Category Archive 'Racial Quotas'

17 Jul 2020

“None of That Damned Nonsense About Merit”

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NYT Classical Music Critic Anthony Tommasini says “ensembles [need] to reflect the communities they serve, [and] the [hiring] audition process [for musicians] should take into account race, gender and other factors.”

During the tumultuous summer of 1969, two Black musicians accused the New York Philharmonic of discrimination. Earl Madison, a cellist, and J. Arthur Davis, a bassist, said they had been rejected for positions because of their race.

The city’s Commission on Human Rights decided against the musicians, but found that aspects of the orchestra’s hiring system, especially regarding substitute and extra players, functioned as an old boys’ network and were discriminatory. The ruling helped prod American orchestras, finally, to try and deal with the biases that had kept them overwhelmingly white and male. The Philharmonic, and many other ensembles, began to hold auditions behind a screen, so that factors like race and gender wouldn’t influence strictly musical appraisals.

Blind auditions, as they became known, proved transformative. The percentage of women in orchestras, which hovered under 6 percent in 1970, grew. Today, women make up a third of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, and they are half the New York Philharmonic. Blind auditions changed the face of American orchestras.

But not enough.

American orchestras remain among the nation’s least racially diverse institutions, especially in regard to Black and Latino artists. In a 2014 study, only 1.8 percent of the players in top ensembles were Black; just 2.5 percent were Latino. At the time of the Philharmonic’s 1969 discrimination case, it had one Black player, the first it ever hired: Sanford Allen, a violinist. Today, in a city that is a quarter Black, just one out of 106 full-time players is Black: Anthony McGill, the principal clarinet.

The status quo is not working. If things are to change, ensembles must be able to take proactive steps to address the appalling racial imbalance that remains in their ranks. Blind auditions are no longer tenable.


Can there be any notion more preposterous, more incapable of surviving intellectual scrutiny, than today’s liberal shibboleth of “Diversity”?

Diversity requires abandonment of standards of merit, achievement, and genuine equality of opportunity, accompanied by lots of rationalizations, denial, and outright lying about what is needed to produce sufficient representation of members of various privileged victim identity groups. Note how Mr. Tommasini assures NYT readers that there is

    remarkably little difference between players at the top tier. There is an athletic component to playing an instrument, and as with sprinters, gymnasts and tennis pros, the basic level of technical skill among American instrumentalists has steadily risen. A typical orchestral audition might end up attracting dozens of people who are essentially indistinguishable in their musicianship and technique.

But this begs the question: are there actually many representatives of underclass minorities in that “top tier”? Obviously, there are not, because, if there were, then blind auditions would work to achieve their hiring just fine.

Mr. Tommasini fails also to explain why “diversity” in the sense of more African-Americans in classical orchestras is an urgent problem, while massive over-representation of African-Americans in professional sports is no problem at all.

Why, I often wonder, are blacks, Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, and homosexuals important for “Diversity” but not Finns, Ukrainians, or Belgians? If the answer is that a sob story about past hardships is required, then how come Jews, Appalachian hillbillies, and all those ethnic Catholic blue collar communities count for nothing in the Diversity sweepstakes? Tell us, Mr. Tommasini: what percentage of classical orchestra ensembles are made up of Southern Italians from the Outer Boroughs of New York?


You can imagine what I thought when I looked up Mr. Tommasini and found that he is a Yale classmate of mine.

07 Feb 2014

Obamacare Ethnicity & Race Questionaire

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There are no WASPs, Micks, Wops, Hillbillies, Pennsylvania Dutch, or Pollacks, but there are sure a helluva lot of varieties of Hispanic “ethnicity,” including such well know ethnic categories as “Balearic Islander,” “Canal Zone” (!), and “Criollo.”

“Hey! I’m Lithuanian, what are you, man?” “I’m a Canal Zone.”

Neither is one restricted to being merely Mexican. No, no, no, you have the choice of being “Mexican”, “Mexican American,” or “Mexican American Indian,” and if you really want to be in-your-face Mexican, why, you can be ethnically “La Raza.”

As one reads on and on, one begins to wonder how categories like “Don Quixote,” “Zorro,” and “El Cid” came to be overlooked.

There is no ethnicity for those of us in the non-bean-eating component of the population, but we do get taken care of in the next portion of the document. There we are, under Race: “White/Caucasion,” right in there with such other great races as the Chuukese, the Iwo Jimans, the Singaporeans, and the Yapese.

The principles employed to confer specific recognition are obviously mysterious and elusive. The Hong Kong-ese are shit out of luck, while the multi-ethnic residents of Singapore get to leap the boundaries of conventional racial categories to become Singaporean. Can this possibly be based on the sad history of American discrimination in favor of Hong Kong Cantonese cuisine over Singaporean curries?

Every archipelago and lagoon in the South Pacific, including Iwo Jima which lacks native inhabitants, has been awarded individual racial status, while so few categories of Asian “races” are deemed to exist. The Nepalese are there, but not the Kazakhs, Uzbeks, Kirghiz, Mongols, and so on.

What, the inquiring mind wants to know, did we ever do to people from Yap?

Via Dan Greenfield at Front page.

26 Jul 2010

James Webb, Turncoat and Hypocrite

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James Webb and friend

Some friends have been sending me links to Senator Webb’s Friday editorial in the Wall Street Journal urging America to move beyond policies institutionalizing racial privileges.

Before anybody starts taking James Webb seriously as a leader qualified to help us to move beyond the politics of race, he ought to remember that this is the same James Webb who has a Senate seat today because the leftwing media establishment constructed a fraudulent narrative accusing his opponent, a very popular Republican governor and at that point a serious contender for Republican presidential nomination, of manifesting racial prejudice against Hindus by supposedly employing an obscure francophone pejorative from the long-forgotten Belgian Congo.

Moe Lane understandably hopes that Webb’s latest move will cause him problems with his new allies and his new base.

Senator Webb seems to have forgotten that he has a ‘D’ after his name these days, which effectively means that this entire article is thoughtcrime that will pretty much guarantee him a messy primary in 2012. Progressives do not appreciate thoughtcrime, particularly in their converts: they bought Jimmy Webb in 2006, and they expect their purchases to perform as expected.

Do I sound entertained? It’s because I am: and I will enjoy every second that Jimmy Webb is broken on the wheel for relapsing into error like this. And do you know why I will enjoy every second? Because of ‘macaca,’ that’s why. Jimmy Webb stood by and calmly, disinterestedly watched as his new owners flash-mobbed his opponent for supposed racism in the 2006 Senatorial election. He did that because Jimmy Webb wanted to be Senator so badly that he was willing to overlook precisely the hyper-emphasis of race that he complains about now; after all, it put him in office, and that was the important thing, right?

Smitty, at The Other McCain, additionally commented on Webb’s hypocrisy.

If you want to ensure artificial distinctions such as race do not determine outcomes, Senator, remove the wrongheaded bureaucracy attempting to legislate fairness, and let the legal system handle the legitimate cases of illegal activity. The Oedipal drive for the nanny state teat will always drive Procrustean, bureaucratic outcomes until the Federalist mastectomy utterly nips the collectivist funbag from the body politic.

The tell in the editorial came earlier, as far as I could observe:

    I have dedicated my political career to bringing fairness to America’s economic system and to our work force, regardless of what people look like or where they may worship. Unfortunately, present-day diversity programs work against that notion, having expanded so far beyond their original purpose that they now favor anyone who does not happen to be white.

Do we need to get into your voting record, Senator? Have you not essentially been a rubber stamp for every crypto-Marxist idea that Pelosi and Reid have excreted in this atrocious 111th Congress, unless I’ve missed something. Where is your editorial promising to caucus with the GOP, if necessary, to prevent some zombie Congress from going on a brain-eating Card Check, Cap-N-Trade, &c rampage after the election in November? Where are you on making sure we’re approving Supreme Court justices who support and defend the Constitution, and don’t feel some urge to treat it as free verse about which to emote? …

When you think of fairness, Senator Webb, does the macaca incident enter you conscience? In particular, was Ezra Klein and JournoList, or some equally spin-tastic predecessor, involved? Do you really think the whole mish-mash honorable, or was the macaca thing in the Washington Post just a cost of doing business to advance your ambitions?

But, no, your ‘political career’ is what it’s all about, yes? Reform in this country will take root when almost all have such, elected or otherwise, to the point the phrase is oxymoronic. Here’s the book: your thumb wrestling match with George Allen for the seat led you to run on the Democratic ticket. Fine. I hoped you might be a voice of reason to the Democratic caucus, USNA grad and Vietnam veteran and all. But, in the main, you’ve consistently been a tool. Perhaps these strange masters of yours have subverted you totally.

James Webb comes from the South, served in the Marine Corps, and used to be a Republican. Ronald Reagan appointed him Assistant Secretary of Defense and later Secretary of the Navy. Nonetheless, when the Republican nomination to the Senate for Virginia was not available, Webb changed parties and ran as a democrat.

James Webb was on the boxing team at Annapolis. He understands the concept of fair play and why gentlemen in fair contests refrain from striking below the belt.

Some of us thought that, though he had acquired that Senate seat by unhanded means, Webb’s political manifesto, Born Fighting, signaled his ruthless determination to advance a new Jacksonian kind of politics, and thought Webb might find a way to redeem himself in office by defending the kind of ordinary Americans he proposed to represent in that book against Big Government, elitist rule, and special interests.

Well, that certainly didn’t happen.

In every case of the democrat Congress advancing the agenda of the extreme left, Jim Webb was there making up one of the necessary 60 Senate votes. When he voted for Obamacare, somebody should have sent him $3 worth of dimes.

Webb wrote an editorial expressing principles he conspicuously did not live, and any principles Webb may have are obviously for sale.

10 Jul 2010

Saturday, July 10, 2010

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James Carville’s own poll finds that 55% of Americans believe Barack Obama is accurately described as a socialist.


Red China’s People’s Daily says that the Taliban are training monkeys (macaques and baboons imported from the jungle) in Waziristan to use AK-47s, Bren guns, and trench mortars against US forces whose uniforms the monkeys are being taught to recognize.


Democrat Financial Reform Bill includes racial and gender quotas for US financial industry.


With the Social Security system soon to go broke, even democrats are talking seriously about raising the retirement age to 70. (Talking Points Memo)


San Francisco (America’s longest and most impressive exercise in misgovernment) regulated pot brownies and grudgingly tabled a proposal to ban the sale of pets other than fish.

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