When is a minority not a minority?
NEW YORK, NY – Last year, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a civil rights lawsuit with the federal government to eliminate testing as the sole basis for admissions to top public schools in New York City, such as Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech and Stuyvesant, since it discriminated against ethnic minorities. They argued that factors such as school grades, teacher recommendations and personal experience be taken into account, which would make the admissions process similar to university admissions. However, the majority of students admitted to these top NYC public schools are ethnic minorities. They’re Asians.
According to the New York Times, approximately 59% of the students enrolled in the eight specialized high schools are Asian. In 1971, the Stuyvesant High School student body was 10% Black, 4% Hispanic, and 6% Asian with the rest being White but is 72% Asian and around 4% percent are Black or Hispanic in 2012. Based on concerns about the lack of test preparation from minority groups, the city initially offered a free test-prep program to Black and Hispanic students and later to all students. However, it was still an issue because the majority of students enrolled in the public test program are Asians.
The Times article exploring this controversy spent considerable time profiling the Asian students who were accepted into the top NYC high schools. One account was about a son of Chinese immigrants who often sacrificed weekends studying for the high school entrance exam. He rarely saw his parents because they worked long shifts.
Other Asian students profiled came from families that either lived in Third World conditions or emigrated from countries experiencing violence. These families managed to pool their limited resources to ensure their kids had the time and money needed to do well in school and pass the high school entrance exam.
Although the writer made efforts to show these students made sacrifices and worked hard to be in these schools, he also made a point of emphasizing their “foreignness”. In the same article, the writer quoted Jerome Krase, a professor emeritus in sociology at Brooklyn College, suggesting Asian students are culturally obligated to do well since “[They] hold the honor of the family in their hands“, which implies they are different from Americans.
Moreover, the interviews with non-Asian parents were critical of the current admissions process. One parent agreed with expanding admissions to consider more than just the entrance exam results while another parent felt that it was abnormal for students to sacrifice weekends just to prepare for the entrance exam. Despite these criticisms, both parents have children who are preparing for the entrance exam.
While it is true that Asians make up the majority of students in the top specialized high schools in New York City, other groups such as Blacks, Hispanics and Whites also successfully passed the tests. Instead of just profiling Asian students and emphasizing their ‘foreignness’ and their family’s limited links to American culture, the writer should have also profiled Black and Hispanic students who successfully passed the exam to show that success is not limited to Asians.
Interviewing parents of successful Black or Hispanic students would give readers ideas of how non-Asian parents and their children worked around their respective challenges to succeed since they might be more relatable to readers than the Asian students and families profiled in the article. As a result, the article appears to perpetuate the idea that Asians are undermining the perceived character of New York City’s top public schools and unintentionally promoting tensions with other ethnic groups in the city due to their “foreign values”.
Another area the writer should have explored is the root cause for test prep programs.
It is strange that students have to enroll in test preparation programs to prepare for a high school admission exam that supposedly tests students on items they should have learned in the city’s primary and middle schools. If the primary and middle public schools are properly teaching their students, then there should not be a disparity between students enrolled in test prep programs and those that are not since the exam is based on things they should have learned in school.
Sadly, these disparities suggest there is an issue with the quality of public school education in the city, not of the race of students in the city’s top high schools.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund believes that changing the current admissions process into a holistic process would solve the problems with the current system that allegedly gives wealthier families an advantage due to their abilities to get better test preparation. However, this change would actually harm many poor immigrant Asian families and may not necessarily help the intended Black or Hispanic students in high school admissions.
If the city switches to a holistic approach, wealthier parents would still find ways to ensure their children have the means to join extracurricular activities, enroll in better primary or middle schools for improved grades, hire admissions counselors to develop strong admissions essays, and still send their children to test preparation programs. The less well-off, regardless if they are Black, Hispanic and Asian would still be at a disadvantage in the admissions process just like for university admissions. Most of all, in the midst of this controversy, the status quo for many wealthy families and their children would still be preserved.
Read more at TLR: It’s OK to discriminate against Asians (for high school admissions) | The Libertarian Republic http://thelibertarianrepublic.com/ok-discriminate-asians-high-school-admissions/#ixzz2jk3XymkV
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Raising a glass to Ron
By HELEN FREUND and TODD VENEZIA
Last Updated: 6:52 AM, June 6, 2011
Posted: 11:02 PM, June 5, 2011
There’s one congressman who will never have to pay for a drink in Manhattan.
Rep. Ron Paul, the libertarian-leaning Republican presidential candidate from Texas, has become an unlikely hero among bar and restaurant workers as he fights for a bill that would end all taxes on tips — the bread and butter of bartenders and waiters.
Last Thursday, a group of Paul’s Big Apple supporters, called the Ron Paul NYC Liberty HQ, held a Manhattan pub crawl in support of the legislation.
“It’s just not right. That money is supposed to be a gratuity for [the workers], not for the government,” said Dominic Inferrera, 38, a volunteer with the group.
“I worked as a server for 10 years, and I know how hard it can be,” he said. “The sad thing is that a lot of the servers end up getting audited at the end of the year and usually work so hard that they don’t have the time or financial resources to handle it.”
Paul introduced the Tax Free Tips Act of 2011 in March. The measure would end all income tax, Social Security withholding and other federal levees on any tips earned by salaried workers.
“Unlike regular wages, a service-sector employee usually has no guarantee of, or legal right to, a tip,” Paul said in 2009, when he introduced a similar bill.
“Instead, the amount of a tip usually depends on how well an employee satisfies a client. Since the amount of taxes one pays increases along with the size of tip, taxing tips punishes workers for doing a superior job.”
As Liberty HQ members spread the word of Paul’s proposal to bar workers around the city, they got enthusiastic support.
At the Wicker Park bar on 83rd and Third Avenue, bartender Kristin Rocco, 24, said, “People just don’t understand what it’s like to work for a living in the service industry.”
“It’s already a big blow to just receive a meager 15 to 20 percent tip for the amount of work we do.”
At nearby Dylan Murphy’s, bartender Gavin Ward said he was a Paul backer. “I like the sound of this bill — I hope it passes,” he said. “I don’t mind paying my taxes like every other citizen, but the way we servers and bartenders have to do it — on an already meager wage — well, it’s just no good.”
Unfortunately for the bar workers, the bill doesn’t have a good track record. Similar measures Paul sponsored in 2007 and 2009 failed to pass.
Back a few weeks ago, I put together a quick blurb including my thoughts on hipsters and why their attempts at synthetic originality make my blood boil. The opinion generated a fair amount of feedback thanks to Diehipster.com, and in all fairness some of the negative commentary that came my way does make a tiny bit of sense seeing as, on paper, I could have better supported my reasons for having such hostility toward the brand that is a Brooklyn hipster. But, instead of methodically plotting out an itinerary of verbal-assault through which I take over Williamsburg by annihilating one hipster at a time consequently reclaiming Mother Brooklyn for the natives, I rather haphazardly ran with the ideas that spewed out of my mind and the result of such is here.
Consequentially, I decided to construct a follow up piece and have thought long and hard about how I’d like to present my thoughts accordingly. Originally I considered a clearly drawn out essay complete with supporting documentation and factoids that cannot and would not be debated may be the way to go, but that just seemed like it would lack flavor. Next I thought maybe something of a dedication to the douchery that is Williamsburg and Bushwick by means of a photo-tribute might work. I picture this piece containing things like this, or this(nice cheetah tat). Yet again, this just didn’t seem like the best approach. Then, within a period of only a week, NYC time, I realized that this piece was pretty much writing itself via the asinine comments that come out of many a hipsters mouth/hands on the internet.
And so, I bring to you – The top 5 reasons why this Brooklyn native is completely fed up and disgusted with the hipster population of 2010 Brooklyn. These appear in no particular order and each one provides to me an equal amount of nausea.
Example Number 1:
In this piece written by Barret Brown of Bushwick BK, it is crystal clear that the general attitude of a transplanted Brooklyn resident is that of superiority and elitism. Brown actually goes so far as to refer to the non-hipstery folk who move to Brooklyn from afar as either ‘Puerto Rican’ or a variant of ‘awful Balkan‘. First point of interest here is why Brown feels the need to conjoin the thoughts in his sentence referring to one grouping of people as awful – and the other simply as Puerto Rican? He got a good tongue lashing from natives and transplants alike for that one, and even though he later produced a follow-up piece in an attempt to not be labeled the racist he is, the damage was clearly already done.
I have news for you Brown, each and every one of us Brooklyn natives ancestral lines can be drawn back to other countries. My family migrated over from Italy during a time that made them the lower-class working immigrant. They worked feverishly to establish themselves and create environments that were safe for their women and children. They brought over with them a work ethic and an understanding of what it is to worry about putting food on the table each night, something that you, you feeble minded arrogant idiot, obviously have no respect for.
Later in Brown’s blurb, he really shows himself – and all other hipster garbage, to be of the selective class in their own minds. He goes into detail by describing natives as seemingly falling into one of the following:
“People who honk at parked school buses, throw old televisions out of windows, play shitty Top 40 dance music from parked cars at 600 decibels, scream at bodega clerks, avoid branch libraries, give money to Pentecostal preachers, buy t-shirts that say “Hi Hater” on one side and “Bye Hater” on the other and then wear those t-shirts in public, await the Jewish Messiah, worship the Christian Messiah, and play the lottery.”
Now – here’s where I really get angry. Yes, Brooklyn natives do buy tee-shirts that say Hi Hater on one side and Bye Hater on the other and then wear said tee-shirts, they do play lotto, they do wait for the second coming of Jesus and they do scream at Bodega clerks. (That is Bodega with a big “B” out of respect for the working man – who may just be, gasp, Puerto Rican!) And you know what, Brown… They will continue to do all of abovementioned things because that is who they are. Their patient wait for the Messiah is not done so out of a deep-rooted need for approval, unlike your every day hipsters attempt to be an Eco-friendly vegan. You people don’t give a fuck about the environment – you’re out there spending your mommy and daddy’s money on a surplus of PBR each weekend when that money can easily be going toward Eco-research. What you do give a fuck about is fitting into the herds that make up the current face of Williamsburg, and now a good majority of Bushwick. Say what you want about a native Brooklynites propensity to play shitty top 40 dance music out of their car radio systems but this much is true: I’d prefer the streets be littered with nothing but inaudible track over track of every horrific dance song you can possibly think of, a veritable overlap of an unrecognizable mish mash of shit, than have to endure one more fucking Siren festival of Indy garbage that appeals to you spurious elitist snobs.
Example Number 2:
There are various street festivals that happen all over Brooklyn every summer. This is Brooklynite culture. This is what we, as natives, looked forward to during the adolescent years. These festivals are a celebration of who we are, whether it be Italian, African, Hasid, Latino, or Asian – each and every summer there are myriad events honoring our roots. NY, the melting pot, is where diversity lives. And then you have some fucking asshole with absolutely no respect for lineage – or a culture outside of their own that will make a comment as offensive as this one:
“It was a tiny parade, and they shut down Graham Avenue?” said Mr. Tocco, 26, an actor. “There was one float and a horrible marching band. It was very ironic. The Latino parades are more festive.”
That’s right they shut down Graham Avenue you little asshole. They shut down Graham Avenue because this is a tradition. It is a tradition that lived here way before you and your 7 roommates. Williamsburg, pre-infestation, had a sizable Italian population. It still does, to some degree. The people who look forward to this event every year have deep rooted history in Taggiano, Italy. They are devout and they love their Saint – and not you or any other bearded conformist should have even the slightest commentary as it pertains to any inconveniences you may suffer as a result of a street closure. You don’t have to like the band, or the saint, or anything about organized religion for that matter –but you damn better respect it because you’re in THEIR home, not the other way around.
This total disrespect of a culture throws me into rage. The hypocrisy as I see it is that there is a devotion to Brooklyn in a hipsters writings and their artistic expression – and then there are the comments like that made by Tocco, one completely negating the other. Brooklyn today is not the only Brooklyn to have ever lived. If you want to love Mother Brooklyn then you better learn what she is about. She is about religion – and she is about street festivals and devout Christians or Jews or whatever other outrageous devotion that may exist. Brooklyn is about diversity and coexisting. Why is it that the neighborhood I grew up in had absolutely no issues when it came to Jewish and Roman Catholic Italian families integrating? My friends were a 50/50 mix of Jewish and Catholic – and we played together and ate together, and lived in peace and unison. There was no disrespect, ever. We understood our differences and we kept them in mind when dealing with each other. If I had a Jewish friend, I didn’t ring their bell for hide and go seek past afternoon on a Friday out of respect for the Shabbat. Why the fuck can’t you all put on some shoulder-covers and respect the Satmars of Williamsburg in the same manner? – I’ll tell you why: it’s because you have no interest in loving Brooklyn for what she is truly about. Your interest is in that of a take-over position. You are all in love with Brooklyn because you’ve come here and turned it into nothing but a mirror image of the small town plebeian existence that you came from.
Fuck Defending Brooklyn – How about Respecting Brooklyn?!
Example Number 3:
Flashback to August 2009 for The MOVE Party organized by the “Lowbrow Society for the Arts” – A moving “art” party that overtook 3 subway cars on the J line thus completely interfering with all of the other paying commuters’ rides to/from work/home/wherever. As reported by Jeremiah Moss of Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York (a GREAT blog!), the partiers rode the J line from the Bowery to Broadway Junction in East New York. They brought beer onto the trains, they brought food onto the trains, and they wore costumes and played instruments like banjos and accordions.
It’s reported that some folks enjoyed the scene and participated by clapping along to the live tunes – or by making use of the flowers that were being handed out to the female passengers, but for the most part it seemed as if the members of this ‘art party’ had pretty much confined the passengers, forcing them to participate in something they may, or very well may not, be into. The best is yet to come, however…
At Broadway Junction, the partiers exited the subway cars and continued their singing and dancing on the platform. The crowd was a mix of costume clad hipsters and black neighborhood locals who were waiting on their train. And then the magic happened, one hipster idiot breaks into song and declares that said tune is:
“All About how Money Doesn’t Mean Anything!!”
Right – Great idea there, douche bag. Come into an area that is completely depraved with your expensive instruments and your costumes and your elite attitude and have a fucking Kumbaya singalong about how money is unimportant… in the ghetto. Smart.
As Jeremiah Moss reported it, here is an exchange that happened between party goers and what I picture to be a local:
“This is not a good stop,” he said. “Don’t you think if you were here all alone, you’d be mugged right now?”
“I don’t believe that,” said the partiers.
“Believe it. You don’t know where you’re at.”
“Yes, we do,” said the partiers, “This is our train, too. We ride this train every day.”
And, here’s where I get angry, again. – The way I see it, there are two possibilities here:
ONE: The hipster really didn’t have any idea where he was and he was just acting like he did so as not to look like a complete dolt in front of his herd – (but I don’t believe this to be true at all)
TWO: The hipster did in fact know where he was and went forward with his little ‘Money doesn’t mean shit’ song with absolutely no regard to the fact that more than half of the 90,000 East NY residents are reported as living below the poverty line and are on some form of Public Assistance.
It is this flippant attitude with respect to the struggle of another human being that enrages me. There is little understanding of the real fight. There is little attempt made to submerge oneself into the true grit and grime as it exists in these areas and instead of fully exposing themselves to the reality of poverty and strife, hipsters will come into an area and mock its residents with fabled stories of how life is grand and they shouldn’t have worries or woes because money is unimportant.
There is little more I can say about this one – I think it speaks volumes all by itself.
Example # 4
This one is a favorite, and you’ll excuse me if I get really fucking obnoxious and irate as we go through the various reasons why pretending to be a crack dealer deserves a punch in the face.
Maybe they didn’t have a crack epidemic in Ohio but here in Brooklyn, the shit ran rampant for longer than I’d like to remember. New Jack City-esque Crack Houses do not exist only in Nino Brown’s world. They’re very real – and for a good while back in the day, Brooklyn suffered a serious setback with respect to its residents becoming Crack addicted zombies. And here comes Nate Hill, an asshole in a fish-hat, who not only glorifies the act of ‘buying crack’, but does so dressed as a cartoon character, you know, to appeal to the youngsters and such.
The article linked above will tell you that you can only buy his ‘crack candy’ between the hours of 10pm, and 2am, much like a “real drug dealer” – and this little tidbit is reason Number Uno to support my argument that these idiots have no idea what a toll a Crack addiction will take not only the addict but the families and friends of the addicted as well. Newsflash, idiot: crack sales is a 24/7 operation. Do you think that a crackhead limits their usage to an exclusive night-time habit? Do you not comprehend that this addiction will remove every particle of property, every interpersonal relationship will suffer, and every ounce of well being that may reside in your body will diminish as a result of the extreme hold it takes on the addict’s life? Is it funny, to you, Nate Hill? Funny to you that people are dropping dead as a result of over-dose because their feeble hearts cannot take it anymore? You explain your shtick as “amusing theater” that is meant to be taken in jest. Well, I’m sorry if I don’t see the humor in emulating a life style that results in deaths, murders, robberies, rapes, and the overall loss of a person’s livelihood.
This is just one more example of how a hipster finds it amusing to copy the life of the poverty stricken population with little or no understanding of what the real-deal is. The fake crack sales, the brown paper bag Miller-High Life 40’s (for $12.00!! Gtfoh!) they buy at hipster bars, the photography of graffiti in an attempt to feel closer to an urban oasis they’ve created in their little ill shaped minds, all of these acts are prime illustrations of the phantasmagoria they prescribe to themselves.
Example # 5 –
This is a snapshot of a flash ad that BushwickBK.com runs – because, apparently, this is now the face of Bushwick.
I could easily continue to build on this list on a daily basis but that would just be silly at this point. I will, however, continue to support sites like diehipster.com and latfh.com and I’ll do so with the feral attitude that supports my opinions above. In my previous piece some accused me of attempting to assign myself the position of Ambassador of all that is Brooklyn Cool – and that is not at all what I’m about. I don’t think I’m cool, lame, or any other variant of an adjective as it relates to my association with the borough of Brooklyn. What I do think, however, is that I am a girl who was born and raised here and that credential is enough to continue to voice my opinion accordingly. I know this place I call home – and until I up and leave, I will represent the Brooklyn that lives in my heart. If you don’t like it, that’s all the better for me and the rest of the natives out there who are sick of your unconcerned gentrified attitude. Add it to the list of reasons to leave.
The Perfect Hipster Accessory
Date: 2004-08-09, 9:48PM EDT
You’ve got the sexy, shaggy, unkempt greasy-but-not-too-gross hair. You’ve got flawless skin so pale that you glow in the dark. You’ve got the ironic vintage shirt, the shabby corduroy blazer and the chic designer jeans. You’ve got the carefully beat-up Chucks. You’ve got a two room walk-up in Williamsburg which you share with a highly-strung actor, a struggling writer, a freegan and a docile, hairy guy in a poncho who grows weed under the kitchen sink. To top it all off, you’ve got your own up-and-coming post-punk band. You’re almost perfect. But wait a minute. You’re missing something:
The ethnic girlfriend.
Yes, you’ve got the look down but, as we ALL know, nothing’s complete without accessories. You without a ethnic girlfriend is like a messenger bag without thousands of buttons proclaiming your political leanings and your extensive knowledge of music.
Well luckily for you, here I am. Your very own, personal, cute, non-threatening, little Asian. What better way to piss off your wealthy blue-blood Greenwich-Hamptons family, without pushing the line, than to date a shy, quiet, non-threatening Asian chick? Yellow’s close enough to white, anyway. After all, you wouldn’t want your parents to cut you off from your monthly allowance – you might have to get a job and give up your dreams of being a rock star. Anyway, you majored in English and Music at NYU, and teaching’s not really your thing.
Also, you really need somebody to drape your arm around after your show, to hand you a beer as soon as you come off stage and to tell you just how good you were. You were SO good. Yes, someone who will complement your style without overshadowing you. Want to coordinate outfits? I’ve got a vintage crocheted minidress that would look so good with your tweed jacket.
I can be anything you want, baby. Want me to wear only black and white, sneer and blow smoke into people’s eyes? I can do that. Want me to dress like I smoked a bowl of ice and then hitched a ride with Marty McFly in the Delorean? I got you covered. Want me to impress your snotty friends with my extensive vocabulary and vast knowledge of International Relations? I’ll read-up on my current events just for you, even though I hide copies of Star magazine in my copy of the Voice. After all, I did go to an elite boarding school and then art-school, where I majored in graphic design.
If I hadn’t, would I be the well-dressed, cooler-than-thou hipster I am today?
Also, I’m stick-thin, fashionably bisexual and smoke bidis. I am publicly a socialist but am secretly a rampant materialist. Do you think I actually go to Sal-Val for these ironic shirts? Please. I shop exclusively at Andy’s Cheepee’s, Cheapjack’s and Screaming Mimi’s. So what if I have to pay the finder’s fee? It’s not like I don’t have a trust-fund, anyway. I just wait tables at the vegan restaurant to look like I’m slumming it. I don’t actually need the money.
So. You need to have me hanging like a wristband off your lanky arm and you know it. Please, bassists and drummers only – and send a picture. I only pretend I’m not shallow.
this is in or around Probably the L train
Anti-hipster sentiment is really based on a love of people who have jobs, careers, pay taxes and contribute to the general public welfare by good citizenry. Although the hipsters think they have healthier and more fulfilling social lives, this stems from their adolescent weltanshaung, where superiority is perceived rather than achieved.
But this is not their fault. Since their mommies and daddies for the most part scrimped, saved and borrowed to give them fine liberal arts college educations, they never suspected that the foul and degenerate state of academia would produce a generation of ‘beta-minuses’ such as we behold today, totally devoid of any socially-redeeming values.
Judging from their comments, a lot of pro-hipster sentiment evidently comes from “poseur” proto-intellectual homo-erotophyte types who feel that the more sensitive, intelligent, physically slimmer, and culturally aware hipster ideal of so-called of masculinity is the epitome of ‘metrosexuality’. And of course this is as right as it is also utterly meaningless.
The ‘culture’ that they are ‘aware’ of is unrelated to anything which has the slightest contribution to society, since it is based on the hipster’s own narcissistic self-exploration with it’s central focus on purchasing the next size smaller hat or jacket when it is not engaged in masturbatory acts with an Apple product of some sort. It is goals like this which not only define the hipster, but help to identify these simpleton exhibitionists.
At some point in their lives hipsters probably got mocked and ridiculed, or even had the crap smacked out of them by their own former classmates & families for acting like the sarcastic smug little adolescents they are and are no longer welcome in their own home towns, never mind home.
Hence they come to NYC like the rest of the world’s unwashed, but unlike the hard-working foreigner (illegal or not) who within a year or two of landing here has a job, or a business or both and is working hard to achieve something, the hipster lays about diddling with it’s cellphone and or laptop, sucking down “free trade” (WTF?) coffee and has maybe a part-time gig or gigs in things like ‘urban design’ and ‘media’ or some such other sophomoric aphorism when it is not seen smirking behind a copy of the local free newspaper.
If you think about it, the rest of the City, never mind society are well aware the sum total of the hipster ‘contribution’ aka “revolution” is about mocking and ridiculing the rest of society and their mentalities. It’s not about meat and muscle anymore. Hipster sentiment often comes from people who simply can’t keep up with normal activities and imagine some vague, undefined “social change” where the lazy, unproductive and indolent will continue to consume like parasites in the fantasy world they have made for themselves,
In this self-delusional world they actually believe others are envious of them
Remember, the hipster will always come up with syllogisms such as “you can always rate the amount of insecurity someone has by the amount they rant about hipsters” because that’s all they can do in defense of an empty existence.
They’re always trying to school everyone else, no matter how little they themselves know..
Anarchist Ninja on Hipsters, Anarchists. For more hipster hate go to http://www.diehipster.com