Higher Ed affirmative action to end? Sort of.


It really is amazing the level of scrutiny Trump gets. Every action, no matter how trivial, gets blown up and represented as negatively as possible. Even when he got a second scoop of ice cream, the media did what they could represent his getting a bit extra as yet another sign that he’s literally Hitler.

Like any President, Trump has blood on his hands…it’s impossible to do that job without doing harm. That said, the media never mentions that, yes, occasionally, Trump does some good things.

Affirmative action is a tough concept for a thinking man to agree with. The cognitive disconnect  necessary to accept “Things aren’t fair, so we need to make things less fair” by unfairly giving people with certain genitals/skin color advantages that have nothing to do with genitals/skin color is just too large for a normal person to possess and otherwise function normally in other aspects of life.

Nevertheless, it’s how things work on most campuses. I’ve covered the racist and sexist hiring policies many times (see here, and here as examples), and with the existence of such policies no longer in doubt, we need to go to the next level: we must consider why these policies are accepted.

The answer is simple enough: administration is comfortable with racist and sexist hiring policies because they’ve learned to accept racist and sexist admission and scholarship policies. These highly questionable policies have done considerable harm in many ways, not least of which is harm to the kids the policies are supposed to help.

And Trump is trying to put a stop to these evil policies:
Justice Dept. to Take On Affirmative Action in College Admissions

–sorry to link to a Left Wing Hate site, but we’ll get to that…

Now, the paper naturally slants this as a bad thing:

“This is deeply disturbing,” she said. “It would be a dog whistle that could invite a lot of chaos and unnecessarily create hysteria among colleges and universities who may fear that the government may come down on them for their efforts to maintain diversity on their campuses.”

Putting that “dog whistle” slur aside, it’s interesting that the paper doesn’t even question the assumption that “maintain diversity” is a good and necessary thing…it was never necessary at any other time in the planet. I assure the gentle reader that I was a minority as a white male mathematics graduate student, and it was common enough for me to be the only such in my classes (even when I was on the math department soccer team, I had to learn basic Mandarin so I could communicate with my teammates)….and it never once occurred to me that we needed programs to include more white males.

But now it’s taken as a given that we need such policies. Well, not for white males, but I trust the reader knows what I mean here.

In any event the paper gives no indication of an opposing point of view, so I need to shift to another site, one that allows comments. And, hey, look, there’s actual legitimate discussion of an opposing point of view:

Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, which opposes affirmative action, told the Times he welcomed the new campaign by the Justice Department. “The civil rights laws were deliberately written to protect everyone from discrimination, and it is frequently the case that not only are whites discriminated against now, but frequently Asian-Americans are as well,” he said.

Much like Clegg, I’m against discrimination in any form. And, again, I had many Asian friends in graduate school. Even as they consistently demonstrated they were better students, it never occurred to me to set up a system to make me look good by locking them out.

In an attempt to maintain balance, a pro-discrimination expert is cited, but, alas, all he can do is spew hatred:

Dan Losen, a lawyer who is director of the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that he found the Justice Department’s action deeply distressing. “This is another example of how the administration is dismantling the Department of Justice, turning core constitutional protections upside down and the concept of remedying discrimination on its head,” he said. “What do you expect from a president that makes openly bigoted remarks about Mexican-American judges, has boasted about assaulting women, has a history of engaging in racially discriminatory housing practices and is fighting to ban entrants to our country based on their religious background? Make no mistake, the Trump administration’s positions are consistent with his bigoted statements and historical track record. 

A point by point refutation of the assertions above can be done, but is beside the point: there’s nothing in it that says why the racism he favors is a good idea (although I have to laugh at raising the “historical” record of a guy in office not even close to a year).

One of the neat things about the fake news revelations of late is how once one site runs the fake news, other sites play off it. So, it doesn’t matter if the original news is fake, you now have a dozen places all the saying the same thing, much like the grand Trump/Russia conspiracy theory.

And thus I’m grateful that this site allows comments, as readers quickly point out an issue:

I saw this reported on CNN/HLN this morning as well, citing the times’ article. At least CNN mentioned that it was the product of an unconfirmed leak…. In other words, another rumor.

Another reader provides even further clarification (though sadly, the rest of the comments degenerate into political irrelevancy):

….It came from the NY Times. That makes it suspect from the beginning. When will we learn to fact check Times stories before getting all upset about them? Turns out, of course, the story was false. It is to deal with an Asian American-related discrimination complaint filed during the Obama years.

So, even if this new version is closer to the truth, it’s still a start for fixing this everyday injustice, just as Rosa Parks at least started the conversation we needed to have then.

Instead of being moved to the back of the admissions line, an Asian-American is standing up and saying what we’re doing to our kids regarding admissions at our few good schools is wrong.

Now, I grant that at best it only looks like admissions will be targeted here, but once this is addressed then perhaps we can indeed address the sexist and racist hiring policies that are now accepted at many of our institutions of higher education.