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July 10, 2021

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Hoover was also one of the better pre-Presidents, especially his relief work for Belgium and Eastern and Central Europe.

He had the misfortune of being POTUS during the Great Depression and having no good understanding of how to address it. Our misfortune, too.

Both of them are/were deeply moral people, and that deep morality, coupled with deep personal integrity, sometimes ran counter to the prevailing winds of their historical moment.

One other common factor: both were, by training, engineers. Which is hardly common among people in politics.

Trying to build a better machine from parts not on hand and out of stock.

But he is, without real question, the greatest ex-president of my lifetime. Not even close.

Without a doubt. A great and good man, whatever one's opinion of his presidency.

How does this crazy thing work?

Sorry, conflated two threads. Here's my comment about Carter from the previous thread
~~~~
I won't mention any names, but a former regular here would get really angry when talking about Carter. I don't think they would deny they were a good post pres, just they won't hold any brief for him as president. I, on the other hand, think he should be ranked a lot higher. Almost all of the deregulation ideas that Reagan 'had' (for various values of had) were initiated by Carter, and it's just that Reagan did them in that typical Republican way of ripping out all oversight and disempowering the workers (can anyone say flight traffic control?)
~~~~
Speaking of Carter and different skillsets
https://www.wearethemighty.com/mighty-history/jimmy-carter-saved-canada-nuclear-destruction/

Perhaps attention to detail is the killer for presidents??

Elsewhere in the world, it seems the Pakistani government is very worried about the US leaving Afghanistan. After a couple of decades of charging the US big bucks to transport supplies across their territory, and of their intelligence services (ISI) subsidizing the Taliban as the fought against us, it looks like the Tailban might actually win. Thus encourging Pakistan's own jihadists.

Somehow, my sympathy is very limited. "Chickens coming home to roost" would be the analysis.

20 years.
they had 20 years to get their shit together.

they had 20 years to get their shit together.

Oh, they got their shit together quite quickly. It's just that they got it together to support the Taliban.

Open thread, so: I remember the mixed (mainly negative) response we gave here to Robin DiAngelo and her White Fragility, so I thought folks might be interested in this Guardian review of her new book.

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/jul/11/nice-racism-by-robin-diangelo-review-appearances-can-be-deceptive

From the Guardian review of DiAngelo’s latest:

Throughout the book, she assumes the role of an omniscient narrator of anti-racist truth, which grates.

I’ve no especially strong feelings about DiAngelo one way or the other, but the above seems both fair and accurate.

DiAngelo's guilt-tripping shtick seems also to be making bank.

"This movement's journey from obscurity to ubiquity has been neck-snappingly brief—and measurably lucrative for its leading lights. "My average fee for an event in 2018 was $6,200," DiAngelo writes on her website's "Accountability" page. "In 2019, it was $9,200. In 2020 (as of August), it has been $14,000." In the book, she adds that she gives presentations on "whiteness and white fragility" on a "weekly basis."

Taking those numbers at face value, that's $728,000 a year just from speeches and workshops, to say nothing of book royalties and whatever the University of Washington is paying her. By most every yardstick, DiAngelo has achieved runaway success, lodging herself firmly in the top-earning 1 percent of the world's richest country."
Robin DiAngelo Is Very Disappointed in the White People Making Her Rich: Nice Racism—and the "anti-racism" consulting business—rakes in the bucks while losing hearts and minds.

I suppose we should give Trump more of a pass. Clearly he isn't the only grifter out there making hay off of his or her followers.

Taking those numbers at face value, that's $728,000 a year

good for her. i bet she didn't make anything like that any year prior. author isn't a salaried job, so odds are good she's going have a few lean years in which to work on spending that money.

very few authors (or musicians or artists in general) have steady 6-figure incomes.

My thoughts on DiAngelo...

I think the behaviors that she describes are pretty well documented and have been developed by a host of scholars. She's mostly famous for having coined the term "white fragility" to describe the behaviors. That was 2011.

DiAngelo's anti-racist vernacular always sounds, to my rhetorically focused ear, akin to the sort of vernacular that one hears from someone who has gone through a 12-step program.

Her assessment of people's behavior and motives really makes a lot of people feel uncomfortable and indignant. This could be productive if the conversation were to focus on what can be done to alleviate the broken social dynamics that perpetuate racial inequality, but that's not what usually happens.

Instead people who are made uncomfortable by DiAngelo's critiques spend all their time critiquing DiAngelo's style and tone and blaming her for making people defensive with her scolding.

Meanwhile, there are lots of other people working in anti-racism and looking at our racial dynamics through a critical lens. Ignoring DiAngelo and looking, instead, to the larger body of research would give us a better sense of the problems we face. There are no shortage of them.

And we would be better off if everyone would just set aside their personal feelings and not get distracted either by "white fragility" or by getting all piqued and dudgeon-y over people talking about white fragility and instead start looking for the things that they could personally do or support to remove the existing socioeconomic barriers that non-whites face.

It's not about her. It should never have been about her. Quit making it be about her (not said in a rant-y way, just laying out the points).

And it's not personal. Except where it is. And if it is, then change if it is warranted and get on with being part of the solution.

Matt Welch seems a little sensitive. As does your introduction Charles. A lot of people I really respect here disagree with DiAngelo, which is fine. But when you have to start digging thru someone else's financials to find a reason to disagree with them, it seems like you are crossing over from disagreeing with what they say to having it hit too close to home...

I thought the Graniaud review was fair, and I was struck by this
In the passage that follows, she recognises her error, but then responds in a way that sits squarely within the playbook of “white moves” she has been at pains to denounce.

So, is she right to point out the white moves or is she wrong to end up doing them?

I'll give her props for being a bit transparent about how she's making bank.

we would be better off if everyone would just set aside their personal feelings and not get distracted either by "white fragility" or by getting all piqued and dudgeon-y over people talking about white fragility and instead start looking for the things that they could personally do or support to remove the existing socioeconomic barriers that non-whites face.

It's not about her. It should never have been about her. Quit making it be about her (not said in a rant-y way, just laying out the points).

I think it's important, for those who actually care about addressing racism, to pay attention to how they make their points and how they phrase things. At least, if they care about changing minds and behaviors. Way too often, IMHO, advocates lose track of that.

Sure, in a perfect world people would focus on the substance of what she (or others) are saying. But then, in a perfect world we wouldn't have racism in the first place. In the real world, how you make your points can have a huge impact on how successful your communication is.

It's not about her. It should never have been about her.

This *is* something I have strong feelings about. Completely agree.

I appreciate that DiAngelo is trying to address a very real thing, which is white defensiveness about racism. I guess it would be better if that issue was being raised by someone whose style was less annoying to people, but we work with what we’ve got. The fact that she, a white liberal, behaves in the ways that she describes white liberals as behaving is, perhaps, somewhat recursive, but I don’t think it should surprise anybody.

And if we’re obliged to accept the idea that people are entitled to be billionaires because they were in the right place at the right time, I don’t see how a mere high six figure salary should offend. She wrote a book, people bought it.

It’s not about DiAngelo. She has obviously struck a nerve, maybe we should consider what’s behind that.

denying racism - like denying vaccines, pretending Donald Trump is a great man, and celebrating air pollution - is just another way for conservatives to proclaim their identity.

there's no point even trying to communicate with them about this because their position has become "Nope, you're a lying liberal".

I think it's important, for those who actually care about addressing racism, to pay attention to how they make their points and how they phrase things. At least, if they care about changing minds and behaviors. Way too often, IMHO, advocates lose track of that.

I think I've noted here before that texts have many different audiences, and that moving from one audience to another can radically change the way that the text gets interpreted.

Correction - DiAngelo (I think) wrote her first paper about White Fragility in 2006. It took almost 13 years for that idea to cross over into the general public in any major way. That first paper has been cited 23 times, and a big chunk of those citations date from after the publication of her book.

The book has been cited more than 3k times, and that figure is just for the academic citations.

Her work between 2006 and 2018 was largely constructive and added a useful concept to anti-racist scholarship. A lot of care and nuance goes into building that work. Reading and evaluating that scholarship also takes a lot of work and draws on a much larger body of scholarship. Writing for that audience requires, yes, A Different Skillset.

So now, in the wake of her book, that idea has crossed over, and suddenly the audience for these concepts has gone up by a few magnitudes.

It's all well and good to note that the writing does not land equally with all audiences, but DiAngelo could not have known when writing her book that it would cross over the way that it has. She would have written it for the audience that she had with, an eye towards trying to build some bridges to a wider audience. It's not her fault that she could not anticipate the impact of her book. Publishers do this for a living and they can't predict this stuff with any surety absent a big name on the cover.

But if DiAngelo had written all of her work since 2006 with an eye towards not discomfiting anyone, she would never have reached a point where she would be in a position to write that book in the first place.

Double edged sword.

Regardless, we are having this conversation now in part because it did provoke a reaction. Some of that reaction, at the moment, is resistance and defensiveness and outright hostility. But she has probably spread her ideas to thousands more with this book than any of her previous writings. And a thousand more advocates for an idea is nothing to sneeze at.

And anyone who is turned off in the long run from the work of racial reconciliation by DiAngelo's tone is not likely someone who would be won over by a more measured argument. Her tone just affords that person a measure of cover in public conversations.

Audience is tough. We have a hard time of it here, with more familiarity and shared context. Imagine if one of our comments were suddenly the subject of an Oprah boosting and a Carlson attack...

Then figure in the social media effect as the grievants get boosted and the conversants get fragmented and decontextualized.

Charles’ link is to an article by Matt Welch, notable libertarian pundit. What are his speaking fees?

What, no accountability page?

Imagine if one of our comments were suddenly the subject of an Oprah boosting and a Carlson attack...

I’d pay off the house and retire!!

If things got too intense for me here in the US as a result, there’s always the south of France.

:)

I have no disagreement with any of nous’ 2:41.

anyone who is turned off in the long run from the work of racial reconciliation by DiAngelo's tone is not likely someone who would be won over by a more measured argument. Her tone just affords that person a measure of cover in public conversations.

I vigorously disagree. Some of the people who are turned off by the tone are not reachable. And that tone gives them an excuse and a validation for their rejection. Mi>However, there are also people who could be reached. But some who could be reached won't be, or will take far, far longer to be reached.

It's simply not true that anybody who objects to her tone was never reachable anyway. (Which, forgive me if I'm wrong, is what you seem to be saying.)

I did say “in the long run,” anticipating the time it takes to sort through the other reactions. Again, though, without the defensiveness there is no guarantee that the message would ever break through. A lot of arguments only ever get half heard because they seem like things that we already know. Those things get lost and forgotten.

How much Robin DiAngelo makes is totally irrelevant, and the kind of absurd stick people always use to beat people making a decent living who profess to care about social justice.

My vague memory of my own reaction to our original discussions about RdiA is that I thought there was a lot to what she was saying, but that her attitude and tone were annoying. Which did not invalidate the truth she was trying to bring into the light.

So I agree with almost all of what nous says, at 02.41 and also at 12.36. But I also see wj's point: it's always helpful if people delivering difficult, hard-to-take, unintuitive info are able to deliver it in palatable ways. But some info is unpalatable by definition, if it is giving unwelcome news to the recipients. So RdiA has no doubt performed a valuable service, if she has popularised a hitherto unknown concept, which (as nous implies) can then trickle down into the culture, where it may become more familiar and therefore less threatening, and do some good.

p.s. Despite seeing wj's point, I do think it is unfair and untrue to call DiA a grifter (@10.51).

"You're just a lying liberal"

No, just a liberal, whose power requires a movement that never gets resolved. It just gets redefined so it can still be a cause.

And if it never addresses poverty or equality of opportunity that's OK. That way it can continue to be a banner to march under.

White fragility is an asshole concept designed to stifle any actual debate on racism.

There's a reaction for you.

And yes, I just had a few minutes so I stopped by to say hi. So I won't be defending my right to disagree against charges of being racist.

And no, I'm not going to just listen to what black people say and change my ways to suit them. Because there isn't a homogeneous Seton people who have all suffered unspeakable microaggressions by all white people.

The whole subject is useless as long as any disagreement is simply dismissed as racism. It's bullshit.

What is Seton? Is it a predictive text thing?

By which I meant "autocorrect"

This is just me, but I have found that all of my own 'spontaneous corrections' have not been so spontaneous. They have only come after a weight of observations and comments and when I look back, I realize that I was being told something, multiple times, and I didn't heed. I've also found that a lot of times, my resistance has, more often than not, been rooted more in me wanting to be correct.

Nous points out how DiAngelo's work has a long run up. She is an academic and as you work on something, you get invested in it. That often develops "that" tone. Unfortunately, that tone can bleed into other debates. Academia tries to soften this by demanding references to prevent the mangling of quotes and ideas, though that isn't always successful. Nous points to "social media effect" which elevates conflict. More to say, but this puny comment space cannot contain it...

Marty, DiAngelo isn’t calling you a racist, she’s calling you a snowflake.

There's a reaction for you.

And notice, that reaction is in the absence of any calling out, any direct accusation. I did my level best when I posted about DiAngelo originally to lay it out without calling anyone out. I may have fallen down on that, and I apologize if that is the case.

We all have unexamined assumptions. If one can never bring them to the light to examine them, they are never going to change...

Despite seeing wj's point, I do think it is unfair and untrue to call DiA a grifter (@10.51).

I plead guilty to being excessively snarky.

(Although I harbor a small suspicion that the level of attack in her writing has at least a little to do with generating reaction, and thus sales.)

DiAngelo’s bestseller was published by a Universalist Unitarian non-profit press that has a distribution agreement with Random House. That’s not the sort of publisher one goes through if one is aiming to hit big on the NYT bestsellers list. That’s the sort of publisher you choose if you are just hoping to get a book out there and break even.

And notice, that reaction is in the absence of any calling out, any direct accusation.

And the funny thing is, DiA's theory etc is not, it seems to me, aimed at people like Marty, it is (and one gathers even more in this new book) aimed specifically at "progressives". And, to the best of my knowledge (is there a tag for understatement?), nobody has ever called Marty a progressive.

Well, if you're going to amplify guilt, you have to start with people with guilt...

"Well, if you're going to amplify guilt, you have to start with people with guilt..."

Quantum fluctuations assure that everyone has at least a tiny amount of guilt.

Of course, the narcissists deny it, and the sociopaths don't care.

wj: In the real world, how you make your points can have a huge impact on how successful your communication is.

In the real world, the US elected He, Trump as its president. He, Trump's "communication" style proved "successful" in 2016. That happened partly because a lot of people thought vicious rhetoric designed to offend would turn voters off.

In the real world, in the early 90s, Newt Gingrich and his wordmeister Frank Luntz made a science out of immoderate rhetoric, and took over the Congress.

The problem we face is that Republicans by definition can't offend anybody, while Democrats by definition do so at every turn.

I leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide whether Democrats (or liberals, or progressives, or whatever you call us) should keep trying to avoid stepping on snowflakes.

--TP

Quantum fluctuations assure that everyone has at least a tiny amount of guilt.

I have a tendency to sometimes leave out clarifying modifiers. I should have said something like, "Well, if you're going to amplify a sense of guilt, you have to start with people with a sense of guilt..."

I'm not going to just listen to what black people say and change my ways to suit them.

Yeah, me either.

I'm just going to make an attempt to listen to what they say, and take it from there.

I'm a straight white middle class old dude with enough money (at this point) to sustain my pretty safe modest but pleasant middle class life. I'm insulated from the direct experience of being black. Or poor, or gay, or a woman, or any of a number of other demographic markers that might put me somewhere outside of the sweet spot that I happen to occupy in life.

I'm insulated from all of that.

But I'm interested in how people live and how they are making out, so I want to try to listen to what they have to say. People who aren't insulated from all of that.

I see enough to believe that black people are treated differently from not-black people, in ways that are harmful to them, because their skin is black and for no other reason. I don't know how you can live in this country and not notice that.

I don't know what to call that except racism. It's treating people differently, in negative ways, because of the color of their skin. What else could you call it?

So I figure it behooves me to at least listen. Because here we all are, stuck together, trying to live together.

I'm interested in hearing what they have to say. If I have ways that need changing, I don't mind changing them, if that's gonna help. I mean, why not? I'm not sure there's another response that's of any use.

I leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide whether Democrats (or liberals, or progressives, or whatever you call us) should keep trying to avoid stepping on snowflakes.

If you're looking to feel justified, feel free. My point was, if you want to actually get changes made, you may need to do something different. Your choice what your priorities are.

FWIW, my take on DiAngelo's message is this:

Liberal white people quite often harbor weird attitudes about black people and as a result behave in negative ways toward them.

Because they think of themselves, being liberal white people, as devoid of racial animus, they are often blind to this, and can be very defensive if called out on it.

Does anyone doubt there are people who fit that description?

If you are one of those people, maybe DiAngelo has a message for you. Receive it or not as you see fit and to the degree that you find it true.

If you're not one of those people, DiAngelo probably isn't talking to you. So don't worry about DiAngelo.

If there's something there for you, receive it.

If not, no need to spend your time and energy getting worked up about DiAngelo. There are more than enough things that deserve concern.

Feel justified about what, wj?

Did Gingrich or He, Trump "get changes made" or not? Did they carefully avoid giving offense with their rhetoric, or not?

I want to persuade people, just like you do. You have your notion of what works, and I have mine. I'd be inclined to adopt yours, if history proved it effective.

--TP

anyone who is turned off in the long run from the work of racial reconciliation by DiAngelo's tone is not likely someone who would be won over by a more measured argument.

I submit that Marty's comment above rather makes my case. (Marty, apologies if I'm misrepresenting you in what follows.) Consider:

After the Civil War, blacks in the south bought land. But Jim Crow laws meant that they couldn't record title to the land, so they just passed it down from one generation to the next. No paper trail in sight. Recently, FEMA has been going thru Alabama trying to make payments to people whose proprty was damaged (often severely) by tornados earlier this year. But, because these folks can't show clear, legally established, title, FEMA's rules won't let that happen.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/07/11/fema-black-owned-property/

Now, I'm reasonably confident that Marty, presented with that situation, would be up for straightening out the mess. It's legacy of historic racism, of course. But you could just lay out the situation, without detailing what led to it, and you'd get his support.

But insist on going on about "white fragility and racism is the cause of all evil" and you get a response like above. And no support for fixing a very real problem. Is that helpful?

I want to persuade people, just like you do. You have your notion of what works, and I have mine. I'd be inclined to adopt yours, if history proved it effective.

Likewise, Tony. But what I'm seeing doesn't exactly demonstrate great success for your approach either. (Well, unless you are willing to adopt an autocratic. Republicans today are. But I'm guessing you aren't.)

I really don't want to make Marty the test case here. Don't think it is fair to the argument or to Marty. I realize you want to choose a case we all have a relatively equal grasp of the context, but I don't see it turning out very well.

lj, I take your point. Marty, please accept my apologies.

wj,

I will cop to criticizing your approach, but I don't think I explicitly described mine. What do you take it to be?

--TP

Tony, I took this,
I leave it to you, gentle reader, to decide whether Democrats (or liberals, or progressives, or whatever you call us) should keep trying to avoid stepping on snowflakes.
and this,
Did Gingrich or He, Trump "get changes made" or not? Did they carefully avoid giving offense with their rhetoric, or not?
to advocate harsh rhetoric, and ignoring the impact it has on actually persuading those who don't already agree with you.

Heaven knows, it had the opposite effect for Trump et al. But tben, they aren't trying to change minds; just get their existing supporters worked up. And are willing to ignore election results or resort to violence when they lose. As, increasingly, they do -- and nobody is more aware of that than they are.

Not, I submit, a desirable result for those with a chance (if they don't insist on blowing it) of winning big and long term. And having watched electoral developments in this previously very conservative and very Republican state, I think I have an idea of where things are trending. .

Now, I'm reasonably confident that [many people], presented with that situation, would be up for straightening out the mess. It's legacy of historic racism, of course. But you could just lay out the situation, without detailing what led to it, and you'd get [their] support.

But insist on going on about "white fragility and racism is the cause of all evil" and you get [defiance]. And no support for fixing a very real problem. Is that helpful?

This seems like a very odd hypothetical to me because we are dealing with a very clear problem and a fairly simple solution that doesn't require any invocation of DiAngelo or privilege or white fragility at all to explain the policy. And only an aggrieved asshole would introduce any of those arguments in opposition as justification for why they would not support such a solution.

The places where those conversations might be relevant are things like police use of force, or school district funding, or voting restrictions, or college admissions, or any other issue for which white people have prided themselves on having received better results because of merit or behavior or effort, and any mention of possible structural racism threatens that self-image. How are we supposed to address any of these sorts of problems if we are forced to avoid any mention of privilege for fear of provoking a defensive backlash?

only an aggrieved asshole would introduce any of those arguments

Regretably, either there are a depressingly large number of those. Or, more likely, the ones there are have regretably large megaphones. But pretty much anything which is even slightly or hypothetically the result of racism (even generations ago) gets that dropped front and center when it gets discussed. Or even mentioned. And, just to be clear, I'm talking about progressive speakers/writers; not the nut cases of the right wing echo chamber.

I understand that, from your perspective, that may look like a massive overstatement. Rest assured that, to those of a moderate, let alone conservative, turn of mind it isn't. Which is why I think it's a problem.

And in the context of the current discussion, what do we make of this ?
https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/07/11/tucson-unified-school-districts-mexican-american-studies-program-498926

Should any state be mandating what can and cannot be taught regarding about history ?
I find that considerably more irksome than anything Ms DiAngelo has to say.

"regarding about"

Need that (self) edit function.

Should any state be mandating what can and cannot be taught regarding about history ?

FTA, the entire matter in a nutshell:

Paton, the Republican lawmaker, argues that the current critical race theory debate is different — a “nationalized movement” that he believes will make a mark on the 2022 election cycle.

CRT, like the 'caravan', 'death panels', Sharia law, 'la raza', 'woke', ebola, Iraq, WMD, Benghazi, Confederate statues and trans bathrooms is just another manufactured crisis the GOP is using to rile up its base of easily-led idiots.

that's how you get supposed Constitutional originalists demanding censorship of ideas. the whole party is a sham.

police use of force, or school district funding, or voting restrictions, or college admissions

And so on.

To me, the problem with DiAngelo is the focus on stuff like unconscious micro-aggressions. What about the obvious macro-aggressions?

The problem with worrying about white fragility is that it’s all about white people. It is, to no small degree, a distraction from the real, tangible, material harms that black people are subject to.

I appreciate what DiAngelo is trying to do, and I don’t really care if she makes a lot of money. If you don’t want her to make money, don’t buy her book or hire her for a speaking engagement.

But somehow the focus has shifted from the very real complaints of black people living in this country, to the tender psyches of whites.

Police use of force, differential outcomes in the criminal justice system, deliberate disenfranchisement of black voters, the legacy of generations of poverty due to discrimination in hiring and property ownership.

I don’t really know if black people are all that interested in whether white people are personally comfortable with the idea that they may or may not be complicit in any of that, knowingly or not. My guess is that they just want it to stop.

To me, the idea of white fragility is interesting, but is kind of beside the point. This is no knock on DiAngelo, specifically, she’s an academic who finds herself in the spotlight due to circumstances she did not cause.

It’s just weird that the most prominent response of white people to black people’s complaints is “how does that make *us* feel?”.

To me, the problem with DiAngelo is the focus on stuff like unconscious micro-aggressions. What about the obvious macro-aggressions?

I think there's an awful lot to this, as well as the rest of russell's 09.36 above.

It is true that racism in the US is considerably less deadly and ubiquitous than it once was. But, pace wj, McKinney et al, there is still plenty of the hard stuff to go round, and it needs to be dealt with as a matter of urgency. Again, much of this is outlined succinctly above:

Police use of force, differential outcomes in the criminal justice system, deliberate disenfranchisement of black voters, the legacy of generations of poverty due to discrimination in hiring and property ownership.

Academics do what they do, and I'm glad of it; their theories resonate and influence the culture in frequently valuable ways. But if there are battles to be fought, my own instinct is to go after the worst stuff first, with all the allies you can enlist.

Police use of force, differential outcomes in the criminal justice system, deliberate disenfranchisement of black voters, the legacy of generations of poverty due to discrimination in hiring and property ownership.

I'm still lurking but lack the time to participate usefully. I've saved this string (but not my comment) for future reference.

The DiAngelo's of this world are, with respect, clueless as to how far we have come. More broadly, academics aside, there is not a widespread consensus--much less compelling proof--that *racism* (which I would like to see defined in a useful way) is even remotely the 'thing' it was in the past, nor is *racism* unique to white people nor are white people participants in some white supremacy/oppression/privilege preservation endeavor, which seems to underpin a lot of the current anti-racist thinking.

Much of the case for anti-racism today hinges on either "assertion as evidence" or "disparate outcomes as conclusive proof of the desired outcome." Neither of the foregoing have been tested by anything remotely resembling the scientific method. Rather, they are simply posited. The items that Russell quoted from another comment are flush with context, nuance, distinction, regionality and counter-evidence that is, for many of us, ignored or dismissed by anti-racists.

I am totally open to an actual discussion on this topic when time permits. Unfortunately, my personal stuff has me fully occupied through mid-December. Once I free up, I will defend my position on the merits, but I will ask that those on the other side likewise defend on the merits. For example, simply asserting the ubiquity of white privilege/supremacy/oppression or the patriarchy as opposed to proving that race or gender is, in fact, driving an issue is argument by assertion, not by adducing actual, tested evidence.

Thanks for your indulgence.

actual, tested evidence.

there are countless studies out there demonstrating all of this stuff. well, not countless, i guess. Google counted 700K of them on "white privilege" in 0.03s.

https://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C34&as_vis=1&q=white+privilege+studies&btnG=

But somehow the focus has shifted from the very real complaints of black people living in this country, to the tender psyches of whites.

Police use of force, differential outcomes in the criminal justice system, deliberate disenfranchisement of black voters, the legacy of generations of poverty due to discrimination in hiring and property ownership.

Granted, Republicans do the same or (much) worse. But whataboutism rather misses the point. Which is that, if you are trying to change minds so as to change behavior** (which those Republicans are not) then how you make your case matters.

** That inclused both personal interactions and voting behavior and the laws and regulations which result from those votes and the kind of officials elected.

how far we have come.

Let me be the first to say that this country has come miles from where we were, even in my own lifetime. Given where we have been, that is perhaps a low bar, but it is still something that must be recognized in any discussion of this stuff.

I completely agree that a discussion based on evidence will be more fruitful than otherwise.

Also agree that some common understanding of what is meant by ‘racism’ would be useful. My own - racism is thinking about or treating people differently solely because of their perceived race - is arguably much broader than most folks’. It’s actually probably overly broad, but I find it useful specifically because it doesn’t imply or require animus or ill will, plus it’s dead simple. In general I think most people find it less useful, for the same reasons. I’ll be curious to hear how other people define it.

McK, always glad to hear from you, carry on and we’ll pick it up when you’re free to engage.

I am totally open to an actual discussion on this topic when time permits. Unfortunately, my personal stuff has me fully occupied through mid-December. Once I free up, I will defend my position on the merits, but I will ask that those on the other side likewise defend on the merits.

McK, please let us know when your time frees up. I think we can set up a new thread then to facilitate the discussion.

Academics do what they do, and I'm glad of it; their theories resonate and influence the culture in frequently valuable ways. But if there are battles to be fought, my own instinct is to go after the worst stuff first, with all the allies you can enlist.

This was my position at the start, where I laid out my opinions on DiAngelo, before the conversation turned once again to being about how DiAngelo makes (white) people feel about the problems we are trying to fix.

My position, for the record, is an academic position. It's the sort of position that academics take on these issues. Forget DiAngelo. Forget her tone. Focus on the issues and trying to understand the bigger pictures.

None of the anti-racist positions are arguments by assertion. As cleek points out, there is a huge body of scholarship around all of these issues in academia, complete with data and lively debates over the best ways to frame it in order to understand what should be done.

I know very few *actual* academics that get worked up over microagressions. That topic generally peaks somewhere between the time one is an upper division undergrad and the first couple years of grad school. By the time one is into doing research for a dissertation, those topics start to get passed over for the deeper questions and problems that emerge once you start to get critical context.

A lot of people get hung up on, or never go farther than, an early stage along the way to getting that context and never get to the deeper stuff that conversation is supposed to open up. It's like the person who thinks a martial arts black belt marks the end of the learning, not just the beginning of real understanding and the start of a deeper practice.

DiAngelo isn't there to point out microagressions. That's an undergrad activist thing. She's there trying to show how the defensive turn that leads to reactive aggression shapes and limits our engagement with the deeper work of reconciliation. That deeper conversation, though, keeps getting limited by our defensive reactions.

I'm not here to defend DiAngelo. I, like LJ, think the criticisms of DiAngelo in the reviews are fair, and I started out this conversation by saying that I think we'd do better to focus on the problems and not on white fragility.

Here's a brief distillation of DiAngelo: don't be a coward and stop looking for solutions to our lingering societal problems with the legacies of racism and slavery and colonialism because the conversation calls into questions things that we hold dear. Deep problems require deep reflection and may lead to some uncomfortable truths.

That, and the actual research that she cites will get you where you need to go.

All the noise about her tone and attitude are extrinsic to this, and focusing on those things is just, in my view, a form of avoiding the harder work of reconciliation.

All the noise about her tone and attitude are extrinsic to this, and focusing on those things is just, in my view, a form of avoiding the harder work of reconciliation.

This.

I took my lumps on the previous DiAngelo thread, and similarly, the "defund the police" one, and shall be brief (you are welcome). Most here are reasonable types who reason reasonably and therefore conclude (reasonably) that the way to effect real change is to present to them ONLY "reasonable" arguments that they personally find appealing and, you know, reasonable because otherwise, reasonable people (numbers unknown and unstated) will refuse to be reasoned with REGARDLESS OF THE VALIDITY OF THE POSITION THEY ARE BEING ASKED TO CONSIDER, because, I guess, they are unreasonably offended by....something, something.

Folks, I am here to tell you that it is not all about being reasonable, and looking back on the changes that have taken place in human history (good ones, bad ones, etc.), I would say that record makes my case.

Me? I shall continue to search for real change beneath the lethargic furniture cushions of human behavior in all of its unreasonableness.

All the noise about her tone and attitude are extrinsic to this, and focusing on those things is just, in my view, a form of avoiding the harder work of reconciliation.

this ^^^^^

black people keep telling us it's tough for them to live here. which is doubly tough, because at this point this is where they're from. they don't really have another place to go.

a lot of people are sick of hearing it. they appear to be sick of living it.

so, a problem.

I don't see a solution that doesn't involve listening to what they have to say and considering whether there is merit in it. and, if there is, freaking *doing something about it*.

my own druthers, in all of this stuff, would be to treat discrimination based on race as a straight up violation of civil rights and put some real teeth in enforcement. like, large financial penalties and jail time.

screw sensitivity training, send offenders to jail. that would make the point pretty clearly.

most people - which is to say pretty much everyone but me - thinks that's not such a great idea.

so we're stuck with trying to change people's hearts and minds.

lots of people are sick of hearing about how the blacks are put down. blacks are sick of being put down.

something has to give.

or, you know, we can just go on (and on, and on) resenting each other.

our choice.

my own druthers, in all of this stuff, would be to treat discrimination based on race as a straight up violation of civil rights and put some real teeth in enforcement. like, large financial penalties and jail time.

I'm not totally sure how you reliably show race-based discrimination. Extreme cases, sure, but I suspect that narrower cases are far more pervasive. But assuming we can come up with a reasonably objective criteria for the courts to use, it would be effective. More so than most of the proposals that I've seen.

Similarly, if someone is really serious about illegal immigration, and especially about "illegal immigrants taking our jobs"**, then the best solution is serious fines and jail time for hiring said illegal immigrants. Anyone opposing that has to be classified as not serious on the subject.

** Not that it's that much of a problem. Tried hiring restaurant workers, etc. lately? There's far more jobs created by immigrants starting businesses than jobs lost by legal residents.

Delurking to make an observation ...

Based on my entirely unscientific personal observations, liberal white folks who tend to find value in DiAngelo also tend to have few (if any) close black friends in no small part because they weird out the black folks they approach with their overeagerness.

I'm not totally sure how you reliably show race-based discrimination.

Here is a catalog of successful cases brought under EEOC law.

Some of the financial penalties assessed are minor to middling, some are significant.

I'd support sending offenders - the people who actually engaged in harassment or made discriminatory decisions in hiring, lending, etc - to jail. For things like discrimination in lending, strip people of their licenses to work in the fields where they engaged in discrimination.

Draconian? Yes. But these are violations of fundamental civil rights that deprive people of their ability to work, own property, and otherwise participate in basic civil life.

People can harbor whatever bigoted thoughts they like. You're never gonna root it all out.

But you can make them accountable for acting on it.

so we're stuck with trying to change people's hearts and minds.

From Connie Schultz's column after John Lewis died (read the whole thing, as they say):

I saw John numerous times after that, always as a lucky bystander, except the time I called to talk to him about the 2008 election. The primary season had ended, and Barack Obama was the Democratic nominee. In Ohio, as in most of the country, racism was the ever-present issue. I was a syndicated columnist working at The Plain Dealer, and I was struggling with how to reach those white voters who shared my working-class roots but not my politics.

"How do I reach their hearts?" I asked John. He folded his hands together and slowly shook his head. "We don't need their hearts, Connie. We need them to do the right thing."

Based on my entirely unscientific personal observations, liberal white folks who tend to find value in DiAngelo also tend to have few (if any) close black friends in no small part because they weird out the black folks they approach with their overeagerness.

I suppose it depends on what one means by "find value in." I think there is a subset of the left for which all of this is a sort of catechism that they use to reassure themselves that they are good people. They are the ones I tend to think of as falling into that particular pattern.

Same with those who are baptized into the Church of Labor.

I'm too much of a post-evangelical to have time for that sort of worry. It's not about me, it's about aggregate effect.

I'm just trying to understand my world and help make it a bit better - looking for tools that will help us design better, more diverse, more open, more just social futures.

In my experience, you earn the trust of others by doing the work of trying to build that better social futures together with them and not ghosting when things get uncomfortable. Those uncomfortable moments are teachable moments, and are the times when one should spend time listening and asking good, engaged questions.

And after, you adjust to try to bring it all into better alignment. It's practice.

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

Here is a catalog of successful cases brought under EEOC law.

Thanks for this, russell. They tend (from a very superficial look) to be what I would consider extreme cases. Definitely worth addressing, and far more emphatically than we do now. Jail time, and being banned from your career and industry, tend to concentrate minds.

It's just that I suspect that less egregious cases are far more common. And, overall, do at least as much damage. I don't see a good way to demonstrate race as a basis for these misbehaviors, but I'd dearly love to find one.

"How do I reach their hearts?" I asked John. He folded his hands together and slowly shook his head. "We don't need their hearts, Connie. We need them to do the right thing."

Yes. Or to put it another way, you can't police people's thoughts, you can only police their actions. So, out of "hearts and minds", I guess what russell is saying is that if you get it into their minds that racist behaviour is dangerous to them, i.e. could result in serious fines or prison time, they may "do the right thing" whatever the hell their hearts are saying.

(Completely random and tangential memory: the guy who was the great love of my life, many years ago, explained one of the differences between dogs and cats - he had one of each - thus: dogs have a sense of morality, they understand if something is wrong, whereas cats are completely amoral, they only understand if something is dangerous.)

as the old song goes, You Have To Be Carefully Taught.

we need to stop teaching.

what russell is saying is that if you get it into their minds that racist behaviour is dangerous to them

I guess what I’m trying to bring out is that discrimination like this isn’t just a matter of making people feel bad. It deprives them of the ability to work, to own a home or otherwise secure a place to live, and causes them to be subject to harassment and abuse. It deprives them of civil rights that ought to be theirs by virtue of living in this country.

To me, that deserves a stronger response than civil damages.

The thing that strikes me most about the EEOC cases is that they were almost all - maybe all - brought against companies. In some cases quite large companies.

Companies don’t discriminate. People do. In many of these cases, the actual individuals involved in the discriminatory actions are not individually held accountable. No doubt some of them were fired, and no doubt they ended up getting hired somewhere else.

If it’s actual company policy to discriminate, a civil penalty against the company makes sense. I somehow doubt that it is the official policy of a company like Target to discriminate against black people. I suspect it’s the decision of a store or department manager. That person should be liable.

In my opinion.

This probably all seems extreme, because we aren’t used to thinking about it this way. I suggest that it’s a completely reasonable way to think about it.

You discriminate, you are liable.

I’m not talking about sending people to jail for having a bad opinion of minorities, or even of expressing that in private conversation. I’m talking about causing tangible harm to people, because of their skin color or perceived ethnicity. I’d extend it to gender, sexual orientation, etc.

We are talking about civil rights here.

TBH, I think the thing that seems to be making the biggest difference is cell phones. Anybody with a phone can now record people’s statements and actions in real time, and make them public. Absent somebody pulling out their phone and pressing the record button, Derek Chauvin would still be on the job as a cop.

Weird that that is what seems to be bringing accountability, but so be it.

The EEOC thing I linked to above lists a few hundred cases over the last few years that were egregious enough that ordinary people were able to convince a lawyer to take them on. That tells me that yes, we’ve made progress, but no, we’re not in the land of milk and honey yet.

As wj notes, for every one of those cases, there are probably ten, or a hundred, that were not sufficiently cut and dry and provable to make it worth bringing to court.

It's not about me, it's about aggregate effect.

I may have described this, apologies for the repeat. In elementary school, we used to play a game that was basically everyone against one, whoever had the ball would run to avoid getting tackled while every other boy (girls never played) would try to tackle them. Ideally, you would run until you couldn't and just before you get tackled, toss the ball into the hands of someone would become the next one against everyone. What did we call that game? Smear the queer.

I agree that you can't police people's thoughts, but you can stop them from getting rewards when they do express these kinds of thoughts. But it seems to me that there is a pretty strong impulse to punish those who express the opposite. (cough Kaepernick cough)

And to be shocked that it might bite one on the ass.

https://www.insider.com/nfl-protests-saints-drew-brees-kneeling-flag-apology-failed-2020-6

It's uncomfortable to be at an inflection point and find that you were on the wrong side of it, which is what a lot of folks have found. And the process of saying that they were wrong also includes rethinking a lot of how they processed these things. If this is the case, it is good that DiAngelo is in demand.

What I see in wj's approach is a Darwinian system where the goal is to punish people stupid enough to say dumb shit out loud so find themselves on the lower end of the scale. I have my doubts about that, though I do realize that this is how things generally work.

you get it into their minds that racist behaviour is dangerous to them, i.e. could result in serious fines or prison time, they may "do the right thing" whatever the hell their hearts are saying.

Going back to my example at the beginning, I don't know if kids still play smear the queer. I'm not advocating placing listening devices on playgrounds and punishing the kids who call it that. But it is aggregate effect and many of the things that DiAngelo describes are there. And as the review says, they are there even in herself. As I asked before, does that make her thesis wrong because she ends up making the same 'white moves'? Or is the argument that it isn't wrong, just unhelpful, like a person at an autoshop worried about the grease stains.

Nous point about aggregate effect suggests to me that a lot of what DiAngelo points out should be addressed, but it can only be addressed by the person themselves. So this thought of punishment becomes the key pivot, so you have someone like Jordan Peterson getting his grift started on the false assertion that Canadian law was going to punish him for using the wrong pronouns. Peterson is someone smart enough to avoid saying the quiet parts out loud, and when you have enough of those folks floating around, then I don't think you are going to get much change, because the people who are able to couch their discussion in a way that hides what they are saying is going to make them plenty of dough. You will have the dumber ones taking it too far, but that's just the way the cookie crumbles and their sacrifice oils the gears.

And nous point about teachable moments is one I take away often. And if something becomes uncomfortable for me, that should be a teachable moment because I can certainly teach myself.

As I said, I thought the Guardian article was fair. Where I would take issue with it is the last sentence, where it is asserted that DiAngelo "pushes us deeper into the silos of ethnic identity." I'm not really sure how you get to where one assumes everyone here wants to be without deeply questioning concepts of ethnic identity, yours, mine, everyone. So if your reaction to DiAngelo is like Matt Welch's, to figure out how much money she's making (which isn't really original, Taibibi was there first) well, don't lob that stone from your glass house. But if you do lob the stone, you shouldn't be surprised if your own motivations are questioned.

This probably all seems extreme, because we aren’t used to thinking about it this way. I suggest that it’s a completely reasonable way to think about it.

You discriminate, you are liable.

Hope it was clear from my comment that I agree with this. Also agree on the cellphone thing - thank god for them, and bodycams (when they aren't disabled, and if they are it should automatically raise suspicions), and dashcams on cars.

It's just that I suspect that less egregious cases are far more common.

I would agree with you on that, wj. However, in aggregate we still get terrible (dare I say racist?) outcomes.

So the question becomes, what public policies can we adopt to right the ship?

School integration was one such policy. Well, schools just about everywhere are still de facto segregated by race.

bobbyp: cut the link between school funding and property values.

Affirmative Action was one such policy, but good white people objected to that as "special treatment"(that is to laugh - ed.), and it has been discarded.

bobbyp: Reinstate it. Take one for the team.

Relative black family wealth still sucks. Badly. But as far as corrective public policy it seems to boil down to, "Well, things have changed and this will take care of itself eventually (i.e., a public policy of doing nothing)."

bobbyp: Reparations might alleviate a lot of these problems, but that discussion can't get past the batter's box, much less to first base.

There are many more approaches to consider, I'm sure. We should discuss them.

I would agree with you on that, wj. However, in aggregate we still get terrible (dare I say racist?) outcomes.

So the question becomes, what public policies can we adopt to right the ship?

Agreed, just dealing with overt and egregious discrimination isn't going to be adequate. I was just noting that, to implement the policy that was proposed (big fines and jail time) we need a way to objectively determine that race was the driving factor.

School integration was one such policy. Well, schools just about everywhere are still de facto segregated by race.

School desegregation worked relatively well. (Albeit subverted for a couple of decades in some places by private schools.) What we have now is more a matter of housing segregation. Sometimes a legacy of legal housing segregation. But sometimes more a matter of economics driving what housing is available to whom.

What I'm saying is that we need to look at what is actually causing particular policies to work or not work. All too often we just look at the results and decide that something was effective or not -- without considering whether the idea was right, but we didn't get deep enough into contributing factors. That is, we need to keep a policy, even though it wasn't a stunning success, because it will still be needed even once we have addressed the other factors.

What's *really* needed is a highly-contagious virus that is totally asymptomatic for 3-4 weeks...
...after which your skin turns black. No other effects.

I hear that Professor Sylvester McMonkey McBean is working on it.

What's *really* needed is a highly-contagious virus that is totally asymptomatic for 3-4 weeks...
...after which your skin turns black. No other effects.

I heard Sinopharm Group is already in preliminary trials.

Ha, it would be fascinating to see the mental contortions the anti-vaxxers would go through reversing their position! Snarki, I reckon you could sell that idea to Hollywood, and I for one would like to see the movie.

What we have now is more a matter of housing segregation

Which ties back into observed wealth disparities, but I'd better hold off going further or I might find myself digressing into Critical Race Theory and Tex and Marty would get mad and never ever be persuaded to vote for even not so liberal Democrats, and it will all be my fault.

It is indeed a heavy burden to bear.

after which your skin turns black. No other effects.

I heard Sinopharm Group is already in preliminary trials.

Sinopharm's biggest concern is that it might be modified to make people either appear, or not appear, Han. Racism in the US is nothing compared to China.

...after which your skin turns black. No other effects.

Would it work just on whites? If so, light skin blacks and other minorities would become the new whites.

Affirmative Action was one such policy, but good white people objected to that as "special treatment"(that is to laugh - ed.), and it has been discarded.

Policies intended to help don't always help. After the courts ruled in 1996 that California universities couldn't use race as a basis for student selection, black graduation rates increased 50%.

If you believe that the total graduation rate tells the whole story, maybe you need to go do a DiAngelo lecture....

https://www.ucop.edu/academic-affairs/prop-209/index.html

This study examines the effects of affirmative action bans in four states (California, Florida, Texas, and Washington) on the enrollment of under-represented students of color within six different graduate fields of study: the natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, business, education, and humanities. Findings show that affirmative action bans have led to the greatest reductions in science-related fields of engineering, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. These declines pose serious long-term consequences for the United States since these fields provide specialized training critical to the nation's ability to compete effectively in a global market and for ensuring continued scientific and technological advancement."

and
I estimate the effects of affirmative action bans on college enrollment, educational attainment, and college demographic composition by exploiting time and state variation in bans. I find that bans have no effect on the typical student and the typical college, but they decrease underrepresented minority enrollment and increase white enrollment at selective colleges. In addition, I find that the affirmative action ban in California shifted underrepresented minority students from more selective campuses to less selective ones at the University of California.

Lot more there to read. Nothing about privatization, alas.

"In addition, I find that the affirmative action ban in California shifted underrepresented minority students from more selective campuses to less selective ones at the University of California."
A reason why the graduation rate went. By prioritizing race over scholastic ability, students were being mismatched with schools and being set up for failure. Students who could do very well at less selective schools were being placed in schools where many of them would flunk out.

Helps to read all of them and not cherry pick.

This study analyzes Prop 209's impact on student outcomes at UC. Ending affirmative action caused UC's 10,000 annual underrepresented minority (URM) freshman applicants to cascade into lower-quality public and private universities. URM applicants' undergraduate and graduate degree attainment declined overall and in STEM fields, especially among lower-testing applicants. As a result, the average URM UC applicant's wages declined by five percent annually between ages 24 and 34. By the mid-2010s, Prop 209 had caused a cumulative decline in the number of early-career URM Californians earning over $100,000 by at least three percent. Prop 209 also deterred thousands of qualified URM students from applying to any UC campus. Enrolling at less-selective UC campuses did not improve URM students' performance or persistence in STEM course sequences. Complementary analyses suggest that affirmative action's net wage benefits for URM applicants exceed its (potentially small) net costs for on-the-margin white and Asian applicants. These findings are inconsistent with the university 'Mismatch Hypothesis' and provide the first causal evidence that banning affirmative action exacerbates socioeconomic inequities."

"This article evaluates the 'mismatch' hypothesis, advocated by opponents of affirmative action, which predicts lower graduation rates for minority students who attend selective post-secondary institutions than for those who attend colleges and universities where their academic credentials are better matched to the institutional average. Using two nationally representative longitudinal surveys and a unique survey of students who were enrolled at selective and highly selective institutions, the authors tested the mismatch hypothesis by implementing a robust methodology that jointly considered enrollment in and graduation from selective institutions as interrelated outcomes. The findings do not support the 'mismatch' hypothesis for black and Hispanic (as well as white and Asian) students who attended college during the 1980s and early 1990s."

Students who could do very well at less selective schools were being placed in schools where many of them would flunk out.

So why are black students more likely to flunk out of selective schools? Are black people just congenitally lazy and/or stupid?

Or this something else going on? What is the something else?

Let’s address the ‘something else’, please.

Or this something else going on? What is the something else?

Poorer primary and secondary education.** Due, in substantial part, to significantly lower funding for schools in places with higher minority populations. Due, in turn, to schools being funded (at least in California) overwhelmingly by local property taxes. Makes upward mobility more difficult -- if your family has more money, you get a better education so you make more money.

There's no obvious reason why primary and secondary schools couldn't be funded at the state level. If you're rich, and want your kid's school to have more money, no problem. Just vote to raise your taxes so your kid, and everybody else's kids, get more money for their schools.

** Not the whole story, of course. But a significant part of the story.

So why are black students more likely to flunk out of selective schools? Are black people just congenitally lazy and/or stupid?

Has nothing to do with race. The same thing would happen if a random selection of high school graduates were placed in a more scholastically demanding environment than their abilities justified.

Minority first-gen college students struggle at UC schools not because they do worse than their cohort, but because they don’t have the safety net that the others have.

they don’t have the safety net that the others have.

And all attempts at creating safety nets are often undercut or underfunded.

But yeah, random population mechanics probably explains everything...

This paper presents some evidence in favor of the mismatch hypothesis.

"Abstract

This paper empirically evaluates the mismatch hypothesis by exploiting the quasi-experimental variation in the adoption of statewide affirmative action bans. Specifically, this paper examines the effect of such bans on minority graduation rates using a difference-in-difference, synthetic control, and triple-difference approach. My results suggest that statewide affirmative action bans are associated with an increase in minority graduation rates, consistent with the mismatch hypothesis, at highly selective institutions. Moreover, mismatch effects are not confined to science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) majors.
...
7. Conclusion

My findings suggest that minority graduation rates significantly increase after racial preference bans at highly selective public institutions, indicative of mismatch dominating college-quality effects. In addition to STEM, mismatch effects are present, albeit to a lesser extent, in the social sciences as well. These results are robust to the inclusion of private institutions and affirmed by a synthetic control approach. These results are consistent with those of Hinrichs (2014) and Arcidiacono et. al (2014), who uses only UCOP data. My findings are not inconsistent with Hinrichs (2012, 719), who finds that “affirmative action bans have no effect” for the “typical student at the typical college” even though affirmative action programs may cause some students to “cascade down” the selectivity ladder. Only a small fraction of public colleges in ban states in ban years are highly selective, and I find no evidence of significant mismatch effects at unselective institutions, encompassing roughly 80% of the sample.

In their review of the literature, Arcidiacono, Lovenheim, and Zhu (2015) articulated the empirical challenge of disentangling mismatch and college quality effects. My work joins Hill (2017), Hinrichs (2012, 2014), Arcidiacono et. al (2014) in answering this challenge. However, this paper is the first to find evidence for mismatch effects across two decades of IPEDS data at highly selective institutions. Moreover, no previous literature has examined whether mismatch effects are confined to a single major category at this nationwide scale. In finding that mismatch effects are present only at highly selective institutions and not confined only to STEM fields, my paper fills an important void in the literature.

However, I must present these findings with two caveats. First, it is still possible that (particularly biracial) minorities may change their race reporting behavior in response to racial preference bans...

A more serious challenge to my interpretation stems from the fact that colleges and universities may themselves respond to affirmative action bans by investing more in minority students following an inability to employ racial preferences in admissions decisions..."
Affirmative Action and Mismatch: Evidence from Statewide Affirmative Action Bans

Here's the thing, though.

The neighborhoods around the selective schools are more expensive to live in than the neighborhoods around the more modest schools. And the students from disadvantaged backgrounds have a really hard time affording that and don't get as much help from their families. They run into academic difficulties not because the course of studies is too difficult, but because they are having to work too many hours to keep up with the workload. Or they are spending too much time commuting. Or they are trying to do their research with unreliable tech and dodgy connections.

It's economic resources getting counted as "ability."

Or it is a student that has never faced difficulty at their high school as a "top student" not knowing how to ask for help, or feeling shame for not doing well and becoming depressed because they are letting their whole family down.

If the "high performing" student from the well off family struggles, then it's time to get tutoring, or to take make-up courses and get someone to write them a letter of reference to keep them in school while they pay for an extra year of classes to repair the damage to their progress and their GPA. And then they get financial support from the family to pay off the extra loans that result when they lose financial support.

Most of those "low-ability" students don't get those chances. If their GPA slips, their financial aid goes away and they are left with debt and shame. They end up at less competitive schools mostly because those schools have more forgiving support systems and are more affordable, not because of a lack of ability to do the work of learning.

It's all the other crap.

But if you look at it through the lens of test scores and GPA, it looks like low ability because those things stand in for ability.

But I've seen a lot of really bright kids from tough backgrounds get spit out while some very marginal kids from well-off backgrounds slid through with a lot less to show simply by never having to worry about anything but staying above a C- in all their classes.

Charles, the paper is interesting, but it is from the _Undergraduate_ Economic Review.

"The UER is a peer-reviewed journal aimed at promoting high quality undergraduate research."

In regard to your earlier comment, from the paper
For example, institutions may more aggressively implement special tutoring, support, guidance, or mentoring services targeted at or restricted to minority students after affirmative action is banned, which could increase minority graduation rates after a ban. In this case, collegiate responses, rather than mismatch, could account for the increasing minority graduation rates post-ban.

So if this becomes what you want to argue from, you have to acknowledge that your earlier response was possibly wrong. But as long as you hop from argument to argument, it seems like you have a position and you want to find whatever proof you can to support it.

And, frankly, I'm amazed that anyone thinks that either college admissions or college ratings are any sort of objective measure. Both are *highly* subject to manipulation. They only look rigorous from the outside.

Due, in turn, to schools being funded (at least in California) overwhelmingly by local property taxes.

This is simply not true. According to the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, in the 2019 fiscal year, the total public dollar spending on K-12 education in California was 58% state money, 22% local property taxes, 9% federal, and the rest from assorted sources (mostly local non-property taxes). That did not include extra money the state contributed to the state pension fund for the express purpose of reducing those costs for local school districts. I don't know the details of California's state formula for distributing money; I would bet the ranch that it favors poor districts. That's typical sort of arrangement for a western US state. Here in Colorado, there are poor districts whose budgets are more than 85% state and federal dollars.

I know I've written lengthy comments on the subject here before. State budgets are being consumed by two line items, Medicaid and K-12 education, both of which are growing faster than state revenues are. It's the primary reason that funding for state colleges and universities keeps shrinking -- Medicaid and K-12 spending is protected in various ways, higher ed isn't.

And, frankly, I'm amazed that anyone thinks that either college admissions or college ratings are any sort of objective measure. Both are *highly* subject to manipulation. They only look rigorous from the outside.

Sometimes not even from the outside. All you have to do is look at "legacy admissions" at some supposedly elite schools. That means one of your parents went there, so you don't have to compete to get in. And it's a substantial fraction -- nearly 50% at Harvard. Not to mention that you can up your chances of admission if your family makes a large "donation" (aka bribe) to the school.

According to the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California, in the 2019 fiscal year, the total public dollar spending on K-12 education in California was 58% state money, 22% local property taxes, 9% federal, and the rest from assorted sources (mostly local non-property taxes).

The trouble with state-wide numbers is that they conceal more than they reveal. For example, there are at least 100 districts in California which have enough property tax revenue that they get nothing from the state. Because state funds are only to get a district to some minimum level. No limit on how much higher a rich district can go.

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