You are insisting that the University of Texas at Austin denied your application for undergraduate admission because they were required to fulfill a federal diversity quota, which subjected you to bias. In blaming affirmative action for that denial letter, you are disregarding your responsibility as a college applicant. It is much easier to fault affirmative action than to hold up a mirror and see that you just weren’t qualified.
You told The New York Times that attending UT had been your dream since the second grade, so before submitting an application, you had to be aware of the admissions requirements. You knew that the institution automatically accepts the top 10 percentile from every high school in Texas and that the average SAT score is in the 1200s. It is common knowledge that UT is one of the most prestigious institutions in the United States, so it is challenging to be gain admission.
Before securing those letters of recommendation and forking over that expensive application fee, you knew that despite your legacy as the child of UT graduates, a spot on the coveted honor roll and a lifelong affair with the cello that admission wasn’t guaranteed.
In blaming affirmative action for that denial letter, you have failed to mention that you graduated number 82 in a class of 674 with a 3.59 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, which alienated you from the automatic admissions bunch. You conveniently omit that you scored an 1180 on your SAT, which is way below UT’s average, so that automatically diminished your chances of being accepted.
You suffer from selective amnesia, Abigail. You are aware that the University of Texas at Austin uses two indexes, the Academic and the Personal Achievement, to determine admission for students. You know that the Academic Index combines grades and standardized test scores while the Personal Achievement Index considers the submitted essays along with extracurricular activities and special circumstance (which can include race). You have been told that these two scores are combined and plotted on a graph and that everyone above a certain combined score is admitted while everyone below is rejected.
This leads to one conclusion: Affirmative action is not the issue. Now, before you attempt to bash me as another black woman benefiting from federal mandates, let me clarify: I scored a 1680 on the SAT and I was accepted into every undergraduate institution that I applied to. I graduated from Bennett College Summa Cum Laude and valedictorian with a 4.0 grade point average and I’m on a full ride merit-based fellowship for graduate school.
From academic to academic, it’s time to wake up and smell the ashes Abigail. You were not accepted into the University of Texas at Austin because you’re white. You were not qualified. But of course because African-Americans students were chosen for admittance and you were not, it must be reverse racism in the form of affirmative action.
I’ve seen this time and time again. It is owed to the prevalence of white privilege, which leads to unwarranted entitlement. You do know what white privilege is, right?
“‘Someone out there in this city can say the same thing about me,’ I said, in my embarrassing choked crying voice. ‘Some guy looked at ME on the subway today and thought that I was chunky. He dismissed me with one single word.’”
There’s another thing I have noticed in the past couple of weeks, w/r/t Trayvon Martin, the flap about Rue in The Hunger Games (I can’t even with that ridiculousness — ” ‘I can’t’ - Tumblr”) and now this. Racists legitimately think that being called “racist” is an insult on par with an actual racial slur. It’s gotten to the point where I wouldn’t be surprised if a literal white supremacist was like, “fuck off, I’m not RACIST, just because I hate other races. How narrow-minded can you be?”
(Also, and this could be a much longer post but: let’s agree to strike the phrase “I’m not racist” from our collective vocabulary. Even if you are a white person who is aware, sympathetic and, in every way, doing the absolute best you can with regard to understanding race, none of us are exempt from or live outside of the history of institutionalized racism. Rejecting “I’m not racist” as a phrase doesn’t mean embracing the inverse statement “I am racist” — it means acknowledging that empathy and alterity can only go so far. We cannot change the world we were raised in and the hundreds of years that came before us. Even the smartest, most noble-hearted people didn’t grow up in a vacuum.
And the best we can do is still not nearly enough, and it’s not virtuous or praiseworthy because: wanting accolades for trying not to be a racist fuckface is sort of like a parent wanting accolades because she didn’t kill her child. Congratulations on fulfilling the most basic social responsibility. The verbal construction of “I’m not racist” is how/why people who don’t actively despise POC feel totally just in bringing in Trayvon Martin’s supposed marijuana use — a teenager who smokes pot! Imagine that! — as “evidence” that he was not a perfect innocent, as though such a thing even exists anywhere, even though it’s totally irrelevant to the events leading up to his murder. (White) people use “I’m not racist” as a trump card and it’s stupid and it’s like saying “I exist outside of history.” You don’t. I don’t. Try harder.)
CONGRATULATIONS ON FULFILLING THE MOST BASIC SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY.
Helpful tips from a poet who lives in Brooklyn:
1. MOVE OUT OF BROOKLYN
I know not every novelist in America lives in Brooklyn, it just seems that way. There are a million stories on the L Train, and they’re all basically about dorky people doing dorky things. Which is fine. The best novel to come out of Williamsburg was obviously A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. That was The Pre-ironic Brooklyn Age. And while Brooklyn might be a great place for other artists, poets and painters to live and interact and steal from each other, all your sad little Brooklyn novels end up sounding about the same. Novelists in packs are like Smurfs, except drunk and bitter.
“I live in the Southside area of Williamsburg. Here I’m thrilled by the constant whoosh of traffic and trains on the bridge. I mourn the view that has been darkened by another ironic condominium. If you stand on the sidewalk in Brooklyn for long enough, they will build an ironic condominium on top of you. There is a large Hasidic community; I wish someone would write a novel about them. Or the abutting Dominican community. Or looking down from inside the Marcy projects. Why should I care about your story? You have a bad job and want to be doing something different but feel paralyzed because of something and so you gchat with your friends all day the end. Collins and Martin keep you reading deep into the night because at the end of a chapter Katniss’ head suddenly falls off. And you’re like, her head just fell off??? I have to keep reading. Like holy crap. And so you stay up all night furiously turning pages. What happens at the end of your chapters? Someone doesn’t reply to your email or something. Or, like, 9/11 happens. I’m so fucking riveted.”
THIS THIS THIS THIS
“We’ll give Roth adultery since he doesn’t have anything else.”
I might be in love.
Ah, intent. You unfalsifiable talisman of airy exoneration. This is the second twanging string to the Belgian court’s bow, the outraged insistence that the artist was no racist, had no intent to “create an intimidating, hostile, degrading or humiliating environment.”
The great advantage for its deployers of this defence is that it is completely unprovable either way. Which is why, whatever one’s opinions of their actual bona fides, it is generally strategic to focus on what a person said or wrote, rather than what they think or are.
Which is exactly what Mondondo and Enright do. Their claim is that this book is racist. Because it is. Intent shmintent: whatever Hergé intended, are these disgusting sub-minstrel figures ‘degrading’? Anyone who denies that the answer is yes is a fool or a knave.
There is the absurd hyperbole, to turn a victimiser’s culture into a victim. In his effort to derail the issue, Staggs insists that the “trump” of racism is “used to blot out any part of our cultural heritage that might cause embarrassment.”
“Blot out.” Right. Who, after all, could forget the monstrous erasure performed by Stalin on Trotsky, by putting a warning sticker on him and refusing to shelve him alongside The Gruffalo? The Tintin Vanishes. Quick, conjure images of book burning! First they came for the Boy Reporter and shelved him alongside Persepolis & Sandman, and I did not speak out, because I was not a Boy Reporter, etc.
I’m all on the Yes Train about China Miéville’s analysis on racism apologists and their crusade to excuse the children’s book Tintin.
I’m riding the Yes Train because China says exactly what I think about people trying to give racism a pass on “intent.”
Holy damn, China Mieville does not fuck around with his antiracism! Look who just rocketed to the top of my “to read” list:
Being asked to apologise for saying something unconscionable is not the same as being stripped of the legal right to say it. It’s really not very fucking complicated. Cry Free Speech in such contexts, you are demanding the right to speak any bilge you wish without apology or fear of comeback. You are demanding not legal rights but an end to debate about & criticism of what you say. When did bigotry get so needy?
WHEN DID BIGOTRY GET SO NEEDY
Sex-negative messages don’t keep people from having sex. They keep people from having good sex. They keep people from having pride in their sexuality, from sexual self-awareness. They keep people from asking questions about sex, and communicating with their partners. They discourage experimentation. They blur the lines between consensual sex and rape by framing all sex as an undifferentiated mass of “bad.
Especially relevant now that using birth control makes you a “whore.”
The MPAA admitted that the documentary “can serve as a vehicle” for student discussion around bullying, but insisted that the film nevertheless “contains certain language” that requires it be rated R. The result? Teenagers will be barred from watching a documentary about what teenagers actually say and do to one another.
This Talking Is Only Bravado: In a Lifehacker poll from March 2011, nearly a third of respondents...
In a Lifehacker poll from March 2011, nearly a third of respondents said they owned at least five computers, an especially astounding figure if you consider that smartphones didn’t count in the poll. Only 8 percent of respondents owned just one computer. To be fair, Lifehacker readers aren’t your average American—it’s a site dedicated to improving your life through technology, and its fans are probably more internet-savvy and inclined toward gadgets than most. Nevertheless, the typical American consumer isn’t wholly different. In 2009, more than a quarter of all American households had three televisions, and nearly 10 percent had five or more. When it came to the more general “rechargeable electronic devices,” almost 10 percent had nine or more. The EPA says people in the United States now have a combined total of 3 billion electronic products. And every year, the average person will spend $1,200 on acquiring more, only to throw away the stuff they already have. Americans throw away about 130,000 computers per day, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. We also toss about 100 million cellphones a year.
sometimes I wonder if Chris Brown is maybe just an elaborate piece of performance art designed to make us all take a closer look at how racism informs public opinion/the psychology of abuse/the nature of celebrity etc and then 2.5 seconds later I’m just like “nah let’s just run over him 100 times with a dump truck made of razors”
Question: Is the general stance that Chris Brown has not done enough penance to be forgiven for his sins, or is the general stance that he is unforgivable? One of those things seems OK, while the other does not.
Enough penance? How about any penance?
Oh, five years probation has been really rough on the guy. Plus having to remain ten yards from Rihanna last night, which basically means not being able to get near Adele too. (Also: being banned from entering the UK! That has gotta hurt. I mean, not “hurt” like getting punched repeatedly in the face, being bitten, having your head slammed against a car window and being put in a headlock, but still.)
The thing that causes this whole situation to veer into “unforgivable” territory isn’t the beating. Mainly because I wasn’t the one beaten, so “forgiveness” from me would be meaningless and ridiculous. I have no right or reason to absolve strangers for sins I wasn’t harmed by.
What’s alarming and yes, unforgivable, is the way the entertainment industry exercises exactly those priestly pretensions in cases of violence against women. Beat the shit out of your girlfriend? Two years away from our award show ought to be “enough penance.” Drug a pubescent girl to semiconsciousness and fuck her? Come on, America, it’s not like it was rape rape.
I could give two shits about Chris Brown. The structurally misogynist industry that thinks access to our televisions gives it the right to tell us when he has been exonerated? That’s something I’ll rail against.
After he said stuff like “War is hell” and introduced the bed-head hairstyle, General William Tecumseh Sherman appears to have become a lover, not a fighter. According to an 1886 magazine, the retired general’s “specialty is in kissing young women, of which he has probably done more than any living American.” Another account has him telling President Ulysses S. Grant, “You may drive your fast horses and I will kiss all the pretty girls! Ha! ha! that shall be my fad.” For more on American historical figures kissing unsuspecting victims, see here.
So basically, this guy never stopped being a complete dick.
“Cleveland and Harrison were not not the only chief executives to eschew baby-kissing. In May 1903, a correspondent for The Summary reported that rumors that President Theodore Roosevelt ‘had been making a practice of kissing babies indiscriminately’ while campaigning in the West were false.”
This article is amazing.
You must know the romantic comedy trope I’m about to reference- Katherine Meg Ryan Aniston is in a puddle of tissues, mascara dribbling down her face in a graceful swan lake. She’s telling the camera or her mother about her latest accomplishment, probably some amazing breakthrough in the world of…