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Posts Tagged ‘affirmative action’

Election Subtext: Most Voters Still Love American Liberty

Posted by M. C. on January 25, 2021

Looking on the bright side with a very small candle in a very long tunnel.

Graham H. Walker

Are you dissatisfied with the November 2020 elections? If you value constitutional liberty, the results may actually give reason for hope.

I don’t care much about party labels, but during the campaign season one of our major parties seemed to embrace large doses of socialism in practice if not in name: Medicare for all, free college, government takeover of economic activity in a “Green New Deal,” etc. Some of their most prominent candidates practiced race-based identity politics and peddled a “woke” view of America as congenitally unjust.

Their presidential candidate may have won the popular vote. But voters did not ratify his party’s posture. Instead of gaining, his party lost seats in the House of Representatives, and the other party—the one that, despite its faults, vociferously rejected woke socialism—held statehouses and governorships across the country and may likely hold its U.S. Senate majority. The blue wave was a ripple against a red crosscurrent.

Moreover, the siren song of identity politics rang false to many. African-American and Hispanic voters gave the Democratic candidate a lower percentage than in any recent election. To be sure, 80% of Black men voted Democrat. But this was down from 95% support for Barack Obama in 2008, 87% for Obama in 2012, and 82% for Clinton in 2016. Forget the partisan dimension: it is healthy when citizens reject race-driven identity politics.

Election results held surprises even in California, supposedly the bastion of Big Government. Even while they voted two-to-one for the Democratic presidential candidate, California voters rejected measures he endorsed on the state ballot. They rejected expansion of rent control (Proposition 21), race-based affirmative action (Proposition 17), increased property taxes on businesses (Proposition 15), and the essence of California’s Assembly Bill 5 restricting independent contractors (by supporting Proposition 22).

The Independent Institute had something to do with this. We had already won key arguments in the court of public opinion. For example, our “Open Letter to Suspend AB-5,” signed by 153 Ph.D. scholars across California and widely promoted, successfully made the case against California’s war on the “gig economy”—thus enhancing momentum for Proposition 22.

Likewise, we argued against a state-mandated “ethnic studies” curriculum, which would have taught high-schoolers that “capitalism is racist” and accused Jews, Koreans, the Irish, Armenians and other minorities of “white privilege” for simply working hard and succeeding. Our arguments in the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, and many other outlets, influenced Gov. Gavin Newsom to veto the mandated curriculum. And, this victory against racialism carried over into voters’ rejection of Proposition 17.

In California, as elsewhere, Americans were not sold on woke, nor on socialism. Most Americans like America—including individual liberty and the rule of law. This is good news indeed and shows the power of good ideas over bad ones!

Graham H. Walker is Executive Director of the Independent Institute and Assistant Editor of The Independent Review: A Journal of Political Economy.
Posts by Graham H. Walker | Full Biography and Publications

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California Voters Defeated Affirmative Action and the Left Was Very Surprised | Mises Wire

Posted by M. C. on December 26, 2020

Unlike woke leftists, Asian Americans have bought into America’s meritocratic spirit and are willing to defend it not just because it suits their interests, but also because when bureaucrats attempt to subvert it by creating an ethnic spoils system it creates bad precedents. Many Asian parents fear that affirmative action will not only hurt their children’s educational and economic prospects but may also undermine the concept of merit-based admissions while adding racial divisiveness to the equation.

https://mises.org/wire/california-voters-defeated-affirmative-action-and-left-was-very-surprised

José Niño

While everyone was transfixed by the 2020 presidential election, one of the biggest victories against woke activism took place in California on November 3, 2020.

Viewed as one of the bastions of the progressive left, California saw its voters thoroughly strike down affirmative action ballot initiative Proposition 16. After voters rejected Prop. 16 by a 57 to 43 percent margin, leftist observers were left scratching their heads at how California, a state that is 36.5 percent non-Hispanic white, would reject an initiative that purportedly combats racial injustice.

Prop. 16 would have repealed California’s affirmative action ban. Proposition 209, the affirmative action prohibition, was passed by voters in 1996. Prop. 209 put an end to the discrimination against or the bestowing of preferential treatment on individuals based on their ethnicity, national origin, race, or sex in public education, public sector work, or state contract work.

How Proposition 16 Shakes Up Conventional Wisdom in Politics

Prop. 16’s success is a likely sign of the obstacles that both the federal government and state governments will face when making attempts to ram through radical social engineering experiments. Even in leftist states such as California, there will be plenty of resistance. Although minorities have traditionally been reliable voters for Democrats, they do not necessarily see eye to eye with all aspects of Democrats’ agenda. When individual issues are put before the voters, the Left’s perceived hegemony starts breaking down.

The partisan squabbling of everyday politics only obfuscates the numerous contradictions within both of the major parties’ respective coalitions. Now that wokeism is becoming an integral part of the Democratic Party’s ethos, many minorities are beginning to no longer feel at home with a political coalition that increasingly caters to the political desires of affluent white liberals.

Asians and Hispanics Played a Substantial Role in Derailing Proposition 16

It’s undeniable that minorities helped derail Prop.16. Asian Americans have historically been known for their low levels of electoral turnout. Their lower rates of political participation have not prevented Asian Americans from being one of the most successful groups in the country. As of 2015, the household median income for Asians was $73,060, which is roughly 36 percent higher than the national median income of $53,600.

There is perhaps a lesson that could be learned from the Asian success story in America. Political activity is not the silver bullet to societal problems. However, politics is omnipresent these days, and no group is exempt from the managerial state’s perfidious behavior. Asians have learned firsthand how the state is used to discriminate against them via affirmative action, which generally punishes Asians, who tend to be high achievers in academic settings. As a result, Asian organizations will occasionally rise up to rally against affirmative action initiatives that gain traction in states with sizable Asian populations such as Washington. In the case of California, Asians made their presence felt in counties all the way from Santa Clara County down to Orange County by rejecting Prop. 16.

Unlike woke leftists, Asian Americans have bought into America’s meritocratic spirit and are willing to defend it not just because it suits their interests, but also because when bureaucrats attempt to subvert it by creating an ethnic spoils system it creates bad precedents. Many Asian parents fear that affirmative action will not only hurt their children’s educational and economic prospects but may also undermine the concept of merit-based admissions while adding racial divisiveness to the equation. Mixing politics with ethnic grievances is just asking for social instability. Many countries such as the former Yugoslavia, Lebanon, and South Africa have already given us sneak previews of what sectarian and ethnic political conflict looks like. Why add an American chapter to the tragedy of ethnic strife gone political?

Asians also had an unlikely ally in Hispanics during the fight against Prop. 16. Although not as successful as their Asian counterparts, Hispanics have been an ascendant minority group in the last few decades. From 2012 to 2017, the median Hispanic income grew by over 20 percent. As of 2017, the Hispanic median household income is around $50,486 when adjusted for inflation. Furthermore, the number of Hispanic young adults enrolling at universities increased from 22 percent to 37 percent from 2000 to 2015. With time, Hispanics are showing similar traits to the Catholic ethnic groups that preceded them over a century ago.

The Prop. 16 vote demonstrated that Hispanics aren’t blindly walking down the woke path. The New York Times reported that all fourteen of California’s majority Hispanic counties voted down this measure. Some counties such as Imperial County, which is nearly 85 percent Hispanic, voted against this measure by a 16 percent margin. This took place despite Imperial County going to former vice president Joe Biden by a wide twenty-seven-point margin.

Why Minority Political Preferences Are Hard to Predict

Political experts often claim to know how voters will behave. They feel that because a policy is allegedly racist, x ethnic groups should vote against it. The real world does not work in such racially reductionist ways, however. As immigrants and other minority groups get settled down, their interests may change. It’s the height of arrogance to assume these groups will follow the guidelines set forth by woke commissariats.

A similar case of minorities defying conventional wisdom occurred when California voters approved Proposition 187 in 1994. Nearly 59 percent of voters pulled the lever for a measure that prevented illegal aliens from receiving public benefits. Although Prop. 187’s opponents made the usual accusations of racism, Prop. 187’s passage featured a diverse coalition of supporters. Fifty-six percent of African Americans supported Prop. 187 in addition to 57 percent of Asians. Although the media at the time was convinced Californian Hispanics would universally reject the initiative, 31 percent of Hispanics ended up supporting it. In Los Angeles County, one of the metro areas with the largest Hispanic communities in the country, 51 percent of voters backed this proposition

The dirty secret most political experts don’t want the general public to know is that ballot initiatives offer unique opportunities for groups of all backgrounds to deviate from their party bosses’ preferences.

Affirmative Action Is about Sowing Racial Unrest and Political Elites Love It

Affirmative action is an elite-driven policy that is categorically rejected by normal people once it’s put on the ballot. All told, elites enjoy using identity politics as a way of consolidating their power. Prominent foundations such as the Ford Foundation and Carnegie Foundation are notorious for lavishing ethnic activist movements such as the National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund with vast sums of money. These groups are among the most active in petitioning bureaucrats to grant them ethnicity-related largesse. The good news is that many Hispanics have largely given these groups the cold shoulder. Nowadays, ethnic lobbies of this sort are mostly involved in live-action role playing about oppression while the people they claim to defend go on with their normal lives and ignore their constant screeching about racial justice.

Ideally, political elites would like nothing more than state-sponsored ethnic conflict. Having multiple groups pitted against each other in petty political squabbles makes effective opposition against the managerial class virtually impossible. In the meantime, the ruling class is perched on their lofty abodes sketching out plots on how to continue making Americans’ lives miserable, knowing full well they won’t be facing any coherent challenge to their power.

Divide and conquer 101.

Why Affirmative Action Must Go

Affirmative action is a child of the civil rights revolution, where the American state has taken it upon itself to micromanage the private, voluntary affairs of business and civil society organizations under the banners of equality and racial justice. In a society where there exists a clear separation between economy and state, free individuals should be allowed to hire and associate with whomever they desire. They can do so along whatever basis they so choose—ethnic, gender, religious, etc.

Although affirmative action is generally associated with the Left, both political parties have largely kept it in place. The first affirmative action policies were implemented under the Nixon administration through his Philadelphia Plan, a measure that forcibly integrated construction unions working on federal projects. Like all administrative carve-outs, succeeding governments have broadened affirmative action’s scope. Even Republicans such as the late George H.W. Bush have used the Department of Education to keep minority groups from having to deal with a “hostile work environment.” George W. Bush pushed the envelope even further by promoting “affirmative access” on the campaign trail in 2000.

Orwellian rebranding aside, any conservative “alternative” to affirmative action will most certainly maintain the same property rights–destroying facets. To the Trump administration’s credit, it did ditch a number of Obama-era policies calling on universities to use race as a criterion for diversifying their institutions. The administration opted for a more race-neutral approach to admissions. However, the it has not followed up with any significant steps to scrap affirmative action altogether.

Any kind of meaningful resistance against affirmative action will have to come from the states due to the difficulty of implementing change at the federal level.

America’s federalist system still works, and other states are beginning to get the memo. Earlier this year, Idaho’s state government signed a law that prohibits the use of affirmative action for state agencies, state contracting, and public education. States such as Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, and Oklahoma have previously passed constitutional amendments to ban affirmative action. In all likelihood, state-level political activity—whether it’s legislation or referenda—will be the primary instrument of change in America. Focusing too much attention at the federal level will no longer cut it, thus requiring a more bottom-up approach to scrapping social engineering policies. Author:

Contact José Niño

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Sign up for his mailing list here. Contact him via Facebook or Twitter. Get his premium newsletter here.

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The Essence Of Progressivism Is Refusal To Deal With Reality — Manhattan Contrarian

Posted by M. C. on December 11, 2020

To be a woke progressive the first requirement is that you must refuse to acknowledge the real world as it exists. You must pretend that the world is something else, something immediately transformable into a fantasy of perfection through coercive collective action. You also must firmly close your eyes to any facts or evidence that might contradict such progressive fantasy, and indeed you must demand that any such facts or evidence be suppressed and never mentioned.

https://www.manhattancontrarian.com/blog/2020-12-9-the-essence-of-progressivism-is-refusal-to-deal-with-reality

Francis Menton

Reality is harsh. Let’s face it, our world is imperfect, often even deadly. Not only that, it’s always going to be imperfect. So let’s get to work on enjoying our brief lives as best we can amidst the imperfection, while striving for such incremental improvements to the world as are within our modest capabilities.

If you think that way, you definitely are not “woke.” To be a woke progressive the first requirement is that you must refuse to acknowledge the real world as it exists. You must pretend that the world is something else, something immediately transformable into a fantasy of perfection through coercive collective action. You also must firmly close your eyes to any facts or evidence that might contradict such progressive fantasy, and indeed you must demand that any such facts or evidence be suppressed and never mentioned.

Among numerous illustrations of this point, perhaps the most striking is the current hysteria sometimes going by the name “anti-racism.” Here, the official progressive fantasy is that any under-representation of blacks (or other minority group of your choice) at designated heights of society can only be the result of “systemic racism.” Therefore all must commit to the coerced program of “anti-racism,” whereupon, I presume, perfection will promptly be achieved.

Over the past several months, you cannot have missed the parade of major societal institutions — large corporations, banks, law firms, universities, and so on — caught with insufficient numbers of minorities in their ranks and pledging to rectify the situation immediately if not sooner. As a handful of examples, here is a list from Ongig.com from July of the “awesome” “diversity” commitments of 25 major companies; or here, from Glassdoor.com from August, a list of diversity commitments from another 12 major companies; or here, from the American Bar Association, a list of hundreds of signatories, including dozens of major law firms, to the ABA’s “Pledge for Change” to increase diversity. You can easily find many, many more examples with simple internet searches.

In a post back in August, I predicted that the latest round of affirmative action commitments would be no more successful than prior rounds that have been going on for the past fifty years or more. The main basis for my prediction was my personal experience of involvement in affirmative action efforts of a major law firm over several decades, and awareness from that experience of the difficulty of moving metrics in any significant way. In simple terms, there is a very limited pool of qualified candidates. You can make job offers to all of them, but all of your dozens of competitors will also make offers to all of them, and in the end you will actually employ very few. You can also try making job offers to obviously unqualified candidates. Many of these will accept your offer, but in nearly every case they will fail quickly in a rather cruel process.

In the past I have put some effort into trying to find publicly-available data illustrating the difficulty of finding minority candidates for top jobs in sufficient numbers to meet “diversity” demands; but I have had limited success. In the current City Journal, Heather Mac Donald weighs in with a piece titled “The Bias Fallacy,” making the case that bias against minorities explains little if any of their under-representation in certain positions and professions. To her credit, Ms. Mac Donald has managed to find considerable data illustrative of the limitations of the minority talent pool relative to some of the top positions at major corporations and law firms. I give a good deal of credit to Ms. Mac Donald for finding these data, which exist only for certain categories and certain years. Here are some examples:

  • From a Survey of Earned Doctorates, National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, for 2017: The percentage of doctorates awarded to blacks was 2.0% in chemistry, 1.7% in “engineering disciplines,” 1.2% in physics, 1.0% in computer science, and 0.9% in mathematics and statistics. So then, how exactly are companies looking to hire, say, computer science PhDs, all supposed to find 13% blacks to fill the ranks?
  • From my own legal profession, here are some statistics on scores earned by blacks on LSAT and bar examinations: “In 2004, only 29 blacks, representing 0.3 percent of all black LSAT takers, scored 170 or above on the LSAT, according to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education. The average entrance score was 170 for the top-ranked law schools. There were 1,900 whites who scored at least a 170, representing 3.1 percent of all white test takers. Of black test takers, 1 percent—or 108 blacks nationwide—scored at least 165 in 2004, 165 being the average for the top ten law schools. Over 10 percent of white test takers—or 6,689 whites nationwide—scored at least 165. That gap has only grown, and it affects law school outcomes. Of black law school graduates, 22 percent never pass the bar exam after five tries, compared with 3 percent of white test takers, according to a study by the Law School Admissions Council.”

Ms. Mac Donald goes through similar data taken from results of admissions tests for business schools (GMAT) and medical schools (MCAT), both of which show equally dramatic divisions. She concludes:

There simply are not enough competitively qualified black candidates to go around. Moreover, one-third of all black males have a felony conviction.

Of course the information that Ms. Mac Donald presents here constitutes a piece of the real world that is inconvenient to the current narrative. So what is the response? Increasing numbers of schools are going in a direction of no longer requiring the entrance exams as part of the admission process. If you had noticed that trend, and were wondering the reason for it, here is Ms. Mac Donald’s take:

As long as data on the skills and behavior gap remain available, it is possible to challenge the myth of bias, at least in theory. So those facts must themselves be canceled, as well as anyone who publicizes them. That is the ultimate motivation for the movement to end the use of standardized tests in admissions. . . . The reason to eliminate standardized assessments is rather to put the College Board and the Educational Testing Service out of business entirely—and with them, any possibility of an objective measure of intellectual skills.

The idea is that if you just refuse to deal with reality, it will go away, and perfection will then dawn. But unfortunately, you can only ignore reality for just so long. In the law firm business, at some point within the first year or two, a young associate will be tasked with writing a fully-researched legal brief on a complex subject with a very short deadline (say, 24 hours), where the brief needs to be right on the first try. If an associate can’t do it, that will be immediately apparent. If you have been denied the ability to screen for ability by criteria like LSAT scores or law school grades, you are just setting large numbers of young people up for failure. In the real world, this is not a nice thing to do.

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Why Affirmative Action Must Go – LewRockwell

Posted by M. C. on August 29, 2020

And there cannot be one sector that bosses around all the rest in social matters either. The law cannot discriminate without generating forces against the government and its laws. Affirmative Action discriminates and the more that its implications are used to benefit a faction, the greater the social conflicts being generated. If Americans wish to preserve a good government, which in relative terms means an equitable or color-blind government, then Affirmative Action must go.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2020/08/michael-s-rozeff/why-affirmative-action-must-go/

By

A rather small number of black organizers and activists used the death of a black man, George Floyd, to accuse the country of systemic racism. Understood, there are always factions forming that promote their causes, but they do not win goodies for themselves unless certain factors are operating on their side. In this case, a whole bunch of American institutions rapidly knuckled under. Even if there is only feigned acceptance of what the BLM activists are selling, nonetheless, all sorts of people and organizations have been kissing ass. Suddenly, businesses and universities are promoting workshops and diversity training. All sorts of ridiculous social behavior are being promoted, and if you do not accept it as an employee or a student, you are asking for trouble.

Not for a moment can one say that all these institutional players have suddenly seen the light and decided to go on a search and destroy mission against the fake enemy known as systemic racism. They have surrendered without a fight for a very good reason, which is that the loud activist minority has a big stick to whip them with. That stick is a legal system and a set of laws that fully support affirmative action in all its forms, manifestations and extensions. The identity minorities can make a lot of legal trouble. They can make boycotts. They can loudly make bad publicity with accusations. They can picket. They can smash windows. The trouble they make would be nothing, absolutely nothing, if they didn’t have legal recourse as a threat. But they do possess this threat. The threat is the Affirmative Action complex, and they can play off this with other threats arising from labor laws. Lawsuits are only the beginning of the troubles that a minority can stir up against institutions, once they have the law on their side. And they do. The negative results of Affirmative Action are broad and ongoing. They are still developing as time passes and as minority groups discover how far they can stretch the law to cover new cases and situations.

Factions do not act out of Christian charity or morality. They take as much as they can possibly get. The law in a society like ours with many factions held in check must not enhance the power of any given faction without endangering the stability of the entire society, and that is what is happening.

The threatened segments are not all going to bend before such threats. A college president, a mayor and a governor can all surrender their institution and the people they are supposed to stand up for because they aren’t losing as much personally as some couple whose home is being attacked.

In the end, Affirmative Action must be curbed. That is the only way to curb the ambitious use of power of minority intellectuals who are pushing to expand their power and reach. This has always been the right thing to do from the moment it mistakenly became law or regulatory edict. It simply has taken a long time for the negative consequences to play out. I doubt that even today there is wide recognition of the damage done to the American polity by Affirmative Action. It has been a far-reaching blunder. It empowered black intellectuals in universities, for example, and allowed them to secure a base where they could gain an unheard of degree of influence on many aspects of university and department policies, including hiring, raises, tenure decisions, department allocations. Affirmative Action is what facilitated the invention and teaching of radical racial ideas in universities.

As a general rule, no government can levy widespread taxes as ours does and then channel those taxes to the benefit of narrow factions. People will not support a government unless there is more or less a widespread or general dispersion of the taxes across broad sectors of the society. There cannot be any grossly inequitable dispersion to any sector, be it banks, medical companies, the military, the politicians themselves, or to a racial minority without upsetting the equilibrium.

And there cannot be one sector that bosses around all the rest in social matters either. The law cannot discriminate without generating forces against the government and its laws. Affirmative Action discriminates and the more that its implications are used to benefit a faction, the greater the social conflicts being generated. If Americans wish to preserve a good government, which in relative terms means an equitable or color-blind government, then Affirmative Action must go.

There cannot be the fundamental transformation that Obama and BLM wish for because the society won’t take it or accept it without breaking apart. Without equity felt by major factions, the equilibrium that supports government will go out of kilter. It will totter and fail. This failure is not going to happen. Before it can happen, there will be a reaction against BLM, against its agenda, and this will amount to drawing a line against the complex of laws we call Affirmative Action. Sooner or later, the government and the courts will have to halt the expansion and extension of racial quotas, denunciations, labor laws and other racial accessories if the society is to survive as a stable entity.

 
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The Jared Kushner Achievement Award Goes To … Kamala! – Taki’s Magazine

Posted by M. C. on August 21, 2020

We analyzed your selected phrase from: [KAMALA HARRIS] using our proprietary SayWhat software, and it translated as:

“OK look, I am one-trillion percent an empty suit, surviving entirely on identity politics and media complicity. So when I burp anything whatsoever out my cackling pie-hole, it’s vital you not only pretend I’m making sense but making history.”

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

We’re supposed to treat this privileged woman living the life of Riley like she’s the reincarnation of James Meredith. Yes, the daughter of a professor and surgeon rose through the Berkeley, California, school system in the 1970s, then moved with her cancer researcher mother to Montreal.

That’s not exactly Selma, 1962.

Congratulations to Harris, but please stop gaslighting us with claims that she has achieved something amazing, stupendous, historic.

https://www.takimag.com/article/the-jared-kushner-achievement-award-goes-to-kamala/print

As has been duly noted, The New York Times‘ front page celebrating Biden’s announcement of Kamala Harris as his running mate rivaled its moon landing coverage. A gigantic photo of a saintlike Harris took up half of the space above the fold, under a 2-inch headline: “HARRIS JOINS BIDEN TICKET, ACHIEVING A FIRST.”

Specifically, the “first” was: “Woman of color in No. 2 slot of major party.”

History was being made! “It was historic most of all, and especially sweet for many Black women” … Harris “is the first Black woman and the first person of Indian descent to be nominated for national office by a major party” … “It’s a stand-alone milestone, irrespective of who the opponent is.”

(That last quote was from Vanita Gupta, who was head of the civil rights division in Obama’s Justice Department. As I keep telling you, Black America, immigrants are getting all the good diversity jobs.)

No offense, but Harris was picked because she’s a woman of color. So it’s not really that amazing that she’s a woman of color. She didn’t swim the English Channel. She didn’t even win a primary. She’s not Margaret Thatcher.

She’s Jared Kushner. (Including the Jewish spouse!)

Hey, New York Times! How about devoting three-fourths of your front page with a 2-inch headline to Trump’s picking a young real estate investor as his chief White House adviser?

At 34, Jared Kushner Is Youngest Top White House Aide in History

Jared Kushner, Shatterer of Ceilings

For Jared Kushner, The Impossible Just Takes a Little Longer

(Me screaming in the corner: “He’s the son-in-law of the person who picked him!!!”)

“We’re supposed to treat this privileged woman living the life of Riley like she’s the reincarnation of James Meredith.”

If Democrats wanted us to treat Kamala’s selection as an historic achievement, the process needed to be color-blind. All the gushing about THE FIRST WOMAN OF COLOR AS VICE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE is like the articles every year gushing about the Nigerian who got into ALL EIGHT IVY LEAGUES!

Ever heard of affirmative action? In the same year, a thousand white and Asian kids with the exact same credentials didn’t get into any Ivy League schools.

Biden made perfectly clear — as did his supporters and sponsors — that he would be considering only women of color. Oh my gosh! A woman of color has somehow climbed to the top of the greasy pole!

Kamala’s big achievement is that she was better than the other women of color with visible positions in the Democratic Party. Of which there were five — maybe seven, as long we’re counting Jamaican Indian Americans as “African American”: a mayor, some representatives and a member of Obama’s administration who’d never run for office.

Whatever Harris’ selection represents, it’s not a triumph. Harris didn’t swim fastest, climb highest, run farthest. (She didn’t even pass the bar exam on her first try, a failure she shares with the other most-admired liberal women, Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama.)

The fix was in. Biden announced an extremely limited set of qualifications that only Harris had.

But liberals are standing in their kitchens sobbing about Kamala’s “historic” achievement. The dream, so long deferred, has finally been attained!

This would be like Jared’s father bragging about his boy getting into Harvard. We all know Jared was a middling high school student and had mediocre SATs, but his dad greased the skids for him. Maybe don’t bring up his getting into Harvard. Let the conversation drift to something else.

Not liberals!

ABC’s “Good Morning America”: “It is an historic morning. Kamala Harris joining Joe Biden on the Democratic Party ticket. … History will be made again today when Kamala Harris joins Joe Biden … Kamala Harris will be speaking out, now, as the first black woman, the first Asian American tapped to be vice president.”

NBC’s the “Today” show: “… the first black woman and first Indian American to be picked as a vice presidential candidate. … As Joe Biden’s newly minted running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris has already made history.”

Trying to force the facts to fit the frenzy, Harris’ every utterance is treated as incandescent brilliance. The New York Times was still swooning over this incomprehensible remark Harris made to the paper last summer:

“Policy has to be relevant. That’s my guiding principle: Is it relevant? Not, ‘Is it a beautiful sonnet?’”

Confused, I submitted that quote to WokeTranslate.com and got this response:

We analyzed your selected phrase from: [KAMALA HARRIS] using our proprietary SayWhat software, and it translated as:

“OK look, I am one-trillion percent an empty suit, surviving entirely on identity politics and media complicity. So when I burp anything whatsoever out my cackling pie-hole, it’s vital you not only pretend I’m making sense but making history.”

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance.

We’re supposed to treat this privileged woman living the life of Riley like she’s the reincarnation of James Meredith. Yes, the daughter of a professor and surgeon rose through the Berkeley, California, school system in the 1970s, then moved with her cancer researcher mother to Montreal.

That’s not exactly Selma, 1962.

Congratulations to Harris, but please stop gaslighting us with claims that she has achieved something amazing, stupendous, historic.

We’re not gushing about Jared, either.

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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/

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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/

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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/

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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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