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I have a friend who brings this up all the time.  She makes statements that are simply not true.  I have tried to explain and talk to her, but she just says, "Oh, yes it is true" with no stats or research to back it up.

 

I just shake my head and walk away.

 

Dawn

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Just read this white guy's Facebook page about how awful Affirmative Action is, and saw a whole bunch of white people "right on!"-ing him.  It made me really cringe.

 

You know what makes me cringe?  

 

"this white guy's Facebook page"

 

"a whole bunch of white people"

 

 

Oh well.   I had never even heard of Matt Walsh until I read the title of your post.  I guess I've been living under a white rock. 

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Ya know. Affirmative action can sometimes be a good thing, but then again, it can also be a bad thing. Is it any better to deny someone more or equally qualified, simply because they are white and not xyz race? I think historically there was a time when it was needed. Now I think it's become abused, and should be done away with. People should be judged, accepted, hired, etc on their own merits, not given credence to the color of their skin. I live in an area that used to be slightly more white than Mexican. Now, it's mostly Mexican, and the whites are in the minority. So maybe I should get special privileges because of that? NO! (and yes, Mexican, not Hispanic. My Mexican friends get pissed when you call them Hispanic!)

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Ya know. Affirmative action can sometimes be a good thing, but then again, it can also be a bad thing. Is it any better to deny someone more or equally qualified, simply because they are white and not xyz race? I think historically there was a time when it was needed. Now I think it's become abused, and should be done away with. People should be judged, accepted, hired, etc on their own merits, not given credence to the color of their skin. I live in an area that used to be slightly more white than Mexican. Now, it's mostly Mexican, and the whites are in the minority. So maybe I should get special privileges because of that? NO! (and yes, Mexican, not Hispanic. My Mexican friends get pissed when you call them Hispanic!)

 

I think for the most part it is still needed.   Should it be perhaps based on economic class over race? Perhaps--or at least that should play a part.  

 

Thing is, there are still major issues regarding race in this country--look at all the comments about our Columbia and Harvard law school educated President and his Princeton and Harvard law educated wife.  Even though Clinton was from a poor background, it was never assumed that he did not deserve to be at Georgetown or at Yale law school.   

 

Look at the recent studies even on access to professors regarding race and sex.  http://www.thewire.com/culture/2014/04/professors-are-less-likely-to-mentor-female-and-minority-students-especially-in-business-school/361047/

 

Most universities are still woefully lacking in African-American students, especially African-American males--and yes, diversity is an important part of college…seeing educated Black men does matter, especially as our country has the horrible distinction of having more Black men in prison than in college.

 

I wish we were living in a post-racial society, but we're not.  Look at the make-up of C-level executives of major corporations.  Heck. look at our percentage of women and minority Reps and Senators, look at the make-up in investment banking and finance.   We're not doing as well as we think we are.  We're still, in large part, a country run by white men.  

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It is always interesting to me to realize that while Affirmative Action in the US might have to do with race, other countries have Affirmative Action based on other categories.  In India there are Affirmative Action policies based on caste and religion (and in some cases gender.)  I guess every nation has its own personal history and own historically oppressed classes of people that now may need some accommodation in order to achieve their highest potential.

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Most universities are still woefully lacking in African-American students, especially African-American males--and yes, diversity is an important part of college…seeing educated Black men does matter, especially as our country has the horrible distinction of having more Black men in prison than in college.

 

I wish we were living in a post-racial society, but we're not.  Look at the make-up of C-level executives of major corporations.  Heck. look at our percentage of women and minority Reps and Senators, look at the make-up in investment banking and finance.   We're not doing as well as we think we are.  We're still, in large part, a country run by white men.  

 

Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking about gender and racial inequalities in science. Video jumps to relevant clip at the Q&A session at the end (last couple minutes). It's good.

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Ya know. Affirmative action can sometimes be a good thing, but then again, it can also be a bad thing. Is it any better to deny someone more or equally qualified, simply because they are white and not xyz race? I think historically there was a time when it was needed. Now I think it's become abused, and should be done away with. People should be judged, accepted, hired, etc on their own merits, not given credence to the color of their skin. I live in an area that used to be slightly more white than Mexican. Now, it's mostly Mexican, and the whites are in the minority. So maybe I should get special privileges because of that? NO! (and yes, Mexican, not Hispanic. My Mexican friends get pissed when you call them Hispanic!)

 

Why do you feel it s being abused?  Is there any top tier college or university that has disproportionate minority enrollment due to affirmative action?  Are there any career fields that have disproportionate minority representation due to affirmative action?

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Because I have seen and have known people who were turned down for jobs even though they were more qualified, because they were white. They had to fill a quota, and white wasn't it. And before you start calling me a racist, I'm not. I don't believe in racism of any kind. I know that thinking a person should get a job based on their own merits alone is perfect world thinking, and we don't live in a perfect world. I just believe that discriminating or denying anyone based on race, gender, etc is wrong. And that includes denying someone who is white, as much as someone who is black, Asian, Indian, or whatever. My perfect world would take all of that out of the equation, and opportunities would be based solely on ability. Too much to ask, I know. If a professor is going to teach my kid to fly, then I want the best pilot teaching them, regardless of color or gender, not just the best white female pilot we could find to fill our quota.

 

And I don't disagree w/ Usami. It's just another broken piece in a broken system.

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Also, college is often a terrible waste of money, so this whole conversation should be a moot point.[/size]

I know this isn't a politically correct statement, but I do agree with him to a certain extent. As a society, we are trying to achieve Lake Woebegone status where miraculously every child is above-average. Maybe the top 1/4 to 1/3 of kids have the brains to do college level coursework. But we're spending enormous sums trying to expand college access and a lot of those individuals wind up dropping out in the first year, semester, or even month because they aren't able to hack it academically. It's a terrible waste of money on the part of students, families, and taxpayers.

 

We should drop the whole "college for all" charade and focus on improving vocational training instead.

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I know this isn't a politically correct statement, but I do agree with him to a certain extent. As a society, we are trying to achieve Lake Woebegone status where miraculously every child is above-average. Maybe the top 1/4 to 1/3 of kids have the brains to do college level coursework. But we're spending enormous sums trying to expand college access and a lot of those individuals wind up dropping out in the first year, semester, or even month because they aren't able to hack it academically. It's a terrible waste of money on the part of students, families, and taxpayers.

 

We should drop the whole "college for all" charade and focus on improving vocational training instead.

 

EXACTLY!

 

Not everyone is "college material" and there is nothing wrong with that at all. 

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Because I have seen and have known people who were turned down for jobs even though they were more qualified, because they were white. They had to fill a quota, and white wasn't it. And before you start calling me a racist, I'm not. I don't believe in racism of any kind. I know that thinking a person should get a job based on their own merits alone is perfect world thinking, and we don't live in a perfect world. I just believe that discriminating or denying anyone based on race, gender, etc is wrong. And that includes denying someone who is white, as much as someone who is black, Asian, Indian, or whatever. My perfect world would take all of that out of the equation, and opportunities would be based solely on ability. Too much to ask, I know. If a professor is going to teach my kid to fly, then I want the best pilot teaching them, regardless of color or gender, not just the best white female pilot we could find to fill our quota.

 

And I don't disagree w/ Usami. It's just another broken piece in a broken system.

 

Thing is, a nonwhite person won't even make it to the interview even if they are equally qualified.  

http://www.nber.org/digest/sep03/w9873.html

 

"It indicates that a white name yields as many more callbacks as an additional eight years of experience. Race, the authors add, also affects the reward to having a better resume. Whites with higher quality resumes received 30 percent more callbacks than whites with lower quality resumes. But the positive impact of a better resume for those with Africa-American names was much smaller."

 

I was raised with about as much "white"privilege as one can have. Mayflower-descendent, WASP, DAR, Upper Middle Class, exclusive prep schools, "right" country club, etc.  I went to schools where the admission director would call up friends at extremely competitive colleges, and yes, usually the kid from my school would get in.  Even if his Daddy wasn't a legacy, there were enough…and the school had enough pull…that something could be arranged.  Need at internship? Well, I'll talk to Mike when we play golf on Friday, who happens to head up the largest ad agency in the State, and see what he can do.  I consciously did not go to medical school, in spite of doing well very well on my MCATs, because I knew that my Dad could call one of four friends who were Deans of med schools and I would have gotten in.  No questions asked.  Even if my MCAT scores were in the toilet. (I know this, because I saw it happen for others.)  I loved medicine, but I didn't want the easy ride.  (Of course, once in med school, family connections wouldn't have helped at all.)

 

I also have the opportunity to see that basically evaporate every time I walk out of my house in hijab, or go to a job interview in hijab.  It's eye-opening.

 

​Is any of that right? Nope.  Should it all be based on merit? Yup.  But it isn't.  It isn't for white people either.  It's having the right name….or having gone to the right school…or knowing the right person.  That's why networking is so key for good jobs.  Networks are created at the "right" schools, clubs, etc.  Sure, you may get lucky and get a job off of a regular job posting, and eventually climb you way to the top, but a lot of the time, that's not how it works.   If you look at C-level executives, or you look at Senators, you'll find that often they all went to similar schools.  Obama may be our first Black President, but he's also a Columbia/Harvard man.  I'm not sure he'd be President had he gone to Clark Atlantic or Bethune Cookman.  Getting into the "right" school does matter.  It can change lives.  Justice Sotomayor may have grown up in the Bronx, but she also attended Columbia and Yale.  Justice Thomas went to Yale too.  Most of the Supreme Court Justices have historically gone to Harvard, Yale, or Columbia.  We know that socioeconomic class plays a large part in SAT scores.  Somebody who grows up poor's 1100 (I have to think in terms of old SATs :)) may be just as good as an upper middle class kid's 1450.  They may be just as smart, but the test does not reflect that because of their background.  

 

http://www.danpink.com/2012/02/how-to-predict-a-students-sat-score-look-at-the-parents-tax-return/

 

http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2012/08/29/the-correlation-between-income-and-sat-scores/

 

http://hepg.org/her-home/issues/harvard-educational-review-volume-73-issue-1/herarticle/a-method-for-reestimating-sat-scores_23

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I know this isn't a politically correct statement, but I do agree with him to a certain extent. As a society, we are trying to achieve Lake Woebegone status where miraculously every child is above-average. Maybe the top 1/4 to 1/3 of kids have the brains to do college level coursework. But we're spending enormous sums trying to expand college access and a lot of those individuals wind up dropping out in the first year, semester, or even month because they aren't able to hack it academically. It's a terrible waste of money on the part of students, families, and taxpayers.

 

We should drop the whole "college for all" charade and focus on improving vocational training instead.

 

Yes, but it's also unlikely that virtually no African-American males are college material.  That no poor Latinos are college material, no Native American kids,  etc.  If you go strictly by SATs, that's pretty much the result you would find.  

 

I agree that we need better vocational training, but that does not negate the role that Affirmative Action plays in leveling the playing field.  

 

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/sats/etc/gap.html

 

"Christopher Jencks and Meredith Phillips, editors of the 1998 book The Black-White Test Score Gap, point out in their introduction that African Americans score lower than whites on vocabulary, reading and math tests, as well as on tests such as the SAT. This gap appears before kindergarten and persists into adulthood. The average black student scores below 70 to 80 percent of the white students of the same age, Jencks told FRONTLINES imilar issues arise when Mexican American and Latino students, as well as Native American students, are compared to white students, although this phenomenon has not been studied as widely, Jencks and Phillips say."

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If college isn't for everyone, then employers need to stop requiring a B.A. for jobs that don't require specific technical skills. I worked for over a decade before ds was born without a college degree, working alongside people with degrees, doing the same blasted jobs. In two of those jobs, I topped out because I have a good work ethic, common sense, communication skills, and flexible skills. 

 

Today, I couldn't get interviewed for those jobs because I don't have the magic piece of paper. I'm investing thousands of dollars of debt to get that paper now, after 17 years of being out of the workforce, because my family likes to live in a house, eat food, and have heat. Eventually, I'd like to buy a car of my choosing. Not everyone can be an opinionated blogger and make money. Even if you're not an opinionated blogger, there are difficulties to paving your own path without ending up working for minimum wage (or slightly more if you're lucky ;) ). 

 

I should not be relegated to the working poor for the rest of my life because people think 1. college isn't for everyone or 2. college is a waste of money. Right now education is the process in which people move about socially and until that changes everyone should have the opportunity to partake. There are a gajillion ways to getting that education but the playing field is hardly level for all members of society. 

 

 

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It is always interesting to me to realize that while Affirmative Action in the US might have to do with race, other countries have Affirmative Action based on other categories.  In India there are Affirmative Action policies based on caste and religion (and in some cases gender.)  I guess every nation has its own personal history and own historically oppressed classes of people that now may need some accommodation in order to achieve their highest potential.

 

That's very interesting to me. I thought I was educated on things that happen in other countries (I try to be anyway), but I had no idea. I'm actually glad to hear it.

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Yes, but it's also unlikely that virtually no African-American males are college material.  That no poor Latinos are college material, no Native American kids,  etc.  If you go strictly by SATs, that's pretty much the result you would find.  

 

What if it's not about race?   What if there are other risk factors at play, factors like growing up in poverty, low educational achievement by the child's parents, being raised by a single parent, poor quality schools, no (or limited) access to tutoring or enrichment, few role models in the young person's immediate community, etc.   When we control for all these factors, how do students really compare?

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Ya know. Affirmative action can sometimes be a good thing, but then again, it can also be a bad thing. Is it any better to deny someone more or equally qualified, simply because they are white and not xyz race? I think historically there was a time when it was needed. Now I think it's become abused, and should be done away with. People should be judged, accepted, hired, etc on their own merits, not given credence to the color of their skin. I live in an area that used to be slightly more white than Mexican. Now, it's mostly Mexican, and the whites are in the minority. So maybe I should get special privileges because of that? NO! (and yes, Mexican, not Hispanic. My Mexican friends get pissed when you call them Hispanic!)

 

It has been shown over and over that they way jobs are found is through networking, through your friends. And people tend to be friends with other people of the same race/background/ethnicity, more than not. So if traditionally mostly white men held the top jobs,when it comes time to hire someone they reach out to their friends who coincidentally are other white men. They aren't being purposely racist, or even racist at all, really. It's just normal human behavior. But the result is white men being hired. The cycle perpetuates. The only real way we've found to break that cycle and make sure that others get a chance is affirmative action. 

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You know what makes me cringe?  

 

"this white guy's Facebook page"

 

"a whole bunch of white people"

 

 

Oh well.   I had never even heard of Matt Walsh until I read the title of your post.  I guess I've been living under a white rock. 

 

Acknowledging race makes you cringe?  I don't get it.  Honestly. Could you explain?  

 

I am not a fan of of this guy, I really don't know much about him, I saw saw that several of my Facebook friends had "liked" a posts, so it came up in my newsfeed. I am not about to start a debate with these folks on Facebook. So I mentioned it here. 

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I think everyone has the right to go to college if they desire to go and can do it academically, mentally, etc...

 

I don't have a problem with vocational training per say, but even those trainings should offer the right academics so that the person has the opportunity to attend college should they wish later on.

 

Early Voc programs were not this way.  My friend said there were 3 "tracks" when she went to high school (50s).  She chose the easiest path because she really didn't enjoy school.

 

In her late 20s, she had a change of heart and decided to pursue a college education.  It was a hard road as they had her take a lot of classes prior to accepting her in because her transcript did not  have the right classes on it.

 

Of course not everyone can go to college, otherwise we would have far more than 30% of the current adult population holding degrees.  

 

However, the world is changing and it is not as easy as it once was to get by without college.

 

 

 

I know this isn't a politically correct statement, but I do agree with him to a certain extent. As a society, we are trying to achieve Lake Woebegone status where miraculously every child is above-average. Maybe the top 1/4 to 1/3 of kids have the brains to do college level coursework. But we're spending enormous sums trying to expand college access and a lot of those individuals wind up dropping out in the first year, semester, or even month because they aren't able to hack it academically. It's a terrible waste of money on the part of students, families, and taxpayers.

We should drop the whole "college for all" charade and focus on improving vocational training instead.

 

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If college isn't for everyone, then employers need to stop requiring a B.A. for jobs that don't require specific technical skills. I worked for over a decade before ds was born without a college degree, working alongside people with degrees, doing the same blasted jobs. In two of those jobs, I topped out because I have a good work ethic, common sense, communication skills, and flexible skills. 

 

Today, I couldn't get interviewed for those jobs because I don't have the magic piece of paper. 

 

Even back in the 80's the piece of paper mattered. I got a job I was completely unqualified for simply because I had a degree and the other applicants didn't. I quit teaching for a few years because I was questioning whether that was what I really wanted to do. One of the jobs I held during that period was vet tech (back then there was no program or certificate for veterinary technician). The vet who owned the practice eventually told me he chose me because while none of us were qualified I was the only one who had a degree. He figured if I could make it though college I had the capacity to learn, and he needed someone who could learn the job duties as quickly as possible.

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Neil deGrasse Tyson speaking about gender and racial inequalities in science. Video jumps to relevant clip at the Q&A session at the end (last couple minutes). It's good.

 

Thank you for that link. That was wonderful. Ds loves NdT and has developed an interest in astrophysics (though not as a career) because of him.

 

I talk with my hands and usually don't notice other people who do because it seems natural to me. In that video though, I kept thinking he was going to smack Dawkins in the nose while trying to make one of his points. :D

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It has been shown over and over that they way jobs are found is through networking, through your friends. And people tend to be friends with other people of the same race/background/ethnicity, more than not. So if traditionally mostly white men held the top jobs,when it comes time to hire someone they reach out to their friends who coincidentally are other white men. They aren't being purposely racist, or even racist at all, really. It's just normal human behavior. But the result is white men being hired. The cycle perpetuates. The only real way we've found to break that cycle and make sure that others get a chance is affirmative action. 

 

 Some people resent the term 'white privilege' because it implies they have some unearned advantage.  Some of these same people resent 'affirmative action' because it gives what they see as unearned advantage to others.  I think that's really idealistic, in a way.   But it's also incredibly naive. And in the case of Matt Walsh & his commentators, it's naive in a painfully self-serving way.

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Acknowledging race makes you cringe?  I don't get it.  Honestly. Could you explain?  

 

I am not a fan of of this guy, I really don't know much about him, I saw saw that several of my Facebook friends had "liked" a posts, so it came up in my newsfeed. I am not about to start a debate with these folks on Facebook. So I mentioned it here. 

 

 

When a description of someone's skin color is said with derision, it's offensive.  Derision was heard in your OP.

 

 

 

As far as Affirmative Action goes?  I think a better method, a better litmus test, would be economic factors.  Children in poverty deserve a chance at an education, no matter the color of their skin.  Perhaps I'm biased b/c of my skin color...perhaps I'm hopeful that my children will have a fair chance even though there isn't a clear cut BOX for them to check under "Race."  

 

 

Perhaps I'm sensitive b/c my children have recently heard me (white female) called ugly racial slurs.  I cringe when I hear that sort of thing.  

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I regret that we've moved on to the topic of his column b/c I hoped to get in on the Matt Walsh bashing. Oh, well, maybe another time. :p (I'm like floridamom. I tried him on for size once or twice but swiftly realized the posts I could stand were the exception to the rule which is that I can't stand him.)

Me, too.  Although his posts about his dealing with the wolf spider in the house were hilarious.  Too bad I disagree with nearly all of his positions on just about every other thing.

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What is a "white name?"  I've never heard of that before.  I know plenty of people have ethnic names, but not everyone.  What qualifies as a white name?

 

Just because I've been watching House reruns and I noticed it's his birthday today, let's use the example of Kal Penn. From that name, I couldn't guess his heritage. However, that's not his given name, his given name is Kalpen Suresh Modi, obviously not a "white name". 

 

My inclination is that a white name sounds White Anglo-Saxon, without any ethnic undertones. This may vary by region. 

 

The "privilege" or "discrimination" may be subtle or  not even intended in some cases. 

 

 

My current last name is Irish. The O' was dropped and the spelling changed after dh's ancestors immigrated, as to avoid prejudice against the Irish and make it sound more American. 

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I don't know who Matt Walsh is, but as a "person of color" I have experienced being hired specifically because of my race with the budget line for my position being labeled as "diversity" funds. No matter how hard I worked and how well I performed, I was often dismissed by coworkers because they knew why I got the job.

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Who is this person and why would I care what he thinks?

 

I was wondering the same thing.

 

When I first saw the thread title, I immediately thought the "America's Most Wanted" guy must have died. And then I remembered that he's John Walsh.

 

Oops.

 

Is this another case where people are paying way too much attention to some idiot blogger whose sole qualifications in life are owning a computer and knowing how to start his own blog? I don't know (or care) about this guy, but I think many bloggers intentionally post controversial stuff because they're hoping it will make them famous.

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When a description of someone's skin color is said with derision, it's offensive.  Derision was heard in your OP.

 

 

 

As far as Affirmative Action goes?  I think a better method, a better litmus test, would be economic factors.  Children in poverty deserve a chance at an education, no matter the color of their skin.  Perhaps I'm biased b/c of my skin color...perhaps I'm hopeful that my children will have a fair chance even though there isn't a clear cut BOX for them to check under "Race."  

 

 

Perhaps I'm sensitive b/c my children have recently heard me (white female) called ugly racial slurs.  I cringe when I hear that sort of thing.  

 

I wasn't being derisive about anyone's skin color.  I'm white.  I just recoiled at the conversation because it was very one-sided in several ways, including race. But it's not really about race, even.  It'd like having a conversation about how much homeschooling is terrible for children, with no homeschoolers chiming in. Or the reverse.

 

Schools certainly do take income, or at least a school's economic profile, into consideration for applications.  Perhaps not enough.  But it's hardly an either-or situation.

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I was wondering the same thing.

 

When I first saw the thread title, I immediately thought the "America's Most Wanted" guy must have died. And then I remembered that he's John Walsh.

 

Oops.

 

Is this another case where people are paying way too much attention to some idiot blogger whose sole qualifications in life are owning a computer and knowing how to start his own blog? I don't know (or care) about this guy, but I think many bloggers intentionally post controversial stuff because they're hoping it will make them famous.

 

Don't care about Matt Walsh, I only noted it because several friends that I respect "liked" his post and one commented on it.  That makes it relevant to me.

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I don't know who Matt Walsh is, but as a "person of color" I have experienced being hired specifically because of my race with the budget line for my position being labeled as "diversity" funds. No matter how hard I worked and how well I performed, I was often dismissed by coworkers because they knew why I got the job.

And doesn't that make you angry? Part of me would say, Hey, I got the job and I don't care that I didn't get it "fairly" based solely on merit, and part of me would be angry that 1. it was a "pity" offer of sorts, and 2. nobody will every respect my work, no matter how good it is, because I was hired as a "token".

 

There has to be a better way... for everyone.

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You know what makes me cringe?  

 

"this white guy's Facebook page"

 

"a whole bunch of white people"

 

 

Oh well.   I had never even heard of Matt Walsh until I read the title of your post.  I guess I've been living under a white rock. 

 

NT

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I was wondering the same thing.

 

When I first saw the thread title, I immediately thought the "America's Most Wanted" guy must have died. And then I remembered that he's John Walsh.

 

Oops.

 

Is this another case where people are paying way too much attention to some idiot blogger whose sole qualifications in life are owning a computer and knowing how to start his own blog? I don't know (or care) about this guy, but I think many bloggers intentionally post controversial stuff because they're hoping it will make them famous.

 

I don't think it's really about the blogger, but the idea he expresses, and the great support for that idea that is noteworthy. People vote on public policies that affect all of us based on what they think is an accurate representation of reality - what the real problem is and what's an ideal solution. It's not a bad thing to be knowledgeable about what our neighbors think, because that influences how they behave. You know what they say; Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups (answers regarding who are the "stupid people" will vary).

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And doesn't that make you angry? Part of me would say, Hey, I got the job and I don't care that I didn't get it "fairly" based solely on merit, and part of me would be angry that 1. it was a "pity" offer of sorts, and 2. nobody will every respect my work, no matter how good it is, because I was hired as a "token".

 

There has to be a better way... for everyone.

Definitely made me angry. Diversity funding also doesn't last forever, so guess who gets let go first when the organization has to downsize?

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I wasn't being derisive about anyone's skin color.  I'm white.  I just recoiled at the conversation because it was very one-sided in several ways, including race. But it's not really about race, even.  It'd like having a conversation about how much homeschooling is terrible for children, with no homeschoolers chiming in. Or the reverse.

 

 

This is exactly how I interpreted your first post. I definitely didn't pick up anything derisive in tone.

 

Look, here's the thing: white privilege exists. It just does. And for some reason, people get all panty-bunched when they hear the term "white privilege," which just distracts from getting any meaningful discussion accomplished, IMO. So, because of white privilege, affirmative action is necessary. I agree it's not a perfect solution, but until we get to the root cause of white privilege (which I believe isn't about just race but also income inequality/class gaps/etc.), we're just going to keep having this circular argument over the hot-button terms "affirmative action" and "white privilege."

 

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Definitely made me angry. Diversity funding also doesn't last forever, so guess who gets let go first when the organization has to downsize?

 

And it should make you angry. We should all be angry that affirmative action has to exist in the first place. I've been on the other side of this--I was offered a job simply because I was white (the manager told me the job was mine because they "needed to lighten it up a bit around here," *wink wink, nudge nudge*). And that made me pretty angry, too. It's not right.

 

I just think it's a bit short-sighted to go tearing down affirmative action just yet. I think it's misplaced anger.

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I don't know who Matt Walsh is, but as a "person of color" I have experienced being hired specifically because of my race with the budget line for my position being labeled as "diversity" funds. No matter how hard I worked and how well I performed, I was often dismissed by coworkers because they knew why I got the job.

 

I think that is the reason some people argue against AA.  There will always be people who think someone got a job simply because they were needed to fill a diversity quota.  I know people who refuse to go to a female doctor, or for that matter, a non-white or non-Asian male doctor because of AA.  They figure there's a good chance those doctors got into medical school because of AA, not because they were great medical students.  These are not ignorant, bigoted redneck types.  They are intelligent, nice people, who simply don't trust a system that gives people an edge for a reason other than merit.  

 

When I worked in Silicon Valley in the '90s, I had to attend a lot of diversity training sessions.  Everyone hated them, but most particularly my black and Mexican coworkers (their preferred terms) because it made them feel as if they were a problem.  (Those sessions also wasted a lot of work time which everyone resented.)  People pretty much got along well as long as they worked hard and contributed to the effort of the team.  Slackers of any race or ethnicity were not welcome.

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I think that is the reason some people argue against AA.  There will always be people who think someone got a job simply because they were needed to fill a diversity quota.  I know people who refuse to go to a female doctor, or for that matter, a non-white or non-Asian male doctor because of AA.  They figure there's a good chance those doctors got into medical school because of AA, not because they were great medical students.  These are not ignorant, bigoted redneck types.  They are intelligent, nice people, who simply don't trust a system that gives people an edge for a reason other than merit.  

 

When I worked in Silicon Valley in the '90s, I had to attend a lot of diversity training sessions.  Everyone hated them, but most particularly my black and Mexican coworkers (their preferred terms) because it made them feel as if they were a problem.  (Those sessions also wasted a lot of work time which everyone resented.)  People pretty much got along well as long as they worked hard and contributed to the effort of the team.  Slackers of any race or ethnicity were not welcome.

 

Don't even get me started on diversity training sessions! It's like being a freaking animal in the zoo or a subject of some sordid social experiment (wait a minute, hmmm). Oh the surveys and questionnaires! Gah! I personally do think AA blows. Hard.

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I was raised with about as much "white"privilege as one can have. Mayflower-descendent, WASP, DAR, Upper Middle Class, exclusive prep schools, "right" country club, etc.  I went to schools where the admission director would call up friends at extremely competitive colleges, and yes, usually the kid from my school would get in.  Even if his Daddy wasn't a legacy, there were enough…and the school had enough pull…that something could be arranged.  Need at internship? Well, I'll talk to Mike when we play golf on Friday, who happens to head up the largest ad agency in the State, and see what he can do.  I consciously did not go to medical school, in spite of doing well very well on my MCATs, because I knew that my Dad could call one of four friends who were Deans of med schools and I would have gotten in.  No questions asked.  Even if my MCAT scores were in the toilet. (I know this, because I saw it happen for others.)  I loved medicine, but I didn't want the easy ride.  (Of course, once in med school, family connections wouldn't have helped at all.)

 

 

​Is any of that right? Nope.  Should it all be based on merit? Yup.  But it isn't.  It isn't for white people either.  It's having the right name….or having gone to the right school…or knowing the right person.  That's why networking is so key for good jobs.  Networks are created at the "right" schools, clubs, etc.  Sure, you may get lucky and get a job off of a regular job posting, and eventually climb you way to the top, but a lot of the time, that's not how it works.   If you look at C-level executives, or you look at Senators, you'll find that often they all went to similar schools.  Obama may be our first Black President, but he's also a Columbia/Harvard man.  I'm not sure he'd be President had he gone to Clark Atlantic or Bethune Cookman.  Getting into the "right" school does matter.  It can change lives.  Justice Sotomayor may have grown up in the Bronx, but she also attended Columbia and Yale.  Justice Thomas went to Yale too.  Most of the Supreme Court Justices have historically gone to Harvard, Yale, or Columbia.  We know that socioeconomic class plays a large part in SAT scores.  Somebody who grows up poor's 1100 (I have to think in terms of old SATs :)) may be just as good as an upper middle class kid's 1450.  They may be just as smart, but the test does not reflect that because of their background.  

 

]

 

 

But it s a very small minority of whites who have the privileges you speak of, going to select schools, being able to call someone to get in. Most "white" people I know don't have that type of access. Those points are really an argument against affirmative action. It is not the Harvard grad's son who is not getting in due to affirmative action, it is not the 1450 upper middle class white kid who is losing their spot because of affirmative action. It is the middle class and poor white kids who lose out. The people with the special privileges are still going to get in, affirmative action or not.

 

 

 

 

I don't know who Matt Walsh is, but as a "person of color" I have experienced being hired specifically because of my race with the budget line for my position being labeled as "diversity" funds. No matter how hard I worked and how well I performed, I was often dismissed by coworkers because they knew why I got the job.

Thanks for this point. I was not going to comment in this thread since I am white. But the person I knew who was most opposed to affirmative action was a man of color. He was a brilliant engineer, who I am sure got where he was completely on merit. But his abilities were often in question because people thought he might have had special treatment due to affirmative action. I had been pretty neutral about affirmative action until I met him.

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I think that is the reason some people argue against AA.  There will always be people who think someone got a job simply because they were needed to fill a diversity quota.  I know people who refuse to go to a female doctor, or for that matter, a non-white or non-Asian male doctor because of AA.  They figure there's a good chance those doctors got into medical school because of AA, not because they were great medical students.  These are not ignorant, bigoted redneck types.  They are intelligent, nice people, who simply don't trust a system that gives people an edge for a reason other than merit.  

 

When I worked in Silicon Valley in the '90s, I had to attend a lot of diversity training sessions.  Everyone hated them, but most particularly my black and Mexican coworkers (their preferred terms) because it made them feel as if they were a problem.  (Those sessions also wasted a lot of work time which everyone resented.)  People pretty much got along well as long as they worked hard and contributed to the effort of the team.  Slackers of any race or ethnicity were not welcome.

 

I have to say, someone who would refuse to be treated by a female doctor or a "non-Asian" male doctor is a racist. And I'm a little amazed to have to say that, that it is not glaringly obvious! 

 

I can see the philosophical arguments against college admissions on race, though I don't agree with most of those arguments.  But assuming graduates of those programs are incompetent is a whole different  level.

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I also have to admit to extreme skepticism of anyone who claim that this or that person would have been accepted or hired except for affirmative action or quotas.  Please.  You don't know why you weren't hired.  Even if someone who was not white WAS hired, that doesn't mean race was the predominant factor or even a factor at all.  I've conducted so many interviews with people who screw up badly and have NO idea.   I once saw a man sneeze directly into his hand, then reach over to shake my hand with a smile. No.

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I believe that diversity in any group is what leads to success and growth; Diversity of race and gender, yes, but even more so it's the diversity of thought that comes from actively recruiting individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds brings that will ensure that success and growth.  

 

I do not believe that affirmative action as it exists today is the most effective way to achieve that diversity.  

 

If I were designing a recruiting strategy for a company (which, by the way, I do), I would ensure they are actively targeting top tier candidates from many different talent pools.  Those talent pools would include (for example...), National Black MBA Association, National Hispanic MBA Association, National Women's MBA Association, Top business schools, top historically black colleges, and a variety of other companies that are competitors, or in parallel industries.  All of those pools will be filtered to create one single, naturally diverse pool of top talent, from which the team could have its pick of qualified candidates from a variety of backgrounds.

 

What I see instead are companies that only go to one primary source (ie, top Business schools), which already have their own issues with diversity.  And then that limited pool joins the organization and refers their friends, all of whom have their same background, be it educational or professional, and then suddenly you have an organization where everyone looks and thinks and acts exactly alike, and the company fails to thrive. 

 

The same holds true for colleges and universities.   If they cast their recruiting net wide enough, the best of each individual, diverse talent pool will rise to the surface, creating a final candidate pool that will be naturally diverse and well qualified.

 

Note that the MBA example I give is clearly not applicable to every circumstance but was used for illustrative purposes only.  I still contend that strategy would prove effective, even if the specific targets would be different, universally.

 

 

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