Paying the Price of Admission

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Andrew Donaldson

Born and raised in West Virginia, Andrew has since lived and traveled around the world several times over. Though frequently writing about politics out of a sense of duty and love of country, most of the time he would prefer discussions on history, culture, occasionally nerding on aviation, and his amateur foodie tendencies. He can usually be found misspelling/misusing words on Twitter @four4thefire.

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243 Responses

  1. Avatar Oscar Gordon
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    says:

    Honest question: Was the forum in which he made those comments private and or anonymous? Something that was not otherwise publicly searchable?Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to Oscar Gordon
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      says:

      google docs on a school project share drive type situation from what I understand, though it is more than one things so a bit confusing.Report

      • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Andrew Donaldson
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        says:

        So not exactly public, not exactly private (unless 16 year olds are suddenly getting serious about privacy settings).

        I’m not overly concerned about the kid paying the price for saying vile crap, but I do worry about people saying things they reasonably believed would be kept private, suddenly finding that someone who was a party to that forum making the contents public without the consent of others in the forum.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
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          says:

          I understand the worry, but at the same time… there doesn’t seem to be a lot of options there beyond, “Don’t say vile crap online even if you’re pretty sure it’s private!”

          The alternative is to have institutional decision makers like Harvard pretend they never heard that ringing bell, which is… not a plausible expectation for institutional decision makers like Harvard.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            I’m thinking more like this is something I expect will be subject to a civil suit at some point. Someone will post in a private forum that they are having an affair or are gay or what not, and another member will take that information public and cause some manner of harm/damage, and someone will either try to sue over it, or leverage the harm into some kind of lobbying effort to allow for civil action…Report

          • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            As my children were growing up, I tried to teach them to behave the same way I have tried to behave since the early 1980s: assume everything you put on a remote server of any sort is public, and write accordingly. And if your computer is connected to a data network, best to assume that anything on it is also public.

            The OSs were not designed to enforce privacy. The application software wasn’t designed to enforce privacy. The data networks sure as hell were designed to enforce privacy. And back at that time, it was already getting pretty clear that the government was going drag their feet over allowing people to have strong encryption.Report

  2. Avatar CJColucci
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    says:

    Whatever editors are giving you a hard time over such clean, precise, and forceful language as “get good at it” are pretentious assholes.Report

  3. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    Remember when Harvard disinvited 10 different students for various offensive facebook memes?

    Good times.

    Anyway, here’s what I wrote then:

    I’m saying that they should be made poster children as warnings to *ALL* high school students in the good part of town as to what will happen if you act foolish on social media.

    School guidance counselors can use these kids as examples in the beginning of the year assembly for at least a decade.

    “Don’t be foolish on Social Media! It will get you booted from Harvard before you even start going there! Now for a sketch from the Drama Club about marijuana being bad.”

    I later on had to retract a little and walk back to something more like “put their silhouettes and not their real names on the poster” and just say something like “these 10 children got accepted to Harvard but then disinvited because they were foolish on social media”.

    We live in a new world and anything you say on it can turn you into the next 2 minute hate.

    The sooner that these posters are on the corkboard in every public (and private!) school in the country, the better.

    We are all Justine Sacco now.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      Everyday I thank God social media didn’t exist when I was growing up.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to InMD
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        says:

        What gets me is that apparently it was several of his classmates that went to all the trouble to notify Harvard and make sure he was kicked out.

        I can’t imagine anyone in my high school doing anything to hurt a classmate in the real world (other than the one guy whose body was found in a rock quarry after his buddies killed him before he went and killed them). Nobody would even tell adults what other classmates had done, much less reach out across the country to an Ivy League university just to torpedo somebody.

        That’s almost a psychotic level of hatred and vindictiveness.

        Whatever we’ve done over the last thirty years to better socialize students, it has certainly failed.Report

  4. Avatar Doctor Jay
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    I am a liberal, but I’m not that much of a fan of Harvard. Why is it that we only see fit to put people on the SCOTUS that have been to either Harvard or Yale Law School? It isn’t just liberals that do this, either.

    I sort of despise the death grip that Harvard has on intellectual status. This is despite have a very positive impression of every Harvard grad I’ve come in contact with.

    Notwithstanding, they have every right to admit or not admit whomever they want.Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Doctor Jay
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      I’ve heard rumors, farfetched as they may seem, that some people who didn’t go to Harvard nonetheless go on to lead successful and fulfilling lives.

      So much of the Culture War angle of this blowup seems rooted in the fact that a lot of folks on the Right hold Harvard in high esteem while simultaneously believing that it’s a socialist-dominating hive of SJWism. They have had little success building parallel conservative educational institutions, and don’t even really seem to have tried fighting back against the cachet that comes with that Harvard diploma.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
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        says:

        I’ve heard rumors that people got perfectly fine cakes at other bakeries.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to pillsy
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        There are some Yale graduates who claim that, but its just wishful thinking on their part. They’re just a football school, trailing only the Univ of Michigan in all time wins. But if they want to remain ahead of Auburn or Alabama, they really should relocate to Florida, Georgia, or Texas where they’d have better recruiting.Report

    • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Doctor Jay
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      says:

      For better or for worse, HYPS are seen as the best of the best. This is for various complicated reasons.

      Also, “no one ever got fired for putting money on IBM” as the old saying goes. The last Supreme Court Justice not to come from an Ivy League school was John Paul Stevens and he was considered an academic rockstar. The few attempts before him (Nixon’s two appointees for the seat that ultimately went to Blackmun, Harvard Law) and a few attempts after blew-up because the nominees were not ready for prime time. Now every President will just appoint HYS to the Supreme Court because it is one safe thing in a volatile process.Report

  5. Avatar DensityDuck
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    says:

    I’m looking forward to your thoughts on James Gunn!Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
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      says:

      There are some areas where the two situations aren’t exactly equivalent (because no two situations are), but the different outcomes almost have to do with the fact that it was much harder to replace Gunn than Kashuv. I’m sure Kashuv’s slot has been filled already by some fortunate waitlisted kid.

      Of course maybe a year from now Kashuv will be admitted to a comparably prestigious school [1] and the outcomes will be even more similar.

      [1] I doubt Harvard will change its mind.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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        says:

        When I was a freshman in college, we had a student phone book. It had the names and numbers and declared majors of all of the students who went to the school.

        Do they still make those?

        I imagine that our Volunteer Stasi would be able to do the vetting for Harvard and Yale students that these colleges just don’t have the resources for.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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          says:

          We had one of those too.

          It was called the “face book”.

          I have no idea if they still have them, but the name suggests that they may now be regarded as superfluous.

          As to Mr Kashuv’s future admissions prospects, it will almost certainly involve decision makers who know who he is and decide, for one reason or another, that they should overlook or forgive the comments that cost him his chance at Harvard.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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            says:

            How many Kashuv’s fell through the cracks.

            “Oh, he’s the last privileged white dude to have used the N-word at Harvard!”

            Sure he is. If 90% of the legacies there don’t use it once a week, I’ll eat my hat.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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              How many Kashuv’s fell through the cracks.

              Probably more than none.

              But what is actually your point?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                If becomes a weapon that obviously only gets pulled out and used against the politically convenient, it’ll cease to be useful as a weapon.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                Except it just isn’t a weapon that obviously only gets pulled out and used against the politically inconvenient.

                That’s a very convenient fiction that allows con bluechecks on Twitter to pretend that everything is oppression, but you already provided evidence in these very comments that they’re wrong.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Then, great. I’m sure that our volunteer stasi will be able to apply this to more students at Harvard.

                Remember this interesting story?

                Personally, I think that this level of vetting will be important in the future.

                If you make it to the Supreme Court, you’ll be pre-vetted. “How do we know this guy should get this appointment?”

                “He made it into *HARVARD*.”

                “Oh.”Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                I’m sure that our volunteer stasi will be able to apply this to more students at Harvard.

                What “volunteer Stasi”?

                Remember this interesting story?

                I do. I just fail to see the relevance here.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                In Jaybird’s world, fellow high school students upset at their classmates racist rantings are “volunteer Stasi”.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse
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                says:

                I’m probably using the term incorrectly.

                “Informeller Mitarbeiter” is probably a better term.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                What “volunteer Stasi”?

                I may be misunderstanding how Harvard got this information but, from what I understand, it wasn’t because they were looking for it.

                It’s because it was given to them.

                “I fail to see the relevance here.”

                Let me copy and paste an excerpt from the story:

                One professor was unwise enough to tell the New York Times that he was concerned they’d get attacked by conservative news media outlets and that “if this candidate is admitted to Harvard, where everyone is an elite among elites, that adjustment could be too much.”

                Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                It’s because it was given to them.

                Do you know who gave it to them?

                Let me copy and paste an excerpt from the story:

                Interesting. Seems to completely undercut your argument that this will only play out politically in one way.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                My argument is *NOT* that it will only play out politically in one way.

                My argument is, and let me copy and paste that again:

                If becomes a weapon that obviously only gets pulled out and used against the politically convenient, it’ll cease to be useful as a weapon.

                Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                OK that’s actually a terrible argument though.

                Of course it will continue to be useful if it’s only used against the politically convenient. What else would “politically convenient” even mean in this context?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                I went from it being a terrible argument to it being an “of course it will do that” to wanting to know what “politically convenient” would even mean.

                So I’ll just answer the question. People like Kyle are people who are obviously and enthusiastically on the right (used in the directional sense not the “correct” sense) side in the Forever Culture War.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Was Michelle Jones on the Right side of the Culture War?

                Because it really doesn’t seem like she was. Indeed, one reason she didn’t get into that Harvard PhD program was, evidently, fear of how the Rightward side of the Culture War would react. That’s the part you quoted, dude.

                So wasn’t she a politically convenient target?

                If not, why not?

                EDIT to add: Maybe instead of trying to be subtle, in the future you could just come right out and say you think that standard is only going to be used against conservatives so we can jump right to litigating that?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Was Michelle Jones on the Right side of the Culture War?

                No, she was not.

                ndeed, one reason she didn’t get into that Harvard PhD program was, evidently, fear of how the Rightward side of the Culture War would react. That’s the part you quoted, dude.

                I agree.

                So wasn’t she a politically convenient target?

                For whom? (As far as I can tell from the Time article, they considered her an inconvenient target.)

                At this point, I’d say that the tools can easily be argued to be used against “both sides”.

                And I’d repaste my argument again if I thought it wouldn’t be obnoxious.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                The Time article did, but as far as I know she went to NYU and that was the last of it.

                A lot more people complained about what happened to Kashuv.

                But that’s, just possibly, because there’s a cottage industry devoted to convincing conservatives that they’re a despised minority, and will do so on the basis of incredibly flimsy reasons like, “Sometimes conservatives face modest setbacks after they’re caught using racial slurs.”

                As long as they keep wanting to send their kids to Harvard, it’s not gonna matter.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Another dynamic is that Kashuv got in and then got his offer rescinded.

                She just didn’t get in in the first place.

                So maybe it’s *NOT* apples to apples and this is just an example of what happens when white people get vetted too.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                She didn’t get in in the first place because Harvard knew that she was currently in prison for a heinous crime. She attached a letter to her application to that effect, so there was no surprise.

                Kashuv got booted after Harvard found out that he’d posted a bunch of vile crap on the Internet and it came out after the fact.

                But since exactly the same thing happened a couple years ago, and there was no clear political affiliation for the last bunch of kids who got into trouble for it, your “obviously” isn’t so obvious after all.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                But since exactly the same thing happened a couple years ago, and there was no clear political affiliation for the last bunch of kids who got into trouble for it, your “obviously” isn’t so obvious after all.

                Pillsy… I am not arguing what you think I am arguing.

                This is not me defending Kashuv. I am not saying that he should go to Harvard.

                They found out that he did some bad stuff and the bad stuff he did was in the “embarrass the school” variety which is pretty much the definition of stuff you need to *NOT* be doing if you want to go to Harvard.

                The Righties who are yelling that this isn’t fair (or whatever) don’t understand that Harvard can deny service to people even *AFTER* agreeing to provide them the service!

                I am not arguing against any proposition in the above.

                The fact that Harvard avoids accepting students that will cause uproars is *SMART*.

                And now that we have a society full of people devoted to searching through the histories of people (volunteers doing this in their free time), Harvard will be stuck in a place where more and more people will find more and more dirt on more and more of their fellow students in an effort to be one of the small number of kids the school accepts in any given year.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
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                See my comment downthread about how it’s great for punching up and down.

                And we don’t even have to worry about kids doing it to other kids, because you know damn well the parents will do it, or they’ll pay others to do it, or fabricate it…

                We do live in an age of deep fake videos, after all.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                If you suspected that the difference between your kid getting into Harvard and Rival Kid getting into Harvard was Harvard finding out that Rival Kid snuck beer into the Junior Prom… wouldn’t you have to let Harvard know about that incident?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Ding!

                And for some extra special injustice, if the rival kid sneaking beer is the kind of kid we think doesn’t really belong at Harvard because, you know, he’s a minority, or just a lower SES…Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                And for some extra special injustice, if the rival kid sneaking beer is the kind of kid we think doesn’t really belong at Harvard because, you know, he’s a minority, or just a lower SES…

                I mean, I dunno, at a certain point I kind of get my back up when we start comparing getting in trouble for throwing slurs at minorities with being unfairly singled out for being a minority.

                I know that wasn’t the intent but still at a certain point we’re entering dril’s Wise Man territory.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
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                It’s not the ‘getting in trouble’ I have a problem with, it’s the ‘we are going to impact your adult opportunities based upon your adolescent behavior’.

                There is a reason I keep asking about how Harvard went about this.

                If Harvard called Kyle up, said, “These posts were brought to our attention, care to explain?”, and Kyle explained it away like an entitled little shit, then I’m out. Kid had a chance to right the ship and pissed it away.

                But if Harvard just up and pulled the acceptance without giving him a chance[1], or despite an honest bit of repentance at the time, then A) he’s got a right to be pissy with Harvard, and B) Harvard is risking setting itself up for trouble with a standard[2] for getting bumped up the waiting list.

                I mean, we’ve seen parents paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get their kid into a school, imagine what they’ll do if all they need is some dirt on a kid.

                [1] This is what it sounds like happened, but I really am hoping Harvard gave the kid a chance to be contrite.

                [2] Given how colleges are really bad at evaluating evidence of wrongdoing and allowing ideology to run roughshod over any kind of veneer of due process, etc., I can see Harvard being merely the tip of this iceberg.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                I mean, I dunno, at a certain point I kind of get my back up when we start comparing getting in trouble for throwing slurs at minorities with being unfairly singled out for being a minority.

                For the record, I was comparing being someone who is a risk for embarrassing the college with being someone who is a risk for embarrassing the college.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Do you know who gave it to them?

                “Informeller Mitarbeiter”. If you want to know who *SPECIFICALLY*, I don’t know who.

                Above, Jesse indicates that he thinks it is “fellow high school students”.

                I’m willing to run with that.Report

              • Avatar Aaron David in reply to Jaybird
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                Ein Woke, Ein Reich, Ein…Report

            • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to Jaybird
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              Really? I’m not bragging here when I say I’ve never used it; it’s for the same reason I’ve never used “tergiversation”: it’s simply not in my vocabulary. Are other white people using it right and left any time they think they can get away with it, and I’m the oddball?Report

            • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Jaybird
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              Seems unlikely that 90% of legacy admits are regularly using racial slurs. I suspect that a decent share of the affirmative action admits are, but only the Harvard-approved kind of racial slurs.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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          And what bugs me about this is not Kashuv. Pillsy’s correct that he’ll do okay. What bugs me is what this implies about the dude who isn’t Kashuv, and doesn’t have major media figures backing him, and can’t call on ten thousand retweets to help him out.

          Like, if shitposting becomes a reason to rescind admission, that’s not something that’s gonna stop at Kyle Kashuv. That’s gonna be something where colleges just demand your social-media account information as a matter of course, and if you’ve ever shared loss.jpg then you don’t get to go to college Just In Case.Report

          • Avatar Aaron David in reply to DensityDuck
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            Honestly, I would say it sets things back for a couple of years at most, admissions-wise. Racial relations wise? DOAReport

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to DensityDuck
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            Eh. It’ll change either when the rules get applied evenly or when it becomes painfully obvious that the rules only get applied in one direction.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
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              says:

              I mean, I’m sure we’ll hear stories about how so-and-so had his college admission rescinded when someone found the recordings of his childishly dirty amateur rap-battle performances, whereas Whitey McRichfase III posted detailed rape fantasies about his teacher but still went to Harvard, and that’s why Zero Tolerance policies for shitposting are actually anti-racist.Report

          • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck
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            That, or it becomes a great way for HS kids (or their parents) to mess with other kids/families.

            Great for punching up or down.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
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            Shitposting is already a reason to revoke admission though. Heck, Jaybird already linked to an OT discussion about the same thing happening almost exactly two years ago.

            And like at some point maybe we just need to start teaching kids that they shouldn’t be shitposting like that? Just as a prudential thing?Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
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              says:

              well hey that sounds great but I fully expect that if you’re, say, James Gunn’s kid you’ll be able to get away with a lot before what you do is defined as Shitposting For What You’ll Get RescindedReport

          • Avatar Jesse in reply to DensityDuck
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            I was a poor kid, living with a single Mom on welfare. I somehow managed to get through my whole high school career, without ever saying or using slurs against other people, either in public or in private conversation.

            So, if I can pull it off, so can other poor kids, without that much of a problem. It isn’t too much to ask to not to be a bigoted asshole.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jesse
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              says:

              Hey, I was a poor kid too, living on welfare, and OMFG! I do not want the kind of shit that came out of my mouth at 16 to be recorded anywhere.

              I look back at who I was and I am honestly embarrassed. I mean, I had the good sense to never say such things to adults, but growing up in rural WI, where there was exactly one black family in my HS…Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                That’s the difference though. I see no evidence that this kid is embarrassed at all over what he has said. Even his apology is the typical, I’m sorry I was caught BS. He was embarrassed he got caught.

                Actually realizing you were wrong and accepting the consequences for being wrong goes a lot farther than getting your famous friends on Twitter to complain about it.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jesse
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                says:

                So we agree the standard should not be, “Don’t be a complete asshole when you are a teenager”, but rather, “Own up to your youthful asshole ways and at least have the decency to pretend to be embarrassed about it”.

                Now, that said, I have to wonder if Harvard gave the kid a chance to own it, etc., or if they just sent a letter telling him he was out?

                Yes, Harvard is totally within their rights to do exactly that, but if that is what happened, I can get why the kid isn’t exactly feeling apologetic.Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                Well, more like “own up to being an asshole and accept the consequences for getting caught.”

                Harvard did let him know and he did put out an apology, but in my view and many others, it was a self serving, I’m sorry I got caught apology, especially when combine with his actions afterward.

                Nobody should’ve known Kashuv ended up getting dis-invited from Harvard. The only reason anybody knew is because he made it public. Even if Shapiro or some of his other new friends made it public, he could’ve said something along the lines of, “I admitted my mistakes to Harvard and they made their decision. I look forward to the next chapter of my life after a gap year. Please don’t make a mountain out of a mole hill, as I accept the consequences of the terrible things he did.”

                Instead, he said, “well, Harvard was racist, so how can they judge me?”Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jesse
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                says:

                own up to being an asshole and accept the consequences for getting caught

                Getting caught being a teenage asshole, after you are an adult, should have consequences?

                I would certainly hope not.

                It’s not the being an asshole or the getting caught that should result in consequences.

                Obviously Harvard had to tell him not to come, I’m just wondering if they offered him a chance to explain. If they did, and he acted towards them privately like he did publicly, then yeah, he made his bed and all. But if they just sent a letter pulling his acceptance without giving him a chance, then I can see this becoming a problem.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                The thing is that he got caught all of two years after the wrongdoing.

                And that 16 year old period is peak, “The stuff you do now will have an effect on the college you go to.” That’s the age you take your SATs, get the grades that the colleges will pay most attention to, et c. So I’m somewhat dismissive of the idea to write this off as teenage immaturity because… teenage immaturity afflicts pretty much everybody who is applying to Harvard.

                If he were 25 and had done a bunch of stuff beyond just get into Harvard, he’d be in a much better position to argue that he’d changed since then.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Without going into it, I have some experience with the whole “teenage dumbassery significantly impacting adult opportunities”, so I am more willing to cut a kid a break if they own the dumbassery.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                Personally I think anyone who says they don’t look back at their teenage years and at least cringe a little is either a liar or delusional.Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                The problem as Veronica pointed out below is that forgiveness for teeange dumbassery tends to come up:

                1. When it is a white kid (usually from a middle-class or above family) that says something stupid. It is rarely or ever given to a black kid who types “Kill all the Honkies” in adolescent anger.

                2. It never takes how the people at the other end of teenage dumbassery feel. Those Harvard Memes for Bourgeois Teens were gross. You can see them on the net with a brief search.

                So I broadly agree with InMD that everyone should feel embarrassed by their teenage self at some point. But these expressions of sympathy always seem to translate as “Holy shit. I was a white, American male teenager who said really hurtful and offensive things like this kid but it was before the internet and no one recorded it.” So people can sympathize because it is affinity empathy. It never seems to expand.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                “The problem as Veronica pointed out below is that forgiveness for teeange dumbassery tends to come up…”

                We are, you should note, now making it a matter of established practice that you don’t ever get forgiveness. Which, go with that if it’s what you want, but make sure it *is* what you want.

                And I can’t help but get the idea that the people trying the hardest to make Your Permanent Record be, like, a real thing are the ones who are proud of how their Permanent Record would be spotless.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Saul Degraw
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                It is rarely or ever given to a black kid who types “Kill all the Honkies” in adolescent anger.

                What you mean is it’s never in the news… which is odd. My expectation is that minority teens are just as stupid as their white peers. So do we never forgive then? Do we always? Is it only newsworthy if it fits the “entitled” narrative?

                Does anyone have any minority examples of this other than the woman in prison for killing her kid?Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Saul Degraw
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                says:

                I’m going to call BS on this. Harvard wouldn’t deny a professorship, much less an undergraduate application, for anti-white slurs. The “teenage dumbassery” that black kids don’t get a pass on is actual crime, not racial slurs. And apparently Harvard was just about ready to overlook filicide from an applicant with sufficient quota points. Sarah Jeong was at Harvard Law when she was broadcasting her bigotry to the world on Twitter, and neither Harvard not the NYT had a problem with it.

                Can you find even one instance of a black applicant being rejected from any university for anything comparable to this?Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                The big difference here is that you are a forty-something male. The “I was only 16. Please forgive me” apology doesn’t work as a 17 year old. It reads as a classic non-apology apology. I think his regret is getting caught, not in anything he said or did.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                So, in your estimation, as a noted expert in adolescent development, how old do you have to be before you can be forgiven for your misdemeanor teenage sins?

                Yes, we have the legal line at 18, when it all is supposed to get wiped away (but rarely does), but socially, how old?

                And keep in mind that whatever age you choose, you can probably add a few years for all the black and brown kids, just because.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to Saul Degraw
                Ignored
                says:

                The “I was only 16. Please forgive me” apology doesn’t work as a [18] year old.

                His big claim to a life changing event was living through a school shooting. The whole “it was a life changing event” seems to be something we’ve mostly accepted with these kids. He claims (maybe correctly) who and what he was before has little to do with who and what he is now.

                He posted exactly what he wrote to apologize to Harvard in his appeal. He’s either sincere or he can fake it really, really well.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        …well, I guess “free speech for the privileged few” is the end result of liberal reasoning on the subject, but it’s rather a surprise to see it just roll out there.Report

        • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          Yeah I’m not really seeing, “Kid who got into Harvard,” as downtrodden, and as usual your definition of “free speech” is so expansive as to render the concept incoherent.Report

          • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
            Ignored
            says:

            except for the part where he, uh, didn’t actually get into Harvard

            “the different outcomes almost have to do with the fact that it was much harder to replace Gunn than Kashuv”

            my dude, it was not i that wrote this sentenceReport

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
              Ignored
              says:

              He was the kind of kid who got into Harvard, and not the kind of kid who got into Harvard because he’s disadvantaged in some way and Harvard wants to burnish its credentials as promoting some sort of class mobility.

              So yeah, still not seeing him as downtrodden.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                so

                uh

                so

                we shouldn’t be concerned about normalizing the idea that teenage shitposting can wreck someone’s future

                because Kyle Kashuv did get a Harvard admission

                (that was taken away)Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                We shouldn’t be concerned that bad teenage decision making can wreck your chances to go to Harvard because the Harvard admissions process is all about holding teenagers to ludicrously high standards of decision making.

                And yes, the fact that he did get into Harvard is actually a relevant piece of information here.Report

        • Avatar Jesse in reply to DensityDuck
          Ignored
          says:

          Any teenager still have the right to call a fellow black student a “n*ggerjock” for dating a girl you like. They won’t be arrested. They’ll face no fines. There will however just might be societal consequences for doing so.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      It is of interest to me that so far the only one who’s said anything about James Gunn was pillsy, who suggested that shitpost-cancellation is something that only the non-famous need worry about.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        That isn’t what I said actually but whatever.

        Kashuv was unusually famous for a Harvard admittee (I mean I’d heard of him, unlike the vast majority of his classmates). What he was is easily replaceable from Harvard’s point of view.

        Gunn was, apparently, not easily replaceable from Disney’s point of view. Indeed, they spent a year trying to replace him before relenting and bringing him back on board.Report

        • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          irreplaceable, famous, privileged, whatever, if you honestly believe that Disney couldn’t find someone competent to direct a movie then I gotta ask how many times the dealer stepped on what you’re smoking. They were perfectly happy to bring in the B-team for Toy Story 3 (and just as happy to poof that project entirely when Pixar agreed to a merger.)Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
            Ignored
            says:

            Oh, I’m sure they could find someone competent to work with, but Gunn was (a) a known quantity, and (b) someone the stars of GoG [1] were enthusiastic to work with.

            Whereas there were hundreds if not thousands of people who are immediately able to step into Kashuv’s spot without so much as a hiccup. Especially since Kashuv is taking a gap year and wouldn’t have been coming to Harvard anyway.

            They just gotta admit one more kid.

            If noteworthy professional success versus a complete (and almost inevitable) lack of same counts as “privilege” in your book [2] then sure, you’re right. And in a certain sense the fact that the dude who’s been extremely successful in his field gets cut some degree of slack that a dude who hasn’t really had a chance to perform in any field is unfair.

            But if you really want to argue that it’s a form of invidious discrimination, well, I see problems with that because it would make pretty much any decision around hiring, promotion, and firing a form of invidious discrimination.

            [1] How many stars have they replaced in 20+ movies? I count two: Ed Norton and Terrence Howard.

            [2] And to be fair I’ve heard loopier things counted as “privilege”, but I’m not sure “this is more grounded than Everyday Feminism” is a promising line of argument.Report

            • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
              Ignored
              says:

              So earlier in these comments you’ve claimed that Kashuv’s acceptance being rescinded isn’t THAT big a deal, because before that happened he’d been accepted to Harvard and that is in itself a mark of recognition and respect and achievement.

              Now here you are claiming that he’s a nobody, a cipher, one white boy out of a thousand and it doesn’t mean a damn thing to anyone to wish him away to the cornfield.

              What are you even arguing anymore?

              “[I]f you really want to argue that it’s a form of invidious discrimination…”

              What I want to argue is that I said “what do you think about James Gunn” and you replied “well he was uniquely talented so he can shitpost with impunity” and I said “well gosh that sounds a lot like Privilege” and you said “YUP”.

              And now we’re in a weird place where you are saying that privilege exists and you’re okay with it.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Now here you are claiming that he’s a nobody, a cipher, one white boy out of a thousand and it doesn’t mean a damn thing to anyone to wish him away to the cornfield.

                Because they’re both true, dude. Getting into Harvard is a very difficult thing to do, that only about 2000 or so kids manage to do a year, but it still makes him one of 2000.

                Compared to the vast majority of American teenagers he’s exceptional.

                Compared to other Harvard students, he’s only a bit more noteworthy than average, due to his highly visible political activism.

                And now we’re in a weird place where you are saying that privilege exists and you’re okay with it.

                Because you’ve expanded privilege to the point where it includes professional accomplishments. Of course I’m OK with that kind of privilege.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                “Getting into Harvard is hard! But that still doesn’t make you special.”

                Good night folks, try the veal and don’t forget to tip your server.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Not hard enough that Harvard can’t easily replace you. This isn’t very difficult to understand, but you pretty obviously don’t want to understand it.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                Assuming Harvard gets 50K applications a year, and maybe 10K make the cut, but only 2K can be accepted, then Harvard waitlists 8K. When you’ve got 8K who are just as good, losing 1 is not big deal.

                Now if that waitlist is only, say, 50, then it’s a different calculus.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I’ve met a fair number of Harvard grads. They’re certainly well above average, but I’ve met plenty of non-Harvard grads who are just as capable. They don’t comprise a magical elite.Report

    • Avatar Mike Schilling in reply to DensityDuck
      Ignored
      says:

      He didn’t deserve to be a Grand Master. Still, better him than Pournelle.Report

  6. Avatar veronica d
    Ignored
    says:

    Captain Awkward has a nice “Twitter thread thingy” about this imbroglio that I quite like: https://twitter.com/CAwkward/status/1140738377618264064

    The main point: bigotry hurts people. Why do we center the experiences of the (perhaps reformed) bigot instead of those being hurt by bigots? Whose story do we focus on? Why?

    Some kid didn’t get into {elite school} — so what? Many kids don’t. Why is this a story, when there are so many other stories we might tell?

    There are many stories about minority kids getting ground up and stomped on and losing big, where in a better world they might thrive. Why not focus on their stories?

    I understand why white people love to watch “white redemption” stories. I get it. Really, it’s not so mysterious.

    In American History X we get to watch Ed Norton’s character find redemption. What about the kids his character curb-stomped? Did they have a story worth hearing?Report

  7. Avatar Mike Schilling
    Ignored
    says:

    He also wrote “Kill all the fucking Jews”, which is a sentiment I thought Christian had grown to regret. David French’s reaction leads me to conclude I was being optimistic.Report

  8. Avatar Chip Daniels
    Ignored
    says:

    Maybe this post was intentionally timed to coincide with the OJ Simpson one, or not.
    But they both strike me as having a common link, where people like us- meaning people who are white educated and relatively comfortable- find it so shocking and outrageous when there is a miscarriage of justice.

    Like I remember how stunning and infuriating it was when I heard the verdict- this guy was obviously guilty! And he got off! And further, the jurors said as much! God-dammit!

    And in this case, were I lord of the universe, would I rescind his application? Maybe, but probably not.

    But see, these are both the sorts of injustices that the majority of the world lives with, day in, day out. Injustices that range from the petty to the staggering, but most of the world has learned how to cope with it.

    Should we just shrug our shoulders then, and suck it up?

    No, I think that would be the wrong answer. But maybe have a bit more sympathy next time we hear the cry of injustice from people who aren’t like us.Report

    • Avatar InMD in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      I think this is the right message. My sympathy for Kashuv is… limited in the same way my sympathy for the other Parkland kids has been when they got some rough treatment. Our public sphere is what it is, and frankly I think all of those kids have been used as pawns. But those out in the media still entered it willingly, live by the histrionic tweet, die by the histrionic tweet.

      But on the broader point we need to be better at forgiveness even of people not like us or who we disagree with. There are plenty of people whose worst moments randomly went viral (that recent valedictorian speech for example). No people can’t be free from consequences of their actions but there’s an arbitrariness, holier than thou-ness, and disproportion to it that I think is wrong.Report

  9. Avatar Saul Degraw
    Ignored
    says:

    There are lots of people who find it fashionable and convenient to bash the Ivy League and possibly some close enough SLAC equivalents or close enough university equivalents like Chicago and Stanford. But I think if people were being really honest and they got into an Ivy-League school, they would have a hard time saying no. The reasons being that for better or for worse attending and graduating from an Ivy can make you for life and gets you all the connections needed.

    A lot of right-wingers (even though they will not admit it) don’t hate the Ivy League. All their top stars went to the Ivies too. Coulter went to Cornell. Ingraham and D’Souza went to Dartmouth. Alioto went to Princeton, etc. What they dislike is that a lot of liberals went to the Ivies as well. They want exclusive dominance and control over the Ivy League and they imagine the good-old days when the students were mainly from prep schools and decked out in blazers and ties and reading really old books.Report

    • Avatar Jesse in reply to Saul Degraw
      Ignored
      says:

      I mean, it’s the same reason why all the blue check conservatives on Twitter all live in NYC or other major cities, as opposed to some part of Real America. I’ll say this about Eric Erickson – he’s a scumbag and piece of crap, but he’s living in exurban Georgia, which until recently, was the heart of American Conservatism.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse
        Ignored
        says:

        Yeah, I kinda think that progressives who don’t live in Portland or San Francisco or Brooklyn are hypocrites.

        If you’re so virtuous, why are you in Detroit?Report

        • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          And this little bit of dada questioning means what?

          All these conservative superstars love to talk about how evil, decadent, corrupt, and incompetent big cities like NYC are but they sure love seeming to love in big cities because:

          1. Cities have a lot more economic development and opportunity than exurban wherever;

          2. There is more stuff to do for amusement and entertainment.

          So they want everything that cities offer except all those icky liberals that live in cities and/or brown people…Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Saul Degraw
            Ignored
            says:

            You’re fine, Saul. You can afford to live in San Francisco.Report

            • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              So wait, it’s OK for them to proclaim they hate cities and the people who live there, while clearly refusing to give up the benefits of living in those cities, because they’re also paying a lot of money to live in those cities?

              That literally makes no sense.

              Of course, neither does the basic idea that nobody wants to live in big cities any more because they’re too crowded.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                No, I was agreeing with the original premise.

                Conservatives who live in cities are hypocrites.

                I was just extending that out.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not just “conservatives who live in cities”.

                Read what @Jesse and @Saul actually wrote, and who they actually wrote it about.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Let me copy and paste it, then.

                “all the blue check conservatives on Twitter all live in NYC or other major cities, as opposed to some part of Real America”

                So the conservatives who are verified on Twitter?

                I suppose we could map that to progressives who are verified on Twitter.

                And, from Saul, “All these conservative superstars love to talk about how evil, decadent, corrupt, and incompetent big cities like NYC are but they sure love seeming to love in big cities”

                So Progressive Superstars who complain about how evil, tied-down, corrupt, and incompetent Cleveland-and-lower are who, for whatever reason, haven’t moved.

                Is that better?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                So the conservatives who are verified on Twitter?

                Yes.

                I don’t see what investment you have in defending them from these charges.

                Unless you just can’t bear to see a lib make a negative normative judgement about a con without challenging them on it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m not defending them!

                I’m saying this rule seems good enough to use for everybody.

                Oooh! Let me mirror your last question: Is the thought of rules applying to everybody so painful for you?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                You aren’t applying the same rule to everybody. You’re making up a new rule that makes zero sense on its own terms and applying it to liberals.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                So what’s the rule, again?

                “If you are prominent on social media and your views don’t align with where you live, you should move instead of complaining or trying to change it”?

                I’m *NOT* defending Conservatives here. I’m just saying that the rule seems stupid and harmful if it’s applied only to conservatives.

                If I may make an analogy I’ve made before, I see it as similar to the differences between Prohibition and the War on Drugs.

                When Prohibition went on, the cops busted *EVERYBODY*. If they found the mayor in the Speakeasy, the picture of the mayor getting frogmarched out of the building was above the fold on the front page the next day.

                Prohibition quickly managed to be repealed.

                The War on Drugs, by comparison, was only applied to one part of town. As such, it lasted decades (for marijuana) and that only stopped when cops got enthusiastic enough to start treating the suburbs the way that they’d been treating the inner city for years and years.

                And 10 minutes after that started? Whammo! Legalized Medicinal. Cops are still enthusiastically busting people? Whammo. Recreational was legalized.

                If your response to my saying “let’s apply the proposed rule across the spectrum” is to feel like I’m defending the smaller group you’re proposing the rule be applied to, that should be an indicator about the quality of the rule.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “I’m just saying that the rule seems stupid and harmful if it’s applied only to conservatives.”

                See, I think yours and my mistake here is thinking of this as a rule, when we should instead see it as a tool. Like, a giant Laser that causes Death. And once this Death Laser has been used on the Bad Guys it will be put back in its box and never, ever, ever taken out again.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                I’m just saying that the rule seems stupid and harmful if it’s applied only to conservatives.

                Fine, liberals who live in big cities and complain about the godless hedonism and cosmopolitan nihilism that those big cities embody are also hypocrites.

                But you want to generalize the “rule” so much that it doesn’t actually mean anything, because “living in a place that doesn’t align with your views” could mean virtually anything.

                I’m sure you could formulate more plausible ways of accusing liberals of hypocrisy because of where they live.[1]

                But the one you’re going with just ain’t it, chief.

                [1] Like why not go back to the old standby of, “They live in de facto racially segregated school districts?”Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                “They live in de facto racially segregated school districts?”

                Which, actually, is a totally legit criticism.

                “Racism is bad! But darnit I don’t want my little Sally in school with those people.”

                Fucking puke.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s so weird how you’re arguing really hard against Saul DeGraw.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                So the criticism is specially designed to *ONLY* apply to Conservatives?

                If I may: it’ll probably get cheers from the partisans on the team, but I doubt it’ll convince anybody not already of the flock.

                But, sure. We can run with rules that have been formulated to only apply to the two dozen or so big-city-living twitter-verified conservatives who complain about cities being decadent who are not Erik Erickson.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Did you even read the rest of my post?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Is there anyone who does not agree that sending your kids to not-particularly-diverse schools is bad?

                Other than the parents who are doing it, I mean?Report

              • Avatar Saul Degraw in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Unless you just can’t bear to see a lib make a negative normative judgement about a con without challenging them on it.”

                Winner Winner Chicken DinnerReport

            • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
              Ignored
              says:

              I think there is a fundamental asymmetry between, for example, fairly well-off conservative pundits who currently can afford to live in {big metro}, but who rail against {big metro} — versus, for example, a dirt poor black trans girl living in {bumfuck nowhere} who would love to live in {big metro}, but who couldn’t possibly afford it.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                If stuff is getting set up so that only conservatives could possibly be hypocrites then let me say that that is silly and transparent.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Oh. You could have just said that then. I doubt anyone would disagree.

                Here, let me illustrate:

                “There are non-conservative hypocrites.”

                Easy peasy.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                That doesn’t map, though.

                I mean, maybe they still prefer plastic straws even though they argue against them online.

                I’m specifically talking about them demonstrating hypocrisy by choosing to remain in places that they claim that they don’t like that they could theoretically leave.

                “If you don’t like it, move to Somalia”, on a societal scale.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                “Yet you participate in society. Curious! I am very intelligent.”Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Again, that’s pretty different from talking about the superiority of “real ‘murica,” but still wanting to live in NYC.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, now that we’ve narrowed it down to only verified twitter users, the rule wouldn’t affect dirt poor people living in The Middle Of Nowhere.Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Many people live in places they might prefer not to because of work. Most national pundits are going to have to live in the NE urban corridor, no matter whether they like it or not.

                Of the two Koch brothers who matter for politics, one lives in Wichita where he runs the day-to-day aspect of the business, and one lives in NYC, because he handles the finance end of things. When you’re dealing with hundreds of millions of dollars on a day-to-day basis, you live in NYC. (Both are patrons of the arts, one in Wichita and one in NYC.)Report

              • Avatar Jesse in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                “Most national pundits are going to have to live in the NE urban corridor, no matter whether they like it or not.”

                All of the various conservative websites and magazines may need corespondents in DC, but there’s no reason their HQ’s can’t be in Oklahoma, Wyoming, rural Tennessee, or some other place they believe is full of real Americans.

                Again, Erick Erickson’s a terrible person, but he’s put his money where is mouth is, living out in exurban GeorgiaReport

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Michael Cain
                Ignored
                says:

                Many people live in places they might prefer not to because of work.

                Wait, so criticizing people for living somewhere they’d rather not be living is *NOT* a legit criticism?Report

  10. Avatar Czarcasm
    Ignored
    says:

    {“Czarcasm” is a previously banned commenter}Report

  11. Avatar Jaybird
    Ignored
    says:

    I mean, remember when that Furry got an internship at NASA and then told Homer Hickham to engage in oral sex and then got fired once NASA saw it?

    This is like that.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I guess nobody does, because I asked about it earlier and nobody said anything 😐Report

    • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
      Ignored
      says:

      I mean it is if you are insisting that social consequences of speech be doled out in a viewpoint neutral way, which is actually a bananas thing to insist on.Report

      • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        i really believe we would all be better off if you could back down for five whole minutes and think hard about what you just said thereReport

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
        Ignored
        says:

        We need to do a better job of communicating to students that if they say bad things online (even in jest), we will ruin their lives.

        (I am still a fan of posters in high schools and mini-plays in school assemblies.)Report

        • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
          Ignored
          says:

          I don’t know why we’re stopping with Kashuv… from the screenshots I saw it was a private text… I have to believe that if we scroll up far enough his interlocutor is also pretty deplorable… have we also explored his college options? I’d like to make sure we haven’t left anyone out… probably this Ur-Interlocutor has other conversations with other people the content of which should be exposed so that we as a society might make better judgement as to the allocation of our educational resources.

          You people are far too conservative for my tastes.Report

          • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            It’s okay if the interlocutor is only going to one of the crappy schools. Bryn Mawr or something.

            If you want to get into the best of the best, though, you need to be as clean as Kagan.Report

          • Avatar Jesse in reply to Marchmaine
            Ignored
            says:

            I mean, yes, if any other kid in that text thread used slurs against another race or gender, I have no issues with them facing consequences.

            But, in reality, just like every other reasonable conservative, you don’t actually want any consequences for kids like Kashuv, since it’s just teenagers being teenagers, right? Every teenager is a shithead who uses racial slurs and there’s nothing more we can expect out of them.Report

            • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jesse
              Ignored
              says:

              Not exactly… I have no idea if I’m a reasonable conservative though.

              I’ve stated publicly that Educational institutions have to be able to make moral distinctions that determine what to include/exclude in their fields of inquiry and who precisely might further those inquiries… my primary issue with Harvard is that they are a bad University for not having a coherent field of inquiry – it seems they are working on that.

              I’m conflicted about exchanges of private information that are deemed morally culpable for only one of two parties; on the one hand we might want to grant limited immunity so that we can better expose our peers/friends/competitors without fear of consequence; on the other hand it seems we are creating an incentive to betray trust first lest your trust be the one betrayed. And further, who has the right to grant one racist immunity to catch a different racist? What’s the heritable paradigm we’re working towards?Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird
                Ignored
                says:

                Progress without direction is purely a matter of velocity.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                This dovetails with my questions about what Harvard did or did not do. Did they accept the evidence uncritically? Did they do any kind of due diligence? Was the source looked at? Etc.

                I mean, if you are going to treat seriously every tossed about accusation of witchcraft, you need to verify it with more than simple claims of being turned into a newt and spontaneously getting better.

                And always beware of those Agnes Nutter’s. Sure, it seems awful handy that they willingly go to the pyre…Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Well since Kashuv actually told them that he said the things that were attributed to him, I think Harvard is in the clear on this one.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                I like where these incentives are going.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Details still matter. If Harvard asks, “Did you write this?” and the kid replies:

                “Yes, I wrote that. I was young, and angry, and not thinking about the harm I could cause. I regret those words, and I am embarrassed over them.”

                or

                “Yes, I wrote that. I was 16, what they hell are you going to do about it? You can’t hold that against me!”

                In both, the kid owns the words. But in only one case is Harvard obviously in the clear* about booting him.

                *For certain values of ‘clear’. Harvard still has the right to boot anyone for anything prior to them arriving on campus.Report

              • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                I get the sentiment, but I’m not sure this is completely applicable… Harvard is in the business of discriminating er, disqualifying applicants based on its own internal standards. There’s considerably more latitude in how they handle any and all materials used for that purpose. Quite different than adjudicating a justice claim over, say, cheating, thievery, assault or the like.

                It reminds me more of episodes from a few (?) years ago when employers were requiring access to facebook at the password level before extending (or shortly after?) offers. At the time the universal reaction was that this was a an important breach we shouldn’t sanction and many (all?) states passed laws prohibiting the practice.

                Give me your unlocked phone and I’ll find a way to make you unemployable. Doesn’t matter which Team you support.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Of course the counterargument is another aphorism: “Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.”

                Look, if you say gross shit online to someone, the person you said it to probably heard it and (unlike offline communication) almost certainly has access to a record of it if they want it.

                It’s one thing to assert your privacy against an employer (or equivalent institutional actor).

                But if they come across the information because someone gave it to them, that’s a different kettle of fish.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Marchmaine
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, I just want them to very careful with those standards. If the standard is simply, “someone showed us evidence of you misbehaving in high school, you are out”, then I posit Harvard could very well have a problem on their hands. Because if all I have to do is find evidence of youthful stupidity, or manufacture a reasonable facsimile of some, and I can get someone booted…Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the kid also said that his group was competing to say the most outrageous thing possible. People do that, especially kids and comedians.

                If you take his claim at face value, how is Harvard’s stance different from booting anyone who played a villain in a high school stage production?

                “We’ve been informed that you, without provocation, stabbed Julius Caesar and killed Hamlet, so we have chosen to withdraw your acceptance.”

                Kids do a lot of things that are unacceptable in most adult situations, such as stupid tests of pain tolerance that would qualify as assault: Trading licks, towel snapping, mumbly peg, mega wedgies, hitting people in the face with dodge balls.

                Horribly insulting someone is the whole point of a rap battle. Are they at risk too?Report

              • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to George Turner
                Ignored
                says:

                Well, the kid also said that his group was competing to say the most outrageous thing possible. People do that, especially kids and comedians.

                Which means he knew it was wrong.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Andrew Donaldson
                Ignored
                says:

                Sure, and I knew it was wrong to try and sell ditchweed to a friend at school.

                Cost me any hope of an Academy slot, but I was 14 at the time and really didn’t understand that I wanted to go to the Air Force or Naval Academy.

                Hell, kept me out of the Air Force altogether. Luckily the Navy was more forgiving, at least for enlisted recruitment.

                But there was not letter of recommendation good enough to cover that sin.Report

  12. Avatar pillsy
    Ignored
    says:

    @Oscar Gordon:

    It’s not the ‘getting in trouble’ I have a problem with, it’s the ‘we are going to impact your adult opportunities based upon your adolescent behavior’.

    I think the reason I keep getting hung up on this is that you are literally describing the way the entire college admissions system works. If Kashuv’s adolescent behavior had involved somewhat worse study habits that cost him a couple tenths of a GPA point or a score on the SAT that was 50 points lower, he probably wouldn’t have gotten into Harvard either.

    I think you can make a good case that the way we handle college admissions (and the general way we form and communicate expectations for kids and teenagers) are screwed up, but to be blunt this seems like one of the less screwed up examples of it.

    This article/interview with Kashuv, by the generally excellent Jane Coaston, lays out how the situation played out pretty well. Maybe you think Harvard should have relented in the face of his pleas [1], but for me one thing [2] stuck out from his Twitter narrative:

    A few weeks ago, I was made aware of egregious and callous comments classmates and I made privately years ago – when I was 16 years old, months before the shooting – in an attempt to be as extreme and shocking as possible.

    Emphasis mine. He didn’t even remember saying this crap. Which means that, like, who even knows what else might come out.

    As for the consequence, it’s minor. He’s not going to the absolute most selective and highly regarded school in the country. And he was always taking a “gap year” anyway, which will both give him time to reapply for schools and demonstrate more completely that he’s seen the error of his ways.

    [1] They didn’t leap to a decision right away. It took about a month.

    [2] Along with the, “Well, it’s not me!” angle of his apology both in his Twitter statements and the interview. Kid, it wasn’t anybody else saying that shit.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      Emphasis mine. He didn’t even remember saying this crap. Which means that, like, who even knows what else might come out.

      Really, that’s your issue. I am lucky if I can remember what I said or wrote 2 days ago, much less two years. And that isn’t age talking, that’s just, “If I didn’t think too much or hard about it, it doesn’t go to long term storage”.

      And he never said, “It’s not me!”, he took complete ownership of the posts, provided context, and expressed shame and embarrassment. Then he said, “that is not the person I am today.”

      Seriously, you are just now making shit up to justify holding on to your negative opinion of the kid.Report

  13. Avatar Chip Daniels
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    says:

    The underlying issue with this entire issue seems to be that the way we as a society enforce our social norms is frequently arbitrary and unfair, needlessly cruel with a focus more on punishment than rehabilitation.

    In other words, our justice system as applied to our personal lives.

    When we (myself included) write things like “we should …” there is this assumption that there is some Book of Common Wisdom and Council of Social Adjudicators who wisely and impartially decide which viral meme is Bad, or Just Sorta Bad, and mete out a course of penance.

    Its the same way that people (myself especially) lapse into fantasies of righteous violence where the people storm the Bastille and punish the wrongdoers.

    But it never works that way. Wars and revolutions, justice systems and social norms are never enforced with precision fairness. And since people are complex, every guilty person has a plausible case for mercy and forgiveness.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Chip Daniels
      Ignored
      says:

      Yes, thank you!

      This idea that we can somehow fairly enforce justice informally, when we can’t even get it right formally.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
        Ignored
        says:

        On the other hand, the idea that we’re supposed to be bound by the constraints we impose on the state, which can deprive people of life, liberty, and property, in order for us, as private actors, to decide who we want to hang out with and have as colleagues, seems like it would constrain freedom to almost nothing.

        Like seriously the way half the folks around there are worrying about this stuff I am beginning to suspect that we aren’t supposed to withhold friendship from people who say awful racist shit, or even criticize them too harshly, lest it have negative social consequences for them.Report

        • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          I’ve stated a few times that I support the creation and enforcement of modern etiquette, a shared and understood set of social norms of what is sacred, or taboo, and those things are enforced by some form of social disapproval.

          Having said that…I am reminded of 19th century literature by Twain, Dickens, Austin and Wharton which describe how the existing etiquette was often gamed and cynically manipulated to produce exactly the opposite result intended.

          I wouldn’t expect a modern form to be enforced any differently.

          All of which is to say…I support Nazi-punching, and shaming of white supremacists and disapproval of racism, but cautious about letting its enforcement be unchallenged, for the same reason that criminals- (especially criminals) do deserve a vigorous defense.Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Chip Daniels
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            says:

            Of course existing etiquette can be used in that sort of cynically manipulative fashion.

            The problem here is that this general insistence that the rest of us constantly bend over backwards to be forgiving and understanding of the racist fuckheads of the world isn’t fair to us. I have zero wish to pay the costs associated with it.

            For some of us, this is asking us to cuddle with venomous snakes, IIRC Kristin’s phrasing properly.Report

            • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to pillsy
              Ignored
              says:

              I keep referencing Tamir Rice or Walter Scott for that very reason.

              Can anyone here imagine the fury and rage at seeing our child or loved one killed, then watch the smirk on his killer’s face as he walks free by a justice system that considers us second class?
              I would want to burn the whole fucking place down, and let a hundred killers of my oppressors walk free.

              But that just speaks to how privileged I am. Injustice on that order is a stranger in my life, something I can only imagine.

              Like this young man, who is still, today, even after being rejected by Harvard, a privileged member of the elite who if he is lucky, do some reflection and grasp that he only experienced the most fleeting taste of the indignities and suffering that millions of others endure with stoic grace every day.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
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              says:

              I’m not asking you to cuddle snakes, I’m asking you to remember that when you grant a social license to kill vipers with a shovel, you will, whether you want to or not, grant license to kill harmless and beneficial snakes with a shovel, just because some people don’t like any kind of snake.

              You need to be very clear that the only snakes you can hit with a shovel are the deadly ones, and only if they are a direct and urgent threat to you, etc.

              So again, because you got your hackles up and aren’t listening…

              I DO NOT care that Harvard booted the racist little shit. If he said it and remains unapologetic, he made his bed.

              I care that Harvard booted him with care and due diligence. I want to know that Harvard conducted some manner of investigation regarding how the evidence came to them, and if Kyle was the only party of interest to them (per Marchmaine), and that Kyle was afforded an opportunity to express regret to the staff at Harvard* for his words (and not just that he got caught), etc.

              Because, again, if Harvard just knee-jerked this whole thing, then in the future it won’t be the privileged white kid whose youthful dumbassery comes back to bite him, it’ll be a whole bunch of less privileged kids who lose their chance at gaining the benefits of a place like Harvard because other kids (and their parents) are better at gaming the system, and because the media won’t care much unless it comes to light.

              *And again, if there is evidence that Harvard went about this carefully and gave the kid a chance to prove he’s grown past that, please offer it up. Because right now all I know is Harvard pulled his admittance, and that he admitted the posts were his. I have no idea what happened when and if details are missing (I assume there are missing details).Report

  14. Avatar pillsy
    Ignored
    says:

    @Oscar Gordon:

    Look, I already linked to at least one (link-rich) Vox article and Kashuv’s Twitter account of what happened, and Andrew Donaldson included several links in the original piece. I’m not saying this because I find your request for more information irritating; ordinarily I’m pretty happy to follow up with more links and details so we can litigate them.

    However, it seems like every time I post a comment with an external link, it ends up in moderation hold for an indefinite period of time, which is something I do (perhaps unreasonably) find pretty annoying.

    But we do know that Kashuv was in contact with Harvard in the month or so it took him to make the decision public after his original racist comments were revealed. He’s the one who told us what happened, not them.

    There just doesn’t seem to be any evidence to the effect that it was an arbitrary and capricious decision, and the person who would tell us that it was has more or less said the opposite. There’s a reason the controversy has revolved around forgiveness and what the comments mean about Kashuv; no one is questioning that he said them.

    But I tend to bristle a lot at this kind of language…

    I’m not asking you to cuddle snakes, I’m asking you to remember that when you grant a social license to kill vipers with a shovel, you will, whether you want to or not, grant license to kill harmless and beneficial snakes with a shovel, just because some people don’t like any kind of snake.

    …because we aren’t talking about a license to kill vipers with a shovel. We’re talking about a license to deny vipers admission to your school, when in general you are allowed to deny any sort of reptile, mammal, bird, or fish admission to your school with very little cause for review.

    That’s generally how it goes with private affiliation. There are some exceptions, but they’re usually carveouts that allow people to object after the fact if they’ve been discriminated against in specific ways, in the context of specific kinds of relationships. Those specific ways include things like “on the basis of race” but certainly not “on the basis of saying a bunch of stuff only a racist jackhole would say.”

    And maybe it makes sense to argue for some sort of due process for a big, wealthy institution like Harvard [1], but there really doesn’t seem to be much limiting principle. Certainly when we start generalizing to all kinds of social consequences for people’s speech, and some people are insisting it’s obviously wrong to for those consequences to fall on people in ways that aren’t viewpoint neutral, this threatens to impose arbitrarily high costs on other totally private individuals.

    Like, people may have a moral (if not legal right) to the benefit of the doubt it some situations, but don’t people have a moral (and maybe legal) right to avoid people who they reasonably believe are bigoted against them to the extent possible?

    Because there’s tension there. And individuals (and private organizations) don’t owe other people the same kind of concern that the state owes individuals.

    [1] And those institutions do have some sort of due process for sanctioning people for academic or other misconduct once people are actually students.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      However, it seems like every time I post a comment with an external link, it ends up in moderation hold for an indefinite period of time, which is something I do (perhaps unreasonably) find pretty annoying.

      When I see comments hung up in there, I try to free them within seconds of seeing them. I apologize if I let them hang in there too long. (But the filter also catches some of the stuff bragging about the witch doctor who, for a fee, can help you win the lottery.)Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      “We’re talking about a license to deny vipers admission to your school…”

      mmhmm, yeah, so, isn’t going to college so important that we’re considering making it free for everyone in the USA? How does that work if you can be not-allowed-to-go because of shitposting?

      “And individuals (and private organizations) don’t owe other people the same kind of concern that the state owes individuals.”

      Hey, that sounds great! Except:

      “There are some exceptions, but they’re usually carveouts that allow people to object after the fact if they’ve been discriminated against in specific ways, in the context of specific kinds of relationships.”

      Maybe Kashuv should suddenly find documents where he identified to Harvard that he’s gay.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
        Ignored
        says:

        No, that’s one of the carveouts.

        It’s a carveout because anti-gay discrimination is bad, and avoiding it is actually extremely difficult for a class of people who we, uh, tend to describe as “gay”.

        The same is true of racial discrimination, religious discrimination, and other forms of discrimination that are prohibited in some contexts.

        It is not true of discriminating against people saying bananas racist things, because in fact it is extremely easy to not say bananas racist things no matter who you are. And also discriminating against people who say bananas racist things is good.

        As for “free college”, most countries that have free college (it’s a real thing!) make it conditional on admission, and I don’t know of any plans that include extending it to private institutions like Harvard.Report

    • Avatar Andrew Donaldson in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      @pillsy As far I can see you have no comments “stuck in administration” if it’s a consist problem get with Will and see what’s going on.Report

    • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
      Ignored
      says:

      If you posted a link, I missed it and now can’t find it.

      Also, I followed one of Andrews links and read the twitter thread and his note to Harvard, and I think you and Jesse are both ascribing motives that are not present in the apology. Is it possible it’s a false apology? Sure, but without knowing the guy a lot better, I couldn’t say one way or another.

      As for Harvard, must I say this again…? Harvard has set a standard by which I can now get another student dismissed from Harvard simply by finding, or manufacturing, evidence of youthful dumbassery that forces the student to defend themselves.

      “Hey, I just learned the valedictorian got accepted to Harvard! He’s such an self-righteous ass. Hey, you still got those screen shots from that forum exchange two years ago, where he goes off on a tear against Obama? Let’s mail those to Harvard.”

      —–

      As to a larger point, kids who want to get into HYPS/the Ivys already have to sacrifice large chunks of their childhood in an effort to be so exceptional as to be noticed by the schools. The idea that we should be OK with freshly minted adults paying for their youthful indiscretions… Yes, Harvard has the right. That doesn’t mean I agree with them doing it. I think it just sustains privilege in some elite form or another.Report

      • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        That’s all you’ve ever hard to do to get someone in trouble, as far as I can tell…?

        It’s just you may have easier access to relevant and convincing evidence that they did something wrong now because it’s much easier to get a record of things that they said. But… OK. Just don’t go on racist rants on social media.

        It’s a bad habit that will blow up in your face sooner or later.

        And sure, he can apologize and did, but people aren’t generally obligated to accept apologies. Even (and maybe especially) people who work at the Diversity Office at Harvard.

        As for privilege, well, sustaining privilege is kind of Harvard’s deal. The basic premise for the whole enterprise (and the cachet the rest of our society grants it) is elitist.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
          Ignored
          says:

          So when some black or Hispanic kid loses his or her spot at Harvard because of shit posting someone dug up from a few years back, you will be OK with that?Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            :shrug:

            I won’t be surprised, that’s for sure, or believe it is some new and unprecedented change in the way that Harvard does business.

            And if they’re saying stuff as vile as what Kashuv or the “Bourgeois Teens” said, I won’t be crying into my beer over it.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
              Ignored
              says:

              Fair enough.

              Although how far down the privilege ladder do we go before it’s a problem?Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
              Ignored
              says:

              Getting back to my comment to Jesse downthread, you are someone who has regularly defended college activists for crossing the lines of acceptable behavior as “kids still learning how to adult”, so I gotta wonder, where do you draw the lines?

              Prior to the first day of classes, they have to be most excellent citizens, but after that, we give them some leeway?

              Or is it just a case that teenagers should never allow themselves to be caught being the vile little barbarians 99.999% of them are at some point or another?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Getting back to my comment to Jesse downthread, you are someone who has regularly defended college activists for crossing the lines of acceptable behavior as “kids still learning how to adult”, so I gotta wonder, where do you draw the lines?

                Yeah that’s probably an inconsistency in my general outlook.

                I expect that a lot of this is that the basic standard here, as I see it, is extraordinarily easy to meet.

                Like, it is actually not hard to not do a bunch of racist shitposting, certainly much easier than getting whatever SAT score this kid got, or being valedictorian of an affluent suburban high school.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                holy christ, dude, do you not actually hear yourself right now

                “it is not that hard to behave properly, dude got himself in trouble when you think about it” is the rhetoric used to excuse every cop shooting in the past fifty years

                you’re a big one for “well you sound like this, maybe you are this” so perhaps you ought to think about thatReport

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to DensityDuck
                Ignored
                says:

                LOL come on. He actually did the shit in question and the consequence was the perfectly ordinary one that he won’t get to go to Harvard, just like 40 000 odd other kids who applied.

                {This subthread devolved badly. Going to cut it off here and remove all subsequent comments. -Trumwill}Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                This shit rolled down onto a bunch of non-famous kids a year or so ago and nobody much noticed or cared.

                It’s just now it’s happened to a famous kid and that famous kid is a conservative so it’s a controversy. It’s an extra big controversy because the kid is in trouble for using a bunch of racial slurs, which conservatives don’t even think is very bad.

                And you’re absolutely transparent about how you will throw yourself on any grenade to deflect any sort of negative social consequences away from Right-wingers who get it trouble for being bigoted asses. Like, did you really not expect anyone to notice?

                Or are you actually that good at fooling yourself?Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                It’s not hard to avoid drinking alcohol or doing drugs in high school, and yet…

                I got no problem making sure kids suffer a consequence for bad behavior (how else are they going to learn), but I feel the ‘statute of limitations’ for something like this is extremely short.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                And if he’d gotten caught at the time doing any of those things it likely would have had a serious impact on his ability to get into Harvard.

                I think part of it is that I don’t think the time gap is very large.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                I’m going to point you back to this comment and remind you that in the realm of adolescent development, a year is a huge amount of time.

                It helps if you try to remember what it was like to be a teenager, or were you all grown up at 13?Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                Honestly Oscar at this point I’m probably much less arguing because I disagree with you and really think Kashuv should be damned forever (and I wouldn’t be mad if Harvard had relented), and I think I’ve been pretty clear all along that I expect him to get into another college and do fine in the long run.

                I just hate the way so many people who aren’t you are using the argument for forgiveness as a very unsubtle way of saying that they don’t think Kashuv really did anything wrong in the first place.

                And a lot of that is the coterie of conservative media voices who raised Kashuv to stardom in the first place, as well as other commenters here.

                Still, I should probably not be digging in and arguing something I don’t really believe because I’m irritated.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                #same

                What this kid does next is “inside his head” stuff. It’s about his character. It has little to do with us.

                What is happening here, of course, is he is being used as a token for the right-wing grievance machine. They want us to feel oh-so-terrible for him, when their policies would grind down and destroy people like me.

                So, fuck that.

                On the scale of social injustice, this kid ain’t even a blip. There are so many other stories, and many of those stories are about precisely those people who are repeatedly victimized by dipshits like this guy.

                “Should we be willing to forgive?”

                Wrong question.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to veronica d
                Ignored
                says:

                many of those stories are about precisely those people who are repeatedly victimized by dipshits like this guy.

                This seems to be treating him less like a person and more like a symbol (of evil).Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to pillsy
                Ignored
                says:

                Should shitposting have consequences? Absolutely.

                Should those consequences be “you can get un-accepted by college”? That’s a different question, and answering “yes” has some nasty implications

                Like, maybe “a stern talking-to about the way you present yourself in your public persona and the ease of misinterpretation of violating social taboos as a form of in-group humor” would be better here, because it’s something that’s not going to turn around and be used to hammer people who aren’t major media figures and can’t call on their privilege to help out.Report

      • Avatar Jesse in reply to Oscar Gordon
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        says:

        I think this is where @pillsy and I probably completely disagree with you and why we can’t come to an understanding –

        Streaking during your high school football game might be a youthful indiscretion.
        Egging your teacher’s house might be a youth indiscretion.
        Trying to steal some beer from the local 7-11 is a youthful indiscretion (if you’re white and middle class).

        There’s a zillion other instances of youthful indiscretion that I’d happily wave away and be on your side.

        Calling a classmate ‘n*ggerjock’ because a girl you like is dating him is not a youthful indiscretion. Plus, the reason why I had any faith in his apology ended was his response from being de-admitted from Harvard, by basically ending with, “how can Harvard judge me for being racist when it used to be racist.’

        Harvard knew Kashuv was a conservative activist, but they still admitted him, so if he ranted against Obama, that wouldn’t be news to Harvard, unless ya’ know, he used one of a litany of slurs that Republican legislators and office holders around the US have used against Obama for the past decade.

        So yes, if saying that students should manage to get through their high school years without using various racial and other slurs against classmates makes me an elitist, then crown me an elitist, because I’ll gladly take that crown.Report

        • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to Jesse
          Ignored
          says:

          Again, FSM forbid anyone had a recording of the racist shit I used to say when I was 16.

          And 17

          And 18

          Wasn’t until boot camp that I came to begin to understand what an ass I had been. I’d say the year between the start of basic and my first deployment was transformative.

          Which is also part of my point, kids can grow up real fast once they are out of the social cesspool of high school. So you are both deciding he is a racist based upon a singular set of comments made when he was 16 and being angry and stupid.

          No possible chance he had a transformative experience and grew up? Or are their more recent, more relevant posts that firm up the idea that he is racist.

          Besides the fact that he is right leaning and pro-gun, I mean?Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
            Ignored
            says:

            So you are both deciding he is a racist based upon a singular set of comments made when he was 16 and being angry and stupid.

            I actually do believe that the comments might qualify as a youthful indiscretion, boiling down to bad impulse control and anger and stupidity, that people can grow out of.

            Has Kashuv grown out of this already?

            Maybe. Dunno. Not impossible by any means.

            Will he grow out of it in the future if he hasn’t already?

            Maybe. Dunno. Also not impossible by any means.

            But the alternative here is that slot going to a kid where the question hasn’t come up.Report

            • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
              Ignored
              says:

              My issue with Harvard is less about their decision, and more about their process. I fear they risk creating a moral hazard whereby teen (and/or their parents) have yet another way to game the admissions system for elite colleges.

              All my other concerns boil down to our social propensity for keeping the sins of the past alive. This is what I was trying to get at with my snakes and shovels comment. If it’s OK for you, or Harvard, to continue punishing the kid for being a dick once, two years ago, when he was a teenager, then why is it wrong for the white polo crowd to want to make sure black or Hispanic kids never get to put their pasts behind them? All the arguments one could make about why we should let one group get a pass can apply broadly to any other group.

              If we need to be more willing to forgive, and slower to condemn. And before you go off on how it’s easier to forgive if the other person is sorry, I read that apology he sent to Harvard, and it struck me as sincere. So given that you don’t know this kid, and whatever harm he may have caused, none of it affected you, why are you so keen to condemn him and not accept the apology as sincere?

              I mean, I see this shit all over. I get into abortion discussions, and the amount of condemnation people have for women and girls who get pregnant and want to have an abortion is astounding. The people who are upset are not directly, or even indirectly, impacted in the least by those who seek abortions, and yet they all act as if they are personally, directly offended by these women.

              We need to stop being so vicariously offended.

              We can call out and denounce behavior as inappropriate and wrong, without taking it personally.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Oscar Gordon
                Ignored
                says:

                f it’s OK for you, or Harvard, to continue punishing the kid for being a dick once, two years ago, when he was a teenager, then why is it wrong for the white polo crowd to want to make sure black or Hispanic kids never get to put their pasts behind them?

                I know you don’t think that opposition to racism and racism are morally equivalent, so obviously you must be talking about something else, like, if I withhold my forgiveness what’s going to prevent racists from withholding their forgiveness.

                The answer there is, “Nothing!” But the answer wouldn’t change if I did forgive Kashuv, or for that matter if Harvard did.

                They’d still be racist shitheads.

                Against that, I simply want to assert my right to not forgive. To look at an apology and say, “Yeah, that’s bullshit, he’s just sorry he got caught.”

                Or to say, “You know, talking a bunch of racist shit with your friends does reflect negatively on your character,” which is evidently a live controversy in this comment section now.

                Like, if you want to hold Harvard to a higher standard because they have a zillion dollar endowment and whatever, that’s one thing.

                But I’m just one guy. I don’t owe anybody forgiveness, and I sure as hell don’t owe anybody due process before forming a negative opinion of them.

                And I really don’t think that shrugging off the white polo crowd’s racist bullshit is going to make them less inclined to be racist, when you get right down to it.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Yes, you are just ‘one guy’, and so are the 250 million other adults in the country. And collectively, we have a serious problem with accepting that people can get past their mistakes and crimes and collectively forgiving them their sins (once they’ve made a showing of contrition).

                I mean, if it’s OK for you to damn a person for a mistake, and to insist that they remain a terrible person despite effectively zero evidence that they still are (and you have no such evidence, beyond your gut), then it’s OK for every other individual to do the same. And that is going to make dealing with the collective problem so, so much harder.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                And I really don’t think that shrugging off the white polo crowd’s racist bullshit is going to make them less inclined to be racist, when you get right down to it.

                Exactly this. We always seem to have these conversations in some abstract, almost Kant-ian mode. But that’s so unrealistic.

                “What’s your perfectly consistent general principle, that I might pick apart?”

                My answer: I don’t know, man. I don’t always have it all figured out to that degree. But I’ve lived under the cloud of bigotry, and I know what bigots are, and that is the ground truth I speak from.

                “If you do X, then racists will flip X and do X back to you.”

                Yes, they will. But they will do that if I don’t do X. In reality, it becomes, “Don’t fight back against bigots, because then you’re the same as them.”

                No! I’m not! Precisely because opposing bigotry is the opposite of bigotry.

                The main point: bigotry is particularly bad, compared to many other youthful indiscretions.

                #####

                And to head off any dipshittery, no bigotry is not the worst thing. There are worse things, for example, murder. But bigotry does reveal a major flaw in one’s character, in a way, for example, selling weed does not —

                — why? you might ask. Well, how shall I answer that? I might say [waves arms around wildly] just fucking look at what bigotry does!Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                I’m not looking for a perfectly consistent principle, I’m looking for people to remember that a person is not defined by a singular bad act, just as they are not defined by a singular good act.

                A kid who does some racist shit-posting is not a vile racist any more than a cop who happens to save a black kid from a fire is a heroic champion of equal rights.

                More and more we look at a singular act and assume it is the entirety of the persons character, probably under some assumption that ‘of course it is, and this just happens to be the one instance we hear about’, without any thought to the motives of the person(s) who broadcast the narrative.

                And sure, there are certain acts that are probably highly indicative of that person’s character. Drive your car into a group of protesters who are countering your preferred message, yeah, we got your number.

                But age matters, context matters, who is harmed matters, and yes, self-reflection and contrition matter. People can grow, and change for the better, and adolescents can do it faster, and more profoundly, than older adults.

                Which is good, because otherwise very few of us would probably make it to the age where we get decent car insurance rates.Report

              • Avatar veronica d in reply to Oscar Gordon
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                says:

                More and more we look at a singular act and assume it is the entirety of the persons character…

                No one is claiming otherwise, but all the same, I’m pretty okay with grossly offensive bigoted speech being singled out as a tell, precisely because of the high degrees of harm that bigotry does to people — harm that our society has historically ignored.

                Should all that weight fall on this one kid?

                Of course not. However, all that weight is not falling on this kid. If it were, he’d be losing more than his admission to one school.

                Regarding his character — well, I hope he truly owns his mistakes and step up. On the other hand, I’d be perfectly happy never to hear about him again. There are six billion people in the world. It’s unlikely he stands out in a way I should care about.

                My point: I’m waaaayyyyy more interested in protecting minority kids from kids like him, rather than his personal growth narrative.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to veronica d
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                says:

                However, all that weight is not falling on this kid. If it were, he’d be losing more than his admission to one school.

                Yeah. Part of what keeps bringing me up short here is that this isn’t a life-ruining or -defining event. It won’t even delay the start of his college education, unlike other folks who’ve found themselves in this boat.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                It won’t even delay the start of his college education, unlike other folks who’ve found themselves in this boat.

                Just in terms of college expenses; I expect this was somewhere between a 10 and 50 thousand dollar negative event for him over the next four years, depending on whether or not he can pick up some of the more serious scholarships after he’s rejected them but goes to that college anyway (btw this may be hard or impossible, a ton of colleges give out scholarships only when it benefits the college).

                There’s room for those numbers to be much higher or lower. I’m basing this WAG on what I’d expect my kids to lose if they were in this situation and dealing with in-State Tuition. I have no experience with Harvard and have rejected out of state colleges as not worth the expense. It’s also possible he can lever this event to scholarship to some conservative college.

                In terms of lifetime effects… oh boy. A politically ambitious, already the favorite child of the conservatives, going to Harvard on merit to make connections? I’ve no clue how to spec that but he seemed well positioned to join the upper ranks of society.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                They’d still be racist shitheads.

                That is a very big club to use here. This happened on a fairly “private” google doc where the people talked about weren’t shown what was said. That seems to have been the extent of it.

                To look at an apology and say, “Yeah, that’s bullshit, he’s just sorry he got caught.”

                And that is taking the easy way out. The level of harm was small, the level of intended harm was smaller, the level of teenage foolishness seems large, the level of spiritual growth has been large, the apology was profound and seemed sincere.

                Part of this was the equiv of having a sex tape posted against your will. He never intended to troll the internet or offend the black community as a whole, or even any specific black person. One or more of his former friends are now are now on the other side of the gun control issue and decided to kneecap his career.

                Having said that, I’m almost totally fine with Harvard tossing him. The one issue I have is this is seriously late in the cycle and he had to reject heavy scholarships from other places to go to Harvard and can’t accept them now. This was only technically a rejection, it was pretty close to an expulsion.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Dark Matter
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                says:

                The racist shitheads I was talking about are the ones Oscar hypothesizes will game this new standard to keep minorities out of selective schools, not Kashuv.

                Sticking with my “dunno” stance about him personally. My gut sense is that would probably be best for everybody (not least him) if we all just kinda forgot about him for a few years.

                It didn’t get enough attention IMO, maybe because we all agree, but the best part of Andrew’s article was that making kids like Kashuv into mascots is a bad plan all around.Report

              • Avatar Oscar Gordon in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                “It didn’t get enough attention IMO, maybe because we all agree, but the best part of Andrew’s article was that making kids like Kashuv into mascots is a bad plan all around.”

                On this, I emphatically agree.Report

              • Avatar Dark Matter in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                Fair enough and agreed.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Jesse
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          says:

          There’s a zillion other instances of youthful indiscretion that I’d happily wave away and be on your side.

          I’m curious as to which side of the “wave away” line that Michelle Jones would end up on…Report

          • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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            says:

            The “doing 20 years in prison means nothing was waved away” side of the line, I assume.

            Like we agree that a lengthy prison sentence is a much, much harsher punishment than not getting into Harvard, right?Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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              says:

              I’m not talking about the stick, Pillsy.

              I’m talking about withholding the carrot.

              (And, as we’ve seen, there are youthful indiscretions and youthful indiscretions. If a slur is on that side of the line, I’m wondering what might not be, given sufficiently worded apologies.)Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                It doesn’t matter that the stick was applied rather thoroughly, and in the ensuing twenty years Michelle Jones displayed an extremely unusual degree of rehabilitation?

                Not matter in the sense that it should necessarily change Harvard’s answer about whether she should be admitted, or yours.

                But matter in the sense to make the analogy fall apart.

                Hell, let’s go to your “carrot/stick” analogy and think about the incentives.

                “Don’t post a bunch of racist trash online because if you get caught it might fuck up your ability to go to your first choice college,” sounds like a plausible thing one might tell a kid.

                “Don’t murder your baby because after you serve a couple decades in prison you may not get into your first choice PhD program,” sounds incredibly weird.

                I’d think the basic “don’t commit murder” and “try to avoid long prison sentences” messages would drown out the part about grad school opportunities. Just throwing that out there.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                When it comes to killing a child, I’m not sure how much rehabilitation needs to be demonstrated after the fact.

                For the record, I completely understand why Harvard did not extend an offer to Ms. Jones. Indeed, I would not argue that they should have given it to her.

                But there are people out there who do kinda wish they’d have given her the shot and see it as a reasonable thing to wish for rather than a situation where the basics already have it covered.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                But there are people out there who do kinda wish they’d have given her the shot and see it as a reasonable thing to wish for rather than a situation where the basics already have it covered.

                OK, but… what does this have to do with Kyle Kashuv?

                Like, at all?Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                It’s because I know that there are, in fact, people out there who see Ms. Jones and think that killing a child should not be disqualifying while, at the same time, see Kyle Kashuv’s comments and think “Oh, that Muhfuh should *NEVER* have been accepted by Harvard in the first place!”

                They find reasons to explain that Ms. Jones might not have been a bad choice while, at the same time, explain that Kashuv should *NEVER* have been on the list in the first place.

                As someone who understands that Harvard’s Credibility is the reason that Harvard is Harvard, I absolutely understand why they couldn’t have accepted either one… and, like the Time article, I think that the professor who was honest about motivations made an unfortunate error when he chose to tell the truth about them.Report

              • Avatar pillsy in reply to Jaybird
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                says:

                Ah OK. Why not just come out and say that, and maybe ask if anybody believes that and why?

                Because, like, even if someone hold the belief that Jones should have been admitted and Kashuv’s acceptance should have been withdrawn… there’s no inconsistency.

                Because the situations are incredibly different.Report

              • Avatar Jaybird in reply to pillsy
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                says:

                They are incredibly different.

                But I always find it interesting to see when people pivot from “using a racial slur should be disqualifying” to “killing an African-American child is not necessarily disqualifying, because it depends”.

                It’s *NOT* inconsistent. The two situations are exceptionally different.

                But in changing one’s own framing of how one sees how someone could do X but not do Y (without it being inconsistent), I find it illuminating, sometimes, to notice that I had to work to get to where I see things that way and notice that there are a lot of people who don’t have to do any work at all to get there.Report

    • Avatar Czarcasm in reply to pillsy
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      says:

      {“Czarcasm” is a previously banned commenter.}Report

  15. Avatar Road Scholar
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    says:

    There’s a somewhat parallel situation occurring now at the Philly PD. Seventy-six cops are on desk duty pending investigation and review and many will likely be terminated over this sort of thing — shitposting of various types on Facebook. This occurred in the wake of a study conducted by… I don’t remember who, doesn’t matter… that looked at thousands of social media accounts of cops in 8 or 9 locations of various sizes around the country. Of the FB accounts they could access, which in Philly was about 1000 of the ~7500 cops, fully a third had “problematic” content.

    Relevance to this post? Amid the discussion around 1A issues, fitness to serve, etc the point was made that maybe these cop’s basic intelligence was at issue. What made them think this was okay on a public forum?

    Harvard gets what? Twenty apps for every slot? And these are all basically best-and-brightest valedictorian types that any school would love to have. A big part of the task of the admissions office is to find reasons, any reason, to reject otherwise glowing applications.

    So maybe, just maybe, discoverable racist shitposting means maybe you’re not quite as best-and-brightest as the next kid with a 1600 SAT and 5.0 GPA. Even if the only difference is that that next kid in line was smart enough to keep his racism off the internet.Report

    • Avatar Brandon Berg in reply to Road Scholar
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      says:

      Note that Harvard’s interquartile SAT range is 1460-1590. Fewer than 25% of admitted students got a 1600, and 25% scored 1460 or less. They do reject a lot of students with perfect scores, but the students they’re replacing them with don’t have perfect scores.Report

    • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Road Scholar
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      says:

      I fully support firing cops for shitposting.

      I fully support rescinding student admissions over shitposting.

      I fully expect that we’ll learn how so-and-so’s shitposting wasn’t really shitposting, it was just a misunderstanding or a mistake or someone hacked their account or we’re misinterpreting the statement or it’s a cultural mismatch or it’s AAVE or it’s an understandable expression of class struggle or it’s just our rich middle-class American privilege making us thinkg it’s shitposting. Not like that white boy from the suburbs; fuck his shit, he can go be racist at McDonald’s for the next fifty years of his life.Report

    • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Road Scholar
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      says:

      the point was made that maybe these cop’s basic intelligence was at issue

      Do *I* have a court case for you!Report

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