While media outlets across the country lit up with news of the rare achievement by 17-year-olds Avery Coffey and Kwesi Enin, who were both accepted to multiple Ivy League universities, Strauss argued it’s time to move on already, because we don’t know if they applied to Stanford.
Her beef? Apparently, while Ivy League institutions are some of the most selective schools in the nation, they aren’t picky enough for Strauss, who believes that universities should stop talking up the bona fides of the students who are admitted, and instead share the qualifications of those they reject.
While Strauss encourages those who were rejected by Harvard, Yale, and the rest of the Ivy League intuitions to “take heart” (and insinuating that Coffey and Enin didn’t really deserve to be admitted), I’ll continue to bask in the excellence of the young men’s achievements.
While The Colbert Report may indeed be satire, that’s really neither a defense nor a source of clarity. The discussion and critical engagement with this particular sketch (and the decontextualized tweet) should not be a referendum on whether “it’s satire or not” whereupon checking the satire box leads one directly to Go, skipping “is it racial/racist” square. Instead, we must ask, was it good satire? This is not about intent, but rather about its effectiveness as satire?
According to Lisa Guerrero, satire is “a form of literature, performance, or visual art that ridicules human folly as a means of social criticism in an effort to foment change and/or to serve as an admonition.” In this context, we can see how the recent sketch fits: Colbert sought to highlight the injustice and acceptance of racism evidenced by the nation’s #1 sport – national pastime 2.0 – having a team within the nation’s capital named for a violent and white supremacist racial slur. To illustrate this “folly,” to ridicule the normalization of this slur, and to mock owner Dan Snyder’s creation of “Original Americans Foundation,” Colbert imagined the creation of another organization.
Despite its racist name, its inclusion of a disparaging slur, the absurdity and hypocrisy of starting an organization seeped in anti-Asian stereotypes, it too would “provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities.” By Dr. Guerrero’s definition, Colbert sought to highlight the injustices associated with Snyder and his franchise by creating a legible parallel. That is, by highlighting the absurdity and unacceptability of his imaginary organization, we would see all that is wrong with Snyder. Change…admonition . . .drop the mic.
While the show boasts one of the most racially diverse casts in Broadway history, it’s unclear if any of those actors are actually of Middle Eastern descent. In an email to the Huffington Post, a Disney rep explained that the cast’s ethnic breakdown can neither be confirmed nor denied because of the company’s adherence to the policy known as “colorblind casting.” Like it or not, ethnicity is left out of the casting process.
“Legally, the company is not allowed to ask potential employees about their ethnic background at any point during the hiring process,” the representative wrote. “We encourage actors of all cultural backgrounds to audition for our shows and are fiercely proud of our talented and diverse cast.”
But the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s national president Samer Khalaf says that the organization has been getting complaints from actors who say that they’ve been frustrated with the process.
I know this because in Koch Industries’ weird, official screed against Obamacare, issued on the day Healthcare.gov first launched, its human resources director Dale Gibbens boasted, “For years, Koch Industries has worked to provide reasonably priced health care benefits.”
This is not something the Koch brothers consider a threat to the Republic, apparently. Perhaps deep down, or in the abstract, they think the government should not be subsidizing this healthcare and are simply following the rules of the road as set by others. That was the line they took when explaining why they participated in a temporary Obamacare program for early retirees. “Once laws or programs are enacted we will not place ourselves or our employees at a disadvantage by turning our back on incentives offered to our competitors.”
Yet despite the fact that employer-sponsored health insurance resembles Obamacare in many ways, the Koch network is not actively trying to repeal ERISA — the law that regulates employer-sponsored health plans — or to repeal the tax expenditure that allows them to advantageously provide the benefits they claim they’re working so hard to maintain.