reminding ourselves what a ruling class might want to look like

Through the Eyes of Geek / Flickr Donald Trump Tells Skeptical Republican Party...
Through the Eyes of Geek / Flickr

And the same folks who remotely believed Birtherism are the same who think Western culture is being eroded…

This might make one see how easy it is to continue maintaining concentration camps or why some of the strangest bigoted actions occur in everyday life. Reproducing ideological positions is easier as one becomes more familiar with how American elites are structured. It is what allows so much of what Trump and GOP to get away with, and shouldn’t be reduced to personality disorders.

So much unimaginable discrimination is yet being proposed as law like requiring women to have transvaginal exams because it might make them reconsider their reproductive choices. Or that it is permissible to fire people because of their life choices exclusive of their ability to perform a job. You don’t have to wear a red cap with a slogan to hold ignorant views. You might even be academically overqualified and still be anti-democratic. Regardless, you will be amazed by this interview.

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So let’s be fair to Professor Wax for a moment and assume (Narrator: BIG ASSUMPTION) that it is true that she’s never “seen” a black student graduate in the top quarter of the class.  That isn’t necessarily related to the ability of black students to achieve.  It may come from a variety of other sources.  Just a few examples:  Maybe Penn Law has a diversity problem?  Maybe there are other professors at Penn who make assumptions like Professor Wax and grade accordingly?  Maybe she hasn’t seen black students because they avoid her like the plague?  In other words, one’s personal observation makes for bad science.  And even if there were data to back up Professor Wax, it would still be bad science to not question the underlying causes of the observation.

I shall illustrate data misuse with an example:  Suppose I go to the top 10 law schools and observe that there aren’t very many underrepresented minorities teaching there.  A racist might say: “There are very few underrepresented minorities on the faculty of top 10 law schools.”  That may be factually true, but that doesn’t necessarily mean what a racist thinks it means.  The racist might say “minorities don’t seem to fare well at high ranked law schools as professors because they aren’t prepared to teach at elite law schools.”  A better interpretation would be there are systematic barriers that prevent qualified minority faculty candidates from securing positions.  I’ve written about how the academic game is rigged.

Professor Wax has a long CV filled with discussions about what is causing America’s problems such as these.  In her mind:  “All cultures are not equal. Or at least they are not equal in preparing people to be productive in an advanced economy. The culture of the Plains Indians was designed for nomadic hunters, but is not suited to a First World, 21st-century environment. Nor are the single-parent, antisocial habits, prevalent among some working-class whites; the anti-‘acting white’ rap culture of inner-city blacks; the anti-assimilation ideas gaining ground among some Hispanic immigrants.”  You might think me unfair in just quoting her op-ed, but then you can go read this article.

abovethelaw.com/…

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