Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs is Black, are his children deprived?

11 Oct


Moi thinks that too many folks put the emphasis on race and racial segregation when the emphasis should be on class and income. The reason there is housing pattern segregation is that one has to have sufficient income to live in Scarsdale and Beverly Hills. Without representation in all job categories, then one would not expect representation in all neighborhoods. An even more crucial determination is wealth accumulation and wealth transfer from generation to generation. One of moi’s acquaintance’s posed an interesting idea from one their economist friends. Suppose that instead of bailing out the lame a$$ets of the Goldman Sucks, the government had given each adult American $500,000 with two stipulations. The first is they must buy an American car and the second was that they had to start or join together in a new business. We couldn’t be any worse off.

Richard Kahlenberg has written an interesting Wall Street Journal article, A Liberal Critique of Racial Preferences:

Up until now, the trump card of affirmative-action supporters was that it seemed to be impossible to create racial and ethnic diversity without using race and ethnicity in admissions. Justice Harry Blackmun famously declared in the 1978 Bakke case: “I suspect that it would be impossible to arrange an affirmative-action program in a racially neutral way and have it successful. To ask that this be so is to demand the impossible. In order to get beyond racism, we must first take account of race. There is no other way.”

But several colleges and universities have found another way. At the University of Texas at Austin, officials were temporarily barred from using race by a circuit-court decision in the mid-1990s. So Texas adopted two programs—one to provide an admissions preference to students based on socioeconomic disadvantage and a second one, enacted in a state law, that automatically admitted applicants from the top 10% of any Texas high-school graduating class.

These had a positive effect. In late 1996, when it was still using race as a factor in admissions, UT Austin’s freshman class was 4.1% African-American and 14.5% Hispanic. By 2004, when the school was using class-based affirmative action and the top 10% plan, the entering class was even more diverse, at 4.5% African-American and 16.9% Hispanic. Given that those admissions policies were working, a white student, Abigail Fisher, challenged Texas’ decision to subsequently reinsert the use of race in admissions.

There is other evidence that racial preferences are not necessary to improve diversity. A new report I co-wrote for the Century Foundation—”A Better Affirmative Action: State Universities that Created Alternatives to Racial Preferences”—analyzes leading public universities where race was dropped from admissions. In seven of 10 cases, alternative programs—such as providing a leg up to economically disadvantaged students of all races—were able to produce a freshman class that met or exceeded the proportion of black and Latino students that had been achieved in the past using race and ethnicity in admissions.

Universities don’t like these alternative programs. In part, this is because if one’s narrow goal is racial diversity, class-based affirmative action is inefficient—in their view—because it admits a fair number of low-income and working-class Asian and white students alongside African-Americans and Latinos. It also does not benefit high-income minority students.

Yet if the goal is to create a truly meritocratic system of admissions, and one that considers academic accomplishments in light of obstacles overcome, then research suggests that programs to increase diversity should be primarily based on class rather than race. In the 2010 book, “Rewarding Strivers,” Georgetown University scholars Anthony Carnevale and Jeff Strohl note how socioeconomic disadvantages—such as family income and parental education—affect combined SAT scores. They found that a difference of 399 points separates the most-advantaged and the most-disadvantaged students. Race accounts for a much smaller, 56-point, disadvantage.

If one believes that all children, regardless of that child’s status have a right to a good basic education and that society must fund and implement policies, which support this principle. Then, one must discuss the issue of equity in education. Because of the segregation, which resulted after Plessy, most folks focus their analysis of Brown almost solely on race. The issue of equity was just as important. The equity issue was explained in terms of unequal resources and unequal access to education.

People tend to cluster in neighborhoods based upon class as much as race. Good teachers tend to gravitate toward neighborhoods where they are paid well and students come from families who mirror their personal backgrounds and values. Good teachers make a difference in a child’s life. One of the difficulties in busing to achieve equity in education is that neighborhoods tend to be segregated by class as well as race. People often make sacrifices to move into neighborhoods they perceive mirror their values. That is why there must be good schools in all segments of the city and there must be good schools in all parts of this state. A good education should not depend upon one’s class or status.

Perhaps, “disadvantage” is a better measure. Forbes reports in the article, Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Is Worth $550 Million. Should His Son Have Received A $54,000 Scholarship To Attend Cash-Strapped UCLA?

Justin Dior Combs, son of entertainment and fashion impresario Sean “Diddy” Combs, received a $54,000 scholarship to play football for the UCLA Bruins, according to Business Insider. Justin reportedly earned his free ride by accruing a 3.75 GPA, while playing cornerback for Iona Prep in New Rochelle, New York.

As the mackest daddy of rap, Sean “Diddy” Combs (net worth: $550 million) is, according to Forbes, not only the world’s wealthiest hip-hop artist, but, by deduction, one of the richest 10,000 people period. Moreover, he is a clear-cut member of the oft-villified “One Percent,” along with fellow rap mogul Russell Simmons (net worth: $325 million), who, ironically, joined forces with Occupy Wall Street to decry the high cost of college tuition.

Nevertheless, should Combs’ one percent status matter in merit-based scholarship decisions? Alternatively, should such scholarships be given out solely on classroom and extracurricular performance, regardless of a parent’s net worth, occupation, or notoriety?

FYI: out-of-state UC students like Justin Combs are routinely required to pay full freight to offset the cost of providing free or low-cost tuition to in-state students. In addition, UCLA awards 285 full athletic scholarships a year to a range of students from across the country and a range of sports, though a sizable percentage go to the football program, which brings in the lion’s, er, Bruin’s share of non-tuition, non-public income to the Pac-12 athletic and academic powerhouse….

Is the real issue “disadvantage” which is based upon income and class? The Supreme Court has a lot to think about as it attempts thread a needle between those who abhor any attempts to address inequity and those who want a solution for problems which are largely caused by disparity in education opportunity and challenging family stories.


A Better Affirmative Action: State Universities that Created Alternatives to Racial Preferences

Oct 3, 2012

Authors: Richard Kahlenberg and Halley Potter

Publisher(s): The Century Foundation

Type: Report

The Supreme Court of the United States will hear the Fisher v. Texas argument on October 10. The case could dramatically alter or eliminate race-based admissions policies at colleges and universities. In a new report, A Better Affirmative Action, Senior Fellow Richard Kahlenberg and Policy Associate Halley Potter look at solutions to racial preferences in Affirmative Action.  Download here.


Schools Brace for Decision on Affirmative Action

Weighing Alternatives To Affirmative Action                         


Affirmative action, critical mass, critical thinking, and groupthink                                        

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