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June 21, 2009

Comments

I hope that Harvard and Yale and all the other Ivies take so many AA admissions that they lose their elite status. The sooner those places sink under the weight of their own madness the better for America.

HS, what do u think will happen if she (and folks like her) has problems at Harvard? Who will be blamed? What changes will be pushed for?

She probably has a higher IQ than the average reader of this blog.

The idea of sending her to Harvard is madness though. There are hundreds of other universities she probably would have excelled in...why not stay in California and got to Berkley or UCLA or USC? And why not study something useful?

she'll fit in fine in the black studies and sociology departments--I bet she graduates summa

"she'll fit in fine in the black studies and sociology departments--I bet she graduates summa"

What happens after she gets her degree? Where will she work?

"My concern for her is that, while she may have an unusually high g for a black girl, or even for a white girl, she won't fit in at Harvard because she will have a low class ghetto attitude about her."

You don't know that. I know a (white) girl who went to college whose alcoholic mother had four babies by four different guys, three of whom were adopted by strangers. This girl was raised by working class grandparents once her mother abandoned her at about the age of 11.

Her father was the responsible parent and he was serving 30 years in maximum security for shooting a cop during a drug bust.

Yet this girl was busting her ass to make something of herself. She wasn't excessively bright (let's say IQ 100 for the sake of argument) and suffered the burden of shitty genetics, but she managed to struggle through a college education at a decent state university and now holds down a respectable job.

My point is that people can and frequently do put crappy stuff behind them and become something better than what they came from. Not everyone raised in the ghetto has a ghetto attitude.

"What happens after she gets her degree? Where will she work?"

My prediction is some fluff administrative job with poorly defined job responsibilities, i.e. no job responsibilities. (Actually the article says she wants to be an attorney, but basically the same prediction applies assuming she can pass the bar exam).

I remember Spungeon saying about one of these stories that it set off alarm bells because the narrative was just too perfect.

At least from reading the LA Times write up I get the same impression. The mother was in homeless shelters for her entire school career? And she kept changing schools every year? What was the point of that?

I would be surprised, but not shocked if this turned out to be a Rick Rossner deal, where she is actually older and got the gullible white couple to take her in. And there is some mention of her going to College Prep classes in Cornell before she starts at Harvard- if you graduate 4th in your highschool, remedial classes shouldnt be necessary. I think the article does say they helped with her Harvard essay.

Anyway, I hope the poor girl goes into something better than education law after all this.

And what low-class ghetto attitude do you have in mind Sigma? The one the compels her to wake up at 4am to take a bus across town to go to school or the one that compels her to keep reading her books even while the other kids taunt her? And by the way, if she scores 99.9th percentile on an IQ test in third grade, as she apparently did, even if you assume the mean of the test was equivalent to a 90 on a standard IQ test, her IQ is probably well over 130, probably close to 140. More than good enough to succeed at Harvard. And by the way, if you look at her photo, her complexion looks darker than most American blacks.

I see no evidence that she has a ghetto attitude about her. But still, in all likelihood, she should be at a solid state university where she'll be challenged without the pressure and culture of Harvard.

"Khadijah was in third grade when she first realized the power of test scores, placing in the 99th percentile on a state exam. Her teachers marked the 9-year-old as gifted, a special category that Khadijah, even at that early age, vowed to keep."

Even if it's not as g-loaded as an IQ test, it seems a little bit unreasonable that she could score at the 99th percentile on this state exam and have an average IQ.

No problem. She goes to Harvard. Stays there at the law school. She clerks for a judge. Off to a federal judgeship, then the second circuit court of appeals in New York, then when our "wise Latina" retires from the Supremes, she's ready to roll. "Wise Latina", keep that seat warm, here's your successor.

Yeah, this is really pretty ridiculous. If she scores in the 99.9th percentile on a state exam she's probably pretty damn smart, and it's rotten to insinuate that she's stupid because she's black.

I haven't seen anyone suggest that she's stupid, just that she's probably not as bright as that 3rd-grade exam indicates and she probably doesn't have the peripherals (cultural and educational foundations) to succeed honestly at ultra-competitive Harvard.

And let's be straightforward here. If this was a white kid raised by meth addicts, or an asian kid fresh off the boat from the Phillipines, it would be a non-story. It's not about her being poor, it's about her being black.

"If she scores in the 99.9th percentile on a state exam she's probably pretty damn smart,"

I don't see why we should accept her claim at face value. People of all races lie about their test scores. (In this case, the claim was that she was at the 99th percentile, not the 99.9th)

" and it's rotten to insinuate that she's stupid because she's black."

Rotten or not, the fact is that the vast majority of lower class blacks are pretty stupid. If I meet one in my personal life, I will reasonably assume that he or she is not very bright until I know otherwise.

If he or she claims to be smart, I will be skeptical. (Note that blacks are more likely than any group to claim that they are above average in intelligence. http://inductivist.blogspot.com/2009/03/blacks-think-they-are-smartest.html)

There is always going to be interest in someone from a lower sub-group becoming more mainstream:

"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent" (Luke)

Second everything Peter at 4:55 said.

I would note that this is exactly the vision of proponents of IQ tests before the righteous decided that they were racist and such about 1970.

I think we all ought to send a buck to South Central Scholars.

Henry Harpending

I'm going to side with Turambar's earlier comment. My one and only Hoax Detector is a solid yellow.

haven't seen anyone suggest that she's stupid, just that she's probably not as bright as that 3rd-grade exam indicates and she probably doesn't have the peripherals (cultural and educational foundations) to succeed honestly at ultra-competitive Harvard.

And let's be straightforward here. If this was a white kid raised by meth addicts, or an asian kid fresh off the boat from the Phillipines, it would be a non-story. It's not about her being poor, it's about her being black.

Posted by: mike | June 21, 2009 at 06:54 PM

re "supercompetitive Harvard"

Mike, Harvard, like most elite schools, is supercompetitive to get into, but not to graduate from. And Harvard has processes in place to guarantee that their subpar blacks will succeed. Affirmative action follows blacks throughout their careers (see both Obamas AA CVs).

How much preference does a black get at Harvard? Just Google Barack Obama's defense of affirmative action while he was president of the Harvard Law Review. It is incredibly poorly written--he was unable even to match the verb number in a simple sentence separated by a prepositional phrase. Therefore, "Dreams" was definitely ghosted, like JFK's "Profiles."

I hope Harvard pays the price for its lying--and if you think most of the blacks being admitted to Harvard are "Harvard material," I have a bridge to sell you.

Mike wrote:

"haven't seen anyone suggest that she's stupid, just that she's probably not as bright as that 3rd-grade exam indicates and she probably doesn't have the peripherals (cultural and educational foundations) to succeed honestly at ultra-competitive Harvard."

Why on Earth would you think that? The average student at Harvard is at about the 99th percentile of intelligence (look up SAT means on college search), and it seems very likely that the achievement test underestimated her IQ given her troubled past.

Nonetheless, I think that the HBD people benefits from these stories because it points out the positive outcomes of IQ testing. I mean, seriously, that's the reason why we have IQ tests, right? Social mobility?

Yes. This story shouldn't be about race bashing. It should be about the powers of standardized testing. She's successful and a test predicted it.

HBD doesn't say that all NAMs are stupid, does it?

"Nonetheless, I think that the HBD people benefits from these stories because it points out the positive outcomes of IQ testing."

If I knew that this girl were not the beneficiary of extremely relaxed admissions standards, I would agree with you.

Turamber said "Anyway, I hope the poor girl goes into something better than education law after all this. "

If the story is even mostly true then she is way too smart to be taken in by the corps of diversity pimps at Harvard. And how many of us could bear to read our own college application essays from years back? Doesn't mean a thing....

At any rate if she is like other Californians I knew at Harvard she will be back to California after the spring thaw. When the sidewalks turn to dog-poop slurry they get out as fast as they can.

I fear that many of us are falling into the trap of assuming that a story like this must be a lot of hoax, but on the other hand it must be true, from the numbers, that we waste a lot of genius from our US Black population.

An interesting if disgusting read is at http://www.math.buffalo.edu/mad/PEEPS/blackwell_david.html. Here is a guy who was pushed by his teachers and who ended up at the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton. The other shoe fell when the President of Princeton said they had to get rid of him because it was unthinkable to have a Negro at Princeton. I point out to my classes that it was not John von Neumann nor Richard Feynmann nor Teller that said no Negro at Princeton, it was the administration. He persevered, became one of the stars of American mathematics.

Let us hope that Khadijah is another David Blackwell.

Henry Harpending

"She probably has a higher IQ than the average reader of this blog."

Or commenter.

Re: Joe

I said "succeed honestly at Harvard". She will probably be below average, to say the least. If she get's AA'd to straight A's, that wouldn't be succeeding honestly.

Re: Alex

The reason I'm guessing that she's not still a "1 percenter" is because the article didn't tout her perfect or near-perfect SAT scores and states that she graduated only 4th in her class at a school they describe as an inner-city hellhole filled with misbehaving dunces. Also, there is plenty of reason to believe that as a fatherless 9-year old black girl, she was probably significantly more developed than her average 9-year old peer when she took that test.

I'm all for the media celebrating objective testing, but do you really think that's what this article is about? Of course not. It's about spreading the word that the Khadijahs out there on the street are just as smart, if not smarter, than all the white and asian kids that we mistakenly allow into our top schools. The implication of course is that if only we weren't all so damn racist, these Khadijahs would be scoring and achieving just as well if not better, on average, than everyone else.

As I said before, this story is about race. It would not have been written about a white or asian kid, no matter how disadvantaged. It uses fuzzy, misleading facts and justifies her admission to Harvard on the basis that she was admitted to Harvard. This story is trumpeting the merits of affirmative action, not standardized testing. Expect a story next week in the same rag bashing the "cultural bias" on the SAT or some such nonsense.

"I fear that many of us are falling into the trap of assuming that a story like this must be a lot of hoax, but on the other hand it must be true, from the numbers, that we waste a lot of genius from our US Black population."

By my calculation -- and feel free to correct me -- the ratio of american white geniuses (150+ IQ) to american black geniuses is well over 3000 to 1. Thus, by my calculation, the number of black geniuses is negligible compared to the number of white geniuses.

So from a societal standpoint, it would essentially be no waste at all even if blacks were categorically excluded from higher education. Which they aren't. On the contrary, the red carpet is rolled out for any black who shows the slightest glimmer of intellectual gift.

In any event, I'm not concluding that this story is a hoax; I'm simply being reasonably skeptical of aspects of the story.

Of course, it's well known that places like Harvard relax their admissions standards for black applicants. If a homeless black girl got into Harvard and I knew she had received no advantage from her race and circumstances, then I would be impressed.

Let me correct myself. When I said that the story is about trumpeting affirmative action, I oversimplified. The story is trumpeting the effect of affirmative action without acknowledging affirmative action as the cause.

So instead of giving credit to Harvard for letting a probably-not-quite-qualified underprivileged minority student attend their school for free (plus room and board, and stipend), they shower praise on the student for being the recipient of said largess. Instead of fostering gratitude, they encourage a mentality of entitlement and superiority.

Sigma

I just read Auster's post. The most interesting thing he sais is that this girl's admittance to Harvard is a result of white guilt. I strongly disagree, and would urge you to comment on this.

IMO, the fact that NAMs are so successful at extorting white society is whites' FEARS of being accused of racism. That's how the game is played. Just ask Jesse Jacson or Michelle Obama.

"More evidence that those most interested in HBD are generally racists."

I'm a racist and unapologetically so. I have nothing but contempt for people who sanctimoniously claim to be nauseated or offended by racism. Such people are helping to push the western world towards disaster just so that they can pretend to themselves and their SWPL friends that they are morally and intellectually superior.

honest,

It's not the blacks we hate, it's their white enablers. If college admissions were a level playing field, a person like Khadijah would be more deserving of respect.

Sabril, nice regurgitation of the Steve Sailer script. Of course...no white person is made *truly* upset by racism. It's all an act to gain status. Much like being shocked by rape and other horrible things is an attempt to gain status.

Half -

I wish we could have a strongly pro-hbd site that excluded the haters and anti semites

you seem to be once again attracting the meth addled tatooed stormfront crowd

I'd like a more erudite discussion

Posted by: honest | June 21, 2009 at 10:18 PM

Slumming again, huh?


"I'm a racist and unapologetically so."

I'm not sure whether to call myself a "racist" or not because I have no idea what the term is even supposed to mean.

"Sabril, nice regurgitation of the Steve Sailer script. Of course...no white person is made *truly* upset by racism. It's all an act to gain status. Much like being shocked by rape and other horrible things is an attempt to gain status.

Posted by: honest | June 21, 2009 at 10:18 PM"

I think "Vim" has returned to his traditional trolling duties...

"Sabril, nice regurgitation of the Steve Sailer script"

Thank you. I actually learned the idea from Ian Jobling's brilliant article "Competitive Altruism & White Self-Destruction."

"I'd like a more erudite discussion"

What is so bad about this thread? The comments seem pretty tame to me.

Sabril, how do you calculate the ratio is 3000 to 1? Are you assuming a narrower bell curve for blacks? (There is some evidence for this.) Otherwise, I would think it would be only on the order of about 20 to 1 (5:1 for population ratio, 4:1 to make up the 15 point gap.)

Sabril, how do you calculate the ratio is 3000 to 1? Are you assuming a narrower bell curve for blacks? (There is some evidence for this.) Otherwise, I would think it would be only on the order of about 20 to 1 (5:1 for population ratio, 4:1 to make up the 15 point gap.)

Posted by: Stopped Clock | June 21, 2009 at 10:33 PM

SC--it is extremely rare for a bona fide black to have a 130-plus IQ. You could probably fit all the black geniuses into your local bodega.

I think that Khadijah is probably smart enough to get by in most Ivies but Harvard just seems wrong for her. I really do hope that she does well and finds herself a decent job because after all that she has been through, I do think she deserves it. Giving her preferential treatment because she is black and homeless could dissuade her from working hard in the future and it could even turn her into a resentful woman. I am glad that she wants to become a lawyer, but in education law? Hopefully, she'll change her mind about that by the time she graduates.

And Sigma, you should qualify your statements about her "low class ghetto attitude". Obviously, she needs to brush up on her etiquette if she wishes to associate with the upper middle class but when you say "ghetto" I get the impression of a loud black girl who has poor impulse control. Khadijah does not seem like that. To me, she seems to be a quiet girl who just stays out of trouble (no alcohol, no drugs, no fighting, no sex).

"Sabril, how do you calculate the ratio is 3000 to 1? Are you assuming a narrower bell curve for blacks?"

According to Lagriffe, African Americans have a standard deviation of 13.5 for IQ. So an African American with IQ 150 is 4.8 standard deviations above the mean. Assuming that IQ's follow a normal distribution, and 40 million blacks in the country, that gives about 30 blacks with IQ 150+.

For whites, a 150 IQ is 3.3 standard deviations above the mean. With the same assumptions and 200 million whites, that gives about 96,000 whites with IQ 150+.

Even if you assume the black standard deviation is 15, the ratio is still pretty lopsided at around 300 to 1.

Assuming my math is correct of course. It's been a few years since I studied stat. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the extreme tails don't follow the normal distribution.

Right on, Sabril. That stat is also borne out in real life--that's why I was never even close to being convinced that Obama was brilliant.

"Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the extreme tails don't follow the normal distribution."

Don't the tails tend to "get fat" at the extremes, at least for whites and NEAsians?

Or is there simply not enough hard data to tell us what exactly is going on at the extreme right tail ends of the bell curve?*

* For instance, it is very hard for psychologists to design IQ tests that accurately measure IQ beyond the high 150's, low 160's.

No doubt the fact that she is Negro has been a big plus for her, but I am guessing she scored well on the SAT.

Consider:

"Khadijah was in third grade when she first realized the power of test scores, placing in the 99th percentile on a state exam. Her teachers marked the 9-year-old as gifted, a special category that Khadijah, even at that early age, vowed to keep."

Ok- I detect the "invisible hand" at work in this story.

Khadijah has been living with the James and Patricia London in Rancho Palos Verdes. Wikipedia reports that "PVPUSD schools have constantly ranked among the best in California and the nation. The Washington Post once ranked the district's largest high school, Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (PVPHS) in neighboring Rolling Hills Estates as the 8th best public or private high school in the nation."

Pretty good place to send this generational genius to, right?


Meanwhile a Jefferson High in South Central, 58% of the students drop out and
http://abcnews.go.com/US/WireStory?id=5608021&page=1
"A quarter-century ago, Latino students totaled 31 percent of the student body; now they account for almost 90 percent. Blacks comprise about 10 percent and a sliver are Asian or white. ...
ocated in South Los Angeles, where new immigrants mostly from Mexico and Central America settle, the area has a large minority population and high poverty.

Of its 1,977 students last school year, 45 percent qualified as English learners. More than 90 percent qualified for free or reduced-price lunches."

Here are the schools academic statistics- they had a rank of 1 on scale of 1 to 10 on Calafornia's Academic Performance Index.

In 2008 there were 8 Asians in the whole school and 0 whites:
http://search.lausd.k12.ca.us/cgi-bin/fccgi.exe?w3exec=school.profile.content&which=8714

Their web site has to be seen to be believed:
http://www.lausd.k12.ca.us/Jefferson_HS/index.htm
The school nicnameis the "Democrats" and the home page of the web site the first two lines are "Home of the Jefferson Democrats for over 90 Years!" and "You can register to vote online."


So in summary, some one advised her to travel on a bus all day to go to one of the worst schools in the state instead of going to the local schools which are the best.

Oh and the Times writer, her bio lists her as the "first woman in her family to graduate from highschool."

I think this story is being juiced.

"Her roommate probably won't like her because she grew up among the lowest class of black people, so she surely picked up a lot of ghetto behaviors that upper middle class people will find obnoxious."

Frankly, just about anyone who didn't go to prep school would probably have a hard time fitting in socially at Harvard. She might just be enough of a novelty to attract attention, but she will still have a very difficult time fitting in. The worst part is that she will probably blame white racism for her struggles.

Even if she doesn't initially, I'm sure that some militant anti-white Critical Studies professor will take her under his wing and reveal whitey's sinister nature to her. It seems quite likely to me that she'll come out of all this with a mediocre experience and, as verde said, "a big chip on her shoulder". Definitely another Angry Michelle in the making.

By the way, a funny quote from the article-
"I strongly recommended her," Hilden said. "I told them, 'If you don't take her, you might be missing out on the next Michelle Obama. Don't make this mistake.'"

Posted by: Turambar | June 21, 2009 at 11:28 PM

Dude!

I guarantee she's not only smart but has better work ethic and values than almost all the white girls at Harvard or any other Ivy. I've noticed that educated black women tend to have good personalities and head on their shoulders, as compared to selfish, shallow, promiscuous educated white women.

@ Turambar:

Brilliant post. Wonder why she didn't attend the better school? Hmm?

@ Liam:

Feel free to visit my HBD site:

www.onestdv.blogspot.com

Joe,

I don't know how you can claim that Obama isn't intelligent just because he makes subtle grammar and spelling mistakes. Everyone makes those mistakes, especially if they are in a hurry or didn't do careful editing. I've written newspaper articles before, and I'm certainly not above making little mistakes like that.

"Don't the tails tend to 'get fat' at the extremes, at least for whites and NEAsians?

Or is there simply not enough hard data to tell us what exactly is going on at the extreme right tail ends of the bell curve?"

I don't know, but if the tails are fat for everyone, you would still expect a hefty imbalance between black and white geniuses. And that's completely consistent with my experience. I went to a top 5 college and a top 5 law school. I did meet some blacks who were pretty smart, but as far as I can remember I never met a black student (or professor for that matter) with genius level intelligence.

It seems to me that the only sense in which we are "wasting" black genius is through they hyper-peter-principle of affirmative action. A black person who was smart enough to be a competent but not brilliant attorney will be put on track to be in over his head as a federal judge.

I'm willing to believe that 50 or 100 years ago, there truly were a (small number of) blacks who were excluded from intellectual jobs because of racism even though they were smart enough to do those jobs well. But those days are long gone.

My opinion only.

"The story is trumpeting the effect of affirmative action without acknowledging affirmative action as the cause"

I think this is a good point. As I asked in the last comment thread, why is it such a big deal that somebody got into Harvard, presumably with a lot of affirmative action?

@ Joe on Obama's article:

I have to disagree. The quality of the prose is pretty good (though I imagine it doesn't meet the standard of the Harvard Law Review prez). I consider those errors to be minor.

However, what really stands out is the lack of critical thinking he presents. His "evidence" against the stigmatization associated with affirmative action is his own anecdotal experience. Does this constitute a valid counter-argument in the legal field: he cites a situation (his Law review Presidency) as mutually exclusive with another situation (stigma of AA) on extremely flimsy grounds (his own personal experience)?

I purposely made the preceding sentence similar to wording used on the LSAT. He argues using a very common fallacy that any high scoring person on the LSAT should note instantly.

The shallow character of his arguments are what really betray him in that article, not the careless grammatical errors.

Yes, this is a black issue. Yes, this is an affirmative action issue. Yes, this is a class issue.
No one is denying that!
The truth of the matter is, however, that this girl had all the odds against her. The "sabrils", the inner city youth, and the education system were all against her succeeding. Despite what her test scores may have been (and I have a feeling they were higher than a majority of this blog's followers), her work ethic and drive are admirable.
The majority of students at harvard DESPITE THEIR RACE, are handed opputunities from birth. It is clear that this girl was not.
Honestly, after living on the streets for the majority of her life, Khadijah deserves a break.
As for sabril and his (or her) supporters, priding yourself on a white to black statistic that measures nothing more than 'book smarts' is pathetic. Does an iq test or the sat measure a person's determination, integrity, or passion? Last time I checked the answer was NO.
Half Sigma (and others I'm sure) when have you taken the time to actually hold a conversation with a black college student or a black person for that matter? It's easy to comment on a "ghetto attidue" when you accept any loud mouthed African American as a persona for blacks. It's even easier to degrade this girl's accomplishment when you have never come close to reaching them. Have you ever taken the time to read black literature? Obviously not, if you spend your free time pin-picking Obama's subject-verb disagreements. Obama is our president, Kadijah is going to Harvard, and hundreds of other blacks are succeeding despite your negative and racist opinions.

Khadijah seems quite smart. I commend her for scoring well in the top percentile while having to put up with a terrible environment. Somehow I doubt most readers here would be able to put up with being homeless and still be composed enough to excel in academics. And I don't think it is necessarily true that a homeless white kid with these scores couldn't get into an Ivy. I remember a couple years ago there was a nationally run story about a homeless white kid who was named valedictorian in his high school and was admitted into a good college (forget which).

I'm a little disappointed in HS for the prejudiced slant of this post, since he said previously he wants the Stormfront crowd out of his blog. Maybe he is only against people being prejudiced against Jews. Anyway, this gives fuel to anyone who wants say HBD is an excuse to be a racist. If anything, as a commenter previously said, this story is a good reason why IQ tests should be utilized. This girl scored well, got on the radar as a gifted child, and ends up going to an Ivy League school. The tests she took in 3rd grade obviously had value. Unless you're just a bigot who wants blacks to continue to underperform in order to promote some kind of crazed supremacist ideology, this story is an example of what should be happening.

--
In fact, I'm sure there are a good number of Asian kids with very high SAT scores whose parents work for low wages in Chinese restaurants.
--

Bingo. Theres a great little chinese take out place here and we see a middle schooler work on her math in the take out area AND sometimes help her mom at the cashiers. She is doing high school math.

@ Hap:

I agree somewhat. As I stated on the other thread, I think we're being too cynical here. Generally, in regards to racial intelligence debates, that should be the default position, but here I think it's unwarranted. Maybe this girl only got in because of affirmative action (still wondering why she decided not to attend that great school near her home, hmmm?), but she clearly has overcome great odds and has a drive to succeed. She'll probably end up another bitter Michelle Obama, but it's unfair to denigrate the achievement of overcoming such a despondent situation.

Still I agree that very poor Asians are never highlighted in this manner.

@ Joe:

"That was my point."

It seemed like you were more concerned with syntax and grammatical errors (though the sentence where he didn't properly conjugate a plural verb was atrocious).

I'm starting to wonder if he did actually write Dreams of my Father. It's a brilliantly crafted narrative, full of fantastic prose and some nuanced thought. Given the paucity of intellectual depth apparent in this article and his penchant for long pauses (uhh, errr) during extemporaneous statements, I imagine he had loads of help in creating it.

"The truth of the matter is, however, that this girl had all the odds against her. The 'sabrils', the inner city youth, and the education system were all against her succeeding"

That's largely nonsense. For any black kid who shows a glimmer of intellectual gift, the red carpet is rolled out. In most of the country, anyway. Did you notice in the article that a wealthy family from Rancho Palos Verdes basically adopted this girl for purposes of college admissions?

Besides, it's not even clear what she accomplished. Almost certainly the bar was lowered for her.

How am I harming her (or people like her) by pointing this out?


"Homeless to Harvard" is a grand tradition that crosses racial lines. Two such white girls are Liz Murray and Lauralee Summer, who later wrote well-reviewed memoirs about the experience.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liz_Murray
http://www.lauraleesummer.com/

Harvard College is dominated socially, if by anyone, by affluent suburbanites. Prep-schoolers may be wealthier and better-connected but do not exercise disproportionate leadership in extra-curricular activities, much less show greater academic achievement. The final clubs are an elitist bastion but represent a numerically small proportion of social life. Math nerds, ethnic groups, debaters, and drama geeks are all able to form their own social circles without worrying too much about others.

* * *

Also, "not leaving the ghetto behind" is a real danger for very poor black students at Harvard.

Chanequa Campbell and Brittany Smith made the mistake of hanging out with ghetto men who decided to rob and murder a small-time drug dealer on campus. Now, after four years, they won't get diplomas. Bad move.

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2009/06/03/shooting_ends_harvard_womans_hopes_of_graduating/

http://www.boston.com/news/local/massachusetts/articles/2009/06/03/harvard_to_deny_2d_student_her_diploma/

"Anyway, I hope the poor girl goes into something better than education law after all this. "

Like marrying a rich guy -- isn't that what the typical Harvard woman does? Plenty of Harvard girls major in useless subjects and do quite well.

Turambar, re the BS detector: "Homeless" in this case means unstable housing, not living outdoors as many people think of homelessness. The mom sounds like many of my troubled clients with mental health and/or drug problems, who just can't keep it together enough to stay in any one dwelling for long. They're always getting arrested; running out of money because they do drugs or don't budget their public assistance; getting evicted because they cause problems.

Who knows, the family may have had to spend the odd night or two actually on the street. But notice the article dances around any direct claim of street-sleeping. "Lived out of garbage bags" probably means that's what they used for luggage, not that they were picking meals out of trashcans.

The girl denies her mom does drugs or is abusive, but she knows if she mentioned any specific problems in the paper, social workers would remove her younger sister in a heartbeat and her mom would lose whatever public assistance she gets for her.

[The sooner those places sink under the weight of their own madness the better for America.]

I don't get how that would be good for America. Anyway, I once read a story about how Stanford was shooting itself in the foot via affirmative action admits, because as it turns out, later in life they donate to the university at significantly lower levels than white alumni, especially Asians (as I recall).

[I guarantee she's...]

Oh yeah, no doubt about it dude. I'm sure you're right.

Some of the comments here are pretty funny. Or pretty pathetic. However you want to look at it.

[...it must be true, from the numbers, that we waste a lot of genius from our US Black population.]

Sorry, but I don't see where the "we" comes in. I think in the end it is up to each individual to make something of his/her potential, or "genius", as you put it. At least that's the way it was when I was growing up. And I find it a little bit hard to believe that in America today a young black person who shows exceptional ability and potential, as this young woman does, and bothers to make some, or any, kind of an effort, on average fails to get enough help and encouragement.

Posted by: Sheila Tone | June 22, 2009 at 10:08 PM

Why did the article have to "dance around" their living arrangements (or what her test scores were)? We all know why. It is just another shovel of shit that makes up this story. The liberal dream come true! They're going to try and milk this for all it is worth. What kind of surprises me is how sloppy liberals are getting these days.

Africans have the highest educational attainment rates of any immigrant group in the United States, with higher levels of completion than the stereotyped Asian American model minority.[4] It is not only the first generation that does well, as estimates indicate that a highly disproportionate percentage of black students at elite universities are African or the children of African immigrants

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_immigration_to_the_United_States

"So in summary, some one advised her to travel on a bus all day to go to one of the worst schools in the state instead of going to the local schools which are the best."

Turambar, she didn't get to RPV until December. No one transfers halfway through their senior year, even between schools of equal quality.

To be sure, there's a lot less competition at Jefferson than at RPV. She probably would have found herself far behind. Here's a Times article from Monday comparing a junior at Jefferson with a junior at La Canada High, a school similar to RPV: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-11thgrade22-2009jun22,0,2883533.story

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