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Silicon Valley Funds CBC Parties for “Diversity”

Perhaps I am a bit too cynical, but HTF does funding yet another cabaret make jobs for underemployed, and unemployed black tech workers?

And HTF is it that with 12% of the graduates in Computer Engineering being black, there is a “shortage in the school pipeline”?

Bullshit!

The way things are done in the tech business is you hire some competent recruiters (“headhunters”) to go and get what, and who you want to hire. There is no shortage of minority middle managers, tech staff, and senior tech staff – although you may have a hard time getting them to move to the West Coast whitopias anymore. That shouldn’t be an issue – because most of these companies have data centers and offices all over the east coast, and a lot of companies hire “virtual” workers…

I been in this business over 20 years, working in senior positions for startups, as well as big players and hold patents in the technology…I haven’t heard jack shidt from these people – although I do get calls from big eastern based companies.I know a couple of guys who read my blog are senior techies like myself…When exactly was the last time you got a recruiting call from Google or Amazon?

But I guess it is just easier to buy off the CBC with a couple of parties.

Under diversity pressure, tech courts minority groups in D.C.

Congressional Black Caucus chairman G.K. Butterfield warned that “talk is not enough,” in diversity in tech.

Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest tech companies are quietly funneling money to minority groups in Washington, including those affiliated with black and Hispanic lawmakers — a move that comes as the firms face growing criticism about the lack of diversity in their workforce.

The donations, known as “honorary expenses,” fund events like dinners and cocktail receptions where members of Congress and federal regulators are the guests of honor. The leader of the pack is Google, which spent a record of more than $490,000 on such expenses last year — devoting most of it to minority groups like the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, according to newly filed federal ethics reports.

Apple chipped in $1.2 million for an awards gala for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and Uber wrote a $10,000 check to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, the disclosures show. It marked the first time either Apple or Uber reported any honorary expenses.

The recent uptick in these donations coincides with growing political pressure on the tech industry over diversity, as companies struggle to address complaints that their employees are largely white and male. The debate has taken root in Washington, including with members of the Congressional Black Caucus, which sent a delegationto Silicon Valley in August to demand that the industry recruit more African-Americans.

The tech industry’s newest tactics don’t appear to have quelled the outcry from Capitol Hill, and they don’t sit well with some diversity advocates.

“We’ve had years now of campaigning and advocacy around the diversity problem … [but] the only thing that’s gotten better with these companies are their talking points,” said Rashad Robinson, the executive director of ColorofChange, a nonprofit that works on civil rights issues. The problem, he added, is “not going to be solved by throwing money at the CBC and other institutions.”

Asked about their spending, Apple and Uber declined to comment for this story. A Google spokeswoman said the company believes it’s important to “help policymakers understand our business and the work we do to keep the Internet open and encourage economic opportunity.”

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute serve as the educational and policy arms of their respective caucuses on Capitol Hill. While they’re technically separate organizations, many black and Hispanic lawmakers serve as board members for the nonprofit groups. The Thurgood Marshall College Fund, meanwhile, is a nonprofit that provides scholarships and other support for African-American students at historically black colleges and universities.

The CBC Foundation, for one, stressed that the tech industry’s donations have gone to a good cause. They’ve allowed for “professional development briefings for our interns offering them real-world, first-hand exposure to careers” in key tech fields, Shrita Sterlin-Hernandez, a spokeswoman for the group, said in a statement. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund did not comment for this story.

But the checks can also double as powerful forms of leverage in Washington, where influence often is measured in dollar signs. “There are many ways companies and other organizations can establish a presence in Washington, and gain access to politicians. And one way to do that — that some people pay less attention to — is by giving money to a charitable cause that a politician is associated with,” said Viveca Novak, a spokeswoman for the Center for Responsive Politics.

Such contributions are a “well-trodden path,” in the words of Novak, for established industries in Washington, from big tobacco companies to telecom giants like AT&T and Comcast. The donations, in addition to supporting nonprofits, provide lobbyists with greater access to lawmakers and regulators.

And Silicon Valley certainly could use more allies in Washington when it comes to diversity issues.

Apple is almost 70 percent male globally and 54 percent white in the U.S., according to the company’s most recent diversity report, though the company emphasized that many of its new hires have been women, Asian, Hispanic and African-American. Google’s workforce is also 70 percent male globally and 60 percent white in the U.S., despite its own efforts to diversify. Uber, for its part, has not released a report detailing the composition of its employees.

Those poor report cards prompted the Congressional Black Caucus last May to launch an initiative dubbed Tech2020, hoping to pressure tech companies to add more African-Americans to their ranks. The CBC later dispatched top lawmakers to the Valley — including its chairman, Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) — to make that point directly to executives at Apple, Google, Intel and other firms.

Butterfield sounded the theme again in September at the CBC Foundation’s annual legislative conference, where he warned that “talk is not enough. And we need more than an amen from the choir. … We want to see results.”

Tech companies have pledged to fix the problem, but as they invest in hiring initiatives, they’re also pumping big money into Washington. Over the course of last year, Google covered $150,000 in honorary expenses for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, and provided an additional $95,000 in multiple checks to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, according to an analysis of the ethics records.

Another roughly $150,000 in spending went to “various vendors” that aided events with women, black and Latino lawmakers, the records indicate. At the CBC Foundation’s annual legislative conference in September, Google played a key sponsorship role at a reception that featured FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, according to an invitation for the event.

Google has donated to the CBC Foundation before, but its “honorary expenses” for the group and other minority organizations have increased in recent years. Asked whether this amounts to a form of lobbying, the CBC Foundation stressed in a statement that the support benefits the organization’s mission: “Our sponsors and partners provide support to our organization because they share our goals of providing important opportunities for the communities we serve.”…More

 

 
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Posted by on February 29, 2016 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The US Senate’s Diversity Problem…

No real surprise here in America’s Last Plantation. Not much has changed since the 70’s when “The Hill” was one of my assigned accounts and I had reason to frequent the Capital and Office buildings.

The invisible folks of color who actually make the physical machinery of the Capital run

The Senate Has Plenty Of Racial Diversity, But Not The Kind You Brag About

High-level Senate staffers are overwhelmingly white. Low-level service workers are overwhelmingly black and Latino.

To a casual observer, the halls of Congress look pretty white. But according to Anthony Thomas, people of color abound there, so long as you know where to find them.

“It’s all black and Hispanic people downstairs,” said Thomas, a 23-year-old African-American from the suburb of New Carrollton, Maryland.

Thomas works as a dishwasher in the Senate cafeteria in the basement of the Dirksen building. His duties include catering special parties held in the Capitol and the Senate office buildings, where lawmakers and staff rub elbows with lobbyists and other power brokers. Though there are exceptions, it’s mostly white people drinking and dining, and people of color like Thomas cleaning up after them, he said.

A report released in December by the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies found that the most influential Senate staffers are disproportionately white. Among senior-level Senate staff — chiefs of staff, legislative directors and other folks who ultimately shape the laws we all live by — a mere 7.1 percent are people of color, researchers found. Yet people of color comprise 36 percent of the U.S. public at large. (There may well be more diversity among mid- and low-level Senate staff, but no such numbers are available.)

So where is all the Senate’s diversity? Apparently, much of it is concentrated at the opposite end of the power structure.

For the past year and a half, a group called Good Jobs Nation, funded by the Change to Win federation of labor unions, has been organizing janitorial and food workers in the Senate offices and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center. The group compiled a database of 160 rank-and-file employees it assumes would be eligible to vote if workers filed for a union election. (SEIU, a member of Change to Win, lost a union election among Senate dining employees three years ago, though the union could file for another election.)

When the group examined demographics, it found the makeup of the service workforce to be the exact opposite of the senior-level Senate staff.

The low-wage workers were almost exclusively people of color — a whopping 97 percent, according to a demographic breakdown Good Jobs Nation provided to The Huffington Post (the breakdown did not identify individual workers). That number shouldn’t be all the surprising, given the demographics of D.C. — a majority of residents are people of color — and the way low-wage food and janitorial jobsalready skew heavily toward minorities in the U.S. at large, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A caveat: This was not a scientific study. The database was compiled through on-the-ground outreach done by the group’s organizers, not through government records or an official survey. And since the group is only organizing rank-and-file employees, the numbers don’t account for middle management, where the workforce appears more mixed. Yet the figures should ring true for anyone who’s taken a close look at the workers cleaning the dishes and mopping the floors in the Senate.

“I think what’s happening at the Capitol reflects a larger trend in our economy — the gap between the knowledge economy workers and the service-sector workers,” said Joseph Geevarghese, director of Good Jobs Nation. “You’ve got a class of workers who are higher paid, and then you have an underclass of service workers who are low-paid and struggling to make ends meet.”…More

A fairly representative sample of the higher level staff, this one from Iowa

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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WhOscars

Have to admit that the two programs I never watch or pay attention to are the Oscars, AKA the Academy Awards, and the Golden Globes (followed by the various Music Awards) or seemingly dozens of award shows where folks with little connection to reality get to gather. The whole thing smacks too much of the recipients patting themselves on the back.

While I, as well as what seems the vast majority of people on earth with access to the product – certainly appreciate the cinematography, art, and quality acting which goes into a good show or movie…The selection process seems like bumbling herds of elephants following along after each other at the behest of the major studios. The cowherd Belles of Tara…Indeed.

The Academy Proves That Oscars Are Only For White People, Again

Oh, you thought non-white actors would get Oscar noms? Good one!

The 2016 Academy Award nominations rolled out Thursday morning and highlighted a roster of acting categories made up entirely of white performers.

And that should bother everyone.

The lack of diversity among Oscar nods has, sadly, become tradition and things don’t seem to be getting any better. In fact, they’re getting worse.

Following in last year’s footsteps, not a single actor of color is up for an award this year. The only films featuring a cast with people of color that are nominated this year are “Straight Outta Compton” for Best Screenplay, “What Happened, Miss Simone” for Best Documentary and “Creed” for Best Supporting Actor — but for these films, only their white contributors were recognized. “The Revenant,” whose director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, is Mexican is also nominated. It bypassed actors like Will Smith, for “Concussion,” Idris Elba in “Beasts Of No Nation,” Samuel L. Jackson in “The Hateful Eight,” and Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler for “Creed,” all of whom have been heavily praised for their performances this year.

Widespread fury erupted last year by people everywhere who flooded social media with #OscarsSoWhite to voice their frustration with the Academy for recognizing so few actors of color. That hashtag, which was created by twitter user @ReignOfApril, has now resurfaced, bubbling up similar expressions of disappointment by the dismal state of diversity among this year’s nods.

The discussion around the lack of representation in film has become a big issueparticularly in the last year. President of the Academy Cherryl Boone-Isaacs, a black woman, said she is well-aware of the poor state of diversity in film and that diversifying the field is important.

“The whole discussion about diversity is a great discussion, because now it’s at the top of everybody’s mind, not just the academy’s,” Isaacs said last year during an Academy reception.

And while widespread change is understandably slow to come, there has been no progress in the last year.

However, Isaacs is far from the only person to be held accountable for the lack of representation and recognition of actors of color. Hollywood executives are are mostly white and mostly male and they have failed to prioritize color-conscious casting in their films.

UClA’s 2015 Hollywood Diversity report highlights that the problem starts at the top, which is dominated by white, male gatekeepers who run the industry’s top three talent agencies and major studios. In 2013, 94 percent of CEOs and/or chairs and 92 percent of senior management in the film industry were white, according to the report.

If these executives don’t start making an active effort to recruit and hire people of color, Hollywood will remain saturated with white performers in films. And that’s not only terrible because it robs the opportunity from talented and deserving actors of color, but because it is a poor representation of the diverse audiences who view them.

A more appropriately toned Trophy

 

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2016 in The Definition of Racism

 

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The Last Black Engineer at Twitter…

One of the problems with the social media job sites is that they encourage you to post a picture. People who want to discriminate on age, race, or ethnicity easily can do so. This facilitates job discrimination, which by the statistics is common in a number of industries, and epidemic in terms of age discrimination. I suggest taking down your pic (and let’s not even go into having an open Facebook) to make that discrimination a bit harder, and to eliminate any connection to any group which might identify your ethnicity. It won’t fix the Dayvonwon, and Tramaninanisha problem…But it helps.

The other hurdle is the automated resume readers used by recruiters. I worked for GE a number of years ago, where nearly everyone in management went by the title “Manager”. A Manager in GE terms could be a guy who managed 5 floor sweepers in the office at night – or a guy with 28,000 reports and responsibility for a billion dollar manufacturing business. An automated resume checker looking for “keywords” can (and usually does) miss that. Further with the explosion of job titles, and the fact that in small companies on manager can wear a lot of hats makes the job search really an exercise in listing keywords, and not qualifications. Some years ago, just to screw the system, I searched out the keywords and phrases utilized by the brain-dead tools, and listed them all alphabetically as the last page of my resume. Dozens of calls a day, about 80% for jobs at 1/2 or less of my salary from the HR autobots who hadn’t bothered to read the resume, or if they did, had no idea what was being said. Not a loss – because any company utilizing this sort of tool to recruit executive level candidates, is so effed up even if you take the job – the problems are so massive, you can’t fix it.

Lastly, the problem with the West Coast companies in terms of hiring qualified black engineers and managers is twofold. One, the tend to hire from each other, meaning the same group of mostly white and Asian folks just circulate, and two – due to re-segregation legislation like Prop 209 in California…There are very few black or Hispanic graduates in the STEM Field on the West Coast. The are, however plenty graduating from universities on the East Coast, which wasn’t infected by that Ward Connerly racism disease. Second issue is getting those grads to move to the “left coast”, into a corporate and community environment which may be hostile. Not saying there is hostility – but I’m just sayin’ most black folks feel a little more comfortable, when there are more black folks walking around than would commonly be found on the streets of Sydney Australia. Especially when you consider that the majority of black STEM degree holders are coming from HBCUs.

Here is the case of Twitter…Which I would estimate derives about 30-40% of their Tweets from black folks.

Top Black Engineer Blasts Twitter’s Lack Of Diversity

The company no longer has any African-Americans in engineering leadership positions, the former Twitter employee says.

Twitter say it’s committed to creating a more diverse workforce, but, like the rest of the tech industry, it has yet to succeed. This week, a former employee offered a glimpse into the beleaguered microblogging company’s struggle to be more inclusive.

“With my departure, Twitter no longer has any managers, directors, or VP’s of color in engineering or product management,” Twitter Engineering Manager Leslie Miley wrote on Medium on Tuesday. Miley was among those laid off from the company in October, although he made clear his intention to leave before the company announced the cuts, according toTechCrunch.

Elaborating about his time as one of Twitter’s few black engineers, Miley critiqued the company for failing to push back against unconscious bias as it seeped into hiring practices and culture:

Personally, a particularly low moment was having my question about what specific steps Twitter engineering was taking to increase diversity answered by the Sr. VP of Eng at the quarterly Engineering Leadership meeting. When he responded with “diversity is important, but we can’t lower the bar.” I then realized I was the only African-American in Eng leadership.

There are few African-American or Latino employees in any part of the company — and none at the top, according to the company’s own diversity data, released in August.

This, however, is not just a Twitter problem. It’s a tech industry problem, as Miley noted in a separate post, written earlier in October, about diversity in his field. Miley presents a theory as to why this is the case: It’s about pattern matching. Successful people think future successful people are going to look like them (or the people they see around them). When a company hires for a specific pattern, it’s not a surprise that everyone begins to look the same.

This is why Miley thinks that younger tech companies are actually less diverse than the older companies. From Miley’s post:

This shows up in recruiting organizations targeting specific schools, employee referrals, and promotions of like minded individuals. Yahoo > Google > LinkedIn > FaceBook > Twitter. After Yahoo each of these companies’ diversity numbers have been worse than the company that followed them. I believe this is because Google recruited from Yahoo, LinkedIn from Google, and so on. Each subsequent company becomes less diverse due to the sub-conscious amplification of educational, cultural and work history biases.

Twitter, meanwhile, is sticking to its diversity commitment….More here

 

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Posted by on November 4, 2015 in The New Jim Crow

 

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The Importance of Black Teachers

And this isn’t just because HBCUs generated nearly 10 percent of all Black STEM doctoral degree recipients. Black kids do better in school with the presence of black teachers...

But… White kids need them too!

Why Schools Need More Teachers of Color—for White Students

Noah Caruso, 17, calls South Philadelphia home. Known for cheesesteaks, pizza, and bakeries, South Philly is a close-knit, largely Italian American neighborhood where much of the population has traditionally shared the same background, culture, and race. Though an influx of immigrants has made the area more diverse in recent decades, South Philly, like the rest of the city, remains highly segregated. Caruso’s predominantly white community was echoed at his middle school, Christopher Columbus Charter School, where he says all of his teachers were white like him, as were virtually all of his classmates. It was against this backdrop that Caruso enrolled in Science Leadership Academy (SLA)—a public magnet high school in the city—and landed in the freshman English class of Matthew Kay, his first black teacher.

Now a rising senior, Caruso looks back with appreciation on his ninth-grade year in Kay’s class. “He’s the most inspiring teacher I ever had by far,” Caruso said, recalling Kay’s emphasis and commentary on fraught topics such as present-day racism. “He definitely pushed us to really think about these social issues [that] weren’t talked about before in my life because everyone grew up in the same area,” he continued. “We were all white … and everyone had the same opinion.” Caruso recalled a class in which Kay had students watch a scene from American History X, a graphic 1998 film about neo-Nazis and white supremacy in America. The teacher, Caruso noted, didn’t hold back in expressing his perspective on the persistence of prejudice in the country. It was one of many discussions with Kay that Caruso said opened his eyes “to all of these things I never even thought about before … It inspired me to want to do something about it.”

The importance of recruiting and retaining more teachers of color for students of color is well-reported and deeply researched. Most teachers—over 80 percent—are white, and surveys suggest that won’t change anytime soon. Among the ACT-tested graduates in 2014 who said they planned on pursuing an education major,72 percent were white, compared to 56 percent of all tested students. Yet nonwhite children are now believed to make up a majority of the country’s public-school population. Studies show that, academically, nonwhite teachers produce more favorable outcomes for students of similar backgrounds; emotionally and socially, these educators serve as role models who share students’ racial and ethnic identity. What hasn’t gotten much attention, however, are the potential gains for white students.

The call for more teachers of color has grown more urgent in recent years because of America’s changing demographics. In an increasingly multiracial, multicultural society, some education experts question the impact on white students’ world views when the face of teaching almost always mirrors their own. Gloria Ladson-Billings, an African American professor of urban education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, broached this subject in a recent essay forEducation Week responding to the apparent decline in nonwhite teachers—what some observers have described as a “disappearance crisis.” “I want to suggest that there is something that may be even more important than black students having black teachers and that is white students having black teachers! It is important for white students to encounter black people who are knowledgeable,” she wrote. “What opportunities do white students have to see and experience black competence?”

In public schools, where roughly 90 percent of the country’s children are enrolled, the lessons students learn are often skewed because of who is delivering the instruction and what kind of curricula and learning materials that instruction entails. Not only is the vast majority of the country’s teaching force white, but Eurocentric attitudes also tend to filter into classrooms. Some scholars, including the Temple University African American studies professor Ama Mazama, even attribute the notable rise in homeschooling among black families in part to the predominance of Eurocentric school curricula and teacher perspectives. American children’s literature is also often limited to white characters and narratives

The societal advantages of more teachers of color become clearer when considering the racial socialization—or the processes by which people develop their ethnic identities—of white adults, including the parents who may stumble in communicating racial understanding to their children. A Public Religion Research Institute study on “American Values” circulated last summer, following the shooting in Ferguson, showed that 75 percent of white Americans have all-white social networks. This self-segregation could help explain the racial divide over Michael Brown’s death and why it was seemingly so hard for many whites to understand what transpired in Ferguson: Their worldview was restricted to mostly white friends and family. And in a 2014 study researchers found that “the messages that white teens received [from parents regarding race] were contradictory and incomplete,” concluding that schools are a crucial link in building “productive and genuine relationships” between whites and people of color…

Of course, integrated and diverse student bodies are just as important as interracial student-teacher pairings when it comes to building a more racially literate generation. Greta Haskell, another student at SLA, where thedemographics closely reflect those of Philadelphia, said learning alongside students of color helps actualize the new perspectives she gains from nonwhite teachers. Last December, Haskell participated in a “die-in” at SLA to protest the non-indictment in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases. “If I went off to college [as a white student] and didn’t know how to interact with [people not like me] I wouldn’t feel prepared,” Haskell said.

 The racial composition makes the school a place where students “listen to each other and absorb what the other students are saying and make sense of it,” said Larissa Pahomov, an SLA teacher of color who serves on the school’s diversity committee. And according to the education professor Genevieve Siegel-Hawley,white students are “more likely to have a concrete understanding of racial and social injustices” and less likely to be prejudiced when they’re immersed in racially diverse schools. Still, the push for diverse schools—which in part because of housing segregation are uncommon nationwide—typically highlights an array of benefits for students of color, rather than that for their white counterparts….(The entire article here)
 
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Posted by on August 10, 2015 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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Back to the Affirmative Action Wars…

In case you missed it the right has been reconditioning and rolling out their anti-Civil Rights crew frantically over the past several months.  One of the folks to get a shiny new paint job was Pat Buchanan – although with his vision of a white America as a precondition for continued greatness – I think he let the real cat out of the bag a little too quickly. George Will blubbering about how AA has hurt minorities… A Republican sitting a panel which dealt with discrimination gets canned – by railing against minorities… They have even have stalwart Lawn Jockeys like Larry Elder and Walter Williams de-fossilized and trotted out in a reprise of their racism shielding role for the conservative right in the 90’s.

So why all the sudden attention?

U.S. Urges Creativity by Colleges to Gain Diversity

The Obama administration on Friday urged colleges and universities to get creative in improving racial diversity at their campuses, throwing out a Bush-era interpretation of recent Supreme Courtrulings that limited affirmative action in admissions.

The new guidelines issued by the Departments of Justice and Education replaced a 2008 document that essentially warned colleges and universities against considering race at all. Instead, the guidelines focus on the wiggle room in the court decisions involving the University of Michigan, suggesting that institutions use other criteria — students’ socioeconomic profiles, residential instability, the hardships they have overcome — that are often proxies for race. Schools could even grant preferences to students from certain schools selected for, among other things, their racial composition, the new document says.

“Post-secondary institutions can voluntarily consider race to further the compelling interest of achieving diversity,” reads the 10-page guide sent to thousands of college admissions officials on Friday afternoon. In some cases, it says, “race can be outcome determinative.”

The administration issued a parallel 14-page outline on Friday for the nation’s 17,000 public school districts, explaining what government lawyers consider to be acceptable ways that educators can seek to reduce racial segregation, which has been increasing nationwide.

The two documents, issued as the presidential campaign heats up and as the Supreme Court considers whether to hear a new affirmative action case, were designed to give educators a clear administration interpretation of three high court cases that, since 2003, have limited the use of race in admissions, zoning and other school policies.

The contrast with the Bush guidelines interpreting the same three cases is stark. Where the Bush administration’s letter in 2008 states, “Quotas are impermissible,” the 2011 version says “an institution may permissibly aim to achieve a critical mass of underrepresented students.” Even in addressing the same principles, the framework is practically reversed.

Bush guidelines: “Before using race, there must be a serious good faith consideration of workable race-neutral alternatives.”

Obama guidelines: “Institutions are not required to implement race-neutral approaches if, in their judgment, the approaches would be unworkable.”

Colleges seeking to increase diversity while not running afoul of Supreme Court guidelines, the new document says, “could select schools (including community colleges) based on their demographics (e.g., their racial or socioeconomic composition), and grant an admission preference” to graduates of those schools. They could also “select high schools for partnership” based, among other things, on “racial composition of the school’s student body” and former partnerships with historically black colleges and universities”; consider race as they select students for mentoring programs; and sponsor retention or support programs that highlight, for example, “the accomplishments of Latino business leaders.”

Ada Meloy, general counsel for the American Council on Education, which represents 1,800 universities and colleges, predicted that educators would immediately begin to pursue ways to draw more racial minorities, as the new guidelines would ease fears of legal challenge.

“University administrators have been confused about how they could follow the court’s rulings and still achieve the benefits of diversity,” Ms. Meloy said. “So they will welcome this practical, step-by-step set of directions.”

For kindergarten through 12th grade, the guidelines tell school districts that they can shape policies on locating schools, drawing attendance boundaries and governing student transfers to achieve a better racial mix. For example, a school district with two elementary schools with distinctly different demographics could consider making one school serve kindergarten through second grade and the other grades 3 to 5 in order to force a better mix.

“Diverse learning environments promote development of analytical skills, dismantle stereotypes and prepare students to succeed in an increasingly interconnected world,”Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement. “The guidance announced today will aid educational institutions in their efforts to provide true equality of opportunity.”

Lee C. Bollinger, an advocate of affirmative action, was the named defendant, as president of the University of Michigan, in the two 2003 Supreme Court cases that laid down new markers on the permissible use of race in admissions. He described the new guidelines as “perfect.”

“It’s a very fair interpretation of what the court decided,” said Mr. Bollinger, a First Amendment scholar who is now president of Columbia University, “which is primarily that race can be one of many factors, and as long as your policies truly embody that approach, you’ll be fine, and can strive for diversity in all its benefits.” (more)

 
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Posted by on December 3, 2011 in The New Jim Crow

 

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White American Voters – Cain, Obama, Immigration – The Split

How do you explain the entirely different world seen by white conservatives and that seen by the rest of us?

Some recent studies get into that, racial politics, and immigration…

 

Two Worlds of Whites

On the day after Barack Obama’s sweeping victory in 2008, veteran Democratic pollster Stanley B. Greenberg described the modern Democratic coalition as diverse America and the whites who are comfortable with diverse America.

That appears to be even more true today. The line between whites who are comfortable with the racial and ethnic change transforming America into a “world nation” and those uneasy about it increasingly looks like one of the most important boundaries of the 2012 campaign.

The big Pew Center for the People and the Press generational survey released last week offers powerful evidence on that point. Overall, in the Pew survey, 47 percent of non-Hispanic whites agreed with the statement that “the growing number of newcomers from other countries are a threat to traditional American customs and values.” Exactly 50 percent of whites disagreed.

Like an Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor survey released earlier this summer, Pew found that whites comfortable with the demographic changes now underway express very different attitudes than those uneasy about it on President Obama, the role of government, and the choices in the 2012 election.

Among the whites who find the increasing number of newcomers troubling, Obama’s approval rating in the new Pew survey stood at just 21 percent with 70 percent disapproving. The president runs much more strongly among whites comfortable with the changes: 45 percent of them approved, while 47 percent disapproved.

Both whites comfortable and uneasy about the trends say they prefer a smaller government offering fewer services to a larger government offering more services. But the uneasy whites prefer a smaller government by 40 percentage points; among the whites comfortable with the change the gap is only 17 points.

Most dramatic was the divergence between these two groups of whites in a hypothetical Obama-Mitt Romney race in 2012. Whites who consider the demographic change a threat prefer Romney over Obama by a crushing three-to-one: 72 percent to 24 percent. In stark contrast, among whites comfortable with the change, Obama led Romney 52 percent to 44 percent.

As I wrote in a column this summer analyzing the similar Heartland Monitor findings, these trends don’t “mean that opposition to Obama is primarily, or even largely, driven by racial resentment. But it does suggest that attitudes about the nation’s changing racial composition now overlap and reinforce the more familiar ideological divides, such as differences over social issues and the role of government, that separate the two parties’ electoral coalitions.” Obama may sharpen these differences by embodying, in such a personal way, the demographic changes reshaping American life.

For a closer look at the mammoth Pew study – in particular, for a look at the intersection between generational and demographic change – check out Friday’s National Journal magazine.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2011 in The Post-Racial Life

 

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