QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland @ Jan 26 2012, 09:18 AM)
What do other people's beliefs have to do with this? And who cares? Does that stop someone from going to college, or becoming a scientist?
Other people’s beliefs have everything to do with success and one’s desire to work hard to achieve something. If you consistently see that a large percentage of your culture’s people are working hard and not getting ahead, wouldn’t it be difficult to justify continuing that same amount of hard work in perpetuity? It happens in classrooms across the country all the time. Student A’s parents tell their child they expect him to do well and try hard in school. But when he gets to school, he does poorly on standardized tests and is likely to be expected to do poorly. When the stakes of our current NCLB-driven education system require teachers to focus on the students who they think they can help (since so much is tied to students showing ‘one year’s growth’ and the number of students who exceed standards), these students are often looked over and determined to be unable to be helped. Now the parents set expectations for the child, but the system in which they are learning has different priorities. I think our society functions in much the same way. We expect less of certain groups of people and people tend to strive for those expectations but not much more. If you tell a child “I want you to get an 80% on this next test” it’s likely they’ll study hard enough to feel that they will earn an 80% - especially if this is a student who is not expected to do much better than that. The lower the expectations and the more negative the perception, the more likely these negative things will penetrate the thoughts. That is why all outside influences matter – parents are just a small piece of the puzzle.
QUOTE(JohnfrmCleveland @ Jan 26 2012, 08:57 AM)
Well, that's the point here - kids are "raised to think" in a certain way by their parents, at least primarily. If parents are raising their kids to eschew work, that's just crazy. And I don't think that's how parents operate.
Your parents' expectations were for you to succeed as an engineer. That's different than what is being discussed here, lack of a work ethic. Pushed to work at something, one is driven to meet or exceed expectations, as well as to make oneself happy. Had you not defied your father's expectations and become an engineer, you still would have been a success.
But if you had available to you the advantages of scholarship money, easier admission to college, and a leg up on the competition when finding a job, wouldn't that have made it easier to get out of bed in the morning and work toward a successful career?
Having a ‘leg up on the competition when finding a job’ as a result of one’s status as a minority is simply a misstatement. That’s NOT how it works at all.
Aside from that, parents are not the only influence in a child’s or young adult’s life, as stated earlier in my post. Parents may be raising their kids to think that they can do anything, but society telling them otherwise will have perhaps a greater impact that the words of the people who are supposed to tell them they are capable of greatness and can do anything if they just try. Most kids quickly realize the falsehood in those statements and it's not because their parents taught them to eschew work. I'm sure some parents do tell their kids that there's no point in trying, but I would imagine those parents to be few and far between.
QUOTE(Raptavio @ Jan 26 2012, 10:12 AM)
I also need to amend what I said: Quotas are not illegal in very narrow circumstances, predominantly as a remedy for specific cases where active discrimination against minorities is proven. However, the general RW meme is that affirmative action = quotas, which is vastly untrue; the wide majority of affirmative action programs involve nothing more than strong outreach/recruitment strategies and equal opportunity commitments.
I wholeheartedly agree with your stance against the untruths perpetuated about Affirmative Action. When it comes to the persistence of these myths though, I don’t think it’s limited to the RW at all – the overwhelming majority of the general population believes AA = quotas and AA = unfair advantages and AA = lowering standards when none of those are true. College AA programs may have different sets of standards (much like certain types of scholarships and alumni/legacy preferences) and I don’t have nearly as much familiarity with what goes on there as I do with federal AA (having worked as an AA consultant many years ago), but you are absolutely correct that the vast majority of AA programs are more about outreach/recruitment and making sure that companies are in compliance with federal regulations about NOT having quotas. The only field that does have quotas is the construction field (and this is to ensure that WOMEN are being given equal opportunity). Here is the exact wording from Facts on Executive Order 11246 — Affirmative Action
For Construction Contractors
OFCCP has established a distinct approach to affirmative action for the construction industry due to the fluid and temporary nature of the construction workforce. In contrast to the service and supply affirmative action program, OFCCP, rather than the contractor, establishes goals and specifies affirmative action which must be undertaken by Federal and federally assisted construction contractors. OFCCP issued specific national goals for women. The female goal of 6.9 percent was extended indefinitely in 1980 and remains in effect today. Construction contractors are not required to develop written affirmative action programs. The regulations enumerate the good faith steps construction contractors must take in order to increase the utilization of minorities and women in the skilled trades.
I could talk about AA all day long, but I’ll spare you all since the topic at hand is somewhat far removed.
QUOTE(nighttimer @ Jan 27 2012, 04:53 AM)
QUOTE(moif @ Jan 26 2012, 02:46 AM)
There are twenty four children in my daughter's class. Three of them are Black (Somali's) and although this is my daughter's first year in school, the Black children have already been identified by most parents as the biggest problem in the class. Essentially the two boys are far more violent than any of the other children and several children have expressed outright fear of them. At the same time there is also a Danish child who is a problem, and who is violent, but who is seldom identified as such. Somali's are generally regarded as lazy and untrustworthy in Denmark. I don't know if this is racist or simply because Somali's, generally do not seem capable of adjusting well to Danish society, and Danes don't know how to tackle them. What I do know is that Somalis in Denmark are often, if not always accused of having no 'work ethic', just as I've seen and heard Black Americans described, and it seems to me that you can never share the 'work ethic', for as long as you don't share the 'ethnic identity' because people (on both sides) are always seeking to identify themselves by their historical and cultural differences. Essentially multiculture doesn't work. You have to share identity in order to belong. Standing on your differences only leads to eternal conflict.
(...and I have been seen by a Black Doctor. In the UK.)
Oh well, why didn't you say so from the beginning? Guess that means you can't be racist if you permit a Black doctor to touch your lily-White skin or is this the Danish version of "some of my best friends are?"
I suppose I was thrown off by the sweeping generalizations you were making about Somalis in Denmark and Blacks in America.
You may not know "if this is racist" but let me help you out with that, moif
. If you have to ask, it's probably racist.
I think I get what moif is trying to say, though (or maybe I'm just reading into it)...when I lived in Belgium for 3 years, there was a definite anti-Moroccan sentiment in Belgium. For whatever reason in that culture (Belgian culture), Moroccans who emigrated to Belgium were regarded as the 'problems' of society. They were seen as violent, trouble-makers, lazy...you know the rest. Of course to me it was disappointing and wrong for an entire culture to be labeled and generalized based on the actions of some, but that was how it was and the news media of course intensified that with their stories about violent Moroccans in Brussels and Antwerp.
But I gathered from moif's post that he was saying that there is this idea of a lesser culture everywhere in the world and that the culture identified as 'lesser' varies depending on where you are. He mentioned that the Danish (white) student who was as much a ‘problem’ as the others is somehow not treated as such. And that probably does relate in some way to assimilation. I am not a big proponent of assimilating for the sake of assimilating – not in the least – but I think it does play a role in the way in which the dominant culture views the (usually) ‘ethnic’ cultures in their society. Cultures whose members tend to hold to their home culture’s ideals and practices do tend to be looked down upon in their new homes – whether it’s related to race or not, it happens and these stereotypes are very hard to break. And it seems (in my experience anyway) that there are two distinct schools of thought regarding the success of minority(ethnic and/or statistical) cultures – they are either used as an example of why everyone can succeed OR they are thought to be anomalies within the culture.