“Positive discrimination”

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | April 23rd, 2014

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"Positive discrimination"

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

faustaYes­ter­day the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6 – 2 that states have the right to ban racial pref­er­ences, what we call “affir­ma­tive action”, which the French refer to “dis­crim­i­na­tion pos­i­tive”, or pos­i­tive dis­crim­i­na­tion — an oxy­moron if there ever was one, but overly opti­mistic, or the newest euphemism for aca­d­e­mic set­tings, “race-​sensitive admis­sion poli­cies” (empha­sis added):

Jus­tice Anthony M. Kennedy, in the opin­ion that con­trolled the out­come, insisted that the Court was say­ing noth­ing new on the con­sti­tu­tion­al­ity of pub­lic poli­cies that take race into account. “This case,” he wrote, “is not about how the debate about racial pref­er­ences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it….The hold­ing in the instant case is sim­ply that the courts may not dis­em­power the vot­ers from choos­ing which path to fol­low.”

He added: “There is no author­ity in the Con­sti­tu­tion of the United States or in this Court’s prece­dents for the Judi­ciary to set aside Michi­gan laws that com­mit this pol­icy deter­mi­na­tion to the voters.”

Jus­tice Sotomayor dis­sented, but her dis­sent was framed in emo­tional terms, hav­ing con­ceded that the Michi­gan law itself did not vio­late equal pro­tec­tion:

Race mat­ters for rea­sons that really are only skin deep, that can­not be dis­cussed any other way, and that can­not be wished away. Race mat­ters to a young man’s view of soci­ety when he spends his teenage years watch­ing oth­ers tense up as he passes, no mat­ter the neigh­bor­hood where he grew up. Race mat­ters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her home­town, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regard­less of how many gen­er­a­tions her fam­ily has been in the coun­try. Race mat­ters to a young per­son addressed by a stranger in a for­eign lan­guage, which he does not under­stand because only Eng­lish was spo­ken at home. Race mat­ters because of the slights, the snick­ers, the silent judg­ments that rein­force that most crip­pling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and, unlike Jus­tice Sotomayor, do not con­sider myself to be a “wise Latina”:

I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the rich­ness of her expe­ri­ences would more often than not reach a bet­ter con­clu­sion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” said Judge Sotomayor

Cer­tainly it wold be ridicu­lous, if not down­right fool­ish, to assume that acci­dent of birth in the form of eth­nic­ity has made my life expe­ri­ences “richer” than any­one who hasn’t lived my life. Dur­ing the decades I’ve lived in the Con­ti­nen­tal U. S. I have been “addressed by a stranger in a for­eign language” — in Ger­man, in Ital­ian, and in Span­ish — which did not offend me; to the con­trary, I see it as a com­pli­ment that a per­son would like to com­mu­ni­cate with me in their lan­guage.

But I pose to Jus­tice Sotomayor this ques­tion, does race mat­ter when Asian (East Asian and Indian) stu­dents are denied admis­sion to top col­leges because quo­tas favor a dif­fer­ent minority?

The real issue on col­lege admis­sions is the qual­ity of pub­lic school edu­ca­tion,

As a prac­ti­cal mat­ter, the fact that non-​white stu­dents do rel­a­tively poorly under race-​neutral admis­sions stan­dards at our pub­lic uni­ver­si­ties is an indict­ment mainly of our K – 12 edu­ca­tion sys­tem and of the cul­tural anar­chy that has imposed espe­cially high costs on the chil­dren of black and Latino fam­i­lies. It is not an indict­ment of race-​neutral stan­dards. Unable or unwill­ing to do a bet­ter job of prepar­ing black and Latino stu­dents for col­lege in the pub­lic insti­tu­tions con­trolled by its most reli­able foot­sol­diers, the Left insists on anath­e­ma­tiz­ing the very stan­dards under which the incom­pe­tence and neg­li­gence of our government-​run schools, the very model of pro­gres­sivism, are revealed. If that takes a bit of dou­ble­s­peak — non-​discrimination is dis­crim­i­na­tion — it wouldn’t be the first time the Left has relied on it.

Or, as my col­league Juli­ette Akinyi Ochieng cor­rectly names it, The Great Indoc­tri­na­tion.

Back when Jus­tice Sotomayor was nom­i­nated, I said,

Iden­tity pol­i­tics is, in a word, wrong.

Ele­vat­ing ethnic-​identity pol­i­tics over the law doesn’t make it right.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US and Latin Amer­i­can cul­ture and pol­i­tics at Fausta’s Blog.

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by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

faustaYesterday the Supreme Court of the United States ruled 6-2 that states have the right to ban racial preferences, what we call “affirmative action”, which the French refer to “discrimination positive“, or positive discrimination – an oxymoron if there ever was one, but overly optimistic, or the newest euphemism for academic settings, “race-sensitive admission policies” (emphasis added):

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, in the opinion that controlled the outcome, insisted that the Court was saying nothing new on the constitutionality of public policies that take race into account. “This case,” he wrote, “is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it….The holding in the instant case is simply that the courts may not disempower the voters from choosing which path to follow.”

He added: “There is no authority in the Constitution of the United States or in this Court’s precedents for the Judiciary to set aside Michigan laws that commit this policy determination to the voters.”

Justice Sotomayor dissented, but her dissent was framed in emotional terms, having conceded that the Michigan law itself did not violate equal protection:

Race matters for reasons that really are only skin deep, that cannot be discussed any other way, and that cannot be wished away. Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter the neighborhood where he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, “No, where are you really from?”, regardless of how many generations her family has been in the country. Race matters to a young person addressed by a stranger in a foreign language, which he does not understand because only English was spoken at home. Race matters because of the slights, the snickers, the silent judgments that reinforce that most crippling of thoughts: “I do not belong here.”

I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, and, unlike Justice Sotomayor, do not consider myself to be a “wise Latina“:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” said Judge Sotomayor

Certainly it wold be ridiculous, if not downright foolish, to assume that accident of birth in the form of ethnicity has made my life experiences “richer” than anyone who hasn’t lived my life. During the decades I’ve lived in the Continental U. S. I have been “addressed by a stranger in a foreign language” – in German, in Italian, and in Spanish – which did not offend me; to the contrary, I see it as a compliment that a person would like to communicate with me in their language.

But I pose to Justice Sotomayor this question, does race matter when Asian (East Asian and Indian) students are denied admission to top colleges because quotas favor a different minority?

The real issue on college admissions is the quality of public school education,

As a practical matter, the fact that non-white students do relatively poorly under race-neutral admissions standards at our public universities is an indictment mainly of our K–12 education system and of the cultural anarchy that has imposed especially high costs on the children of black and Latino families. It is not an indictment of race-neutral standards. Unable or unwilling to do a better job of preparing black and Latino students for college in the public institutions controlled by its most reliable footsoldiers, the Left insists on anathematizing the very standards under which the incompetence and negligence of our government-run schools, the very model of progressivism, are revealed. If that takes a bit of doublespeak — non-discrimination is discrimination — it wouldn’t be the first time the Left has relied on it.

Or, as my colleague Juliette Akinyi Ochieng correctly names it, The Great Indoctrination.

Back when Justice Sotomayor was nominated, I said,

Identity politics is, in a word, wrong.

Elevating ethnic-identity politics over the law doesn’t make it right.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on US and Latin American culture and politics at Fausta’s Blog.

******************************************************************

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This blog exists as a full time endeavor thanks to your support.

The reporting, the commentary and the nine magnificent seven writers are all made possible because you, the reader choose to support it.

For a full month of all of what we provide ,we ask a fixed amount $1465, under $50 a day.

This month we are behind with 7 days to go we need $1115 for a full pay month. We can make our goal if we can get $159 per day We need 6 $25 Tip jar hits we can make that goal.

If you think the work we do here for the conservative movement is worth it, please consider hitting DaTipJar below .

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Sunday  Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

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