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Why the Berkeley College Republicans are Wrong
Berkeley Daily Planet ^ | 9/26/11 | Thomas Lord

Posted on 09/26/2011 6:17:37 PM PDT by SmithL

The Berkeley College Republicans have taken a strong stance against a proposed law that would allow, among other things, race to be taken into consideration during the admissions process. They say on a Facebook event page: "The Berkeley College Republicans firmly believe measuring any admit's merit based on race is intrinsically racist."

In this note I'll show that their belief is wrong. Not only is the use of race in admissions not intrinsically racist - the failure to consider race and other similar factors is intrinsically racist. This is not some subjective interpretation of histories of oppression. This is not some radical ideological interpretation of "fairness". Rather, I'll point out some ways in which if race is not considered, some minority students who are objectively more qualified are likely to be turned away in favor of white students who are objectively less qualified. 

Background: The Bake Sale and the Bill 

The College Republicans have stirred up some press attention by holding a "racial diversity bakesale" to protest California Senate Bill 185. 

The senate bill, which sits on Governor Jerry Brown's desk awaiting signature or veto, would allow the University of California admissions offices to consider an applicant's "race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, geographic origin, and household income, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions, so long as no preference is given." 

The Republican students organized a satirical bake sale, offering goods at higher prices to whites, lower prices to minorities and women. In short, they argue that any use of race or gender in admissions is tantamount to a racial preference. 

On campus and in the press there is debate about whether the bake sale is "offensive". This misses the point entirely: 

Background: What Does Standardized Testing Measure? 

One measure of a student's merit for admission is an SAT score. It has long been observed that, on average, whites perform better than, for example, blacks on this test. 

Part of the explanation for the better performance of whites is surely that, on average, whites are more likely to have economic advantage and have better K-12 educational opportunities. The question arises, though: is that the only reason for the differences in average scores? Or is the test itself inherently racially biased in some way that has nothing to do with student merit? 

Inside Higher Ed reported on a study published by the Harvard Educational Review in 2010. The study examines the question: do black students tend to get worse SAT scores than white students of equal academic achievement and merit? 

The study found that, yes, SATs tend to give lower scores to black students than white students of equal achievement and merit. 

Here is how Inside Higher Ed describes it: "The new paper in fact is based on a study that set out to replicate one of the last major studies to do so -- a paper published in the Harvard Educational Review in 2003, strongly attacked by the College Board -- and the new paper confirms those results (but using more recent SAT exams). [....] 

"The focus of both studies is on questions that show "differential item functioning," known by its acronym DIF. A DIF question is one on which students "matched by proficiency" and other factors have variable scores, predictably by race, on selected questions. A DIF question has notable differences between black and white (or, in theory, other subsets of students) whose educational background and skill set suggest that they should get similar scores. The 2003 study and this year's found no DIF issues in the mathematics section. 

"But what Freedle found in 2003 has now been confirmed independently by the new study: that some kinds of verbal questions have a DIF for black and white students. On some of the easier verbal questions, the two studies found that a DIF favored white students. On some of the most difficult verbal questions, the DIF favored black students. [....] 

"While the studies found gains for both black and white students on parts of the SAT, the white advantage is larger such that the studies suggest scores for black students are being held down by the way the test is scored and that a shift to favor the more difficult questions would benefit black test-takers." 

The study they are describing hits close to home: 

"The new study is based on data for students who enrolled at the University of California system across several administrations of the SAT [....]" 

Note carefully what is being said about the DIF on verbal portions of the SAT: white students tend to get higher scores than black students of comparable academic merit. Ponder that for a minute. 

Considering Race to Reduce Racial Bias 

An admissions officer is confronted by a variety of objective and subjective facts about an applicant. Applications include objective facts like test scores, transcripts, and grade point averages. Subjectively, they include recommendations, personal statements and so forth. This data is used to filter through applications and determine who should be sent application letters. 

The two studies from the Harvard Education Review tell us that, at least in the case of verbal SAT scores, scores can not be meaningfully compared without considering the races of the applicants

In fact, to ignore race when considering a lower or higher verbal SAT score is to build a pro-white bias into admissions, giving white students a preference over black students of equal merit. 

We might hope that, ultimately, the College Board will improve the SAT test and its scoring methods to eliminate this racial bias - but that is not likely to happen anytime soon. In fact, it might not even be possible: no culturally neutral verbal test has yet been invented. 

If the UC system is prohibited from considering race when, for example, interpreting verbal SAT scores admissions will not be color blind - it will simply be skewed in favor of whites. If someone wants to hold a bakesale reflecting the status quo that SB185 seeks to correct, it's whites who should get the unfair discount. 


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections; US: California
KEYWORDS: affirmativeaction; bakesale; berkekeley; beserkeley; collegerepublicans; institutionalracism; preferences; sb185; uc
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Deep,
really deep thoughts
from Besrkeley.

1 posted on 09/26/2011 6:17:45 PM PDT by SmithL
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To: SmithL
Translation: Only racists do not discriminate on the basis of race.


2 posted on 09/26/2011 6:21:28 PM PDT by Iron Munro (Now days calling someone a racist is like telling them there's a crumb on their chin)
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To: SmithL

A child defending his childish beliefs.


3 posted on 09/26/2011 6:21:37 PM PDT by facedown (Armed in the Heartland)
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To: SmithL

I didn’t know there were any Republicans within 50 miles of Berkeley. Athens, Ohio is hard enough. But Berekley ? they need our prayers. LOL


4 posted on 09/26/2011 6:22:56 PM PDT by se_ohio_young_conservative
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To: SmithL
From the article:

The two studies from the Harvard Education Review tell us that, at least in the case of verbal SAT scores, scores can not be meaningfully compared without considering the races of the applicants.

In fact, to ignore race when considering a lower or higher verbal SAT score is to build a pro-white bias into admissions, giving white students a preference over black students of equal merit.

Pretty much speaks for itself.

As does the silence of millions of black people who should be infuriated by this.

5 posted on 09/26/2011 6:25:50 PM PDT by Steely Tom (Obama goes on long after the thrill of Obama is gone)
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To: SmithL
“The study found that, yes, SATs tend to give lower scores to black students than white students of equal achievement and merit.”

“give”, the SAT gives scores? I thought they just scored the test without regard to race.

6 posted on 09/26/2011 6:26:01 PM PDT by where's_the_Outrage?
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To: SmithL

Thomas Lord is wrong. He employs racism to facilitate the elimination of vouchers and school choice for minorities.


7 posted on 09/26/2011 6:26:07 PM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been Redistributed. Here's your damn Change!)
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To: SmithL

Which makes me wonder— “Why bother with SATs at all?”


8 posted on 09/26/2011 6:26:51 PM PDT by SolidRedState (I used to think bizarro world was a fiction.)
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To: SmithL

There is NO shortage of minorities in the organization that writes the SAT test. This child’s assumption, that whites write the exam and therefore it must somehow favor whites, assumes the racial composition of organizations he knows nothing about... all while he purports to have some insight into racial bias.


9 posted on 09/26/2011 6:28:52 PM PDT by Teacher317 (really?)
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To: SmithL

Logical consistency is very difficult for liberals.


10 posted on 09/26/2011 6:29:57 PM PDT by Amagi (You can't discuss Camelot without mentioning Squire Ted & the Lady in the Lake.)
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To: SmithL

2 whole studies, conduced by a leftist institution and we end up with it being OK to put a heavy finger on the scale.

And how many people remember Prop 209 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_209_(1996) )? This legislation is illegal on its face.


11 posted on 09/26/2011 6:30:46 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (California: Making Texas more Conservative one voter at a time)
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To: Steely Tom
Oh...I guess this means the Asians need a preference, too.

Ooooops! Guess not!

That is different!

And racist! Uh...yeah...racist...uh..uh...

These little childlike fools are the racists. I am getting fired up about this crap. Not working, the victim thingy, on me.

12 posted on 09/26/2011 6:34:42 PM PDT by Pigsley
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To: Teacher317

>>There is NO shortage of minorities in the organization that writes the SAT test.<<

I remember a classic example of a “racist” test question: (something like) “a grape is to bunch as a boat is to (answer: regatta).

The “analysis” was that most inner city kids have never seen a boat, much less seen a regatta. Well, I grew up poor in the barrio and I 100% guarantee I never saw a regatta until I was in college. How did I know what one was? I READ BOOKS!

I guess reading books is racist now (and it was then).


13 posted on 09/26/2011 6:34:42 PM PDT by freedumb2003 (California: Making Texas more Conservative one voter at a time)
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To: Steely Tom

“...In fact, to ignore race when considering a lower or higher verbal SAT score is to build a pro-white bias into admissions, giving white students a preference over black students of equal merit. ...”

True enough in our liberal age. Thanks to idiots like this, words mean little or nothing.

However, they’re at least conscious enough to exclude real intelligence testing - that is, that stuff that has math, logic, physics, etc. We all know that regardless of race, solutions cannot be stupidified.

Stupidified: The means by which Berkeley libs attempt to define anything scientific.


14 posted on 09/26/2011 6:35:16 PM PDT by Da Coyote
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To: SmithL

“In fact, to ignore race when considering a lower or higher verbal SAT score is to build a pro-white bias into admissions, giving white students a preference over black students of equal merit.”

What the Leftists are saying here is that Blacks can’t cut it against Whitey because they are Black and need other ways of leveling the playing field for them not based on merit. What a bunch of racist dipsticks.


15 posted on 09/26/2011 6:35:24 PM PDT by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: SmithL

English is English. Math is Math. I would like to see a biased question. Whenever this is brought up, I have never seen an example of a biased question.


16 posted on 09/26/2011 6:36:15 PM PDT by Bruinator (God is Great.... God is Good....Evil is Real.)
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To: SmithL

Dear Mr. Lord:

You are so Full of BullS##T, that every time you open your mouth, you soil your chin and shirt with bovine excrement.


17 posted on 09/26/2011 6:36:41 PM PDT by roaddog727 (It's the Constitution, Stupid!)
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To: SmithL

This individual’s commentary on DIF questions leaves out 2 important facts: 1) the more difficult questions on verbal have been found to skew IN FAVOR OF blacks; 2) A DIF for Latinos has been examined — and none has been found.

So apparently, the SAT — even though it skews the harder questions to make them easier for blacks — discriminates against (only) blacks. There is no DIF score on math questions...and yet the score ‘gulf’ is even worse there. What will the excuse be for that??


18 posted on 09/26/2011 6:37:02 PM PDT by HGSW0904
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To: se_ohio_young_conservative
I know a friend that was a conservative republican that went to Berkeley he had to pander to the teachers.

This is pity which is the worst form of racism.

19 posted on 09/26/2011 6:37:37 PM PDT by Steve Van Doorn (*in my best Eric Cartman voice* 'I love you, guys')
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To: SmithL
The study found that, yes, SATs tend to give lower scores to black students than white students of equal achievement and merit.

Berkeley explains it all for you. SAT scores are "given" like Halloween candy, or government cheese. It's just a distribution problem, don't you see.

20 posted on 09/26/2011 6:40:17 PM PDT by denydenydeny (The moment you step into a world of facts, you step into a world of limits. --Chesterton)
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To: where's_the_Outrage?

“give”, the SAT gives scores? I thought they just scored the test without regard to race.

One would think, but this loon’s pushing the threadbare idea that “racism” is built in to the questions (like the one about the White secret password and handshake that all we bigots...and white SAT-takers...know). The real racism is in trying to get a Mulligan for those haven’t learned the basics of the language of their country.


21 posted on 09/26/2011 6:41:02 PM PDT by Magic Fingers
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To: Da Coyote
OK, if the white student has higher scores, how do they know that the black student is "of equal merit"? High school grades? Only valid if they attended the same school (and maybe not then).

The racist whites who designed the tests have not figured out how to make the Asian students do worse than the white students.

22 posted on 09/26/2011 6:41:16 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: SmithL

The silly fellow is ignoring the fact that the people being kept out of UC Berkeley by AA policies are nearly all Asian, not white.

Talk about culturally based differences in SAT scores driving racial differences fails completely with Asians.

And then there is the problem with math - that Harvard study shows no culturally driven differences in math scores - does this not constitute an argument against AA in science and engineering majors ?

And I bet the alleged cultural differences in verbal scores found in that study are far smaller than would justify the degree of preference actually implemented.


23 posted on 09/26/2011 6:43:05 PM PDT by buwaya
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To: SmithL

If we accept the Harvard studies, then we should accept the following premise. The average income (which reflects the purchasing power) of Blacks is different from that of Whites. So, since the purchasing power among races—for whatever reasons, and they may be the same reasons as for the results on SAT scores—are different, why can’t we use price discrimination based on race to level off the purchasing power?


24 posted on 09/26/2011 6:43:14 PM PDT by paudio (0bama is like a bad mechanic who couldn't fix your car; he just makes it worse. Hire someone else.)
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To: SmithL

parents of author need to sue Cal berkeley -

All that crap - and never once mentioned the evil racist Math section of SAT.

Interpret 2+2 =4

What a mental reject this guy is.


25 posted on 09/26/2011 6:43:38 PM PDT by Eldon Tyrell
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To: SmithL

Just another Berkeley Pimp of the Race Industry!


26 posted on 09/26/2011 6:45:02 PM PDT by leprechaun9
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To: SmithL
...the failure to consider race and other similar factors is intrinsically racist.

And people thought Orwell was exaggerating.

27 posted on 09/26/2011 6:45:35 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SmithL
Well golly gee! What could this be telling us?

*There is no difference in math scores.
*White students tend to do better on the "easier" verbal questions (a bit of a misnomer. It is basically word definitions, as I recall)
*Black students tend to perform better on the more difficult verbal questions.

Hmmm. Could it be that the more removed from colloquial use a word is the more likely that its definition is known to a superior student? And that words with more common use will be less familiar to a group that known to butcher the language and warp actual definitions? Go figure.

Not a problem. Make the verbal section harder in order to obtain that desired balance. I'm sure that will go over very well with the "disadvantaged".

Wasn't the SAT already made easier a number of years ago because scores were dropping?

28 posted on 09/26/2011 6:46:25 PM PDT by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: Iron Munro

This difference may be an ebonics effect. I see a strong case for an ebonics version of the test. I think the hood will be full of writers for test questions. I am not sure if all blacks are fluent in ebonics. Perhaps it is just the inner city areas.


29 posted on 09/26/2011 6:55:58 PM PDT by businessprofessor
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To: SmithL

dayum those jewish janitors....


30 posted on 09/26/2011 6:56:12 PM PDT by Nat Turner (I can see NOVEMBER 2012 from my house....)
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To: SmithL

“Considering Race to Reduce Racial Bias”.

Acceptable to some because of the above misrepresentation of the problem. Should be

“Using Race to Offset Racial Failure”.


31 posted on 09/26/2011 6:57:24 PM PDT by Vesparado
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To: buwaya

Bingo!


32 posted on 09/26/2011 6:57:34 PM PDT by Pigsley
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To: Bruinator

Chad and Buffy are having a 5 course Mediterranian themed brunch catered by Elaine’s at their Park Ave brownstone. what wines go with each course? Please list both domestic, import and vintage.


33 posted on 09/26/2011 6:58:31 PM PDT by Eagles6
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To: SmithL
They aren't wrong it's just an old tactic.

This has been done by CA college republicans for many years so I'm surprised it's getting so much flak.

34 posted on 09/26/2011 6:59:17 PM PDT by CAluvdubya (Palin/Cain 2012)
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To: SmithL

sssssstttttrrrrreeeeeeeetttttccccchhhhhhhiiiiiiiinnnnnnnngggggggggg........


35 posted on 09/26/2011 7:00:34 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: SmithL

uh wait maybe I missed something, but I thought an end to race based admissions policy was put into effect by a passed proposition, which was upheld by the courts.

How is this crap still being pushed out there, shouldn’t this be over?


36 posted on 09/26/2011 7:00:55 PM PDT by Cubs Fan (The biggest, most pernicious greed of all -- government greed)
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To: SolidRedState

don’t worry the PC crowd is trying to get rid of the SAT or any testing at all.


37 posted on 09/26/2011 7:02:47 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: SmithL

I have no issue with this as long as they include ideology and start with college administration and professors. :-)


38 posted on 09/26/2011 7:03:09 PM PDT by Chandalier (You say Obama, I say O-blame-o!)
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To: Cubs Fan

do you think a little thing like the law would stop leftism?


39 posted on 09/26/2011 7:07:28 PM PDT by GeronL (The Right to Life came before the Right to Happiness)
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To: SmithL
would allow the University of California admissions offices to consider an applicant's “race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, geographic origin, and household income, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions, so long as no preference is given.” <<

Is there anyone with a 5th grade education that wouldn't be baffled by that statement?

Like in...AFTER much thought and reviewing the above criteria I find Attila the Hun and Adolf Hitler Innocent or any charges... Honest.. these "Smart Asses" are the ones that, in a fire fight, will amble across the street with their head up their asses ..thinking they're smarter then the guy that just ran across to save his ass....

40 posted on 09/26/2011 7:09:57 PM PDT by M-cubed
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To: SmithL
Note carefully what is being said about the DIF on verbal portions of the SAT: white students tend to get higher scores than black students of comparable academic merit. Ponder that for a minute.

I did note carefully that this is a classic case of psychobabble.

Since the DIF is a subjective construct, and since the SAT is intended to determine academic merit, I can only compare this attempt at fraud to the massaging of (destroyed) climate data in order to get the global warming results desired.

Only an in depth widespread examination of the DIF methology can determine its flaws. I doubt very much that these so-called researchers will allow that.

41 posted on 09/26/2011 7:10:12 PM PDT by Publius6961 (My world was lovely, until it was taken over by parasites.)
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To: SmithL
One measure of a student's merit for admission is an SAT score. It has long been observed that, on average, whites perform better than, for example, blacks on this test.

And Asians better than whites. Were the author's dicta enforced, Asian scores would be discounted by comparison to everyone else's on the basis of the color of their skin. Who's the racist now?

It won't do. The fundamental premise of the progressives in this matter is that it is racist not to consider an applicant inferior by virtue of race. It is arrogant, patronizing, and patently ridiculous, and they don't like being called on it.

42 posted on 09/26/2011 7:11:49 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: SmithL
Note that whatever differences there were are never quantified. On some types of questions, whites did better than blacks, on others blacks did better than whites.

The conclusion is that because they found a difference in the black scores and white scores, they must give preferential treatment to black students.

43 posted on 09/26/2011 7:20:50 PM PDT by tacticalogic
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To: SmithL
My favorite part is an excerpt from a truly screwed up Bill waiting for the signature of Gov. Moonbeam:

"race, gender, ethnicity, national origin, geographic origin, and household income, along with other relevant factors, in undergraduate and graduate admissions, so long as no preference is given."

What liberal babble. This is the same reason that is currently giving us: "Iran, it's alright for you the have nukes, just so long as you don't use them, K?

44 posted on 09/26/2011 7:25:09 PM PDT by 70times7 (Serving Free Republics' warped and obscure humor needs since 1999!)
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To: SmithL

What’s the difference between Jim Crow and Affirmative Action?


45 posted on 09/26/2011 7:47:16 PM PDT by Tzimisce (Never forget that the American Revolution began when the British tried to disarm the colonists.)
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To: SmithL

so, whites score better in verbal SAT because it’s not in ebonics ? and that’s biased ?


46 posted on 09/26/2011 7:55:26 PM PDT by stylin19a (obama..."Fredo-Smart")
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To: SmithL

This study indicates that teachers at the HS level tend to overstate the English performance of black students while treating them the same as whites when it comes to math. Makes sense because English is subjective when grading while math is objective.


47 posted on 09/26/2011 8:01:12 PM PDT by Raycpa
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To: SmithL

“Considering Race to Reduce Racial Bias”

Add that to “War is Peace” and “Ignorance is Strength.”


48 posted on 09/26/2011 8:03:34 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: Da Coyote

It’s unfair that more whites and asians “of equal merit” are not allowed to play in the NBA!


49 posted on 09/26/2011 8:05:29 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: SmithL
"We might hope that, ultimately, the College Board will improve the SAT test and its scoring methods to eliminate this racial bias."

That's easy. Just add 200 points to blacks scores. Nobody will be the wiser. Shhh!

50 posted on 09/26/2011 8:07:11 PM PDT by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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