Barry Dunham Obama, Math And Science


Barry ‘Bama, Math And Science


R.E. Prindle


    Here’s Barry ‘Bama talking on page 141 of his Audacity of Hope.  He’s being shown around the Google facilities in Mountain View, California:

     One by one the new employees were introduced, their faces flashing on a big screen alongside information about their degrees, hobbies and interests.  At least half of the group looked Asian; a large percentage of the whites had Eastern European names.  As far as I could tell, not one was black or Latino.  Later walking back to my car, I mentioned this to David and he nodded.

     “We know it’s a problem,” he said, and mentioned efforts Google was making to provide scholarships to expand the pool of minority and female math and science students.  In the meantime, Google needed to stay competitive, which meant hiring the top graduates of the top math, engineering and computer science programs in the country… You could count on two hands, David told me, the number of black and Latinos in those programs.

     Well, you see, Barry, it’s called the merit system and not the entitlement system.  If you want people to do difficult math problems those people have to want to do those problems and get started in Jr. High and High School.  You have to take the courses.  If Google finds Blacks and Latinos for dishing out scholarships it won’t work unless those Black and Latino kids have taken those math courses.  Obviously they haven’t.  Not a few years ago when you wrote those words there were few in the pipeline and there are no more in the pipeline now.  At the very least it will be twelve years before Blacks enter the pipeline for scholarships.  I ask you:  Whose fault is this?

     So it might be cheaper for Google to save on scholarships and just give those salaries to stay home and not interfere in progress.  Thus for every ten workers Google hires on merit they could entitle two Black and Latino kids on an entitlement basis.  Say, that would be ‘Change’ wouldn’t it, Barry?

     Perhaps more White American boys with English sounding names, perish the thought, would be able to fill those jobs going to Asians and people with East European sounding names if they could concentrate more on their studies rather than trying to stay alive in the warzones you Liberals have created and call schools.

     Perhaps if kids took fewer racial sensitivity and sex education courses, you know, learning the virtues of being homosexual in kindergarten, and more math and science courses we wouldn’t need so many work visas.  Ever think of that?  Tell me, Barry ‘Bama, am I making any sense to you yet?  Students have to study and its difficult to study and fight at the same time.  I know you and your Liberal handlers undoubtedly think that racial tensions are caused by those nasty racist White kids but I’ll bet if you looked at things honestly, Barry, you’d find your fellow Black kids are more the problem.

     Whites aren’t afraid of any merit system or do you consider a merit system an entitlement system for Whites?  Is that your idea of White Skin Privilege?  This country does need ‘Change’ Barry, and the first thing that needs changing is your attitude.


5 comments on “Barry Dunham Obama, Math And Science

  1. Your comments are astounding. Problems in education go much deeper than the analysis you provide here. And while Google here talks about wanting more students of color, Microsoft also talks about wanting more American students White, Black and otherwise because we are losing jobs to students overseas. When you have a chance, listen to Bill Gates’ testimony before Congress on the state of STEM education for all students. There is an achievement gap, yes, and yes, Black families have responsibilities to address, but that is not the full depth of the problem. America as a nation can either stick fingers in each other’s eyes, call each other names, or place blame in ways that will not generate solutions, or we can decide to help each other. I choose the latter. And if you care about our nation’s outcome, you’ll read the rest of the Audacity of Hope and decide even if your a conservative, that there’s something in there for you also. Obviously he cares about meritocracy, having attended Harvard Law School and risen to edit their Law Review. That task is not “given”, it is earned.

  2. Arnold: I’m pleased to see you have a good heart. It is that sort of attitude that has made the US the compassionate caring place that it is. Combined with a willingness to recognize hard problems, tackle them and solve them has made the US the leader in the world that it is. Whle compassion on the matter abounds I find an uncharacteristic reluctance to face this multi-faceted problem head on.

    I’m going to ignore Bill Gates because as time goes on I find less and less reason to take anything he says or does seriously. I consider him irresponsible.

    No one who supports Affirmative Action can be construed as supporting a Merit System. The two are mutually exclusive. As to whether Barry’s race had anything to do with his appointment as Editor of the Harvard Law Review at the nineties I can only say that in my experience Africans have been given preferential treatment in all such situations.

    I once sat next to an African in class. When the test papers were returned. He got a B and I got a C. But when I looked at the numerical scores I was astounded to see that I had a 77 while he had a 64. When I pointed this out to the teacher he explained sneeringly that according to the Bell curve he had only so many Bs to give out. Since I had benefitted from ‘White Skin Privelege’ all my life, according to him, it was time a Black person got an advantage. So this Liberal Moron gave a 64 a B and a 77 a C. Don’t talk to me about merit Arnold. I find this Liberal attitude much more astounding than you find my comments.

    You admit there is an achievement gap, fine. As I understand Barry’s comments at Google he didn’t understand that there is one but that he thought the absence of Black, Mexican and female faces at Google the result of discrimination forcing Google’s representative to explain himself at peril of possible legal action.

    Barry’s comments in viewing the pictures were laden with racist overtones. Barry says with apparent glee that half or more were Asians. Asian is a very broad category. It could be anyone from Palestine to Japan, from the Arctic Circle to the tip of India and places between. Probably Barry meant they were Chinese although as Google and Microsoft both undermine US labor standards by recruiting lower paid ‘Asians’ a large percentage of those faces must have been rather dark skinned Indians.

    The Google representative, David, said they they recruited top graduates from top schools and then he names MIT, Caltech, Stanford and Berkeley. That means that a very high percentage of the classes of those institutions must be Asian, that is to say, Chinese. The Chinese are a relatively small percentage of the US as compared to Africans. I know that Berkeley is close to being a Chinese university. The White students who must be the remainder of the faces as there are next to no Africans or Mexicans are not even from the US but are mostly Eastern Europeans.

    If Barry means Eastern and not Central and Eastern Europeans then that means Russians. This in turn means Jews since in the days of the Evil Empire Jews were said to be the brains of Russia while the ethnic Russians were stupid lumpkins. We get more racist as we examine Barry’s comment, don’t we?

    Then David informs Barry that Google won’t be hiring Africans anytime soon as few if any are taking the necessary courses. There will be but few African applicants for at least the next decade.

    I fail to see what makes my comments so astounding to you, Arnold, since I’m quoting Barry. Both Barry and David then go on to contradict themselves. David says and Barry agrees that scads more work visas are needed to bring ‘Asians’ to the the Silicon Valley.

    But then Barry says, page 142:
    Lately, high tech employers had a new set of worries: Since 9/11 a lot of foreign students were having second thoughts about studying in the States due to the difficulties in obtaining visas. Top notch engineers or software designers didn’t need to come to Silicon Valley anymore to find work or get financing for a start up. High tech firms were setting up operations in India and China at a rapid pace, and venture funds were now global; they would just as readily invest in Mumbai or Shanghai as in California.

    So, Arnold, why do Google and Microsoft want all those work visas and why would anyone in India or China accept lower wages in high cost California when they could live like a prince on the same wages in Mumbai or Shanghai?

    But, no matter what, those jobs are not going to go to Africans because Africans are not prepared. There’s the key. The solution Africans have to generate on their own is to take the courses and not demand Affirmative Action. You don’t punish a White by giving his 77 a C and reward an unprepared African by giving his 64 a B. I’m sure you can understand that, Arnold, Bell curve or not, and that is the problem we’re talking about.

    The above is sticking a finger in each other’s eyes and you say you choose not to do that. Fine. Let’s here you object to Affirmative Action.

  3. You address a lot in your second set of comments, and while we are starting from different sets of premises, I’ll address what I believe to underlie much of what you express.
    Much of what you argue here is based on what you likely consider to be an objective view of meritocracy. And should I accept your view of it, there would be no room to argue further- because there is an entire narrative of meritocracy that predates our exchange by at least 300 years.
    That said, while I believe very strongly in education and in the advancement of knowledge, I realize that meritocracy is in fact, subjective and relative. We use concepts of merit to elevate in some cases, and to denigrate in others. We use it to exclude in some cases, and include in others. While many believe that societal benefits are awarded most fairly when those who “perform the best” are clearly recognized, the system by which we determine “the best” is fraught with biases. I’m not just talking about SAT tests, which are proven only to predict performance in the first year of college, but performance in later life.
    There is now a consensus among the strongest and most consistent conservative voices like George Will to those more moderate like David Brooks that the presidency of George Bush has been a policy failure. President Bush was Yale graduate and gained a business degree at Harvard Business School. Yet his policy decisions do not reflect the merit that we would attend his education. Likewise, while I respect the office he holds, his style of discourse never seemed to engender that same level of merit we would expect with someone possessing his degrees. (Do you remember that enlightening joint press conference with former Prime Minister Tony Blair?) Yet, when he ran against Al Gore in 2000, conservatives dismissed the obvious intellectual advantage that Gore had on the President by calling Gore “wonkish”. We swap out calls for merit, when moral issues seem more useful based on the context. And likewise, in that presidential election, the President was likely elected because of his moral stands on Abortion, Affirmative Action, Foreign Policy (go it alone), and his affable personality.
    As it is with other policy decisions we make. We are not as easily confined to merit – however it is defined – as those who raise so high would suggest.
    Were the beneficiaries of affirmative action the ones making the calls when the mortgage crisis was bubbling to the surface? …which is to say, is the merit that people use to award jobs in coveted industries such as financial analysis ensuring that we get the market we deserve? If not, what is the purpose of merit? Would we be even worse off if merit played no part what-so-ever? Probably, but the point here is that “merit” seems too amorphous a concept to be accepted as “universal” when you consider that people who should have known better about what has been happening in our credit markets either didn’t understand or refused to accept the facts on the ground.
    You asked me to denounce affirmative action as a test to my integrity in this discussion. What I will tell you instead is that from the time my two young African American sons were in the womb, I read to them. Consequently, based on standardized tests (Lexile scores), they are reading three grades above their age levels. And we recently found out that they both scored in the 99th percentile among all students taking the OLSAT test, used to assess the abilities of students seeking talented and gifted education. The achievement gap will not exist in my home because my wife and I refuse it. They will be the ones on the other side. I am not looking to Affirmative Action as the means to gain entry into selective colleges, we are raising our children to be recruited by them.
    But as a policy, I believe in Affirmative Action as a means to bring all people together. If it’s done correctly, merit becomes an expansive term, referring not only to what the student brings academically to an institution, but what they bring culturally, athletically, financially, artistically, etc. When affirmative action is done correctly, a white student with a 3.9 is not directly competing with an African American student with a 3.6. They are all competing against an entire pool of applicants who all have their talents and gifts to bring to a student body.
    Unfortunately, between people like you and I who may disagree strongly on this type of issue, it can end a discussion. It can stop people from working on joint problems. If I don’t renounce Affirmative Action, it could lead you to then believe that I’m not concerned about the problems facing Whites who may not have reached their potential. However, there’s more than one way that folks are assisted in gaining more education and prosperity. Check out the Washington Post about a week ago for an article on a thirty-something White worker in West Virginia who was recruited from a community college to attend a selective four-year institution in Pennsylvania – through a program at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for transfer students. I believe strongly in those types of programs also. Craig Venter, was also a community college student who transferred. We need a society that’s creative enough to stay committed to ways to help everyone but uses various tools to help folks. Affirmative action is one tool, community college transfer is another tool. Early, persistent parental commitment is another tool. I will do my part regardless of the political context for my family. And will work to help others as well–whether they trust my motives or like my politics.

  4. Arnold: Congratulations on your parenting; may it be as successful as the effort you’re putting into it. I could have used parents such as you and your wife. I spent some time in the orphanage where I learned quite a bit about merit denial. If you’d like to read about it check my novel Far Gresham on my R.E. Prindle blog.

    A merit system by definition is objective. The administration of the merit system may be subjective; in other words humans tend to sabotage that which goes against their wishes.

    What you describe as Affirmative action in the quote below is Merit:

    When affirmative action is done correctly, a white student with a 3.9 is not directly competing with an African American student with a 3.6.

    But he is. In a merit system the 3.9 would get the job regardless of other considerations. In Affirmative Action the 3.6 of the African would get the job in the interests of ‘social justice.’ Thus in my own situation my 77 got a C while the African’s 64 got a B. This is an actual crime not ‘social justice.’

    As far as George Bush goes according to my scant information, I don’t follow him closely, he was a beneficiary of Affirmative Action and got nothing on him merit. According to what I have been led to believe he couldn’t have gotten into Yale on his merits without the intervention of his father. So a merit system is not even involved, quite the opposite. As I understand it he was beneficiary of the courtesy C with all that that implies.

    What you are saying about transfers from Jr. Colleges I can’t understand. The way things are done has changed so much since I was in college in the 60s that what you say is beyond me.

    In my case I attended a number of Jr. Colleges finally transferring to a four year institution when circumstances permitted it. I don’t understand the signficance you attach to transfering from Jr. College to a four year school.

    ‘Were the beneficiaries of affirmative action making the calls when the mortgage crisis was bubbling to the surface?’

    I haven’t done an in depth study of the mortgage crisis but one point of view that I have read is that, yes, a cause was affirmative action. The idea was to put more ‘minorities’ in houses so lending practices were relaxed to accommodate them. Once standards are relaxed for one they become relaxed for all, greed then entered the picture with the results we see. As someone once said: This is a racist country.

    The real question you pose is was there a merit system involved in hiring Wall Street personnel? Probably not strictly speaking. Of course one has to have the intelligence to operate on that level but at that level favoritism probably overrides other considerations. As you probably know the president of one of the worst offenders, Merrill, Lynch, was an African. Whether he obtained his position by merit or favoritism his integrity was at the same low level as the rest.

    But then a merit system which has only to do with testing has nothing to do with honesty, integrity or wisdom.

    The concept of merit is not amorphous. The opposite of a merit system is the spoils system or favoritism. We have an example of the spoils system in the Zimbabwe of Robert Mugabe. There he and his shona tribe have disenfranchised both the Whites and their ancient rivals the Matabele Zulu. Mugabe even conducts genocidal warfare on both groups. I don’t have to tell you that Africans in the US are calling for the genocide of Whites here. I hope you don’t applaud Mugabe and his Shona. I hope you don’t applaud Kamau Kambon. I won’t even mention the incredible muddle going on in South Africa where once again genocide is currently being practiced on the Whites while eventually an African tribe or two will turn on each other and the rest.

    The Africans of France heartened by the news of Barry’s almost certain election (by Affirmative Action) in November are rioting in the streets demanding more Affirmative Action in France.

    Finally Arnold ask yourself who are supposed to be the beneficiaries of a Merit Sytstem and who are the beneficiaries of Affirmative Action? The whole people African or Caucasian or Chinese or whatever are beneficiaries of a Merit System. The beneficiaries of Affirmative Action are only the Africans, a small segment of the population. Affirmative Action is not going to be done correctly, it is inherently corrupt and as in Zimbabwe subject to incredible abuses including genocide.

    One might say the choice is between God and Satan. Which side are you on Arnold?

  5. Wow. I can’t see how you summarize your thoughts into that last question.
    Your views on Affirmative Action strike me more as a metaphor for larger issues rather than an analysis of a policy as emanating from a certain set of principles or intents.
    But none-the-less, if you equate your line of thinking as the difference between God and Satan, there’s little left to discuss.
    But, by the way, I’ve been a Christian since 13 and have learned to love people even though as an African American (sic- African as you insist) certain ones have shown me significant contempt throughout my life. My faith holds despite my political leanings or the winds of doctrine in which we live.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Because even though I see that agreement is not a likely outcome, at least we live in a society where thoughts can be expressed, and in the best cases, acted upon. Not every country provides such liberties.

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