Notable Links: 4-4/14

The Washington Post Wants Us To ‘Stop Talking About’ Black Teens Who Got Into Ivy League Colleges (Thanks Courtney H.)

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.

Colbert Logic

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.

Broadway Success of ‘Aladdin’ Underscores Need for Arab Actors

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.

Greediest family on earth: Proof Koch brothers have just one political principle

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.

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15 thoughts on “Notable Links: 4-4/14

  1. You’re welcome, Brothawolf! I’m glad that I had the opportunity to contribute to the conversation! Thank you for the hat tip!

  2. To be honest with you, I kinda see these Ivy League schools as a sorta White World Order Institutions.

  3. First of all, I really commend these young men for their accomplishments. It’s not everyday for people to win scholarships to Ivy League schools,but 5-8 of them…that is totally awesome. I know that their loved ones are beyond proud of them. I know I would be. I would be proud for them just going to college.

    With that said, it sound like a bunch of jealous racists because they didn’t get invited to the David Letterman show and/or get the recognition that these young men received. It just hurt them that they could not use them as a societal mat to step on. Mrs.Strauss thinks that we need to stop talking about these brilliant young Black men,but she and her other racist cronies would never stop talking about the ratchet Black guys. That is all they want to hear…how “terrible” and disadvantaged Black guys are supposed to be.

    I find it rather ironic how they accuse Kwesi and Avery of getting these scholarships because of AA. Ah,but from what I’ve read about Kwesi, his folks didn’t accept anything below a 95 and Avery mom had high standards for him with no excuses for failure and she was a she’s a single mom. (You know that it’s making them even more angry that they couldn’t find a bad newsflash for them to discuss concerning Avery, but it shows his strength instead of weaknesses in what a success story should be). I’m also quite sure with most Black/POC parents, they were taught that they had to work twice as hard as White folks to get ahead. We came from a background of hard worker,forced or not forced.Do they tell me that Black people never instilled any standards for their kids?

    If Kwesi and Avery are getting these scholarships because of quota entitlements,then their critics are wanting the same thing..because they’re White and/ or stereotypical images of what scholars are supposed to look like. After all, they think that Black people are incapable of thinking and working.

    While Kwesi and Avery continue to remind me that there are no excuses in achieving your goals, there are racist who will go at anything to make one up for you.

  4. Let’s be real, POC have long,long, been proven to rise above the “crème-de-la-crème”, and nay-sayers full of envy, spite, and fear have always known that Black folks are certainly no exception to the rule-especially given everything that has been thrown at the community for how many centuries of injustice, ignorance, and all-out cruelty now(?) Racists can GTFOH with that tired azz “it must be affirmative action” crap! Go ‘head Avery and Kwesi, wit’cha awesome selves!! 😀

    1. This type of racist denigration starts early, in grade school for black boys(5 to adolescent years). It is called streaming, stir them into having low aspirations, do not engage their intelligence etc.). My sister, a teacher, had to be on the ball and was constantly going to bat for her two sons. If you have parents with low paying jobs, or several of them, they just have no time to do this. Many parents also hold teacher in the same regard as doctors, lawyers etc, and will not question them. The problems are complex and occur on myriad levels. It almost sounds like a conspiracy to keep us down.

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