Thursday, September 07, 2006

White whine with crackers

Nobody, but nobody, carries the jeremiad sack of white resentment around better than Katherine Kersten, our dear Katie. Today’s plaintive wail is for the Maslon, Edelman, Borman and Brand law firm in Minneapolis. Katie is distressed – I say distressed – because the Maslon firm’s civil rights credentials have been sullied by the firm’s representation of a bunch of pouting white kids who couldn’t get into the University of Michigan Law School, even though they had LSAT scores a little higher than some minority students who were enrolled.

Katie tells us of the nobility of the bow ties who mounted a challenge to the nefarious practice of looking at factors beyond the LSAT in making law school admission decisions, and how the bow ties took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. What Katie didn’t say was that the pouting white kids and the bow ties lost.

The thrust of the bow ties’ argument is that the only way – the only way – to measure merit and potential utility to society is by high-stakes testing. It is a pure social Darwinist hunter gatherer argument. And even the current Supreme Court rejected it. (Well, the one that had Rehnquist and O’Connor on it.)

Katie wants the world to be a giant Pork Chop Games. She’s had hierarchy and ranking drilled into her for so long that her life has no meaning unless she can be ranked against, and found superior to, the majority of people. Just like the biggest parakeet in the cage at Woolworth’s.

After their representation of the pouting white kids, the bow ties found out that life sometimes has consequences:

The backlash came in early 2006, when Maslon applied to join Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, a consortium of nine major corporations and 19 law firms interested in recruiting and hiring minority attorneys. Maslon's admission should have been a slam dunk. But its application was tabled after objections were raised. Months later, the firm is still in limbo.

Katie, representation of the pouting white kids wasn’t vindication of an important constitutional principle; it was low and mean and petty. It is going to take a while for the bow ties to scrub off the stain of what they spilled on themselves.

Tags: hates

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