Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Racism

My sister was just reading an essay she wrote on racism out loud, and it reminded me of a story that happened a few weeks ago in class.

I take Social Philosophy, which is like Political Philosophy, but instead of just a bunch of theories, it shows how it effects the social life of each type of political theory (or something like that). My professor was discussing Mills, who is a black-guy that wrote papers about how racism is actually part of the foundation of the American System. We then went on to discuss how his theory may just be accurate by using the CERD (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination) report against the findings of racism in NYC public schools (sorry, cannot find the link for that). The findings seemed to prove Mills' theory right. The professor also brought out statistics on how Blacks and Hispanics do not get as much out of a college education as white people do.

One Polish kid in my class (had the whole blond/blue eye thing going for him) raised his hand and was like "yea, but thats not because of the system, the black and hispanics tend to major in subjects such as 'African-American' studies or "Racism" or "Latin American Studies" as opposed to majors that are practical."

I happened to agree with him. Because that is the truth. But I wasn't stupid enough to raise my hand and say that to the professor. The Hispanic girl in my class was so ticked off. I was rather amused.

34 comments:

Jessica said...

Yeah... they should really major in something practical like philosophy :-P

frumskeptic said...

Jessica: lol...:)

For many (aside for like me) Philosophy is very practical because its used to get into Law School... Philosophy majors score higher than any other major on LSATs and GRE's.

but...well... since its really inpractical for me, all I have to say is that atleast I don't complain the system is antisemitic or s/t. lol. I'm just happy nodding along when someone tells me I'll end up living in a box. lol.

frumpunk said...

Really, MOST of them? You don't think thats a little hyperbolic?

frumskeptic said...

punk: Yea, most of them. Unfortunately the ones I come across all tend to major in inpractical majors. I mean, its important to be proud of your heritage and stuff (I took 3 Judaic Studies courses as electives), but to major in this, without planning on persuing further education really doesn't get pity from me...and I'm sorta kinda in their shoes.

But again, I don't blame the system, and I'm not directly taking any government aid in my education (I am in a CUNY, but thats it on government finance)

Jewish Sceptic said...

I suppose now's not the time to present te case for the genetic basis for intelligence, or show how genetics may control your actions :P

Ok, so, I take that with a pinch of salt, and it's been largely discredited where I am. But still. I can't help thinking that the people doing the discrediting are doing so out of social fears that it would be racist to think along the lines of the above and is a slippery slope to glorifying one person's ancestors over anothers...and then we'd be back to nazi german ideas of superior and inferior races.

For the masses, even if there is a massive genetic basis for how we think and what we do, it's probably best people don't think there are, cos it's a bit of a dangerous idea. But that doesn't actually make it true...

Anyway, a little bit more directly relevant to the post, I used to be in classes where we'd discuss the oppression of women by men through history. I was one of the only males in that class and needless to say, I shrunk low in my seat and didn't make a peep. It's a little intimidating being in a class of 20 women who are convinced men are the bane of their existence and they can get quite snappy...so good for thet polish kid for making her/himself known!

Dave said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave said...

Most?

IES Statistics from 2006

Not even close.

Note: Replaced the previous post with an actual hyperlink.

Moshe said...

Most is correct for CUNY. I was in Poly U. A lot of black and Hispanic engineers, civil and electrical. On the other hand, a lot of them were from the islands and from Africa, not inner city.

Dave said...

CUNY doesn't break out statistics by major at all, so I can't get any numbers there.

I will say, that given the number of colleges and the number of students (in excess of 230,000 in Fall of 2007), I'd personally be leary of taking anecdotal information as evidence of the whole.

CUNY Statistics

Dave said...

Oh, I should note, in order for most Black students at CUNY to be majoring in Black Studies, there would have to be in excess of 31,000 students with that major (assuming both undergraduate and graduate, and not factoring out specialized schools).

That doesn't strike me as a plausible number.

frumskeptic said...

Dave: Interesting statistics... The kid in my class though is a psycho show-off. i would ask the kid in my class for statistics (he most definitly quoted some study ) but I bet he'd show me something twisted ... hard core racist...he made an antisemitic joke today :(.

I do find that majority of african-americans/hispanics that I come by happen to be majoring in some sort of heritage studies, and the girlies major in womens studies or s/t like that. They're very exclusive (in my experience). However, I'm speaking for specifically Brooklyn, so I don't know. Heck one of my lab partners is majoring in religion and focusing on African s/t

I'm ok with taking back "majority" in an overall sense.

Moshe said...

Nah, you're right about CUNY colleges . Private and technical colleges are different because when it's 20k per year, 8 years ago, you don't screw around. Unless you're me of course ;-)

Dave said...

Ahh! I found more numbers.

In 2002-2003, five people graduated with a major in Africana Studies from Brooklyn College.

For all of CUNY it was forty-six graduates.

(Source: Africana Studies in New York State )

Assuming that information is correct, and given the 2002-2003 numbers for Brooklyn College, and assuming that all five graduates were black, and that the graduation rate can be considered the rate of enrollment in the major, we get 0.61% enrolled in Africana Studies.

Now, it does look like Brooklyn College has a lot of "Culture Studies" degree programs, which might skew individual observations, and I'm not considering related majors or minors here (because the number of assumptions explodes out of control).

Moshe said...

Don't forget about the people who drop out or switch.

Dave said...

For what it's worth, outside of the fields in which a Bachelor's degree has become a requirement for an entry level position (largely the technical fields or medical fields) or for which a post-graduate degree is necessary (Law, Medicine, most Science), the real distinction is a degree or not a degree, more than the details of the degree.

Then again, I'm one of those people who thinks that the purpose of college is to teach people to think, and how to learn, with the expectation that the four years are a groundwork and they have a lifetime of self-directed learning to continue with, as opposed to obtaining a credential, so I may be completely off base.

Dave said...

I would be entirely unsurprised if the number of people temporarily in a Cultural Studies major was much lower than the number who finished there.

More years ago than I care to comfortably remember, the default was "Liberal Arts Undecided", but that may have changed.

Dave said...

Make that much higher, not lower.

Clearly, I'm spending too much time looking at college admission statistics, and need to do something useful instead.

The Babysitter said...

Actually there's a bunch of black people majoring in accounting. This one black guy seems to know so much, he became my Jewish prof's favorite student.
Then the black girls seem to be the most studious, they actually read the books for the class.

Moshe said...

well...I was in CUNY Brooklyn for a year...Sunday class, art and another class logic. People in both classes were so stupid...

The Babysitter said...

Well if you took Haggerty for art, then that explains it.

Moshe said...

Don't remember who it was...8 years is a long time...
It was a woman and the class was on Sunday, that's pretty much it.
She read some of the "better" answers to tests in class.
"We see that this is a holey man because he has bear feet." with that exact spelling.

The Babysitter said...

ok that was funny.
But really I don't think its nice to make fun of people because of their spelling. Especially for people that English is their second language. A lot of times they can't help it.

Moshe said...

Don't think it was a 2nd language student. Even if it's spelled correctly it makes no sense.

The Babysitter said...

Could be they were thinking about Moshe Rabeinu who had to take off his shoes when he went to the burning bush because it was a holy place.

Moshe said...

Greek, Roman and Italian architecture, though that does include Michelangelo's Moses.
Still...

Jessica said...

I work in the economics/business department of a CUNY school and there are an equal amount of black people that come in as white people.
I also have quite a few black friends who are majoring in things like art education, business, ASL studies, fashion design, etc. Just mentioning...

Moshe said...

None of those are sciences and as far as business management goes...go read dilbert, it's true, been there myself.

Jessica said...

moshe - I never said any of them were sciences... None of them are cultural studies, that was my point. And as for business, it may be Dilbert-esque but it stands to make you as much, and in some cases more, than the sciences. (If you go the teaching science route, that is...)

frumskeptic said...

About business majors... Stupidest thing ever. Really...

I tried to major in that, because I'm super obsessed with stocks and such, all I learned was nothing. Really. All the formulas and calcutions and everything you need can be found in any normal stock trade book, or online (which is where i get all my info, and B"H my portfolio is doing pretty well !)

Business is like the dumbest degree ever (I'm not talking about accounting). Then theres Business management ...OMG! OMG!!! if you need a degree to learn to manage, you're just NOT fit to do it. its pretty impractical 2 go for that.

Management comes with experience. yea yea...you'll tell me the degree teaches you to write up "business plans"...truthfully, my uncle was some sort of engineer, then Sept 11 happened, he lost his job, now he has his own Quiznos store.

frumskeptic said...

I realized I didnt make a point...So my uncle's Quizno's yea...sure, its a Franchise, but he was still required to write up a business plan.

Plus, buy a book "How to write a business plan" ...really...thats what my professor made us buy!

He literaly didn't teach us anything. And a better professor only woulda made it in such a way that we wouldn't have to read the book, as oppsed to teach us somethign that wasn't already in it!

frumskeptic said...

"Business is like the dumbest degree ever"

Before anyone names majors obviously dumber than Business, I take that back. I go overboard when I try to point things out...

Bad habit. lol.

Jessica said...

A business degree can be very good depending on what school you go to. My husband went to school with a few guys who went to NYU school of business and got recruited by major companies 6 months before they graduated.

frumskeptic said...

Jessica: Its still a stupid degree. My cousin was in a CUNY for Business Finance. He had amazing grades, got an internship for a major investment firm.

I asked him what he did, he said "inventory". He did not get any hands-on training. NOw he has a job as a financial analysist (which he also had secured while still in college), and he is so out of the loop. He had to be trained in FINANCE , and this was AFTER he had an internship for about 3 years in a major investment firm, while in college learning about investing ...Gosh...such a stupid degree. It makes me sad, because I really like business, and I tried so hard to major in it. I took 3 classes, started the fourth, was literally sitting there counting different ways I can hurt myself with my pen...I dropped the class. My portfolio is still doing well. And I'm enjoying college, cuz I like my major. NOW thats practical. Oh, and I like my job, which was only supposed to be a summer job. Its actually giving me hands-on experience in rent managment, and other areas in the realestate field, should I choose to persue that field.

Back to the degree...the point is, you need the internship or the really good grades.

Anyway, Business is a very sensitive topic for me...oyyy...sorrrry went on such a tangent

Jessica said...

Of course hands-on experience is ideal, but unless you go to a community college and major in something like "Auto Technology" (aka car-repairman) you're not going to get anything practical from school. In school you learn facts, when you get a job, that is where you learn how to apply and/or ignore those facts. Even if being a business major doesn't teach you what you need to know in the business world it is still practical because it gets you those jobs that actually pay you more than minimum wage.