, have directly subverted the Constitutional design, but the scribblers and chatterers in Big Conservatism have aided and abetted them at every turn.

So-called “affirmative action,” race and gender-based preferential treatment policies favoring non-white minorities and women over whites and white men, are endemic, and filicide in the womb (“abortion”) has been the law of the land since 1973.  Big Conservatives have indeed voiced their objection to such things, but their resistance has been about as timid and effective as their resistance to “same-sex marriage” became after a handful of lawyers on the Supreme Court “discovered” that homosexuals have a right to marry one another.

This is to say, Big Conservatives have done nothing more than proclaim their opposition to these things.  But even here, they articulate their positions only and always in their enemies’ terms.  For example, “affirmative action” is wrong because it is “racist” and “sexist,” but not toward the qualified whites, Asians, and men who are discriminated against in favor of less qualified non-whites and women, but toward the underqualified blacks and women who are its intended beneficiaries. Or Big Conservatives will object to filicide, but not, ultimately, because it consists in the destruction of an innocent human being in its mother’s womb, but because it irrevocably traumatizes the mother who kills her child, or because, insofar as black babies are disproportionately aborted, it is “racist.”

Big Conservatives not only stopped objecting to “same-sex marriage” as soon as the Supreme Court issued its ruling.  They say remarkably little about such implications of trans-genderism as the abolition, in some quarters, of gender-exclusive bathrooms.  As one popular blogger recently said, it’s laughable to think that conservatives can conserve Western Civilization; they can’t even conserve something as rudimentary as the ladies’ room.

We could continue endlessly. ..

The left bullies and pummels upon the right as much as it does because they know that they can.  Big Con radio and cable news hosts may derive a sense of self-satisfaction whenever they pat themselves on their collective shoulder for categorically refusing, on behalf of all conservatives, to exercise their right to self-defense when attacked by leftist thugs. But unless one is a pacifist—which, given their readiness to send young Americans off to wars in foreign lands, none of these Big Conservatives seems to be—this is nothing of which to be proud.  And it is certainly not the path to victory in this “second Civil War” that Big Conservatives insist we are engaged.

The “ruthless intention” to which Master Al speaks is a matter of being in it to win it, so to speak. Big Conservatives, inasmuch as they do nothing but essentially whine that the left dislikes them and favors itself by way of its “double standards”—all of the while accusing leftists of being the snowflakes—give no indication that they are interested in doing anything other than enriching themselves.

Big Conservatism has the ability to genuinely fight the left.  It lacks the will.

Thus, the left will continue to win the war as long as it is the only side that is intent upon fighting.

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