scharrison's blog

The inherent racism behind admissions lawsuit against UNC

Angry White Man does not like diversity efforts:

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill weighs race so heavily in its admissions process that it is the predominant factor in determining whether many black and Hispanic students get in, according to court papers filed on Friday by an anti-affirmative action group that is also suing Harvard.

The group, Students for Fair Admissions, says the university is excluding white and Asian applicants in favor of less qualified black and Hispanic students.

There's a couple of things you need to know about this before having that conversation with a fence-sitter: First, the man driving these lawsuits is the same man who successfully gutted the Voting Rights Act provisions that monitored and supervised historically exclusive Congressional districts. And as a result, minorities have (once again) suffered voter suppression the VRA was enacted to stop. The second thing you need to know is the inclusion of Asian applicants is a beard, a disingenuous approach to make this look less like white vs. black. In UNC's case anyway, said Asian plaintiff simply does not exist:

Dan Forest blabbers on about God and morality at Christian school

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Oh where did I put those anti-nausea pills?

“So when you go off the college and a professor immediately confronts you with this idea about God and says to you ‘God does not exist. Prove that he exists.’ And the first response from any student is to go ‘Well, I don’t know how to prove that, so God must not exist, so I’m just going to be quiet and go over into the corner and I will allow this professor to say whatever he wants,’” Forest said. “You need to be able to stand up in that class and say ‘Professor, you prove that God doesn’t exist.’”

Forest said college professors and “everybody else in the world” is trying to put the burden of proof on the students for their beliefs and “you need to be able to defend what you need to defend.”

Okay, aside from the fact the vast majority of professors don't and wouldn't confront a student in such a fashion, and that whole meme is straight out of a demented pastor's sermon, that is not how science works. At all. And that's not how education, especially higher education, works either. The goal is to jumpstart the critical thinking skills of students, not reinforce the idea they already know everything they need to know. But the most telling aspect of Forest's mind-numbing address to students is about government:

Shut down, shut out: Expiring HUD contracts threaten low-income families

As usual, Republican temper tantrums hurt the poor first and hardest:

"Funding these contracts is necessary to keep about 150, 000 deeply poor, mostly seniors and people with disabilities safely and affordably housed," said Diane Yentel, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition.

Yentel worries that, with President Trump and Congressional Democrats at an impasse over border wall funding, the government will not reopen anytime soon. And that may force property owners to make business decisions that could adversely impact tenants. "Eventually these owners will have to resort to either significant rent hikes or evictions of these lowest-income renters," Yentel said.

Take a closer look at that map. North Carolina is literally blanketed with already expired or soon to be expired HUD contracts. Each dot represents dozens if not hundreds of folks who may be forced out of their homes because the Republican Party can't or won't keep their spoiled rich brat under control. More details:

UNC BOG pushes Folt out several months early

Calling the move childish would be an insult to children:

The Board of Governors accepted Folt’s resignation during a closed emergency meeting Tuesday afternoon, specifying a date months earlier than the chancellor had intended to leave. The board accepted the resignation effective Jan. 31, whereas Folt had said she planned to step down after commencement, scheduled for May.

“She resigned, we accepted it,” said Harry Smith, Board of Governors chair, during a question-and-answer session with reporters, the audio of which was provided to Inside Higher Ed. “We just felt it was better to compress the timeline and then work more toward a healing process.”

Compress the timeline? Reducing 4 1/2 months to a couple weeks is a hell of a lot more than "compressing the timeline." And as far as I'm concerned, the only "healing process" that will actually work is to purge the UNC Board of Governors of any and all political appointees, and a good place to start is with the Chairman himself, whose ethics are more than a little strained:

Tuesday Twitter roundup

Going out with a bang:

People will be saying nice things and some not-so-nice things about her in the days ahead, but her time leading UNC-CH has to have been a near-constant nightmare. Thank you.

Urban-Rural divide becomes more stark in 287(g) program

And it's increasingly a Republican-led effort:

The sheriffs who joined the program were overwhelmingly small-town or suburban and Republican, Stateline found, though not all counties have partisan races for sheriff. The only urban counties to join were those encompassing Fort Worth, Texas, and Knoxville, Tennessee. None of the new sheriffs to join the program ran as a Democrat in the general election. There were no new 287(g) agreements with city police agencies, which generally aren’t elected positions and usually are not in charge of jails as are county sheriffs.

The expansion came so fast that it caused administrative problems; U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) didn’t hire enough new managers to oversee the new programs and train sheriff’s deputies, according to an Inspector General report in September.

Bolding mine, because that lack of training and oversight is a recipe for an authoritarian nightmare. The 287(g) program is supposed to be "incidental" in nature; local law enforcement are only supposed to check someone's immigration status *after* a suspect has been arrested for other crimes. In the absence of a manager to review and sign off on "charging documents" that provide the legal basis for initiating the deportation, the likelihood of racial profiling increases. And it also makes our streets more dangerous because it discourages the reporting of crimes, even violent ones:

Evidence shows Burr coordinated with NRA in 2016 Election

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The only time he actually does something always involves campaign money:

Back in 2016, when North Carolina Republican Richard Burr prevailed against Democratic challenger Deborah Ross, Burr employed National Media outright, while the NRA used Red Eagle. As in the other races, Ferrell signed off on purchases for both sides. FCC paperwork filed by WECT, the NBC affiliate in Wilmington, shows Ferrell signing off on purchases for the Burr campaign on October 12, 24, and 27 and November 2 as an “agent for Richard Burr Committee.” At the same time, he authorized Red Eagle purchases on behalf of the NRA on September 19 and October 21.

The campaign coordination alone is a serious issue, and one of the few safeguards left in place after Citizens United. But even more concerning is the likelihood that Russian money was used to get Richard Burr re-elected:

Boomer blunders: Majority of fake news shared by older Facebook users

And big surprise, most of them were Trumpsters:

They found that Republicans and those who identified as “very conservative” tended to share the most news from questionable sources. But that tendency may have less to do with ideology and more to do with what those articles said: Users tend to share stories they agree with and the fake news sites were disproportionately pro-Trump, the authors said.

The study also found that prolific Facebook users were less likely to post such stories, lending credence to the theory that less active and experienced users may have more trouble discerning between fake and real news.

I have at least "irritated" many Facebook friends for correcting them when they post dubious stories, and more and more these days, it also involves posting dated (sometimes 7-8 years old) stories as if they're happening now. I don't relish that role, and I definitely don't relish having to address this issue:

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