Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Minority Enrollment down at U of M

2. June 2004 • Dumi Lewis
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Last week, U of M released “near final” number estimates of the class of 2008. The big news in the numbers is a drop in the pool of minority applicants of 21 percent and a drop in Black student deposits by 13 percent. So that we aren’t all confused, there was an overall drop in applicants to U of M, but near equal drops in the minority applicant poll are more noticable because of the small numbers. The most interesting thing is the size of the minority (I really hate this term) population at U of M is really small. Aren’t we “Diversity University?” So there aren’t that many minorities at U of M afterall, go figure.

  1. Melissa Sue Robinson announces candidacy for State Representative

    LANSING – Transgender candidate Melissa Sue Robinson will appear on the Aug. 3 Democratic Primary ballot for Rep. of Lansing’s 68th District.

    Running on a platform of civil and human rights, Robinson said she will introduce or aggressively pursue legislation that introduces a Universal Health Insurance plan which is designed to cover all uninsured citizens of Michigan; eliminates the Michigan Single Business Tax; and discourages disparity between the sexes in wages, with emphasis on penalizing businesses that pay the male sex more for equal work done by both sexes.

    In a press release Robinson said, “I promise that if elected, my whole term or terms in office will be focused on ‘you’ the voters, and I will do everything to earn your trust and my salary as your State Representative. As the entire 68th District is in Lansing, I will take a special interest in our City and insure that you ‘the voters’ are properly represented.”

    Robinson also encouraged voters to keep an open mind and see her gender change as a strength. She said, “Please don’t let the idea that I am a person that changed my gender interfere with your choice at the polls in August and November. If anything, that fact will insure that I’ll fight for your rights.”

    Robinson is the President of the National Association for the Advancement of Transgendered People.

    For more information on Robinson’s campaign contact The Committee to Elect Melissa Sue Robinson For State Representative 68th District at 517-371-1103 or email
       —Melissa Sue Robinson    Jun. 2 '04 - 06:11PM    #
  2. Dumi…I truly hate the “minority” word as well. I am deeply saddened by this drop in enrollment, but it is very much up to the current students to welcome the incoming students and encourage them to reach back and grab folks from their high schools/communities and tell them to come! I think that we will be okay darlin:)
       —Riana Elyse Anderson    Jun. 3 '04 - 12:23AM    #
  3. There are lots of minorities at UM. They just aren’t all RACIAL minorities.

    And there’s nothing wrong with an enrollment drop for a certain “minority” group, just as long as nobody is being turned away or let in because of the color of their skin.

       —T.J.    Jun. 3 '04 - 07:07AM    #
  4. Here’s some data:


    White-Caucasian: 57.3% (the # admitted decreased 6.0% from fall 03)
    African American/Black: 6.0% (the # admitted decreased 22.3% from fall 03)
    Hispanic/Latino: 4.4% (the # admitted decreased 12.4% from fall 03)
    Asian or Pacific Islander: 13.9% (the # admitted decreased 4.5% from fall 03)
    Native American or Alaskan: .7% (the # admitted increased 4.4% from fall 03)
    UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES: 11.1% (the # admitted decreased 17.2% from fall 03)
    ALL MINORITIES (U.S.): 25.1% (the # admitted decreased 10.6% from fall 03)
    ALL STUDENTS (including int’l): # admitted decreased 3.7% from fall 03

    **Number of admitted students decreased from fall 2003 to fall 2004 much more
    drastically for underrepresented minorities and all minorities than overall.

    [a: admittance rate fall 04, b: admittance rate fall 03, c: difference]

    White-Caucasian: a- 65.5% b- 55.3%—> c- 10.2% higher admittance rate
    African American/Black: a- 57.4% b- 55.1%—> c- 2.3% higher admittance rate
    Hispanic/Latino: a- 71.1% b- 70.2%—> c- .85 higher admittance rate
    Asian or Pacific Islander: a- 60.1% b- 48.8%—> c- 11.3% higher admittance rate
    Native American or Alaskan: a- 67.1% b- 58.8%—> c- 8.35 higher admittance rate
    UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES: a- 62.7% b- 60.1%—> c- 2.6% higher admittance rate
    ALL MINORITIES (U.S.): a- 61.3% b- 53.7%—> c- 7.6% higher admittance rate
    ALL STUDENTS (including int’l): a- 62.4% b- 53.2%—> 9.2% higher admit. rate

    **There changes in admissions perhaps has led more qualified (ie:
    less unqualified) students to apply. However, there is a disparity in the
    increases in admittance rate from fall 2003 to fall 2004. Overall, the
    admittance rate is higher by 9.2%, and for White students, 10.1%—but for
    underrepresented minorities, the admittance rate is only higher by 2.6%.

    (% total applicants)

    White-Caucasian: 54.6% (# applicants decreased 20.6% from fall 03)
    African American/Black: 6.5% (# applicants decreased 25.4% from fall 03)
    Hispanic/Latino: 3.9% (# applicants decreased 13.4% from fall 03)
    Asian or Pacific Islander: 14.4% (# applicants decreased 22.4% from fall 03)
    Native American or Alaskan: .7% (# applicants decreased 6.5% from fall 03)
    UNDERREPRESENTED MINORITIES: 11.1% (# applicants decreased 20.7% from fall 03)
    ALL MINORITIES (U.S.): 21.7% (# applicants decreased 21.7% from fall 03)
    ALL STUDENTS (including int’l): # applicants decreased 18.0% from fall 03

    **The number of applicants for fall 2004 that are underrepresented minorities
    decreased at a greater rate compared to students overall.
       —Rob    Jun. 3 '04 - 11:52AM    #
  5. I think the drop in minority enrollment is a short term trend that was caused by the complex supreme court decision and the U was hampered in getting the message due to the budget crunch. I think by next year the ‘U’ will see in an increase in the number of underrepresented racial minority students due to a clearer understanding of the ruling and the university commitment to affirmative action and diversity policies. The U has to be effective in saying that the school can provide a comfortable for minorty students where they have peers that look like them like the many HBCUs in the country, while also providing an elite education.
       —Sekou Benson    Jun. 3 '04 - 08:47PM    #
  6. So if we think the Michigan drop in admissions of color is tentative, what do we have to say about Berkeley’s 30% drop in admissions this year? There is certainly a trend developing among elite public university’s (also see Ohio State’s admits of color drop this year). The public perception of defeat at the undergraduate level coupled with cuts in outreach excercises, we need to really look at how we’re affecting the student body compositions of our elite public universities.
       —Dumi    Jun. 4 '04 - 02:12AM    #
  7. Dumi,

    The same could be said for how we affected student body compositions as well as the perception of how and why certain groups got into UM and others like it because of Affirmative Action in the first place.

    If a Mexican kid doesn’t have the numbers to get in if he were white, then he has no business at UM.

    If a black kid decides he wants to go to Howard rather than UM, that’s his business (and not a bad decision).

    I have never heard one single person, be they white/asian/jew or minority, pro-AA or anti, say that they liked the engineered diversity that UM forced on us. Not a single one.
       —T.J.    Jun. 4 '04 - 05:09AM    #
  8. Y’know, you’d think that a transgendered person would be more precise in their PR language. I’d figure she wants to decrease disparities in pay based on identified gender, not sex.
    That, and penalizing is rarely the way to ensure compliance. Tax credits for those who meet targets for wages would be more practical, and would recieve more support.
       —js    Jun. 4 '04 - 02:16PM    #
  9. TJ-
    If I learned anything from my many years of watching animated films, it is “never say never.” Let me say that I do enjoy the “engineered” diversity that U of M provides. In fact, I enjoy it in the class I teach now where there are a range of folks- a diversity of ethnicity, race, and ses. It’s undoubtedly a function of Aff Axn. It makes my teaching much more rich and dynamic. And you can quote me on that.
       —Dumi    Jun. 4 '04 - 04:50PM    #
  10. Dumi,

    Then apparently you have no idea what REAL diversity is like.

    Diversity isn’t just sex or skin color. A classroom that is half male, half female, 25% White, 25% Black, 25% Asian, 25% Other, all of them 18-22 years old, rich, agnostic and liberal is not diverse. The percentages are off, but that’s still essentially what you have at UM.

    Real diversity encompasses more than that. It’s life experience. It’s socioeconomic difference. It’s religious difference. It’s difference in political viewpoint.

    You say that you enjoy the engineered diversity, but that’s because you don’t know what real diversity is. The people I speak of, they are strong black leaders on campus, people who are very much liberal, very much pro-AA. But they don’t like UM’s engineered diversity any more than I did because WHILE THERE ARE PEOPLE OF DIFFERENT RACES, THEY ARE ALL ESSENTIALLY THE SAME.

    The problem isn’t that we aren’t reaching out enough to minority students, it’s that the wheat has been separated from the chaff as far as economic viability is concerned. It’s not that they don’t want to come here, it’s that they can’t afford it.

    You want real diversity? Go to a community college. There, there is no social engineering. There’s no rich-can-go-poor-cannot. And you know what? For the most part, it’s more intellectually stimulating because everyone drops the pretense and the ridiculous and offensive political correctness and just speaks from their experience.
       —T.J.    Jun. 4 '04 - 05:18PM    #
  11. I would hate to ever agree with TJ on anything except being Republican, but the idea that U-M is somehow special because we have people of different skin colors-who all happen to have money, by the way-is flatly ridiculous.

    Heck, I’d go as far as to say what makes U-M really diverse, at least in my experiences, is out of state students, who make up 90% of my college friends. They don’t do much for socioeconomic diversity but for the most part they’re smarter and tend to be more worldly than in-staters.

    Increase out of state enrollment if you want diversity.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 4 '04 - 07:53PM    #
  12. Let’s see … in the past year, SAPAC has been basically dissolved, Michigamua continues to meet, the residence hall libraries have been closed, the tiny LGBT office has their budget cut and educational program eliminated, lecturers have to hold rallies and a walkout before getting anything close to an acceptable contract, the Pow Wow is cut back further due to budget cuts (no matter photos from this event grace the walls of Fleming!), holes in the walls of the Trotter house are in the front page of the Daily, as tuition spirals ever higher.

    Yes, the University faces budget cuts, however many of these issues are over mere thousands of dollars, and decisions have not been made in a way which involve the students and staff effected.

    Judging by events over the past year, the University of Michigan isn’t exactly looking like a liberal paradise, or a mecca of multiculturalism. I think the University faces a crossroads, similar to the late 1980s and early 1990s when many significant changes happened (MLK symposium, broad affirmative action policies for racial and ethnic minorities and women in recruitment, hiring, and retention, for faculty and staff, etc). However, until the University’s committment to inclusion, multiculturalism, and a fundamentally different approach to student services is affirmed, I wouldn’t be surprised if many different types of minority groups (in a broad sense) decide U-M isn’t for them.

    Rob Goodspeed
       —Rob    Jun. 5 '04 - 12:35AM    #
  13. TJ et al.,
    I am ROTFLMAO. I do enjoy the assertion that I don’t know what “real” diversity is. Having little to probably no knowledge of my background or my collegues, you would probably not really be able to assess that (oh and many on campus have identified me as a “strong black leader” I wouldn’t assert leadership in a community unless validated by my folks- so once again, never say never). Besides that, U of M’s diversity is engineered and is not perfect but the fact is that you don’t see much better diversity at other elite public university’s. Let’s not kid ourselves into thinking U of M would be looking for the demographics of a community college or anything of the sorts. U know, the cool thing about my class is there is really a diversity of opinion in my class too. Once again, you have not been to my class, so I hope you don’t assert my class is full of political correctness and richie-riches, but if you do, that’s your bone to pick. Good commentary Rob. I do enjoy lively debate.
       —Dumi    Jun. 6 '04 - 12:42AM    #
  14. I can say with reasonable certainty that, yes, your class if full of political correctness and “richie-riches” because that is 90% of the campus population.

    There is zero diversity at UM, and yes, there is far better diversity at many elite public “university’s” (sic). Take a road trip and see another campus some time. I have spent my last two spring breaks, as well as any other weekends I can take off and I have seen all kinds of campuses. And you know what? Most ALL of them have more diversity than UM.
       —T.J.    Jun. 6 '04 - 01:42AM    #
  15. Thanks for catching the spelling error ;) Thanks for proving you’re more into making your point than speaking to reality by commenting on my class. And now I ask you to name the elite public universities. No diatribes, just facts.
       —dumi    Jun. 6 '04 - 07:34PM    #
  16. Dumi,

    My point has been made. You can’t seem to grasp it. You have no sense of what diversity is, other than what you have been force-fed by the University system. A pity that someone can get to the point of teaching a class without having a firm grasp on reality or the ability to think for one’s self, but I am not surprised. This IS Michigan, after all.

    As for “facts” about which elite universities have more diversity, well, that’s a matter of opinion for the most part (and thus not factually evident.) Juding “diversity” based on what race, religion, etc. that someone identifies with is NOT a way to judge diversity.

    Fascinating that you would ask for a “factual” analysis of which schools have more “diversity.” Utterly fascinating in a “gawk at the train wreck” sort of way. You apparently and ignorantly assume that by assembling a group of people together who come from different racial backgrounds, that “diversity” is acheieved.

    Answer me this… Which room is more “diverse,” the one with 3 whites, 3 blacks, 3 asians, 3 latinos and 3 native americans who all come from the same socio-economic background and geographical area, who are all either Jewish, Protestant or non-religious?
    Or a group of 15 white people, all from different socioeconomic backgrounds, different geographic areas, of different ages, representing all sorts of different faiths from Islam to Mormonism to Jehovah’s Witnesses to Catholicism, of radically different majors and raised by parents of radically different career backgrounds, and who represent political beliefs encompassing everything from Socialism to Conservatism, Fascism to Communism, Rationalism to Liberalism?

    Your snobbishness in your previous post in reference to community colleges speaks volumes of your ability to acknowledge diversity where it exists.

    Open your mind.
       —T.J.    Jun. 6 '04 - 11:41PM    #
  17. One more time…answer my question. If you cannot, then I’ll relieve myself of this conversation. It doesn’t seem productive enough to keep my attention at its current level.Now how is that for snobbery? Oh, but I must respond to your question. The first scenario seems diverse, the second does also, but I still would like to know where that second school is.
       —dumi    Jun. 7 '04 - 02:35AM    #
  18. Dumi,

    Ah, resorting to the classic logical fallacy of the impossible quest.

    Fine, University of Virginia. UCLA. UC-Berkeley. Ohio State. University of Illinois. Need more?

    And the fact that you think different skin color alone creates diversity smacks of racism. Why am I not surprised?

    Imagine that, a racist liberal. Shocked. Simply shocked.

    People like you are why I am ashamed to be associated with the University of Michigan. Too close minded and ignorant to understand the meaning behind the dogma you so foolishly trumpet.

    I pity you. Yes, “relieve” yourself of this argument (you might want to read a bit more, “relieve” is not the word you were looking for). You have embarrassed yourself enough as it is.
       —T.J.    Jun. 7 '04 - 08:09AM    #
  19. You want real diversity? Go to a community college. There, there is no social engineering. There’s no rich-can-go-poor-cannot. And you know what? For the most part, it’s more intellectually stimulating because everyone drops the pretense and the ridiculous and offensive political correctness and just speaks from their experience.

    Having attended two community colleges (Macomb & Washtenaw) and two (or three if you count non-course undergrad research) state Universities in Michigan (Oakland U, U of M, and Wayne State U)—and not being a “richie rich”—I’m inclined to comment.

    TJ does have a point that the U does lack diversity in the socio-economic sense. I forget the specific number, but within the last year or so, it was reported that a majority of U of M undergrads came from families with some relatively high household income (It was somewhere between $60 and $100k, which is well above average in any case). (I think Rob posted on this if someone wants to dig).

    Coming from a family with a household income below average (but not low enough to qualify for any income-based grants/scholarships), I could definitely sense the difference in many class discussions and other campus interactions—though it was sometimes hard to tease out whether folks really did come from privileged backgrounds (usually) or whether they had developed their privileged world-view in anticipation of the benefits their “elite” degree would get them.

    However, acknowledging that the U of M student body isn’t “diverse” based on socio-economic factors says nothing about whether its “diverse” in other ways (some measurable and others not). A rich white kid has different life experiences than a poor white kid. A rich white kid also has different experiences than a rich black kid.
    A room full of white kids can be as “diverse” socio-economically as a room full of rich kids can be “diverse” racially. If the U is doing a bad job in one area (socioeconomic category), it says nothing about how well they’re doing in other areas—nor whether those areas are important or unimportant things to consider or measure.

    Also, regarding the “diversity” of CC’s versus U’s—the student populations are definitely different from the U of M population. People of many ages, educations and income levels attend CCs, and those diverse life experiences can and do bring value to the classroom. But I don’t know that I would agree that the quality of the education at CC’s compared (on the whole) with my experiences at the U of M. While I had some great educational experiences at the CCs, because anyone was allowed in a class, the pace and level of discussion was frequently grindly slow or shallow (I should note I attended CCs after 2 years at Oakland U, so I was used to a different pace). They had to be to keep from losing folks who didn’t have the education and aptitudes I do (e.g., I took an intro econ class that spent a whole class period on slope—torture for someone who’d already passed calc I).

    For certain types of classes and certain educational purposes, CCs are great. But your comparison doesn’t say anything about how “good” or “bad” diversity is at U of M, on a whole. Nor does it say whether the kinds of diversity the current U policies try to encourage are good or bad.

    You do however make a very strong argument for goverment funded education for all—if a University education were free, and admissions systems were roughly the same, we’d all be better off, IMO.
       —Scott Trudeau    Jun. 7 '04 - 07:21PM    #
  20. Scott,

    I am impressed. Very well thought out comments, very eloquently put.

    A couple things:

    I come from a background that went from lower middle class to lower class (I refuse to use the term “working class” because, while I would be considered “working class,” I think to call the lower class “working class” paints middle and upper class people with a stigma they don’t deserve…who works harder? A cashier at McDonalds or a 2nd year associate at a big law firm? Who decides what “work” is?) and I was lower class enough to get the maximum need-based grants available.

    I found that I never had anyone to talk to about money problems. My mom has been out of work for a long time, so I would give her some of my grant money to help her get by, which made things even rougher for me. If the refund checks were a couple days late, those were a couple days where I didn’t eat.

    This past year, because of a financial aid screw-up, I faced having to drop out of school. I tried to talk about it with my friends, but their advice was “can’t you just get it from your parents?” Beyond that, they had no advice and had absolutely no concept of what it was like to not have money.

    Then, to have people like Monique Luse, who at one point was a good friend of mine, complain that minorities are underprivileged and have money problems was a slap in the face. Monique grew up in Farmington Hills, the child of an IBM exec. She has no concept of financial hardship.

    Even the difference between lower middle class and lower class is HUGE to someone that low on the totem pole.

    Who has more hardship, a rich black kid from Farmington Hills who has never missed a meal in their life, or the white lower class kid who has to work full time AND go to school full time just to meet the costs that aren’t covered by his grants? And then when those two people apply for law school, with identical numbers, the black person has a 25% advantage over the white person (LSAT scores run from 120-180, but anything lower than a 140 is not enough to get into any school, effectively making the acceptable band run from 140-180. Studies have shown that accepted white applicants typically have scores 10 points higher than minorities, meaning that it takes an LSAT score 10 points higher for a white person to get in than a minority).

    All of that is a point of view you don’t hear when you base “diversity” on Dumi’s ignorant racist model.

    Beyond just money troubles, socioeconomic diversity is likely to lead to a larger diversity as far as what job their parents had/have and the experiences that go along with it. At Michigan, everyone’s parents are a doctor, a lawyer, a businessman or a dentist. At CC, I had classes with fast food workers, people whose mothers were waitresses at family diners, I had a class with a guy who worked as a beer deliver guy for 20 years, a motorcycle repair tech, etc. In a discussion in class, oftentimes these people could tell you things that rich kids couldn’t.

    Not to mention the age differences. When the prof talks about the Bay of Pigs, where are you more likely to hear an interesting viewpoint? In a class of 20 year olds, where one may have read a biography of Kennedy and has a paraphrased nugget to share? Or in a classroom where 3 or 4 people of varying political ideologies are old enough to remember what it was like to live through that, and can share how it influenced their beliefs?

    Anyone who thinks Michigan’s “diversity” is the pinnacle of higher education should witness a discussion in a Cold War History class between a woman whose husband was one of the air traffic controllers fired by Reagan vs. a man who had fought in Central America for the US Armed Forces.

    Those discussions simply DO NOT TAKE PLACE at Michigan.

    At Michigan, a discussion on fuel efficiency and its effect on the national economy is likely to breed:
    White kid: “Yeah, my dad bought me a Ford Expedition for my 16th birthday and said that fuel economy isn’t as important as the image your car provides.”
    Black kid (from same high school): “Yeah, my dad said he needed to instill the value of a dollar, so when he bought me my Expedition for my 16th birthday, he said I had to pay for my own gas out of my trust fund. We fought about it and eventually he paid for my gas, but for those two weeks I really understood the value of fuel economy.”

    Meanwhile, at a Community College, you have a guy who had to switch jobs because the gas prices got so high that he couldn’t afford to drive so far to work anymore.

    I never said that the level of education was higher at a Community College. I don’t think it’s much lower, in all honesty, one of the best profs I ever had is still teaching at my old CC.

    And I don’t know that the level of discussion is any shallower. Maybe in Econ it’s different, but I was in a religion class where the majority of the students were Jewish sorostitutes from New York who had little concept of Judaism and ZERO concept of any other faith. It was so bad that I led the discussion with regards to Christianity and Islam, because the GSI (one of the rare GSIs who spoke English) was an Anthro major and knew nothing about religion outside of the Judaism class she had her Sophomore year.

    Finally, I agree about government funded education. That’s where I diverge from classic conservatism, because I believe EVERYONE who wants to go to college should be able to. And EVERYONE, ESPECIALLY our economy, would be better off if the majority of people had a better skill set/education.
       —T.J.    Jun. 7 '04 - 09:34PM    #
  21. TJ,

    A few responses:
    Monique grew up in Farmington Hills, the child of an IBM exec. She has no concept of financial hardship.

    And you have no concept of what it’s like to be black.

    And then when those two people apply for law school, with identical numbers, the black person has a 25% advantage over the white person

    Which white person? Every school has criteria other than race.

    Regarding CCs—I think we agree. They can be good and bad. You won’t have a waitress, a high school senior, a retired IT worker and a
    recent immigrant from India discussing environmental biology
    all in the same class at U of M. But you won’t find many discussions of the most recent findings of cognitive neuropsychology between the researchers that discovered the findings in the hallways of WCC. Apples, oranges—in some ways.
       —Scott Trudeau    Jun. 7 '04 - 11:17PM    #
  22. TJ
    I’m still amused. 1) I asked you to name schools because you suggested there was an empirical fact, don’t want you to hide behind an idea. And if you want me to dismantle the schools you named, I can, but that is for another day. (No really you really need a better list of schools) 2) Relieve is the word I wanted- as in make less tedious 3) ignorant,racist, and you pity me … thanks. Do we really have to go down to name calling? 4) Because I discussed racial diversity does not mean I believe it is the only form of diversity. Don’t get too caught up in my post, there is a whole world out there. Hey, try reading some books in between waiting to comment on every post on arborupdate 5) My comment about U of M not wanting a CC’s demographics simply reflects the U’s history of seeking a very selective student body. Not that it is right or wrong, but that it is essentially the unwritten policy. 6) I will be embarassed when I feel that you have out thought me or out argued me. Which you have done neither of. But if you would like to try to insult me again, enjoy yourself. I’m really not that insecure. 7) Sorry that your friends at U of M weren’t nice and were all really rich, you should try some other frienship networks. 8) If you are so knowledgable of Monique Luse why don’t you tell us all about the first time she was called nigger or any of all the other forms of racial and gender oppression she faced in Kentucky and Michigan. Keep her name out of your mouth. 9)Thanks for you comments… they amused me, didn’t impress me, but hey, it’s all good. 10)I hope that one day we’ll actually meet and talk. I do have a face and contact information. Feel free to use it. I can’t seem to find your info on any of the posts.
       —Dumi    Jun. 8 '04 - 12:06AM    #
  23. Dumi,

    “ignorant,racist, and you pity me … thanks. Do we really have to go down to name calling?”
    “But if you would like to try to insult me again, enjoy yourself.”

    Uh, do you mean insult as in:
    ” Hey, try reading some books in between waiting to comment on every post on arborupdate”?


    BTW, to call you ignorant and racist is not namecalling, it’s a statement of fact.

    As for not being out-argued, heh, I’m not the one who stooped to a logical fallacy in a last-ditch effort to hang on to a losing argument.

    “If you are so knowledgable of Monique Luse why don’t you tell us all about the first time she was called nigger or any of all the other forms of racial and gender oppression she faced in Kentucky and Michigan. Keep her name out of your mouth.”

    Why would I? She lied about me IN PRINT. I have every right to be critical of her.

    BTW, you don’t think I have ever been called a “nigger” by a white person? True, I am not black, but the intent was the same and the reasoning was the same. I was called a “nigger” among other things because of the way I dressed, the music I listened to, and the fact that I was reading Haley and Cleaver in high school. I was called a “nigger” and spat upon. My friends were beaten mercilessly daily, and I escaped that fate solely because I was on the football team and they refused to injure someone who was part of their team.

    Before that, I was the ONLY white kid at an all-black school.

    Monique can stand up for herself. I called her out on her lies about me, and she didn’t have the guts to respond. If something I say is upsetting to her, she can go ahead and defend herself. Until then, I will say what I want when I want to.

    Monique is a liar. Flat out. Beyond that, she uses her race as a crutch despite the fact that she got an education that lots of white kids would envy. She constantly has her hand out and espouses the “woe is me” attitude, when she has NO ROOM to complain about anything. Her life has been charmed compared to a LOT of white people, yet she thinks the reason she has experienced the (extremely limited) hardship she has seen is because of her race. No, it’s because she is a whining, greedy, dishonest puke.

    She and I are on opposite sides of the race war. I want racism EXTINGUISHED COMPLETELY. She wants racism flipped so that white people are victimized. So far, she’s winning. Poor white people and Asians are the only victimized racial classes left in the US, and nobody, outside the conservatives, seems to care. And people like Monique are doing everything they can to keep it happening.
       —T.J.    Jun. 8 '04 - 02:52AM    #
  24. TJ,

    It’s quite a bit disingenuous to say that poor whites and Asians are the only victimized racial classes in the US. By what standard? Because they don’t benefit from AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? Please don’t be so myopic.

    But, I would like you to tell me the ways in which those groups are the ONLY victimized racial groups in the country.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 8 '04 - 08:52AM    #
  25. James,

    They are the only victimized classes because they are the only classes that don’t have any privileges to offset the discrimination they face.

    Rich whites compensate for the discrimination of racist programs like Affirmative Action with their money and through their institutions. They are the establishment, and the detriment they face is counteracted by their power.

    On the flipside of that, minorities compensate for their historical lack of power with Affirmative Action and programs like it. They may not have had the money or may have come from an area where the schools aren’t as good, but through AA, they are given opportunities both in school and in the work world that compensate for it.

    But then you have the poor whites, who suffer the same lack of power as minorities, but lack the compensating force that is Affirmative Action. It’s the worst of both worlds. Oppressed by the rich, but also oppressed by Affirmative Action because they happen to be the same race as the rich.

    And the poor Asians (“poor” as in unfortunate, not neccessarily “poor” as in destitute), they are victims of their own success and numbers. At one point, schools in California would barely let them in because they had been determined to be “overrepresented.” They came to this country for opportunity, they possess the work ethic to put themselves intellectually at the top despite the financial strain on the older generation and despite doing it in a radically different language, yet they are punished for it because there are “too many” of them.
       —T.J.    Jun. 8 '04 - 02:09PM    #
  26. TJ,

    “Only,” and “only…without” are quite different.

    And U-M’s policy was, under the point system, and probably still is today, to give extra consideration to those who come from disadvantaged backgrounds (they got 20 points just like minorities did). What’s that about no advantages?

    And let’s not act as if the degree of discrimination these poor whites face is anything compared to what some blacks often face. Hell, simply being rich and black can often make one a target of law enforcement, as can driving in the wrong areas of town. Poor whites and Asians don’t have that problem.

    I could go on.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 8 '04 - 02:26PM    #
  27. James,

    ” “Only,” and “only…without” are quite different.”

    Well, except that when you affirm the notion that whites have “privelege” (as opposed to those with money having privilege, as is the case), then use that to justify giving minorities positions of power, those minorities will use that position of power to give opportunities to minorities. And that’s quite understandable.

    But then you have minorities helping out their own, and rich whites helping out their own, who’s helping out the poor whites? Poor whites are already oppressed by rich whites as it is, and they’re starting to be oppressed by minorities as well.

    I’m not trying to take anything away from people who need it. I’m just trying to get race to stop being the determining factor, and trying to get help for ALL those who need it, not just those of a certain skin color.

    At the risk of being labelled a “parrot” (and, as we know, that’s one of the worst things you can be labelled…dun-dun-dun!), UM’s point system was set up to where all the disadvantaged minorities got their 20 points for being disadvantaged anyway. The rich minorities, those who already had privilege, got 20 points for having more pigment in their skin. That’s not right.

    “Hell, simply being rich and black can often make one a target of law enforcement, as can driving in the wrong areas of town. Poor whites and Asians don’t have that problem.”

    Actually, yes they do.

    Whites are routinely stopped when driving through “ghetto” areas on the suspicion that they are there to purchase narcotics. It’s happened to me before, and it’s happened to many of my friends.

    Not to erect a strawman, but the next common argument is treatment at stores. As a poor white, you are likely to be followed around under suspicion of shoplifting just as you would if you were black. Again, it has happened to me.

    Beyond that, a white person at Fairlane gets the same treatment from the black storeworkers as a black person at Somerset does. Janelle and I were appalled at the way we were treated when we shopped there, as we had to walk out of two different stores because nobody would help us, despite the fact that Janelle had things in her hand to purchase.

    Even simple things like the guy that stands in the entrance of a department store greeting customers… He said “hello” as people came in…if they were black. Said hello to the two groups of people in front of us and the group behind us, didn’t say a word to us. On the way out, nobody in front of us, didn’t say a word to us. Told the people behind us (who didn’t have a bag full of stuff just purchased) to have a nice day and come back soon.

    Racism isn’t solely a burden on minorities. White people experience it all the time too.

    If you want to go into ancestry, my ancestors were sharecroppers who worked ALONGSIDE slaves and earned a wage that was barely sufficient to survive. They didn’t have any nicer clothes than the slaves, they didn’t have more or better food (there’s no such thing as “soul food,” it’s what POOR people ate in the south, regardless of skin color…) and the poll taxes weren’t just used to keep blacks from voting, it kept poor whites from voting too.

    Racism is a horrible thing, no matter what color the oppressors and oppressees happen to be.
       —T.J.    Jun. 8 '04 - 03:02PM    #
  28. Yes, racism is terrible; no, poor whites and poor Asians are not the only victims of it.

    I’ll give you an example of racism that whites rarely encounter—the fact that my behavior, as a black man, in the minds of small-minded whites, shapes their entire view of black people. Nothing you do as a white man will make someone think of all white people as stupid, arrogant, cool, whatever, but whether I’m affirming or denying someone’s preconceived notions of what being “black” means, the fact is it’s a stereotype we all must deal with.

    I’ll give you an example. Last summer, during our very intense debates on affirmative action, I used a swear word, and Ruben said something to the effect of “way to break the stereotypes, James.” Now, I know Ruben’s not racist and probably meant it in good humor, but the very real fact is, everything I do or say as a black man affects how people view blacks as a whole.

    Imagine living with THAT over your head and you’ll see why it’s simply untrue and almost even ridiculous to act as if the benefits of affirmative action offset the very real racism that many in this country face on a day-to-day basis, or that poor WHITES and asians are the only victimized racial groups in America.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 8 '04 - 04:57PM    #
  29. “I’ll give you an example of racism that whites rarely encounter—the fact that my behavior, as a black man, in the minds of small-minded whites, shapes their entire view of black people. Nothing you do as a white man will make someone think of all white people as stupid, arrogant, cool, whatever, but whether I’m affirming or denying someone’s preconceived notions of what being “black” means, the fact is it’s a stereotype we all must deal with.”

    I went to school in Royal Oak Township. I don’t know where you are from, but Royal Oak Township Schools (not Royal Oak, mind you…they don’t even border) were 100% black when I got there. 99.95% black after I got there, if you catch my drift.

    In class, even though I was little, every time I opened my mouth, I represented my race. When the teacher would talk about traditions, she would ask me what white families do for such-and-so a holiday.

    Now, I live in Albuquerque in a completely Mexican neighborhood. My girlfriend is half white, our roommate is white, and our UM NERS friend across the courtyard is white. Other than that, we’re the only white people here. I just interviewed for a job today, and I will be the only white person there (if I get the job…don’t want to get ahead of myself…).

    Again, every time I open my mouth, I will be representing my race.

    Further, James, you mention the arguments we had, and the racial implications they had. Look at the flipside. I had to watch every word I said, because the PC Police are out in full force, and I could easily be labeled “just another white racist trying to keep the black man down.”

    I do have to live with “THAT” over my head. I also have bills and debt to worry about. And I don’t get any Affirmative Action benefits from it.

    And in all honesty, I don’t want them. I prefer to be judged by my actions and accomplishments, not by the color of my skin or what disadvantages someone thinks I went through. When I am done, when I have my PhD in hand, I want to know that I EARNED every second of it. The school I got into, the grades I got, the jobs I got along the way, I want to know that they were mine because I was the best guy for the job, not because someone pitied me over what my ancestors suffered through, or because they felt bad that people aren’t nice to me at the mall.
       —T.J.    Jun. 8 '04 - 07:02PM    #
  30. Funny, James, that we are allowed to disagree in a heated way, yet neither of us are calling each other names, nor are we trying to assert ownership over the political ideology we both subscribe to.

    If this were Ari and JS arguing, you would be a racist, imperialist, right wing bastard, and I would be a reactionary, nationalistic bigot. And we would each be “right” and speaking of our opinions as “facts.”

    And they laugh at us when we say that conservatives are the ones with common sense.
       —T.J.    Jun. 8 '04 - 07:05PM    #
  31. TJ,

    Again, I must disagree. While someone may hear something you say and think that you fall into the category of a racist white male, they will NEVER shape their entire opinion of white males around isolated incidents with you. That’s the key difference.

    What YOU say reflects poorly or positively on YOU personally, and you even say as much. What *I* say reflects not only on me, but on my race, and to many liberals at UM (whites and blacks), some of my opinions are so out of the norm of what they expect blacks to believe that they’ve essentially tried to revoke my membership in the race. It’s all good though—because complaining will only get one so far, even in Ann Arbor, and I’m quite prepared to take on them or anyone else standing between me and what I deserve, but that’s beside the point.

    And the idea that anyone has “earned” anything is not even one I’ll argue because I reject that notion out of hand. We all get what we deserve at the end of the day, and some of us have to fight harder to get it, and I’m fine with that.

    But by acting as if there’s a way for one to objectively “earn” his spot at a University or job (and that some people have not earned theirs) is to rely on at least two faulty assumptions, one being that quantitative measures predict or speak to ability, or are the most effective measure of ability, and the second is that Universities or jobs accept applicants who they do not believe can handle the work.

    And, if the university believes you can do the work, even if you end up not being able to, isn’t that really what admissions decisions are (or should be) based on?

    As a sidenote, yes, I do find it funny that we still hold our ground on affirmative action, firmly, and can do so without being so insecure as to unfairly label our opposition before they even state their case. I suppose that makes two of us on this blog who’ve gotten the benefit of the world class education U-M offers. Wish I could say there were more of us.

    I used to live a few blocks from Royal Oak Township, and, yeah, it’s pretty much like you described it, and nothing like the “other” Royal Oak.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 9 '04 - 01:54AM    #
  32. Guess we killed that one, eh?

    Nothing like a debate on Affirmative Action finishing with two conservatives picking over the bones…
       —T.J.    Jun. 10 '04 - 12:06PM    #
  33. I don’t know what’s funnier—that TJ and I agree on a lot outside of affirmative action, or that someone like Dumi and myself agree on practically nothing, both believe in the concept of affirmative action, and even then I have my misgivings on U-M’s admissions (former) admissions policies and its dubious claims of diversity.

    But, yeah, this thread is more or less cashed.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 10 '04 - 12:59PM    #
  34. Screw it, I like to hear myself talk, so I will lay out my theory on AA:

    1. Don’t every give or take away anything based on race. You can’t ever achieve equality as an end if you don’t use equality as your means.

    2. Give to the disadvantaged, despite their race.

    3. Open all minority scholarships to people of all races and base them on disadvantage.

    4. Triple or quadruple public funding for education. There are a million things in the budget that could be cut. And if it means a little more in taxes, call me a socialist, but I say pay it. It benefits the society in the long run to have a better educated public.

    5. Stop publishing the USNews rankings. If it weren’t for the rankings and the perception of prestige, none of this would be an issue (affirmative action is unneccessary at Wayne State or Toledo).

    6. Allocate money to all school districts on an EQUAL basis. Dollar for dollar, or dollar for dollar based on enrollment. If the kids at public schools in rich suburbs suddenly had 10 year old textbooks and crappy computers because the money was suddenly EQUAL, then perhaps there would be a stronger movement toward improving inner city schools.

    7. Equalize the curriculum. If the kids are “gifted and talented,” perhaps have separate schools in each region for them. Otherwise, everyone does the same work and learns the same things on the same days. It works in the military, and testing and grade have shown that the disparity between black students’ and white students’ scores is negligible if not non-existant.

    8. Eliminate ebonics, ivorybonics, asionics, latinonics, trashonics, etc. Make everyone speak the same language in school. Sounds harsh, but if everyone communicated effectively or at least in the same language and dialect in a scholarly setting, a lot of the problems attributed to “culture” would go away. And James would never have to hear again how “articulate” he is (which is a common form of racism).

    9. Put prayer back in school. This one will be incredibly unpopular here. I don’t care one bit. As Mr. T said “they took prayer out of school and guns came in. they took prayer out of school and drugs came in. they took prayer out of school and rape came in.” Don’t make it mandatory, we’re not the Taliban here, but allow it if the students want to do it. Anti Christian Leftist Union (ACLU) be damned.

    There ya have it. I love it. Sign me up.
       —T.J.    Jun. 10 '04 - 05:30PM    #
  35. TJ,

    I completely agree with point number 8, and, while I’m sure many of our more sensitive members of this blog community will accuse you of racism, your opinion is no different than the one Bill Cosby recently expressed at an NAACP dinner. And it wasn’t popular when he said it—however, it was then and is now, right.

    What’s funniest about the whole ebonics thing is that half the white liberals and black scholars who defend its use would do everything they could to stop their children from speaking that way. They would take over school districts if they graduated students who talked like that, yet to stop ebonics is to be culturally insensitive.

    I’m very curious as to what positions liberals support which ACTUALLY help minorities. I know there are some, because I used to be a liberal, but could someone give me a refresher? Because all I’ve been hearing my last two years at U-M has been culturally sensitive garbage which replaces solutions with political correctness, as if to say that if we were just more sensitive, everything would be better.

    But, yeah, I’m not cool with ebonics.

    However, I’m completely against prayer in schools. As someone who attended church probably every sunday since I was born until the age of 18 because my father was a minister, I don’t even attend church anymore because I need a break. I didn’t like it at the time and my parents never listened because they thought they were doing the right thing, and just ended up turning me off to it completely.

    Don’t get me wrong—I’m still Christian, and still live what I believe to be a moral life, but I don’t go to church anymore and probably won’t for a while because it was forced upon me so much as a child and I never got to choose to go. The next time I go to church, it will be my choice.

    But all of this raises an interesting question—was it because of my upbringing in the church that I feel the need to go to church unnecessary? Did I sponge up the moral code I have while in church, internalize it, and now use it to regulate myself rather than have some minister preach it to me? Yes, that’s probably what happened. Are there better ways to achieve the same result without turning someone off from going to church? Yes.

    And, for as much as I was turned off to attending church, my sister seems to have been moved by it, and is very involved in the Christian community on campus, and I’m proud of her for that, so it’s really hard to say that my parents did the wrong thing since they raised two children who live life according to what they believe is RIGHT, not without the belief that right or wrong exists, as some people on our campus seem to think.

    I seem to have more questions than answers at this point, but one thing I’m certain of is that I’m proud of the upbringing I had and wouldn’t trade my childhood and what it taught me, and the person I’ve become, for the lives of the kids I used to envy because they didn’t have to go to church.

    What do you all think?
       —James Dickson    Jun. 10 '04 - 05:53PM    #
  36. I seem to have read too quickly—I’m in favor of what TJ suggested, which is voluntary prayer, the only effective form, but still against mandatory or otherwise expected prayer services.

    And, yes, TJ hits the nail right on the head when he brings up how people telling me how “articulate” I am (meaning, articulate for a black person) is a VERY common form of racism which would probably stop being a problem if the country didn’t hold the bar so low for black America. It’s like when people expect me to be a Democrat because I’m black.

    We need to stop expecting sameness from blacks, and start promoting individuality and achievement. It’s NOT ‘white’ to speak clearly and effectively, and, even if it is, dammit, white people have the money so we need to learn to play by their rules to succeed.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 10 '04 - 05:59PM    #
  37. “white people have the money so we need to learn to play by their rules to succeed.”

    Where can I get a “White Rule Book”? Apparently, I need one because despite being white, I have yet to receive the money.

    Maybe I was absent the day they were handing out the “White Privilege Card”...

    Seriously though, I find it fascinating to see James internalize everything that comes up. You see a question, apply it to your life, and ask yourself how it affects you. Everyone else here spends all their time telling everyone else how they are wrong, you spend your time here trying to figure out what you believe, where you stand, and whether or not you are correct.

    At least someone here is THINKING.
       —T.J.    Jun. 11 '04 - 01:01AM    #
  38. TJ,

    My point was not about white privilege, but about how blacks need to stop holding each other back from achievement with stereotypes and generalizations and by revoking someone’s membership in the race because they do well in school.
       —James Dickson    Jun. 11 '04 - 01:23AM    #
  39. James,

    I know. But you said “white people have the money so we need to learn to play by their rules to succeed.” You’re right, for the most part, that white people do have the money. But we don’t all have money. I know you weren’t saying we do, but I just used that as an excuse to rant.
       —T.J.    Jun. 11 '04 - 02:11AM    #