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Thursday, April 24, 2014

"Sotomayor's demeaning views on race"

The NY Post has an editorial this morning about Sonia Sotomayor's dissent from the Supreme Court's recent ruling on the Michigan voters' right to determine whether race should be a factor in admissions to public universities. The editorial mostly talked about how affirmative action contributes to "the soft bigotry of low expectations."

Yes, that is a side effect of affirmative action, although I see the issue primarily as one of fairness. (I do think an individual's economic background should be taken into account by admissions officers, but that's a separate issue.)

In any case, the most interesting part of the editorial was the following:

For Sotomayor, of course, affirmative action is personal. She’s said she believes she got into Princeton and Yale Law because of affirmative action, disclosing once that “my test scores were not comparable to that of my colleagues at Princeton or Yale.”

It’s what came afterward, when a big law firm came recruiting at Yale, that is more revealing. One partner in the firm asked her, “Would you have been admitted to the law school if you were not a Puerto Rican?”

Sotomayor didn’t react well, lodging a complaint with Yale. The firm had to apologize to the university, lest it lose its coveted right to recruit at the nation’s top law school.

But what on earth did Sotomayor expect? What else did she think could possibly result from racial preferences?

This is a dynamic we see all the time. The proponents of affirmative action insist on a dual set of standards, a higher one for whites and Asians and a lower one for blacks and Hispanics, regardless of any of their economic backgrounds. Yet, with those different standards in place, they consider it the height of bad manners to suggest that anybody actually benefitted from them. 

In fact, they act as if anyone who suggests this is downright evil. 

Doesn't that create a bit of cognitive dissonance? 

Sotomayor's logical disconnect certainly makes it easy to see why her SAT's and LSAT's were subpar. 


Glen Filthie said...

Yes to all that John.

But, there is another aspect to this. I shall phrase it bluntly as I have no use for political correctness:

If there is a sizeable and growing segment of your population that is of sub par intellect and ability...should they not have leaders of similar sub par intelligence to represent them?

Thunk of another way: Whites and Asians find it culturally acceptable to discriminate against stupidity and dishonesty. If stupidity and dishonesty are considered artforms among certain ethnic cultures, isn't it democratic that their politics reflect that?


Sure, I'll have another beer, thanks...

John Craig said...

Glen --
But we already have that system in place: look at the mayors of so many of our big cities. In fact, look at the current resident of the White House -- an this Attorney General.

jova said...

Justice Sotomayor is an embarrassment.

The ruling does not even end Affirmative action in Michigan. It only eliminates affirmative action at Public Universities, while the private school are still free to discriminate based on race

She attended Princeton, a private school which would not be effected by this ruling, yet she acts as if the ruling outlaws affirmative action and would have kept her out of Princeton.

I applaud the decision by the Supreme Court. States should have the ability to outlaw racial discrimination in Public institutions.

Anonymous said...

i could understand why some people supported affirmative action for Black Americans, because of the history of Jim Crow laws etc...

But I never understood why we had affirmative action for Hispanics. They were never a target of Jim Crow laws, and most of them came after 1960.. no one forced them to come here.

when I was in college I dated 2 hispanic girls. The first one had a wealthy father who was a doctor and emigrated from Peru to America in the 60s. She was born in 1971. She benefited from affirmative action, but was very upset they placed her in the Latina dorm. She complained to me how she had nothing in common with the Mexicans and puerto ricans she was forced to live with. She despised the lower class hispanics and only dated middle class whites. I learned a lot from her, but she failed out of school. She was pre-med , she wanted to be a doctor like her father, but partied too much.

The other girl was Cuban, both her parents came to America in 1959. Her father was a dentist. She was smart, and would have easily been accepted to our university, but she was given a scholarship thanks to the hispanic classification. Affirmative action probably hurt her, since she did not need it to get into a good college, but the stigma of affirmative action will always be attached to her.

My wife would be considered hispanic also, but considers herself white. She emigrated to America when she was 24 years old from Chile, and was confused by the "hispanic" category. When our kids were born she refused to let them label our children as hispanic. Hopefully Affirmative action will end before they attend college, although my children would never be mistaken for hispanic (as they have Irish names and blue eyes)

John Craig said...

Jova --
You are completely right. The Supreme Court didn't even rule on affirmative action, only on states' rights. And yes, Sotomayor is an embarrassment.

Anon --
Well, I think I have a bead on your taste in women….

I couldn't agree with you more about affirmative action and Hispanics. As far as blacks go, to the extent that the legacy of slavery and Jim Crow hurt them, that would be reflected in their personal economic backgrounds; so if they're poor, that should be taken into account. But if they're middle class, there's no reason they should have a leg up over middle class white kids.

Those are interesting stories, thanks. I've known a few Hispanic women, and their attitudes were not dissimilar to the ones you describe. a couple of them were liberal, but a couple were proud to the point of being snobby, and didn't like the fact that they were lumped in with elements they considered low class.

europeasant said...

"But we already have that system in place: look at the mayors of so many of our big cities. In fact, look at the current resident of the White House -- an this Attorney General."

You forgot the Homeland Security leader!

Pretty soon we will be surrounded if this keeps up.

John Craig said...

Euro --
It's funny, you never hear much about him. Looking at his resume, he seems to be cut from a different mold than Obama and Holder. I'm sure he's basically liberal, otherwise he would never have been picked, but still…..

Anonymous said...

John, great blog. It's a classic scenario whereby they graciously (or arrogantly, whatever) accept societies gifts of, basically, reparations, then are offended if asked the truth. I guess my IQ is just not high enough to understand something that most folks seem to have no problem with. Thanks, Brian

John Craig said...

Thank you Brian, you understand perfectly.

arthur thurman said...


Are you familiar with Fred Reed and his musings on race relations in America? He has a great website with archived entries going way back. On another note about race, I'm not the conspiracy type but doesn't it seem, well, a bit strange that as the Nevada Rancher BLM story was gaining a little national and media steam that he comes out and says almost verbatim the exact comments on race relations(which didn't have anything to do with his BLM issues) that would make him and his story a pariah? Like I said, not a conspiracy theorist but it did look too convenient...

John Craig said...

Arthur --
Actually I hadn't heard about those comments so I just looked them up. it does seem like awfully coincidental timing, but I'm not sure you can call it a full-fledged conspiracy. The interview was done with a NY Times reporter who had a vested interest in making him look bad, so maybe the reporter tried to draw him out on racial issues, knowing that he could then vilify him of that. So….maybe a small conspiracy. But all good NY Times reporters know that the one thing that will surely damn a person in this day and age is to veer from the politically correct line on race, so all you have to do is get your subject off his guard and draw him out on that subject.

arthur thurman said...

Good point about the NY Times reporter playing the gotcha game with him. As I've noticed, most older people speak their thoughts without the usual guard up. Maybe its a generational thing. My parents are a few years older than him and they have some interesting things to say about current affairs in this country in regards to race relations as well.

John Craig said...

Arthur --
Generally older people don't have careers to worry about so they worry less about speaking the truth. If you have a career to consider, you can't dare blurt out some unpopular truth.

arthur thurman said...

One clarification: I do not believe that a group of people were better off as slaves. I think what he was trying to say in a very non-eloquent way is that the behemoth welfare system that has kicked into high gear since the 1960's is doing no one any good. Out of wedlock rates of 75% vs. 25% fifty years ago and a 1 in 3 lock up ratio has taken its toll on the black race.

John Craig said...

Arthur --
Yeah, I actually go that same impression, that Bundy was in his own awkward way trying to be sympathetic to blacks, and it just came out wrong, partial courtesy of the Times.

John Craig said...

got, not go

arthur thurman said...

I agree with you that there was an agenda in mind with that interview. Why would race relations even be included? Sadly the bigger issue of an ever encroaching Gov't is once again lost in the shuffle.

arthur thurman said...

Small request but I am curious what you and your son think about this article. I have my own opinions but if you are inclined to read it and comment, I will let you know my thoughts.

arthur thurman said...

Disregard the first link. This is the correct one.

John Craig said...

Arthur --
Took a look at the article. It was clever, and there are parallels between the military and socialism, all of which he pointed out, but there are also a lot of differences, all of which he ignored. (Which is pretty much the definition of propaganda.)

First, in a socialist paradise you can't just kick people out of the paradise for misbehaving, which the military does regularly, and often, for no good reason, just because they want tot him the ranks, as you've referred to in the past.

Second, you don't have to pass a bunch of tests to enter a socialist paradise. With the Army, if you don't score well enough on the ASVAB test, you can't enlist, period. Then, if you don't make it through basic training, you get kicked out.

Thirdly, what he said about the "mailroom to boardroom" stories is just not true. Enlisted guys don't become generals, period. To become top brass you have to go through OCS, and start as a lieutenant (or the equivalent in the Navy). And to become really top brass, you pretty much have to have gone to West Point (or Annapolis, etc).

Fourthly, what he said about rising on the merits is also untrue. From what I understand, promotion is very much a matter of currying favor with your superiors, much like in a corporation.

My son was up late, will be waking up late, and I'm actually leaving for the weekend around midday, but I will ask him and post his response later on here in the comments.

What did you think of that article?

jova said...

Jacob Seigel states "No one will be more infuriated by the comparison to socialism than the conservative-leaning members of the military. "

conservative members of the military are probably the biggest critics of todays military. They would more likely agree that the current military is a leftists institution. Liberal politicians have been interfering with the military for years, and most military personnel have opposed the social engineering being imposed by the politicians , such as allowing gays to serve and allowing women to join combat units by lowering the fitness standards.

Funny to see liberals are now pretending to like the military, as Obama has been using the military to fight for his agenda. Typical liberals despise the military, and they have attempted to undermine the military for generations.

John Craig said...

Arthur --
That's "to thin," not "tot him," above. Typo combined with Autofill.

Jova --
Your analysis is exactly right. I"ve talked to military people who've said that sentiment against repealing "Don't ask don't tell" was nearly universal among enlisted men, and they tend to scoff at the idea of women in combat roles as well.

As far as the liberal's attitude toward the military, it was best illustrated by Janet Napolitano, our former Homeland Security chief, who stated that the biggest terrorism threat to America came not from Muslims, but from returning veterans, who might be attracted to "right-wing extremism."

Glen Filthie said...

I wish I could remember the general's name and provide a link, Jova. Awhile back this general was retiring and he wrote a scathing letter about what has happened to the military. The wording was more polite, but he called it a four-gendered sh*t show and gave examples about why he thought of it that way. One example was of two naval destroyer Captains 'racing' their ships and very narrowly avoiding a collision. A regular male officer would have been court martialled; but because the two captains involved were lesbians, the incident was swept under the rug. He detailed other abuses and failures at length - and then concluded by advising America's youth not to enlist until the problems were fixed.

Is this a conspiracy? Are the liberals infiltrating the military with affirmative action trash with victim politics to weaken the military - or make it more loyal to leftist leaders? Call me paranoid but if it walks like a duck, and quacks like a experience is that in such instances you are usually dealing with a duck.

jova said...

The conspiracy is with the media , which covers up the consequences of our leftist policies. Most Americans knew that Bill Clinton had contempt for the military and wanted gays to serve in the military, this could not be completely hidden from the public. But the consequences of lowering standards for women in the military have been ignored by the media.

a good example is Kara Hultgreen

she was the first female fighter pilot, who crashed her plane in 1994 when training. During her Naval Aviation career, Hultgreen had accumulated four "downs," or major errors in flight training. Normally, in accordance with Naval Air Training Command standards, having more than two "downs" in Navy undergraduate flight training would be enough to permanently prevent someone from becoming a Naval Aviator.

If women want to be treated equally, why are the military standards lowered so drastically for females ? Even the marines has delayed the pull-up requirement for females.

after so many studies spanning a number of years, basic common sense would dictate that the vast overwhelming majority of women simply do not possess the physical strength necessary to perform effective combat operations. Our military has lowered the basic fitness standards in order to satisfy some feminist social experiment. But they get away with it, as the media ignores this known issue which will put our soldiers at risk when they are in combat.

John Craig said...

Jova --
All true. Most of the media is nothing but a propaganda machine these days. It's disgusting, but at lead more and more people seem to finally be waking up to this fact. With them, as you've pointed out, the only news fit to print is that which promotes their favored groups.

John Craig said...

PS -- Even I was surprised when the Marines rescinded that 3 pull-ups rule for women. For men, the requirement is something like 10; but most of the women couldn't even do 3. The solution? Train them harder? No, just get rid of the rule.

arthur thurman said...

The article portraying the military as a Socialist utopia had me wondering what condition the author was in when he wrote it. Apparently, he was in the Army for a few years so that makes it even worse that his experience gave the impression that this was the case.
"From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs." - Karl Marx
The Military is about as far as you can get from this concept. From day one you have standards, expectations and varying degrees of proficiency that have to be kept up. Case in point: Body Fat percentages. In the Navy males can be 22% if I remember right. Females are closer to 30%. You can run a five minute mile, do 200 push-ups, swim forever and a day BUT if you are over that magical number, you fail. Fail the body fat test too many times and you are discharged.
What does the Military produce? There is no GDP, no net output of goods. You could say services but even that would be somewhat of a stretch these days. An Aircraft Carrier costs one million dollars a day to run when it is underway. The services just consume materials, money and manpower.
The author also brought up the meritocracy system of promotions. (e.g. the best rise to the top.) This is about the biggest misnomer of the article that I read. As with many private companies it goes along with not exactly what you know but whom you know and their opinion of you. Sadly, the sycophants are alive and well in the Military today. Not even going to get into the political correctness that has permeated deeper and deeper in today’s Military. Ok, one example: A few years ago, the top four Sailors picked out for the Navy were all female. All four. With a professional force comprised of over 80% male this had PC written all over it.
Starting to rant so that is just some of the thoughts I had about the article.

John Craig said...

Arthur --
Everything you say is true (although the PC aspect actually IS socialist, or at least socialist-leaning).

ONe more example of that. The NY Times did an article about ten years ago about the Marines who had first invaded Iraq. They had pictures of 16 Marines; I counted, nine of them are women. Hmm….I guess that was a representative sample.

And yes, the military you describe is more like a corporation: some basic requirements to get in and stay in, and beyond that a political snake pit. (Although, in the political aspect too, I'd have to imagine that it's not dissimilar to a socialist society, where politicking is the basic requirement for getting into the inner circle.)

John Craig said...

PS -- I asked my own the question, and he didn't really give me a serious answer. Eventually he shrugged and said that in any organization it's true that you have to have a certain collectivist ethos. That's not quite the same thing as socialism, though.