[Marxism] Douthat on class and race in and college admissions

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jul 20 13:51:39 MDT 2010

Joseph Catron quoting Ross Douthat:
> "This was particularly pronounced among the private colleges in the study.
> For minority applicants, the lower a family’s socioeconomic position, the
> more likely the student was to be admitted. For whites, though, it was the
> reverse. An upper-middle-class white applicant was three times more likely
> to be admitted than a lower-class white with similar qualification ...
> "Nieli highlights one of the study’s more remarkable findings: while most
> extracurricular activities increase your odds of admission to an elite
> school, holding a leadership role or winning awards in organizations like
> high school R.O.T.C., 4-H clubs and Future Farmers of America actually works
> against your chances."
> http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/19/opinion/19douthat.html

Odd--or not so odd--that this conservative shares the same 
concerns as Marxist contrarian Walter Benn Michaels:

What Matters
Walter Benn Michaels

Who Cares about the White Working Class?
edited by Kjartan Páll Sveinsson
Runnymede Perspectives, 72 pp, January 2009, ISBN 978 1 906732 10 3

In the US, there is (or was) an organisation called Love Makes a 
Family. It was founded in 1999 to support the right of gay couples 
to adopt children and it played a central role in supporting civil 
unions. A few months ago, its director, Ann Stanback, announced 
that, having ‘achieved its goals’, Love Makes a Family would be 
ceasing operations at the end of this year, and that she would be 
stepping down to spend more time with her wife, Charlotte. Our 
‘core purpose’, she said, has been ‘accomplished’.

It’s possible of course that this declaration of mission 
accomplished will prove to be as ill-advised as some others have 
been in the last decade. Gay marriage is legal in Connecticut, 
where Love Makes a Family is based, but it’s certainly not legal 
everywhere in the US. No one, however, would deny that the fight 
for gay rights has made extraordinary strides in the 40 years 
since Stonewall. And progress in combating homophobia has been 
accompanied by comparable progress in combating racism and sexism. 
Although the occasional claim that the election of President Obama 
has ushered us into a post-racial society is obviously wrong, it’s 
fairly clear that the country that’s just elected a black 
president (and that produced so many votes for the presidential 
candidacy of a woman) is a lot less racist and sexist than it used 
to be

full: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n16/walter-benn-michaels/what-matters

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