On being Underrepresented in Neuroscience

March 14, 2011

The Society for Neuroscience is accepting applications, due May 20, for the Neuroscience Scholars Program. The fellowships are to pay for attending the Annual Meeting of the SfN, membership dues and some unspecified stipend for local activities.
The part that contributes to one of our off-again, on-again conversations around these parts is the specification of Eligibility for the program.

Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis.

Okay, standard “minority” stuff here. Light the torches, my affirmative action antagonists, light the torches.


Oh, wait….

Individuals who come from a family with an annual income below established low-income thresholds. These thresholds are based on family size; published by the U.S. Bureau of the Census; adjusted annually for changes in the Consumer Price Index; and adjusted by the Secretary for use in all health professions programs.

OR

Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career. This is most applicable to undergraduate candidates.

So let us review. A special opportunity for those that are underrepresented in the Neurosciences to get a small helping hand up.

Eligibility is based on underrepresentation, not skin tone.
In particular, the socio-economic and impoverished schooling/environment criteria are totally and completely applicable to men and women alike who self-identify as “white”.
So anyone who complains on and on that lower-class, socioeconomically disadvantaged whites are ignored or disenfranchised by affirmative action efforts are, yet again, falsified.
Given this, their motivations for continually and loudly opposing affirmative action efforts on the alleged basis of this principle are a little suspect, are they not?
(crossposted from Scientopia)
__
Illustration grabbed from The Hermitage

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39 Responses to “On being Underrepresented in Neuroscience”

  1. anon Says:

    I love this cartoon. Having just to young white sciency dudes trash minority people all lunchtime in the tearoom, I am really glad to find stuff like this.

    Like

  2. DK Says:

    So anyone who complains on and on that lower-class, socioeconomically disadvantaged whites are ignored or disenfranchised by affirmative action efforts are, yet again, falsified.
    Except when a picture is worth a thousand words. Among something like 40-50 current scholars pictured – how many are white males? I guess I should not believe my lying eyes.

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  3. dsks Says:

    It’s a nice and pc gesture, but this shit is all for nothing until something is actually done about early education in economically deprived areas. I mean the following is just lazy guilt-alleviating BS,
    “Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career. This is most applicable to undergraduate candidates.”
    That’s not much good to the individual who never makes it to college in the first place on account of their “rural or inner-city environments [having] demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities.”
    The valid criticisms of affirmative action largely centre on implementation, and the problem of that implementation often only really coming into being after the point at which it was most needed (or, in the case of ethnicity related aa, it’s directed chiefly towards the upper economic class of a particular demographic, with the lower classes that are in most need of the assistance written off from the get-go; see that shit all the fucking time in St. Louis).

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  4. DrugMonkey Says:

    You are totally wrong, dsks, and wrong in the way that most semi-temperate criticism of affirmative action policies are wrong.
    Because it is very difficult to make the argument that moving the Overton window, by any means necessary, as far as what is a viable
    1) person to select for job X
    and
    2) career for person X to select
    (those are two different but related things)
    is the only route to permanent and lasting change in a society.
    The fact that a previously-all-male department hires a woman who doesn’t have kids, may not be married, dresses in the same way as the men and basically is indistinguishable, NEVER THE LESS makes it that much easier for the next woman 1)to be hired and 2) to view that job place as a viable career.
    Ditto underrepresented ethnic or racial groups.
    Ditto folks with a distinctive regional accent or a family upbringing that was devoid of comparing the bouquet of fine wines or smelly Austrobelgian cheeses.
    The entire history of inclusion in the US is marked by episodes of dramatic change (legal or social) against a long background drumbeat of incremental, grass roots shifts in “the possible” aka, the Overton window. Who can marry who. Who can work in which occupations. What religions or genders or skin tones exclude you from being a viable candidate for political office.
    Let’s just cut right to the chase. Barack Obama didn’t grow up in grinding poverty and disadvantage. He, nevertheless, by winning the US presidency has dramatically shifted the nature of “the possible” when it comes to this office. Did he do it all by himself? Heck no. He leapfrogged off of the Congressional Reps, the occasional Sen and all the local mayors, State reps, etc which constituted the “possible” for African-Americans to serve as elected representatives. Incremental progress + one big dramatic leap = shift in the Overton window.
    It barely even matters what sort of background this man has- he could have been the most well-privileged of richie-rich African-Americans and it would still have had the same effect.
    Hate to break it to you homes but at the level of professorial ranks in the Universities we are still in such a state of underrepresentation that overt visible diversity remains a pre-eminent goal.
    By any means necessary.

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  5. Alex Says:

    I said this at your other blog, but that conversation is being derailed by a loony:
    Income is measurable. It doesn’t always tell the full story, but it’s measurable. Race and ethnicity aren’t always simple, but you can still come up with categories (even if they are imperfect) and figure out often enough whether somebody should be considered under-represented. But this one:

    Individuals who come from a social, cultural, or educational environment such as that found in certain rural or inner-city environments that have demonstrably and recently directly inhibited the individual from obtaining the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to develop and participate in a research career. This is most applicable to undergraduate candidates.

    How many people would meet that criterion without also meeting the ethnic or income criteria? I’m genuinely curious on this point. It seems like a tough criterion to apply in any sort of systematic way. It also seems like an open invitation for every college student to share their hard luck stories. And, yes, some hard luck stories from college students are very real and deserving of sympathy, but how often does one come across a genuine hard luck story that doesn’t already have a race or income component?

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  6. DrugMonkey Says:

    I guess one of the reasons is that with any hard criterion like the family income one, there are going to be just-miss cases. Also, if we credit that there are failed/failing public schools, it isn’t just the poorest kids that suffer, all in the school suffer. (that’s the meme about “failing” schools, anyway. a matter of another debate). And just because you are several notches above the poverty line doesn’t mean it is viable to move to a better neighborhood or send your kid to private school or whatnot…

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  7. Alex Says:

    That makes sense, DM.
    And this comment is timely:
    Ditto folks with a distinctive regional accent or a family upbringing that was devoid of comparing the bouquet of fine wines or smelly Austrobelgian cheeses.
    I teach a 2-quarter “Intro to college science study skills and science careers” course. Today was their final poster session (where they each gave a presentation on a career path in their major). I brought snacks, to make a nice, relaxing experience in the midst of a stressful finals week. Besides the usual fruit, cookies, and soda, I decided to bring some “Yuppie Chow”, i.e. pita chips, humus, dry salami*, brie, etc. I told them that this is the sort of food they’re likely to encounter at some of their professional events in the future, so they might as well get the experience and not be all “Wait, what’s this weird cheese?” I was quite pleased to see a few students from, shall we say, less-advantaged and less-represented backgrounds saying “OMG that is so good!” I don’t really care whether they start buying that food, I just want to make sure that they don’t get weirded out at a future event with snacks they’ve never seen before.

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  8. dsks Says:

    DM
    I think you missed my point. I was specifically addressing the economic element of affirmative action that you were suggesting should make this policy more tolerable to conservative types. It probably will, and I daresay that appeasing that political group is the chief and possibly only practical reason for including this criterion. I suppose that irked me a little; when one responds to the charge of being too PC by applying an additional layer of PC to pander to the opposition, it seems unnecessarily apologetic in addition to slightly absurd.
    Anyhoo,
    “The fact that a previously-all-male department hires a woman who doesn’t have kids, may not be married, dresses in the same way as the men and basically is indistinguishable, NEVER THE LESS makes it that much easier for the next woman 1)to be hired and 2) to view that job place as a viable career.”
    No disagreement here. I said it’s not the goal of affirmative action (as a corrective for under-representation) that I think is vulnerable to criticism, but the implementation. Or, more specifically, the fact that there needs to be an earlier and stronger focus on early educational needs in order to increase the pool of underrepresented candidates in the position to take advantage of these opportunities in the first place. In The Lou, if an individual from an underprivileged background can at least get as far as finishing middle school on their own gumption and with decent grades, they can take advantage of all sorts of scholarships and other policies to help them a from that point on. But if they don’t – and most can’t because the middle schools are shite – well, there aint a whole lot of affirmative anything being extended for those who find themselves on the lower track of a public school in this city.

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  9. DrugMonkey Says:

    Thanks bill, for the attribution. This one is particularly appropriate
    http://www.leftycartoons.com/white-lies/

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  10. Isabel Says:

    “(or, in the case of ethnicity related aa, it’s directed chiefly towards the upper economic class of a particular demographic, with the lower classes that are in most need of the assistance written off from the get-go; see that shit all the fucking time in St. Louis).”
    Yep.
    Hey DM how does that work for whites? Rich whites have dominated Ivies forever, and that fact on its own has not helped lower class whites one bit.
    “I just want to make sure that they don’t get weirded out at a future event with snacks they’ve never seen before.”
    Weird snacks are the least of our problems, Loony Alex. What a patronizing suggestion.
    So now the goal is to appease conservatives, eh? Otherwise SES wouldn’t be included?
    DM where are you getting all this info about the goals of AA? Reference, please.
    I saw a statistic once that Ivy league schools have a 25 to 1 ratio of rich to poor kids. These schools lead to the best, most influential jobs.

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  11. Isabel Says:

    sciliz Rebecca Weinberg
    @drugmonkeyblog #FWAOTI complete. I can rest easy now knowing that Isabel is… a complete statistical fluke. Among other things.
    17 Mar Favorite Retweet Reply
    »
    Rebecca Weinberg
    microdro Dr. O
    @drugmonkeyblog Just finished reading one demented comment thread; how do you have the patience/energy to deal with such annoying people?
    17 Mar Favorite Retweet Reply
    »
    Drug Monkey
    drugmonkeyblog Drug Monkey
    @
    @microdro but to be serious, annoying people sometimes illustrate existing viewpoints in an undeniable way. bigotries are not on sleeves
    17 Mar Favorite Retweet Reply
    Tideliar The Tideliar
    Isabel? RT @drugmonkeyblog: @microdro also, even the demented sometimes have very valid points that deserve an airing
    17 Mar Favorite Retweet Reply
    I am a bigot? How am I a bigot?
    How am I demented Tidelar?
    What a bunch of cowards, who won’t argue with me rationally out in the open! Of course I have made some excellent, valid points, Tidelar. Too bad you haven’t been man enough to admit that to me. In fact, that is exactly why people are calling me a bigot. I say true things no one will say. We ALL need to get beyond the matrix.
    And DrugMonkey, who supports the incredibly racist, classist (and otherwise monumentally useless) drug war, laughs at rednecks, and blogs with someone who thinks the lower classes deserve their lot and should thank HIM for the fact that they aren’t living in mud huts, calls ME a bigot? For what? I never said one single bigoted thing!
    You know I hate those fuckers (Rush et al) as much as you all do, but they are right about the irrationality of the classic liberal progressive viewpoint.
    And it’s no joke, it’s tearing the country apart. Which is having world-wide ripple effects.
    Hey Dr. O are you spreading lies about me too now? because you couldn’t come up with a rational, reasonable answer to me on the other blog thread? So you go cry ‘tweet tweet’ eh? You could at least have the decency to tear me apart in private. How slimy can you get?
    Maybe I wouldn’t be QUITE so belligerent of one of you who say behind my back “she makes some good points…” would have the decency and courage to say so on the thread. No one will ever agree with me, because I am a pariah. Yeah i get it.
    What a bunch of cowards! Do you even appreciate the risks I am taking by speaking out so bluntly? You might think about that sometime. ‘Oh I grew up in the south so Izzy’s bigotry makes my tender liberal ass uncomfortable’. What bigotry??? I was bigoted?
    I am far, far from a statistical fluke. There are millions upon millions who feel exactly as I do. And my ‘valid viewpoints’ are not even remotely restricted to the white working class. Wake up before it’s too late.

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  12. becca Says:

    A#1) Twitter *is* out in the open, as you demonstrate. Get on it if you want to participate directly. It’s a free internet.
    B#2) Much of the above commentary did not even relate to you. In fact, only my comment does, as far as I know.
    There *are* millions upon millions who feel (as I do, and as I hope you do) that poverty is one of the most significant scourges upon our society, and the cause of (rather than merely the result of) much racism.
    There are *not* millions upon millions who love to imply that Jews are greedy and arrogant, and will attempt to ‘insult’ people by calling them Jews. Thankfully, that’s just you and a relative handful of hateful people.

    Like

  13. DrugMonkey Says:

    DM where are you getting all this info about the goals of AA? Reference, please.
    As I have told you, repeatedly, I have been involved on diversity-enhancement committees at every academic stop from undergraduate onward.
    From the institutional perspective the approach is quite clear- to enhance the diversity of the institution and to decrease barriers to participation. The focus on any one particular person (undergrad, graduate student, assistant professor) is only a means to that end. The institution cannot be focused solely on the fate of individual applicants.
    Whenever, and I mean each and every time, a committee that I’ve been on has tried to figure out from actual candidates why that institution is/is not attractive to underrepresented minority candidates, some version of “there’s nobody that looks like/sounds like me here” has been in the top two answers. Consistently.
    There are also the anecdotal experiences of those people from underrepresented groups who do happen to be the rare professor. Yes, I do talk to them now and again as part of being on the aforementioned committees trying to get some shit done. The students and staff who come to them because they “look like them” do not parse their economic background to see if said professor is sufficiently disadvantaged to be relevant to their concerns.
    The fact that the political defenders of diversity have allowed the anti-diversity right wing talking machine to back them off of this when it comes to public policy defense in the public sphere is absolutely irrelevant to the goals, btw.
    Now, where are your “references” to show that people who insist that affirmative action is only limited to where you can prove that a specific individual was the most personally disadvantaged are doing anything other than making disingenuous arguments in service of their true goal which is to oppose diversity and continue a white privileged society as long as they can?

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  14. There are also the anecdotal experiences of those people from underrepresented groups who do happen to be the rare professor. Yes, I do talk to them now and again as part of being on the aforementioned committees trying to get some shit done.

    Dude, those people aren’t gonna tell the truth to your rich elitist jewboy ass!

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  15. becca Says:

    DM, just to play devil’s advocate here… have you actually been asking candidates from very low SES why they won’t come to a place? Or are you already defining underrepresented first by ethnic/racial status and only incidentally by SES?
    If a spoiled Nigerian d00d whose father had an oil fortune comes to Penn State, maybe you are right, and maybe he makes it more likely an African American who is a professor’s kid from inner city Philly will come here. I would genuinely count that as a win for diversity, but not necessarily justice. But saying that we can’t care about a coal miner’s daughter from Braddock who drops out of mechanical engineering because no one looks like her, because attempting to aim AA at the *most* disadvantaged person is the same as trying continue a white privileged society, is poppycock.
    Because if that coal miner’s daughter is also black, she’s a better choice than the Nigerian d00d. But you can’t make that claim from ‘diversity’; only from ‘justice’. (granted, if the coal miner’s daughter is white, you may have to value one more than the other. And that gets tricky.)
    DM, you are fond of arguing in favor of AA from a utilitarian perspective- that diversity is a good in itself. This is fine. But you imply here that the moral justification for AA- that we need it to right past/present wrongs- is somehow not legitimate.
    While I think it’s fair to be suspicious of those who illustrate profound innumeracy when it comes to *calculating* past/present wrongs in the form of discrimination various groups face, I don’t think you should argue that justice isn’t an appropriate goal of an AA policy.

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  16. Isabel Says:

    And becca, you speak out about situations based only on your imaginative interpretation, yet are a-okay with actual references to people deserving their lot, being vile this or that (imaginative also!), being stupid, inbred? Wishing for nothing more than to be superior to the darker skinned person over there? That conservative, working class light skinned working people in the US care *only* and *most* about this superiority, more than they care about their own futures or their own childrens’ futures?
    As I said, I heard no outrage from you there.
    I heard no outrage from ANYONE as a matter of fact.
    I don’t think those things about Jews, I implied nothing of the kind. But as a group they are indeed heavily over-represented at Pacifica Radio and other ‘progressive’ journalistic outlets that regularly complain about ‘white’ over-representation. I explained this twice to you specifically in fact, how it relates to other situations of and interpretations of over-representation of whites in many fields, and you are ignoring my point.
    Is it not disingenuous to complain about white over-representation, to regularly use it to lead a rallying cry for ‘non-whites’ to bond together and fight ‘white’ domination, etc, then cry ‘anti-semitism’ when it is pointed out that if Jews were taken out of the equation in many cases that over-representation would not even exist? Hey I would be happy if everyone stopped complaining and just tried to get along for awhile (for a change). But in ANY case, one particular group should not be shouldering all the abuse, whether that group is Jews or whites or rednecks. Agreed?
    You can call me an anti-semite but it’s a stretch at best. All upper class people are arrogant imo. Maybe the Jews *are* smarter and *should* be over-represented in academia, or law. The one area I actually questioned (maybe just resented) Jewish over-representation is in this very particular area of leading calls for social justice, particularly economic justice. I am not comfortable with the constant, unavoidable anti-white focus, with the fact that a group barely represented below the upper-middle classes, along with the other ‘progressive’ whites who all seem to be upper-class WASPs, is so dominant in that discussion. I definitely think it is a turn-off for many who might want to become involved. There is a lack of real comprehension evident, and a lot of condescending judgment. Of course, as usual we would care about the comfort of such a low-status group, as far as feeling represented, but in this case we are talking about the vile low SES whites so who gives a shit, right?
    DM, I read the wikipedia article over the weekend (sorry, that’s all I can offer at the moment, under big pressure re thesis at the moment with too many side projects) and it addressed my concerns. They are not weird or unusual concerns at all apparently. This never came up in all your related endeavors, eh?
    You haven’t shown any evidence that the presence of higher SES members of a group encourages lower SES applicants later.
    So yes, we may well end up with a colorful cast of elites. At what cost?* Furthermore, this goes against your apparent conclusion that the SES thing is all taken care of, which is what I was arguing against over at Scientopia in the first place.
    *(and people who complain are called ‘hateful’ and told to look in the mirror and learn to shut up and listen…)

    Like

  17. Isabel Says:

    SES doesn’t count in measure of ‘diversity’? People from different socio-economic classes have the same looks, perspectives, tastes, accents, experiences?

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  18. I definitely think it is a turn-off for many who might want to become involved.

    Yeah, those dirty fucken jews are a total turn-off. And the place is fucken crawling with ’em.

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  19. Isabel Says:

    becca already informed us that lower class whites don’t care about Jews. It’s the attitude of white hating I was referring to.

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  20. DrugMonkey Says:

    DM, you are fond of arguing in favor of AA from a utilitarian perspective- that diversity is a good in itself. This is fine. But you imply here that the moral justification for AA- that we need it to right past/present wrongs- is somehow not legitimate.
    I think you are falling straight into the Isabellian fallacy of thinking that just because I describe one thing as a priority I am automatically calling everything else “not legitimate”.
    While I think it’s fair to be suspicious of those who illustrate profound innumeracy when it comes to *calculating* past/present wrongs in the form of discrimination various groups face, I don’t think you should argue that justice isn’t an appropriate goal of an AA policy.
    And so I did not. While institutions, of course, wish to avoid flagrant unfairness, you have to recognize that their goals are not personally directed.
    have you actually been asking candidates from very low SES why they won’t come to a place? Or are you already defining underrepresented first by ethnic/racial status and only incidentally by SES?
    See what you are doing here becca? You are assuming that the Isabellian perspective actually has merit. In fact it does not. What do I mean? Namely that diversity committees that I have been on that include SES in their mandate do not find themselves wondering how they are coming up short because they make palpable progress on lower-class whites. They find the students, they have the professors. While one may be able to define “underprivileged white” so narrowly (Scots-Irish from Appalacia, coal-mining parent, perhaps) as to djinn up the kind of batting-zero you get with a broad category like “African-American”, most institutions find this kind of ridiculous. Are lower class whites underrepresented relative to population numbers, sure. Is the situation as palpably dismal (i.e., goose-egg) as with ethnic minorities? not usually.

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  21. DrugMonkey Says:

    if Jews were taken out of the equation in many cases that over-representation would not even exist?
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Do you ever listen to yourself? You know how ridiculously non-supported this is, right? I can drop every know and suspected* Jewish person out of each and every academic department or academic society I’ve ever been in and you are still left with primarily white folks.
    *not the way you “suspect”, I mean, a reasonable person.

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  22. Dude, open your fucken eyes! As if the damn jews aren’t enough of a turn-off, this place is also fucken crawling with niggers, spics, and towelheads!!

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  23. BikeMonkey Says:

    It’s the attitude of white hating I was referring to.
    Why is it that you consistently describe dumbfuck hating as “white hating”. It isn’t and you know it. clever faux victimization talking points work on Fox News but not around here.

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  24. becca Says:

    Isabel- see, this is why I never say anything about SES. You already take care of it so beautifully. You even threw in your sound and logical reasons for resenting Jews, gratis. We are so lucky to have you to enlighten us. Yes, it is people like you that totally make me want to get on the “SES is TOO more important than racism” self-righteousness trip. Where do I sign up? Oh wait. Never mind. You don’t want me fighting anything for you. Cause I’m just a dirty Jew pig. Right.
    DM, out of curiosity, what does count for lower SES? Lack of indoor plumbing? First generation students who grow up in a house where income never got above the poverty line? Food stamps? Pell grants? Cause you know how some of them Jews privileged academics think. If you didn’t go to boarding school, you must have been poor.

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  25. Isabel Says:

    Hmm could you possibly put any more vile words that I would never say in my mouth? Gross! You people are sick in the head.
    So it is not reasonable to ask for representation? It is equivalent to using epithets for other groups? No. It is perfectly reasonable for all other groups. Again with the special rules.
    You still have not explained that one.
    You can make me out to be whatever you fancy. Project all your fears onto me. It won’t help a bit. You still can’t explain it.
    “each and every academic department or academic society I’ve ever been in and you are still left with primarily white folks. ”
    Of course you would be. That doesn’t even count, because you haven’t replaced them with anyone yet, genius:)
    Boy, you guys are such babies.
    And I never “suspected” anyone btw. Another sleazy projection. I know you are Jews. Who can dish it out but can’t take it.
    Here’s some stats from an anti-anti-semitic site. I don’t have time to verify them.
    http://www.arthurhu.com/index/jewish.htm
    “Namely that diversity committees that I have been on that include SES in their mandate do not find themselves wondering how they are coming up short because they make palpable progress on lower-class whites.”
    How is this success evaluated?
    “They find the students, they have the professors.”
    What who how many????
    “While one may be able to define “underprivileged white” so narrowly (Scots-Irish from Appalacia, coal-mining parent, perhaps) as to djinn up the kind of batting-zero you get with a broad category like “African-American”, most institutions find this kind of ridiculous.”
    What?
    “Are lower class whites underrepresented relative to population numbers, sure. ”
    Yes, they are a majority of the population, yet hardly represented.
    “Is the situation as palpably dismal (i.e., goose-egg) as with ethnic minorities? not usually. ”
    Citation, evidence, of all-knowing one of all things AA-related.

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  26. Isabel Says:

    Again, you did not respond to this very important concern:
    “SES doesn’t count in measure of ‘diversity’? People from different socio-economic classes have the same looks, perspectives, tastes, accents, experiences?”

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  27. DrugMonkey Says:

    Of course I answered your clumsy attempt at a gotcha question Isabel. But in your frothing you failed to recognize it.

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  28. Isabel Says:

    No sorry I don’t see a reply. (And I am certainly not frothing. You all sure are though, shall we turn our attention to upper class WASPs now? No complaints here.) Perhaps you could direct me to it? No replies to my other complaints, either. The actual ones, not the made up ones. We are just getting nowhere here. No accident, I suspect.
    As I said my concerns were mentioned quite matter-of-factly to in the wikipedia article, this issue comes up a lot.
    It is not a gotcha question. You are imagining that upper class people are exactly like lower class people of their same race only better, aren’t you?

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  29. Isabel Says:

    “It’s the attitude of white hating I was referring to.
    Why is it that you consistently describe dumbfuck hating as “white hating”. It isn’t and you know it. clever faux victimization talking points work on Fox News but not around here.
    Posted by: BikeMonkey | ”
    Oh no, it’s also the idea that there is something wrong with the white race itself. That it is not good if a group of people is too white, or a geographic region, especially in the US. And Physioprof thinks the country is doomed and the only hope is if non-whites become a majority quickly or something. These and other examples are what I mean when I say there is mare than a grain of truth to the characterizations of liberals as hating whites or Americans. It would be both useful and compassionate to drop that attitude imo. And that all the power and spoils have gone to ‘whites’ or ‘white men’ always leaving out the ‘upper class’ part, not to mention the rich powerful people of other races. You can imagine how this all might grate on some lower class white nerves, for reasons other than ‘racism’. We can dump on the lower class whites because of this implied complicity and supposed great rewards, and because they are not empowered to fight back: we also want to suck up to the upper class, don’t want to burn bridges there, eh? Anyway we say it’s because they deserve it of course that’s not the whole story.
    I think *all* upper class people have biased views of those from the lower classes, (and contrary to your accusations it is not at all obvious or important to me what religious/ethnic group people belong to, and I wouldn’t make any assumptions about it – but I do notice signs of SES as you do). To think that everybody sees everybody else in an unbiased, democratic way except the lower class white, who has a twisted view of everyone else in the world and is holding back progress and world peace through their ignorance, is a ludicrous view. It’s ignorant, and terribly divisive. What is the PC thing to do?
    Not only is it unfair, but scapegoating a particular group (if not innocent no more guilty than other groups) prevents us from getting to the bottom of our societal problems!! Isn’t that exactly what you are saying when you take such offense here??
    Oh well I can see this conversation is going nowhere, and is basically out of control. It’s especially bizarre (and hurtful btw) all the things you are accusing me of saying, while ignoring everyone else’s actual remarks. It just bugs me that DM acts like *the* expert on AA, that’s all. Good luck, and try to do the right thing.

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  30. anon Says:

    wow

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  31. BikeMonkey Says:

    it’s also the idea that there is something wrong with the white race itself
    Serious people don’t say this. I mean sure, you nutters like to pull quote out of context or find some random provocative academic and represent them as “the OneTRUvoice” of all the “liberal elites” you hate so much but it is total bullshit.
    It is just part and parcel of your fake-ass victimization / faux equivalence scheme to oppose those who are interested in fair opportunity for all. A naked retrenchment to preserve white privilege.
    Not falling for it.
    Now, if you want to defend groups that I discriminate against, concentrate on the ones I actually excoriate. Dumbfucks. Start there. Dumbfucks who consistently support political parties and positions that are diametrically opposed to their interests. except that *one* interest. their need to feel superior, based on nothing other than an accident of genetic sub-population, to other fellow citizens.

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  32. Isabel Says:

    “I mean sure, you nutters like to pull quote out of context or find some random provocative academic and represent them as “the OneTRUvoice” of all the “liberal elites” you hate so much but it is total bullshit. ”
    “you nutters?” You mean like “you people”, eh? Anyway, I am talking about things I hear here (I even gave examples) and all over the damn place.
    You’ve got it backwards. *I* am the one that wants equal opportunity for *all*. I am the one who wants *everyone* fairly treated, and the discontinuation of pejorative terms for *all* ethnic and SES groups. You are the one that just wants to pick a scab, even if it makes things worse.
    YOU and CPP personify exactly what you are complaining about. Your holier than thou attitude is making things worse, and yet you don’t care. You prefer pouting and picking that scab. And being right, dammnit!
    yeah, that’s WAY more sane, BikeMonkey.

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  33. dsks Says:

    “DM, you are fond of arguing in favor of AA from a utilitarian perspective- that diversity is a good in itself. This is fine. But you imply here that the moral justification for AA- that we need it to right past/present wrongs- is somehow not legitimate.”
    The moral justification is secondary to the utilitarian one. In fact, emphasis on the former just provides ammunition for the skeptical conservative. This isn’t a matter of fairness, it’s a matter of removing – to the best degree we can – the baggage of our past because it can – and is – having a deleterious and destabilizing effect on the present (particularly by acting as a recyclable source of racism – race friction is simply not good for a society, that’s all the justification one really needs to try and attenuate it).
    Which is why the issue of poor whites is something of a distraction here, particularly in the US where poor whites do not bear much of a grudge against the rich in the manner that is more commonly observed in Europe. As it is, there a lot of government programs that are targeted to directly or indirectly assist poor rural whites. Interestingly, one of the main problems they come up against is that poor rural whites often don’t want anything to do with government.

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  34. Isabel Says:

    “As it is, there a lot of government programs that are targeted to directly or indirectly assist poor rural whites. ”
    Really? To assure that they are well-represented in positions of power and influence, such as government, law, and academia? Can you provide some examples of these programs?
    “Interestingly, one of the main problems they come up against is that poor rural whites often don’t want anything to do with government.”
    Citation please? (I was also going to say – “gee I wonder why?”)
    A distraction? And we are not just talking about “poor” whites – it’s offensive that you all talk as if all whites are 1)rich 2)wonderful liberal elites or 3)rednecks and barefoot Appalachians.
    Yes, many do not want charity. But is that all government can do? And funny, you don’t get the sense that there is a feeling of resentment out there, eh.
    Past and present wrongs = that spots in the elite universities that lead to positions of power and influence are reserved almost entirely for the upper classes.

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  35. Isabel Says:

    ” Individuals from racial and ethnic groups that have been shown by the National Science Foundation to be underrepresented in health-related sciences on a national basis.
    Okay, standard “minority” stuff here. Light the torches, my affirmative action antagonists, light the torches. ”
    I guess it depends on how you define the terms ‘ethnic group’ and ‘underrepresented’
    what’s confusing is it is okay for some groups to be overrepresented, but not others. I guess if a group is not a majority it is okay? But isn’t that still going to cut into someone else’s share of the job or admissions pie? After all,it all has to add up to 100%. So if one group is overrepresented at least one other group will be underrepresented. Yet instead, we blame the under-representation of one group on another underrepresented group!
    It seems like it all depends on who is defining the terms and the goals in a particular situation.

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  36. Loonabel, when your comments become indistinguishable from Turkish copy/paste comment spam, it’s time to take a rest.

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  37. dsks Says:

    “what’s confusing is it is okay for some groups to be overrepresented, but not others”
    This isn’t confusing at all, it’s common sense. A lack of representation alone is neither good or bad, it is merely an observation which may or may not be indicative of an institutional bias. The observation of institutional bias alone is neither good nor bad for that matter, it is merely an observation potentially indicative that at some point between past and present one dominant group has actively and arbitrarily prevented the willing participation of a less dominant one. It’s only when this latter arbitrary discrimination hypothesis appears supported by the available evidence that a moral imperative to act might be recognized.
    Basically, nobody gives a flying fuck about representation until we know something of the context underlying it. The context underlying the representational issues in the sciences can be clearly linked to a shady institutional bias that has historically favoured white males, and thus there is a moral imperative to address this and attempt to correct it. The context of Jews being overrepresented in certain economic spheres is well documented and easily traced back to historical immigration trends and Jewish cultural norms, and because regardless of overrepresentation minority status is usually still present, there is no moral imperative to act as if somebody is being discriminated against (there isn’t a reliable group of self-identified victims for one thing).

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  38. Isabel Says:

    “The context underlying the representational issues in the sciences can be clearly linked to a shady institutional bias that has historically favoured upper class white males, and thus there is a moral imperative to address this and attempt to correct it.”
    Fixed that for you. And I agree. The entire US higher education system needs to be overhauled. We are not even close to a situation of equal access for all. Wouldn’t you agree that there is a moral imperative to achieve that goal?
    “and because regardless of overrepresentation minority status is usually still present”
    This is not an absolute issue at all. (and I wish ya’ll would use citations) There are certainly examples where the over-representation of minorities has led to AA for majority populations. Yet it is true that Jews are not a true market dominant majority in that sense in the US, although there appear to be some areas they are actually dominant.
    I also think there is a moral imperative to address a climate where CPP, DM and BM feel comfortable publicly saying the most vile things imaginable about one particular low income/status racial group. To use your words above, this is “having a deleterious and destabilizing effect on the present ” imo, and that of many others.Knowing that this is apparently a widespread and accepted practice in academia certainly makes me uncomfortable and has many others.

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