Who runs the nation's "most segregated school system?"

SATURDAY, MARCH 30, 2019

Helping Trump hold power:
Is the New York City Public Schools the nation's most segregated school system?

That's what readers of Vox were excitingly told during the recent Stuyvesant High pseudo-discussion. The passage in question said this:
VILSON (3/22/19): Essentially, [New York City's specialized high schools] enshrined into law the right to ignore school performance, grades, interviews, standardized state exams, or any other qualification in favor of a test that rarely aligns with the standards they learn in school, tacitly keeping these schools out of reach for under-resourced students and schools. The specialized high schools continue to exemplify why New York City has the most segregated school system in the country.
New York City "has the most segregated school system in the country!" That's what liberal readers were told by the great souls at Vox.

In fairness, the claim was exciting. But uh-oh! If readers journeyed onward to The Atlantic, they found themselves reading something different. The passage in question said this:
HARRIS (3/20/19): The public schools in New York State are the most segregated in the country, according to a 2014 study from the Civil Rights Project at UCLA. That’s largely driven by New York City. The selective high schools are by no means the only places where inequality exists in the system, but they are the most visible, the easiest apple to pick.
At this site, the public schools in New York State are "the most segregated in the country." As his source, Adam Harris cited a study from UCLA.

Earlier this week, readers of the New York Times were offered a third assessment. It appeared at the start of an on-line report by Eliza Shapiro—a report which will likely appear in Sunday's print editions, or so we're willing to guess.

The passage begins Shapiro's report. The passage in question says this:
SHAPIRO (3/26/19): New York City is starkly different today than it was 50 years ago. It is politically more liberal, and far more racially diverse. Yet one aspect has barely changed: The city’s public schools remain among the most segregated in the nation.
In Shapiro's account, New York City's public schools are "among the most segregated in the nation." Can anyone here play this game?

In support of her assertion, Shapiro links to this press release from UCLA—a press release which, just to be accurate, makes no such specific statement.

So it goes, for liberal readers, in the current, heavily fraught journalistic environment. In the current environment, the liberal reader can choose from at least three different menu selections regarding the extent of "segregation" in New York City or State:
The three assessments:
At Vox, the liberal reader will be told that New York City has the most segregated school system in the country.

At the Atlantic, that same reader will be told that it's actually New York State which is guilty of that offense.

At the New York Times, the liberal reader will be told that New York City's public schools are among the nation's most segregated.
Whatever! Meanwhile, if the reader clicked the link provided within that Vox report, he or she was taken to an Observer report which carried this banner headline:
NYC Has the Most Segregated Schools in the Country. How Do We Fix That?
In that Observer report, Madina Toure told liberal readers that Mayor de Blasio has been slow to push for "integration of the most segregated public school system in the United States."

Toure offered no source for that characterization, but it moved into the Observer's headline, then jumped over to Vox. Apparently, the Observer's lack of sourcing or documentation was good enough for the slumbering editors at that second site!

So it goes for liberal readers in this fraught partisan age! We find ourselves thinking of Goldberg's Law, the old joke we learned from Paul Reiser in the autumn of '82:
Goldberg's Law
The man with one watch always knows the time. The man with two watches is never quite sure.
So it goes for the modern liberal reader. That said, the modern liberal can be be sure of one thing—wherever he turns, he'll find himself being propagandized. We'd have to say that this holds true even in that latest report by the Times.

Is it true that New York City "has the most segregated school system in the country?" Alternately, are Gotham's schools merely among "the most segregated?" Is it actually New York State which is at fault?

Wherever they go, liberal readers will be pleasured by such related claims. In our view, the original claim comes from a propaganda machine at UCLA, but liberal journalists feel little need to show much care in the way this claim gets recorded.

"Desperate for some ardent glory," propagandists are eager to feed you some version of this pleasing claim. In doing so, they advance the idea that our brilliant progressive values are under attack all over the country.

It isn't just in Alabama! It's just as bad, or even worse, in "New York" City or possibly State!

In our view, this problem started at UCLA, but it quickly spreads all through the pseudo-liberal world. Frankly, it all depends on what the meaning of "segregation" is, and on the desperate tribal desire to keep propaganda alive.

What did UCLA actually say about the schools of New York City and/or State? Even more significantly, what did they mean by "segregation?" What was UCLA's definition of a "segregated school?"

Sometime next week, we'll sort that out. That said, the "rational animals" are running amok within our own liberal tribe.

What did the sachems of Westwood mean by the fraught term, "segregated school?" No one reading Vox, the Atlantic or the New York Times was given the slightest idea!

These claims are designed to generate heat not light. As it turns out, our leaders aren't always excessively bright, nor are they always obsessively honest.

The things they say make us swell with pride. They also keep us dumbed way down, and they help Donald Trump hold power.

51 comments:

  1. So, Bob, why don't you and like-minded folks leave this zombie cult and organize your own, better congregation?

    Y'know, just whining and bitching ain't gonna help nothin'...

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you look at the population of school age children in New York City, the breakdown is this (percentages are rounded):

    White: 25%
    Hispanic: 36%
    Black: 24%
    Asian: 13%
    Other/multiple race: 2%

    And yet, within the public schools, the breakdown is as follows:

    White: 15.0%
    Hispanic: 40.5%
    Black: 26%
    Asian: 16.1%
    Other: 2.4%

    Where did the other 10% of white students go?

    If you look at the private school population, here is the breakdown:

    White: 62%
    Hispanic: 15%
    Black: 14%
    Asian: 5%
    Other: 4%

    Whites vastly outnumber other racial groups in private schools, and these school age students are no longer in the public school system.

    These figures give a bit more perspective on the actual situation in NYC. The white school age population is almost identical to the black school age population, but that is not reflected in the public schools.

    Some sources:
    http://www.baruch.cuny.edu/nycdata/population-geography/pop-demography.htm

    https://www.schools.nyc.gov/about-us/reports/doe-data-at-a-glance

    https://ibo.nyc.ny.us/iboreports/printnycbtn27.pdf

    ReplyDelete
  3. "Alternately, are Gotham's schools merely among "the most segregated?" Is it actually New York State which is at fault?"

    Somerby is pretending that the three sources he listed are saying different things, but they are not. The UCLA study (not the press release, the actual study) says that the state segregation is largely driven by New York City. If a state is most segregated, it is by definition also among the most segregated states. There is no conflict there. But because different reporters have chosen slightly different wording to make entirely compatible statements, Somerby pretends there is some disagreement. There is none.

    If Somerby were to look up that UCLA study, I am absolutely certain that it says what it means by segregation. That's how any study starts.

    It sounds to me like Somerby is trying to generate heat from thin air. What are his motives? Are there no genuine confusions he could focus on?

    Then he says: "What did the sachems of Westwood mean by the fraught term..."

    UCLA is located in a city called Westwood, which is part of the greater Los Angeles area. A "sachem" is defined as a boss, leader, or in Native American tribes, a chief. No one who conducts a study of segregation in school districts fits any of those terms. Researchers are academics, professors or grad students, grant-funded researchers, not bosses or leaders.

    Somerby's attempt is to mock academic research. Why? Don't a few facts tend to unclutter arguments on the ground? What does it hurt to understand that New York City is more segregated than the state of New York and to understand that there is more segregation some places than others, for various reasons?

    Yet another anti-intellectual screed from a man who pretends to be liberal yet yearns to follow in David Horowitz's footsteps by applying every stupid conservative meme the right invents.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don’t go all literal-minded here. TDH is saying that Vox, the NYT, and the Atlantic are all following the lead of the UCLA report. In that sense, the issuers of the UCLA report are leaders of the other media outlets on this issue.

      Delete
    2. The UCLA report is a research report. It is not media in the same sense as Vox or the New York Times or the Atlantic.

      Delete
    3. Yeah, it's a research report. So what? Fercryanoutloud, are you really having trouble with the concepts of leading and following?

      Delete
    4. Deadrat, you are becoming a contortionist trying to rescue Somerby from misuse of the term sachem to apply to researchers, who are not leaders of the media in any sense. The media consumes research but researchers are not part of the media. They work for universities and ultimately the public good, but they have no authority and thus cannot be sachems.

      Somerby wants academics to assume a leadership role. That is his beef. But academics have a different job description and that is not what they do. So, I am not misunderstanding Somerby, I am disagreeing with him, as is my right.

      The issuers of the UCLA report are the researchers who wrote it and the university where they work, with a nod to the funding agency (usually government). No journalists worked on that report, which I cited separately from the executive summary which was written for public consumption and issued by a different organization. That's why this report is called the UCLA report, not the Vox or Atlantic or NYT report. And research doesn't "lead". It provides facts for discussion by others, some of whom may be leaders of various types.

      Somerby is wrong and he is using the word sachem incorrectly for his own purposes, as I pointed out. Please stop defending him -- it sounds too much like brown-nosing and that is inconsistent with your unpleasant adopted persona here as master of the nitpick.

      Research doesn't lead. Nor do researchers. It describes and explains the world. Period. If it did lead, it would become advocacy and would be unreliable and peers would consider it untrustworthy and the researchers involved would stop getting grants and would lose stature in their fields because they would be regarded as bad (e.g., biased) researchers. No researcher wants that, much less ones who work at UCLA, a top research institution.

      Somerby is an ass. Don't follow him down that path.

      Delete
    5. Anonymous @4:47,

      First of all, let me state what will be obvious to long-time readers of this commentariat: I love the sound of my own voice, and that will often lead me to become that internet guy who has to have the last word. And I hate that guy, so my apologies in advance.

      I’m afraid you are the contortionist, twisted while hoist on his own petard. The usage “leading researcher[s]” is common. The google finds over 2M hits for these phrases. The bookgoogle will tell you that of all the two-word combinations of Adjective+”researcher”, the adjective will be “leading” about 1% of the time.

      If you don’t believe me, you can check out the European Commission’s MORE3 project, which defines “leading researcher” as one who “[m]akes a substantial contribution … to their … field,” “[r]ecognizes the broader implications … of their research,” and [p]ublishes … influential papers and books….”

      In other words, exactly the kind of source a journalist writing about a field would seek out.

      You claim that researchers don’t lead because that would make them unreliable advocates. Even were I to grant such a claim, it seems to imply that “leading researcher” is pejorative, perhaps with the connotation that such a researcher has lost objectivity and has gotten out ahead of the data. I’ve never heard of such a usage, and I challenge you to produce one.

      I don’t know what Somerby wants, and I don’t know his motives. And neither do you. So why don’t we stick to his words? He’s found three outlets that follow the UCLA report’s data to make conclusions about school segregation. In other words, they’ve taken their lead (pun intended) from UCLA. I just don’t see how that makes sachem such an inapt usage.

      Saying that no journalists worked on the report is a complete non sequitur.

      So, I am not misunderstanding Somerby, I am disagreeing with him, as is my right.

      I think you have a misunderstanding of research in general and a word usage in particular, but of course it’s your right to be wrong. How could I possibly abrogate that right?

      Please stop defending him -- it sounds too much like brown-nosing and that is inconsistent with your unpleasant adopted persona here as master of the nitpick.

      This made me laugh. How could I possibly curry favor with Somerby? I don’t know him, I don’t communicate with him, and his good opinion means nothing to me. If you’ve read much of this commentariat, you’d know that I’ve been derisive of many of his pronouncements.

      As for being unpleasant and a nitpicker, that’s a fair cop. Except that it’s not my persona; that’s how I really am. I assure you that I’m actually more unpleasant in person.

      And if brown-nosing is inconsistent with my unpleasantness, wouldn’t that make brown-nosing a good thing?

      Delete
  4. Somerby yearns for the days when "segregation" meant something, when "whites only" and "colored" guaranteed separate accommodations, none of this mostly white and mostly black nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Harris links to the UCLA report. Somerby does not. Why, when he is criticizing that report as much as the various reporters?

    Here is the link to the study, which reviews 60 years of progress in desegregation:

    http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/5cx4b8pf

    Here is the executive summary (which may not define segregation the way Somerby wants):

    https://www.civilrightsproject.ucla.edu/research/k-12-education/integration-and-diversity/ny-norflet-report-placeholder

    Why would a careful person who is criticizing the writing of others fail to cite the source like this? I think it is to make it more difficult for readers to check whether his statements about that report are accurate or not. He ultimately is upset that current studies of the distribution of students by race in public schools continues to use the term segregation when it is referring to disproportionate representation of students by race, not prohibition of participation by students based on race.

    However, when black students cannot get into the special high schools in New York, there does seem to be a barrier akin to the legal ones that formally separated students in the bad old days. Why is Somerby so resistant to that idea?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anthropologists use the term "going nativbe" to refer to someone who goes and lives in a different culture and becomes so integrated into it that he picks up their values and belief systems, no longer able to be objective about it and thus losing perspective as a researcher. It is considered a bad thing to go native and researchers take precautions to prevent it.

    I believe Somerby has picked up the values of his white neighbors in Baltimore, not those of the beautiful black families that surround him. Perhaps those were most familiar to him, given his Boston white upbringing. He is arguing just like an apologist for slavery might, using every sophistry to reject the idea that black students might be unfairly treated in NYC. If he can convince us that this is a story manufactured solely to make liberals feel good, then clearly nothing need be done to improve opportunities for black children in NYC (or Baltimore?).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please provide evidence for your following claims:

      TDH has white neighbors.
      You know the first thing about the values of these white neighbors.
      TDH “has picked up the values of his white neighbors.”
      TDH is an “apologist for slavery.”
      TDH rejects the idea that black students in NYC might be treated unfairly.

      Can’t do any of that? Imagine my surprise.

      I guess it’s time for another *** Public Service ***

      *** Explaining Things to Clueless Anonymous Commenters ***

      (Spoiler alert: I’m probably about to tell you what TDH will write about next week.)

      There aren’t enough white students to go around in the NYC public schools to “desegregate” using the statistics from the UCLA report.
      Even if everyone in the city is behind a huge logistical effort to distribute the white students evenly so that students of color can that precious contact with their white peers.

      In other words, if you want to improve the educational experience of most of NYC public school students, looking to balance racial percentages is a fools errand.

      Delete
    2. There aren't enough black students in a city that is 45% black to find more than eight black students to attend science high school, in the entire city?

      This is why Somerby sounds like a racist and your defense of him is ludicrous. This isn't about achieving some specious statistical parity. It is about creating more opportunities for minority kids.

      Delete
    3. @10:08 It's actually about creating more opportunities for black minority kids at the cost of reducing opportunities for Asian minority kids. And, the Asian kids who would be deprived of these opportunities are more capable of taking advantage of them than the black kids who would replace them.

      Delete
    4. “(Spoiler alert: I’m probably about to tell you what TDH will write about next week.)”

      Ya think???

      Delete
    5. @deadrat
      It’s ironic how you point out the commenters unwarranted assumptions (doesn’t know the first thing about Somerby or his neighbors) in defense of a man who assumes “liberals don’t care about black kids.”

      Delete
    6. @1:45 - Somerby doesn't assume liberals don't care about black kids. He proves is, with example after example.

      Delete
    7. Anonymous @10:08,

      How hard would it be for you to get simple facts straight?

      26% of New York City’s student population is black, not 45%.

      The school in question is Stuyvesant, not “science high school,” by which I take it you mean the Bronx High School of Science.

      Stuyvesant has very few black students, but about 20, not 8. Perhaps you’re thinking of current offers of admission, which this year is 7, not 8.

      For all that, you’ve conflated two issues: the extremely low number of black students in the NYC’s special high schools and the so-called “segregation” of the entire NYC school system.

      The first issue is an artifact of state law that requires admission to the special high schools be based on a single test called SHSAT. (Laguardia High School for the Performing Arts is an exception; admission is by audition.) TDH has told you that given the NAEP gaps, you shouldn’t be surprised by the small number of black students who make the SHSAT cutoff. But instead of listening, you’d rather call him a racist

      The second issue turns on what it means for a school system to be “segregated.” TDH is getting ready to inform you that with only 15% of NYC’s high school students being white, it won’t be possible to “integrate” the NYC school system in the meaning of the UCLA report. But instead of listening to that, I predict you’ll just call him a racist.

      It is about creating more opportunities for minority kids

      And TDH’s point is that you can’t create those opportunities unless you confront the facts about the school system.

      That whooshing sound you heard? It was TDH’s point sailing over your head.

      Delete
    8. Anonymous @1:45P,

      I’m not so much defending TDH as pointing out that his critics here are clueless.

      Nevertheless, you have a small technical point: how can TDH claim to know what liberals do or don’t care about since he’s no more privy to their interiority than his commenters are to his own?

      But his is a provocative rhetorical stance (admittedly somewhat tired by now) that says, “I’m going to judge your beliefs by your actions and not by your claims.” For instance, you may claim to be concerned for the safety of your neighbors, but if you habitually drive drunk, I’m going to refuse to believe that claim.

      For purposes of this set of blog entries, the editors of the NYT may claim on their editorial page to care about the city’s schools, but if they consistently assign the unqualified to report on educational issues (with the predictable results), then it’s fair to say their claim is bogus.

      So my point isn’t really that ironic.

      Delete
    9. We only have Somerby's word that these reporters are unqualified to report on educational issues. By his standards, so is he. I don't see any training or experience in psychometrics on his resume.

      My point apparently went whooshing over your head. We aren't talking about a huge increase in black kids attending those special schools (whatever their names are), just a few. There must surely be enough black kids to accomplish that.

      Somerby argues that there are too few white kids to achieve balanced enrollment throughout the district. That is not the point. The point is that the black kids who are the majority are being shut out of the top schools by a testing program that screens them out disproportionately. That is a very different issue than the one Somerby (and you) keep returning to. And your quibbles about the names of the schools evade the point I was raising, which is that the kids being screened out are by no means unavailable throughout the city.

      Delete
    10. Anonymous @4:36P,

      We don’t have to take TDH’s word that the reporters are unqualified. TDH quotes their vitae on experience and background. And you don’t have to be credentialed to be correct. It just helps. And the NYT is the poster child for what goes wrong when the inexperienced write about subjects they know little about.

      I’m sorry if I missed your point. You seem to want to talk about getting a few (?) more black students into NYC’s special high schools. But this blog entry is about whether NYC’s public schools as a whole are “the nation’s ‘most segregrated.’”

      And I’m also sorry to quibble about your comment. I’m suspicious of the arguments of people who can’t keep simple facts straight. For instance, black kids are not “the majority” in the NYC public schools.

      But, OK, it’s certainly true that the SHSAT screen out black students disproportionately. Are there “enough” black kids in NYC who would do well at Stuyvesant? Let’s assume there are. How are you going to pick them?

      Currently there’s one test, the SHSAT, and it you don’t make the cutoff, you don’t make it into Stuyvesant.

      The test is ostensibly race-neutral. You won’t find a question, “How much are the annual dues at your yacht club?” IThe test is presumably machine evaluated and the scores are machine calculated. Once you hand in your test sheet, no one knows your race.

      The test is predictive. The graduation and college acceptance rates at Stuyvesant are over 99%. NYC had an outside evaluation of SHSAT in 2013, finding that the test was predictive for GPA, Regents exam scores, and Advanced Placement scores.

      But the test can be gamed by prep. So what? The city offers free mock tests, and there are plenty free test prep programs.

      Instead of just admitting a few more black students to Stuyvesant, perhaps we should find out why it is that while 20% of the test takers are black, less than 1% of the Stuyvesant admissions are.

      Nah. Why would be want to do that?

      Delete
    11. Deadrat, you have no more background in testing than Somerby. You say "The test is predictive." How predictive? You refer to graduation and college acceptance rates of over 99%. Of course a highly selective magnet school would have such rates. That doesn't validate the test or the school's selection method. No one has suggested that the test selects unqualified students. The suggestion is that it keeps out some otherwise qualified black students. How do you find such students? That is a question that educators have wrestled with, but it begins with using a broader combination of screening approaches besides just a single test. And you dismiss the prepping for the test as if that were something equally available to black and white students.

      Then you suggest that we "find out" why less than 1% of admissions are black when 20% of the test takers are black. That is the point. I've referred to Claude Steele's work on stereotype threat several times before, but you have apparently not bothered to google him. But that would explain part of the problem and it is also why no one who is serious about admitting more black students relies on testing to do it.

      But you go ahead pretending you know anything about this subject. Just as Somerby does.

      The more important question is whether a highly motivated black student would benefit from the educational opportunities provided at these elite schools. If the answer is yes, then it is wrong to screen out black students, as is demonstrably being done today, whether the test claims to be race-neutral or not.

      When a school district fails to use a variety of ways to identify potential students to participate in what is essentially a gifted program, you have to suspect their motives. You act as if there were not a body of research on this topic. There is. Somerby could read it. So could you, if you weren't mostly interested in trolling. Now you are just making a fool of yourself.

      Delete
    12. Anonymous April Fool @ 10:18A,

      I don’t need to have a background in testing because I’m not making any claims. My sources are. How predictive? See for yourself:

      https://drive.google.com/file/d/1nwW76Hk3p2eAyVINWaXaNp2RRi6LjmFJ/view?usp=sharing

      The graduation and college acceptance tests validate the test practically by definition. If those who passed the test failed to do well in the high schools, then the test would have no predictive value and would be useless. It’s a fair observation to note that the test can’t predict whether those who came close to the cutoff but were rejected would do equally as well.

      I’m aware of Steele’s work, but it turns out that I don’t have the patience to find out how much stereotype threat reduces the scores of black students on standardized tests. I doubt it accounts for the startling disparity we see in admissions to the specialized high schools, but maybe you can tell me. If it’s significant (or come to think of it, even if it’s a small effect), my time with the google tells me that there are pedagogical methods that are effective in combatting the threat.

      And you dismiss the prepping for the test as if that were something equally available to black and white students.

      I don’t know whether prepping actually works or if it does, how much. But there’s a NYC cottage industry of providing free test prep to those who need it. GIYF.

      The more important question is whether a highly motivated black student would benefit from the educational opportunities provided at these elite schools.

      If by “important,” you mean irrelevant. The important question is whether there are black students who fare poorly on the SHSAT would nevertheless excel in the special high schools in the same manner as those admitted. That would mean that the SHSAT is an unfair tool by which to determine admission.

      When a school district fails to use a variety of ways to identify potential students to participate in what is essentially a gifted program, you have to suspect their motives.

      Sure, if you’re an ignoramus. It turns out that state law dictates how NYC must judge admissions.

      if you weren't mostly interested in trolling

      This is a contemptible comment. I’m not a troll because you think I’m wrong and even if you’re right about my being wrong.

      Getting the admissions procedure changed will be difficult. The new procedures must be effective and seen as objective. Interviews and class rank aren’t going to do the trick. The large racial disparity in admissions suggests that there’s a structural problem. TDH call this “the punishing gaps.”

      Think we should find out? Or would you rather just go with stereotype threat?

      Delete
  7. "Biden on Sunday said in his "many" years in public life, "I have offered countless handshakes, hugs, expressions of affection, support and comfort. And not once - never - did I believe I acted inappropriately."

    This is why many women will not vote for Joe Biden. It is not OK to be oblivious to what it means to have control of one's own body and personal space.

    ReplyDelete
  8. "Said Biden: “I may not recall these moments the same way, and I may be surprised at what I hear. But we have arrived at an important time when women feel they can and should relate their experiences, and men should pay attention. And I will.”

    Wouldn't it be better if he were to pledge not to kiss, fondle or embrace women and girls without their permission? I recall watching him putting his hands all over the young daughter of a politician who was on a dais with him. The girl was obviously uncomfortable but could do nothing about it. It was not only creepy but it resonates with many women who have had similar experiences in their lives. It is why Biden is an unacceptable candidate.

    ReplyDelete
  9. http://1lme911nv0cg3ned26127983-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Fox-News-graphic.png

    All those brown people are Mexican, no matter what country they actually come from.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From the program that Charles Pierce calls Three Dolts on a Couch.

      Delete
  10. If someone wants more black kids to go to elite science high schools, that is somehow going to keep Trump in power?

    Is Somerby implying that this call for greater opportunity for black kids will so anger the Trump-supporting white supremacists (who feel that their places in the science high schools of our nation are being usurped) that they will be doubly motivated to campaign for Trump and will even vote twice instead of once? Maybe, but I think they are already sufficiently motivated that this will do little to increase their enthusiasm.

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    Replies
    1. Everything Democrats/liberals do gains votes for Trump. And conversely, everything Republicans/conservatives do gains votes for Trump. As a corollary, everything any individual presumed “liberal” does or says anywhere in the country at any time must be construed as emanating from Liberal Central and reflects on all liberals everywhere, whereas similar behavior from a conservative reflects their economic anxiety and understandable hatred caused by the liberals. Also, being a giant douchebag does not drive votes away from Trump, but complaining that his policies are racist is the one unpardonable sin that liberals can commit. It’s really simple. Also, pointing out misogyny is terrible, being misogynistic gets you a pass. See?

      Delete
    2. "Is Somerby implying that this call for greater opportunity for black kids will so anger the Trump-supporting white supremacists "

      Meh. Actually, it sounds like you and your ilk are white supremacists.

      Because you obviously believe that these "black kids" are unable to compete on their own, and have to rely on white man's patronage.

      Delete
    3. @12:51 - If some liberals want Asian and white kids to be treated worse than black kids, solely because of skin color, do you think that might encourage whites and Asians to vote conservative? If some liberals wants to skin color to be more important than actual knowledge and achievements, do you think that might encourage people who believe in achievements to vote conservative?

      Delete
    4. DavidinCal,
      You've given up the crocodile tears for blacks, I see.
      No worries, I was never fooled into thinking you're not a bigot for a second.

      \

      Delete
    5. 5:05,
      it's either that, or stop redlining blacks and let them live in white neighborhoods. Fifty bucks says if we put it to a vote, Conservatives would be totally ok with Asian and white kids being treated worse than black kids, solely because of skin color versus the alternative.

      Delete
    6. @10:41 "The Fair Housing Act (Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968) introduced meaningful federal enforcement mechanisms. It outlawed: Refusal to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin."

      Delete
    7. This is one of those issues where David and I agree in principle.

      It is almost criminal that dumbfuck Donald J Chickenshit took a place at Wharton from a much more worthy Asian. What are we going to do about that David?

      Delete
    8. 11;42,
      Ahh, The Civil Rights Act of 1968. Is that the one Conservatives have been fighting since it passed or am I thinking of the Voting Rights Act of 1965?. Either way, I'm sure the corporate-owned media will say it's because they're "economically anxious".

      Delete
    9. 1:11,

      David has gone on record as claiming blacks were better off in this country before us liberals signaled our virtue by passing those laws. I think it's something he read by Thomas Sowell.

      Delete
  11. ** public service announcement **

    SOMERBY CARES DEEPLY ABOUT BLACK KIDS. LIBERALS DO NOT. END OF STORY.

    Now, can all those clueless commenters please stop commenting? Let’s get Somerby’s comment numbers down to zero.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. During its first thirteen years the Howler had no comment section. If Somerby's comment numbers were to get down to zero it wouldn't much affect what he writes or who reads him.

      That said, the comment section here would be a better one if it had a login requirement for contributors and a moderator. As it is, the incessant acting out by two or three particular anony-mouses who post here consistently subtract value from these threads.

      Delete
  12. @deadrat, and whoever else isn’t DinC or Mao:

    Somerby never simply argues about the statistics and how there aren’t enough white students in NYC public schools to integrate, etc. He frames his argument from the starting point of “liberals don’t care.” That is no way to frame a discussion about the lives and interests of black kids. It is stupid, dishonest, and a total non-starter. Why can’t you see that? He makes some reasonable points that can be debated, but “liberals don’t care” is not reasonable. And he is not just talking about “elite liberals.” He is talking about all liberals. He has told us for years not to generalize about The Others, but then makes sweeping statements about liberals. If I disagree with someone, let’s say DeBlasio, then I don’t automatically assume he has nefarious motives, or doesn’t care about black kids, or hates Asian kids or whatever. That is not an appropriate way to debate policy ideas. It is demagoguery, because it appeals to emotions and prejudices and assumptions rather than facts.

    And you “predict” what Somerby will say next week. Gee, is it because Somerby is 100% predictable, and never advances his discussion after 20 years of writing about this stuff?

    I am a liberal, and quite happy to debate the flaws in liberal policy, or liberal discourse, but I cannot accept someone like Somerby saying things like “liberals don’t care” and arrogating to himself the sole mantle of “liberal.” He is undermining liberals just as surely as the liberals he criticizes are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Poor dear. Of course you care, you deeply, deeply, deeply-deeply care. Of course you do. We know that. You're a good person, very good, virtuous person.

      Delete
    2. I could say “conservatives don’t care”, and I would acknowledge that that would be an equally stupid thing to say.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous @1:25,

      Yeah, you’re right about the frame. But see my comment @2:44 on TDH’s rhetorical stance. Try disregarding the frame and look at the picture.

      And you “predict” what Somerby will say next week. Gee, is it because Somerby is 100% predictable,….

      My “prediction” was intended to be tongue-in-cheek for that every reason. TDH is a repetitive obsessive (or perhaps an obsessive repeater). I get no Nostradamus points for my prediction.

      arrogating to himself the sole mantle of “liberal”

      Sorry, I don’t see where he claims that.

      He is undermining liberals[.]

      Argument from consequences. The question is whether he’s correct.

      And stop replying to Mao. All he wants is a response, to which he’ll reply with insult. He’ll never address what you say.

      Delete
    4. Mao repeats Right-wing nonsense, and he'll never address what you say. Unlike Somerby, who repeats Right-wing nonsense, and never addresses what you say.

      Delete
    5. Mao doesn't repeat right-wing nonsense. Have you actually read his comments? They're nothing but insult and abuse -- dembot this and zombie-cult that. TDH criticizes liberals, but that's not necessarily right-wing nonsense. And why would he address this commentariat?

      Delete
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