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Educators discriminate against conservatives

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by recurvyarcher, Jul 20, 2010.

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  1. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Here's an article that a U. of Washington professor sent to me today. I found it quite interesting that he was paying attention, since he is extremely liberal:

    ---------------------------------------------------

    Rural, poor whites underrepresented at elite colleges
    The most underrepresented groups on elite campuses often aren't racial minorities, writes columnist Ross Douthat, they're working-class whites (and white Christians in particular) from conservative states and regions.

    By Ross Douthat

    Syndicated columnist

    Related

    In March of 2000, Pat Buchanan came to speak at Harvard University's Institute of Politics. Harvard being Harvard, the audience hissed and sneered and made wisecracks. Buchanan being Buchanan, he gave as good as he got. While the assembled Ivy Leaguers accused him of homophobia and racism and anti-Semitism, he accused Harvard — and by extension, the entire American elite — of discriminating against white Christians.

    A decade later, the note of white grievance that Buchanan struck that night is part of the conservative melody. You can hear it when Glenn Beck accuses Barack Obama of racism, or when Rush Limbaugh casts liberal policies as an exercise in "reparations." It was sounded last year during the backlash against Sonia Sotomayor's suggestion that a "wise Latina" jurist might have advantages over a white male judge, and again last week when conservatives attacked the Justice Department for supposedly going easy on members of the New Black Panther Party accused of voter intimidation.

    To liberals, these grievances seem at once noxious and ridiculous. (Is there any group with less to complain about, they often wonder, than white Christian Americans?) But to understand the country's present polarization, it's worth recognizing what Pat Buchanan got right.

    Last year, two Princeton sociologists, Thomas Espenshade and Alexandria Walton Radford, published a book-length study of admissions and affirmative action at eight highly selective colleges and universities. Unsurprisingly, they found that the admissions process seemed to favor black and Hispanic applicants, while whites and Asians needed higher grades and SAT scores to get in. But what was striking, as Russell K. Nieli pointed out on the conservative website Minding the Campus, was which whites were most disadvantaged by the process: the downscale, the rural and the working-class.

    This was particularly pronounced among the private colleges in the study. For minority applicants, the lower a family's socioeconomic position, the more likely the student was to be admitted. For whites, though, it was the reverse. An upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualifications.

    This may be a money-saving tactic. Espenshade and Radford suggest that these institutions, conscious of their mandate to be multiethnic, may reserve their financial aid dollars "for students who will help them look good on their numbers of minority students," leaving little room to admit financially strapped whites.

    But cultural biases seem to be at work as well. Nieli highlights one of the study's more remarkable findings: While most extracurricular activities increase your odds of admission to an elite school, holding a leadership role or winning awards in organizations like high school ROTC, 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America actually works against your chances. Consciously or unconsciously, the gatekeepers of elite education seem to incline against candidates who seem too stereotypically rural or right-wing or "Red America."

    This provides statistical confirmation for what alumni of highly selective universities already know. The most underrepresented groups on elite campuses often aren't racial minorities; they're working-class whites (and white Christians in particular) from conservative states and regions. Inevitably, the same underrepresentation persists in the elite professional ranks these campuses feed into: in law and philanthropy, finance and academia, the media and the arts.

    This breeds paranoia, among elite and non-elites alike. Among the white working class, increasingly the most reliable Republican constituency, alienation from the American meritocracy fuels the kind of racially tinged conspiracy theories that Beck and others have exploited — that Barack Obama is a foreign-born Marxist hand-picked by a shadowy liberal cabal, that a Wall Street-Washington axis wants to flood the country with Third World immigrants, and so forth.

    Among the highly educated and liberal, meanwhile, the lack of contact with rural, working-class America generates all sorts of wild anxieties about what's being plotted in the heartland. In the Bush years, liberals fretted about a looming evangelical theocracy. In the age of the tea parties, they see crypto-Klansmen and budding Timothy McVeighs everywhere they look.

    This cultural divide has been widening for years, and bridging it is beyond any institution's power. But it's a problem admissions officers at top-tier colleges might want to keep in mind when they're assembling their freshman classes.

    If such universities are trying to create an elite as diverse as the nation it inhabits, they should remember that there's more to diversity than skin color — and that both their school and their country might be better off if they admitted a few more ROTC cadets, and a few more aspiring farmers.

    Ross Douthat is a regular columnist for The New York Times.
     
  2. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    A good read! As one of those "rural white folks" who raised up four "good" kids, I can attest to the bias'es of higher education!

    Only one got to go to college! As poor white folk we couldn't afford the outreagous cost and when we applied for help, my son was refused any help because he hadn't got in trouble with the "law"

    Had he been a "bad" kid growing up, His way would have been paid for!!

    AND WE WONDER WHY DC IS FULL OF COURUPTION!!!

    I won't go into what I found out that would have helped my daughter's!
     
  3. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    Great thread. Been true for a long time and I agree. I consider myself a fiscal conservative and a social liberal. Some say my ideas that reflect early 60's liberalism are now more Republican than Democrat? Who's to say..

    Anyway, just to show off 'cause I read about this a couple of days ago, to what "outrageous" American art/rock and roll "star" is Pat Buchanan related to?

    Is not the USA great or what? And I sincerely mean it.


    Regards,

    David
     
  4. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Good read and it's been going on for years but nobody really gives a damn because it's not a popular.

    Don
     
  5. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Recurvyarcher,

    I have long found that even among supposedly intelligent people given thought provoking information such as the study you posted, it barely causes a ripple in their curiosity, let alone spur them to action.

    What was the professor's reaction to this study? My guess is, he was "amused" but not concerned.

    Chichay
     
  6. Chango2

    Chango2 Active Member

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    doggai...so true, sometimes I fear for this, my country, because our culture reflects so much dislike if not hate..let's see, anti-gun hate those who shoot, educated vs.lesser educated, and so on down the line. Both parties need to get it together.
     
  7. ricks1

    ricks1 TS Member

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    curvy you should know that first hand you went to collage. I found it to be starting in the 70s and its many times worse today. I am a contractor and do some residentual work There is a group I DONT work for its the PTL club.
    PRITCHERS TEACHERS AND LAWYERS they the worst of the whole class of people. And if they are black look out
     
  8. Bob M

    Bob M Member

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    doggai and Chango2,

    Good points. It seems impossible to discuss political, religious, or educational viewpoints anywhere without the situation deteriorating to name-calling, class envy, racial prejudice, and personal attacks.

    My daughter is entering college this fall and because my wife and I both work and are still married and she is a very good, but not stellar student, she gets no financial aid. As a high school teacher, I see this same pattern repeated over and over with many kids from rural Pennsylvania. (Yes, I know I am a member of 'the worst of the whole class of people', but I differ in my viewpoints compared to what is considered to be the stereotypical teacher.)
     
  9. Big Az Al

    Big Az Al Well-Known Member

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    doggai wrote
    """When I hear Conservatives complain about suffering from discrimination by another segment of society, I, too, find it amusing. JF ""

    That statement is odd to me!

    As The White Conseratives that I grew up around to a person taught........

    "You Can only JUDGE a person by their ETHICS!" "as in, do they do the job they are hired to do?! Are they honest?! Are they Punctual?!"

    And oddly enough have heard even more people of color decry "equal rights" as the cause of most if not all the discrimination, In the last 40 some years!

    Then my mentors, and they hate(D) it because, this was what they where saying then and NOW!

    "When I could fire anybody that wasn't cutting it! I could hire anybody! NOW IF I fire a __________. I will go broke defending MYSELF! So I don't hire ______!"

    And it IS NOT BECAUSE they see(saw) ______________!

    It is because of the lawyers and such just looking for a HEADLINE! and people of the likes of Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and that like, always looking for a headline!

    So when THE hiring systems make it so that a WASP like myself can score perfect scores and not be able to match the score that someone of ___________ got with what should be a failing score! That their score is made up of added points for being __________! And you see this in all aspects of life!

    What FOOL is NOT bright enough to see!

    That the original post!

    Is NOT only right on the MONEY!

    It is part of the slippery slope to failure that OUR country has been on for over 40 YEARS!

    Al Lingham
     
  10. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Chichay...said professor has been hiring midwestern, conservative kids to work in his lab and TA for him for as long as I've known him. He likes the middle-class work ethic, and does everything he can to get those kinds of kids who apply a hand up in the educational system. Sometimes, because our kids are not generally as competitive as those of asian and indian decent, he gets them through the back door.

    I know it's tough in these times, and I've been through it. It wasn't easy for me to get into and go to college. I first had to go to a very small, local, private one and get an associates degree. They were trying to fill slots with women, and I had that advantage at the time. But I also worked hard and my grades were the most important thing to me in my life when I was a kid, and my family supported that.

    So get your kids in the mode of making straight A's no matter what it takes (I sacrificed a lot as a little kid to study)...if they need help, use your coffee money to hire a tutor from the get-go. If my family could find ways to hire a tutor (barter), then you can, too. Video games, television, and being popular won't do your kids any good at all. Sports, however, are needed.

    Start out with small trade schools or community college, or do what my brother, sons, and nephew did and join the military to go to college. Or get a job that will provide tuition reimbursement and go a little at a time. Let your kids stay at home after high school and use their earned money to pay for a class or two a semester. Once you are in, ADVERTISE to the teachers that you are willing to do whatever it takes to reach your long-term goal.

    And remember, college isn't the be-all end-all either. Although it's the preferred route, there are several ways to learn these days. Lots of free online classes. There are lots of careers that pay well that don't require a college degree, but require good skills. You can learn several languages and you can do it online. There are ALWAYS jobs for people who are multi-lingual, and lots of those jobs are with the feds. Look at their job postings and see what they are looking for, then do your best.

    Hell, Martin is always looking for good people who want to learn the concrete business. And it pays well when you do a good job, but most people don't want to do physical work anymore. He can't find kids these days who want to apprentice. Guns smiths tell me that they have the same problem...kids don't want to do it. They don't understand that the easy, glam life that they see on tv is not attainable for the majority.

    Anyway, I'm done ranting. My been-there-done-that philosophy is to not give up, and don't get a bad attitude because life isn't fair, because the bad attitude won't help you. Just keep your eye on the prize, and figure out a way to outsmart the smartasses...like I did.
     
  11. slic lee

    slic lee Active Member

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    My daughter and 3 other friends applied to the big University in obamas state.
    She had a accum "A" average, was Pres of the 2 local honor societies and on honor role for all other USA.
    Was a athlete, her sport she was 11 in the state of Florida, also Track and Field, girl scout Leader, merit badges etc.
    Editor of school newspaper senior president, won many firsts in debate.
    Her boyfriend had a "B" average, was from south america lived here and a friend of his with a low B same kind of resident got accepted she was turned down.
    She was accepted to NYU.
     
  12. Chichay

    Chichay TS Supporters TS Supporters

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    Recurvyarcher,

    I was wrong about the professor, and regret lumping him with the rest of the liberal academia. I owe him an apology wherever he might be.

    Indeed, hard work pays. I lived a charmed life where I came from; the second son of a U.S.-trained cardiologist and an operating room nurse. My father was friends with the President (later to become dictator), the Secretaries of Foreign Affairs, and Justice. You might say we were well-connected. We had two maids, a cook, a laundrywoman, a gardener and a driver. The only problem was that the political landscape was deteriorating rapidly, and only a blind man could not see that turmoil was on the horizon. As an aside, I was an average student in an exclusive private school. There was no reason to excel.

    My father was asked to do some experiments in Europe (effects of Vit. B on the heart muscle), and he saw this as an opportunity to take the whole family out of the country while the getting out was good. Securing passports and visas was a snap, but taking the family wealth out without raising eyebrows was another. We had to leave our material possessions behind if there were to be no backlash from the afore-mentioned connections.

    After Europe, we immigrated to the US. In the process, we have traveled around the world and saw how a lot of other people lived. It was an education and a revelation. In our adopted country, new opportunities beckoned; we children, however, realized our father left the country at the zenith of his career, while our mother left behind a leisurely household only a slew of live-in help could provide.

    Financial resources dictated that I attend public school. Destiny intervened. Somehow, the parish priest learned of this and offered to pay for my tuition in a Catholic school. Neighbors assured us he came from a rich family, and this was "nothing for him". Accepting the offer carried with it the moral obligation to show him my report card every time I got it. For the first time in my life, I really studied, giving up the usual "priorities" (and proclivities?) of my age.

    Lo and behold, I got straight As, and by the following grading period, was awarded a scholarship. The priest no longer had to pay for my tuition, but I kept on showing him my report card anyway. Burning the midnight oil became a habit that got me through honors classes all eight semesters of engineering school, and scholarship through medical school. The hard work continued through residency, often being called in to help with emergency cases even though I was not on-call. I was rewarded with an offer for employment after residency, with full partnership after 1 year. I became president of this medical corporation after four years, and am currently serving as its chief compliance officer and pension trustee. It has grown from a nine man corporation when I first joined it, to its present complement of sixty-three physician-anesthesiologists. I still put in 60-80 hour work weeks.

    Yes, hard work and positive attitude pay off. I just smile whenever somebody tells me this country offers no opportunity.

    Sorry for the length of this post. Just want to let you know where I'm coming from.

    Chichay
     
  13. recurvyarcher

    recurvyarcher Well-Known Member

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    Loved your last post, Chichay. I think we need to see more of "what it takes to get there" and less of "why we can't get there." Your life experiences are inspiring.

    The reason for my last post was I think it may give families and high schoolers some options and hope. I, myself, am frustrated with the war on conservatives that I have seen in the last decade. Yes, it is a war, and the libs have been treating it as such for 30-40 years now, which will tell you what planning and perserverance can win you.

    I hope we will see some of our kids taking their lives back into their own hands. They have been taught by today's society that they will be taken care of, and that just isn't true for most. You have to take care of yourself YOURSELF.

    Notice that I didn't say take care of yourself FIRST. And I want to make it clear that I don't ever advocate stepping on others to get what you want, because that has negative consequences in the end (remember, it's a small world and there could be a large price to pay later).

    Slic Lee, congratulations on your daughter's acceptance to NYU. That is an EXCELLENT university! I'd rather be in NY than in IL if I were a student. I'm sure she will love it.
     
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