Patterico's Pontifications


Mandatory Power And Privilege Training

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:46 am

[guest post by Dana]

Administration officials at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University have reached an agreement with student activists to force “mandatory power and privilege training” on incoming students during orientation.

The student group calling themselves ‘Speak Out’ will meet with the Dean in order to obtain funding for the program, as well as seeing that the training becomes ‘institutionalized throughout the school’.

Apparently, this training is viewed by students as necessary for all future public leaders to be effective.

We could not grapple with hard questions about the role of government, the impact of a particular social welfare program, or the root cause of poverty. To consider these questions, we needed the additional benefit of interdisciplinary frameworks from fields like sociology, gender studies, and ethnic studies. Without understanding the socio-historical context in which policy is made, we cannot analyze the disparate ways various groups are affected by public policy, nor can we determine the best path forward.

The exercise of public leadership must draw upon more than the principles of organizational management, the tactics of negotiation science, or the psychology of implicit biases. It requires an honest assessment of structural power dynamics, of in-group and out-group dynamics, and of privilege. It requires that we continue to dissect the ways in which social structures operate to endow some individuals with certain advantages, and others with marked disadvantages. It requires that we remain critically attuned to power dynamics, both micro and macro, that undergird the institutions many of us will operate within throughout our careers.

No explanation given on how past and current public leaders have managed to be successful.


Irony Squared: The Recent New York Times Editorial on the Pay Gap

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:37 am

Now that former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson is Googling “tattoo removal,” I think it’s time to examine a recent editorial the paper did in favor of equal pay for women. For the irony.

Let’s just strike out “President Obama” where his name appears in the editorial, and substitute “The New York Times” — just for grins, huh?

The Truth About the Pay Gap

Women are the primary or co-breadwinner in 6 out of 10 American families. That makes the economic imperative of addressing the wage gap between women and men important, as is every step President Obama the New York Times can take in that direction.

. . . .

In fact, it [the alleged pay gap] is a rough, but important, measure of overall workplace inequality. It is not a comparison of what men and women are paid for performing the same or comparable jobs. But, in representing the full-time wages of a working woman against that of a full-time working man, it reflects overt discrimination as well as more nuanced gender-based factors, like the fact that women are disproportionately concentrated in the lowest-paying fields and not well-represented in higher-paying fields. Of course, 77 cents is not the only measure. But there is no doubt that the pay gap is real.

. . . .

Some Republicans have chided Mr. Obama the New York Times for pointing out the wage gap when the White House the New York Times has one of its own. . . . Jay Carney Arthur Sulzberger, the White House spokesman NYT publisher, has awkwardly noted that that is better than the national average and that men and women in the same positions earn the same salary. [D’oh! I guess that one doesn’t work! — Ed.]

But instead of becoming defensive and trying to explain away the discrepancy, Mr. Obama the New York Times should simply say the White House the newspaper has to do better and present the lag for what it is: more evidence that the problem persists even in workplaces committed to equal treatment.

It’s the scandal that keeps on giving.

UCLA Professor: UCLA Discriminates in Favor of Admitting Blacks

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:15 am

UCLA denies it, but the professor says they’re lying, and suggests that there are ample grounds for a lawsuit.

Public universities in California are barred from using race as a factor in admitting students, but a UCLA professor who once served on its admissions oversight team says he has proof they do it anyway.

While the first round of admissions consideration is handled fairly, African-American students are nearly three times as likely to make it out of the “maybe” pile than equally-qualified white students, and more than twice as likely as Asians, according to Tim Groseclose, a political science professor at the school and author of a new book titled, “Cheating: An Insider’s Report on the Use of Race in Admissions at UCLA.”

“UCLA is using racial preferences in admissions,” Groseclose, who made his case using data from 2006-2009, told

After a first look results in most applications being either accepted or rejected, a handful of senior university staff sift through those marked for further consideration, according to Groseclose. That’s where the alleged bias happens. He found black applicants were accepted at a 43 percent rate in the second round, while whites were accepted at a 15 percent rate and Asians at an 18 percent rate.

. . . .

Groseclose believes there is a strong case for a lawsuit to be filed by people who think they were discriminated against, but says UCLA is hardly unique.

“I think this is common – not just the racial preferences, but also the lying,” he said.

I would be shocked if this were not the case. Colleges and universities are absolutely infused with the notion that minorities (who are not Asian) need a leg up, and that campuses benefit when minorities (who are not Asian) are admitted at higher rates. They will tell you after a few drinks that this is because of the historical discrimination faced by minorities (who are not Asian). After a few more drinks, they will tell you that there are just too damn many whites and Asians at their schools.

Yes, this is illegal. And yes, they do it. I’m telling you: they’re proud of it. They’re proud to be violating the law.

P.S. I started to say: “I hope Groseclose is tenured.” But never mind. Fox News says: “He has since decided to leave for a job at George Mason University in Virginia, beginning this summer.” Unfortunate for UCLA, but probably good for him. He will not be popular at UCLA.

Songhai “Sunny” Armstead: Vote for Me to Be A Judge . . . Because I’m Black

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:00 am

If you want to see something truly remarkable, watch this video of a candidate for judge of the Los Angeles Superior Court telling the congregation of a black church to vote for her . . . because she is black. Skip ahead to 4:00:

UPDATE: If you have trouble seeing that video, watch at 4:00 on this version:

The candidate, Songhai “Sunny” Armstead, tells the congregation that she is “the only African-American” running and then says:

Why is that significant? You heard about realignment. You heard about the injustice that happens in our court system already. And you guys have seen who — I’m sure we all know who’s in our jails and who comes before our judges in court, right? It’s people who look a lot like the people in this room. People who look a lot like me.

I’ve been a prosecuting attorney and I’ve seen how things do not work in our system. I see how people who are disenfranchised, do not have appropriate education, or who come from underrepresented communities do not get access to fair justice. And part of the problem is that our judges don’t have the same life experiences that we have. They don’t have the same empathy. They don’t have the same understanding. They cannot relate. They have very narrow experiences. And so when they see a person come before them, they think everyone that comes before them is a horrible gang member or a violent criminal. You know?

Our jails are full of nonviolent people who are either have substance abuse problems, mental health issues, lack of education, or who are foster kids. Those people don’t need to be in jail. [Applause]

You have the power to change that. There are 15 open seats right now. I am the only African American running. There’s only one Chicana running. Can you guess who else is running? Are there people who care about the people in this room? Probably not. I can’t speak before them, but probably not.

You catch that? “Can you guess who else is running?” It appears that she is making a reference to white people. And do they care about black people such as the people in that church? Probably not.

That is Armstead’s attitude, and it is repulsive.

It gets worse. She encourages the black congregation to register to vote, saying: “I’m a judge for you.” She adds: “We have black legislators, we have a black president. We don’t have black judges.”

To show this is not a one-off, listen to Armstead making a similar pitch here:

I walk around in an environment that’s mostly white males and they’re looking for me to fall every single day. And I have to prove myself every single day. . . So that you guys understand when a judge is on the bench it’s almost impossible to get them off. OK? There has not been an African-American elected to the bench in over 14 years. We used to be able to vote for the judges in our community. That doesn’t happen any more. In 2000 the vote went county-wide. I have to get votes in Lancaster and Palmdale. I have to get those votes in Palos Verdes. I gotta get votes in Malibu and Long Beach and Carson and Compton and everything in between. I can’t do it without your help. I need you guys to register to vote. I know that we can because we have a black president, we have black [unintelligible], we need black people in every single part, diverse population, every single part of the government. We can put legislation in order but there has to be somebody there to execute it. And it can’t happen without your help.

I am absolutely disgusted by this blatant racial sales pitch. The job of a judge is to be fair and impartial. The job of a judge is to enforce the law — and to do so evenhandedly, regardless of skin color. Jurors in a criminal trial are specifically told not to be influenced by the “race or ethnicity” of a defendant, victim, or witness. If you watched the videos, you just heard Songhai “Sunny” Armstead make a mockery of that instruction. You just heard Songhai “Sunny” Armstead tell crowds of people that she would take race into account in making judicial decisions. You just heard Songhai “Sunny” Armstead tell a crowd of people: “I’m a judge for you.” Not for everyone. For them.

The Met News, which generally does a remarkably good job of evaluating the candidates, had this to say about Armstead:

How would you regard the following statement?

“You should vote against Songhai ‘Sunny’ Armstead for Los Angeles Superior Court Office No. 97 because she’s an African American.”

Any such statement would, of course, be blatantly and despicably racist.

Racist also is Armstead’s plea for votes because she’s an African American.

We view as disgusting any reference by a judicial candidate to his or her to race, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation, other than in the context of listing affiliations or recounting discrimination the candidate has personally endured or has witnessed and how this life experience would be beneficial in providing insights in carrying out judicial duties.

Armstead has amply demonstrated in the course of the campaign that she is not suited for a judgeship. . . . Speaking before a black congregation at a church in Gardena, Armstead asserted that non-black judges now on the Superior Court have no understanding of African Americans, and can’t empathize with them. Virtually pledging preferential treatment of blacks in her courtroom, she said: “I’m a judge for you.”

The Met News rejected Armstead and recommends a vote for Teresa Magno, who is a friend of mine. I have known Teresa for about ten years. I have worked with her, and have personally witnessed her dedication to justice. She spent years in the same gang unit that I work in, using extraordinary persistence and talent to prosecute gang members who commit murder. (As always, I speak in my private capacity and not on behalf of my office.) As the Met News says: “For 15 years, Magno has been a deputy DA and, aside from prosecuting misdemeanors, has handled 81 felony jury trials, including two in which a death sentence was sought. Impressively, every one of the 40 murder cases she has tried resulted in a conviction of at least one of the defendants.”

That is impressive indeed. What’s more, Teresa gets results like that with integrity — not by twisting the facts, but by working extra hard to gather the evidence necessary to prove her case.

Armstead looks out at a crowd of black people and tells them: “I’m a judge for you.” Teresa Magno will be a judge for everyone. I strongly urge my readers to vote for Teresa Magno on June 3. (Or earlier, if you’re one of these absentee voters.)

P.S. I have donated to Teresa, and you can too, here. But save some money for Amy Carter, my top recommendation in all these races, and one of my best friends in the world. A post on Amy is forthcoming.

P.P.S. Oh — and if you need any more motivation?

The Los Angeles Times endorses Armstead — with zero mention of her racial sales pitch. In addition to electing a great judge, you can take this opportunity to stick it to the L.A. Times.


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