'Straight White Male' is the Real World's easiest difficulty setting

But I'm sure I deserved those punches to the face because racism can only be practiced by whites and my white privilege protected me from bruises.

That happened to me, too. I got the crap beaten out of me, every day, by black kids, because I was white.

My parents eventually figured out that all the bruises I always had weren't just me being clumsy. I think they pieced it together when they told me school was starting in a week or so, and the screaming nightmares immediately returned.

This is, by the way, absolute truth. I'm not coloring that even a little. My early school life was absolute misery, because I was white.

I'm pretty sure no one ever said racism is a one-way street. You'd just have to be blind to think it was equal on a systematic level. People are the biggest jerks we've discovered yet.

SixteenBlue wrote:
Martin Luther King Day - A celebration of one great man that consists of nothing but a day off from work (especially for white people)

If only he was given the same solemn dignity as other great Americans on their holidays.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9DmA...

"Four score and seven thousand dollars cash back!"

Stephen_Clarke wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
Martin Luther King Day - A celebration of one great man that consists of nothing but a day off from work (especially for white people)

If only he was given the same solemn dignity as other great Americans on their holidays.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9DmA...

"Four score and seven thousand dollars cash back!"

IMAGE(http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/martin-luther-king-day-sale-50-percent-off-all-fried-chicken.jpg)

As an aside, the university I attended served fried chicken and collard greens with watermelon and grape soda in the dorms on MLK day.

Seth wrote:
IMAGE(http://weknowmemes.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/martin-luther-king-day-sale-50-percent-off-all-fried-chicken.jpg)

As an aside, the university I attended served fried chicken and collard greens with watermelon and grape soda in the dorms on MLK day.

The first year Arizona had an official state MLK holiday, Mervyn's ran a full-page ad in the largest newspaper in the state inviting people to shop the "MLK Day White Sale."

Two days later, they ran full-page ads with profuse apologies.

Ill Doctrine is the best.

On a side note, I attended the Naval Academy. It was, by and large, a homogeneous group of white suburban males. Any and all efforts to diversify that environment is needed, as almost any attempt at self-awareness inevitable degrades into incessant back-slapping and self-congratulating. One of the first lessons they teach every midshipman is that once you get into the fleet, shut your damn mouth and listen to what your chief petty officer has to say... but the egomania and self-righteousness are so pervasive that surprisingly few Ensigns let that directive inspire their action.

Oh, and the disdain they foster against civilians is really unbelievable till you find yourself reflecting it. Many of those marines that post incessant soldier-worship images on your facebook are likely doing so because they think you aren't really worthy of anything you have. While you are standing in front of Bancroft Hall watching noon formation file into King Hall, those 20 year-old, untested midshipmen are whispering to each other how your sorry ass should be thanking God for them. I'm incredulous how I could have tolerated myself in those days.

SixteenBlue wrote:
jdzappa wrote:

Wow this is getting nasty. I never said that race shouldnt be included in admissions, but I completely disagree with accepting completely unqualified candidates out of a sense of misplaced justice. As far as holidays go, wtf do you call Martin Luther King Day or Black History Month?

Martin Luther King Day - A celebration of one great man that consists of nothing but a day off from work (especially for white people)
Black History Month - An attempt to offset the other 11 months of white/european focused education

Not exactly a large quantity of white people going around wearing shirts that say "Kiss Me I'm Black"

St Patrick's Day - the celebration of one great man that isn't even a day off from work, and which is just another excuse to get drunk.

As far as the "Kiss Me I'm Black" shirts, if African Americans are held in such contempt, why are many of America's most beloved actors, musicians and athletes Black? How come America is the only Western nation to elect an African American president? This is not to say racism doesn't exist - just that I don't understand why you're claiming most white Americans still hate and disdain African Americans when it's obviously not true.

I'm pretty sure no one ever said racism is a one-way street. You'd just have to be blind to think it was equal on a systematic level. People are the biggest jerks we've discovered yet.

Agreed - but it's a slap in the face when guys like OG_Slinger break out the "you're a spoiled rich white kid who's never had a tough day in his life" when in reality I know exactly what it's like to be verbally and physically attacked for my appearance.

jdzappa wrote:
Agreed - but it's a slap in the face when guys like OG_Slinger break out the "you're a spoiled rich white kid who's never had a tough day in his life" when in reality I know exactly what it's like to be verbally and physically attacked for my appearance.

If I thought he said anything remotely close to that, I could sympathize. But I think a more accurate assessment would be, "your complaints about systematic discrimination fall a bit flat when put into context, and demonstrate the kind of priviledged opinion that this entire thread is commenting on."

Everyone has had a rough time at some point in time. There are poor starving Africans who have had better days than I have had at times. That, in no imaginable way, implies my suffering should be rationally compared to theirs.

I've often felt victimized due to anti-semantic bigotry.

So I'm guessing everyone in this thread think I'm a neo-nazi right?

Only if they are hyperbole addicts.

Well, let me ask you this - how would you solve the issue of diversifying the Naval Academy without having to accept unprepared candidates?

jdzappa wrote:
Agreed - but it's a slap in the face when guys like OG_Slinger break out the "you're a spoiled rich white kid who's never had a tough day in his life" when in reality I know exactly what it's like to be verbally and physically attacked for my appearance.

I never said that. I said, given your statement that you were spitting mad and bitter because you got rejected from the Naval Academy for what turns out to be average academic qualifications, that you likely couldn't handle living in a world where you were a minority and all your abilities were largely ignored simply because of your race.

Given your statement that you were pissed because you assumed you were much more qualified than other candidates I'm going to hazard a guess that you feel the world would be egalitarian and people should be judged solely on their abilities. That is, indeed, something we should be working towards.

But that view ignores reality and hundreds of centuries of institutional discrimination and open racism. That means we can't yet have policies designed to ignore race entirely because we wouldn't be starting on anything close to a level playing field. It would be the same as having everyone in our society run the 100-meter dash with whites starting 20 meters from the finish line.

That's why I asked you to consider a world where the Irish, whom you identified with, were systematically discriminated against for centuries the way blacks were instead of the generation or two that actually happened (before the Irish became the backbone of many cities police and fire departments and the power brokers of political machines). You've already shown that your reaction to a perceived injustice is to get mad so I would have to hazard a guess that you'd be apoplectic. Which is why I said such a world would likely break you.

That's not me saying you are a spoiled white kid who never had a tough day in your life, that's me saying try to walk a mile in someone's shoes--even if it's just a thought experiment--before you make the "nobody knows the troubles I've seen" claims of being discriminated against because you were a white male.

I think it's disingenuous to say that someone who differs from the ideal is "unprepared". While the Academy might be primarily pursuing extracurricular addicts, it is also pursuing people that will benefit the military and the military development of midshipmen. Those people may not be part of the traditional mold that most aspire to emulate if they desire to get in.

I also think it's not realistic to think there is some universal standard by which current midshipmen are accepted. Considering senatorial nominations are required, there is a HUGE subjective milestone in every candidate's march to Annapolis. And considering one state might have significantly more "qualified" applicants than another, those nominations might all be less "worthy" than those from another area of the country.

So who is to say who is "unprepared"? The school accepts who it accepts, and it is righteous to attempt to correct systematic injustices in our nation's fabric.

Once again you go back to talking about things that would break me. Don't you see how that's insulting?

I read back through my original post and I didn't see anything that I thought was especially bitter. What made me angry was how the discussion then took a personal turn.

jdzappa wrote:
Once again you go back to talking about things that would break me. Don't you see how that's insulting?

Just as insulting as your assumption that you were obviously much more qualified than every minority candidate and how the fact that you didn't get accepted to the Naval Academy means that white males now share the level of discrimination that blacks have faced for hundreds of years.

jdzappa wrote:
Once again you go back to talking about things that would break me. Don't you see how that's insulting?

What about the point that it is exactly these kinds of assumptions about people that non white, straight, or male people have to deal with on a daily basis?

This is kind of the point of the privilege argument. These kind of insulting assumptions happen all the time to people who don't look like you or I. It's just that some of us lead an privileged life where we don't face them on a daily basis.

Being insulted like this is a constant background condition for people who don't live on the easy setting.

OG_slinger wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
Once again you go back to talking about things that would break me. Don't you see how that's insulting?

Just as insulting as your assumption that you were obviously much more qualified than every minority candidate and how the fact that you didn't get accepted to the Naval Academy means that white males now share the level of discrimination that blacks have faced for hundreds of years.

If we take it as a given that there would be more qualified candidates if education levels were equal across the board then isn't it also true that anyone that would not make the cut due to affirmative action is only "eligible" because of the fact that their competition was held down?

I don't know, it's really hard to articulate what I'm saying, but basically it feels like the complaint is "they leveled the playing field and I didn't make the cut" Doesn't sound like something I'd really go around telling people. I don't know, it feels like the straight white male privilege was taken away and now it hurts? Maybe I'm wrong.

(I've almost posted this three times now and I've stopped every time because I don't want to be insulting and I can't find a proper way to word it. I think it needs to be discussed though, so f*ck it.)

OG_slinger wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
Once again you go back to talking about things that would break me. Don't you see how that's insulting?

Just as insulting as your assumption that you were obviously much more qualified than every minority candidate and how the fact that you didn't get accepted to the Naval Academy means that white males now share the level of discrimination that blacks have faced for hundreds of years.

I never said either of these things. There are plenty of minority candidates who I'm sure were better qualified than me. I was addressing what looks to be a quota system.

Nor did I ever say that white males are facing the same discrimination - only trying to make a counterargument that white males hold all the cards.

weswilson wrote:
I think it's disingenuous to say that someone who differs from the ideal is "unprepared". While the Academy might be primarily pursuing extracurricular addicts, it is also pursuing people that will benefit the military and the military development of midshipmen. Those people may not be part of the traditional mold that most aspire to emulate if they desire to get in.

I also think it's not realistic to think there is some universal standard by which current midshipmen are accepted. Considering senatorial nominations are required, there is a HUGE subjective milestone in every candidate's march to Annapolis. And considering one state might have significantly more "qualified" applicants than another, those nominations might all be less "worthy" than those from another area of the country.

So who is to say who is "unprepared"? The school accepts who it accepts, and it is righteous to attempt to correct systematic injustices in our nation's fabric.

Agreed. Remember the lesson of The Best and the Brightest. (David Halberstam's book about the "Experts" whose decisions created the Vietnam debacle.) They were the absolute cream of the crop in terms of education, intelligence, and moving up the ladder. They failed us horribly. They all "deserved" their elite educations and positions, but the nation would have been better served with less "deserving" leaders.

The lesson is that they didn't have a broad enough base of experiences to contradict bad ideas. The thing to learn from the mistakes is that a diverse group of people, working toward a common goal, will be more effective than a homogeneous group of people working toward that same goal.

So, from what we know now, we can argue against homogeneous leadership not out of some idealist desire for quotas or fairness, but out of a results-oriented selection. Diverse groups perform better.

But that view ignores reality and hundreds of centuries of institutional discrimination and open racism. That means we can't yet have policies designed to ignore race entirely because we wouldn't be starting on anything close to a level playing field.

No, that view ignores your perception of reality, which includes the fact that black people are different, and need help because they are black. Those poor blacks are really inferior, you know, and need a leg up to compete fairly with superior whites.

When the problem is sorting people based on perceived race, which is something that humans can't even do, because skin color carries almost no genetic information -- when the problem is sorting on skin color, the solution is not sorting on skin color in reverse, it's stoppng sorting altogether.

This isn't Star Trek. Flipping the polarity doesn't actually fix problems. It perpetuates them.

Malor wrote:
Flipping the polarity doesn't actually fix problems. It perpetuates them.

There is no substance in this statement. When the slaves were released from their chains and had worked to build the economy of most of our nation, the fruits of their labor were used to increase the standing of others. That well-being translates, generation after generation, to increased potential for the descendants of those looters. Denying that any thievery took place does not balance the books... it does not "fix the problem"... it simply pretends no theft took place.

The single largest indicator of your economic status in life is the education status of your parents. Helping to create a level playing field, where the odds of your having educated parents is equal regardless of your race, is the least we can do for the kind of abuse we levied in the name of manifest destiny. The notion that we'll fix this injustice through inaction is illogical.

Yeah, well, if that were true, then why do we have so many appallingly poor white people?

If you want to actually fix the problem of racism, you have to just stop being racist. You have to remove policies that promote racism, like helping someone because they're black.

We can't fix the sins of our parents. The world where they were decent to black people is a wholly imaginary one, and trying to massively reshape an economy to fit some imaginary standard is an absolute guarantor of massive pain. (see: Zimbabwe). The only solution that will actually work, over the long term, is to make sure that everyone has the same basic opportunities, that schools in ghettos are just as good as in white-bread country towns. And we absolutely need to fix the justice system and stop the War on Drugs, which is one of the major reasons such a large fraction of the black population is still so desperately poor.

Thinking that white people are responsible for the sins of their parents is just more racism. If you want a world without racism, that idea needs to go away. Help people because they are poor, or badly educated. Don't help them because of the skin they're wearing. And make goddamn sure nobody's helping anyone based on their skin color, either.

SixteenBlue wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
Once again you go back to talking about things that would break me. Don't you see how that's insulting?

Just as insulting as your assumption that you were obviously much more qualified than every minority candidate and how the fact that you didn't get accepted to the Naval Academy means that white males now share the level of discrimination that blacks have faced for hundreds of years.

If we take it as a given that there would be more qualified candidates if education levels were equal across the board then isn't it also true that anyone that would not make the cut due to affirmative action is only "eligible" because of the fact that their competition was held down?

I don't know, it's really hard to articulate what I'm saying, but basically it feels like the complaint is "they leveled the playing field and I didn't make the cut" Doesn't sound like something I'd really go around telling people. I don't know, it feels like the straight white male privilege was taken away and now it hurts? Maybe I'm wrong.

(I've almost posted this three times now and I've stopped every time because I don't want to be insulting and I can't find a proper way to word it. I think it needs to be discussed though, so f*ck it.)

I had to walk away for a few minutes and now that I'm back and calmed down I'd like to thank you for your thoughtful post. If my initial post made me sound like I was bitter, that was not my intent. I went on to have a solid career as a non-commissioned officer then graduated with honors from a top state university. Not getting accepted into Annapolis did not ruin my life. I guess I'm equally coming from a place where in the military the standard should be the standard. A good example is ranger/SEAL/Special Forces training, where if you don't meet the minimum physical and combat training standards you don't get in to the training. The reason for this is you won't survive if you can't even meet the minimum cut.

From what I've read, the candidates being selected with poor test scores/grades are the ones most likely to flunk out. That's a disservice to everyone - the cadet, the academy, and most of all the taxpayer. And it's not just me that's criticizing the system - it's high ranking Naval officials. Here's a good interview with one of them from USA Today:

But Fleming said that because the admissions board is what gives the rating of "qualified," it can apply different standards to different candidates to deem them qualified. It uses lighter standards for candidates who describe themselves as black, Latino or Asian, Fleming said. He continues to see nonwhite midshipmen in his classes who aren't qualified for college-level work, he said.

"The academy is like a team ... where we choose a remedial player, where there's no guarantee you can even remediate him," Fleming said.

Fleming said high-scoring white applicants are added to lists of qualified candidates who must compete for a nomination from a member of Congress. But almost every nonwhite applicant is deemed "qualified," even with lower grades or test scores — and not added to a list to compete for a nomination.

FYI, jdzappa - that seems to be the same Fleming as in the previous article you quoted. Are there any other sources?

jdzappa wrote:
SixteenBlue wrote:
OG_slinger wrote:
jdzappa wrote:
Once again you go back to talking about things that would break me. Don't you see how that's insulting?

Just as insulting as your assumption that you were obviously much more qualified than every minority candidate and how the fact that you didn't get accepted to the Naval Academy means that white males now share the level of discrimination that blacks have faced for hundreds of years.

If we take it as a given that there would be more qualified candidates if education levels were equal across the board then isn't it also true that anyone that would not make the cut due to affirmative action is only "eligible" because of the fact that their competition was held down?

I don't know, it's really hard to articulate what I'm saying, but basically it feels like the complaint is "they leveled the playing field and I didn't make the cut" Doesn't sound like something I'd really go around telling people. I don't know, it feels like the straight white male privilege was taken away and now it hurts? Maybe I'm wrong.

(I've almost posted this three times now and I've stopped every time because I don't want to be insulting and I can't find a proper way to word it. I think it needs to be discussed though, so f*ck it.)

I had to walk away for a few minutes and now that I'm back and calmed down I'd like to thank you for your thoughtful post. If my initial post made me sound like I was bitter, that was not my intent. I went on to have a solid career as a non-commissioned officer then graduated with honors from a top state university. Not getting accepted into Annapolis did not ruin my life. I guess I'm equally coming from a place where in the military the standard should be the standard. A good example is ranger/SEAL/Special Forces training, where if you don't meet the minimum physical and combat training standards you don't get in to the training. The reason for this is you won't survive if you can't even meet the minimum cut.

From what I've read, the candidates being selected with poor test scores/grades are the ones most likely to flunk out. That's a disservice to everyone - the cadet, the academy, and most of all the taxpayer. And it's not just me that's criticizing the system - it's high ranking Naval officials. Here's a good interview with one of them from USA Today:

But Fleming said that because the admissions board is what gives the rating of "qualified," it can apply different standards to different candidates to deem them qualified. It uses lighter standards for candidates who describe themselves as black, Latino or Asian, Fleming said. He continues to see nonwhite midshipmen in his classes who aren't qualified for college-level work, he said.

"The academy is like a team ... where we choose a remedial player, where there's no guarantee you can even remediate him," Fleming said.

Fleming said high-scoring white applicants are added to lists of qualified candidates who must compete for a nomination from a member of Congress. But almost every nonwhite applicant is deemed "qualified," even with lower grades or test scores — and not added to a list to compete for a nomination.

Thank you for that response, I really appreciate it.

Truthfully, I absolutely see both sides. Setting standards and then breaking them is...not logical. I think the issue is that the standards themselves are hard to measure. If we were purely talking physical standards (i.e SEAL) I would agree 100%. The problem is there's no easy, accurate test to measure intelligence, aptitude, and potential. GPA and SAT scores (the standard college entrace metrics) don't measure that and IQ tests are bullsh*t. That's what gets in these situations because there are standards and they do want them to be met, it's just not that easy to rank everyone.

Edit: It also sounds like their implementation of this idea is pretty flawed. That quote implies essentially free passes to minorities which is not the appropriate way to handle the situation at all.

Malor wrote:
Yeah, well, if that were true, then why do we have so many appallingly poor white people?

The existance of a poor person does not invalidate the institutional biases against people of color. It's akin to saying, "Hey, I know I'm dealing myself better cards off the bottom of the deck, but you can still win if you get a better hand than me!"

If you want to actually fix the problem of racism, you have to just stop being racist. You have to remove policies that promote racism, like helping someone because they're black.

By that logic, we shouldn't help people whose homes were robbed, because that promotes thievery. Racism is not generated by acting based on race. It is generated by promoting policy and action that helps discriminate against people based on their race. Failing to correct racist policy is racist...

Thinking that white people are responsible for the sins of their parents is just more racism. If you want a world without racism, that idea needs to go away. Help people because they are poor, or badly educated. Don't help them because of the skin they're wearing. And make goddamn sure nobody's helping anyone based on their skin color, either.

And no one is saying that you are responsible for their actions. But the loot and plunder that you have inherited because your ancestors stole remains tainted goods. Attempting to fix the imbalances that plunder has put on our society is justice, not discrimination.

Let's be clear, here. Racism still exists and biases jobs, education, and property in favor of white over black. I've seen it, first hand. I grew up around the richest movers and shakers of my entire region, and the racism they regularly exercised in their work and social sphere was appalling. When I moved into my house, four of my neighbors came and told me they were glad my family wasn't black. There are strong forces that still work to keep marginalized people from possessing the same opportunities that others already have. The idea that compensating for this grotesque imbalance is somehow worse than doing nothing is poppycock. White america has benefited for generations because we kept slaves in chains, the pittance of affirmative action that goes on barely does much of anything, but it's the small step we can take to help make a more just world.

This took a turn to loose butthole.

And no one is saying that you are responsible for their actions. But the loot and plunder that you have inherited because your ancestors stole remains tainted goods. Attempting to fix the imbalances that plunder has put on our society is justice, not discrimination.

Are you saying all wealth in America was by default stolen, and not created through hard work or innovation? That's a completely illogical way of looking at things, and also assumes the economy is a zero-sum game where rising wealth among some people must come directly at the expense of others.

I'm also not sure that just because some rich neighbors are racist means every wealthy person is racist. May I ask, what part of the country are you from? Working in high tech in Seattle I've met plenty of millionaires and even billionaires who exhibit none of the behaviors you described.

White america has benefited for generations because we kept slaves in chains, the pittance of affirmative action that goes on barely does much of anything, but it's the small step we can take to help make a more just world.

Then let's figure out better ways of doing things. Just to go back to the Annapolis discussion, here would be some of my proposals:

1. There are plenty of minority students who do better than their white counterparts academically, especially when it comes to critical math/science skills. Why are these students not choosing the academies? Are there ways to make the academy more enticing to minority students who might otherwise go to MIT or Stanford or Harvard?

2. Actively recruit minority candidates from among the enlisted ranks. That way, you could at least get diverse candidates who have proven themselves in combat, even if their academic scores are not quite as good.

3. Bolster the Junior ROTC programs in poorer school districts so that candidates have help/mentorship before they get to college.