Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Barack Obama Tries to Save His Own Butt

Bubbleheaded propagandist Barack Obama did his best to distance himself from his despicable, radical, twisted pastor of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright, in a 40-minute speech in Philadelphia today.

Obama proved himself again to be very good at dodging the issue, piling on the fluff and avoiding talking about specifics of his own views and plans. So much of the speech was about how other people, even his grandmother, think and have behaved, and why - but hardly really touched upon HOW voting for him, as opposed to Clinton or McCain, would in any way bring more positive CHANGE on race relations in America. Well, he did evoke the specter of educational funding at some point. Obama is well-versed in double-speak - all the while decrying divisiveness (which I suppose to him means people not completely agreeing with him), there were plenty of implications of societal or structural blame tossed around, at conservative pundits, at “segregated schools,” etc.
Like other predominantly black churches across the country, Trinity embodies the black community in its entirety – the doctor and the welfare mom, the model student and the former gang-banger. ..... He contains within him the contradictions – the good and the bad – of the community that he has served diligently for so many years.

I can no more disown him than I can disown the black community.
Sure you can, Obama, you liar. Despite painting Wright as some super-metaphor representing heterogeneous Black America, and all its varied views - Wright is nothing of the sort. He is NOT the entirety of the "black community," he is merely one black man with a following - a man and a congregation with ugly, vile, malicious ideas. This is all part of Obama's eloquent subterfuge - he danced around the issues without really saying anything of substance or committing to a stance.

And, he implies that somehow disowning this psychopath is equivalent to disowning the entire black community? This is the same piss-poor logic applied so often by minority apologists who claim that holding a minority up to any standard (like, say, OJ Simpson) is somehow the same as condemning the entire race. Any criticism of one, for holding someone accountable for his views, opinions and/or actions, is to be viewed as an attack on the entire race. And, somehow, it's everyone BUT Obama that is racist or "divisive."

Sadly, a lot of people with their eyes closed will be fooled by his smooth, empty rhetoric, and will believe just that.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Myths and Facts About Affirmative Action, Deconstructed

Recently, race-baiting, irrational co-workers and the Affirmative Action Office at the Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) condemned a janitor for reading a history book during his break about the KKK. This book, mind you, was nothing promoting the Klan in any fashion, but simply a book about one struggle against the Klan. Yet, African American employees and their kindred knee-jerkists at the AAO found the very subject of the book, regardless of content, and the very act of innocently reading the book (despite the fact that keeping aware of the unsavory aspects of American history is often encouraged by supporters of events like Black History Month), to be an incident of racial harassment. This insanity was compounded by the fact that this janitor was never given the benefit of the doubt (they even ignored his attempts to explain what the book was really about), and assumed guilty without any sort of fair hearing and in complete disregard of his own civil rights.

Now anyone familiar with the activities of affirmative action advocates and the Orwellian left-wing indoctrination techniques common today in higher education will hardly be surprised - outraged, for sure - but not shocked. The Big Brother of the diversity movement has become increasingly totalitarian and outright fascist in its desire to control and punish Caucasians for being white, and to expand power over individual thought and opinion.

What sort of justification do these bigot-nazis give for their behavior and strong-arm tactics? Take a look, for instance, at this wretched document on the website of the AAO of IUPUI, entitled The Myths and Facts about Affirmative Action, to gain some insight in their irrational thinking.

For example, they claim:

MYTH: Affirmative action is reverse discrimination, it gives preferential treatment to people of color and women.

FACT: Racism is power plus discrimination.

Using the "to be" verb does not make it so. Racism is defined as "a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule others." Discrimination, or more specifically racial discrimination, is the practice of applying that attitude by the use of power via policy and/or oppression. Racism is the attitude that, with power, can lead to discrimination. But the attitude can exist regardless of discriminating behavior or application of power.

The parameters of discrimination based on race are distinguished by the power dynamics. Reverse racism is not, therefore a reality if people of color are not in positions of power and perpetrating the discrimination. An Urban Institute study shows that less that 100 of 3000 cases could be considered reverse discrimination. Less that six of those cases were deemed by the court to be substantiated.

The last two sentences here completely annihilate the assertion made in the sentences preceding them. Regardless of how accurate or up-to-date the findings of this vaguely referred to study may or may not be - showing that "reverse racism" is not as prevalent as "forward racism" (for lack of a better term) is in no way equivalent to showing that it does not exist at all. The implication that "people of color are not in positions of power" is of course a bogus point, as there are people of color (to use their phrase) in power over others not of the same ethnicity as themselves, even whites. And, the study only seems to address non-institutionalized, direct discrimination, rather than affirmative action as institutionalized discrimination. So, the AAO is using a study that already assumes that affirmative action is not reverse discrimination to prove that there is no reverse discrimination. Convenient.

Affirmative action has been mislabeled "preferential treatment" for certain members of society. ... Affirmative action is an attempt to facilitate a more level playing field.

The level playing field metaphor is an old chestnut amongst affirmative action advocates - but the problem here is that it is just that - metaphor. These people's conceptions of what constitutes a level playing field can only be described as nothing but "preferential treatment" for certain groups. It is not enough to provide equal opportunity, in their eyes, which is all a level playing field really is. Affirmative action supporters wish to rearrange the rules of the game played on the field so that one team is favored, and to do so in a manner in which individual talent, training and hard work are disregarded in favor of team preference and membership. A "level playing field" would not assume all players must play at the same level - only that the rules do not favor one team or another. They don't want a level playing field - they merely want to switch which team is favored.

Affirmative action recognizes the interconnectedness of race, class, gender. Many of the symbolic gates are beyond reach due to economic disparity which in turn is one of the effects of racism. We cannot divorce these interconnected issues from one another.

But one must, if one is truly to be equal and fair. The fact of the matter is that economic disparity is not solely caused by racial discrimination, past or present, and affirmative action only assigns group blame and preferential treatment on this one potential cause out of many for poverty. In such a systematically racist approach, all people of one race are given extra credit for their ethnic or gender status, regardless of whether or not they are of a low income. And, people of another race are assigned blame, and are punished for their status, regardless of whether or not they had any hand personally in ever engaging in any sort of racial discrimination, and, even worse, regardless of their own economic status. Poor whites - who may or may not be in that boat for racial reasons - are not given the special consideration rich blacks are. If economic disparity is truly unfair, it should only be judged on the level of the individual. Assumptions cannot be made as to who benefits and who does not based on race.

How do you divorce all these issues from one another? By treating people as individuals rather than as members of groups. Asserting connectedness based on race only furthers a racist, or group-membership, mentality.

In the UC system, race and ethnicity are not solely considered for admissions.

For the past decade, thanks to a change in California law, race and ethnicity are not considered at all for admissions - although the quota mentality is still prevalent amongst UC administrators who look for back-door alterations in the admissions process in order to achieve ethnic quota goals - using now alternative, "holistic" (i.e., bullshit) criteria to put academic success and individual achievement on the back-burner in favor of squishy "background characteristics."

Other criteria such as socio-economic level, state residency, special abilities, disabilities, familial ties and athletic ability are used in determining admissions. These supplemental criteria benefit everyone, not only people of color.

Such criteria hardly benefits everyone - but of course, equating every group with every individual is the bigotted, racist failing of most supporters of affirmative action. These criteria benefit those who fall into all those specific categories. Just because they're not race-based does not mean they benefit everyone - they merely benefit a few from all ethnic groups. That's a very big difference. They're confusing subsets for the whole.

MYTH: I have a friend/brother/sister/____(fill in the blank) who was qualified for the job/college but didn't get it because the position went to a person of color or a woman.

FACT: Many of us have heard this statement or made it ourselves. It's a logical error to apply what happens to a few individuals to the entire society.

Of course, statements such as these are made to highlight the effects of societal policies upon real-world individuals - to reveal the injustice faced by real people as a result of what the entire society does.

Oddly, though, the AAO does not apply this same logical standard that they present to their own justifications for affirmative action programs. It would be a logical error, by their own claim, to assign the blame for discrimination, when it does occur, to the entire society - in other words, it is illogical to create policies that assign blame to everyone rather than anyone who directly discriminates.

When it comes right down to it, affirmative action supporters cannot see the individual, and have no regard for a person's rights - they are as racist as the Klan, seeing people only as segments of a "group," where all groups members are to be accountable for the actions of the others, and oppressed accordingly.

Friday, March 07, 2008

How Affirmative Action, Beyond Being Intrinsically Racist, Breeds Disrespect and Doubt

From an article in the Harvard Crimson:

Whatever the benefits of affirmative action, one undeniable downside is the element of disrespect it introduces onto our campus.

This week’s appointment of Professor of the History of Science and of African and African American Studies Evelynn M. Hammonds as Dean of Harvard College was greeted mostly with disinterest; students tend to ignore the vicissitudes of administrative hiring.

But on one Harvard mailing list to which I subscribe, an impassioned 28-message e-brawl broke out. The subject was the relevance of the most visible attributes of our new dean—her race and gender—to her appointment.

“Who…is Evelyn Hammonds?” the provocative e-mail began, “I’ve never seen her even mentioned in connection with undergraduate affairs, and it seems…crazy that they passed over people like [Harvard College Professor] Jay [M.] Harris to choose her.”

This was followed by a coda intended to provoke: “Wait, hold the phone, she’s black? And a woman? Oh, nevermind then.”

A reply arrived within six minutes. “Right, you know nothing about her, ergo it’s affirmative action. Why don’t you try engaging on substance instead of crass identity politics?”

It is interesting to see how those that advocate affirmative action in hiring and university admissions hypocritically turn around and consider any mention of these often institutionalized and legislated practices "crass" and taboo when discussing specific hires. If one sees affirmative action as a necessity of some sort, then why decry mention of such standards when they may benefit a particular candidate? They want elements such as race, gender and orientation to be considered, yet fail to see how logic dictates that if group status is not only a legitimate but in many cases a required factor in the selection process, then it is hardly unreasonable to conclude that such may well have played a role in the final decision.

Of course, despite institutionalized affirmative action, or even just non-regulated external pressures to make decisions that "promote diversity," one should not assume, without concrete evidence, that in any particular case group status is ever the sole reason for a decision, or even the deciding factor. But what affirmative action and "diversity" advocacy do, since the process is never entirely transparent, is generate suspicion about the validity and fairness of the process. This in turn leads to a disrespect of the system and misgivings about the decision-makers. It is misguided to simply assume Hammonds was hired because she was a black female - but it is no way misguided to question whether or not her race and gender played a role when advocates and often regulations suggest they should.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

More Shenanigans from University Residence Life Indoctrinators

The National Association of Scholars has issued an excellent inside look at the Second Annual Residential Curriculum Institute, co-sponsored by co-sponsored by the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). During one session, FIRE! (the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education) was accused of "hate, fear, ignorance, and stupidity" as well as having "ties to white supremacy groups." FIRE!, one may recall, did an excellent job exposing the strong-arm leftist indoctrination programs run by the militant nitwits at the University of Delaware Residence Life, as well as keeping tabs on similar attempts at brain-washing on campuses across the nation.
[One] speaker said that directors in res life should simply declare what the "learning outcomes" are for first year students. She offered a six-point model: self-awareness, inter-personal skills, diversity, citizenship, social appreciation, sustainability. Lesson plans could be created to realize each of these. Yet another participant suggested that a good learning outcome would be, "Students must acknowledge power and privilege." Still another participant pointed out that res life need not focus all its energy on proving what it accomplishes with freshmen. After all, "We keep them on campus their freshman and sophomore years, so we have a captive audience for two years."
Modern University Resident Life administrators are increasingly seeing themselves not as administrators or landlords, but as educators equal to faculty who have the right to turn living areas and student's personal time into classroom-like indoctrination centers:
Said one speaker, "We are educators, and we do not need permission [from faculty] to educate, and we certainly do not need to apologize for it."
The NAS assesses it thusly, and I agree wholeheartedly:
The mischief that ACPA invites and encourages is its prescription for a regimented combination of intrusive techniques, single-minded focus on the race-class-gender-sexual preference, and ecological friendliness of students, and a highly ideological stance to what kinds of identities and social attitudes it would like to flourish. The result is an asphyxiating microcosm of the nanny state moved into the campus dormitory.
It is an ironic outcome for many res-life officials who pride themselves on their political progressivism, but who in their workaday lives have become ardent apostles of social control. They condone without a second thought many kinds of social license that would have been anathema to an earlier generation of college officials, but at the same time they deny freedom of conscience and freedom of speech to many in their charge. Res life officials at the Frazer meeting complained about helicopter parents who remain an intrusive presence in the lives of their college-age children. But it appears to be a kind of professional jealousy, since the res lifers themselves are a constant, hovering presence in the lives of the students.
The time has come to demand "academic freedom" and individual rights for students at the university level. The purpose of higher education is to educate, not indoctrinate or even attempt to shape the personal and political beliefs of individual students. A tolerant, open environment should be encouraged for each to find and follow their own path. Counselors should be available for those seeking assistance - it should not be assumed that those that may think differently or have different agendas are necessarily in need of help, especially if they don't think the way administrators believe they should.

It simply amazes me how many times liberals in this country scream "fascist" whenever discussing right-wing, conservative or libertarian ideals, but when given a position of even the slightest power, these same liberals engage in the most totalitarian, anti-freedom activities they are able to get away with (and often many they cannot for very long).