April 30, 2012

"But don’t worry, Harvard Law School racked up their identity-group bonus points on the basis of the authoritative evidence of Ms Warren’s family 'lore'..."

"... which surely ought to be good enough for faculty-lounge affirmative-action credits."

Mark Steyn aptly notes.

We were talking about this yesterday, and tmitsss reminded us of the "Dear Prudence" column that we were talking about a couple weeks ago. You remember, the Slate advice columnist Emily Yoffe got a question from a student who wondered whether it was ethical to accept a scholarship that was available only to Hispanic students when, in fact, he had recently learned that he had no Hispanic ancestors. (He was adopted and had a Hispanic surname.)

Yoffe told him:
There is one essential criteria people must meet in order to be considered Hispanic by the U.S. Census Bureau: That’s what they say they are. 
Your say-so makes it so. And there's money in it!
You were raised by a Hispanic father and have his last name. For most of your life you identified yourself as Hispanic. 
So family "lore" is good enough!
On your behalf the “Hispanic” box was checked on the relevant forms. If you want to shed your Hispanic identity, of course you are free to do so. But given your last name, people will still assume that's what you are, even if you are no longer checking the appropriate boxes. This Pew Hispanic Center report shows just how squishy and variable the term “Hispanic” is. I’m confident your college is thrilled to include you in their count of Hispanic students and doesn’t really want to know you may be thinking of yourself as Armenian. 
Your college is thrilled. You and the college, benefiting together... and who is harmed by this thrilling fantasy... this mutual stimulation to self-pleasure....? Let the frottage continue!
Given the price of tuition, a substantial scholarship is a blessing and you should claim it with equanimity.
Claim your blessings! Everybody wins! Not a loser in sight. Ah! Beautiful!

UPDATE: Yoffe links to this post and makes an offensive, inaccurate statement about it.

74 comments:

Tim said...

Affirmative Action is just another left-wing racket.

Some day, more people will figure that out.

In the meantime, we can enjoy the spectacle of Ms Warren using AA to get a job she otherwise would not have got, and then ditching the AA tag because she didn't want her new colleagues discounting her abilities on basis of her being an AA hire.

Gotta love the left wing logic.

Everybody loses! Ah! Ugly!

Rob said...

There you go again, being obnoxious.

mpw said...

So my children should be able to apply for schools and what not as african-american as their mother is a white south african and I am an american. Since there is money in it and they are more african than most african americans, and have the passports to prove it.

Quayle said...

If a person born male can declare that they are in fact female, and derive benefits thereby, then it surely can be no big issue for me to declare myself to be Hispanic.

Tyrone Slothrop said...

When I was at UC in the seventies, one of my high school buddies had a Hispanic surname and got free tuition, room and board. His mother was of Minnesota German stock. His father had been brought to the US from Mexico at the age of four. My friend did not speak Spanish. They owned a successful small business, and made significantly more money than my father-- a teacher-- did. He thought this was fair and that he deserved it.

Tim said...

mpw said...

"So my children should be able to apply for schools and what not as african-american as their mother is a white south african and I am an american. Since there is money in it and they are more african than most african americans, and have the passports to prove it."

Yes, by all means. Your kids will screw other deserving kids out of placements they earned, but the evil of affirmative action has to be gotten rid of, so best to exploit is logical inconsistencies to bring about its end sooner than later. Otherwise, its pernicious effects will continue in perpetuity.

Does anyone here doubt at all that Obama's kids will tick off the "African-American/Affirmative Action" box for all the schools to which they apply?

Ann Althouse said...

Back in the 1980s, I thought affirmative action would self-destruct over this problem.

Who could decently fact-check the applications and weed out the liars? What standard could they use?

Why was I wrong? Is it that the liars and people in a position to fact-check have a mutual interest, and those with a counter-interest aren't close enough to the problem to see it?

Joseph Schmoe said...

Necessary sports injection (too politi-wonky today): This post reminds me of Dennis Green: They were who we thought they were!

Bob Ellison said...

"Back in the 1980s, I thought affirmative action would self-destruct over this problem."

Back then, I thought afirmative-action advocacy would retreat to the only logically consistent harbor: AA (not the Professor) is necessary because it enables the evolution toward a truly color-blind society.

I was woefully naive. The advocates are still just racists and guilty whites.

cubanbob said...

soon enough the harvard business school will be using this as an example of how to trash a brand and blow your goodwill and lose your imputed extra value prestige.

Paul Zrimsek said...

"Fakewoods Casino" will probably sail over the heads of non-New Englanders. Pity.

Tim said...

"Why was I wrong? Is it that the liars and people in a position to fact-check have a mutual interest, and those with a counter-interest aren't close enough to the problem to see it?"

Because it's a politically allocated resource, it fosters political constituencies - both among the providers and the benefit. The providers are happy to have a job to do, and to feel good doing it; the beneficiaries are happy to gain something they didn't earn, and to feel good getting it; the rest of us, like with most things, don't pay enough attention to shine a spot light on the cockroaches.

Tim said...

benefit = beneficiaries.

Pogo said...

The more it is obvious as being complete and utter bullshit, the sooner AA dies.

Immanentize the eschaton!

wyo sis said...

In a perfect world people would run from AA designation with it's attendant baggage, but no one dares actually act on what we all can still think and say privately or anonymously. So AA students and hires are subject to discrimination of a much more pernicious and uncontrollable type. I steer clear of professionals who might have gamed the system. I think most people do. It's been nothing but harmful to the very people it's supposed to help.
It would be interesting to know what would have happened if all the money and time spent trying to fix racism had been used to really educate and uplift instead of just appearing to.
For example what if we'd never had to deal with Elizabeth Warren or Ward Churchill? The cultural dialog would have been that much less excruciating.

traditionalguy said...

The awarding of vendor Contracts at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport has been done under a pretense at "Minority Set Asides " ever since the currentTerminal was built in the 1970s and every Contract had to include a "minority Partner" who shared in the profit but hopefully did NONE work at all.

The fun part is watching the inner group of the City politicos go into a power struggle mode among themselves and start exposing the others attempts to game a system that has always been a game.

The game is to name a Poor and a Minority owner in each bidding entity who are straw men to qualify the pre-selected winners of the bids.

Academia may begin to have its dirty laundry exposed too as the money dries up and the pigs start fighting among themselves for the teats.

I blame Scott Walker.

EDH said...

I see this issue dogging Warren all the way to November. As it should.

Everybody wins! Not a loser in sight. Ah! Beautiful!

The losers not in sight are key to Scott Brown's reelection.

X said...

Dances with Quotas can you see that Barack Obama will always be your friend?

Paddy O said...

Your written equivalent of blather is especially reassuring to me this morning.

William said...

This should be a big story. Some investigative journalist should endeavour to determine what exactly is the nature of her Indian ancestry and what she gained by claiming it. But, like Corzine's missing millions and Blumenthal's distinguished war record, this story will twinkle once and then fade to darkness.....We are all aware of what is significant and moral according to liberals. It is woven into the newscasts, sitcoms, and late night monologues. But unless one actively seeks out the conservative narrative, it just doesn't exist. Warren is a humbug, and Brown posed nude for Cosmopolitan. Which fact will be imbedded in the public mind?

AJ Lynch said...

Re AA, I saw a news story this weekend that reported young whites had much less guilt re racism than older whites. It seems young whites see the results of reverse discrimination as BS.

Skyler said...

Of course your say so is good enough. Much of the definition is cultural and not genetic anyway.

Being 1/2 Portuguese, I ought to claim African heritage since the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula. Who's to say otherwise? I say I'm now a black man.

John said...

I used to teach HR management and quite a bit about AA. The official EEOC compliance manual says that one must accept whatever race someone says they are.

Back in the 80's I wondered if this could really be true and even had a phone conversation with a lawyer at EEOC in DC.

She told me that if I (blond, blue eyed, fair skin) claimed to be black (the preferred word at the time) a prospective employer had to take me at my word. If they had an AA program, they had to let me in.

She did say that I might have trouble proving that I was discriminated against because of my race. I would first have to prove that the employer considered me black.

Ditto other ethnic minorities EXCEPT native American. In order to claim Native American status one was required to be an "enrolled member" of a recognized tribe. No enrollment, minority status.

John Henry

Pogo said...

The smart thing would be to claim a different race every time you sign up for something.

Right now I'm a lesbian who has done a full gender reassignment to a male. Plus I've got black relatives. Top that you mere one gender one race types.

David said...

For years I thought I was Welsh-English. Turns out I'm actually Dutch-English-Irish. A lot of good it does me.

Kirk Parker said...

One of my grandfathers is from Arkansas (which even back in the '20s and '30 was declasse that he always claimed to have been born in Kentucky instead.)

Surely that qualifies me for some kind of third-world-equivalent AA status.

No.....?

Zach said...

Back in the 1980s, I thought affirmative action would self-destruct over this problem.

Who could decently fact-check the applications and weed out the liars? What standard could they use?

Why was I wrong? Is it that the liars and people in a position to fact-check have a mutual interest, and those with a counter-interest aren't close enough to the problem to see it?


Moral censure should play a role. Warren is stealing from two groups here -- the genuinely disadvantaged, and the well meaning majority, who believe that their sacrifices are going to remedy actual wrongs.

"Family lore" or not, Warren passes for 100% white, and so has everyone else in her family for the last four generations. The honorable thing would be to leave the box unchecked.

John said...

Another oddity was Hispanic. It used to be based not on actual ethnicity but on surname.

In the early 80's there was a case where a fellow named John Smith (Or something but not in any part hispanic) legally changed his surname to Jose Jimenez (or some hispanic name) and claimed a preference for hiring by the county.

He was turned down for the preference as not being hispanic. He sued and won because the law at that time required only the name, not the ancestry.

The law was changed shortly thereafter.

As I recall, the case was in suburban Maryland, perhaps Prince Georges or Montgomery county.

I believe that Brazilians still do not qualify as hispanic.

I tried to check in the EEOC compliance manual and find that EEOC website says it is not available electronically. Really?

It used to be. I probably still have a copy kicking around somewhere.

John Henry

Joseph Schmoe said...

Right now I'm a lesbian who has done a full gender reassignment to a male. Plus I've got black relatives. Top that you mere one gender one race types.

Dude (it's dude now, right?), if you're not in the process of adopting a handicapped, minority, bi-curious child, get to the back of the line!

bagoh20 said...

"Why was I wrong?"

Because being a "Racist" is really really bad, and there were no facts that trumped that charge.

Paul Zrimsek said...

They took the whole Chardonnay Nation,
Put us on their application.

Lem said...

Ms Warren’s family 'lore'...
Your say-so makes it so.

From family 'lore' to Hispanic 'lora' (female)... are notorious for repeating what they hear.

edutcher said...

The trick is to be sitting the the right chair when the HR guy comes down the row, counting off minorities, "You'e Hispanic, you're an Apache, you're Samoan...".

Ann Althouse said...

Back in the 1980s, I thought affirmative action would self-destruct over this problem.

Who could decently fact-check the applications and weed out the liars? What standard could they use?


As they said back in the 60s, "We have the Philadelphia Plan (the original name) because we can't take the time, money, and effort to enforce the Civil Rights laws".

Mitchell said...

In a just future, no one will be "proud" to claim Elizabeth Warren as an ancestor.

Joseph Schmoe said...

In a just future, no one will be "proud" to claim Elizabeth Warren as an ancestor.

But they'll still cash the inheritance checks.

Pogo said...

"if you're not in the process of adopting a handicapped, minority, bi-curious child, get to the back of the line!"

Adopt one?

Hell, I am one.
See, I adopted myself, a handicapped, minority, bi-curious child.

I am in fact two people.
Me, the post-op male, and my inner child, the black gay deaf-mute.

He "raises awareness" about bullying.

The Crack Emcee said...

Tony Soprano: "On your application at Columbia, you didn't check 'Jewish,' did ya?"

Noah: "No, they can't ask about religious affiliation."

Tony Soprano: "Oh, right, of course,…what'd you check?"

Noah: "African-American."

Tony: "So we do understand each other here,...?"

I love it. Hey, Ann - as a feminist - did you take advantage of any of that female affirmative-action action?

Carol said...

"The official EEOC compliance manual says that one must accept whatever race someone says they are. "

This must be based on a terribly racist assumption that no one in his right mind would admit to being a minority.

John said...

One other comment from past experience:

In 1980 I was engineering manager at a new pharma plant was was staffing the maintenance dept. One of the positions I was hiring was an instrumentation/calibration tech.

Then as now, they were very hard to hire and I came down to 2 candidates.

One was a woman. No experience in the field but had just come out of a 2 year trade school with an instrumentation speciality. I thought her very well qualified.

The other a man, 10-15 years experience but no formal education in the field.

Also very well qualified.

I was on the fence between them and the HR manager suggested that I hire the woman. "It will make my [his] numbers look better." was his reasoning.

So we hired her because she was a woman.

Had it been the other way round, male grad/experienced female, no doubt we would have hired on experience.

As I say, I would have been happy with either candidate. The woman worked out better than very well. She was fantastic.

But the reason she got the job was partly because she was a woman.

John Henry

John said...

One other comment from past experience:

In 1980 I was engineering manager at a new pharma plant was was staffing the maintenance dept. One of the positions I was hiring was an instrumentation/calibration tech.

Then as now, they were very hard to hire and I came down to 2 candidates.

One was a woman. No experience in the field but had just come out of a 2 year trade school with an instrumentation speciality. I thought her very well qualified.

The other a man, 10-15 years experience but no formal education in the field.

Also very well qualified.

I was on the fence between them and the HR manager suggested that I hire the woman. "It will make my [his] numbers look better." was his reasoning.

So we hired her because she was a woman.

Had it been the other way round, male grad/experienced female, no doubt we would have hired on experience.

As I say, I would have been happy with either candidate. The woman worked out better than very well. She was fantastic.

But the reason she got the job was partly because she was a woman.

John Henry

The Drill SGT said...

Skyler said...
Being 1/2 Portuguese


Tooo bad you can't be Hispanic. All the cool kids are Latino

The Drill SGT said...

Tyrone Slothrop said...
When I was at UC in the seventies,


Cal or one of the rest :)

The irony is that in California, your parents literally could have come from the stone age (Karen, Meo, Hmong, etc), but if you are trying to get into Cal, you are discriminated agaist because you are Asian. The clock has turned back 100 years by the Leftists in charge.

D.D. Driver said...

If citizens aren't allowed to define themselves: who does? Do we let the *government* do it for you? Should a bureaucrat at the US Census settle the question of whether Tiger Woods is black or Asian or something else?

Whether affirmative action or minority scholarships are a good thing is a separate question. But it is generally a good thing that people be allowed to define themselves and their heritage however they damn well please.

The Crack Emcee said...

"It is generally a good thing that people be allowed to define themselves and their heritage however they damn well please."

Sure - define yourself however you please - but, in the end, you're an American first. That's all that truly matters, and colleges ought to get that through those thick, over-educated-to-the-point-of-distraction, skulls of theirs and start acting like it.

I'm from Los Angeles, BTW,...

EDH said...

Paul Zrimsek said...
They took the whole Chardonnay Nation,
Put us on their application.


You have the core of a great song parody.

Chuck66 said...

When I was in grad school, I had a couple of classes with a guy who immigrated from Mexico when he was a youngster. He was quite Americanized and was doing well in business. He received his undergrad at an expense private college. I said I could not afford that place so went to a state school. He replied that because he was born in Mexico, he got half of his tuition for free. He said if he would have been female also, he would have gotten all of it for free.

So because my ancestors came from Norway, I have to pay, even though we have very similiar backgrounds (middle class midwesterns).

Chuck66 said...

Legal question. If I lie about my ancestory to get free stuff, but get caught, I could be punished.

How about the gay thing. If I lie and say I am a Gay-American, how do they prove otherwise? Do I have to dress up like Judy Garland and belt out show tunes?

285exp said...

It is only a good thing for people to be allowed to define themselves and their heritage if they can't gain an advantage over others by doing so. If you're going to claim some AA preference, you should be required to prove you qualify for it.

carrie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chuck66 said...

Good point...when times are good, people overlook these things. But during bad times, the fighting starts.

What happens to the German-American or doesn't have the funds to attend college, but sees a lessor qualified person getting free stuff because her ancestors came from Mexico or Nigeria.

Beldar said...

Prof. Warren's considerable stay as a faculty member at Texas Law School started shortly after I graduated. I was certainly not aware that my alma mater had employed a Cherokee princess, however. Why wasn't that in the fund-raising letters (which I've gotten at monthly, without fail, ever since I graduated in May 1980)?

The truth is that she's a habitual, congenital liar, brought up in a culture of such. Her fraud ought to be career ending. Instead she may be the next junior senator from Massachusetts, understudying that even bigger fraud, John F. Kerry.

The tranquility of Democrats over this prospect generates very uncivil emotions in me.

(THREE attempts required to "prove I'm not a robot." Ridiculous and unfriendly!)

AllenS said...

All liberals are the same. Bill Clinton did whatever he had to do to avoid the draft. Someone else had to be drafted, who was probably poorer and blacker had to take his place. Elizabeth Warren did whatever she thought she had to do to reach her position. Someone else, who was probably more deserving was denied because she took their place.

write_effort said...

You might not agree with EW's politics, but her background is pretty "up by her bootstraps." Coming from OK, there probably is some Cherokee flowing through her veins. She certainly believes so. Now let's talk about when Rubio's parents left Cuba...

Amartel said...

"Being 1/2 Portuguese, I ought to claim African heritage since the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula. Who's to say otherwise? I say I'm now a black man."

I knew a guy in school who did just this exact thing. For real. Seriously. Not joking. He really coveted those AA bonus points. Total lefty, of course. There was a Henry Louis Gates special on PBS where they did DNA testing on some famous people like Meryl Streep and a Desperate Housewife and talked to them about the results. The "Indian" activist refused to have her DNA tested (although they let her spout her lefty nonsense anyway) due to "privacy" concerns.
!!! What stunning development. !!!
Race, like every other topic the left touches, is about gaming the system in favor of the government. If that means a bunch of white lefties get to pretend to be "Indian" or "African" then so be it. Hey, it's not like affirmative-action was ever ultimately about helping minorities. It was definitely never intended to help women.

Steve Koch said...

Before Althouse even kind of criticizes affirmative action, she should admit that she was wrong about affirmative action and apologize for supporting it for so long.

Althouse surely benefited tremendously from affirmative action. She has been and is still in favor of affirmative action (aka race and gender based discrimination). She may be upset about one (of presumably millions) example of abuse of affirmative action but who knows since she does not have the courage to speak clearly.

Amazingly, she still does not get that it is inevitable that people (mostly dems) abuse affirmative action for political and personal gain.

The whole point of affirmative action is to reward members of dem privileged interest groups (PIGs) and punish (think zero sum game) non PIGs (i.e. non dems). Affirmative action is just one more corrupt way to get the gov to buy votes for the dems.

William said...

Well, rich people have their own form of affirmative action. The cynics here will call it nepotism, but a rose by any other name. It's offensive when Chelsea Clinton takes advantage of it, value neutral when Tim Russert's son cashes in, and a positive plus when Dick Cheney's daughter gets a Fox contract. We tend to have a double standarda about our double standards....My point here is that we all use whatever axes and grips that will help us climb the mountain. Life is unfair, and whoever can figure out how to take advantage of its unfairness gets to win the golden prizes. I don't hold any real grudges against either rich kids or poor kids who can figure out how to make it work for them. I do, however, resent rich kids who appropriate the poor kid's food stamp cookies.

Trashhauler said...

I once knew a young man named Timothy O'Shaunessy who obtained is him via adoption when his father was stationed in Korea. Timothy looked...Korean.

Too bad for his case that he did not qualify for AA under his name and further did not qualify by being Asian.

Amartel said...

So affirmative action is like nepotism for poor kids.

Good to know.

Here all this time I thought it was about *equal* opportunity.

Scott M said...

It's offensive when Chelsea Clinton takes advantage of it, value neutral when Tim Russert's son cashes in, and a positive plus when Dick Cheney's daughter gets a Fox contract.

Regardless of the situation, nepotism is normally only regarded as bad if the person that benefited is incompetent at the position acquired. I don't know about Russert and Cheney's cases, but I saw Clinton's awful work. Awful because it was barely passable as crap a newbie field reporter in Paducah, KY might do. Had she waltzed in and blew them away with her abilities, nobody would grumbled about it much.

The Drill SGT said...

write_effort said...
You might not agree with EW's politics, but her background is pretty "up by her bootstraps." Coming from OK, there probably is some Cherokee flowing through her veins


I don't know. I'm the same age she is, and pop didn't buy me an MG to drive to High School.

My first car was 2 years into college and it was an 8 y/o VW Bug. I left for the Army and Vietnam 120 days later.

Steve Koch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rick said...

The "lore" of her Native Americanism will be easily resolved when the state of Hawaii records department cranks up it's photo shop machinery.

Steve Koch said...

William said:
"Life is unfair, and whoever can figure out how to take advantage of its unfairness gets to win the golden prizes. I don't hold any real grudges against either rich kids or poor kids who can figure out how to make it work for them. I do, however, resent rich kids who appropriate the poor kid's food stamp cookies."

Rich kids stealing cookies from poor kids that the poor kids bought with food stamps is probably a very rare event. Maybe what you actually meant is that you don't want rich kids buying cookies with food stamps, that also sounds very unlikely. What did you mean?

BTW, just to make sure that you are clear on the concept, affirmative action based on racial discrimination is all about racial discrimination. So, maybe instead of talking about rich people affirmative action you should be talking about governmental affirmative action that favors whites. Do you have any examples of this?

BTW, are you OK with the government discriminating on the basis of race (i.e. racially based affirmative action) or do you think that should end?

jimspice said...

Race is biological. Ethnicity is cultural. Many commenters seem to be confusing the two.

Scott M said...

Race is biological. Ethnicity is cultural. Many commenters seem to be confusing the two.

Serious biologists find the term "race" as you're using it (frankly, as just about everyone uses it) obstructive.

Donna B. said...

jimspice, that is true. Discrimination because of race or ethnicity is also cultural as is government.

Affirmative action is also cultural, thus for purposes of affirmative action, race might as well be cultural until we all report the results of our DNA tests to the government.

~~~~~~~

To those who think being born in Oklahoma really really increases the odds of having an actual Native American ancestor: nah... not so much. Even finding an ancestor on the Dawes roll is no guarantee of that.

I have lots of aunts, uncles, cousins, a few nephews, and grandchildren who are documented members of several of the tribes in Oklahoma, but I have no Native American ancestry either suspected or documented.

So, I can see how some families might have a lot of Native American "lore" going on and no Native American ancestors.

Penny said...

Elizabeth Warren following in the footsteps of her favorite pop diva, Cherilyn 'Cher' Sarkisian.

Whatever works when there's money involved.

Penny said...

Know who else besides Elizabeth Warren was at Harvard Law School in the 90's?

Ally McBeal!

Amartel said...

great, now i have this visual of Elizabeth Warren wearing a warbonnet and matchy sparkly bikini sitting bareback on a horse singing "Half Breed."

Day: ruined.

AllenS said...

I remember back in the sixties when I used to look at Cher, and she used to make me make a teepee in my pants. She must be an Indian.

Cedarford said...

jimspice said...
Race is biological. Ethnicity is cultural. Many commenters seem to be confusing the two.
========================
Incorrect. Both race and ethnicity have genetic determinants.
Within races, genetic drift soon makes populations that have been in isolation from one another for many generations to be biologically distinguishable - melanin levels, facial and leg bone structure differences, ability to metabolize certain things differently, fat distribution. Even brain function for certain mental/behavior generally having some differences.

100 people would be able to sort out 100 Caucasian strangers who were 50% Pakistani and 50% white Swedes with 99% accuracy.

100 forensic anthropogists would be able to sort out 100 skeletons of 50 Congoloid blacks from 50 Somali blacks with 99% accuracy.

Geneticists can look at 100 Mongoloid race blood samples of 50 Malays and 50 Japs and sort them out with 99% accuracy.

write_effort said...

When I hear female Oklahoman with some NA heritage, I think Carrie Underwood or Kristin Chenoweth. Blondes with good range.

William said...

@Steve Koch: What I was driving at was that Ms. Warren seems to be appropriating the perks of being an Indian without ever suffering or even contemplating the stigmas.

William said...

@Steve Koch: What I was driving at was that Ms. Warren seems to be appropriating the perks of being an Indian without ever suffering or even contemplating the stigmas.