Affirmative Action- A recycled editorial

(Written in about 2006. It seems appropriate at this time to reiterate it. Then I will continue with Medical School)

Affirmative Action 

Affirmative action is a well-intentioned attempt to afford minority students an equal footing at higher educational levels, such as entry into college and graduate schools.

It is an extension of the concept that under the U.S. Constitution all men are created equal.

What the Constitution really means, however, is that all men are created with an equal opportunity under the law. However, it does not imply in any way that all men have the same I.Q. or any other equality of mental or physical skill for that matter; and it certainly does not at all imply that anyone should be forced to make chicken salad out of chicken shit.

If there is a real disadvantage for minority students, it more likely resides with the poor infrastructure afforded to them in impoverished neighborhoods that harbor less than adequate elementary school systems.

It is also somewhat cultural in nature because the vicious cycles that fold and refold upon themselves like a double stranded DNA helix are created by failures in educational systems, excessive school dropout rates, unemployment, unwanted pregnancies, single parent homes, and the inability or disinterest by the government in cleaning drug dealers and street gangs pout of the ghettos.

Fixing this infrastructure is one of the greatest failures of America’s governments at all levels, being little helped by self-serving civil rights or minority leaders who non-constructively promote or abet racial tensions and reverse bigotry.

A clear example of this failure was Tufts Medical School acceptance of the unfortunate black woman who simply could not cut the mustard because she was passed along without proper merit; being made even more pathetic because it wasn’t even her own fault. Expecting to become a physician, she ended instead as being nothing but a political pawn.

Another example of lowering the bar occurred when the NCAA was pushed by the likes of John Thompson Sr., the basketball coach at Georgetown, to enact Article 16.

This policy would have allowed athletes to enter college with less than par SAT scores and to stay in school with les than par GPAs.

Thompson justified his position by stating that a shot at making it to the professional level in sports was the only chance in life that some of these young black men would ever have. Some chance. The odds are limited to about 1.5% of all college athletes getting to the Pros.

It seems strange to me then, that in a predominantly white college, Mr. Thompson, in exercising the principle of Reverse Bigotry, never seemed to be able to find any poor white kids to play on his all black teams.

This is also not to mention the fact that for any high school basketball player making it to the pros has success odds of only about one in a million, thus making college basketball nothing more than a cattle-call of false hopes.

It might be far better to focus on education, graduation, and successful pursuit of secondary level credentials to ensure success in life after high school or college.

And for those minority leaders who perpetually tout equal opportunity or affirmative action for their own constituents, how do they explain the fact that the NBA and NFL are respectively 74% and 69% black in a society that is 82% white and 13% black? I do not hear too many complaints on this issue.

Perhaps it is simply something to do with skill, talent, the fact that “white men just can’t jump,” and that black men are  a hell of a lot better at playing this particular game.

After all, how much fun would it be to watch a boatload of spastic white NBA players, selected by affirmative action criteria who all had skill levels sub-par for the professional leagues? No one would buy the tickets.

But the parallel non-theoretical fact of false parity is not at all enjoyed by corporations or small businesses that are required to hire sub-par employees of any race only because Congress tells them they must.

Allan Bakke took this bull by the horns when The University of California-Davis Medical School turned him down in 1973.

Out of 100 potential slots, 16 had been reserved for those students who checked a box on the application designating them as being “economically and/or educationally disadvantaged.” These applicants were not required to meet the required 2.5 GPA score or the benchmarks required of the rest of the applicants.

They also underwent a separate interview process than everyone else.

Bakke, who was white, checked that same box because he did conform to the other underprivileged student profiles, which then categorized him among those who were ultimately accepted to the “special minority slot interviews.” However, at the end of the process he was finally denied a position in one of the last four remaining “disadvantaged” slots.

He sued and eventually won admission to the school claiming that the special standards were not meant for underprivileged students as a general category, but were instead used only as a disguise to fill racial or ethnic quotas.

The California Supreme Court ruled in his favor citing that the school had discriminated against him based on his race, thus violating his civil rights under law, and in a decision, that being upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, had the additional opinion tacked onto the ruling that race could be used as only one criterion for school admission.

Liberal activist groups went berserk over this judgment because for some strange reason they sincerely believed that there was no such thing as a disadvantaged white person in America, or that a white person has never suffered the slings and arrows of being discriminated against.

I guess these people have never heard of Appalachia or the slang terminologies often applied to those “dumb toothless hillbillies, sand-hillers, crackers, white trash, mud eaters or mudsills.”

It is always amusinly entertaining when some white person is smart enough to apply anti-discrimination laws to his own situation more universally, and to then watch the hypocritical liberal outrage when he or she successfully uses one of these stupidly contrived legislated mandates that were originally intended only for biased unilateral use.

In addition, when Congress passes this type of legislature they always exempt themselves from the same rules. Ergo and although he has no qualms against signing on to a bill that forces you or me to do so, you will never see the likes of a Ted Kennedy going out to round up a few functional illiterates to be his staffers or secretaries. He prefers rather, naïve intelligent young white chicks that he can fuck and then drown.

The essential point is that second rate separate standards should not have to be accepted nor be forced on any segment of the society.

An extension of this concept is that all too often America accepts mediocrity in its work force or even worse, too often pathetically has too little talent to pull from its job pools. Having nothing whatsoever to do with race; it occasionally then becomes the case that in filling job slots, the hiring philosophy becomes “a warm body is better than no body at all.”

This is the equivalent of being hired under false credentials, which then becomes a veritable nightmare to undo, especially at the Union level, when substandard job performance becomes the order of the day and incompetence must be perfectly documented before someone can be fired.

  • I’m sorry, but you are incompetent and illiterate and you are fired.
  • Oh yeth? Then pwove it.

Personally, I am also sick of people resorting to pulling out the “race card,” then using it to trump any unpleasant personal interaction, failed job interview, firing, or personal screw-up, when the individual in question really has himself to blame for his or her personal failures or social ineptitudes.

Reverse bigotry is understandable only from the point of view that it is bred out of the culmination of decades or centuries old frustration by truly qualified minorities in this country who have tried, yet have been denied entry to the mainstream. Although one cannot really blame a person for going ahead and biting the hand that never fed him; this does nothing to promote racial integration. The result is increasing racial tensions or hatred that only makes two wrongs out of no rights.

Then there is Rap music, the anthem of reverse bigotry, which pushes the venom deeper into levels of a subculture that takes it literally to be a validation for killing white police officers, using drugs, pimping, prostitution, murder, and gang banging.

This is not the educational message that should be broadcast in the ghettos.

I have a black friend who has devoted his life to promoting education and to rescuing lost or disadvantaged minority children in our community.

The message he preaches is one of brotherly love combined with the absolute necessity that the children he sponsors become educated and literate.  Ironically, he has received serious criticism from members of the local black community who deride his message that Ebonics and street lingo should be abandoned and that dress codes should conform to mainstream middle class standards.He eschews pants that show a person’s navel or ass-crack, or pants with the ass seam down to the ankles that makes its attendant leg mechanics a forced shuffling gait like that of a shackled prisoner on a road gang.

He tells his wards that only by conforming will they be able to successfully pass interviews and climb the job and corporate ladders.

Local community minority leaders accused him of destroying “Black Culture.” But by subscribing to this shortsighted position, they do not appreciate the real benefit of his hard-line message: When in Rome not only should one behave as a Roman; but one should dress, act and speak like one too.

Unfortunately, Black culture in America is one of forced involuntary emigration from Africa, in most cases with the expulsion being assisted by other bigoted black African “brothers” who captured and sold them. This was followed by slave shackles, lost opportunities, closed doors, segregation, bias, bigotry, hatred, substandard education and poverty.

Touting Black achievement is one thing, but trying to make something real out of a culture that comes from those roots is an impossible task because the culture was irreversibly lost or beaten out of these people on the plantations. Many liberated slaves even refused offers to be transported back to Africa after the end of the Civil War. Who can blame them for not wanting a repeat experience?

It therefore becomes counter intuitive for black leaders to tell their people that they should purposefully flaunt their differences, which only becomes as wholly counterproductive as my father and his friends trying to become Italians again.

So, your great-great-grandfather was a plantation slave or your father was a Nazi concentration camp survivor. So what? You weren’t. He was the one who had to survive. Not you.

Also, if he had not survived the ordeal, you may not even be here now to complain about it.

Get over it and stop wearing it like a badge that entitles you to perpetually whine about it or throw it in everyone else’s face; because nobody really cares anymore.

My father used to say that he just “could not understand” why Black people did not achieve the same success that his Italian immigrant father had. I tried to point out to him that his father had not been dragged to America in chains; entirely against his will, then been put into bondage, beaten, worked to death for no wages and left as an uneducated illiterate to wallow in a small mud hut out behind the ‘Big House’ for about two or three hundred years.

He still does not get it.

The history of the black man in America truly is a disgraceful story that should shame this country. Although it is a history that should not be forgotten, at the same time it should only serve as an example of how not to treat any race.

Good race relations can only come about by all Americans highlighting their mutual similarities, putting aside the past, moving forward with a positive view to the future while at the same time putting an end to purposefully fomenting hatred.

The same thing applies to disenfranchised blacks as to pathetically maudlin Italians who lament about the old country. If you do not like it here and you think it is so fabulously great over there, just do everyone a big favor and go back, whether it is to Italy or to Africa. There are plenty of other third world citizens who would be more than happy to take your place back here in America.

Black leaders, especially those who for the most part gain their societal credibility by calling themselves “Reverends;” and remain in power because hatred fuels their support, should be shunned and not given the political platforms that allow them to spew their venom.

The trumped-up rape charges in the Twana Brawley incident is but one small, sorry example of how to hysterically foment racial hatred, when after the fact, the truth was that the girl made the entire thing up.

Al Sharpton should have gone to prison for his role in that mess.

Also, let us not forget how the fact that Rodney King was PCP high, psychotically out of control, inebriated  as well as being a menace to society before he was forcibly subdued, seemed to have gone by the boards. Anyone who went on the kind of rampage he did, which was conveniently edited from the story line or the video clips, should be subdued by any means necessary.

No, let us rather let hysteria and partial truths rein supreme.

Hiding behind the Bible or a pulpit is no excuse for condoning poor behavior or for using the name of God to justify phony sacrosanct positions while simultaneously sneaking around behind the scenes ripping off your own brothers both emotionally as well as financially.

Conversely, Whites who continue to think of any minority group as being inferior should be made social pariahs, just like most Americans who have turned their backs on the illustrious, formerly venerated Ku Klux Klan.

It is time for all people in this society to join hands in a concerted effort to raise educational bars and standards, to open doors of opportunity for all, and to base decisions about academic admission, job hiring or job promotion entirely on merit and achievement.

It is also time for all forms of bigotry, including reverse bigotry to be eradicated because in an endless positive feedback loop, bigotry in any form can only beget more hatred and more bigotry.

If it is also true, as postulated by Sean Hannity, that a nation is defined by its language, its borders and its culture; then it is also time for the American people to realize, at least for the time being, that the language of America is English, not Spanish or Ebonics, that its borders should be preserved and that like it or not, its culture is pretty much defined by the middle class mores that are rooted in a 400 year old conservative Pilgrim legacy.

Our local high school has a sign out front that reads:

The Southampton High School: Where everybody is somebody.

This is a sad commentary, not only on our educational system, but also on the parents of contemporary grade school student’s lack of ability to foster self-esteem in their children in the first place. It reflects an educational system where every kid in the class is mandated to receive an achievement award:

  • Last, but not least, the 2009 Best of the Worst Students Award goes to……. Harold Jones.
  • Hey. What about my kid: Second Best of the Worst?
  • Or mine. Last of the Worst. Don’t he get no prize too?

The sign would be better served to state:

The Southampton High School: Where America is proudly educated.

 

 

While one who sings with his tongue on fire

Gargles in the rat race choir

Bent out of shape from society’s pliers

Cares not to come up any higher

But rather get you down in the hole

That he’s in

(It’s Alright, Ma: Bob Dylan)

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