and I was all, oh my god, I think I just understood Trump’s America.
I am shocked that an intelligent woman such as yourself had to be slapped in the face with this in order to appreciate it. Do you not ever read ….. well, ANYTHING from a centrist source, much less a conservative one? It would be impossible to be a regular reader of a centrist outlet without picking up on this.
Seriously now. I read liberal outlets daily, so as to understand the thought process of people who do not agree with me politically. Is it really so rare for people to do this, nowadays?
Often, white people direct their anger towards the qualifications of people of color when discussing affirmative action, and I believe this to be misguided.
Well, when (a) the qualifications of an “accepted person” are lacking in comparison to that of a “rejected person”, AND (b) the reason for the rejection is skin color, it can be reasonably expected that the angst would travel in that direction. Human nature, and all that.
Anyway, I’m not saying I’m right about this, I’m saying I think this is how a lot of white people are feeling right now. I’m saying, I think this is where this whole “reverse racism” thing is coming from.
Yes. And this feeling has been going on for, oh, thirty years or so now.
To be clear: I do not believe in reverse racism. I believe a lot of people are misdiagnosing classism as reverse racism.
Well, if you define “racism” as the belief that one race is superior to another, then a quota system is not necessarily racist at all. It’s simply unfair to the meritocratic mind. And we are supposed to be about merit in this country. So, something like affirmative action, which is *not* meritocratic, and is dictated by government policy, leads people to the conclusion that the government is out to screw them. Which also tells you why politicians that run as outsiders can often succeed.
The problem isn’t that POC people are getting too many spots; it’s that excessively privileged people are way more likely to be white and these people take up an oversize portion of the white spots.
Actually, both are offensive against the concept of a meritocracy.
This creates significant competition for less privileged white people when they are competing in systems with quotas, and this is why they’re getting angry.
Now, I disagree with directing this energy towards people of color because they’re not actually the problem.
The consensus of the discourse on the left these days is that “all white people are privileged”. That’s bunk, prima facie. Steph Curry’s kids and Ben Carson’s kids are FAR more privileged that a white kid from West Virginia whose dad is a coal miner.
But, the reason white people are directing this anger towards POC is that POC are a lot more vulnerable than highly privileged white people.
No, that’s not the reason. The reason is that they haven’t thought about the matter the way you just elucidated, because their is very little understanding about what “legacy admissions” actually are, and how much of a problem they are.
If I get a room of white kids and their parents together with 3.75 GPAs who failed to get into an Ivy, they KNOW that minority kids with 3.5’s got in, and that that’s not fair. If you were to bust into that group, right in the middle of them griping about POC’s taking their places, and say “Hey guys, did it ever occur to you that the REAL problem is that the Kennedy’s can get their kids in with only 2.9's”, they’d turn that anger on the legacy admits in a heartbeat.
You nailed it yourself above. When you’re raised to be an egalitarian, nothing chaps your ass more than a rich person butting ahead in line.
I should also note, that there may not actually be very many highly privileged connected people “unfairly” getting into universities on a wide scale (though, frankly, I doubt Harvard is an outlier in this) but the perception that there are could be just as damaging.
Well, true. Since scholastic aptitude is driven both genetically and through socialization, it’s very possible that many (most?) of the legacy admits would have gotten in anyway.
The answer is: we need more universities — more opportunities, more ways to make it.
We already do. It’s a myth that you need an Ivy, Cal, or Stanford to be successful. There are tons of things written about the stress kids are putting on themselves in order to get into the “right school”; suicide rates are WAY up for teens, and this is one of the culprits. Three anecdotes of my own acquaintance:
- A research oncologist, heavily published, at the top of his field, started in community college because nobody else would take him due to low high school grades.
- An oral surgeon, M.D. AND D.D.S, again top of his field, started at a satellite college of the main campus he couldn’t get admitted to.
- A young man, intelligent but not scholastic, drops out of school at age 18. He gets his GED, and goes to work in a big box retail store. Dead end? Not quite. By age 30, he’s managing the store and making 200K+ a year.
So, getting rejected by Stanford is ALREADY NBD; it’s just that we’ve been so conditioned a certain way that we don’t know it, as you conclude.