The Seventh McNugget

We all can't be one of the Six.

04 October 2005

El Gripe-O

Can't find the article now, but read last night about how the Hispanic community is all upset that Bush didn't pick a Latino for the Supreme Court position... particularly Alberto Gonzalez.

It's a free country, so gripe away, but let me remind you that not-so-long-ago, Bush appointed Gonzalez first to his general counsel and then to the position of freakin' Attorney General of the US... the FIRST Hispanic person to be chosen for that position and no small honor.

How quickly we forget.

20 Comments:

At 9:21 AM, Blogger Manchild said...

Let's not also forget that positions should not be filled based on race.

Alberto was pro-torture. He had no business, IMO, being on the Supreme Court.

 
At 9:59 AM, Blogger The K Man said...

Agreed. The best man (or woman) for the job. Period. Race should not be an issue either way.

Which unfortunately is often not the case. My 3.0 high school GPA and 1300 SAT score couldn't get me into Penn State.... but bunches of black kids got in with WAY poorer marks... like 800 SAT scores...

...I know because a relative of mine was an admissions person for PSU.

 
At 10:30 AM, Blogger Stan said...

Yeah or the fact that kids whose families were far richer than mine got more financial aid simply because of their race. Sometimes it sucks being in the majority. Of course other times, it doesn't suck.

 
At 10:58 AM, Blogger The K Man said...

The majority of the time, it doesn't suck.

Get it? MAJORITY!?!!

(not funny)

 
At 11:21 AM, Blogger Manchild said...

Yes, we've discussed this before, but I do genuinely think there is a substantive difference between appointing a Supreme Court Judge where race is a factor, and taking a minority kid with a lower SAT score into college.

It sucks for you, and it's an imperfect system, but the rationale is sound, I think.

Minority kids come from predominantly disadvantaged homes where studying is harder. They have less opportunities and less aids. As such, an 800 score is supposed to indicate that ceteris paribus, he would be better than an advantaged non minority, with a 1200 score. Or something like that.

It's an imperfect system because minorities don't ALL have it bad, and majorities don't ALL have it good. But on the whole, it does address the imbalance, and for all the complaining that I hear from people about Affirmative Action, I've never once heard anyone say "Gee, I wish I was black."

 
At 11:40 AM, Blogger The K Man said...

Well, I could get into a whole thing here... it kinda comes down to whether you see it as the government's job to address those factors or one's own responsibility.

Because, despite what some may claim, I, Kamin, was not personally the cause those "difficult situations" of which you speak. The vast majority of those factors are the direct result of those people's own actions and those of their families. Their decisions to disregard education, commit crimes, use drugs, etc.. have consequences that result in those SAT discrepancies. Conservatist me would place the blame, and therefore the responsibility, on those people for their actions. A more liberal approach would be to place responsibility on government and distribute that responsibility across the people of the land.

WOW. That was a LOT more than I wanted to say!

What I WANTED to say is that I often wish I was black when I am playing drums or dancing... because DANG IT those guys have great rhythm... and... sometimes I wish I was black in... in... um.. the bedroom.

That is all. I DO understand your approach MC... it's just different than my own. (surprise surprise!)

 
At 11:45 AM, Blogger The K Man said...

Addendum to above: I'm not saying that all black people disregard education, commit crimes, use drugs, etc.... I'm not that retarded. But I believe, if you look at each case individually, you will be able to point out why they are in the situation which they are.

I do not have a house and two (I mean four but not by my desire) cars because I am socially privileged. I have those things because I busted my butt in school, have worked hard every day since, had the strong family structure and support to guide me, and sought with determination to be the best at what I do.

I do not believe that you can find many poor "underprivileged" folks, living in squalor who can honestly say those things. And therefore, they bear the responsibility for their situation..

DANG IT... here I go on a longwinded soapbox again!! ARRR!!! I'm FINISHED!!!

 
At 11:50 AM, Blogger Manchild said...

I see where you're coming from Kamin.

And while you are not responsible for the difficult situations the minorities find themselves in, I think you're wrong to say that the blame lies entirely with them.

First, on the matter of responsibility, the other day the Dutch owners of railroads had to apologise to the Jewish communitity because their trains were used to ferry prisoners to concentration camps.

Now, were those owners even alive at the time? Why are they apologising?

The answer is that although they were not responsible for making the choices which impacted negatively on the Jewish community, they did (belatedly) benefit from those decisions.

Similarly, Kamin, you as a white American are benefitting even today from the racist actions that your country took long before you were born.

So I'd disagree that "The vast majority of those factors are the direct result of those people's own actions and those of their families."

I think this shows a very poor understanding on your part of the socioeconomic factors involved in living below the poverty line.

A more liberal approach would be to place responsibility on government and distribute that responsibility across the people of the land.

Now, that sort of comment just pisses me off. What's worse is that I know you're not saying this to annoy. You genuinely do believe this.

No wonder you have such a hatred of "liberals". You don't have the first clue what they're about, but you're willing to believe they stand for some pretty appalling things.

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Manchild said...

I do not believe that you can find many poor "underprivileged" folks, living in squalor who can honestly say those things. And therefore, they bear the responsibility for their situation..

I know. This is something that is quite common with people who share your belief system.

However, I don't think an objective assessment of the facts bears this out, and furthermore, I think any theory which collectively absolves people of any guilt or responsibility will naturally find favour.

It's natural and understandable that those who preach "It's their own fault" will find plenty of people who like that idea.

 
At 12:35 PM, Blogger The K Man said...

MC... I'm sorry if that comment made you mad... it indeed was not my intention.

Although by institutions applying unequal treatment of people based on race at the hand of government (as it was with the Penn State admissions), I can't help but conclude that at least SOME if not MOST of the responsibility of those, in THIS case, black students' situations was placed on government (and disseminated through law to other institutions) and, in some respect, became my responsibility (or at least my problem) as I could not get into the school which I so eagerly desired at that time.

The connection seems inescapable... and least to my small red-state brain! :D

(Holy balls! That was a long sentence!!!)

 
At 1:10 PM, Blogger Stan said...

I see your point MC that, being white, our families indirectly profited from the injustices of the past, and honestly, I never looked at it in that way before. So I'm just going to ask some knee-jerk questions that popped into my head.

1) At what point do we focus on the future instead of the past. Now the past is important since we need to learn from our mistakes so maybe I should have worded that differently. When do we start focusing MORE on the future and LESS on the past?

2) How do these laws and policies that specifically point out the differences among ethnic backgrounds help to ease us into a peacful coexistence without further distinction between races. It seems to me that these policies just seem as a remindere to most of how different we all are.

3) I am 25% polish even though you'd think I was 100% from my looks and name. Now should I somehow benefit because Poland was the red-headed stepchild of Europe? (Be gentle MC. History is not my strong point. Try and see my words for their underlying example and not for their exact meaning.) Also, when i fill our paperwork for loans, jobs, etc. I mark the box that says white, even though I'm more than white. I'm Polish, Italian, English, and more. Now some of the paperwork I've seen lately makes distinctions between different kinds of Latinos and such. Then it says to mark all that apply. So if someone is 2% minority because they once got a blood transfusion from a minority, they're going to get those benefits when in reality, they probably got the same chance as I did at life since they're mostly in the majority. Where do we draw the line? Am I making sense? Granted, the situations I'm citing are rare, but I'm just tossing out ideas/questions.

 
At 2:26 PM, Blogger The K Man said...

Definitely good questions, Stan.

It's my conclusion that, unfortunately, no race really wants equality. Each race just wants to be the one ahead in the game.

There may be very little love for black people from the white race, but there is JUST AS LITTLE love for whites from the blacks.

And the things done in the name of equality often just draw deeper lines of segregation... ie "Hispanic scholarships", BET, NAACP, black history month, etc... all further divide us.

Each group (and none are exempt) favors themselves and wants to have the most power for themselves... I do not for a moment think that if tomorrow this was a "black nation" or a "hispanic nation" that we would finally have the "equality for all" that is trumped around all the time.

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger Kate said...

My 3.0 high school GPA and 1300 SAT score couldn't get me into Penn State...

You seem to bring that up a lot. Do I detect a hint of bitterness there? Something to bear in mind is how many kids from our high school DID end up there. Off the top of my head, I can count 5 who started at the University Park (main) campus. I know of at least one other who was accepted but went elsewhere, and who knows how many more there were.

I'm assuming you're referring to the main campus, right? Because I'm sure you were accepted to one of the branches. I have no idea how many started at the branch campuses, and then finished at the main one (I can think of 3). We only had 197 people in our graduating class! Who knows, you might have made it to the main campus if you were the only applicant.

Furthermore, as one of the people who did go to Penn State, I can tell you that our student body was overwhelmingly white. The first time Edo visited me at school, he asked me where all the black people were. Given that the incoming freshman class for the main campus alone is something like 4000, I doubt it was the affirmative action that kept you out.

I think this shows a very poor understanding on your part of the socioeconomic factors involved in living below the poverty line.

Hmmm, I think we established that a LONG time ago...

Look, there isn't a perfect solution for all of this. Yes, dwelling on racial inequality does remind us of how different we are. But ignoring it could just let the wounds fester. The ultimate goal, unattainable as it may be, should strive for a state of equality that embraces differences. Since that will never actually happen, we have to look for the next best thing.

 
At 5:15 PM, Blogger Manchild said...

When do we start focusing MORE on the future and LESS on the past?

In my opinion, we should be doing that. But come on, you have segments of society that still blame Jews for killing Jesus. You have black evangelicals still talking about slavery reparations. You have Jews still crying about the Holocaust. You have citizens still crying about the Kennedy conspiracy. You have Democrats still moaning about the 2000 election.

For some people, some things in the past are too significant to ever be dismissed, ignored or forgotten. Regardless of how long ago or how recent it might have been. They are incapable of "moving on".

(I could include people moaning about SAT scores and admissions for that matter...)


How do these laws and policies that specifically point out the differences among ethnic backgrounds help to ease us into a peacful coexistence without further distinction between races.

They don't. But that is not their function nor their goal.

It seems to me that these policies just seem as a remindere to most of how different we all are.

This is true. I think Hate Crime laws are the same, personally. Beating up a guy because you're an asshole should not be any different from beating up a gay guy because you're an asshole. Southpark did a very good episode on Hate Crime laws, where I totally agreed with the kids position. Well worth watching if you've never seen it. (Season 4 epsiode 1 I think)

should I somehow benefit because Poland was the red-headed stepchild of Europe?
(Be gentle MC. History is not my strong point.


Heh. Just remembering all the maths jokes where a pole was a point with infinite value in Numerical Analysis. e.g.
Q: What's the contour integral around Western Europe?
A: Zero, because all the Poles are in Eastern Europe!
Addendum: Actually, there ARE some Poles in Western Europe, but they are removable.

No, I don't think you should. But that's not because I hate Polish people.


Where do we draw the line? Am I making sense?


Yeah, you're making sense. And as I said, the system is not perfect and definitely has flaws. In my opinion, some things don't need to be addressed. Some still do. But I'm not an authority on the subject.

I'll give you one example though.

I don't think the Jews need to apologise for killing Jesus, for 3 reasons.
1) They don't think they're responsible, so any apology would be meaningless. And I'm the sort of person who would rather no apology than a fake or insincere one.

2) According the christian dogma, Jesus HAD to be killed, so the Jews were fulfilling Gods plan and didn't have a choice in the matter.

3) I personally don't believe it matters.

Now, my own opinions on things like slavery or other historical atrocities would likely vary from your own, in terms of where we draw the line. In an ideal world, we'd be able to forgive the sins of the past on the proviso that it never happen again. My country had its own sufferings (as all poor countries do) and emotionally, I can't forgive the aggressors who fought with us. But intellectually, I can accept them today as friends and allies under 2 conditions. 1) That they accept that what they did was WRONG. 2) We make sure it doesn't happen again.

I'm not looking for apologies, guilt, or reparations. Just historical accuracy and a commitment to make the future better than the past.

It's my conclusion that, unfortunately, no race really wants equality. Each race just wants to be the one ahead in the game.
I find 2 things wrong there. 1) You can't say what a "race" wants. No race has a spokesperson that speaks for it in its entirety. 2) There is only 1 race. The human race. The sooner we all realise that, the better.

But I know what you mean, at least. And I would say that it's more akin to... you've had the ball for a long time. Now, they have the ball. They've had it for a short time, and they're not willing to pass it back yet. They will want to hold on to it until they've had it about as long as you did.


There may be very little love for black people from the white race, but there is JUST AS LITTLE love for whites from the blacks.


I hope you're wrong on this. I know many people who don't think this. And I know a few who do.

And the things done in the name of equality often just draw deeper lines of segregation... ie "Hispanic scholarships", BET, NAACP, black history month, etc... all further divide us.
Some of these are done in the name of equality. Some are done as a form of reparation. And as I pointed out above, the ones done in the name of equality are more based on the fact that minorities tend to be more in the lower end of the socioeconomic index.


Each group (and none are exempt) favors themselves and wants to have the most power for themselves...


Again, I hope you're wrong. It's something I see in a lot of commentaries between Republican and Democrat though. Reps want power for powers sake, and play dirty and do anything to win. And they genuinely think everyone else does the same.
Democrats tend to want fairness, even when they don't benefit from it. And this is usually inconceivable to the Right, or they assume it's a line, or some such.


I do not for a moment think that if tomorrow this was a "black nation" or a "hispanic nation" that we would finally have the "equality for all" that is trumped around all the time.


Neither do I. But I do think that when the day comes that the colour of skin matters as little as the colour of your hair, it'll be a good day, even if you still have rich and poor and privileged and underprivileged.

I doubt it was the affirmative action that kept you out.
Good point Kate.

 
At 8:31 AM, Blogger The K Man said...

Just for the record... I rarely say anything about my PSU non-admittance... and only in this context.

Actually in all worked out better in the end that I went to Kutztown with Pam and we ended up married.

I still to this day, however, find annoying the injustice of allowing less-qualified people in over me.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger Stan said...

I can definitely see both points of view when it comes to the whole Penn State acceptance thing. There certainly could have been and probably were other factors in their decision. Those things could involve something so trivial as to what order they received the applications in. Or it could be that someone dropped one on the floor and it wasn't found until way later. Those reasons could also be legit, but we'll never know. I also understand being upset at being passed up in favor of someone who is less qualified. It makes you feel like all your hard work was for nothing. That gives you a feeling of futility that is hard to overcome. Why try? On the other hand, I just thought of something that happened this week. My buddy Dave got a job that he was underqualified for simply because the timing was right and he interviewed well. He beat out some people that were more qualified that him, but someone chose to take the chance on him. That same chance was taken on my behalf when I got my first job in this industry. I had no experience, but something made them choose me over the other applicants. And again with my recent job change. I think it's all a matter of perspective. The fact that it's a personal story does lend a more viceral tone to it, but the fact still remains that it is a good example that takes place each and every day so I think that so long as it's applicable to the discussion, it's admissible as an argument. Should those feelings of rage have faded by now? Yeah, but knowing Kamin, I can tell you that he's not dwelling on it 24/7. He's moved on. He's just an emotional speaker/writer, which most of us on here tend no to be.

 
At 11:08 AM, Blogger Manchild said...

I totally get what you're saying about hiring people. Sometimes other factors come into play in making a decision, and not just whether or not the candidate is the most qualified.

I recently hired a guy who has no relevant experience in the position I'm taking him on board for, but he impressed me with his desperation to work and to be given a chance.

I've taken that sort of chance with new hires about 3 times over the course of my career, each time trusting my gut instinct about the person. I've never been disappointed yet.

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Just for the record... I rarely say anything about my PSU non-admittance...

Okay, I just remembered hearing it before, so it seemed like you were really hung up on it.

 
At 2:18 PM, Blogger The K Man said...

Well crap, MC. If you're in the hiring business... and I'm in the gettin' hired business....

...maybe we can work something out!

The commute would suck, but we'd surely have some interesting discussions at the water cooler!!

:)

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger Manchild said...

The commute would suck, and I'm afraid you'd have some language difficulties also. :)

 

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