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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So this weekend in the #adlife, Omnicom and Publicis Groupe announced they will merge into a creatively named holding company called Publicis Omnicom Groupe. What this means is that they will become the largest advertising holding company eclipsing WPP and leaving IPG and Havas behind.
From the company’s point of view, this will be a win-win with their increase in overall market share, synergies between formerly competing shops/agencies, and increased efficiencies. In other words, this will suck for the average ad professional since there will just be an illusion of choice when switching shops, possible redundancies due to consolidation, and aggressive cost-cutting in reduced healthcare and 401k benefits. Regardless, this will be great because it will increase overall ROI for shareholders, result in an increase in freelancers from all the project layoffs, and lower starting salaries due to the glut in freelancers and reduced costs.
On the flipside, this will be a boon for indie shops since they have a chance to steal some business away from the corporate agencies. With the merger, there are now clearer conflicts of interests and less stability for the ad professional, something indie shops could take care if they make the right decisions.
This will also be great for the other holding companies due to the expected increase in freelancers and available talent. With the increase in freelancers due to resignations or layoffs, this means companies can work harder to get contract work at lower rates or lower starting salaries since we all know that a glut in talent leads to lower costs. Also, this merger will get other holding companies such as IPG, Havas or even Dentsu to start thinking about merging or strategic alliances.
All this news about holding companies merging at the corporate level may seen boring and academic, but the short story is that all ad professionals need to start protecting their necks. Whether this means kissing up to the department heads or senior colleagues to get them to protect them or act as their advocates during restructuring time or simply switching jobs before things get bad at the office, everyone is on their own in light of these changes.
This means people who are out of the job will expect to be competing with more freelancers for gigs or will need to pare down their expectations for salaries or benefits. Most of all, everyone needs to get ready for shops being reshuffled, re-branded, realigned and relaunched similar to what WPP did with G2 when they merged it with related shops and relaunched it as Geometry something after severing its links with Grey.
Also, the Asian economies are going to slow down so don’t expect to find work in this side of the world because ad spend if also going down just like in North America and Europe. Or this could all fail due to anti-trust regulations in the US and EU.
NEW YORK—In a historic announcement that analysts say marks major changes for the advertising industry, senior leadership at Omnicom Group, Inc. and Publicis Groupe SA outlined plans on Sunday to merge the advertising giants into one firm, bringing together the largest collection of people with no discernible skills whatsoever. “With thousands of employees and billions of dollars of assets between them, the consolidation of Omnicom and Publicis will create an intimidating workforce of 135,000 utterly talentless men and women who are not marketable in any industry other than their own and whose jobs add zero value to society at large,” market analyst Mark Goodnough said of the planned $35 billion merger, adding that not a single person involved in the merger has ever made anything with his hands, knows anything about information technology, or is capable of doing quality writing or research. “These two ad behemoths will have the industry’s largest and most formidable talent pool of people called ‘creatives’ who have never created a single thing in their lives and whose only apparent ability is to trick other people.” At press time, over $500 billion was spent on advertising last year.
Do you want to help Ron Paul win in 2012 but unable to make it over to 178 Mott Street?
Here are some details on Dr. Paul’s Phone from Home Program:
Hello! We just wanted to inform you about a great opportunity to help elect Ron Paul. We would appreciate it if you would consider spreading the word to your family, friends and local Ron Paul supporters.
The Phone From Home program is the best way to help Ron Paul right now by reaching voters directly in early primary states like New Hampshire. It’s easy to do because it is a Voter ID program, not a ‘sales’ call. We’re interested in finding out who will be voting, who they currently plan to vote for, and what top two issues helped them make their decision. By learning this information, we will be able to send them a message from Dr. Paul that speaks to their beliefs and concerns. This is a powerful tool and has other applications besides Voter ID. We can use it later on to persuade undecided voters, and get out the vote on primary or caucus day.
Would you please share this information with the people you know? The sign-up sheet can be found HERE: HTTP://Phone.RonPaul2012.com There is also an FAQ page that has a lot of useful info. This is really the best way to help the campaign because there is a literal army of Ron Paul supporters that can get on the phone and make an impact in this election. We need everyone to sign up and get familiar with this system. Even if you cannot make calls every night, we would at least hope you can devote some of your time to reaching voters in the states that matter most right now. By helping with this program you can increase the chances that Dr. Paul will be coming to your state in the future!
We need your help keep this campaign moving forward, and focusing on the early states is how we will do it!
With this in mind, you can help Ron Paul by setting up your Phone from Home account and calling right away.
Since New Hampshire is on the East Coast, we need the majority of calls to be made from 6:00 – 9:00PM Eastern. Those are the hours with the highest response rate when supporters call.
And keep in mind that whenever you receive an email from sender Ron Paul 2012 Volunteer, which will contain updates on what volunteers can do for Dr. Paul. Please check the regularly so you don’t miss any important information.
For those who are able to come to Liberty HQ, we’re open Mondays through Saturdays from 11:00 AM to 11:45 PM! We’re going to be phone banking everyday, except Sundays, until the Iowa Caucus, New Hampshire Primary and the Nevada Caucus.
He served. As an Air Force veteran, Ron Paul not only understands what it means to serve his country, but he also understands the costs of an adventurous foreign policy. Both the blood and treasure of a nation is exhausted in a time of war, and Ron Paul is the only one who has been consistent in his support of a non-interventionist foreign policy for decades.
That is why on November 11, 2011, thousands of average Americans, as well as Veterans, all across the country, will donate to the “Veterans Day Money Bomb” to honor Ron Paul for his service to this nation, as well as his admirable principles that have earned him the title as the “Champion of the Constitution.” It’s time to bring the troops home.
This is your chance to make a difference. Please pledge to support the “Veterans Day Money Bomb” by signing up to the right, and donating on November 11, 2011 at RonPaul2012.com.
RON PAUL: The Military’s Choice
Why are the top three contributors to Ron Paul’s campaign the US Army, US Navy and the US Air Force? Ron Paul receives more military donations than all the other GOP presidential candidates, and President Obama combined. As an Air Force veteran, Ron Paul not only understands what it means to serve his country, but he also understands the costs of an adventurous foreign policy. Both the blood and treasure of a nation are exhausted in a time of war, and Ron Paul is the only one who has been consistent in his support of a non-interventionist foreign policy for decades.
On November 11, 2011, thousands of average Americans, Veterans and military all across the country, will donate to the “Support Them Now” Veterans Day Money Bomb to honor Ron Paul for his service to this nation, as well as his admirable principles that have earned him the title of the “Champion of the Constitution.” It’s time to bring the troops home.
This is your chance to make a difference. Please pledge to donate at least $100 to the Veterans Day “Support Them Now” Money Bomb by signing up to the left. Our goal is to collect 17,000 pledges, the same amount of pledges we collected on the $4.3 million November 5th Money Bomb in 2007. On November 11, please only donate at RonPaul2012.com.
Please invite your friends, and tell them that it is essential that Americans all across the country donate to Ron Paul at RonPaul2012.com on November 11, 2011.
Last night I attended the Ron Paul Webster Hall grassroots rally as both an attendee and as a volunteer for the NYC Liberty HQ grassroots organisation. There was some issues leading the event, such as Pras being delayed and the last-minute additions of speakers, but overall it went will with a final count is over 1800+ in the audience and reasonable coverage from the national media outlets.
It was not always like this. Back in college, I was passionately against George W. Bush, his collaborators and his War of Terror. The people I met who mindlessly supported Bush did so with the assumption that he could do the following: protect Americans from a terrorist attack, get revenge on so-called “dirty Jesus-hating Muslims” for 9/11, stop Sharia Law from subverting Western Civilisation or because the liberals were pro-Al-Qaeda. The war to supposedly liberate Iraq from Saddam Hussein and give the Iraqis peace of mind resulted in that country being divided among religious sects, and culture along with reducing the country into a pro-Iranian proxy state.
In 2004, I supported John Kerry with the hope that he would put a stop to all the excesses of the Bush administration that took hold after 9/11 and went to new heights during the invasion of Iraq. Sadly, the majority of Americans backed Bush because they supported his new war against gay marriage, and were still out for revenge over 9/11 despite the fact that Iraq had nothing to do with the terrorist attack. It was after the elections I lost faith in Americans, believing them to have a hard-on for simple answers to complicated issues and will simply throw away their vote to anyone who says what they want to hear whether it is a lie or fabrication. It did not even help when many Republicans tolerated voter fraud simply for the sake of keeping their “Patriot” as President.
Bush’s 2004 election by the people was simply depressing. It was as if the entire country had decided to stop thinking and voted out of misguided fears and faith in a backwards and corrupt administration. I once said to a group of my classmates that Bush’s election was going to “Bring the country down to hell” and I even mentioned voting for Hilary in 2008 since I had lost that much faith in America at that time. This questionable election by questionable voters in an already rough period of my college life just made matters worse.
2007 came and I was glad that the bastard George W. Bush was going to leave power after seeding America’s decline during his years in power. I didn’t watch any of the early debates but I kept hearing on the news that the frontrunners for both the GOP and Democrats was going to be Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton months before the primary campaigns started. I did not expect much from Republicans at the time so I automatically assumed Giuliani was going to be their nominee while the Democrats would just pick Hillary out of recognition. There was some guy named Barack Obama that seemed intelligent and progressive yet he lacked the influence a Clinton had. In addition, my boss at the time felt that Obama had no chance despite being well spoken and intelligent and implied it was because Americans were incapable of having a “Black President”. Ironically, I had similar thoughts since my expectation for Americans was so low that I did not think they were capable of having an ethnic minority for a President.
Then at one of the debates, a Congressman named Ron Paul got into a heated exchange with “frontrunner” Rudy Giuliani over the root causes of 9/11 and foreign policy. I was shocked to see someone in the Republican Party who actually used reason, persuasion, and logic to explain his views and make a sincere effort to educate the audience and viewers. This was something that was out of the ordinary in an American Presidential debate that usually consists of oversimplified talking points or rants about Islamofascism and 9/11. Many others felt the same way and started their own Ron Paul grassroots campaigns despite having little to no experience in the political process. I was able to find my way to a few of these events in New York City and even voted for the first time in Super Tuesday.
Ron Paul would eventually dropout after the frontrunner Rudy Giuliani, resulting in the nominee being John McCain who won because he was unscathed by his rivals. It was over for the GOP Primary but at the same time, Barack Obama somehow beat Hillary Clinton to secure the nomination as the Democratic Presidential Candidate. To be honest, I really did not follow the Democratic Primaries since I was under the assumption it was going to be Hillary like most Americans and the big media. Because Ron Paul was knocked out, I wanted to punish the GOP for being idiots and for allowing someone like Bush to reduce the country into a cesspool. This was why I voted for Barack Obama like most people who wanted something radically different, make history, and punish the GOP for being stupid.
With a leap of faith, Barack Obama because our next President and a symbol of change that so many needed after nearly 8 years of misrule by George W. Bush. Obama was so popular with the world that the Nobel Prize Committee decided to pass Liu Xiaobo over to prematurely give Obama a Nobel Peace Prize despite being just less than a month on the job. The first 100 days were exciting seeing Obama declare closing the prisons at Guantanamo Bay, getting a stimulus package passed to insulate the American-engineered Global Recession, and wind down the War of Terror.
After those 100 days, I realised nothing was getting better in my life and that very little was actually done despite all the nice speeches Obama made. Some of his fans were rabid fanboys claiming Obama is our generation’s Franklin Delano Roosevelt and that he is the culmination of years of progressive development. I became increasingly disillusioned, realising he was slow to withdraw from Iraq while at the same time escalating the conflict in Afghanistan. I was angry when Obama decided to expand Bush’s TARP bailout programme to mismanaged car companies such as GM and Chrysler. Most of all, what really lost my support was Obama’s need to keep making feel good speeches and allowing his advisers and Congressional counterparts to regularly undermine him instead of asserting himself.
Obama is a very weak President who is so afraid to take bold steps that he prefers to do next to nothing instead of offending anyone. He handpicked advisers that either defied his orders or undermined him, which resulted in administrative deadlock while the entire country continued to suffer. He decided to delegate his defining healthcare reform to Congress instead of leading its development as leader of his party and when he had a majority in Congress. This lack of leadership brought Americans a healthcare reform package resembling Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare reform with its flawed individual mandates and more regulations that increased healthcare costs.
When I keep bringing up all these problems that happened under Obama’s watch, his fans either downplay it or make personal attacks on me. In one instance when I criticised the GM/Chrysler bailout as a plan that rewarded bad management and as a loss for taxpayers, one fan kept making personal attacks claiming that I make a meager income and that I am a disgrace to my university instead of explaining why the bailout was a good plan other than because it was “Obama’s idea”, when that’s not even true. Another fan told me that economics was not a big deal since Obama still has the support of other world leaders and “isn’t Bush” despite ongoing criticisms that the stimulus was misspent or was adding to an already bloated national debt.
Other issues I had with Obama involved his need to keep Guantanamo Bay’s prisons in service, his decision to persecute Wikileaks despite their efforts to expose America’s questionable past and present actions, Obama’s move to renew the PATRIOT ACT, waging war in Libya with NATO assets despite not getting approval from Congress, and his inability to work with Congress on fiscal policy, which resulted in America’s credit downgrade. Although Obama did make some progress in appointing two female minorities into the Supreme Court, improving foreign relations, and “getting” Bin Laden, he failed in translating these achievements into tangible benefits for Americans. In addition, it seemed like despite these missteps, Obama and his fans did not seem to care because they expect everyone to reelect him with the impression that the GOP is incapable of nominating someone who would take him on.
This was true until Gary Johnson first announced his 2012 campaign and later when Ron Paul announced he was also running. I once told a friend that I felt I did not do enough in the 2008 election and that I would be actively engaged in the 2012 election if Ron Paul decided to run again since I was disillusioned with Obama’s lip service to “Hope & Change”. In addition, I told him that I would regret it if I just sat around and allowed the primary elections to result with a lying, shifty personality running against an already disappointing President. With Paul’s official announcement, I began working with the local grassroots movement and taking a role contributing in social media outreach in the NY state and NYC metro area.
I know there are many out there who think the other Republicans candidates are better than Ron Paul is and this is because they believe either the other candidates are a guarantee in helping Obama be reelected or they have serious misconceptions about Dr. Ron Paul. This is something I plan to discuss in a later post.
Today is the 10th Anniversary of September 11 in America, and rapper Ludacris’ birthday. In Chile, it was the day when Allende was overthrown and replaced by Augusto Pinochet with help from the CIA. Today is another day where they opened the 9/11 Memorial to honour the victims of that day and to show off the in-progress “Freedom Tower”, which in all honestly pales compared to the original towers. In about 4 years or 2015, the new World Trade Center 1 building or “Freedom Tower” will be ready for commercial use and for tourists. Seriously, the only people I see around Lower Manhattan are mostly tourists, regularly visiting the mass grave site and the death of the America many of them either hardly cared for or took for granted.
Since that fateful day in 2001, America has exploited this human tragedy to engage in a modern-day crusade against Arabs, to grab more power from the people in the name of security, and to promote a culture of short-term thinking. The War of Terror as it is known in the rest of the world, has resulted in a weak Iraq that is now run by an Iranian puppet, an Afghanistan that is now our version of the Soviet occupation of the country, and it has encouraged average Arab citizens in the region to take matters into their own hands after realising that America does not care for them despite paying lip service over democratic rights. Since 9/11, the government has now taken more control over the people with the implementation of the PATRIOT ACT that undermines due process, healthcare reform that only benefits the healthcare providers, and blanket bailouts that reward businesses for bad behaviour. Even worse, is the growing trend of Americans simply living in the present with the assumption that there is no bright future, which results in actions that are rooted in a narrow worldview.
The one question that we all need to ask is: “Are we better off than we were 10 years ago”? In my view, despite all the advances in electronics, web 2.0, and the fact an ethnic minority can become President in America, overall things are worse than they are a decade ago. The country called the United States of America is now reaching a breaking point with a government based on “checks and balances” stonewalling the other for fickle votes, an economy that is now becoming increasingly locked into a Lost Decade, and a culture that celebrates people not based on their merits but on their abilities to be vulgar on camera.
All of this hoopla over the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 has reached the point where I stopped caring about it. Yes, 9/11 was a gross human tragedy that was the result of bureaucratic incompetence from both the Federal government and the Bush Administration. Yes, many people who died that day did not deserve to be attacked by a bunch of confused, ignorant and weak-minded men with ties to an anti-American Saudi named Osama Bin Laden. Yes, America did have a right to go into Afghanistan to get Al-Qaida and Bin Laden after what had happened in 9/11. However, all of this was undermined by Bush’s need to exploit the tragedy to invade Iraq for its resources and its strategic location in the Middle East and Bush’s handling of the tragedy, in addition to invading Iraq, only created more distrust towards America and its government.
The oversimplified explanation that 9/11 happened because “Muslims hated America’s Freedoms” was a great answer for many Americans but it fueled distrust and anger from others. This answer and the general handling of the tragedy was why a “9/11 Truth” movement emerged in response to anger at Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the distrust in government. Most of these Truthers only believe the conspiracy because they are ignorant of the real science behind the attacks while some are in the movement to protest the Bush Administration or use it to find answers about the attacks on their own terms. These people are not crazy, loony, or outcasts as the American media portrays them but rather people who are confused, angry, and distrustful of the government and their exploitation of the 9/11 tragedy for political and economic gains. I think the 9/11 attacks occurred as they were presented but there was most likely a cover-up to mask any instances of incompetence from the Bush Administration in preventing or reducing the real attacks themselves.
The death of Osama Bin Laden should have brought closure to the tragedy on 9/11 but it was used as a cheap excuse to celebrate in the midst of an American decline. Also, as a result of the poor handling of the Bin Laden Kill Mission by the Obama Administration, people now have started questioning the exact circumstances of the mission, and whether there was any real confirmation of his death. None of this was made any better by the media’s acceptance of the official account at face value instead of investigating or asking tough questions of what really happened. The media is also at fault for turning today’s 10-year anniversary into a celebration of sorts when it is nothing but a gross American tragedy that brought the country in the wrong direction at the cost of its people.