February 21, 2012

"What Obama Should Say About the Texas Affirmative Action Case."

Richard Kahlenberg observes that Fisher v. Texas, the case the Supreme Court just agreed to hear, is "potentially perilous for America’s first black president, politically speaking."
The best thing the Supreme Court could do is make universities focus on the looming class divide in higher education. Racial affirmative action rarely benefits low-income and working class students; one study found that 86 percent of African-Americans at selective colleges are middle or upper-middle class....

Polls by the Los Angeles Times and Newsweek have found that Americans oppose racial preferences in college admissions by 2:1 but favor income preferences by the same margin. The facts in the University of Texas case are tailor-made for President Obama to help the Democratic Party transition from supporting affirmative action based on race to preferences based on class. It’s not whether we should have affirmative action or whether we shouldn’t, it’s what kind of affirmative action should we stress: race-based or race-neutral?

Although Obama’s Justice Department sided with Texas in the lower courts, the president has himself always sent mixed messages about affirmative action, even suggesting that his own daughters do not deserve preference in college admission. And throughout his administration, Obama has wisely taken pains to avoid policies that smack of racial favoritism. When he came under pressure to address black unemployment, for example, Obama declared: “I can’t pass laws that say I’m just helping black folks. I’m the president of the United States.” Of course, affirmative action can be framed as a policy that helps nonminorities too, because the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse. 
Yeah, that's pretty much the theory the Supreme Court used in Grutter.
But it’s not clear how well that argument still washes with the public. And Obama has gained in the polls as he has pivoted toward economic populism in anticipation of a likely race against Mitt Romney and all his many millions. If the president uses the Texas case to side with class-based affirmative action, and low-income and working-class people of all races, he will solidify the populist case he’s trying to make.
So, Obama could abandon affirmative action — a liberal cause for decades — and make it all about class. Abandon all the resonance he might get with the ideal of racial equality and sound the theme of economic justice — or, as the conservatives love to say, redistribution of the wealth and socialism.

Is that the best bet for Obama? He could also express respect for the rule of law and the institution that is the Supreme Court and make us worry about the current personnel and who's going to be appointing the next couple Justices.

91 comments:

MadisonMan said...

Are Class Politics favorable to Racial Politics? I guess I'd prefer the former to the latter if one has to exist.

NYTNewYorker said...

I'm not looking for what the best bet for Obama is, why are you?

I'm looking for the best bet for America and that would be with Obama gone.

Franklin said...

Obama doesn't think that he needs a "sista Soulja" moment. Obama thinks he just needs to gin up his base via race-based appeals and can simply write off poor white people.

I think attributing any political schemes more complex than that is giving him too much credit. KIRS - Keep It Racial, Stupid.

rehajm said...

The respect rule of law horse has left the barn...

traditionalguy said...

Obama is now re-pivoting towards a campaign against Roman Catholic legalism.

Obama might fail badly by trying to hit two targets instead of one.

How does a campaign against rich Catholics sound? That would be a twofer, but it could also confuse his base and give the Hispanic vote back to the GOP for a season.

Joe said...

...help the Democratic Party transition from supporting affirmative action based on race to preferences based on class.

I'd argue that's already in place. State/Community universities and colleges with tuition pegged at Pell Grant levels; poor students can generally walk right in.

Henry said...

Everything Obama has done this year is targeted toward solidifying his base. Obama will offer some kind of vague, equivocating, defense of affirmative action that offers good intentions as a rationale. He will pre-emptively criticize the conservatives on the SCOTUS, perhaps by comparing them unfavorably to justice O'Connor. Obama will talk big to be small.

Lem said...

So, Obama could abandon affirmative action — a liberal cause for decades — and make it all about class.

A kind of Sister Souljah moment.

In United States politics, a Sister Souljah moment is a politician's public repudiation of an extremist person or group, statement, or position perceived to have some association with the politician or the politician's party. Such an act of repudiation is designed to signal to centrist voters that the politician is not beholden to traditional, and sometimes unpopular, interest groups associated with the party, although such a repudiation runs the risk of alienating some of the politician's allies and the party's base voters.

Franklin said...

@Lem

But I don't think that Obama (or, I suppose, his advisers) would ever drop race-based AA in favor of class-based AA even though it would probably be a political winner. I think Obama/his advisers believe that they can get what they want through strictly racial appeals.

Coketown said...

This seems to me like Obama's contraception moment. Like Santorum and birth control, Obama can't not talk about affirmative action when it comes up. Just like he can't not talk about his health care law when it comes up. The Supreme Court seems determined to make sure Obama spends all summer talking about things he'd rather not talk about--just like the media seems determined to make Republicans talk about things they'd rather not talk about.

This is, as the writer suggests, "potentially perilous" because while Democrats are flappin' their gums over affirmative action and healthcare, and Republicans are flappin' their gums over condoms, the American public stands confounded because nobody is talking about jobs. One month of not-awful numbers doesn't make the economy a non-issue!

Bender said...

a policy that helps nonminorities too, because the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse
_____________

You can't enrich something that isn't there.

The education of white folks is hardly enriched when they aren't even in the college because they were prevented from admission because others took their spots based on racial considerations.

Unknown said...

The problem is that AA was entirely court created as a remedy to specific discrimination. Once you take race out of it, you no longer have a protected class and no longer have any federal court power to deal with the question as the case or controversy has been permanently resolved.
The institutions themselves could create whatever policies they cared to for preferences based upon income, (there is no such construct as class in the US) and indeed most do provide more assistance to those that are financially needy.

Jay said...

So, Obama could abandon affirmative action — a liberal cause for decades

Impossible.

Obama got his Ivy education and Presidency because of Affirmative Action & white guilt.

Abandoning that, which has been a part of his entire adult life, is not realistic.

Alex said...

This is, as the writer suggests, "potentially perilous" because while Democrats are flappin' their gums over affirmative action and healthcare, and Republicans are flappin' their gums over condoms, the American public stands confounded because nobody is talking about jobs.

Our current politics is insane.

MadisonMan said...

btw -- would it be so horribly bad if he said absolutely nothing?

NYTNewYorker said...

Affirmative Action has been a winner for the left and will continue to be so, the browning of America continues apace. There will be no dropping it now.

Alex said...

MM - Obama can't help but open his mouth about it. He's a quota-baby.

jimbino said...

The US gummint itself is a major offender in racial discrimination:

I just returned from a 46-day road trip to get to know the national parks, forests, BLM lands and the state parks and beaches of the SW United States. Of some 4000+ visitors, there were only 4 Black faces to be seen, all at the Grand Canyon, and maybe all foreigners!

Forget "diversity" in the universities. Sell off the white-country-club parks and forests and give our minorities some of their patrimony back so that they can put food on the table and get their kids a decent private secondary education.

Jay said...

It’s not whether we should have affirmative action or whether we shouldn’t

Um, actually it is.

Again, the biggest indicator on whether or not you'll be in poverty, academically sucessful and stay out of jail is whether or not you come from a two parent home.

Is this writer going to call for a national policy against single motherhood?

VW: fatherless (I'm not joking)

CJinPA said...

the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse.

Except for when that diversity was achieved through adjusting standards based on race. Which is always.

In those real world cases, no one's education is "enriched." It's not pleasant.

Coketown said...

Scratch my last. Apparently Santorum does like talking about these things. He's apparently tramping around the country right now saying Satan is descending upon our nation. And while I, unlike Althouse, actually believe in the Devil, I don't think he's coming to America to wreak havoc. And it's the last thing a presidential nominee should be talking about.

Why won't he shut up?

CJinPA said...

Again, the biggest indicator on whether or not you'll be in poverty, academically sucessful and stay out of jail is whether or not you come from a two parent home.

Shhhh.

That means the cause of those ills is primarily not money. Which means all of the groups and politicians who benefit by portraying America as fundamentally unfair and in need of wealth redistribution would lose out. Knock it off.

Jay said...

Of course, affirmative action can be framed as a policy that helps nonminorities too, because the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse.

Again, the lies you need to tell yourself in order to be a leftist are endless.

Bruce Hayden said...

But I don't think that Obama (or, I suppose, his advisers) would ever drop race-based AA in favor of class-based AA even though it would probably be a political winner. I think Obama/his advisers believe that they can get what they want through strictly racial appeals.

Here is the problem, as I see it. The Black leadership benefits greatly from AA. Their kids get to go to the top schools, that they might not have been able to get in, if admission were completely ability based.

But, their "flocks", the blacks that these Black leaders purport to represent are harmed by it, and would probably be better off with need or class based admissions. And, the country probably would too, along with the Democratic party, if it were to jump on board.

But, the Black leadership don't seem to listen to the people they claim to represent. For example, the Black community tends to oppose abortion at a higher rate than the white community, but the Black leadership tends to support it. And, ditto for many other social causes.

I would guess that they support these Democratic party platform planks because they see such as being part of the cost of sitting at the table with the feminists, etc., and the others who run the Democratic party.

CJinPA said...

btw -- would it be so horribly bad if he said absolutely nothing?

It's worked for gay marriage. How many voters know he's against it?

Jay said...

Maybe Obama can expand on his comments in regard to the importance of fatherhood in light of:

In every American city, the disproportionate black-illegitimacy rate is matched only by the disproportionate black crime rate. In Chicago, blacks, at least 35 percent of the population, commit 76 percent of all homicides; whites, about 28 percent of the population, commit 4 percent. In New York City, blacks, 24 percent of the population, commit 80 percent of all shootings; whites, 35 percent of the population, commit less than 2 percent of all shootings. The black illegitimacy rate in New York is over 78 percent; the white illegitimacy rate in the city is 7 percent. The national rate of homicide commission for black males between the ages of 14 and 17 is ten times higher than that of “whites,” into which category the federal government puts the vast majority of Hispanics.


By the way, if any of these lefitsts were really worried about these issues, they would be against gay adoption and just about all the "war on poverty" policies they have supported for the last 50 years...

CJinPA said...

Jay said...

The various disparities between white and black Americans are completely expected, based on the disparity in two-parent homes.

It is to the Right's detriment that it does not highlight this.

bgates said...

the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse

Yeah, I remember sitting in my thermodynamics class and wondering, "What do black people think about Gibb's free energy?"

Obama has wisely taken pains to avoid policies that smack of racial favoritism

Pigford, the Wise Latina, the knee-jerk assumption that the white cops acted stupidly, a DOJ that won't prosecute black civil rights violators....

Obama has gained in the polls as he has pivoted toward economic populism in anticipation of a likely race against Mitt Romney and all his many millions

This fall, help Obama and Warren Buffett fight the rich.

rhhardin said...

You can cast class favoritism as marketing, which is what it probably in fact is.

You maximize profits if you charge different prices depending on what the guy is willing to pay. You want a price just below that point for each guy, provided that it isn't so low that you lose money.

Doctors used to do that, back when there wasn't insurance. It was how everybody managed to afford health care. The price varied.

The joke was that the most difficult class in medical school was presentation of the bill. You needed nerves of steel to overcharge the rich guy as much as they did.

Supermarkets even do it. The reason for regularly rare low prices on sale items is to sell a bunch to the poor, assuming the rich will pay no attention to the sale or the price. Thus they sell to the poor and the rich at different prices. Why? It maximizes profit.

So it's not necessarily class warfare.

Just have a sale on college now and then.

Tank said...

Sweet Jesus, we're all going to hell. Or already there. This is what happens when your Sup Ct starts to tell you that black is white and up is down. But only for 25 years, then its the other way.

How about we abide by the Const and Amds, and ...duh... simple decency and morality, and stop letting our gov't and its institutions discriminate based upon race. This should be the most obvious thing imaginable.


And Jay, no fair inserting facts. You'll make the lefties heads explode.

Fen said...

We've seen how Affirmative Action hurts our country. Obama is a prime example.

And the federal workplace? Rife with incompetents that get promoted up to become someone else's problem, because if you get 3 EEO complaints (regardless of their merit) your career is over. And guess which race 99% of the perps are? If they spent half as much time doing work as they do dodging performance standards, you'd actually see an effecient government workforce.

Amartel said...

Everything's always about Barry.
What's best for Barry? It's so important. Whether or not affirmative action is a relevant, moral, practical, much less a constitutional, policy in the year 2012, is completely secondary. How will actual U.S. citizens who pay for this shit be affected? Whatevs.

Also, don't kid yourselves: Barry does not have to be clear and he's not going to be clear so suck on that. It's not politically expedient. His stupid, hopefully dwindling, band of fantards will vote for him for their own delusional self-interested reasons. Cult of imaginary personality greedhead morons.
Gay marriage? He's against it, expressly, and made robo-calls against it to shore up support. (the evolution may or may not be televised if he wins a second term)
Legalizing pot? Crackdowns on sales of medical marijuanahahahaha coming to a dispensary near you.
Ending recession? Fuck off.
Transparency in government? Never in life.
Weeding out waste/corruption in government? That's a feature, not a bug.
Guantanamo Bay? Oops. Sawwy.
Campaign financing I and II? Running for celebrity president is expensive y'all.
Turning enemies into friends? Come on, guys. Too busy turning friends into enemies.
Fix education. Seriously, come on, guys.

edutcher said...

Given his many misfires lately (forget picking a fight with the Catholics, apparently, that unemployment statistic is about to bite him), the smart thing would be to say nothing.

Question is, is he that smart?

Takers?

PS Yeah, saw the Santorum doing the Church Lady thing ("could it be SATAN????").

His poll numbers are going to start tanking.

Keep an eye on next week.

bagoh20 said...

The term "Sista Soulja moment" doesn't quite fit for Obama, just like it wouldn't fit to say that Sista Soulja was having a Sista Soulja moment.

He would need to disavow alignment with most of the people he has known in his life, including his mother and father.

Thorley Winston said...

This seems to me like Obama's contraception moment. Like Santorum and birth control, Obama can't not talk about affirmative action when it comes up. Just like he can't not talk about his health care law when it comes up. The Supreme Court seems determined to make sure Obama spends all summer talking about things he'd rather not talk about--just like the media seems determined to make Republicans talk about things they'd rather not talk about.

Indeed and it’s not just the SCOTUS, but it looks like despite getting the largest debt ceiling increase in history for the purpose of not having to revisit the issue before the November elections, we’re on track to blow through it by mid-October and that’s assuming that we don’t have an economic downturn (e.g. higher fuel prices) which materially depress the federal government’s revenue. Even if Treasury Secretary Gietner uses “extraordinary measures” to juggle the books through the election, I’m pretty sure President Obama does not want people talking or thinking about the debt on Election Day.

cokaygne said...

I admit that I voted for 0bama because I thought it would be good for the country. Plus, I new that McCain was older than me and there was not a negative word in the media about 0bama. One hope that I had was that the country would finally get over this race shit if he was elected, and it is. Look at the rise in intermarriage.

The safest thing for 0bama, or any politician, to do would be to offer no comment on a case being decided by an independent branch of government. Everyone would accept that.

The Democrats have all but written off the white working class, and the white working class has all but written off the Democrats. An opinion on one court case is not going to change that. The Democrats can win in this election only if they get their base as excited as in 2008. They can do that by constantly reminding people that the president elected this year will get to fill court vacancies for the next four years. With a gridlocked Congress, the courts are going to be where the action is.

bagoh20 said...

Amartel,

You forgot to include that he promised to get a rescue dog for the family and instead went to a puppy mill. That really pissed off my dog rescue friends, who will nonetheless still vote for him, even though they call him a spineless coward now.

Saint Croix said...

And guess which race 99% of the perps are?

The human race.

And 99% of racist assholes also belong to the human race.

Rusty said...

And Jay, no fair inserting facts. You'll make the lefties heads explode.


it's OK they'll just ignore them. It's worked so far.

ricpic said...

So we're all agreed that discriminating against the rich is a good thing?

Triangle Man said...

The DJIA hit 13,000 today.

Can't fault Obama there.

Alex said...

Triangle - so greedy speculators are doing great. Tell that to the 18% of Americans unemployed.

Amartel said...

Jimbino at 2:24
I believe you rolled out this road trip canard about six months ago, and were roundly and rightly criticized for playing Lady Bountiful with other peoples' stuff and head-counting black people at Yosemite. Or Yellowstone. I forget which. Anyway, I'm pretty sure this was you. Rest assured, your sad little story has not improved with age and you're still an Idiot-American.

Skyler said...

I never understand why anyone thinks that a diverse student population enhances an education.

I don't pay a university for the students to educate me. I pay the professors to educate me.

But then, tenured professors are often less interested in teaching and are more interested in letting TA's do the teaching.

And math isn't different if there's a black kid sitting next to you in class. Any subject that is altered by the composition of the students is not really a good subject to learn in a university.

Skyler said...

And how many times do you assume that a black college graduate is not as smart as a white college graduate from the same school?

But I guess it would be racist to make that supposition, even though it's the result the universities are aiming at.

Amartel said...

Bagoh-Yeah, I've got a couple of those dog rescue friends, too. They send me facebook messages for Dogs Against Romney. (Barry does not have to be clear. It's on YOU to let him be clear.)

edutcher said...

Triangle Man said...

The DJIA hit 13,000 today.

Can't fault Obama there.


Nothing to do with GodZero.

There's another Greek bailout.

Sharc said...

I never understand why anyone thinks that a diverse student population enhances an education.

O'Connor said race diversity not only enhances education, but that it is a "compelling state interest," which is the only way her majority could get past the constitution. Really had to contort for that one.

Jay said...

Triangle Man said...
The DJIA hit 13,000 today.

Can't fault Obama there.


And here I thought "Wall Street" was composed of a bunch of lawless, greedy, rich people who make a buck stealing pensions and bankrupting companies.

Now you're touting their success.

Too rich.

Jay said...

CJinPA said...
The various disparities between white and black Americans are completely expected, based on the disparity in two-parent homes.

It is to the Right's detriment that it does not highlight this


Yeah, it will be talked about on occasion, but the left screams "racism" conservatives cower in fear and then we get to pretend it all isn't true.

Triangle Man said...

Now you're touting their success.

@Jay

You should do a better job of addressing people as individuals and not lumping them into illusory categories represented by political extremes you see on TV or read about online.

Terry said...

If the USSC forbids racial preferences in higher education recruiting and admissions, and as a result we end up with colleges that have student populations that are 99% East Asian and white, is this an acceptable situation?
I think that the racial preferences were instituted to prevent this outcome.

Triangle Man said...

Nothing to do with GodZero.

@edutcher

I'll keep that in mind the next time the topic of Obama's failure is framed in terms of economic indicators.

Am I better off now than I was four years ago? Yes, if I look at my portfolio.

Peter said...

rhhardin said, "You maximize profits if you charge different prices depending on what the guy is willing to pay."

Well, yes: merchants love price discrimination, whevever they can figure out how to do it. BUT what other merchant can require you to fill out a FAFSA before they'll tell you the price?

And, surely, there is some point where the middle class will revolt? After all, if the rich don't care so much what things cost (because they don't have to) and the poor don't care so much what things cost (because someone else will pay) then whose interests are being sacrificed here?

Chuck66 said...

Interesting the millionaire Obama kids, who are 3/4 Black, would be given preference over my cousin's Norwegian-American kids, even though he and his wife only make....maybe $50,000 between them.

Chuck66 said...

Terry, you are confusing treating symptoms vs treating the cause of the problem.

By giving certain people free things based on their skin color, you do not solve the reasons these people need a leg up.

You also get people gaming the system. I think about the well-off Mexican native in my grad school classes who used to brag about all the free stuff he got because he was born in Mexico. He went to a very nice and very expensive private school, well white Americans who didn't get free money had to settle for lessor schools.

Chuck66 said...

Of course Obama is our first affirmative action president. Hillary would be President right now if her opponent in the primary didn't have a dark hue to his skin.

Jay said...

Triangle Man said...

You should do a better job of addressing people as individuals and not lumping them into illusory categories represented by political extremes


You're an Obama voter.

Obama has courted Occupy! Wall Street.

Can you do the math?

Terry said...

Chuck66-
I'm not taking sides. I just think it's an interesting question. There are other ways to solve the problem if colleges end up being almost exclusively Asian and white, but I wonder if it will be seen as a political problem with a possible political solution.

Beldar said...

Kahlenberg wrote (in the excerpts Prof. A quoted): "[T]he president has himself always sent mixed messages about affirmative action, even suggesting that his own daughters do not deserve preference in college admission."

That's just too precious for words. What a wonderful combination of cluelessness on the part of both writer and subject.

***

I HATE HATE HATE these particular word verification puzzles.

Alex said...

Triangle - you are a capitalist? What has GodZero done for capitalists?

Chuck66 said...

The causes of poorer academic preformance by blacks is not easy to solve.

-Inner city schools that are not a good enviroment for learning
-Virtually no intact families
-Culture ("no snitching" and "you talk like a white person").

Fen said...

And how many times do you assume that a black college graduate is not as smart as a white college graduate from the same school?

Always. Until he/she can prove otherwise. I also expect they will blame "racism" for all their problems, based on experience.

Just check out Freshman remedial math course at ANY university - blacks and females are the supermajority of attendees.

When I'm hiring, I do whatever I can to avoid blacks. Not because they are black, but because blacks tend to always make everything about race, when its not.

The landlord next door has learned the same thing. Rented to 3 black families, and each one left with 3-6 months rent overdue, and the house in total shambles. And I'm talking about ceiling and floors with holes in them from water damage. He can simply no longer afford to practice Affirmative Action when looking for tenants.

Fen said...

BTW, I'm certain black failure is NOT due to race because I've seen blacks meet normal performance requirements in the Marine Corps. There's a reason skin color has a little relevance as hair color.

So I can only assume its the policies of the Left that have led to their devolution in maintstream society. As witness by all the "baby daddies" and "pants on the ground" idiots. If I was black, the shame would be paralyzing.

Terry said...

Chuck66-
I am agnostic on the source of inferior academic performance of Blacks and Latinos compared to Asians and whites.
I assume the relative performance problem is not easy to solve.
That leaves us with three choices that I can see:
1) Integration achieved with AA methods
2) No AA, let the chips fall where they may. This would result in a terrific imbalance, with most college degrees awarded to Asians and whites.
3) No AA, but special "separate but equal" black and Latino colleges awarding degrees.

All of these choices come with their own set of problems. Political problems are not easy to solve, despite the belief by some that these are due to the influence of "special interests" and "politicians not doing what is in the interests of the American People".

Chuck66 said...

Fen, I used to work for a very PC company. They had an affirmative action program. But there were not a lot of African-Americans working at the corporate offices, but they met their quotas by hiring people who were from Africa. Some very good (and educated) employees who were natives of places like Nigeria.

Chuck66 said...

Fen, exactly. There was a recent study (no, I don't have a link) that showed that conservatives say that if a black and white were raised in the same enviroment, they would have little differences between them. That issues are where they come from and how they are raised.

Liberals are more likely to think of someone different strictly because of skin hues. That is why they tend to support affirmative action based on skin tints. Not background of the person.

edutcher said...

Triangle Man said...

Nothing to do with GodZero.

@edutcher

I'll keep that in mind the next time the topic of Obama's failure is framed in terms of economic indicators.

Am I better off now than I was four years ago? Yes, if I look at my portfolio.


Hate to tell you, but a lot of that is in spite of Zero, not because of him (tying a POTUS' re-election to the economy is a risky biz, anyway - a lot of committee chairs in Congress have more to do with it).

The market's stabilized largely because it finally bottomed out, but it bounces up and down on the least little headline.

Stimulus hasn't worked, Cash for Clunkers hasn't worked, the bailout's a disaster, and we're trillions deeper in debt. Not exactly a ringing endorsement for another term.

PS Truth in advertising:

My portfolio looks better, too, but the specter of ZeroCare and cap&trade by fiat doesn't exactly make me want to vote for him.

Roman said...

How many generations after affirmative action is over can you look at a person of color and think they achieved the job on merit and not a manufactured "preferance"?

n.n said...

Obama will offer promises of instant gratification, principally through redistributive and retributive change, but also through fraudulent and opportunistic exploitation, in exchange for votes. The Democrats and the constituency they represent are ideologically prone to this fundamental corruption.

Obama will not respect the rule of law. He not only upholds a selective rule of law, as have his predecessors; but, he has actually pursued active measures to prevent the equal application of the law. This is progressive corruption run amuck.

The race, class, gender, etc. warfare must end. This is institutional discrimination at its worst and it is a principal cause of progressive corruption. It denigrates individual dignity and devalues human life.

As for education, restore a stable currency, and stop shifting costs. This policy and similar where they are defined by the principle of out-of-sight and out-of-mind are exploitative and unsustainable. As with the so-called "health care reform", as long as costs are obfuscated, the underlying causes will not be addressed.

NYTNewYorker said...

"Am I better off now than I was four years ago? Yes, if I look at my portfolio."

Thank God for capitalism, godzero, not so much.

mesquito said...

"No, you can't see my SAT score. And definitely not my wife's."

Ignorance is Bliss said...

because the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse.

I was a computer science major at a competitive university, with a lot of ethnic diversity, as long as you count Asians. If you only count African Americans then we had less diversity, but a non-trivial amount. I can't think of a single case where another student's race or ethnicity enriched my college experience.

My experience was enriched by the strong work ethic of some students, which was not distributed evenly across people from different cultures. However, you don't need affirmative action to get that. Just pick the best students and the work ethic follows.

Eric said...

Of course, affirmative action can be framed as a policy that helps nonminorities too, because the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse.

Does anyone actually believe this crap, or is it just something you mumble by rote? Maybe if they hadn't jettisoned half of the western cannon to keep the students who shouldn't be there from flunking, maybe then there would have been some more enriching going on.

David said...

It does not matter which side of the issue Obama comes down on. Either way he will demagog it and the press will not call him on it.

The principal issue is his failure to lead on crucial fiscal and economic matters. Anything that takes attention away from that benefits Obama.

Coketown said...

One of my degrees is in English, and I definitely think a little diversity would have enriched my educational experience. There were plenty of blacks, Hispanics, women, and Asians in my courses, but I can count the number of conservatives on my penis--which is to say, one: me.

Even if you have black, brown, yellow, and pink liberals, you're still left with just four liberals. I don't see how a class of 17 students producing 16 Structuralist critiques and one aesthetic critique of Middlemarch counts as "diversity."

Lem said...

@ 2:23

Affirmative Action has been a winner for the left and will continue to be so, the browning of America continues apace.

We have a chink in the armor..

somefeller said...

Fen says: When I'm hiring, I do whatever I can to avoid blacks. Not because they are black, but because blacks tend to always make everything about race, when its not.

Like when someone says they do whatever they can to avoid hiring blacks, for example. Why would any black person think that is something about race?

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Here's the real problem with affirmative action -- it turns people like me into racists, and it isn't really about skin color.

What happens is that being "African-American" becomes a very visible and very handy proxy for sub-standard. Example: given equal test scores and GPA African Americans are an order of magnitude more likely to be admitted to med school than Asians or whites. Only the very best of those groups make it.

If somebody I love is really sick I'll gravitate towards white or Asian doctors and away from African-Americans or Hispanics. Many profoundly competent Tamil doctors are much darker than African-Americans, as are the Ugandans, Nigerians, or Jamaicans selected on their merits.

So maybe I shouldn't say I'm a racist. I discriminate against a couple of tribes which, as a result of simpering political favoritism have been promoted into positions for which they're statistically far less qualified than others not so politically favored.

Unfortunately the truly competent African-Americans, and there are many, have been lost in the sea of those advanced not on merit but political favoritism. Toxic mess. Thanks Lefties.

somefeller said...

In any event, both Grutter and Bakke were jurisprudential messes, even if one supports affirmative action. It won't surprise me if this case ends up abolishing affirmative action at the collegiate level, if for no other reason than to create a clearer set of rules for universities to follow.

But I'm sure even if that happens, I'm sure there still will be plenty of people who will find reasons to doubt and minimize the accomplishments of individuals who are members of minority groups who do well academically. Especially if such people (or their children) aren't very successful academically. That often tends to be the case.

Nathan Alexander said...

Write this down, or remember it well:
Obama's strategy will be to hit as many different topics as he can, and let the fawning, sycophantic news media put whatever spin they can on it that will benefit Obama and the democrats.
It isn't brilliance as much as laziness and complete confidence that the mainstream media will continue to cover for him and carry his water.
Seen any evidence to the contrary?

Darleen said...

because the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse

Ah... how sweet ... minorities as pets that enrich the environment of the white student.

Can we please stop pretending that leftists are NOT racist now?

Revenant said...

the education of white students is enriched when colleges are racially and ethnically diverse. Yeah, that's pretty much the theory the Supreme Court used in Grutter. But it’s not clear how well that argument still washes with the public.

The idea that a kid in Texas won't be exposed to blacks or Hispanics unless universities discriminate against whites and Asians is pretty damned silly.

Fen said...

Somefeller: Like when someone says they do whatever they can to avoid hiring blacks, for example. Why would any black person think that is something about race?

Its funny how you play the "stupid bigots" card upthread - yet you reflexively play the race card here, because you are too stupid to get what I'm saying.

If Asians or Latinos or Whites trended towards walking around with a racial chip on their shoulder, blaming racism for all their mistakes, I'd steer clear of hiring them too.

But they don't. Its blacks that tend to sloth away on the job, then game the system by leveraging the race card against even the most constructive criticism of their work product. Its the Affirmative Action hire that usually does substandard work and must be carried by his co-workers. And it doesn't help that blacks are the most racist demographic in America.

So if you run a business, and you want to be productive, you simply can't have a black racist albatros filing EEO complaints every time he's counseled for being late to work. Its easier to just avoid hiring them. Because once you do, its really hard to get rid of them.

Of course, you prob live in some lilly white liberal community in Vermont, with 3% blacks.

As for me, I prefer the Marine Coprs model - skin color was no more relevant than hair color. It wasn't until I became a civillian that blacks radicalized my views on race.

Kansas City said...

This is a fascinating issue. I don't think Obama has the principle or intergrity to make the right move and abandon race/national origina/gender based AA, but I could see him down in the polls come September and making a political move that is at least partially against it. The media will do a 180 and lionize him for taking on the issue, and it would help him move some "independent" voters - his calculation would be to what extent it causes blacks and others to stay home. He, of course, would not mean it and would do nothing about it if re-elected.

Romney should preempt Obama's move by strongly opposing affirmative action and supporting affirmative action for high achieving economically disadvantaged persons and strict enforcement of non-discrimination laws.

Kansas City said...

One other side effect of the case is that even the lamestream press might be forced to cover the issue of whether Obama benefited from affirmative action.

Phil 3:14 said...

Please note: Asians and Indian/Americans are NOT minorities and DO NOT add to diversity

joated said...

What ever happened to "I have a dream..."?

joated said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terry said...

Obama, writing in a letter to HLR Record in 1990:
I must say, however, that as someone who has undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career, and as someone who may have benefited from the Law Review’s affirmative action policy when I was selected to join the Review last year, I have not personally felt stigmatized either within the broader law school community or as a staff member of the Review.
http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2011/08/29/full-transcript-of-obama-law-review-letter-to-the-editor/

Doug1 said...

What rise in black white intermarriage.

The rate is still miniscule. Only 0.7% of married white women are married to black men.