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"Deepak Chopra somehow perceives Clarence Thomas as white."It's the truthiness of it all. Good thing Deepak is here to show us that. I'm sure there is a book in there, followed by weekend seminars in Westlake and Greenwich villages... and tapes for those who cannot attend. Rosie will make the introduction.
Thomas has achieved true equality. He has been judged by the content of his character, not the color of his skin. King would be proud.
Blacks cannot be racist and Supreme Court justices cannot be black.It follows as the night the day.
Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Chopra has gotten rich with the help of the federal government in the form of PBS, you'd think he'd be a little nicer to his sugar daddies.
Drill Sgt - Oh, please. Nobody, not even Justice Thomas' biggest supports, actually believes he was the most qualified person for the job. Even President Bush, who appointed him, never said that he believed he was the best judge for the job.Justice Thomas happens to be black, which was the skin color of the great Thurgood Marshall, who he replaced on the bench. Justice Thomas is a brilliant man, but his appointment to the bench was affirmative action, whether you like to admit it or not.
Wade, are you saying that once a person has accepted an offer that someone else has made because of affirmative action that he becomes bound to accept affirmative action? That would lead to the conclusion that white people have more freedom to think than black people. Do you want to take that position?
Ann Althouse said... Wade, are you saying that once a person has accepted an offer that someone else has made because of affirmative action that he becomes bound to accept affirmative action? That would lead to the conclusion that white people have more freedom to think than black people. Do you want to take that position?Thomas' whole career was made possible by the civil rights movement and affirmative action, which rankles him every minute of the day. His entire public persona is based on seething resentment of this truth.He's a bitter twisted fuck with serious issues that need adressing.He also lied like a rug during his confirmation hearings, which of course bothers conservatives not a whit.
I think it's important for liberals to stand up to the knee-jerk reactions of idiot liberals. I'm not always sure if I'm a liberal, but I want to join those speaking out in opposition to this idiot. Eight years ago, when my school disctict was governed by its voluntary system of racial quotas, I was told by an African-American school placement official that I could pretty much choose any school for my children, as they were white. I didn't see much of society's better nature in that.
"He's a bitter twisted fuck with serious issues that need adressing."Talking about yourself in the 3rd person is creepy. But, as we've all seen, you're into creepy.
Althouse, you're deliberately misconstruing my words. I don't blame Thomas one bit for accepting the offer. Read more closely.
Wade, re-read Sarge's comment and you'll find it was a clever "oreo" joke.The person judging him is Chopra, et al., not the political process that lead to Thomas sitting at the bench of SCOTUS.
Wade: YOU read more closely. I didn't ask you if you blamed him for accepting the offer. I asked you what obligations you pin on persons who accept the benefit of affirmative action. Are these people limited to a set of opinions that do not bind white people? Can white people by offering benefits to blacks lock them into the policy positions that they -- the white people who got there first -- prefer? It's a hard question, and you're sloughing it off. I don't like that.
So that's what's meant by "white supreme-acy."
No, you read more closely. Your question was totally irrelevant to anything I said in my first comment. What I'm saying is that way, way more than merely "the content of his character" landed Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court.But, you want to hear my answer. Yes, it is a complicated question. I support affirmative action. I think that, if you oppose affirmative action, then put your money where your mouth is and refuse to accept the benefits it affords you. Everybody tells themself that they achieved because of merit, instead of special circumstances, or mere luck. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case.Fans of Thomas' jurisprudence should realize that, for a lot of different reasons, Thomas is an excellent argument in favor of racial preferences. Start with the premise that he was appointed to the Supreme Court largely because he was African-American. President Bush understandably did not want to become the first president to reduce the number of African-Americans on the Supreme Court, and, since there are so few black conservatives, he appointed Thomas, who was not the best man for the job, but was probably the best black conservative for the job. Then, consider what an excellent job Justice Thomas has done since joining the bench. He's done a great job, despite the fact that, when he was appointed, he was unqualified on paper. Why then should he believe that other african-american candidates, for schools or for jobs, who are unqualified on paper would be any less excellent at their jobs, or their studies?Affirmative action works, Justice Thomas is proof, and it is entirely possible that he holds his point of view because it is convenient for him to do so. If he was more honest with himself, he would support affirmative action. I would not say that the beneficiary of affirmative action has to support it in all circumstances, but I do believe they should be intellectually honest.
The bussing idea led to white flight from the cities and a consequent cave-in in terms of tax money for inner city schools. I don't see how that was good for anybody. One of the few areas to hold out in Brooklyn was Canarsie -- the mafia threatened the school board that unless they ended bussing they would sleep with the fishes. They ended it in Canarsie, and Canarsie remains a relatively intact community. (cf. Jonathan Rieder's Canarsie: The Jews and Italians of Brooklyn Against Liberalism, Harvard UP 1985).In Seattle, the trick was to live on the very edge of the black community in the Central District, so that your kids (white) would be bussed into the richer (Whiter and more Asian) neighborhoods with the best funding for their schools. So this shifted the real estate market (the edges of the black community were now sought after by parents which drove up the prices and ultimately displaced the black community so that they had to move further down the Ranier Valley into the shadow of Mt. Ranier where they will all get killed once the volcano blows and the ash pours like a tsunami up the valley toward Puget Sound).Every time the Democrats get an "idea" they just make things worse for their constituency.PC groupthink multiplies stupidity exponentially.
Ah that noble reverse racism.
I think that, if you oppose affirmative action, then put your money where your mouth is and refuse to accept the benefits it affords you.If your social contract were a private contract, it would be illegal.
Kirby - I know all about Brooklyn. However, the model of having the mafia threaten to murder members of the schoolboard in order to prevent integration isn't exactly one that citizens of other cities are lining up to follow. The problem I have with the people who believe the free market should determine where people go to school is that they're willfully ignoring the other half of the picture. For one thing, government policy for years encouraged white people to migrate to suburban single-family neighborhoods. Once they had moved out there, they drew school district boundaries in order to exclude as many black people as possible. Claiming that, in today's world, those school district boundaries ought to be sacrosanct (hey - its the law!) is to be so willfully ignorant as to create a rebuttable presumption of racism on your part.
Wade,You are taking my comment much much too seriously. I was not commenting on the how or why of Thomas getting on the court.I was only referring to the author making a sweeping generalization about those "evil white males" without it occurring to him that one of his white males wasn't.
Wade: "No, you read more closely. Your question was totally irrelevant to anything I said in my first comment."Well, you began by failing to understand the drill sgt's joke. And then I felt that you were insinuating something and asked you a question, which you didn't want to answer. I began with "are you saying" -- a question -- and you could have simply said no. Why didn't you? Instead, you, in a weirdly hostile way, acused me of not reading well, and said " I don't blame Thomas one bit for accepting the offer," which wasn't an answer to the question asked. When I pointed that out, you said "Your question was totally irrelevant to anything I said in my first comment," which means that you ought to have answered my first question simply "no," instead of flaring up. Something's getting to you. You don't grasp the drill sgt's joke and then you completely overreact to me. You seem really tense about this subject, when we're talking about a pretty amusing lapse by Chopra. What's with you?
Althouse - That's a law professor's trick, and you know it. You can couch anything with "Are you saying" and then phrase the rest of the sentence in such a way as to put the other person on the defensive.Its right up there with your old trick of saying something stupid, then, when controversy follows, posting at length about how you didn't really mean it, and any you only said it to get traffic and to make a joke, but then, at the end of the post, circle back and reaffirm your original comment. I've seen you do it dozens of times, its getting old.Furthermore, my comment that I did not blame Thomas for accepting the offer WAS an answer to your question. You asked if I believed that, once a person accepts an offer made because of affirmative action, that person "becomes bound" to accept affirmative action. I didn't answer the question in the abstract, I answered it in regards to Justice Thomas, who was the subject of conversation at the time. If you want an answer to your abstract question, the answer is "usually, but not always, yes."Also, for the record, being stuck in a BarBri classroom watching some asshole in a cardigan sweater making corny jokes in a monotone inflection for 21 hours over the course of a weekend really finely tunes your "bad joke" and "self-important asshole" antennae. That's "what was with me" when I read this thread.
Wade, the Canarsie mafia stepped in only after attempts at discussion had failed. And the citizens of Canarsie had relatively little say in the matter. The mafia had its turf to protect, and they protected it, and the other citizens of Canarsie benefitted. Today a slower process has apparently happened in Canarsie where more middle-class blacks now reside peacefully with the Italians who remained (the Jewish population has largely decamped for reasons that are very difficult to summarize). The middle-class blacks in Canarsie are Jamaicans, for the most part.I've never been in Canarsie except to drive through.Ultimately it's class rather than race according to many of the statements in Rieder's book that matters in terms of compatibility or ability to get along. Perhaps because they have the same kinds of aspirations and the same kinds of property to protect or not.I don't know. I'm just reporting from the book. It was written by a liberal who could actually think, and who was trying in an even-handed way to understand the dynamics of the Canarsie community as it wrestled with the issues and tried to balance compassion with self-interest.Deeprak puts "compassion" above all other values and completely sacrifices self-interest from his equation. Most parents have more compassion however for their own children, and want the best for them, which amounts to saying that self-interest tops compassion. They know their own children better, and suffer when they suffer. Communists want us to see each person as identical to our own children. Now the communists even want us to treat bugs as if they are own children (there is actually a leading member of PETA who has said that we should treat ants as if they are our own children).It's not terribly realistic. Good politics has to begin with a certain realism. Too much idealism leads to a description of a problem that is out of touch with reality, and thus leads to a prescription that can often make a problem worse.
Wow! If only we'd had those five "white" guys around in 1954--my parents wouldn't have moved us all to the non-jew, non-colored suburban school for a decent education and I might still be living on the South Side!
Those darn powerful white males!What have they ever done for me?
Geez, someone wake me when Wade leaves, so we can get back to interesting stuff.Thanks in advance.
Kirby wrote: "Deeprak puts "compassion" above all other values"Even above simple, straightforward accuracy! I work with a broad range of patients, mostly white and black, some Latino, from upper middle class to lower class in terms of SES. I have one kid who is a racist. One.Nobody else much mentions race. Now it is not because I am an intimidating whitey (well I am white) because I minored in African American studies in college. I am very comfortable discussing racism, overt and covert, I understand how it has damaged generations of minorities, and I abhor that.But nobody ever discusses racism as one of their problems. One buff black man was having some problems with frustration and I suggested he get in the car, drive around a bit and scream his head off. He said that he would rather scream in a near by field. I told him I was worried that he would be arrested for "screaming while black" and suggested he find a more private place.He thought that was the funniest thing he had heard in a week. I was sharing a serious concern in a funnny way, but he said that kind of stuff was no longer a problem.I know that it is a problem, but I am beginning to accept that it is a much smaller problem than I had realized. Thank God and Dr. King and well meaning people everywhere. And thank appropriate affirmative action.But I can accept that race based preferences are no longer needed. Of course, I do not make my living by depending on race baiting and keeping minorities firmly ensconced in a victim role either. So it does not hurt me in the pocketbook to admit it.Trey
What I find hilarious is that Deepak is advocating a policy that is intensely, deeply inimical to anyone of South or East Asian descent. Nearly all affirmative action programs are specifically designed to keep out Asian-Americans, the new Jews.The U of California system has been VERY concerned about reducing and limiting Asian enrolment. Affirmative action doesn't much hurt whites these days (in percentage terms) in higher ed, but is exceptionally inimical to Asians. The worst is at the highest end schools that do total profile evaluation. Jews and Asians tend to have too similar backgrounds: academic overachievers with parents committed to education, who are mostly still together, 2nd or 3rd generation immigrants who are professionals or entrepreneurs, music lessons (especially piano or violin)... All very boring, none of the interest that racist admission officers are looking for. The suit that Yale is facing should be illuminating and help to further destroy AA and the anti-Asian and anti-semitic racism of the admission officers.
How ironic that the Nixonian policy of affirmative action may prove to be one of the most enduring contributions to jurisprudential discourse in America.As Hey says, the University of California has been at the forefront of the movement to actively discriminate against Asian Americans. What that portends for future litigation, and costs to the taxpayers of the state of California remains to be seen. But we shall see it, I am sure.When the people of the state of California voted to outlaw racial preferences for admissions, the affirmative action department of the university branched out into other areas to justify their multi-million dollar budget.Some bright mind decided that the co-operative extension would prove fertile territory and inspectors were dispatched forthwith to all 58 counties to investigate volunteer records. Organizations such as the Master Gardeners, Master Food Preservers, and Future Farmers of America were ordered not just to practice affirmative action in recruitment of volunteers, but to engage in affirmative action in answering public questions about plants, flowers, jellies, and pigs.Copious records of contacts by race must now be maintained and forwarded on special forms to the department. Employees overseeing these organizations have received official reprimands for the right kind of volunteers failing to join in in numbers equal to or above their percentage of the population-at-large, and for volunteers under their direction failing to find the right kind of members of the public to ask questions of them at public information tables at county fairs, supermarkets, etc. Some counties were apparently advised that specific percentages of the public classes they taught had to be in specific languages. So the paperwork keeps poring in, justifying the budget for the department, and the tin-pot dictators of political correctness gone mad continue to elevate their self-esteem by ordering unpaid workers around.The only thing they quit keeping track of was how many women were volunteering and how many members of the public being served were women. As I recall, someone actually ordered that such record-keeping cease. Perhaps that is because, in both cases, women outnumber men by up to 2 to 1. It simply would not "do" to have to engage in affirmative action for men, so best pretend to not know.
I've never heard anybody say that affirmative action was anti-semitic. This is a first.Which Yale lawsuit are you talking about? The Ruggerio lawsuit? If so, that's not about affirmative action.
Me, I'm not accepting the premise that Clarence Thomas got anything by affirmative action. If I was going to be thinking that way --which I'm not, but if I was-- I'd be thinking that about the Thurgood Marshall appointment more than that of Clarence Thomas.
There's nothing wrong with being a beneficiary of affirmative action yet not advocating it.A similar situation has occurred already with religion. It was Jesus Christ's big idea to give unto God what is God's and unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Do we now see atheists acknowledging Him for that?
Wade, at the beginning of his comment, I understood "Hey" to be referring to the Ivy League schools' historical policies limiting or excluding Jews. This was common in the 1920's and 1930's, and is well-documented now, I believe.
In that case, Hey is about 45 years behind the times. I graduated from Yale in 2002, and it was roughly 1/4 Jewish. There's no talk of having to artificially limit the Jewish population at Yale. If you don't believe me, both the President of the University and the director of admissions are Jewish.
I find it interesting that so many people cite Thomas’ appointment as an example of “affirmative action”. This would be true if, in general, justices were appointed on their merit. Of course, they are not. Few of the appointees by any president are based on merit. Usually, they are designed to fulfill a campaign promise, political goal or return a favor. Thomas may be a lot of things, but his appointment was pure politics, not affirmative action. Bush dared the Democratic Senate to take away the “black seat” on the court. Ultimately, enough Democrats were afraid of backlash that Thomas squeaked though. Thomas is far from the only example. We have two members of the court who are there because many Eastern politicians will not cross Italian voters. Is that affirmative action for Italians?mark
Well then Wade, I guess that makes it perfectly okay that all those before you got to Yale had to suffer discrimination. After all, by the time you got there all the de jure discrimination was over. And the whole world revolves around you.At least you'll make a great lawyer with that attitude. All the ones I practiced with had that attitude in spades (oops). And it's nice to see you supporting the denigration of a Supreme Court jurist. Justice Thomas was only an affirmative action hire, after all. I'm sure that attitude doesn't color (oops) his perception of the Left one bit. I'm sure it's all live and let live when the Left is free to diminish the accomplishments of a person based solely on their race.
Um, there hasn't been de facto discrimination at Yale for 45 years, and there hasn't been de jure discrimination in at least that long. Other than the fact that Yale has become somewhat more Asian, the other demographics haven't changed since at least the late 70's. I don't know of many 30-year statutes of limitations.I'm sorry, I know you probably read a conservative blog post about a lawsuit, so that means you know more about Yale than I do. My bad.
Justice Thomas happens to be black, which was the skin color of the great Thurgood Marshall, who he replaced on the bench. Marshall was a good lawyer, but the only "great" thing about him was his life story. Viewed without the filter of race, Marshall was a mediocre judge at best and quite inferior to Thomas as a legal thinker. Were it not for the color of Marshall's skin we would already have forgotten that he ever sat on the Supreme Court (particularly given that he did little besides parrot Brennan's opinions).But your statement is more or less true. No informed person honestly believes that Thomas -- or any of the handful of non-white, non-male Supreme Court justices we've had -- were the most qualified to sit on the court. Statistics alone make it pretty inevitable that the tip of the legal bell curve will have a white man sitting in it.
Palladian said... "Chopra has gotten rich with the help of the federal government in the form of PBS.."NO ONE gets rich off of PBS.Drill Sarge...I don't think of Thomas as black but I still think of him as not in this country's best interest. Certainly a distinction not based on racial grounds.
Wade: "Um, there hasn't been de facto discrimination at Yale for 45 years, and there hasn't been de jure discrimination in at least that long."I'm confused. Are you using some odd definition of "discrimination" in which it only counts when you discriminate against certain groups?Are you unaware of the fact that the admissions process to Yale explicitly and openly advantages some races over others in the process?
Wade said...I've never heard anybody say that affirmative action was anti-semitic. This is a first.I'll bet Dershowitz/Abe Foxman have made that accusation before.
Clint - until you say something more concrete, I don't know what to tell you. You can't simply claim that Yale's policies favor one race over another without backing it up. You claim that Yale's policies discriminate against Asians and Jews, and yet more than 1/2 of the student body is either Asian or Jewish. Since you don't claim to have any first-hand knowledge of it, I'm going to have a hard time believing you until you provide some actual facts.
NO ONE gets rich off of PBS.Really? Jim Henson and CTW did.Bill Moyers has too.
Wade-I'll try to be clearer.1) Yale, like many other colleges, takes race into account in determining admission.2) Every spot filled by someone partly because of his race is denied to someone else partly because of his race.3) Therefore, Yale, like many other colleges, is discriminating against members of some races in their admissions process.Do you need citations for point #1? Do you not understand my reasoning for point #2?? Do you have a different definition for the word 'discriminate' than the one I'm using in point #3???
Clint - Um . . . you have no idea how Yale's admissions process really works. An overwhemling number of applications look near-identical on paper. If Yale wanted to, it could admit an entire class with an SAT score above 1570. The vast majority have SAT scores in the 97th percentile or better. You can't admit everybody, so you have to choose to admit 2500 people out of perhaps 7000 who might be similarly qualified. You take race into account to ensure that, when you pick your 2500, you don't end up with a homogeneous class. Trust me, Yale's "discrimination" doesn't result in people being admitted who would otherwise be unqualified. The qualified people who aren't admitted just go to Harvard, Amherst, Columbia or the University of Chicago instead. Big fucking deal.
So Wade-If Yale decided that it wanted to be more homogeneous, and chose to favor whites enough to insure that they were enrolled at least in proportion to their percentage of the highly qualified applicants, would you still say their policy does not favor one race over another? After all, those other qualified people could still go to Harvard, Amherst, Columbia or the University of Chicago instead. No big deal.
Wade-Despite the slew of insults, you don't seem to disagree with any of my facts, except to sneer at the obvious and logically irrefutable conclusion.You appear to agree that there are people who would otherwise have been accepted at Yale, but were instead rejected, entirely because of their race.You then shrug this off, and deride the notion that excluding people because of their race is discrimination.Again: If excluding people because of their race is not discrimination, what is?
You take race into account to ensure that, when you pick your 2500, you don't end up with a homogeneous class.The amusing thing here is that Wade doesn't realize he just admitted Yale practices racial discrimination.Let's say you have two equally-qualified applicants, one white and one black. You decide you've got too many white people in the student body and not enough black ones, so you pick the black student to admit. Well, you have just denied an applicant for no reason other than his race -- which is, under any but the most Orwellian of left-wing definitions, racial discrimination.
Okay, let's say that Yale drops the names of all 7000 equally qualified candidates into a hopper, and blindly draws out 2500 of them. All 2500 are white males. Is that fair? What would give rise to the inference of racial discrimination - the fact that all 2500 are white, or the previous class, when race was taken into account to achieve some sort of balance?I'm not admitting that race was taken into account, I'm just saying that NOBODY I met at Yale, nobody at all, seemed to think that it had been. Furthermore, there is no ENTITLEMENT to attend an elite private college like Yale. This is unlike the University of Michigan, which weighted membership in several minority races so heavily as to overwhelm every other admissions criteria, and people of certain races with far inferior credentials were admitted.How is it discrimination? Who's being discriminated against? Your sense of moral outrage is entirely misplaced. Its funny how the only people who don't think that race should matter at all are the well-educated, middle-class-to-wealthy white people. Funny how that works.
It's funny how that strawman works.So middle to wealthy whites are the ones who think race shouldn't matter?What about poor whites? Or middle to not quite poor whites?What is funny is how rich and privileged whites think that race should matter very much and talk about how naturally privileged whites are, particularly white men.While less rich whites and those less privileged look at their dads and brothers and their own lives and try to figure out where is the privilege? Why should someone make a hard life harder for them. They aren't going to Yale. Trust me on that. Even if they had the grades and the ability, somehow the fact of being white doesn't set them up to go to Yale at all. *Those* are the people saying that color should not matter at all. They aren't privileged. They struggle and don't see why they should be put down by those who get to chose between Yale and Harvard.They would like to know that if they managed to do something really hard, something where they were significantly marginal, that they wouldn't get bumped because of their race because there aren't unlimited other opportunities if that happens.
Isn't Wade exactly why AA is bad poicy? When Thomas made the USSC Wade just says, "Meh, he didn't really earn it. He wasn't really qualified."
To the contrary, Thomas is an example of how it works. He's done a great job in a position he would likely never have reached if his appointers had not taken race into account. Thomas was qualified, but he was not the MOST qualified. Still, being qualified is ENOUGH. When you have more qualified people than you have positions, you have to make choices. Having said that, Thomas himself argues against affirmative action on the grounds that affirmative action for some leads to a presumption that all or most members of a minority race achieved their status based on the color of their skin moreso than their merit.However, there's a damn good reason why the U.S. Military, General Motors, former President Gerald Ford, and fifteen Fortune 500 companies filed amicus briefs in favor of the University of Michigan in Gratz v. Bollinger. And for every Clarence Thomas, there are dozens of black leaders who say that, without affirmative action, untold tens of thousands of qualified black applicants would have been denied opportunities that otherwise would have been given to marginally more qualified white candidates who had the benefit of untold additional resources and cultural capital.
Okay, let's say that Yale drops the names of all 7000 equally qualified candidates into a hopper, and blindly draws out 2500 of them. All 2500 are white males. Is that fair?Absolutely. What's unfair about it?I'm not admitting that race was taken into accountNobody cares, Wade. It is a fact that it is taken into account whether you admit it or not. Be thankful we're humoring your silly claim that the average black Yale applicant is as qualified as the average white or Asian one (which is of course ridiculous).
Revenant - Listen to yourself. Sure, you're not racist whatsoever. Your motives for opposing affirmative action are as pure as the driven snow.I have no idea whether the average black applicant to Yale is as qualified as the average white applicant to Yale. Who cares how well qualified the average applicant is? What matters is the quality of the average admitted student, and I promise you that the average admitted African-American student is as qualified as the average white student.
"I promise you that the average admitted African-American student is as qualified as the average white student." How could you possibly know this?
How do you know that they're not? You have no idea what the average African-American Yale undergraduate's qualifications are; you're just generalizing based on racist assumptions. The two black guys who lived next to me went on to become a doctor and an investment banker at Goldman Sachs. I'm sure Tom and Danny will be pleased to know that, in your opinion, they were unqualified.Revenant uses the word "ridiculous." That's not racist? Not even a little bit? Really? Isn't this exactly the "soft bigotry of low expectations that your hero railed against in his past two presidential campaigns?
LOL! I have no way of knowing who is more qualified than whom. Of course, I didn't pretend that I did. I only asked the question to find out if you're a liar, and if your arguments depend on lies. :)
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