Political Correctness on Campus

We need more debate about controversial subjects like affirmative action, not less.

This week, I held a bake sale—a racist bake sale. I stood in midtown Manhattan shouting, “Cupcakes for sale.” My price list read:

Asians — $1.50
Whites — $1.00
Blacks/Latinos — 50 cents

People stared. One yelled, “What is funny to you about people who are less privileged?” A black woman said, angrily, “It’s very offensive, very demeaning!” One black man accused me of poisoning the cupcakes.

I understand why people got angry. What I did was hurtful to some. My bake sale mimicked what some conservative college students did at Bucknell University. The students wanted to satirize their school’s affirmative action policy, which makes it easier for blacks and Hispanics to get admitted.

I think affirmative action is racism—and therefore wrong. If a private school like Bucknell wants to have such policies to increase diversity, fine. But government-imposed affirmative action is offensive. Equality before the law means government should treat citizens equally.

But it doesn’t. Our racist government says that any school receiving federal tax dollars, even if only in the form of federal aid to students, must comply with affirmative action rules, and some states have enacted their own policies.

Advocates of affirmative action argue it is needed because of historic discrimination. Maybe that was true in 1970, but it’s no longer true. Affirmative action is now part of the minority special privilege machine, an indispensable component of which is perpetual victimhood.

All the Bucknell students wanted was a campus discussion about that. Why not? A university is supposed to be a place for open discussion, but some topics are apparently off-limits. On my Fox Business show this week, I’ll discuss this with a member of the Bucknell Conservative Club who participated in the bake sale.

About an hour after the students began their “affirmative action” sale, the associate dean of students shut it down. He said it was because the prices charged were different from those listed on the permissions application. An offer to change the prices was rejected. Then the club’s application to hold another sale was rejected. Ironically, the associate dean said it would violate the schools nondiscrimination policy! He would authorize a debate on affirmative action, but nothing else.

How ridiculous! Fortunately, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has come to the students’ defense. “Using this absurd logic, Bucknell would have to require its College Democrats to say nothing political on campus unless they give equal time to Republican candidates at their events, or its Catholic Campus Ministry to remain silent about abortion unless it holds a debate and invites pro-choice activists to speak,” FIRE’s Adam Kissel said. “While students are free to host debates, they must not be required to provide a platform for their ideological opponents. Rather, those opponents must be free to spread their own messages and host their own events."

Right. My affirmative action cupcake “event” led to some interesting discussions. One young woman began by criticizing me, “It’s absolutely wrong.”

But after I raised the parallel with college admissions, she said: “No race of people is worth more than another. Or less.”

But do you believe in affirmative action in colleges? I asked.

“I used to,” she replied.

Those are the kind discussions students should have.

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  • Old Mexican||

    Cue in flamewar with anti-Stossel nitwits...

  • Cyto||

    I don't know about a flame war, but I can't read his writing without hearing his first-grade-teacher style of delivery. And I'm a huge fan.

  • Tom||

    Cyto,

    The people who most need to hear what he says need to be spoken to like first graders in order to understand.

    I think it's a brilliant approach.

  • Dave||

    +5 Most Americans have no basic understanding of libertarianism and don't understand basic libertarian principles unless they are explained in the simplest concrete terms. Even then, many are incapable of understanding or applying these principles. I don't know if it is due to the general stupidity of humanity or Americans specifically.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Somalia!!!!

  • ||

    Agreed. Stossel's simplistic tone has a way of making ridiculous things sound even more ridiculous.

  • Fleeing Cali||

    Stossel's the one who helped wake me up long ago when he was at 20/20.

    He's really good at taking something and pointing out how stupid they are.

    The problem is we don't have more Stossel's out there who are making people think. Libertarian ideas are pretty common sense in most cases.

  • Cruz||

    Stossel... really your wake up call? I guess anything is possible. I wonder if a lot of people can say this??

  • Apple||

    I wouldn't say he was my wake up call, but I liked his ABC specials back when I called myself liberal, and I was the only liberal I knew who did. One of several things that helped push me in the right direction.

  • Fleeing Cali||

    Maybe not wake up call, but he put into words thoughts that were already in my head, and also made me feel not crazy/antisocial for thinking them.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Cruz,

    Stossel... really your wake up call? I guess anything is possible. I wonder if a lot of people can say this??

    No, I don't think I can say YOU have awaken.

  • Turd Ferguson||

    He definitely changed my mind about a lot of things when I was high school age.

  • Montani Semper Liberi||

    Kids should have gone to Hillsdale. I bet they wouldn't have to deal with that shit there.

  • Almanian||

    This. Having attended another small, private, liberal arts college in MI (which you may guess from my tag...), in my old age, I now wish I had attended Hillsdale.

    OK, back to the Stossel bashing...

  • Jeffersonian||

    It is, indeed. Why are America’s institutions of higher learning so fearful?

    Because they're run by the Left, and the Left don't care what anyone does, so long as it's compulsory.

  • Jeff||

    Yeah, I forgot how segregation was totally optional for all involved. Dipshit.

  • Jeffersonian||

    Anti-AA Bakesale == Segregation?

    Maybe you can explain that one. OTOH, maybe you cannot.

  • Jeff||

    If "the Left don't [sic] care what anyone does, so long as it's compulsory," then it's safe to assume "the Right doesn't care what anyone does, so long as it's not compulsory."

    If this assertion is put up to segregation, a policy supported historically by the right, and segregation was not voluntary, the logic on both sides fails.

  • darwinkilledgod||

    What is your evidence that "the right" supported segregation? Weren't the Jim Crow laws enacted by democrats? Weren't they opposed by libertarians who thought the government shouldn't be telling people what they require to vote?

    What part of "Free markets and free minds" supports the government control of property that was segregation?

  • Jeff||

    "Weren't the Jim Crow laws enacted by democrats?"

    Yeah, but don't let titles blind you to reality. Realigning elections caused "republican" and "democratic" parties to flip ideological perspectives. Historically, the democrats were the republicans.

    "Weren't they opposed by libertarians who thought the government shouldn't be telling people what they require to vote?"

    Yeah, but libertarians are not necessarily on the right of the political spectrum.

    If you need a more recent example of conservative control - FCC regulations of broadcast businesses, anti-gay marriage, anti-gay adoption, pro drug war, etc.

  • Pip||

    "Realigning elections caused "republican" and "democratic" parties to flip ideological perspectives. Historically, the democrats were the republicans."

    True. Just like back when nuns were priests and pro football players were NFL cheerleaders.

    And yes, you are that fucking stupid.

  • Jeff||

    It's called party and voter realignment. Maybe if you read a book once in a blue moon, you would have heard of it you stupid fuck. As party membership radically redefines itself, party ideology shifts to match the new base. Unless you're actually dense enough to believe that the democratic party, which was supported primarily by conservative white voters in the deep south, was actually a liberal institution, you have to concede that realignment happens and that it can cause party ideology to radically change.

  • ||

    Actually, the bulk of the available evidence suggests that the realignment of the South - the growth of Republican Party affiliation - was largely centered in the suburbs. As the suburbs grew, so did Republican affiliation. There's little if any evidence that the racism that supported Jim Crow was a product of suburban voters.

  • Hooha||

    lol, when I read Jeffs revision of history, I couldn't help but hear Morpheus saying;

    "The Matrix is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to shield your from the truth..."

  • Barack Obama||

    "If you need a more recent example of conservative control - FCC regulations of broadcast businesses, anti-gay marriage, anti-gay adoption, pro drug war, etc."

    Which is why I support both gay marriage and ending the drug war.

  • Jen||

    If "the Left don't [sic] care what anyone does, so long as it's compulsory," then it's safe to assume "the Right doesn't care what anyone does, so long as it's not compulsory."

    How is it safe to assume this? This doesn't logically follow at all.

    If this assertion is put up to segregation, a policy supported historically by the right...

    Is that why the Civil Rights Act, introduced by Congressional Republicans, faced such fierce opposition by Democrats?

    You get an F.

  • Jeffersonian||

    If this assertion is put up to segregation, a policy supported historically by the right, and segregation was not voluntary, the logic on both sides fails.

    It's not a call for segregation, but a demand for race-neutrality. Affirmative Action is just the flip side of Jim Crow, really.

  • bigT||

    "AA is just the flipside of Jim Crow"

    ...would that be Jesse Crow?

  • Mensan||

    If "the Left don't [sic] care what anyone does, so long as it's compulsory," then it's safe to assume "the Right doesn't care what anyone does, so long as it's not compulsory."

    Why is it safe to assume that? Just because the left holds one view doesn't automatically mean the right holds the antithetical viewpoint. If by left and right you mean Democrats and Republicans, then they are both just different flavors of statism; they agree on the overall philosophy, but just differ on their particular preferences for which aspects of your life should be controlled.

  • Wind Rider||

    Bad acts of the past is a really lame excuse for bad acts in the present. What part of both being bad don;t you get?

  • Jeff||

    I was objecting to his portrayal of the left being in favor of (and by implication, the right opposing) any program as long as it's obligatory.

    Both left and right love fucking with people's private lives, be it through AA or Prop. 8 style laws.

  • ||

    The left wants your money, and they want you to hand it over to the government. There is no worse form of compulsion, and no greater threat.
    Political freedom is inseparable from economic freedom.

  • Realist||

    Fuck segregation...affirmative action is wrong!

  • Cruz||

    Not sure Segregation is different from Affirmative Action. You are . Based on that fact solely, you will be subjected to It's a way of segregating people by race.

  • Realist||

    Let me guess...you're a stupid fuck!

  • Realist||

    My reply was to Jeff. If you would learn how to read the thread you wouldn't look so fucking stupid.

  • Mensan||

    Not sure Segregation is different from Affirmative Action. You are . Based on that fact solely, you will be subjected to It's a way of segregating people by race.

    I've read this comment four times now (three more than you deserve), and it still makes no sense. Random capitalization and sentence fragments do not make a coherent statement.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I think he's making the argument that AA=Segregation because it inherently separates and grants privileges based on race.

    It needs work, but it has potential.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Soft racism doesn't count as racism. Everyone knows that.

    On the plus side, people willingly pay places like Bucknell for privilege of having their thinking corrected.

  • hmm||

    College campuses are a hotbed of stupidity from the top down.

  • ||

    Shouldn't the school be encouraging debate rather than silencing it?

    Racist.

  • ||

    No. I'm sick of that shit. Half the general ed prof's I had felt the need to turn their english comp/college algebra/history/humanities class into a 'class discussion on racism' which inevitably turns into "fuck white people". Actually, I'm fine with the shutting the fuck up part.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Though I agree, it would be remiss to think that we don't have a racism problem, and a thick history of it.

    Our campus had an effigy of Obama. In that light, having serious discussions on racism is called for, especially when the vast majority of my students thought that racism was a thing of the past.

    The conversation is not a problem; it's the framing of it that rsucks in a vast majority of academia.

  • ||

    An effigy of Obama? So fucking what? How does this instance demand any more of my fucking attention from the dozens of BusHitler effigies last decade?

    What was written on it? "Us white people hate our black president?"
    I'm erring with "stupid 18/yo freshmen wanted to pull a showoff stunt".

    Talking about "racism" every 2 fucking seconds in the class room, on brochures, on TV, in textbooks, is the problem.

  • ||

    Whenever some professor turned their class into a discussion on why white males are all bastards, I could be pretty assured of the following:
    1) they were poor scholars themselves
    2) the topics they picked & the materials & lectures they presented would be weak
    3) as a white straight male, I would be lucky to get a B
    4) I'd learn little or nothing
    5) the end effect would be that I would dislike the left, the poor, the government, & academia MORE than when I was a freshman, and
    6) that I'd better keep me mouth shut, or my opinions would land me in a "sensitivity" training punishment session.
    I heard such pearls of wisdom as "you can be racist and not even know it," " businesses are all evil, without exception," "the right exploits the poor" (one wonders what one could exploit them for) &, my personal favorite, " all heterosexual sex is rape."
    Suffice it to say I don't contribute a penny to my undergraduate Alma material, nor will my children ever, ever go there.
    But I will say thus about the State University of NY at Fredonia. They were kind enough to admit one of my kind.

  • thoreau||

    So, everything about this pisses me off. I don't like affirmative action, I don't like the bake sales (too douchebaggy) and I don't like the administrators who shut down the bake sales (that whole "freedom of speech" thing).

    But what I hate most of all is that when conservative students have their event shut down and bring in FIRE, they prove that David Horowitz was actually right about something. And THAT just pisses me off most of all!

  • Shorter thoreau||

    THAT FUCKING JEW BASTARD!

  • Jeff||

    What exactly is wrong with FIRE? You're saying that when the man tells you no, you should just accept it and suffer in silence? Get off this board you pussy.

  • thoreau||

    I'm saying that FIRE's stories usually (not in this case though) ping on my "Wait, there's something they're not telling me" meter. The principle is sound, and free speech violations should ALWAYS be opposed, but opposing something does not obligate me to trust or like every activist outfit that claims to oppose the same thing.

    If I ran into a free speech violation on campus, I'd oppose it, but I'd seek support from some activist outfit other than FIRE.

  • Jordan||

    In other words, you just think FIRE is icky, but have no reason why. FIRE has defended many progressives. You do realize this, right? No, I'm sure you don't.

  • thoreau||

    First, when something pings on my "Wait, they aren't telling me something" meter, yes, I am cautious. It's important for a person to have a bullshit meter.

    Second, if I should ever encounter a situation that I want to respond to, what is wrong with exercising some discretion in looking for an activist organization to talk to? Is there an obligation to align oneself with any and all activist organizations that claim to be against the same thing?

    Finally, I am aware that FIRE is not an exclusively conservative outfit, and that they work with non-conservatives. Moreover, I'm not a progressive, and it isn't concerns about conservatism that makes me suspicious of FIRE. Why did you assume that I must be a kneejerk progressive?

  • Jordan||

    Actually, I was pretty sure you were a libertarian. I just used the progressives as a balancing example, because I assumed you thought FIRE to be conservative.

  • MNG||

    Hey, thoreau! Long time no see, welcome back.

  • Joe Wilson||

    When MNG welcomes you back...

  • Greg Lukianoff||

    Hey Thoreau,

    I understand where you are coming from in your skepticism of FIRE's (or really any advocacy organization's) work. Indeed, it seemed unlikely to me that you could get in trouble for such innocuous speech on campus before I started working here back in 2001. I was mightily surprised to discover how bad it really is. But I want to point out that not only are all of our cases substantiated by actual documentation, we actually link to the primary documentation right on our website! We always provide this information directly to readers along with our take on it. I think many groups today should elicit your suspicion about how straight they are being with you and how much of the story they are telling you but please do not consider FIRE among those organizations. The cases we take public reflect the cases we actually receive on a daily basis. I encourage you to read some of my work on the Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/greg-lukianoff) to learn more about FIRE's principled stand on the issue of free speech. If you were ever to get in trouble on a college campus for your opinion you could not find a more principled or effective ally than FIRE.

    Regards,

    Greg Lukianoff
    President
    FIRE

  • Greg L.||

    Please send money.

  • Almanian||

    I think it's awesome that Greg Lukianoff responded directly.

    *never heard of FIRE before this article, not affiliated with FIRE, or Bucknell, or left, right, Blue, Red, etc. etc.*

    Good on ya, Greg

  • Joe Wilson||

    Moreover, I'm not a progressive

    YOU LIE!

    Return of the Obamatarians.

  • Joe Wilson||

    Why did you assume that I must be a kneejerk progressive?

    Well there is that blog you have with all the bitching about how "right wing" Reason is.

  • Pip||

    "It's important for a person to have a bullshit meter."

    Mine detected you immediately.

  • Joe Wilson||

    #

    Comment by Thoreau —
    April 17, 2010 @ 2:31 pm

    If Greenwald were nominated for SCOTUS, I would quit my job in 2012 and work full-time on Obama’s re-election.

  • thoreau||

    Joe Wilson,

    So, um, I said that I'd change my mind about a politician if he supported a staunch civil libertarian and then made a hyperbolic promise (for a situation that is not ever going to happen), and this makes me a progressive rather than a libertarian.

    Sure.

    To Mr. Lukianoff,

    Thanks for your reply. When I get a chance, I'll take a closer look at some cases that have pinged on my meter, and see what I find.

  • Jeff P||

    Someone does this exact bakesale bit every ten years or so and every time it becomes a "controversy."

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Jeff P,

    Someone does this exact bakesale bit every ten years or so and every time it becomes a "controversy."

    That's because the situation the bake sales try to bring out in the open has not changed one bit.

  • Cyto||

    I think you may have nailed it on the head.

  • ||

    If anything they're more controversial since they're being banned because bake sales make children fat. Obese racists is what we have here.

  • Jordan||

    They do this every year at the university I attended. While Def. Sec. Gates was President of the university, he gave these groups a pass, to his credit.

  • ||

    Yeah, I remember YCT was doing it when I graduated. gig em

  • Tom||

    When I was at IU some group did it, and I remember hearing about it in the national media as if that was the first time.

  • Rrabbit||

    I disagree with those kids, but I defend their free speech rights. They should be allowed to make their mistakes.

  • Rrabbit||

    Or, more precisely, they should not need any permission.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Rrabbit,

    I disagree with those kids, but I defend their free speech rights.

    What is it you're not in agreement with? The bake sales themselves? Their method? The point they're trying to drive home?

  • Rrabbit||

    The implicit claim that the white students have been admitted because of merit whereas the non-white students have been admitted because of affirmative action only.

    Many of the white students have been admitted simply because of their parents' money, rather than on their own merit.

  • Jordan||

    That claim is not implied. It's a fact that if the university practices affirmative action, that standards are relaxed for minority students. Period. Acknowledging that is not the same as claiming that no minorities would be admitted without relaxed admission standards.

  • ||

    Good god, the issue is far, far simpler than merit/non-merit admissions. It's treating people based on their skin tone and/or ethnicity, rather than treating each as an individual, i.e. color-blind admissions. AA admissions serves to reinforce group stereotype attributes, which is essentially a form of bigotry.

  • Mensan||

    "Many of the white students have been admitted simply because of their parents' money, rather than on their own merit."

    So, basically poor white kids have less chance of getting accepted to college than anyone else? I guess I didn't get accepted to any schools...oh, wait a minute, I did!

  • Mensan||

    Correcting myself: I should have said poor Asians have less chance. I guess that explains how I got into college.

  • Old Mexican||

    Advocates of affirmative action argue it is needed because of historic discrimination. Maybe that was true in 1970, but it’s no longer true. Affirmative action is now part of the minority special privilege machine, an indispensable component of which is perpetual victimhood.

    Actually there is no valid argument in favor of granting special privileges to certain groups under the guise of fixing previous wrongs. It was wrong of the State to impose discriminating policies against certain groups of people, and it is wrong to impose discriminating policies in favor of certain groups of people.

  • Proud Cimmerian||

    exactly.
    Citizens should not bear the burden of past injustices created by government.
    Or does forcing businesses and institutions to discriminate based off skin color sound like a "fair" course of action?

  • kintiki||

    Life must be fair and the government exists to make it so.

  • Dave||

    Yes. It was wrong before 1970, in 1970 and after 1970.

  • Sonny Boy Press||

    Asians — $1.50
    Whites — $1.00
    Blacks/Latinos — 50 cents

    Are you suggesting that Asians are superior to whites? I don't get it. Whites are supreme. Everybody knows it. Open a history book and find out.

  • Name Nomad||

    Ever heard of Genghis Khan? The Tang dyansty? Ashoka? The Mughals? The origin of most important technology from paper to gun powder? For most of history, Europe has just been a crappy backwater whose standard of living has been below that of other areas'.

    The Europeans just got a boost from being the first to figure out modern banking and the power of credit which allowed them to fund expeditions to take over new continents. Those days seem to be coming to a close.

  • kintiki||

    The Europeans just got a boost from being the first to figure out modern banking

    I agree. Ideas like representative government, the scientific method, natural rights, axiomatic mathematics, chemistry, genetics, and a phonetics-based writing system using simple characters instead of some god-awfully complicated large set of chicken scratchings, etc. were relatively unimportant.

  • Dave||

    +5000

  • Pope Jimbo||

    The fact that "phoenetics" is not spelled with a "f" gives lie to your assertion that the West created a phoenetics based writing system.

    Japan and Korea have both had alphabet based writing systems for a long long time.

  • Pip||

    Then why don't they make Japanese or Korean alphabet soup?

  • kintiki||

    The fact that "phoenetics" is not spelled with a "f" gives lie to your assertion that the West created a phoenetics based writing system.

    Japan and Korea have both had alphabet based writing systems for a long long time.

    I bow to your superior knowledge. Credit the Altaics with inventing "ph".

    Do you concede to my bigger point that the West has made a few other important innovations besides systems of efficient capital usage?

  • Pope Jimbo||

    1) You are definitely bowing to a false god.
    2) Sure I agree with you that the West has come up with good things. My only point was that the west still has lots of issues when it comes to spelling.
    3) Even though the Koreans and Japanese have alphabets, they still do use a lot of pictographs based on the Chinese language.

  • European||

    Koreans use few if any pictographs, and their alphabet is superior to ours.

  • European||

    Japanese mix their syllabaries (no, they don't have any alphabet) with LOTS of Chinese characters. They use the characters to write nouns and some verbs, while they use one syllabary for Japanese-specific word particles and endings, and another (totally different one) for transcribing words from foreign languages. It doesn't get much messier than this, Japanese writing is on par with English spelling.

  • joe||

    wrong. pictographic kanji is a requisite for reading the language. there is a large amount of homophones in Japanese that make such pictographs required. This is a product of their limited alphabet.

    Also, hangul is not SUPERIOR to western style alphabets. It is not implicitly inferior either, but it is does have many more rules that govern it's reading and writing (wich makes it seem inferior to me, since harder is not better).

  • American in Korea||

    I do not agree that hangul is superior. There isnt even an F sound in it! They DO use Chinese characters, I found out the hard way. It is not superior nor inferior. Over here we get A LOT of propaganda about the language being so wonderful, scientific, easy, rational, anything you can think of. It even has its own holiday, seriously. We were told that there are 3 ways to seriously insult a Korean, talk bad about the country, the food or hangul. Likewise, compliment any of them & you are a friend for life. The Americans I know admire the Koreans for their unabashed pride & wish more Americans could emulate them.

  • ||

    The original 'ph' sound has, over time, morphed into the 'f' sound. The 'ph' spellings are a holdover.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Sorta

  • Name Nomad||

    ...and a phonetics-based writing system using simple characters instead of some god-awfully complicated large set of chicken scratchings, etc. were relatively unimportant.

    See? The Chinese writing system is too complicated for our tiny, European brains. Ergo, we should get some sort of preferential treatment to help us. That's why Asians have to pay $0.50 more.

  • Some Guy||

    The sign is suggesting that Asians are discriminated against in college admissions because if admissions were based solely on merit the colleges would be disproportionally Asian relative to the general population. Hence they have to pay more for their cupcake.

  • Pope Jimbo||

    What about the Jews? Why is there no price for them?

    It's because of the ovens involved in a bake sale isn't it?

  • Almanian||

    I heard they used electric ovens, so it's OK.

  • Hook-Nosed Jew||

    Too hot is too hot regardless of the heat source.

  • wohlsal||

    What about the Jews? Why is there no price for them?

    Because Jews don't pay retail.

  • ||

    Isn't this pricing scheme actually beneficial to Blacks and Latinos?

    If I were in one of these groups, I'd buy every cupcake for $.50 and sell them to everyone else for $.75, which sounds like a Pareto Optimal move to me.

  • proprietor of the cupcake shop||

    I would have bought all of his cupcakes just to force him to send one of his lackeys out to buy more.

  • ||

    He was replicating admission policies. Asians have superior academics, thus their admittance bar is set higher than whites and blacks and latinos.
    RTFA

  • American in Korea||

    Sad to say, in most college admissions offices, Asians are not considered a minority! There have been issues over the years regarding AA discriminating against Asians because they usually have enough merit to get in without AA but run up against quotas limiting the number of Asians allowed. When they complain, they are told they are not a minority because they dont need lowered standards as a group so therefore, its ok. Its actually harder for Asians to get into some schools than whites, because the quota is smaller. Craziness!

  • ||

    Saw the Stossel gag on FOX. The responses were hilarious and predictable. It's earlier than you think.

  • Jeff||

    Good article John. These things really dredge up three unfortunate realities. First, people are supportive of free speech until it comes to unpopular messages and unpopular speakers. Even when non-public colleges are involved, they should demonstrate a fidelity to the First Amendment principals that they are ostensibly training their students to make full use of. By barring Affirmative Action Bake Sales, the colleges in your story are barring one of the most effective methods of communication. It's hard to make a reasoned, logical point to a number of people through one on one conversations. It's easy when you have a board that announces different prices for people based on race/sex.

    Second, affirmative action is racism. It's based on the assumption that people with a similar immutable characteristic (race/skin color) have a shared experience. This is obviously demonstrably false, as California, which has banned affirmative action, is running a University of California system that is majority-minority. If Asians can get ahead in this country despite their historic treatment, why can't other minorities?

    Third, as wrong as affirmative action is, any white kid who is stupid enough to self-identify as white almost deserves to have their seat tossed to someone less deserving. Here's a news flash - affirmative action runs on self identified race. There isn't a standard and no one can tell you that you aren't African American/Hispanic enough to benefit from the program. It quite literally relies on white people's willingness to suffer as a result of their race.

    I say this as a white guy (unless it's a government form, at which point I tend to begin to identify with my great uncle who, as a Spaniard, entitles me to be Latino or with my great, great, great, etc, grandfather/mother who lived in mother Africa during the dawn of humanity, entitling me to be African American. Never mind the fact that my mother's side is ethnically Scottish and has lived in America for hundreds of years and my father was born in Finland).

  • Tom||

    my great, great, great, etc, grandfather/mother who lived in mother Africa during the dawn of humanity, entitling me to be African American

    I was thinking about this just a couple of days ago. It could really help in getting a federal job or accepted to a university or scholarships. We are all african american.

  • waffles||

    wait can you really do that? self-identify as something other than white to get the affirmative goodies?

    I am sure it has to have come up before. If some white kid made enough noise about it, it would certainly raise the issue, with possible hilarity.

  • Jeff||

    "wait can you really do that? self-identify as something other than white to get the affirmative goodies?"

    Yeah, sure you can. How else do you think it works? There isn't a standard that claims that you need X% of your blood to be of a certain race to qualify. I use the historic 1825 Mississippi standard of "just a drop" and you're African American. Therefore, I'm African American.

    The system preys on people who have limited life experience and who don't travel a great deal. E.g. an Egyptian kid who is now American applies to college. Is he Arab, since he speaks Arabic and is from the Maghreb, or is he African American, since Egypt's in Africa? Another student from Argentina (a country with a high white population) - is he Latino (non-white), or is he white?

    The whole system is bogus, especially since people move more than ever and, since there isn't anywhere near the stigma of being in an interracial couple as there historically was, there are more mixed race children. I give this nonsensical program a few decades until it dies off.

  • triumf ant||

    I give this nonsensical program a few decades until it dies off.

    Why wait a few decades? With a little political courage, it can be killed almost overnight. Just insist that quotas be strictly implemented. Blacks are wildly overrepresented in social service jobs in the CA government - fire a bunch of them to make room for more latinos. There aren't many Muslim male professors of Women's Studies - replace some of the female profs with a bunch of devout Muslim men. Jews make up more than their "fair share" of admission spots for law school - lock a bunch out so that more Christians can attend.

    Guaranteed results. Lickety-split.

  • Thomas McElroy||

    Someone must of gave AA three-fity, because this gawd damn monster ain’t neva going to leave.

    I had been getting a perverse laugh from Wisconsin, A land of traditionally blue-collar Germans, and how for years it was represented in the US Senate by two wealthy Shemite’s. Of course that leads to people calling me racist, it isn’t AA since they are elected, but I can see why AA is strong.

  • Dave||

    Great points. In fact, it's completely bogus since there are no discrete separate "races" in the human species. Thus, there is no way to objectively determine whether somebody belongs to a specific "race." Race is basically an artificial social construct rather than an objective scientific concept.

  • ||

    Oh, for the love of.....

    Of course there are discrete races. The fact that humans began interbreeding again before speciation occurred does not alter this.

    A friend who works in forensics identified a pregnant, mestizo woman from part of a femur without any genetic analysis.

    Racial stigma is an artificial social construct deriving from natural human xenophobias that are condusive to maintaining familial lines and groupings.

  • Nephilium||

    I seem to remember a big stink made a couple of years back about a white South African who moved to the U.S. checking the African-American box... which was more true for him then most people who check the box.

  • Zeb||

    Most people seem to think that "african american" is just a more polite way to say "negro".

  • triumf ant||

    No. "African-American" is a phrase specifically concocted to promote political alienation and group identity.

  • Jesse Jackson||

    YOU LIE!!!

  • triumf ant||

    Shut up, Jesse. You didn't come up with the term.

  • Obvious||

    Because it is.

  • Wind Rider||

    I recall the case of the Caucasian kid born in South Africa, who then moved with his parents to semi-rural Nebraska, where he caused the local gliterati all manner of confusion by filling out some form stating he was an "African-American". Yes, hilarity and hypocrisy ensued. By the bucket full. Ernie Chambers almost tore off his sleeveless sweatshirt over that one.

  • darwinkilledgod||

    I'm pretty sure there was a lawsuit over a white guy applying to a college on the east coast as african-american. I'm pretty sure he lost. It's not as easy as just checking a box; if it's a scholarship you can be charged with fraud.

  • Jeff||

    No way. Fraud has to be (1) intentional and (2) demonstrably false or materially misleading. You can't make a showing for either. Why? Because it's almost impossible to demonstrate what the kid self-identified as for that moment. (2) is equally challenging because, as I said above, everyone is technically from Africa. You don't have falsity or a materially misleading statement and you don't have fraud.

  • triumf ant||

    The water is further muddied by the fact that, in some circles, heretical political views by some members of a group are dealt with by declaring that the dissenter is not really part of the group.

  • True Scotsman||

    Oh, aye

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Shutup, lawn jockey!

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    This incident was dramatized in the critically acclaimed Soul Man

  • Chinny Chin Chin||

    This incident was dramatized in the critically acclaimed Soul Man

  • ||

    if you can self identify as 'female' while having a penis, then you surely can self identify as black while being demonstrably white.

  • Almanian||

    I consistently note that I am "Native American", since I was born here. As were my parents. As were their parents. As were their parents...(dunno before that).

    Off to open up a casino somewhere and cash in on The Man's™ oppression of My People®....

  • Jeff||

    Oh, if you want to hit the wall with rage, you need to look into Native American classifications. Unlike white, black, Latino, etc., federal law allows tribes to set membership requirements - read: you must be X% of this tribe to be a Native American. It's insane.

  • sounds real good||

    Yeah, an old acquaintance of mine, who could have just stepped off a Viking ship based on his looks, had some x% of Cherokee ancestry. It was enough to get him formally designated as Cherokee, and he qualified for certain Federal loans and grants because of it.

  • MNG||

    There's no defense for either policy (affirmative action or shutting down teh protest) imo.

    Bucknell is private. Of course as a liberal that would not matter to me, it's a place of public accomodation so I would like to see affirmative action there barred as a form of discrimination. But at the least it should be barred from federal funds for it.

  • triumf ant||

    Bucknell is private.

    Bucknell is subsidized by tax dollars through research grants and student aid. The gov't has its fingers in everything.

  • MNG||

    Since it is private what is FIRE's justification for butting in? I know in the past they've given conservative Christian schools that poop on free debate a pass...

  • triumf ant||

    Only when the school refuses all tax dollars - a rarity.

  • Pip||

    Hey Minge, ever read the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Its language soley addresses remedies for individulals who have been the victims of specific, demonstrable acts of discrimination. It was the fucking courts who wrongly interperated it to mean groups.

  • mr simple||

    Wait, did you actually change that woman's mind? I find it hard to believe it was that easy.

  • Jeff||

    I actually wouldn't be surprised if it was that easy. People rarely see linkages in longstanding policies to things that are morally unacceptable, even though they are abundantly obvious. It sometimes takes simple things like this to break down those barriers.

  • ||

    It's not a matter of being fearful.

    Typical college progressives are intolerant assholes who honestly believe that conservative speech is part of an evil corporate conspiracy that much be fought through repressive means.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    This.

  • Dan||

    Nothing like the zeal of the convert. Way to keep things classy, Stossel. I agree that we need to have more debates about these sorts of things, but to act as if the motives of the kids at Bucknell are pure as the driven snow is dishonest. Those kids are just grievance-mongers themselves, like the conservative shock jocks they are emulating. I realize that it must be rough on them having to attend Bucknell instead of Penn, but I'm sorry if my sympathy has its limits. If you want to debate, schedule a debate. Don't become tacky performance artists bitching about first-world problems.

  • Jordan||

    So you can read their minds?

  • Dan||

    Never said I could. But whenever you do something deliberately provocative and hyperbolic, you leave people free to form their own opinions not only about your message, but also about the way you choose to convey it. My opinion is that these kids (and Stossel) are tacky, just like the moronic nineteen-year-old liberals (and the professors who love them) who protest sexism at colleges with 65% female enrollments. Maybe I just hate youthful (or in Stossel's case, newly found) idealism, but to both sides I say, "Get over it. Your lives ain't that bad."

  • Jordan||

    Maybe I just hate youthful (or in Stossel's case, newly found) idealism, but to both sides I say, "Get over it. Your lives ain't that bad."

    Oh, I see. It could always be worse, so best to just shut up and take it until you're reduced to eating treebark at slave camps like North Koreans. Only then will you not be "bitching."

  • Dan||

    Totally. That's exactly what I'm saying. But now that you've convinced me that James O'Keefe clones are the only thing stopping us from having to drink our own pee, I retract my statements.

  • Dave||

    "Deliberately provocative and hyperbolic"

    Give me a friggin break.

    The bake sales do EXACTLY what affirmative action/racism does. That's why they are an ideal way to challenge and provoke the immoral scumbags who run unversities, play God and fuck with people's lives.

  • Dan||

    Jesus. The kids who got rejected by Bucknell because someone else got in no doubt got into some other college, so don't act like affirmative action (which I actually don't agree with as it is usually implemented, by the way) ruined their lives. Again, hyperbole helps no one.

  • ||

    No, but it doesn't matter. Tacky performance artists bitching about first world problems are required to be Democrats. It's in the union rules.

  • Dan's Conscience||

    Yeah, that will show those rich kids!!

  • Dan||

    Eh, I sold my conscience for an It's-It 3 days ago. You're clearly an impostor.

  • Banjos Kick Ass!||

    I sold my soul for nachos.

  • Michelle Obama||

    Not anymore you won't!

  • Jeffersonian||

    What would their motives need to be for you to consider them pure enough for your approval?

  • Dan||

    Hey, they clearly don't need my approval. They are free to make jackasses of themselves all they want.

  • Jeffersonian||

    I didn't say they did, I was just asking what their motives needed to be so you'd think they were pure enough.

    maybe they just want racial preferences to go away completely. Is that good enough?

  • Dan||

    In theory, sure, that's great. I just don't think the political theater of it all gets that point across. Whether it is their intention or not, they imply that the small number Blacks and Hispanics at Bucknell are somehow unworthy of being there. If your intention is to spark intelligent debate about an issue and break down the artificial boundaries of race, there are ways of doing it that make you look less invested in your own version of tribalism. It's simply a bad rhetorical move, and I don't think Stossel should just assume that all of these kids are all totally principled, race-blind libertarians. I assume a fair number of them are, but the form through which they express their content does not necessarily convey this. I don't expect anyone to have the same take on it. I just get annoyed by the grievance culture that dominates both the right and the left. As I said above, I am actually not pro-affirmative action, I just have a hard time sympathizing with college students appearing to protest the presence of the small number of minority students at their posh private school.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    "I just have a hard time sympathizing with college students appearing to protest the presence of the small number of minority students at their posh private school."

    Was that what they were protesting?

    The presence of minority students?

    It appears to me that they were protesting unequal admission standards.

  • Dan||

    I am saying that whether that is their point or not, it looks bad at first glance, which is when most people (wrongly) form their opinions. The bottom line is that unless you go purely by GPA and SAT scores (which no schools do or should do, regardless of whether or not they use affirmative action), there is no such thing as an "admissions standard." All admissions are relative and subjective at schools that simply don't accept anyone with a GPA above a 2.5, or some other arbitrary number. How they define their subjectivity should be up to the individual school, and people are free not to attend it if they disagree with the practices.

  • Dan||

    Also, notice that these kids weren't up in arms over legacy admissions or the presence on student athletes, some of whom do not meet whatever "admission standard" the school has. Nope, just admissions to create a certain kind of diversity are a problem.

  • Dan||

    Whoops, presence "of" student athletes.

  • Jordan||

    Yes, clearly they must be racists then. The first, last, and only refuge of an idiot.

  • Dan||

    Actually, what I am saying is that by resorting to this kind of stunt, they are marketing themselves poorly and are doing a disservice to their potentially valid argument. Who cares if you are or are not a racist if the way you are presenting your argument makes you look like one to many people? Again, I think the rhetoric is the biggest problem here.

  • Dave||

    Dan, get an f'in clue. Nobody here gives a rat's ass whether you "sympathize" with students protesting racist admissions policies. Either they have a valid point ... or not. No f'ing sympathy is needed.

    Second, when did two f'ing wrongs make a right?? Legacy admissions are an entirely separate matter. Basically, you're suggesting that a previous unfair policy somehow excuses an additional unfair admissions policy to screw over more working class kids who are most deserving of admission to a school but don't happen to be well connected OR the "right" skin color.

    Next, you're probably going to offer another brilliant argument along the lines of "who said life's fair?"

    Pure idiocy.

  • Dan||

    As I mentioned to your comrade above, the way you make a point matters just as much as the point you are trying to make. If you make a valid point in a shrill or snarky way, you may as well have not make it at all, because you've lost a huge chunk of your audience due to your tone. Anyone in advertising knows this, and tactics intended to shock people into understanding a complicated subject have unpredictable outcomes at best.

    Furthermore, life isn't fair, and that is precisely what affirmative action rules are trying to address, so I don't really get your point. It's the same argument that those in favor of race-based AA rules use. As has been mentioned elsewhere, if I am in favor of any AA it is based on class, not race, so I think you and I agree that more working class kids deserve the shot to go to college.

    My point about the legacy cases and student athletes is that there is no such thing as a single admission standard at any given school, so it is hard to know exactly what these students were protesting. I am sure that many white kids get into Bucknell every year who aren't as "worthy" as other white kids who do get in. People get let in for tons of different reasons, some of which are easily quantified, and some of which are not. To make this solely an issue of race is dumb. College admissions are a lot more complex than that.

  • Dan||

    Er, who don't get in.

  • ||

    Legacies. Why do you and your ilk always go after legacies?

    Legacy admissions are open to every single student--of whatever race--IF they have a close enough relative who also attended the school.

    Legacy admissions are the same thing as those discount cards supermarkets give out--they're rewards for repeat business, nothing more.

    And I've seen bake sales that have had 'Free to Athletes' as an option.

  • Gilbert Martin||

    It hasn't been established that they were making jackasses of themselves.

  • ||

    bigger question, why couldn't this fit on one page?

  • JD||

    Because then Reason couldn't sell two pages worth of ads.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Bucknell? Never heard of it. But there is no such thing as a private university, because as far as I know they all take stolen money.

  • triumf ant||

  • Tony||

    Maybe that was true in 1970, but it’s no longer true.

    John you should have just edited this out because it's not something you can claim definitively.

    The fact that minorities have higher rates of social problems (like unemployment) is either evidence that past discrimination/past higher levels of social problems is still a contributing factor, or these minorities are just innately lazy. Let's all agree the latter explanation is not helpful.

    If AA was acceptable to correct for these injustices in the 70s, then a good argument could be made that it is still acceptable. If you hadn't made this claim, I would have agreed with you on AA in general.

    AA is racist. But it still may be the case that merely being white is a leg up in society. How to reconcile these two wrongs? I say AA at the college level is too blunt an instrument. The problems have less fundamentally to do with race than with poverty. The real solution to racial inequity in higher education is to figure out policies that reduce unequal access to lower education based on wealth.

    As for supposedly not being able to discuss these things on college campuses, I think this is bullcrap. There will always be anecdotes of PC police, but in general there are few places on earth more open to free discussion than a college campus.

  • Jordan||

    There will always be anecdotes of PC police, but in general there are few places on earth more open to free discussion than a college campus.

    FIRE's 2010 report on campus speech codes suggests otherwise.

  • Tony||

    My stint as editor-in-chief of my campus newspaper suggests that people can say pretty much whatever dumbass thing they want and even get it published.

  • Wind Rider||

    Thus making you very comfortable with the comments section of H&R, then.

  • Jordan||

    So you're rebuttal to statistics is a personal anecdote. Your college degree has served you well.

  • Jordan||

    your*

  • ||

    My stint as editor-in-chief of my campus newspaper suggests that people can say pretty much whatever dumbass thing they want and even get it published.

    Absolutely. Tony let'em post tributes to Marxism and Leninism!

  • Tony||

    I solicited and printed plenty of conservative op/eds.

  • ||

    Yes, every now and then Tony would get a little tipsy and let a piece voicing support for the ideas of Nikolai Bukharin slip in.

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Shut the fuck up.

  • MNG||

    What a measured, intelligent retort there Colonel!

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Chony has basically blown my interest in having a respectful discussion with him.

  • ||

    Actually Tony's above post one of his less vitriolic ones. We should encourage this behavior.

  • ||

    This website and half the internet is more open to discussion than most US campuses. I cannot think of many places on earth that are more stifling than the average US campus, China, Iran and Sudan come to mind. Care to list some more places that are less open than your bastions of freedom.

  • triumf ant||

    The real solution to racial inequity in higher education is to figure out policies that reduce unequal access to lower education based on wealth.

    I agree. Way too much money is spent on public schools in poor, inner city neighborhoods.

    This inequity could be fixed by abolishing all gov't run schools.

  • Obvious||

    "The fact that minorities have higher rates of social problems (like unemployment) is either evidence that past discrimination/past higher levels of social problems is still a contributing factor, or these minorities are just innately lazy. Let's all agree the latter explanation is not helpful"

    You forgot Option C. Affirmative Action is still a contributing factor to the higher level of social problems among minorities.

  • Tony||

    How so?

  • ||

    Well, let's see, if you don't have to do as much to get something similar to that of your white counterpart, then you don't put in that extra effort. And maybe that behavior expands to include other parts of your life. When the situation is looked at again, and the minorities in question aren't doing as well as their white counterparts because real life isn't giving them that leg up they had before, standards get lowered because, obviously, the level they were at before didn't help.

    Repeat ad nauseum

  • ||

    This is the whole approach of correcting the starting positions until the outcomes are equal.

    And then claiming that you correcting for unequal opportunities, not unequal outcomes.

    There might be problems in minority communities that are not attributable to past discrimination and/or are not ameliorated by affirmative action.

    (A) the higher rates of social problems might *not* be directly attributable to past discrimination
    (B) discriminating in favor of minorities in college admissions or hiring may not do much to change those social patterns.

  • Tony||

    the higher rates of social problems might *not* be directly attributable to past discrimination

    So what else is there?

    discriminating in favor of minorities in college admissions or hiring may not do much to change those social patterns.

    Maybe so.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The fact that minorities have higher rates of social problems (like unemployment) is either evidence that past discrimination/past higher levels of social problems is still a contributing factor, or these minorities are just innately lazy.

    Yeah, don't take into account such factors as the minimum wage, welfarism, how AA sets up minorities to failure as explained by economist Thomas Sowell: instead of letting them shine in "Good Enough University," they are instead admitted to high-end universities through "diversity" programs where they end up failing.

    Nah, it has to be white racism. Sure.

    If AA was acceptable to correct for these injustices in the 70s, then a good argument could be made that it is still acceptable.

    Kind of like saying is spraying water to my house back when it was on fire worked then, then let's continue spraying it with water so it doesn't spontaneoulsy combust... or something...

  • Tony||

    OM perhaps you missed the part where I strongly implied I was against AA.

    My point with regard to the 70s argument is that I don't think the disadvantages that come with being a minority have totally disappeared, and as evidence I offer demographic trends.

  • Shorter Tony||

    We really haven't made much progress at all, because Evil Rich White Conservatives still exist.

  • Rachel Maddow||

    What he said.

  • Ed Schultz||

    Blargh yobble righties gabba gabba progressives!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Except that he didn't make a definitive statement about the validity of AA in 1970.

    Unless the word "maybe" has recently changed meaning and I didn't get a memo.

  • ||

    It's a fallacy to claim that wealth is the issue with access to lower education. The problems are cultural: an education is not valued, no stigma is attached to unwed teenage pregnancies, and no stigma is attached to teen (or older) daddies making babies and making tracks.

    These aren't the kinds of things you can solve by throwing money at the problem. Indeed, throwing money at the problem has, in many cases, made it worse: couples find that they can get more money "from the state" if they aren't married, and we subsidize single motherhood.

    We've spent more than $3T subsidizing poverty in this nation over the last 45 years. No one should be surprised to find that we have more of it.

  • MNG||

    "The fact that minorities have higher rates of social problems (like unemployment) is either evidence that past discrimination/past higher levels of social problems is still a contributing factor, or these minorities are just innately lazy."

    This is the proper retort to OM's comments above that it is enough for a disrciminating government to stop discriminating. The effects of the past wrong may linger causing harm to people in the same group as those disrciminated against.

    I think the real question though is, why is discrimination a bad thing? I think it is because it leads to these effects. It's the effects that we want to ameliorate, i.e., the poverty and lack of opportunity. So why dole out aid on both accounts based solely on race rather than on poverty and lack of opportunity? I'm for race-neutral preferences. And this would have have the added bonus of not stigmatizing any group or pitting them against one another based solely on skin color.

  • waffles||

    Yeah, but it takes so much less effort to just look at the color of someone's skin. It's pathetic really. We can't expect logical discrimination because it's far more expedient to keep up with the feelgood racist bull.

  • Cecil||

    The problem with poverty-based discrimination is that the leftist, PC crowd is generally opposed to it because it would not overwhelmingly favor their designated victim groups, such as latinos and blacks, since there are a lot of poor white people who would benefit.

  • MNG||

    Dude, that's not a problem with it. Who cares what PC goofballs think?

  • Cecil||

    I should have been clearer - I meant the problem with it actually being enacted. The opposition of the PC crowd and the rest of the democrat base would make implementation highly unlikely.

  • Pip||

    Hey Minge, was it a lack of AA that caused this?

    Bobby Tillman's heart was punctured as he was stomped to death by four teens at a Douglasville party early Sunday morning, the Douglas County coroner told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

    "What killed him was that he had a lacerated heart," Randy Daniel said. "The injury is consistent with a bone being broken and lacerating his heart."

    Daniel said the fatal injury would have come from someone stomping on the 18-year-old Tillman "because they're putting their whole weight on him as opposed to punching him or kicking him."

    Quantez Devonta Mallory, 18, Horace Damon Coleman, 19, Emmanuel Benjamin Boykins, 18, and Tracen Lamar Franklin, 19, have all been charged with murder and are being held without bond at the Douglas County Jail.

    Witnesses said Boykins attacked the smaller Tillman after being hit by a girl during an unrelated fight and declaring he would hit the next guy he saw and didn't know, rather than strike the girl.

    Coleman, Mallory and Franklin joined in, punching, kicking and stomping the 124-pound Tillman, authorities said.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/corone.....34846.html

  • Fleeing Cali||

    Hi MNG, I don't see a real link between poverty/past discrimination to levels of success. Asian's just kick that link in the teeth. Many come here dirt ass poor, are thought of as 'strange/different' by most (blacks feel free to tell racist jokes about asians) but yet usually have a pretty high success rate. Why? From living in an asian community (and having an asian wife) my experiences have told me it's 100% culture. Asians/Jews do better because their culture expects/demands it. They save more money, spend less, study harder and just fight like hell to succeed.

    So maybe we have to start looking at black and latino culture to figure out what's wrong... We know it's not genetics (at least not 100%) because there are many brilliant, successful black/latino's. So what are they doing that the others are not?

  • ||

    There are some brilliant, successful black/latino's.

    So what are they doing that the others are not?

    They're not listening to the left based 'black/latino community'. If you take a look at suc.cessful blacks and latinos--even the ones that espouse lefty nonsense--you'll notice that they didn't apply that nonsense to themselves to get brilliant or successful.

    In ghetto parlance, they acted white.

  • someguy||

    how many blacks and latinos (not latino's) do you know personally well enough to make this claim? it's stuff like this that stalls serious debate.

  • American in Korea||

    Yesterday was CSAT day in Korea & I was absolutely astonished by how much this culture really values their children's education. Government offices open about an hour later to free up traffic. Subways run extra trains so kids get to the test on time. During the listening portion of the test, plane take off & landing is restricted. Parents routinely sacrifice everything for the sake of the education opportunities of their children.
    I grew up in inner city Detroit. My parents were unmarried teenagers as were many of my peers. Those kids who's parents didnt allow ghetto culture inside their homes & wouldnt tolerate bad grades were stigmatized by their peers as "acting white". No one could ever explain how/when/why the whites supposedly got a monopoly on intelligent conversation, hard work, academic achievement etc. On top of it, if you wanted to give your own children a better life than the one you had ie: leave the ghetto, you were accused of forgetting where you came from ,leaving your people behind, kicking the ladder out, acting white. I applaud those who are able to overcome all of that to become brilliant & successful!

  • mad libertarian guy||

    A policy which will lead to only those who qualify for tuition help being admitted.

    What about "merit" is so confusing?

  • cynical||

    The thing that bugs me most about affirmative action is that, if you didn't already know what it was, the name would tell you absolutely nothing about the policy. It's an empty nonsense phrase to avoid saying "deliberate inequality to offset other inequalities". Now, nodding your head? That's an "affirmative action".

  • MNG||

    Well, I've heard it used to refer to a broader set of actions than preferences (i.e., minority recruitment efforts), and it's name is supposed to differentiate it from simply refraining from discrimination ("negative action"). The idea was that just stopping the negative was not enough, one had to apply "affirmative action" to remedy the effects of the negative action.

  • prolefeed||

    The idea was that just stopping the negative racism was not enough, one had to apply "affirmative action" to remedy the effects of the negative action. replace that racism with a new set of racism favoring the formerly oppressed at the expense of everyone else.

    Fixed.

  • ||

    Couldn't there be affirmative actions one could take that don't involve hiring or admissions quotas?

    Maybe ...
    Enterprise zones. Microcredit.
    School vouchers.

  • ||

    Just don't call it a quota.

  • triumf ant||

    +1

  • ||

    I think the bigger question is were these "cupcakes" any good? Because if I think of the quality you get for these "cupcakes", you're getting ripped off at almost any price and these "cupcakes" practically have a monopoly on the market because they are government subsidized. The only way we can correct this is to free the "cupcake" market.

    My personal favorite, white cupcakes with thick dark chocolate icing.

  • ||

    So, Al Jolson style?

  • ||

    Oh God, Al Jolson joke. I love you, Reason commenters.

  • Realist||

    "We need more debate about controversial subjects like affirmative action, not less."

    OK it's wrong!

  • Dave||

    Yes, it's not really debatable at all. It's completely f'ing wrong. It's so f'ing wrong that it has a bogus Orwellian name. Why not call it what it is - Racist Preferences? Why? Because then it would be more obvious to the idiotic masses that it is f'ing wrong.

  • Adolf||

    What's wrong with racist preferences?

  • Obama||

    Hey it got me this cool ass job....over you honkies!

  • prolefeed||

    If "the Left don't [sic] care what anyone does, so long as it's compulsory," then it's safe to assume "the Right doesn't care what anyone does, so long as it's not compulsory."

    I suppose one can "safely" make that assumption if one is wearing the intellectual equivalent of a condom. That assertion is not based on rigorous logic.

  • prolefeed||

    So why dole out aid on both accounts based solely on race rather than on poverty and lack of opportunity? I'm for race-neutral preferences.

    You are proposing using the government to force institutions to favor a politically powerful group (whoever can get themselves defined as being needy) at the expense of everyone else, using the threat of violence against anyone who objects to this confiscation of rights.

    You have to have a collectivist mindset to not see how this is a problem, and how that problem will result in all sorts of unintended consequences as those getting coerced react to avoid the worst effects of the coercion.

  • MNG||

    And you would allow the effects of past coercion and confiscation to continue to play a heavy hand today, providing significant advantages to some, disadvantages to others.

  • Fleeing Cali||

    MNG, take two people:

    1) a 'black' american who immigrated from somalia a few years ago.

    2) a chinese immigrant who also just arrived.

    What has been 'confiscated' from the somalian immigrant that justifies affirmitive action? How did the chinese hurt the somalian?

    Affirmitive action in CA affected asians more negatively than it did whites....

  • ||

    I would allow those effects to slowly wear off rather than punishing generations who did not engage in the past coercion and confiscation for the actions of people who may or may not have been their ancestors.

  • ||

    I think this event was propogated by the Little-Hostess-Keebler-Debbie-Elf cabal. Cupcakes were put on this Earth for mind control; sweet, delicious mind control.

  • prolefeed||

    There will always be anecdotes of PC police, but in general there are few places on earth more open to free discussion than a college campus.

    Have you ever been on a college campus, or perused their speech codes? These are some of the least free environments for speech imaginable, unless by "free speech" you mean "speech closely hewing to liberal sensitivities".

  • creech||

    I wonder what would happen if the kids involved in the cupcake caper were to invite alumna Dick Boddie to campus for an affirmative action debate?
    Boddie is a notorious libertarian "of color."

  • ||

    I even thought this when I was in college 35 years ago - and liberal.

  • Trollolololol||

    Gooks — $1.50
    Crackers — $1.00
    Niggers/Beaners — 50 cents

    FTFY!

  • Trollolololol||

    Redskins — FREE!

  • Jeff||

    *With purchase of slightly used blanket....

  • Dude!||

    Speaking of stupid people and free speech, I just saw an MSNBC segment wherein hot and dumb Tamron Hall interviewed bald and bearded Michael Smerconish about the Amazon-pedophile-book foofaraw. Tamron was indignant that Amazon was selling such a book, and when were they going to publicly apologize, anyway? and Smerconish wished he had an "app" that could identify all the purchasers of said book so that they could be "put on a watch list." Yikes.

  • Dave||

    Yeah, I'm not aware of the book in question but it is friggin scary when people start talking about "watch lists" and such. Even sex offender registries currently in place are highly disturbing and damaging. They are often have people inaccurately listed and even include so-called "sex offenders" who's only "crime" is peeing in public. Even if correctly applied and completely accurate, these registries are arguably far more harmful than good - many people are wrongfully convicted of sex offenses based on flimsy or no evidence and many sex offenders who are not dangerous are terrorized, seriously harmed or even killed because of these lists.

    Sometimes the "cure" is worse than the disease.

    Just say no to Big Brother.

  • I see pedo people...||

    You mean like this watch list?

    You must live in a pedo free neighborhood. Good for you. I'm sure you don't mind living in ignorance to the fact you're surrounded by sick bastards who drool over your 10 year old riding her bike by his molestation den of rape.

    Yes, I'm siding with Hitler. Concentration camps for pedophiles! Of course, gassing them would be anti-Semitic. Impalement seems more appropriate.

  • Typo||

    sick bastards who drool over your 10 year old riding her bike by his molestation den of rape

    Should be their molestation den of rape.

  • Dude!||

    So, just to be on the safe side, we should lock up scholars and researchers and others who purchase "controversial" books?

  • Dave||

    Are you serious? It's hard to tell. I understand the desire to protect your children from dangerous sex offenders BUT it's best to make sure your efforts aren't doing more harm to humanity than good. If the lists were carefully limited to those who clearly pose a threat then they might be reasonable. Even then, they are not a substitute for other safety measures. The lists will never be comprehensive.

  • ||

    There shouldn't be lists that include released pedophiles. Convicted confirmed pedophiles should be beheaded--and those beheadings put on a website whose name will draw other pedophiles to take a look at it.

  • PedroBear||

    I love the freedom of speech.

    Besides I never looked at the pictures, only read the articles.

  • Miku||

    John Stossle wrote an intelligent article, I'm happy.

  • Miku||

    And I made myself look intelligent by spelling his name wrong.

  • Barbara Striesand||

    Happens all the time, Mike.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The fact that minorities have higher rates of social problems (like unemployment) is either evidence that past discrimination/past higher levels of social problems is still a contributing factor, or these minorities are just innately lazy.

    And your assertion is evidence that you're just too fond of false dichotomies.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: MNG,

    This is the proper retort to OM's comments above[...]

    Just to show you that "birds of a feather..."
  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Tony,

    The fact that minorities have higher rates of social problems (like unemployment) is either evidence that past discrimination/past higher levels of social problems is still a contributing factor, or these minorities are just innately lazy.

    Yeah, don't take into account such factors as the minimum wage, welfarism, how AA sets up minorities to failure as explained by economist Thomas Sowell: instead of letting them shine in "Good Enough University," they are instead admitted to high-end universities through "diversity" programs where they end up failing.

    Nah, it has to be white racism. Sure.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps you didn't notice my stated opposition to AA. As far as minimum wage, ha! And yes the select few of the select few, minorities who make it into "high-end" universities through AA, surely are responsible for the plight of their entire respective communities. Also, people should stop referring me to Thomas Sowell.

  • Fleeing Cali||

    Don't confuse 'simple' with 'stupid'. I think libertarian ideas would flourish more if they were put forward in very simple terms that everyone can understand.

    Free minds and free markets... Freedom.

    My wife (not from US) asked me to explain this weird 'libertarian' thing to her. I told her my philosophy was that "if someone is doing something that doesn't directly harm someone else against their will, the government shouldn't have anything to do with it" Of course that's oversimplified, but simple is easier to communicate.

  • Sidd Finch||

    "So why dole out aid on both accounts based solely on race rather than on poverty and lack of opportunity?"

    You know why even if you won't say it.

  • Booger||

    Affirmative action isn't just reserved for universities and the general labor market. It is also rampant in places such as construction at the subcontractor level. Many publically funded projects require some level of DBE (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise) participation. This can be an MBE (minority), WBE (women), SBE (small business - but don't really understand what the qualifications are for that in most cases) that would have an advantage in securing more work. It basically breaks down as such: if 20% of the construction cost of a state building / facility is reserved for DBE businesses, then the general contractor is required to subcontract, or purchase, that level of work and materials from DBE's.

    It leads to a lot of shell companies that are essentially doing "pass throughs" and skimming a few percent off the top without performing any commercially useful function. The system is rife with corruption and silly little policy's that do not serve anyone's interest.

    In the end, it often, not always, results in more costly construction delivered at a lower quality standard. Please don't get me wrong, I am not suggesting that a DBE is not capable of performing the work of a non-DBE, however these companies are all too often given a project based on the DBE status rather than on the merits of their work.

    Just another affirmative action style gain. I would be interested to Stossel run a story on this topic.

  • Dave||

    Yes.

    And Obamacare expands government racist policies with a number of less publicized provisions.

  • shrike||

    i don't even have to post, because everyone knows what i am going to say.

  • _||

    no shit

  • ||

    Claiming, "I'm not racist", is more racist to me than someone blatantly saying, "Nigger".

  • ||

    Okay, if you hurt somebody, say you ran over a family father's leg with a salt truck--on purpose--then crashed it through their fields and ruined their crops by dumping the salt and destroyed their barn and their family homestead and set everything left on fire for good measure....
    How long would it take that family to recover if they were farmers and had nothing to their name and no education and their only way to make a living was destroyed?

    What would a libertarian expect here for justice, when it might take generations to rebuild that farm, and in the meantime they are uneducated and starving. Maybe the guy who did the wrong should give them a share of his farm?

    I think that the problem with the political treatment of African-Americans is whether you believe in the legacy of slavery (or the legacy of everything prior to the Civil Rights Act of 1964).
    If you do, then you wonder, have we done enough?
    If you don't, then you're like, Fuck them, they should have built a stone wall around their farm in their free time...if they weren't so lazy they'd be fine.

    In general, my personal position is that we've done enough legislatively and regulatory-wise. We can do more as individuals and a society, but that's up to us/ourselves. (Or it should be.)

    OTOH, we have been screwing the native Americans for 500 years and are still screwing them to this day. As a matter of policy. Our elected government does it. Our taxes do it. Almost all of our ancestors did it. The land we live on was "theirs." (To the extent you believe in land ownership.) If you want to give them job preferences and college admission and anything else that they still have to work for (still have to do the job or get the grades) then by all means give them that advantage. That's the tiniest fraction of a percentage of what we owe them for damages done to them and are still doing to them.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    That would piss people off

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Yes, if Coulter said it, it wasn't OK

  • Fiscal Meth||

    It fuckin funny though. It's assault but funny assault

  • Fiscal Meth||

    When they drove you out of school where they driving a hybrid or a guzzler?

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Stache seems to be looking to get boxed in the ears again.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Sure sure, and they're allowed to get expelled too.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Congress shall pass no law abridging the peoples' freedom of speech within the little free speech zone.

  • Professor Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm in exile and can't blog this episode. I can only hope Stossel labeled his cupcakes $1.50 for Orientals instead of Asians. That would take the indignation to a whole new level.

  • ||

    One of my favorite parts of "Hitch-22" was Hitchens describing a youthful debate with a particularly vile politician in college. Hitchens said his piece and then him and some cronies managed to drown out and totally prevent the man from speaking. Hitchens described it as cheaply satisfying, but he was always a ashamed of doing that.

  • ||

    If the bakesale is to truly reflect the American experience, the prices should be:
    Cupcakes
    $1.00 for whites

    $1.50 for Asians, but you have to change your major to Math or Comp Sci

    $.50 for blacks, but you have to wear a sign around your neck that reads "Crackhead Thief" for the rest of the day.

    Enjoy!

  • Kevin Durant Shoes||

    so perfect

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