Let Them Eat Diversity

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Let Them Eat Diversity

Post by Coach on Sat Jul 23, 2011 12:34 am

Let Them Eat Diversity

An interview with Walter Benn Michaels for Jacobin Magazine (Winter 2011 issue)

Are you kidding me, I’ve been called a racist for twenty years. Ever since I published the beginning of Our America, the first article that went into Our America, which was an argument that there was no such thing as race, including the social construction of race. People use to label that “liberal racism,” now they don’t bother to say it’s “liberal.” That Richard Kim thing is pretty blatantly empty. He’s saying, “It’s racism, Michaels is upset, because there’s all these Black people on campus and there are all these Asian people on campus and all these Latinos on campus” … first of all, I don’t know anyone who’s actually upset by this. We’re upset, because there are no poor kids on campus. But even when Kim is confronted with an argument which says explicitly—“look the problem with affirmative action is not that it is a form of ‘reverse racism,’ the problem with affirmative action is that it doesn’t get at the group that actually is excluded from universities and that is poor people,” all he can think of to say is “see, that guy’s a racist.” I have no idea how to respond to that other than to say that whatever one’s personal feelings might be (even if I were experiencing the dread “White male status anxiety”!), the group that is actually excluded from American universities is poor people, and that’s true, whether it is “racist” or not. “You’re a racist” is not even an attempt to counter the truth of the argument; it’s just pure ad hominem of the most uninventive and, in this case, the most unconvincing and irrelevant type.

I essentially try to make the argument as clearly as possible and sometimes that’s going to cause more problems and disputes and sometimes not, but that stuff doesn’t matter to me. And I know that some people don’t actually criticize the argument, but criticize the way in which it’s put. I think it’s Doug’s view that there are lots of people who really dislike what I’m saying and for that matter what Adolph [Reed] is saying and wouldn’t dislike it so much if it were put differently, but I don’t really agree with that. I think they really dislike it and it doesn’t matter how it is put. They wouldn’t be less annoyed if it was put less pointedly. And a lot of them think of themselves as being on the Left and they think it’s especially inappropriate for people to come along and tell them that the thing they like best about themselves, their anti-racism, is not in and of itself a left-wing commitment.

http://jacobinmag.com/winter-2011/let-them-eat-diversity/



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Re: Let Them Eat Diversity

Post by Molov on Sat Jul 23, 2011 6:27 am

Excellent article. Really good, thank you for sharing.

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Re: Let Them Eat Diversity

Post by rockstar1488 on Sun Aug 21, 2011 10:21 pm

Coach wrote:Let Them Eat Diversity

An interview with Walter Benn Michaels for Jacobin Magazine (Winter 2011 issue)

Are you kidding me, I’ve been called a racist for twenty years. Ever since I published the beginning of Our America, the first article that went into Our America, which was an argument that there was no such thing as race, including the social construction of race. People use to label that “liberal racism,” now they don’t bother to say it’s “liberal.” That Richard Kim thing is pretty blatantly empty. He’s saying, “It’s racism, Michaels is upset, because there’s all these Black people on campus and there are all these Asian people on campus and all these Latinos on campus” … first of all, I don’t know anyone who’s actually upset by this. We’re upset, because there are no poor kids on campus. But even when Kim is confronted with an argument which says explicitly—“look the problem with affirmative action is not that it is a form of ‘reverse racism,’ the problem with affirmative action is that it doesn’t get at the group that actually is excluded from universities and that is poor people,” all he can think of to say is “see, that guy’s a racist.” I have no idea how to respond to that other than to say that whatever one’s personal feelings might be (even if I were experiencing the dread “White male status anxiety”!), the group that is actually excluded from American universities is poor people, and that’s true, whether it is “racist” or not. “You’re a racist” is not even an attempt to counter the truth of the argument; it’s just pure ad hominem of the most uninventive and, in this case, the most unconvincing and irrelevant type.

I essentially try to make the argument as clearly as possible and sometimes that’s going to cause more problems and disputes and sometimes not, but that stuff doesn’t matter to me. And I know that some people don’t actually criticize the argument, but criticize the way in which it’s put. I think it’s Doug’s view that there are lots of people who really dislike what I’m saying and for that matter what Adolph [Reed] is saying and wouldn’t dislike it so much if it were put differently, but I don’t really agree with that. I think they really dislike it and it doesn’t matter how it is put. They wouldn’t be less annoyed if it was put less pointedly. And a lot of them think of themselves as being on the Left and they think it’s especially inappropriate for people to come along and tell them that the thing they like best about themselves, their anti-racism, is not in and of itself a left-wing commitment.

http://jacobinmag.com/winter-2011/let-them-eat-diversity/



the solution to this problem is simple. people should be admitted to universities based on MERIT. income or race should not be a determining factor. our absurd egalitarianist society accuses an establishment of being racist just for not having enough minorities. cant these egalitarianists see that affirmative action hampers progress?

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Re: Let Them Eat Diversity

Post by Rev Scare on Mon Aug 22, 2011 2:17 am

rockstar1488 wrote:
the solution to this problem is simple. people should be admitted to universities based on MERIT. income or race should not be a determining factor. our absurd egalitarianist society accuses an establishment of being racist just for not having enough minorities. cant these egalitarianists see that affirmative action hampers progress?

If we lived in a truly equitable society, your argument would perhaps have a valid basis, but we are nowhere near such a point. As such, I cannot interpret your statement as anything other than a right-wing platitude. The social formation in which we reside is anything but egalitarian.


Last edited by Rev Scare on Mon Jun 11, 2012 11:26 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Let Them Eat Diversity

Post by City of the Sun on Thu Oct 27, 2011 11:33 pm

Affirmative action was established in an attempt to appease groups generally without the opportunities and priviliges the upper class (which was and still is composed of whites). Although the situation has somewhat improved, AF should still exist until a greater balance of power amongst different ethnic groups is reached, or until the revolution is succesful

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Re: Let Them Eat Diversity

Post by Pantheon Rising on Fri Oct 28, 2011 8:44 am

City of the Sun wrote:Affirmative action was established in an attempt to appease groups generally without the opportunities and priviliges the upper class (which was and still is composed of whites). Although the situation has somewhat improved, AF should still exist until a greater balance of power amongst different ethnic groups is reached, or until the revolution is succesful

You assume that whites of the lower class have the same privileges whites of the upper classes do. Why does balance of power even matter if poor people in general can't afford a good education or are so swamped by debts it isn't worth it? There are plenty of poor whites I am sure who get kept out of school thanks to affirmative action policies. Now you're just playing favorites. Ridiculous.

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