April 24, 2014

Sotomayor's "race-sensitive admissions policies" is not just a euphemism for "affirmative action."

James Taranto notes. It's a euphemism for a euphemism. Which puts Sotomayor on "what cognitive scientist Steven Pinker calls the euphemism treadmill."
A new euphemism is needed because the old one has lost its power to obscure: Its real meaning is too obvious, even though it is unrelated to the literal meanings of either "affirmative" or "action."

Ironically, Sotomayor's new euphemism comes considerably closer than "affirmative action" to being a literal description of the underlying reality. "Admissions policies" is far clearer than "action," and "race-sensitive," unlike "affirmative," at least acknowledges that what's going on has something to do with race.

The word "sensitive" does all the euphemizing work. But it cuts both ways. Defenders of segregation were, in their own way, "sensitive" when it came to race.
"We're all sensitive people," as Marvin Gaye sang in the begging-you-to-do-what-I-want song "Let's Get It On." You're sensitive? Well, I'm sensitive too. He's arguing his case to some woman, whom we can only imagine, a woman who's been resisting his sexual action. She's presumably claimed to be very sensitive. That's why there's that line "We're all sensitive people."

That song is about sex, not race, but you see my point about one side to an argument/conversation making a claim to sensitivity. There's sensitivity all around. We're all sensitive people, with so much to give....

A more common expression than "race-sensitive admissions policies" — and it must be somewhere on that treadmill journey — is "race-conscious admissions policies." Why "sensitive" instead of "conscious"? "Sensitive" connotes feelings of warmth (and irritability), and "conscious" connotes mental clarity and perception. If they're going to talk about when government may take race into account, judges should be speaking about sharply observed and understood facts about the real world. It's called "strict scrutiny" for a reason. "Sensitivity" suggests a more vaguely sourced intuition about how things ought to be, the very stereotypes and prejudicial impulses that strict scrutiny is supposed to preclude.

84 comments:

RecChief said...

This is the kind of crap that conservatives were concerned about when she was proposed for this position. 'Wise' latina indeed.

At least the liberals on the court don't even try to hide their social engineering legislating from the bench any more. The question at hand is whether or not a law is constitutional. If people with her point of view don't like the answer, they need to propose an amendment. There is a mechanism for that. But it takes too long I guess, and "Progress", with a capital P, is impatient.

B said...

Are legal scholars going to scoff at Sotomayor after this dissent? I haven't heard one kind review of its legal merits. Seems nakedly political and pitiful for a supreme court justice.

sykes.1 said...

I suppose that Sotomayor would heartily approve of Western Washington University's President Bruce Shepard plan to actively reduce the number of white students and faculty. Ironically he is white, and his elimination from the administration and faculty would be a good step towards implementing his own policy. The idiots never look in the mirror.

The policies supported by rabid racists like Sotomayor will lead to a real White backlash and the formation of a White Nationalist political party that will actively support White interests.

This country and its politics is about to fragment along racial lines, and our children and grandchildren will live in a different and violent world.

Pogo is Only Mostly Dead said...

"Sensitivity" suggests a more vaguely sourced intuition about how things ought to be..."

Hence the wise Latina selection.

Strict scrutiny is dead, part of the Living Dead Constitution.

You seem unable to grasp this fact, acting repeatedly surprised no matter how many times this happens.


rhhardin said...

Sensitive would be for women, conscious for men.

Tank said...

B said...

Are legal scholars going to scoff at Sotomayor after this dissent? I haven't heard one kind review of its legal merits. Seems nakedly political and pitiful for a supreme court justice.


She got a very nice review from the Attorney General of the United States of America. A true scholar.

MnMark said...

Are legal scholars going to scoff at Sotomayor after this dissent? I haven't heard one kind review of its legal merits. Seems nakedly political and pitiful for a supreme court justice.

Legal merits? Expecting a wise Latina to stick to the legal merits is racist!

Michael K said...

The LA Times thinks she's wonderful. What else ? LA is the illegal capital of the world.

NotquiteunBuckley said...

Well this treadmill euphemism is what I object to.

These euphemisms are kill mills, aka death factories.

Treadmills sit in the corner getting dusty.

SomeoneHasToSayIt said...


Unfortunately, the SC is more and more resembling Macbeth Act I Scene I.

Gahrie said...

A new euphemism is needed because the old one has lost its power to obscure: Its real meaning is too obvious, even though it is unrelated to the literal meanings of either "affirmative" or "action."


Along with:

Liberal (now progressive)
Global warming (Climate change)
Abortion (choice)

and I'm sure there are more.

Peter said...

Are legal scholars going to scoff at Sotomayor after this dissent? I haven't heard one kind review of its legal merits. Seems nakedly political and pitiful for a supreme court justice.

It's all about how I feel, she said. Which is an argument worthy of an overly emotional 13 year-old schoolgirl. Why shouldn't she be ridiculed for it?

bbkingfish said...

"Sensitive" implies an inclination to responsiveness which "conscious" does not. Also, "sensitive" suggests recognition of the need for tact or caution in treatment, where, again, "conscious" does not.

Sotoayor's use of the word "sensitive" rather than "conscious" was appropriate and entirely correct in the case examined. On the other hand, The Professor's analysis takes the early morning prize for Obtuse Bloviation -- Academic Division.

Unknown said...

Good call NotquiteunBuckley "Well this treadmill euphemism is what I object to."

Collecting dirty clothes you are too lazy to take to the washing machine, and new clothes you are too lazy to hang up properly.

MayBee said...

How about "race- weighted" admissions policies?

Tarrou said...

Since "Race Conscious Admissions" is a bit on the nose, can I suggest calling letting dumber blacks into college and excluding smarter asians "Fuzzy Kitten Petting"?

Gets rid of all that messy descriptiveness, while adding to the "candor and openness" of the "discussion", which as we all know, is racist to start with.

Bill, Republic of Texas said...

Blogger B said...
Are legal scholars going to scoff at Sotomayor after this dissent?

No because they are not scholars but political. Sotomayor's opinion has lite up my liberal friends like the fake Indian did with her you didn't build it speech. She's now a hero to the libs.

Jane the Actuary said...

Well, yes. I said this yesterday. But it's a good catch that "race-sensitive" is actually less euphemistic than "affirmative action"! Funny how "race-sensitive" could be applied to maximum limits on Asians, too.

I have half a mind to look at her opinion further, because it seems to me that part of the claim in defense of "race-sensitivity" is that an explicit quota or a specified number of "extra points" for blacks isn't OK, but that arbitrary and capricious admission of black students based on intangibles in their personal essay is, so that, given an essay of overcoming hardship, the hardship of the black kid "counts" more. Or am I misreading and it's still all about the extra points?

MartyH said...

The public could never get "race sensitive" policies right-they will be too sensitive, not sensitive enough, sensing the wrong thing, etc. Justice Sotomayor, though, would be wise enough to figure it out and tell us what the right answer is.

richard mcenroe said...

"Quotas" is an even more accurate term, and has the advantage of reflecting the fact that none of this has jack to do with the benefit of the students and everything with making white liberal activists and "academics" feel better about themselves.

F said...

Ah yes, a "more vaguely sourced intuition". Isn't that what the Wise Latina was offering us from the outset?

Larry J said...

The policy of racial discrimination to prevent discrimination is like the famous quote during the Vietnam War: "We had to destroy the village in order to save it."

Rumpletweezer said...

Read an opinion written by Sotomayor, then read an opinion written by Clarence Thomas. One of them belongs on the court, and the other one doesn't.

Anthony said...

Side note - the woman Marvin Gaye was singing to was more likely saying she wanted a sensitive man, not that she herself was so sensitive.

I find it hard to believe that anyone could believe that federal law barring discrimination by race would preclude state laws barring discrimination by race.

EDH said...

Damn, Althouse, that was an excellent logical take-down.

Brando said...

Why not just call it the "Final Solution to Our Race Problems"? That should be enough of a euphamism to avoid offense.

The Crack Emcee said...

Enslaved woman Mandy Cooper was not quick enough churning milk, and thus her mistress had no butter to serve her party along with the cornbread and biscuits. Cooper's mistress and her two guests—all women—then set upon Moore and "beat me from angah." Moore's mistress grabbed a heavy board. Another friend grabbed a whip.

Whites are such a kind and reasonable people.

Boy, life sure was great before white folks got nice enough to free us into their OTHER ways of thinking.

Slavery, or listening to American whites lie to themselves, while talking about minorities like we don't know who whites REALLY are?

Life with whites is Hell, no matter what blacks do,….

richard mcenroe said...

Yo, Crack, it;s 2014 now. Except in Crackland where every day is 1860.

By the way what lessen were we supposed to take from the bad behavior of the Democrats in your story?

Tank said...

Hey Crackster, there are plenty of all, or almost all, black countries on this earth. Go live there and enjoy.

Which are the all black countries you prefer to the US?

Illuninati said...

Crack Emcee said:
"Slavery, or listening to American whites lie to themselves, while talking about minorities like we don't know who whites REALLY are?

Life with whites is Hell, no matter what blacks do,…."

Hatred is not good for blacks or whites.

From my experience, I suspect that this statement is based on ideology rather than fact. In many cases blacks are better off living in white majority countries than they are in black majority countries. That is why so many blacks are struggling to emigrate to the USA, Europe, and Israel. If life with whites really were hell as Crack claims, then the pattern of emigration would be the other direction.


Real American said...

"Racial spoils system" is my preferred euphemism, but Taranto is correct - all the euphemisms do is obscure what is going on - racial discrimination.

And this sensitivity language is just more bullshit. They're fucking racists and they don't want to admit it. It's as if the Jim Crow Democrats (redundant, I know) had race sensitive drinking fountains, race sensitive lunch counters and race sensitive voting laws. They're trying to hide what they're doing because they know it is WRONG. The left will never be honest because they can't be. They need to LIE.

Again, that's why Roberts was wrong. There may be people of good faith on both sides of this debate, but the radical left is not, and never will, argue in good faith. They have far too much to lose - their racial spoils system and the power that comes with it - to do that. they're like those Jim Crow Democrats in the past. They'll lie, cheat and steal and do whatever they can to keep their racial spoils system going, and that needs to be pointed out at every fucking turn.

persiflage mahal said...

". If a slave murdered his master, all the master’s slaves could be legally executed; four hundred slaves were put to death when one master was murdered. Stocks or leg irons have been found at a number of farms outside Pompeii. At one villa human leg-bones were found in shackles, suggesting that the fettered slaves had been unable to escape when Vesuvius erupted, and had died where they lay.

When slaves did attempt to escape, bands of slave hunters were employed to hunt them down. Recaptured slaves were branded with the letter ‘F’ for fugitives and were required to wear iron collars"

Gotta agree with Crack. When my ancestors were slaves, white folks treated them like, well, slaves.

Lucid said...

Took me just a couple queries to find where the quote came from, Crack Emcee.

I was going to comment on your comment, but why bother?

Brando said...

Tank, wasn't that the same attorney general that pushed through the Marc Rich pardon?

Brando said...

Crack, you seem to have a point, if only you would make it.

EDH said...

The Crack Emcee said...
Whites are such a kind and reasonable people.

Boy, life sure was great before white folks got nice enough to free us into their OTHER ways of thinking.

Slavery, or listening to American whites lie to themselves, while talking about minorities like we don't know who whites REALLY are?

Life with whites is Hell, no matter what blacks do,….
4/24/14, 9:54 AM


I just posted that in case Crack realized how racist his comment is and decided to delete it.

Tank said...

@Brando

Why yes it is.

Saint Croix said...

Sotomayor's "race-sensitive admissions policies" is not just a euphemism for "affirmative action." It's a euphemism for a euphemism.

Yes, that's right. We've always had these polite code words. Why? Because this regime is dividing us into breeds, as if we are dogs. Free will is denied.

Under affirmative action, we are all dogs. And the poodles have a right to go hunting. And the golden retrievers have a right to sit in our lap.

And Justice Roberts, bless his heart, is worried that the poodles are going to have low self-esteem on their hunting trip.

The fundamental objection to this argument--the reason that liberals feel the need to hide what they are saying--is that we are not dogs. It is inappropriate to divide humanity into breeds and make these rigid classifications. It's ugly to talk about pure breeds and mutts when it comes to human beings, is it not?

This whole sensitivity project is to cover up how biological Sotomayor's worldview is. She has to be super-polite because it's so damn biological.

George said...

I'd argue this is not a case of replacing euphemisms. Clearly the phrase "race-sensitive" is much LESS euphemistic than affirmative action. I think this this really reflects a much greater willingness on the part of people from the left to discuss policy effects in phrases that are more racially charged.

Dr Weevil said...

persiflage mahal:
Roman runaway slaves were not just branded with F, they were branded on the forehead, often with FUG for fugitivus. (Granted that FUG sounds nastier in English than it would have to a Roman.) When a free man wore his hair long in front, hanging over his eyes, his friends would suspect that he was not just an ex-slave, but an ex-slave who had been branded for running away. We also hear of Roman freedmen embarrassed by the scars of the shackles on their ankles showing that they had not only been slaves, but had been untrusted slaves, locked up by their suspicious masters.

David said...

We had over a century of race sensitive admission policies with minimum official interference. Most colleges were pretty much whites only. It has always seemed to me that is a better argument for "affirmative action" than the bullshit diversity justification. I don't know enough about the history of the case law to say whether that argument was tried and rejected, or just ignored.

The problem with that approach of course is that it allows a present discrimination to make up for a past one. This makes it a very hard sell, politically and constitutionally.

But there's no doubt that there was, and still is, an imbalance in educational opportunity, with minority kids in large cities getting the particularly short end of the stick. To put it bluntly, lots of inner city schools suck. Until we address and solve that issue, we are going to be stuck with this push and pull on "racial sensitivity" in school admissions and other areas.

I see little sign that the society as a whole is willing to make this a huge national priority. We need a space program-Marshall Plan type of mentality. Even the first black president has been content with the same old crap (in my opinion because he does not want to take on the unions and hold the educational establishment accountable.)

And yes the "black community" has a responsibility to look hard at their own attitudes as part of this. I just don't agree with singling that group out. Our despair about being able to solve these issues is pervasive all along the line.

cubanbob said...

"Sensitive" implies an inclination to responsiveness which "conscious" does not. Also, "sensitive" suggests recognition of the need for tact or caution in treatment, where, again, "conscious" does not."

Apparently some people conflate a reflex with reflection.

William said...

Should we be more race sensitive with blacks than Latinos? Do women get extra sensitivity points? How about East Indians? If they come from a low caste do they get more points than those from a Brahmin background? Is it fair to allow blacks with straight hair and light complexions the same number of sensitivity points as darker blacks?......We all want to be sensitive but it's difficult to gauge just how much sensitivity to apply in each individual case. We need a Federal Bureau of Standards to determine each person's maximum allowed sensitivity.

B said...

Interpreting the law dispassionately without regard for Crack's feelings is clearly a microaggression.

President-Mom-Jeans said...

If you want to see proof that affirmative action is a failure, read an opinion written by the wise latina.

Or, you could just pick anything the clown in charge of the executive branch is fucking up at that moment.

Or you could read this very blog.

Michael said...

There is an easy solution to all of this. Issue every child a college degree from the college of their parents' choice at birth. Do away with mandatory education entirely. Let those who are eager to learn attend publicly funded schools up to and including college. Let them go wherever they wish with tuition required only at the college level. Pay to learn at that point. No degrees to be earned. Stay as long or as little a time as they wish. Enter the workplace when and where they like. Everyone will have the advantage of the college degree. Those who elect to study will have the non-credentialed advantage of knowing something.





Marshal said...

David said...
To put it bluntly, lots of inner city schools suck. Until we address and solve that issue, we are going to be stuck with this push and pull on "racial sensitivity" in school admissions and other areas.

I see little sign that the society as a whole is willing to make this a huge national priority. We need a space program-Marshall Plan type of mentality.


This ignores that the Marshall Plan mentality has already been tried and found ineffective.

But David is right that educational race preferences are an attempt to equalize outcomes without addressing education itself. Education itself is unreformable because it is primarily a Democratic Party political base and funding institution, and ultimately that function is more important to a majority of Democrats (including black Democrats) than education is.

Anglelyne said...

David: To put it bluntly, lots of inner city schools suck. Until we address and solve that issue, we are going to be stuck with this push and pull on "racial sensitivity" in school admissions and other areas.

I see little sign that the society as a whole is willing to make this a huge national priority. We need a space program-Marshall Plan type of mentality.


Double facepalm.

Michael said...

David wrote:"
But there's no doubt that there was, and still is, an imbalance in educational opportunity, with minority kids in large cities getting the particularly short end of the stick. To put it bluntly, lots of inner city schools suck. Until we address and solve that issue, we are going to be stuck with this push and pull on "racial sensitivity" in school admissions and other areas."

But why do these inner city schools "suck?" Are we asserting that the mainly minority teachers are bad, that they do not know or wish to convey their subjects? Or both? Do aging classrooms make it impossible to learn?

There is a meme that the inner city schools are bad and the usual reasons for that are left pretty vague. If we are going to "address and solve" the problem we might also consider whether the problem can be solved with different or better teachers (begging the question of what is wrong with the current teachers), more money (per student expenditures will probably disappoint if sought as an excuse), and so forth. Most of these dodge the students themselves as the "problem."

mtrobertsattorney said...

And what about those of us whose ancestors were Roman slaves?

Michael said...

Crack, running out of ideas in the execution of his long con has taken to cribbing from a public writer who both thinks and writes better than Crack. Originality, as we have observed, is not the strong suit of TCE. The lack of attribution is to be expected, of course, as is the inapplicability of the quote to the topic at hand, a topic on which he has not written a word himself. The topic interferes with the narrative and, most importantly, the long con.

Tank said...

President-Mom-Jeans said...

If you want to see proof that affirmative action is a failure, read an opinion written by the wise latina.

Or, you could just pick anything the clown in charge of the executive branch is fucking up at that moment.

Or you could read this very blog.


Trying to figure out your last example. Althouse started a blog. She figured out how to do it and blogs everyday herself. She's attracted wide attention for a one person blog. How has she benefitted brom AAction? I hope you're not going to tell me she got her various jobs because of her female parts; you better do some research first.

The Crack Emcee said...

EDH,

"I just posted that in case Crack realized how racist his comment is and decided to delete it."

Because I'm so well-known for deleting what I say, right, Mr. Delusional? Like all the rest, you make shit up, feel satisfied for resolving it in your own mind. Big Man. Make sure to catch me in the act now, you hear? I've been reeeeal slippery so far, you know.

I swear, with you guys, it's like, every day, I get a front row seat for witnessing "The Paranoid Strain" of conservatism.

"Enslaved woman Alice Shaw was given the task of fanning flies and clearing the dinner table. When she dropped a dish, her mistress 'beat her on her head.'"

It's been that (the kind of regular centuries-old occurrence which has had no effect on how blacks feel about whites because blacks having feelings beyond a muddle-headed NewAge "happiness" would be racist) or we can be being bandied about - "intellectually" (snicker) - by whites who can't admit the country owes blacks reparations, because then they'd also have to admit they're assholes. It's a real pickle.

A Marshall Plan?

I'd suggest whites trying adopting a Fairness Doctrine instead,...

The Crack Emcee said...

Michael,

"There is a meme that the inner city schools are bad and the usual reasons for that are left pretty vague."

"Slavery" and "Jim Crow" and "white supremacy" and "white racism" and "white privilege" are vague?

Learn something new every day,...

The Crack Emcee said...

mtrobertsattorney said...

"And what about those of us whose ancestors were Roman slaves?"

I'd suggest you take your plight up with Rome,...

cubanbob said...

But why do these inner city schools "suck?" Are we asserting that the mainly minority teachers are bad, that they do not know or wish to convey their subjects? Or both? Do aging classrooms make it impossible to learn? "

Bad incentives. Condition welfare and unemployment benefits to passing standarized tests and holding a job for several years before eligibility and the incentives change.

paul a'barge said...

Marvin Gaye's point was this:
"We're all sensitive people. Fine and dandy. Acknowledged. Affirmed. Now. Get those panties off."

tim in vermont said...

"We need a Federal Bureau of Standards to determine each person's maximum allowed sensitivity."

Yes, been suggested many times, the Handicapper General.

persiflage mahal said...

"And what about those of us whose ancestors were Roman slaves?"

Which is virtually everybody of Western European ancestry, barring the purely Scandanavian perhaps. Ironically, Africans who have (voluntarily)immigrated to this country may have less of a history of ancestral enslavement than the white folks.

Dave Schumann said...

@EDH -- hahahaha. H's perfectly happy being a racist. Look how much attention he gets! The macho racist who's impressed the law professor with his macho racism. Got a pretty good thing going, why would he question it?

Nothing more macho than muttering about dead people and begging for money.

Saint Croix said...

To put it bluntly, lots of inner city schools suck.

Vouchers. School choice. Charter schools.

Private school teachers make less--often far less--than public school teachers. And they do a better job.

Your complaint is a complaint about government schools, government unions, and government bureaucracy. The worst school systems are always run by Democrats. Washington D.C. is a prime example, with all the government officials sending their children to private schools. It's a joke and a disgrace.

There have been some liberal voices in the media who have attacked the unions. We need more of that, a lot more.

Dr Weevil said...

Just a reminder for those who missed it a few months ago: M.C. ButtCrack, who complains about others who would "also have to admit they're assholes" if they ever agreed with him, also thinks that those who disagree with him deserve to have their mothers raped by black men. Will he ever admit that only an asshole could have written that, and only someone way beyond ordinary levels of podicity (assholicity) could have doubled down when called on it? All signs point to no.

Michael said...

Crack Emcee:
"Slavery" and "Jim Crow" and "white supremacy" and "white racism" and "white privilege" are vague?

Yes, as explanations for poorly performing inner city schools. Not only vague but not particularly helpful. Slavery and Jim Crow no longer exist in this country. White Supremacy is a scare phrase that is meaningless as a reason for the current under performance of inner city schools which are largely filled with minority teachers and led by school administrators that are, in Atlanta as an example, African American and answering to a city administration that is led by African Americans. "White Priviledge" is another sloppy catch-phrase that does not absolve the user from thinking that the listener or reader might wonder what is meant by it in the context of poorly performing inner city schools that may or may not be filled with minority students.

So slinging around lazy slogans doesn't much add to the very real problem about coming up with ideas about inner city schools.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dave Schumann,

"Nothing more macho than muttering about dead people and begging for money."


My GOD, you sound like an idiot. Say that before a group of blacks and you'd be laughed out of existence but here - amongst your white "brothers" - you're a fucking historical genius.

You've got me confused with Cliven Let-Me-Tell-You-About-The-Negro Bundy.

Go on - tell another lie you believe,...

Larry Nelson said...

To those who value true equality, she has really soiled herself on this one.
But then again, the audience she is playing for thinks she deserves an Academy Award.

George said...

"We had over a century of race sensitive admission policies with minimum official interference. Most colleges were pretty much whites only. It has always seemed to me that is a better argument for "affirmative action" than the bullshit diversity justification. I don't know enough about the history of the case law to say whether that argument was tried and rejected, or just ignored."

Tried and rejected in Bakke.

Dave Schumann said...

Crack, this is going to blow your mind, but in a situation where I was speaking to a group of black people, I wouldn't assume that all of them are obsessed with slavery and reparations.

David said...

By Marshall Plan mentality, I mean the notion that the effort is of primary importance to the society, above all else. That was Marshall's primary insight. He understood that without the requisite aid, Europe would collapse, and that we needed to make assistance to Europe an effort that would not fail.

We have thrown quite a bit of money at urban education, but it has not been effective money. I believe that's because it's conscience money (a liberal specialty but not without conservative support in the right circumstance.) Conscience money is spending so you can feel like you are doing something, when in fact you are ignoring the conditions that make the spending ineffective.

In this case, the items ignored include teacher quality and accountability, administrative accountability, jobs and opportunities, drugs, violence, parental support (both support of parents and by parents), lack of expectations of the children and a host of other intangible but important matters.

The educational conditions that prevail in many urban school systems would never be tolerated in a white community. Never.

DS said...

Speaking of slavery, reparations, and affirmative action -- there are Chinese (primarily) families that have been here in California for 130+ years. They were brought here on what looked a lot like slave ships and worked in what looked a lot like slavery.

Do I need to go on?

Michael said...

David:
"The educational conditions that prevail in many urban school systems would never be tolerated in a white community. Never."

How to explain, then, the sorry state of urban school systems in jurisdictions where the teachers, the union, the administration and the city government is largely African American?

I would agree that anybody with any money to be able to flee these school systems that gives one hoot about their kids does so. Black or white, Asian or Latin. They move to better districts.

We cannot solve problems with pius beliefs, we have to have solutions that often involve very unpleasant choices beginning with addressing culture.

Saint Croix said...

The educational conditions that prevail in many urban school systems would never be tolerated in a white community. Never.

We're not going to see improvement until black people start voting Republican in serious numbers. Both parties have special interest groups that require them to vote a certain way, on certain issues.

Democrats have black people--who always vote Democrat--and union money. Union money is extremely important to Democrats.

The black vote is seen as automatic (hence not worthy of attention). And if black people stop voting, the Democrat simply talks up how racist Republicans are, a game that our media is happy to play.

This is why issues of extreme importance to black people are not addressed, let alone resolved.

Saint Croix said...

By Marshall Plan mentality, I mean the notion that the effort is of primary importance to the society, above all else.

I appreciate that clarification, by the way.

I think a lot of Republicans recoil at the idea of a national plan for education. They don't like centralizing authority. They want education to be a local issue. Getting involved with your PTA is a Republican solution, not some master plan from Washington D.C.

On the other hand, a Republican could really shake things up by making Republican arguments (school choice, vouchers, charter schools) at the national level, and promising to take on the Democrat party and their corrupt ties to unions.

Because the Democrats have no new ideas to try, only more money for bad teachers who can't be fired.

You have lots of minority kids who have been denied opportunities, by Democrats. There are a whole bunch of media stories here, and people have a lot of passion about their kids.

A Republican who wants to play hardball should take advantage of this, and really smack the Democrats on this issue.

I think a Republican President who made education his (or her) #1 priority would really upset the status quo.

John Constantius said...

"Moron" becomes "retarded" becomes "mentally handicapped" becomes "special needs" becomes... whatever it is nowadays.

Regardless, each euphemism eventually becomes a stigma, because people eventually figure out what the words mean, and the cold hard facts are that human society doesn't think good thoughts about what those words mean.

Sotomayor can try to relabel affirmative action as much as she wants, but people will eventually figure out that the new words actually mean "affirmative action", and those new words will eventually develop the same level of social disapproval and distaste.

You can call shit a diamond, but that don't make it so.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dave Schumann,

"Crack, this is going to blow your mind, but in a situation where I was speaking to a group of black people, I wouldn't assume that all of them are obsessed with slavery and reparations."

Yeah, but if you did - which I know you haven't because racists don't talk to blacks - you'd find out pretty quick how delusional you are.

One of the most delusional parts of Bundy’s musing was the phrase “having a family life.” A great moral crime of slavery was depriving people of family. There was family love, because that can’t be defeated, but it was often violated. Slaves were denied the sovereignty of family ties. Your children might be sold, and you’d never see them again. You might be raped, and not choose who the father of your children would be. Sexual violence had a broad brutality. The pattern of your life was set by the rhythm of someone else’s family—a death that broke up an estate or a marriage that turned your daughter into someone else’s wedding gift. And the great moral delusion of slave owners was that these transactions and acts of brutality built one big family household, simply by calling an old slave Auntie or Uncle.

Why ARE black people the way you made us?

And why DIDN'T white people do their own work?

It's a pickle,...

Dr Weevil said...

M.C. ButtCrack has apparently never heard that slave-owners were only about 5% of the population of the U.S. when the Civil War began, so the other 95% were in fact doing their own work or paying good money to have others work for them. (The numbers are easily available: Northern whites outnumbered Southern whites by nearly 4:1 - 21 million vs 5.5 million, and only 1/4 or 1/5 of the Southern whites owned even one slave.) Actually, he has heard this, because we've explained it to him before. Too bad he's unteachable in his ignorance.

Marshal said...

David said...
In this case, the items ignored include teacher quality and accountability, administrative accountability, jobs and opportunities, drugs, violence, parental support (both support of parents and by parents), lack of expectations of the children and a host of other intangible but important matters.


These reforms aren't ignored, they are blocked by Democrats often with the full support of Black parents.

Kansas City said...

I sort of feel sorry for Sontomayer.

On the one hand, she has played the system to great fame and achievment, including no doubt, contributing much hard work in the process. She pretty clearly has been bothered for a long time with the affirmative action related feeling expressed in her opinion as "I don't belong here" and perceived "snickers" and slights. She probably feels it with some regularity on the Supreme Court. Now, as a single and pehaps lonely woman uncomfortable on the Court, she writes a long screed in defense of affirmative action that will never be viewed with any respect as a work of legal scholarship. Almost certainly, it will be the most famous thing she ever does as a justice -- forever linked with affirmtive action.

I suppose fame and occasional power (in those rare instances where she is the deciding vote) are rewarding, but I sense there may be an emptiness there.

As to the "race sensitive admissions policies" effort, I also find that somewhat sad. She struggled to come up with something to help in an rebranding effort, and I suppose for a while it will be picked up by lefties, but it almost certainly will not supplant affirmative action. It also is a poorly thought out rebranding attempt -- it is too close to the truth. It conveys what is actually happening - racial preferences. It is better for the lefties to hide the truth under affirmative action and diversity. I know in some circles she will forever be hailed as a courageous hero but even she must see through the shallowness of such acclaim from fellow travelers. Is any objective person likely ever to find her to have a superior intellect or other great achieement on the court?

Moneyrunner said...

Ann must have penned this racist screed before the Bundy comments were made public.

CWJ said...

Kansas City,

I can feel sorry for say a Stephen Jobs if I felt like it. No matter his wealth and personal quirks, he could never make me buy an I-pad if I didn't want to.

I can't feel sorry for someone with the arbitrary power to affect my life and that of the nation for the next thirty years if they are working through their personal issues on the bench.

Saint Croix said...

If Mitt Romney was a better politician, he would have said, "I like to fire bad teachers."

Saint Croix said...

Very good article in The Atlantic about Sotomayor's dissent.

Conor Friedersdorf is an awesome journalist. He's a liberal, but he doesn't rely on his ideology. He's rigorous about facts and he's open-minded.

I know he's like this because he wrote about Kermit Gosnell. Three times! (here and here and here).

Now he is criticizing Sotomayor for her social science assumptions.

And his article is filled with respect for the amount of knowledge he does not have. "I don't know," he says, more than once. "I don't know, I don't know."

That's his approach to journalism. He doesn't approach it with an ideology, with a pre-formed opinion in his mind. "I don't know" is his starting point. "I don't know and I want to find out."

Brilliant. I love this guy.

Saint Croix said...

Democrats have black people--who always vote Democrat--and union money.

This sentence (my sentence!) made me wince. There are black people who vote Republican, of course. I don't know what the number is.

My sentence is based on a lazy assumption, which in turn is based on polling data.

And polls rely on their own shaky assumptions. Polling companies assume that if they talk to 1000 black people, they know what 10 million black people think. The humanist in me screams out, "No you don't!"

This faith in numbers, this certainty that human beings can be reduced to numbers and quantified by numbers, annoys me. I object to this idea that we know things that we don't actually know. (For instance, how black people you haven't met think!)

The pollster's willingness to divide humanity into races, and then give voting data based on a tiny percentage of how a race of people vote, relies on racial assumptions.

For instance, this should not be a news story. But it is. Why? We all "know" how black people vote, and how they think.

(Stacey Dash is awesome. Not just because I agree with her politically, but because she pays such a huge price for what she says).

One thing individuals can do is attack the census for recording racial data (why?) and the pollsters for recording racial data (why?) and maybe also this idea that our political registrations have to be public (why?)

There was a time when black unity was really important, and political conformity was helpful for people with black skin.

Now I think political conformity is hurting black people, both the individuals who refuse to conform (e.g. Stacey Dash), but also ironically the people who do conform. As long as the Democrats own your vote, they will take your vote for granted.

Saint Croix said...

Tim Scott won in Strom Thurmond's old district in South Carolina. He defeated Strom Thurmond's son in the Republican primary. It was a wipeout, 68% to 32%.

That's an amazing story.

Let me tell you about Charleston. I lived in Charleston for six months in 1992. I was trying to get into the University of South Carolina law school, so I established residency there. And I was working in the mailroom of a law firm.

I was astounded by how racist some of the white people were.

I grew up in North Carolina, white people did not talk that way. You would pay a price, among white people, for racist comments. But in Charleston, in a law office, people were dropping N bombs and saying vile stuff.

Not the lawyers. Lawyers are too lawyerly to say racist things out loud, in a workplace. But the children of lawyers, some of the administrative assistants, people who run their mouth.

I lost my temper, called one of the guys in the mailroom a Nazi poster boy. (I run my mouth, too, you might have noticed).

I was not punished or anything like that. In fact one of the partners invited me to his house for a big oyster shucking party. Other people from the mailroom were not invited.

I didn’t know the guy, I wasn’t sure why I was invited. Maybe he wanted to see if I was liberal reporter for the New York Times or something.

And I should add there was a lot of racial animosity from black people, too. I would get hostile stares from people on the street. (What did I do?).

One time when I was walking home drunk from a bar, three black kids hit me over the head with a bottle of Night Train. I chased them, and they ran. They were all smaller than I was. I was yelling at them, calling them all the non-racial insults I could think up. “Motherfucker,” for instance. I wanted to keep it non-racial.

Anyway this old black guy asked me if I was all right. I was touched by that, by his concern.

One of the secretaries, who was older than me but I flirted with her anyway, she said, “You’re not a racist?” I’m paraphrasing, I don’t remember exactly. But she was surprised or amused that I was not a racist. Apparently after I lost my shit in the mail room, I had become the object of gossip. I got invited to oyster shucking parties.

Anyway, I said, "You're a racist?" I was incredulous. She was such a nice person. And she said she was, and asked if I was shocked. And I told her I was disappointed. And I was.

I am genuinely happy that a black guy won Strom Thurmond’s old district, in Charleston.

The Crack Emcee said...

Dr Weevil,

"M.C. ButtCrack has apparently never heard that slave-owners were only about 5% of the population of the U.S. when the Civil War began, so the other 95% were in fact doing their own work or paying good money to have others work for them."

Which is how the White House got built - sure,....