March 6, 2008

Michelle Obama and the affirmative action perpetual futility machine

"Spengler," the Asia Times columnist who was a close associate of Lyndon Larouche back in the 1980s, takes a whack at Michelle Obama's "rage of a privileged class" as exemplified by her Princeton thesis. Typos ahoy!

That reminds me of something I didn't squeeze into my long VDARE article on Michelle and racial quotas: how the downsides of affirmative action just spawn more angry demands for more affirmative action. It's a perpetual motion machine that never goes anywhere.

Michelle got into Whitney Young H.S., Princeton, Harvard Law School, and Sidley Austin LLC due to racial preferences. The entire time she felt aggrieved because people around her at these intellectually elite institutions kept noticing she wasn't as smart as the average person there, and were guessing that she got in because of her race. That both presumptions were accurate only made them more enraging. Those 14 years she endured in over her head due to affirmative action still gnaw away at her psyche, as the recent Newsweek cover story on her makes clear.

With her aggressive personality and need for attention and dominance, she would have been perfectly happy being a big fish in a little pond, but because elite America institutions are so desperate for hard-working blacks with 115 IQs, she kept getting lured into situations where should couldn't be satisfied.

So, did all this bitter experience turn her into a campaigner against affirmative action?

Are you kidding? As usual, the exact opposite happened.

Here's the beginning of the press release put out by her employer after her husband became a U.S. Senator and she got a $195,000 raise:

May 9, 2005

Michelle Obama has been appointed vice president for community and external affairs at the University of Chicago Hospitals. Obama, who was previously the executive director for community affairs at the Hospitals, will be responsible for all programs and initiatives that involve the relationship between the Hospitals and the community. She will also take over management of the Hospitals' business diversity program.

Prior to joining the Hospitals, Obama worked as an associate dean of student services for the University of Chicago where she developed the University's first office of community service. She came to the Hospitals in 2002 and quickly built up programs for community relations, neighborhood outreach, volunteer recruitment, staff diversity and minority contracting. [Emphasis mine, although you could argue that her entire job was just diversity.]

She apparently couldn't cut it in big time corporate law, so she became a ... professional diversicrat, in charge of luring other blacks in over their heads, just like she had been, so they can also become underqualified and resentful too, suitable for becoming, in turn, professional diversicrats. Lather, rinse, and repeat, until the end of time.


Anonymous said...

As long as the core of the US consists of qualified, hard-working whites all of this is just an expensive nuisance with everybody knowing the score. It's when these AA types get to control the switches that the lights go off (literally as in the case of South Africa).

Anonymous said...

I am still voting for Obama.

All the midnight basketball programs in the world can't add up to much more than a couple of months in Iraq.

While everything you say is correct, steve, you are forgetting the other half of the argument.

Everything you see need to end with "compared to what," and the a big poster of George Bush and McBush right next to him.

Anonymous said...

Perpetual Futility Machine (PFM): another thing whiteRpeople like ... Hell, they love it!

I notice Mickie O's big bro couldn't cut it in the Corp world either. But you can bet he's one of the highest paid basketball coaches in the Ivy League (which is really just a football league anyway). I would say the Robinson siblings have a PFM factor of 2xSD. What's your calc?

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the BEE program in South Africa.

There are some things to be thankful for, however. At least they didn't hire her to keep the power plants running, the planes repaired or the scalpels sterilized.

If only South Africa had learned that lesson and created BEE jobs for diversicrats only.

It would be an unnecessary tax on society, sure, but at least it wouldn't shut down the economy or kill people.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the post on Debbie Schlussel's website about how the "gifted and talented" program in Denver is being dumbed down because there were not enough non-Asian minorities in it? So now we are giving minorities affirmative action IQ points! Insane.

Anonymous said...

I would expect President Obama to put Michelle in charge of the Department of Racial Reparations, a new cabinet level position.

Reparations are too important to be left to the disinterested. Under Michelle, reparations would be cradle to grave, with automatic COLA in perpetuity.

That sort of entitlement could make that woman's legacy.

Anonymous said...

Well to be fair, most associates don't cut it in big time law. Only 10% of new associates will go on to make partner. The rest are told after a few years (and after they've made the firm millions in billable hours) that they're not on partnership track and should start looking for other opportunities.

Since 100% of new associates think they're going to make partner and work insane hours to show they're team players, that can be rather disheartening. Further, unlike medical residents (who work similar hours), there isn't even the psychic reward of relieving suffering or saving lives. Helping a corporation cut its tax bill or defend a sexual harassment suit aren't very good reasons to work yourself sick.

My point is, if Michelle Obama was able to land a cake job that gives her a fat salary and a chance to watch her children grow up, then good for her. Cake jobs seem to go to people with connections. Generally, those lucky folks are white males, sometimes females, born to the right parents (Exhibit A, the business career of one George Walker Bush). If affirmative action lets talented blacks get a piece of the action, that's not the worst thing in the world.

Its not like in a world without affirmative action, the job would not have gone to the very best candidate, it would have gone to the most connected candidate, and in fact, the wife of a US Senator would do nicely. Ultimately she probably didn't need AA to get the job.

Anonymous said...

Steve: there isn't anything about Princeton or Harvard, or Harvard Law that makes their graduates, as a group, more impressive than graduates of other quality schools. Your article buys into the myth the these classes would be stuffed with Superstars, around which a person like Michelle Obama would feel inferior. (As an aside, feelings of inferiority are not only non-objective--but are in fact widespread at elite institutions and are almost always impressionistic, and as I said, non-objective).

You need to get more familiar with the types of classes that Harvard and Princeton put together. Alot of work has been done on this. These institutions specifically prevent their admissions process from selecting only intellectual superstars. This slant towards diversity started decades ago--especially at Harvard where they concluded in the 1920's that if they only admitted based on academic merit, they would "wind up with a school full of Jews." (That was their opinion).

I think you have totally misread Michelle Obama's take, on her experience, and supplanted her experience with your own.

It's a testament to places like Harvard (and much of the Ivy league ) that the society buys the myth that it's graduates are all intrinsically superstars, when their own selection process is in fact designed to prevent that.

Anonymous said...

Not to the end of time Steve.

As you've pointed out, at a certain point the cost to the White majority becomes higher as more minorities and fewer whites increase the burden. There are also as you point out turf battles.

McCain should he be imaginative enough (he's not) could use AA as a wedge issue against Dems -- because whites lose and Blacks/Latinos win. Certainly SOME Republican Candidate will use it. Already Prop 209 and Michigan's anti-AA proposition won big.

LemmusLemmus said...

Based on what you posted earlier, I doubt her IQ is in the region of 115.

More generally, do you think it's wise to judge a presidential candidate on the IQ/academic achievement/personality/etc. of his spouse? In other words, is this really relevant?

Anonymous said...

Steve, I really respect your work and feel your voice is invaluable--especially so because so many of these east coast wankers just don't get it the way people like us who have seen the future in Los Angeles do--but it really seems to me that alleging that Spengler was once a LaRouchite requires a bit more backing than "a reader has convinced me of...".

I understand there may be proper concerns for confidentiality here, but perhaps a redacted version of the tale is in order?

TGGP said...

See "The real meaning of diversity"

Anonymous said...

big bill: Of course, the other tax on society is that competent blacks who would make fine doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, etc., get admitted into schools where they're massively outcompeted, routed into affirmative action jobs, are assumed to be incompetent because they're batched together with incompetents who were admitted/hired/promoted on the basis of race, etc. It's hard to believe that AA is a net benefit to blacks, at least in terms of success and enjoyment of their careers (as opposed to salary).

Anonymous said...


Off the top of my head, I can't think of a reason why Michelle Obama needed any special help from the government. It's been argued (I don't know whether this is right) that she might have been overmatched at the Ivy League schools she attended, but she'd have probably been a star at the state university where I got my education. I can see the arguments for helping someone born with an IQ of 80, who dropped out of high school because it was just too hard. I'm not so clear on the arguments for helping someone with an IQ of 120 and a law degree from Harvard. This amounts to giving her compensation because she won the lottery, but only the $100,000 prize, not the $10,000,000 prize.

AA makes no sense if you imagine it as an attempt to fix the inherent unfairness of life, whether discrimination against blacks, lower average IQs, or less accumulated wealth. In fact, the main beneficiaries of AA among blacks are the ones who got the best of these deals--middle and upper class black kids, kids bright enough to at least have some hope of surviving at Harvard, kids who have learned enough middle-class norms (and the standard American dialect of English) that they are subject to much less discrimination than blacks from poor families. But if you think about AA in terms of public choice theory, AA makes perfect sense--a self-identified, eloquent and able interest group fights very hard to keep its special benefits.

Anonymous said...

beowulf: Its not like in a world without affirmative action, the job would not have gone to the very best candidate...

Setting aside any problems I might have with everything else you wrote, I think it's fair to say that, in a world without affirmative action, the job wouldn't have existed in the first place.

PS: I think you probably didn't mean to include the second "not" in the excerpt above.

Anonymous said...

Evidence that if you reward an action you get more of it. If you reward complaining about oppression by ending it you get more complaints. This doesn't mean nobody should ever listen to such complaints, they were originally entirely justified, but that somebody needs to exercise judgement, something that bureaucracies are designed not to do.

Anonymous said...

This is fabulous.

I agree 100%.

So why is our viewpoint not allowed to exist in the media?

Why all this attack on "whites" and the double standard in everything, everywhere you look?

It can't be an accident. It's got to be coordinated.

The question is Who, and Why.

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness! you are an insufferable som of a bitch!. It's obvious you are obsessed about Obama!