White Supremacists or Central Indiana Message Board Participants?

I have been reading several forums about the black students at Indian Univeristy Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) who have demanded better treatment from the administration at the school, and some of the racist vulgarity and ignorance is a bit shocking, so I thought I would do a little quiz. Which of the following statements come from a white supremacist site and which statements come from the local central Indiana message boards? (Answers are in the comments section.)

1.What ever happened to hiring the most qualified person for the job? Once people realise that diversity is a weakness and not a strength, schools will be the first places to see improvement.

2. Not all Whites are rich. Many, many are not and they could use the financial aid. Caucasians have a right to celebrate our background.

3. yes, Yes , YES !!!! Black History Month is racist. Lets be simple and put it this way.. If we were to make a White History Month to make people aware of our “struggles and achievments” of our race, there would be hell to pay. Just because there black, they think they can shove down everybodys throats how “horrible things were”,” how deprived we are”, etc. etc. etc.

4. These are nothing but a bunch of very well trained race baiting hucksters, preying upon spineless university administrators, taking them for every dollar they can.

I guarantee this: In ten years not one of these “activists”, who are agitating instead of studying, will have become productive or self-sufficient. They’ll blame a “lack of diversity” for their failure to thrive, but it will, of course, be due to the fact that instead of applying themselves to their studies in college they threw tantrums in order to get a separate building for their own kind.
Too bad the media, lawyers, lawmakers, etc. wont wake up to see that its racist and put a stop to all this Black nonsense.. But hey, i guess there afraid of stepping on someones toes.. But that can be another topic of discussion in itself.

5. Gee, if these students really push hard, maybe they could get the administration to give them some real concessions – you know, like separate water fountains, separate dining facilities,”special” classroom seating…in the back. People like this set race relations back 60 years. MLK must be rolling in his grave.

6. I’m sick of people making “demands” for something just because they are a minority. Stop and think. Aren’t we all a minority? The USA is a diversified nation that was built on the immagration of suppressed minorities from all nations. Since when do black American’s deserve any preferential treatment than any other American citizen? My decendants are from Germany and I’ll bet that, if you count all of the German Americans, they would also be a minority. That is the same as any other group of people from any other ancestory. The “students” remind me of a bunch of spoiled high schoolers that protest a dress code or what’s on the lunch menu. If they want to protest something they should protest something of meaningful consequence such as the Irag war, global warming or poverty. They’re only showing how immature they are.

7. All they have to do is hang around and be loud like they are everywhere else and whatever building they choose will be theirs. They have their own mall; Lafayette Square. Their own Expo. They could have Cadillac races at the Speedway. Shooting contests at Don’s Guns… shooting sideways of course. 100 yard dash with your pants around your ankles. All kinds of stuff that normal people would not do.

8. Black students “balk” at offer? You must be kidding me. I can’t believe IUPUI is allowing itself to be bullied by this (or any) group, demanding its own cultural center and other exclusive benefits. If they ultimately get it, white students should protest and demand the same — an exclusive club just for them. Imagine how that would go over!

9. This is total racism, blacks want their cake and eat it too. They want black clubs, their own world, but yet whites are prejudice if they dare look are them crosseyed. I feel what is good for the goose is good for the gander, so come on and be fair. Let’s all respect each other and not look for the first opportunity to point fingers.

10. Is there any other group as racist as the black people? They are the most racist people I know of.

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63 Responses to White Supremacists or Central Indiana Message Board Participants?

  1. 1
    Rachel S. says:

    ANSWER:
    The first three come from the well known white supremacist website Stormfront.

    The last seven are from the Indianapolis Star website. It is a local message board for Central Indiana news.

    Of course, I guess after reading these comments you have to ask yourself who the white supremacists really are. Once again this is another example of how white supremacist ideology is more mainstream than many are willing to admit.

    The Indy Star website has several articles on the IUPUI student protest, and if you want to go there (and if you have the stomach to read hundreds of people make racist anti-black comments). Here are two links: IUPUI Shouldn’t Back Down In the Face of Lawsuit and Actions only cause racism to continue. There are several other articles on the site, but these are two of the more interesting ones. There was another comment string that had almost 300 comments, which were mostly racist tirades, but I had a hard time finding that one.

  2. 2
    mmm...lemonheads says:

    I consider myself to the left when it comes to economic and foreign policy stances, but affirmative action is a stone in my shoe. It is discrimination, regardless of its intent. And it leaves a stigma on the recipient; I’ve seen that first-hand.
    I’ts not, to be ironic a black and white issue. There’s a lot of complications, and I don’t think in the long run AA does the good many think it does.
    Here in Michigan we just passed a proposal that abolished AA. Most of you here probably think that’s heinous, but as I said, I’m quite to the left on everything else. This issue is different, in that it plays to a sense of fairness.
    I have no problem with scholarships that are only for minorities. But when I apply for a job, I want to know I got, or didn’t get the job because of experience and ability, and no other reason is relevant.
    That’s equality.

  3. 3
    mandolin says:

    What, if anything, do you think about automatic preference — the principle that suggests that hiring committees will act on unconscious biases, assuming that people who conform to their expectation of what a “successful” candidate will look like are more qualified?

  4. 4
    Decnavda says:

    If they want to protest something they should protest something of meaningful consequence such as the Irag war, global warming or poverty. They’re only showing how immature they are.

    I love it when someone in an argument goes into a long tirade and then claims the people particpating on the other side are wasting their time on a meaningless issue. Even if the issue actually is meaningless, at least the people on the other side are not hypocrits arguing over an issue they claim is meaningless. As a professional anti-poverty activist, I welcome the volunteer efforts of anyone who thinks this is a meaningless issue. I deffinately beleive that racism in general is a very important issue, but as far as whether this particular protest against racism is meaningless or not, I can not say. I have been too busy fighting poverty to investigate.

  5. 5
    Jake Squid says:

    But when I apply for a job, I want to know I got, or didn’t get the job because of experience and ability, and no other reason is relevant.

    Because, of course, the economic and social status of the family you grew up in will have no relevance on your opportunities. Nor did anything that happened in the last couple of hundred years impact on the economic and social status of your family. Nope, can’t think of a thing.

  6. 6
    Decnavda says:

    Jake -

    Ah, yes. I refer to this as the “Let’s Quit While I’m Ahead” argument. I named it when arguing with right libertarians over rectification (i.e. shouldn’t we give all land in the couontry back to the various American Indian tribes?), but it fits here too.

  7. 7
    Brandon Berg says:

    I think it might be an interesting exercise, for someone who agrees with the central thesis of this post, to try to pick out the fallacy and figure out why this argument has such verisimilitude.

  8. 8
    Rachel S. says:

    “Let’s Quit While I’m Ahead”
    That’s a good one. LOL!!

    Brandon,
    What do you think the hypothesis of this post is?

  9. 9
    Radfem says:

    Well, 2/3 of all the topics on my local newspaper’s discussion boards involve bashing “illegal aliens” though only those with brown skin and Latinos in general. I don’t think it’s any different or much different than what you would find on Minutemen discussion boards.

    It’s odd but the ones that struck me as being Stormfront comments were #2 and #3. Perhaps it was more of the focus on White heritage and so forth, I don’t know.

    People often think these racist comments are segregated only to certain internet sites and they’re not. I think it’s being anonymous that is part of the reason for that. And maybe it’s my region, but none of these comments really shocked me, even if they were in a mainstream publication site. Offended me, yes, but shocked me, no. But then the last racist comment I received for moderation for my site, was yesterday.

  10. 10
    Rachel S. says:

    Radfem said,
    “It’s odd but the ones that struck me as being Stormfront comments were #2 and #3. Perhaps it was more of the focus on White heritage and so forth, I don’t know. ”
    You did pretty good at guessing. You make a good point too. Many of the white supremacists (who now call themselves white nationalists) focus on “heritage” where the more mainstream white racists tend to focus more on how “white people are losing out and black people are racist.”

    And to be frank, I find the last two arguments much more offensive and racist than the first.

  11. 11
    Brandon Berg says:

    Rachel:
    It seems to be, “white supremacist ideology is more mainstream than many are willing to admit.” Or more specifically, that the opinions expressed in comments 4-10 above are racist in nature.

  12. 12
    Rachel S. says:

    So Brandon,
    Of the 10 above, which do you think are racist?

  13. 13
    Elena says:

    I don’t find it shocking that people are against a program that is not in their best interest, or not perceived to be in their best interest. Why are people surprised by indignation caused by the notion that if you tell a white person that all things being equal, he’ll lose a job/ admission to a minority candidate? In what universe would any an average joe, let alone an average twenty year old, to be magnanimous about such a crude tool when the only arguments in its favor are either intangible arguments about diversity or else the idea that blameless teenagers have to pay for their fathers’ sins? I don’t think that to call such grumbling racist is fair at all, and I think that not to admit that from their point of view, they have a point, is dangerous and counterproductive. The backlash alone should give advocates of AA pause.

    I wish all AA programs and their proponents remembered to appeal to people’s sense of fair play. And not as in: 50 years ago people who looked like you got unfair opportunities, so today it’s your turn. I mean: reasonable people don’t object to remedial college prep courses, or to economic outreach programs, or mentoring programs, or programs meant to expose women to engineering or to help people of limited English proficiency to read and write in English well enough to learn a profession here. These programs exist at universities all over the country, and actually may suffer from public referendums outlawing AA. Yet I don’t blame racism- I blame the vindictiveness and lack of pragmatism of AA programs of the past and present.

  14. 14
    Rachel S. says:

    This thread is getting derailed a bit because the students at IUPUI were not talking about a broad set of programs, not just the admissions process.

    It should also be duly noted that the percentage of whites attending college has increased since race based affirmative action was initiated. This zero sum game mentality regarding race is ridiculous. The entire American society is hurt when 30% of our citizens do not have equal opportunities–until African Americans and people of color broadly have an equal chance from the womb to the grave. Then the US society won’t progress.

  15. 15
    Brandon Berg says:

    Rachel:
    The fallacy to which I was referring is still there even if we grant for the sake of argument that the Stormfront comments are basically indistinguishable from the others. But I’ll play anyway. The definition of racism which I’m using for these purposes (for all purposes, really) is the belief that differences between races, real or imagined, are more significant than individual differences. Also, I’m only going by what’s stated explicitly in the comments. I’m not going to try to guess at motives.

    1: It depends on the meaning of “diversity is a weakness.” If it means that racial diversity is inherently bad because whites are just better than people of other races, then yes. If it means that the pursuit of diversity at the expense of individual excellence (e.g., by lowering admissions or hiring standards) leads to weakness, then no.

    2: I would argue that “celebrating our backgrounds” is racist when it’s about collective aggrandizement, but not when it’s about refuting stereotypes. I’m not sure what the case is here.

    3-6, 8. Not racist.

    7. Unambiguously racist.

    9. If “blacks want their cake and eat it too” is intended to imply that all blacks share this attitude, then it’s racist. If it refers only to these specific black students, then it’s not. The writing is so bad that I’m not sure what to make of it.

    10. It depends on whether the claim is that racism is more common among blacks than among whites (not racist), or that all blacks are racists (racist).

  16. 16
    Brandon Berg says:

    Rachel:

    It should also be duly noted that the percentage of whites attending college has increased since race based affirmative action was initiated.

    And the percentage of blacks attending college was on the rise before race-based affirmative action was initiated. It’s not at all clear to me that affirmative action has much of an effect on who goes to college. Who gives up altogether on college just because he can’t get into his first choice? It seems to me that the primary effect of affirmative action is that some people get into better schools than they would otherwise, while some people get into worse schools than they would otherwise.

    The entire American society is hurt when 30% of our citizens do not have equal opportunities–until African Americans and people of color broadly have an equal chance from the womb to the grave.

    As nice as it sounds, equal opportunity is a pipe dream, and any serious attempt to engineer it would be disastrous. But I agree that it would be nice to have, and anything that moves us closer to that goal without massive government intervention is probably a good idea.

    So how do race-based preferences in college admissions help to equalize opportunities? Why is it so important that black students go to colleges a step above the ones to which they could gain admittance under race-blind policies? Isn’t a black student who graduates from college—any college—pretty much set, as far as access to a middle-class lifestyle goes?

  17. 17
    Radfem says:

    Actually #1 does fit with 2-3 in terms of the “diversity is a weakness” argument though I’ve heard of that being said in other areas besides White supremacism and heard it said in more moderate language, along the lines of arguing against affirmative action in education, contracts and hiring. It’s racist, from “why don’t you hire the most qualified person for the job?” which sounds like it’s not on the surface to many White people, but most often it’s meant to equate “most qualified” with White and often male and if only White and often male is being hired, that’s not due to hiring and recruiting practices favorably selecting them, it’s because they are the “best”. It is said most often by White men, followed by White women when their workplaces become less White and/or male. If it’s being said at the Stormfront site, this almost certainly is true. The education part is either the blame people of color for the state of public schools or against AA programs. I’ve heard both contexts many times in my berg.

    The White Supremacists, Stormfront included, are a nasty bunch, they just wrap their nastiness around this idea of a “White” heritage as something that is being oppressed or taken away from them, by a society they view as racist against them.

    Celebrating caucasian history in #2 is problematic, because what is Caucasian history? What everybody celebrates, or learns from knee high. Arguments about celebrating Caucasian history arise when course material that was formerly predominantly emphasizing what is basically history from Caucasians’ point of view begins to include perspectives from other ethic or racial groups, i.e. American Indians or African-Americans or gasp, there are actually separate courses that teach this emphasis. Or as complaints against Black history month, women’s history month and so forth when people complain, when is White history month or men’s history month? The answer is, basically the entire year.

    I think it’s different to celebrate individual ethnicity groups history within White, which is much different than celebrating “White” heritage and history.

    #3 is stupid and racist, for reasons explained for #2 and a wealth of others. White people and Black people are not treated or viewed equally and Black history month was created to address the inequalities in how history was taught to favor the White perspective. It is not the problem. It was created to address the problem.

    #4 More racism in terms of stereotyping(hucksters) and dehumanizing(well-trained) and those lovely words, “race baiting”. I’m surprised he or she left out “outside agitators” in their diatribe. This one is specified for affirmative action, ethnic studies or ethnic dorms but you’ll find similar language used in any situation where Whites believe their racial privilege is getting infringed.

    And don’t forget the media(liberal), lawyers(corrupt), lawmakers(see lawyers and media). The evil trio.

    #5 Racism is dead and gone argument, mostly due to the benovalence of Whites(remember who gets to write the history) and some Black folks who faced real discrimination led by some Black civil rights leaders we can quote out of context, misquote and co-opt for our own purposes to insist to you that if these leaders were alive today, they’d agree with us that racism is gone. In fact, if anything, it’s against Whites now.

  18. 18
    Brandon Berg says:

    Radfem:

    It’s racist, from “why don’t you hire the most qualified person for the job?” which sounds like it’s not on the surface to many White people, but most often it’s meant to equate “most qualified” with White and often male and if only White and often male is being hired, that’s not due to hiring and recruiting practices favorably selecting them, it’s because they are the “best”.

    Do you have any evidence at all to support this claim? I’ve never heard this complaint voiced except in the context of objection to explicitly discriminatory policies. And even if we grant for the sake of argument that people sometimes ask this question to promote a racist agenda, that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a perfectly legitimate question to ask in the context of objecting to discriminatory practices.

  19. 19
    Nancy Lebovitz says:

    I guarantee this: In ten years not one of these “activists”, who are agitating instead of studying, will have become productive or self-sufficient. They’ll blame a “lack of diversity” for their failure to thrive, but it will, of course, be due to the fact that instead of applying themselves to their studies in college they threw tantrums in order to get a separate building for their own kind.

    I’m pretty sure you’re mistaken. If racists never did well enough to be in the position of making hiring decisions, there wouldn’t be any reason for affirmative action .

    As for the other half of your point, I suspect it would apply to any sort of student protestor, and I suspect that not all of them wreck their opportunities.

  20. 20
    curiousgyrl says:

    Brandon Berg;

    You’re definition of racism is needlessly narrow and in no way accounts for power.

  21. 21
    Ampersand says:

    It seems to me that the primary effect of affirmative action is that some people get into better schools than they would otherwise, while some people get into worse schools than they would otherwise.

    Actually, there’s no reason to think AA leads to white people getting into “worse schools” as such. I wrote about this in 2003, but the post isn’t in the archives for some reason, so I’ll repost it.

  22. 22
    RonF says:

    You’re definition of racism is needlessly narrow and in no way accounts for power.

    Which is why it’s more accurate than definitions of racism that leave out attitudes, feelings, thoughts, etc. when the person who has them does not have the ability to put into practice. A feeling or thought or attitude is racist if it is based on an untrue racial distinction (thus, creating and marketing different cosmetics for black people than for white people is not racist). If someone hates all people of a particular race based on those person’s race, then that person is racist, regardless of whether or not they are in a position to affect other people’s lives on the basis of that hate.

    Now, certainly, the effects of that racism varies depending on the power that individual has. But the property of being racist in and of itself doesn’t.

  23. 23
    RonF says:

    Of course, I guess after reading these comments you have to ask yourself who the white supremacists really are. Once again this is another example of how white supremacist ideology is more mainstream than many are willing to admit.

    I’m trying to understand the logic here, so I’m going to ask a couple of questions.

    1) Do you think that any comment left on a white supremacist web site is automatically racist?

    2) Do you think that if people cannot readily distinguish whether or not a comment was left on a general purpose message board or a white supremacist message board, that comment must be racist?

  24. 24
    Radfem says:

    Do you have any evidence at all to support this claim? I’ve never heard this complaint voiced except in the context of objection to explicitly discriminatory policies.

    Maybe you’re not listening? Or maybe you’re not getting around? Because I’ve heard and seen this many, many, many, many times.

    Maybe these comments only mean what White men want them to mean because White men often define the meaning of any language in our society. If men of color or women see them any other way, it’s all in our heads of course and we should just stop bucking the system and just accept the status quo.

    Actually, even as a White woman, I’ve heard it most my life anytime a woman is hired in a predominatly male environment. I’ve heard it when a person of color is the first or the only employee in that working environment. Even so when the second is hired.

    I heard it last month, by a city council member who when I challenged the city’s police department to get its percentage of women officers up to the national average(14%), he went on a long tirade that began with “We don’t hire on the basis of race, gender or religion but only the most qualified individuals…” and got more hostile as it went on. You see, many racist conversations start with these words, because on the surface, they seem legitimate, and would be if we lived in a society where there was racial and gender equality. If you think that society already exists, then you might as well skip my post.

    Interestingly, the White officers applauded his words fiercely. The Latino officers did not, even though he never mentioned specific races in his diatribe. He didn’t have to as they understood what he meant. I know because I spoke to several of them afterward though I didn’t really have to. As for Black, Asian-American or female officers of any race, they weren’t even in that room.

    If there’s also a hostile work environment for men of color or women, you’ll also hear in the next breath, “well if they can’t cut it, they should just leave…”

    I’ve heard it used by White men who are accustomed to watching White men getting promoted in agencies that are 75% White, over 90% male and then all of a sudden a man of color or a woman who trained them when they first arrived and who they have caught up with, is suddenly breaking the usual promotion of White men and getting promoted above them. And when you look at the qualifications of these men of color and women(and I have) they always have more education, more years and more varied work experience and so forth. But the White men still scream reverse racism and sexism because they think that those spots were theirs, because they’ve always been theirs, even though the entire chain of decision making, from evaluating the lists to making the final decisions consists entirely of White men.

    Nothing like being a man of color and working hard, doing well and having every promotion that you’ve earned challenged by a bunch of White male disgruntled colleagues.

    I’ve heard it used by White men to avoid fishing from the same recruiting ponds that favor White male applicants, because we’re hiring the best people and if they are all White, then that’s because that’s all that is out there, when in most cases, they just need to find new areas to recruit. Only, racial entitlement because it is White men who do the hiring, who make the strategic decisions on where to fish and they are all supervised by White men, so that’s pretty much that.

  25. 25
    Radfem says:

    6. I’m sick of people making “demands” for something just because they are a minority. Stop and think. Aren’t we all a minority? The USA is a diversified nation that was built on the immagration of suppressed minorities from all nations. Since when do black American’s deserve any preferential treatment than any other American citizen? My decendants are from Germany and I’ll bet that, if you count all of the German Americans, they would also be a minority. That is the same as any other group of people from any other ancestory. The “students” remind me of a bunch of spoiled high schoolers that protest a dress code or what’s on the lunch menu. If they want to protest something they should protest something of meaningful consequence such as the Irag war, global warming or poverty. They’re only showing how immature they are.

    This is very common. You certainly don’t need to be at Stormfront to write it either.

    Not all minorities were “suppressed”. Not all minorities came or immigrated to this country by choice. Not all minorities came to this country at all. This comment actually erased the experiences of a lot of racial “minorities”.

    Black Americans still haven’t gained as a class all their citizenship rights. Many they have gained were gained relatively recently. If a Black American wants to be treated as good as a German-American who is White, of course he or she is asking for “preferential” treatment.

    German-Americans may be a minority, but they are part of a larger privileged racial majority(for now). This person can pull out their ethnic identity to make a point as a “minority” but they are actually arguing from the “majority”.

    Ah, spoiled, immature. Protesting something more meaningful like the Iraq war, global warming and poverty(and I’m sure this person would probably gripe about it if they were, assuming they aren’t). Hmm, this person doesn’t sound all that mature him or herself.

  26. 26
    Elena says:

    But doesn’t the implementation of some AA policies actually result in the perception that the most qualified person hasn’t been hired?

    The way I understand AA is that it was meant as a temporary kick in the pants for colleges and employers back in the late seventies when auto companies actually said that women were to dangerous to have on the line because of menstruation. I may be mistaken, but it was always meant to be a temporary measure, and the drawbacks of it are obvious- one being that it gives racist/ sexist boneheads ammunition. Not to mention that occasionaly they are probably right- an undeserving candidate may get the job on occasion because of AA.

    Racism exists. When my husband was a member of the Laborers International Union, there was one Black man in the whole company, two Latinos including him. Most of the union construction jobs in town seemed to be held by men from the outlying rural areas, when there was a city full of minority men and women who would probably kill to make 25 bucks an hour with benefits. I don’t kow why our local Urban League or even the state back-to-work agencies never called these unions to the mat- maybe they did and I am unaware. In such a case, I think an investigation or even a lawsuit would be in order, but the days of heavy handed AA programs are over in Michigan with Prop 2.

  27. 27
    Radfem says:

    I think an investigation or even a lawsuit would be in order, but the days of heavy handed AA programs are over in Michigan with Prop 2.

    Actually, no they aren’t. I believe the 20-30 points given to students living in areas that are predominantly White just for living there, still exists. AA for the kids of alumna and donors(both of which can be largely White) still exists everywhere. Attempts to discuss this issue by representatives from UC Irvine at the annual board of Regents for the University of California were nixed by the regents including Mr. Ward Connally, the main promoter of Proposition 2 in Michigan and similar propositions including 209 in California.

    Rest assured, Affirmative Action programs that may be less official but still exist, are still alive and well, as long as they give White students that extra push to get in universities that their race doesn’t already give them.

  28. 28
    Brandon Berg says:

    I believe the 20-30 points given to students living in areas that are predominantly White just for living there, still exists.

    That just screams for a footnote. I’m not saying you’re lying; even if God Himself burned it into the night sky, I’d want details and context.

  29. 29
    Radfem says:

    Go find them yourself. I’m not your personal researcher. And if you want to call me a liar, feel free to do that too especially if you would do like with God, lol. I read it on several links and some discussions(with mostly people from Michigan) a while back and I don’t have the time right now, and to be frank, the desire either to prove my point to you, to hunt them down on a slow computer with even slower internet.

    I might have more time, if racism really were gone like some of you seem to think it is. Or I might be in another line of work.

    University of Michigan has a point system, for all different types of groups, not just those based on ethnicity or race. Just seeing one of my state university’s regents being involved in getting AA tossed out in another state or more accurately, states, is enough to cause me to do more than raise an eyebrow that there is something more involved than in just ahem, “leveling the playing field” or so they call it.

    The fact is, if anti-AA people were truly interested in making things fairer for all students of all races, then they would work just as hard to eliminate the forms of A.A. formal and less formal that favor Whites, but for some reason, they are not nearly as enthusiastic at doing this as was the case in California. So there are other intentions besides these campaigns than ensuring equality.

  30. 30
    Robert says:

    It’s your implausible claim, Radfem. I don’t believe it, and if you want it taken seriously as part of a discussion, then it’s your job to support it. You say the sky is blue, we can take you on faith; you say the sky is made of lime jello and the moon is a giant banana, it’s your job to prove it.

  31. 31
    Decnavda says:

    Brandon Berg-
    I really can not look up footnotes either, but just to make her claim more plausible for a racism sceptic, I will explain some of the context in which I have heard of the preferences that RadFem describes is that they are prefences for rural students, with the claimed intentions of creating urban – rural diversity in the school and correcting for past discrimination against country folk. In a state like Michigan, this results in virtually all such preferences going to whites, since the minorities, overwhelmingly black, overwhelmingly live in urban areas. Whether the stated purposes are what was really intended, and whether the stated purposes are objectively legitimate even if they were subjectively legitimate are of course debatable. Of course in many areas of the country the rural area populations are, and increasingly are, Latino, so an interesting study might be to see if there is a correllation between which universities offer rural preferences and the percentage of college seniors in nearby rural areas that are white.

  32. 32
    Radfem says:

    Nice to see you on this thread, Robert. Where did I say that I cared if you took me seriously or my contributions to this discussion seriously or not? Is there some unwritten rule that I’m supposed to do so?

    No, it’s not my “job” to prove anything to people who would see a blue sky and still convince themselves somehow it’s green, no matter what evidence, ancedotes, studies, statistics, links, articles would be provided to prove that it was indeed, blue. An analogy for an analogy.

  33. 33
    Robert says:

    Is there some unwritten rule that I’m supposed to do so?

    Yes. It’s called “intellectual integrity”. I’d give you a definition, but why should *I* be the one to go to the trouble of actually backing up what I say? :)

    it’s not my “job” to prove anything

    I suppose not. It’s simply the prerequisite for having an adult conversation. You make an assertion, you back it up. It really isn’t complicated.

  34. 34
    NancyP says:

    You do know that the state with the largest KKK membership at one point was Indiana.

  35. 35
    Radfem says:

    Thanks for your post, Decnavda, I’m not sure if this particular area of Michigan was rural or not(though I’m aware that in some university systems, “points” are given for living in rural areas) but that it was predominantly White in terms of its population. I think race was 20 points and students in the region were 30.

    That was the crux of the argument on several threads I read on this topic probably about two years ago. I might try to find them later, when I have time and I’m on a machine which isn’t so pokey! Hopefully, I can also find any links on what arose with the UC regents’ decision to not even put the discussion of alumna and donor based affirmative action on the agenda. That caused some reaction at UC Irvine, UCLA and UC Berkeley especially. Of course, if it’s not listed in Google, it didn’t happen.

    And aren’t there any poor people in urban areas of Michigan, outside rural areas? If they eliminated race-based AA, then wouldn’t they want to open up some of these urban areas to getting 30 points too? In the interest of being more equal, and all that?

    Of course in many areas of the country the rural area populations are, and increasingly are, Latino, so an interesting study might be to see if there is a correllation between which universities offer rural preferences and the percentage of college seniors in nearby rural areas that are white.

    Yes, this would be very interesting. I can guess what some of the results might be because I’m cynical and don’t buy into the argument that racism has been extinguished(occupational hazard?), but then some of these individuals have also chosen not to understand or unable to understand the principle of racism being an exercise of power and not simply consisting of prejudice against a particular racial group. And the same, regarding sexism. I find it pretty much a waste of time to engage in any form of discussion with these individuals and really have no interest in doing so. They’re separate steps behind and have no interest in catching up.

    I spent several interesting minutes in the elevator with three individuals who all have played roles in some of the issues raised in this thread. That gave me food for thought so maybe I’ll make sense of that and come back. Not to be infantalized by some as women often are by men, but because this is an interesting topic.

  36. 36
    Radfem says:

    You do know that the state with the largest KKK membership at one point was Indiana.

    I read that. Was this fairly recently?

  37. 37
    Rachel S. says:

    Elena said, “I don’t find it shocking that people are against a program that is not in their best interest, or not perceived to be in their best interest.”

    I think it is more perception than reality. It’s not like the status of whites in this country has dropped over the past 30 years. I think it is unfair for people to think that Blacks gains are whites losses. Whites also benefit from having a healthy well educated Black population.

    Imagine that I am an employer. I would much prefer to have 100 good well educated candidates as opposed to 70. Affirmative action is not about holding back whites; it’s about expanding the opportunities that whites already have to others.

  38. 38
    Rachel S. says:

    Elena said, “I mean: reasonable people don’t object to remedial college prep courses, or to economic outreach programs, or mentoring programs, or programs meant to expose women to engineering or to help people of limited English proficiency to read and write in English well enough to learn a profession here.”

    This is what the vast majority of affirmative action programs include. Affirmative action involves outreach and expanding opportunities. These programs don’t generally randomly admit people just because of their group is underrepresented. I have to admit that I find it interesting that you seem to support gender and class based affirmative action, but not race based affirmative action. Why is that? Why should race be treated different from gender or class?

    Elena said, “These programs exist at universities all over the country, and actually may suffer from public referendums outlawing AA. Yet I don’t blame racism- I blame the vindictiveness and lack of pragmatism of AA programs of the past and present.”

    But these are the types of AA programs that exist.

  39. 39
    Robert says:

    I think it is unfair for people to think that Blacks gains are whites losses.

    True. Blacks’ gains are Asians’ losses.

    (Sorry, couldn’t resist.)

  40. 40
    Rachel S. says:

    Brandon said, “So how do race-based preferences in college admissions help to equalize opportunities?”

    The fact is whites and Blacks are not attending the same schools; whites are disproportionately attending wealthy suburban schools, and blacks are disproportionately attending poorer urban schools. Kids have little or no control over what types of school they attend, and Black kids are frequently getting a poorer education than their white counterparts–even when they are in the same school. Years of affirmative action tell us that when the students from these poorer predominately minority schools get into college, they perform on par with their white counterparts. They just need a chance. They may have to work hard to catch-up, but in my experience that happens. My personal sense in that students who are basically qualified (have the minimum required test scores and GPAs) can succeed if they have determination. Unfortunately, we can’t easily measure determination, but in my experience it is in no way connected to race. I know some of the remedial programs interview students to see if they can gauge what contribution the student will make. I personally like this idea for students who are “on the bubble.”

  41. 41
    Robert says:

    Great! So establish a systemic preference for people from worse high schools to compensate for that factor, and end racial preferences, and everyone’s happy.

  42. 42
    Rachel S. says:

    Robert,
    You can be a disadvantaged student in a middle class community. You would have to develop something more complex. Disadvantage occurs at the group level, the individual level, and the community level.

  43. 43
    RonF says:

    I live next to a suburb that is known for it’s $1 and $2 and $5 million homes. But the local middle school where those kids go to school (and where mine went) also has homeless kids in it. Lots of people don’t seem to know, though.

  44. 44
    Rachel S. says:

    RonF, I meant to answer those two questions you left above:
    1) Do you think that any comment left on a white supremacist web site is automatically racist?

    No I don’t think every single comment is. White supremacists are like other folks, they talk about the weather, their favorite cars, etc. But the vast majority of their comments about race are racist.

    2) Do you think that if people cannot readily distinguish whether or not a comment was left on a general purpose message board or a white supremacist message board, that comment must be racist?

    No, but I think if you find yourself saying things that can be found on WS boards then you really need to check yourself. If you sound like a WS then you are promoting their agenda. If you are promoting their agenda then you are racist.

    WS don’t think they are racist and neither does Michael Richards. In this day and age people rarely acknowledge that the are racist, so we need to look not at their self assessment, but the consequences of their actions.

  45. 45
    Robert says:

    You can be a disadvantaged student in a middle class community. You would have to develop something more complex. Disadvantage occurs at the group level, the individual level, and the community level.

    True. Is it your contention then, that every group, individual and community disadvantage must be rectified through state action and the explicit prioritization by the state of one group above another?

    And if not, then what threshold DO you accept for situations of disadvantage that we are not compelled to collectively attempt correction?

  46. 46
    Decnavda says:

    Robert, I suspect that any threshold that is not met by the way backs have been treated in the U. S. would be too high for any group in the U.S. to meet.

  47. 47
    Charles S says:

    Robert,

    I went to the best public high school in North Carolina, located in one of the wealthier towns in North Carolina. If you were white, it was an excellent school. If you were black, it was still probably among the best schools compared to other schools in North Carolina, but not nearly as good as if you were white. In my upper level classes, there was one black student that I can remember and she was from Alaska. In my sister’s senior mid-level English classes (my sister is black), she was the only black student. Several teachers were known to be racist, and there was a general hostility toward black students among the white student body (who made up the majority of students). Chapel Hill HS was probably 1/3 black (just guessing). Chapel Hill HS did not serve its black students well, so a system such as you suggest, which awarded admissions bonuses based on quality of high school would not account for this sort of situation.

    If you want a proxy for race that actually works reasonably well at identifying disadvantage and that gets to the heart of the effects of a long history of oppression, family assets (not income) is probably the best one. But family assets are hard to document (that is, underreporting of family assets is hard to document), so it is not a very functional tool for designing actual AA programs.

  48. 48
    Robert says:

    I didn’t go to as good a high school, but we had a similar dynamic; black students didn’t get the same treatment as white ones. So sure, a high-school based metric isn’t going to be perfect. But neither is a skin-tone-based metric, which is what we have now. The high-school based metric would have the advantage of not being morally repugnant.

    I agree that family assets would be an even better metric, but I don’t see that under-reporting would be a problem. The level of assets needed to trigger preferential treatment would be relatively low. It’s not hard to demonstrate that somebody doesn’t live in a trailer park if they falsely claim low status. Indeed, given that racial preferences work almost entirely on self-reporting, it’s clear that anybody willing to game the system already has the capacity to do so under the current regime. A family asset basis would be easier to police; it’s much simpler to pull property tax and IRS records than it is to prove someone isn’t black.

    I have zero objection to helping the underprivileged and oppressed get a leg up in university admissions; I only object to setting up a system of race-based discrimination to do it. I’m very open to refocusing these preferences to areas that are not morally problematic.

  49. 49
    Rachel S. says:

    My next post is going to be “White Supremacist or Robert.” Hee!! Hee!!

  50. 50
    Brandon Berg says:

    Since no one took me up on my challenge, here’s the fallacy:

    Racists say a lot of things—even some things about racial issues—that aren’t inherently racist. So you can’t conclude that a statement must be racist simply because it sounds like something a known racist has said.

    You may argue that the particular comments you took from Stormfront clearly are racist. If this is true, and if the comments from the Central Indiana Message Board really are indistinguishable from the Stormfront comments, then it follows that the CIMB comments are clearly racist. So the comparison to the Stormfront comments is wholly unnecessary. But if the Stormfront comments are not clearly racist, then the comparison fails to show that the CIMB comments are racist. This is just begging the question.

  51. 51
    Brandon Berg says:

    To be clear, I’m not necessarily endorsing any of the comments above. #7 is clearly racist, and a couple of the others are ambiguously so. Even the ones that aren’t racist use a more strident tone than I would, and none of the arguments are terribly sophisticated. But most seem to be motivated by a genuine and uncompromising belief that it’s wrong to discriminate based on race. If you want to say that this is naive, you’re free to do so. But to call it racist is nonsensical—it’s dogmatically anti-racist.

  52. 52
    Robert says:

    Brandon has broken the code.

    “Racist or Rachel?”

    1. I like ice cream.
    2. Puppies are fuzzy but sometimes they make me sneeze.
    3…

    “Nazi or Robert”

    1. Vienna is nice in the springtime.

    and so forth.

  53. 53
    Rachel S. says:

    Brandon, I did make that point in #44.

  54. 54
    Brandon Berg says:

    Rachel:
    You acknowledged the fact that not everything a racist says is inherently racist. But then you minimize the significance of that fact by claiming, “If you sound like a WS then you are promoting their agenda. If you are promoting their agenda then you are racist.” Nor did you acknowledge the circular reasoning I pointed out.

    To make the fallacy more obvious, let’s imagine the shoe on the other foot. The politics of many people here are far enough to the left that I don’t think it would be hard to create an “Alas Regular or Murderous Communist Dictator” list. What conclusions would you draw from such a list?

  55. 55
    curiousgyrl says:

    But most seem to be motivated by a genuine andbelief that it’s wrong to discriminate based on race

  56. 56
    Donna Darko says:

    Blacks’ gains are Asians’ losses. –Robert

    Actually, whites’ gains via legacy admisssion are Asians’ losses to a much greater degree. There is more of an overlap between the caliber of Asian students applying to elite colleges and whites than blacks. From “The Price of Admission: How America’s Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges — and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates” by Pulitzer-Prize winner Daniel Golden:

    A heavy-hitting, name-naming exposé by Wall Street Journal deputy bureau chief Golden concludes that Ivy League admissions offices do not practice meritocracy. Instead, top-drawer schools reward donor-happy alums and the “legacy establishment,” which Golden defines as “elites mastering the art of perpetuating themselves.” Moreover, the “preference of privilege” enables wealthy candidates to nose out more deserving working- and middle-class students, especially new immigrants and Asian-Americans. Golden backs his assertions with examples comparing the academic records of entering students: e.g., Al Gore’s son was admitted to Harvard despite his shabby record, although a better prepared Asian-American was rejected at all Ivy Leagues because he was “unhooked” (in admission parlance, not well connected or moneyed). Asian-Americans, notes Golden, are the “new Jews,” for whom a higher bar is set. Golden tracks shameful admissions policies at Duke, where the enrollment of privileged but underqualified applicants has helped elevate the school’s endowment ranking from 25th in 1980 to 16th in 2005; Brown is skewered for courting the offspring of entertainment industry notables. Golden suggests reasonable, workable tactics for resurrecting the antilegacy campaign in Congress (led by Senator Kennedy) and devotes a laudatory chapter to the equitable admissions practices at Caltech, Berea College (Kentucky) and Cooper Union (New York City).

  57. 57
    Donna Darko says:

    Ironically, getting rid of legacy affirmative action would help academically qualified working-class and middle-class the most — those who whine the most on these threads — while getting rid of regular affirmative action would help Asian Americans the most. More on Golden’s book:

    In his final chapter, the author presents the reforms he believes are necessary to eliminate the preferences of privilege and restore the opportunities for upward social mobility to academically qualified working-class and middle-class students. While the fact that the rich and famous are treated differently is hardly news, this report’s abundance of juicy stories of outrageous favoritism makes for an absorbing read.

  58. 58
    Donna Darko says:

    In the end, what hurts white and Asian students the most is legacy affirmative action not regular affirmative action. Of course, I’m speaking of non-legacy and non-moneyed white and Asian students.

  59. 59
    Robert says:

    Donna -

    If you want to characterize my statements as “blacks’ gains are Asians’ losses”, fine. To make it a quote is unethical and dishonest.

    Please retract your statement.

  60. 60
    RonF says:

    No I don’t think every single comment is. White supremacists are like other folks, they talk about the weather, their favorite cars, etc. But the vast majority of their comments about race are racist.

    I’ve never been on a WS board, but the logic in that last sentence seems like an excellent bet to me. However, the kind of comparison made comparing a given few non-WS board statement to a few WS-board ones allows for picking and choosing non-typical statements on both sides. It’s guilt by association. It also presumes that people should know what’s on a WS site – but I sure wouldn’t. In other words, the sample size is too small, to my mind, to support the conclusion you seemed to be advancing. However, I’m in agreement with some of you other statements.

    No, but I think if you find yourself saying things that can be found on WS boards then you really need to check yourself. If you sound like a WS then you are promoting their agenda. If you are promoting their agenda then you are racist.

    I should think that it’s possible for a WS to say a true fact about the races, whatever other untruthful statements they may also make. So I’d challenge your second sentence if the basis of “sound like” is a couple of sentences from either one. Frankly, I have no desire to read enough WS literature or web sites to be able to form an informed judgement. However, I’d fully endorse the first and the third statements you make here.

    WS don’t think they are racist and neither does Michael Richards. In this day and age people rarely acknowledge that the are racist, so we need to look not at their self assessment, but the consequences of their actions

    Hm. My quite limited understanding of WS has been that they do think they are racist, but think that such racism is morally justified due to what they feel is their superiority. I’m wrong about that?

    As far as self-assessment goes, I’d think there’s way too little of that, especially the kind that occurs before people do something like what Michael Richards did. The consequences and possible consequences of our actions should always be in our minds. If it affects one group of people differently than another, we should definitely be questioning why that would be and whether that’s justifiable.

  61. 61
    Ampersand says:

    Donna -

    If you want to characterize my statements as “blacks’ gains are Asians’ losses”, fine. To make it a quote is unethical and dishonest.

    Please retract your statement.

    Donna -

    I agree with Robert; I generally try to encourage people on “Alas’ to be very careful with their quoting. If you want to do a “Shorter Robert Hayes” style sarcastic paraphrase of what Robert said, then please make sure to mark it as such. (i.e.: “Shorter Robert Hayes: ‘blacks’ gains are Asians’ losses’”).

    Wait, never mind: You quoted Robert accurately. Sorry about that!

  62. 62
    Rachel S. says:

    But Robert did say that in #39.

  63. 63
    Robert says:

    Well, fuck me. So I did.

    Donna, I apologize. I thought it was a quasiquote. I was wrong.