I got into this discussion at Prof. Stackhouse’s blog about affirmative action. I contended that it has watered down academics by filling empty academic posts first from the handful of women candidates instead of also taking into consideration the much larger pool of white angry males. When Wayne Park called this point into question, I wrote:
I for one do not believe that the sacrifice of quality at the altar of diversity has been beneficial to academic standards in higher learning. Before I started job hunting, one of the colleagues in my field, explained to me how they did a job search at his California University (this was in circa 1994). He testified that they would receive maybe 100 applications. They would take the 95 or so from men and file them in the trash. Then they would choose three from the five women applicants and interview them, and then choose the best candidate from those three.
This means then that a woman can find a job in academics quite easily and men have a much harder time. This scenario is confirmed even by Prof. Stackhouse own confession above. Faculties will go out of their way to “recruit” women; but to hire a man, they just have to post the position and the applications come in.
The same holds true for racial minorities of the correct sort–forget it if you are either Jewish or Asian; that won’t help, because these are over-represented minorities–in fact only the best Chinese or Jewish kids can even get into some schools.
Now imagine if they did this with the NBA. Ok. We are going to give half-Korean men (they are underrepresented in the NBA, quelle horreur!) and females the preference for hiring. How long would it be before people would stop even watching the NBA and just start watching European league basketball instead? But in academics they’ve been selecting the team not to win championships (based strictly on the people with the best talent and the strongest dossier) but to create diversity–then telling the entire world that the team is better because of it. Well perhaps the faculty page on the website looks less monolithic, but I would rather watch European league academics where the concept of diversity has been much slower in catching on.
Wayne Park then proceeded to insinuate that I believed that white Europeans are more intellectual than other races, not to mention that he found my comments demeaning to women. Also, he did not like that I used “sarcasm”. My comment about half-Korean men in the NBA was the point of contention and he did not find the analogy helpful. I guess I made the mistake of forgetting that I guy named “Dunn” should not assume that guy name “Park” would immediately understand such a line to be self-deprecating humor but would perhaps consider it instead an attack on Koreans in general. But maybe it is a good question: why aren’t there more half Koreans in the NBA?
Where am I supposed to go after all? Studies have shown that half Koreans excel in the academy, and so we find no special treatment there. If anything, we are lumped with other over-acheiving Asians and discriminated against. Full Koreans in Korea generally appreciate purity– have you ever played the Asian game Mah Jong? My Korean grandparents taught me when I was eleven; the game rewards every conceivable form of purity and eschews mixture: a game with a mixture of pung and chow is called a “chicken hand” and is considered worthless. I am a person of Korean and white race (mostly Scottish) and am therefore a “chicken” person. So I won’t get any special favors if I went to Korea. The special word for half-breed in Korea is togee or something like that. I learned the word years ago from an article about a poor, starved half-Korean girl who was adopted by American parents.
So even though I have a degree from the University of Cambridge, and very high g.p.a. from both Regent College and my undergraduate studies, nobody has ever offered me a full-time job in academics. So I feel free to express bigoted comments about the academy, though I have many friends who are academics. When you hear about how people bend over backwards to hire blacks African-Americans, Hispanics, white et al. women, and First Nations, it’s maddening. I mean I’ve often considered changing my last name to Muktuk and saying that I grew up in Bethel, Alaska, of a Yupik father and a white mother–I know just enough of the language to be able to fake it in the interview, arigato very much. My brother’s best friend in high school was half Yupik, half white, and looked a lot like him, and their teachers mixed them up. So I could do it, and then I’d be on the short list for every job I applied for.
So why not the NBA? Why shouldn’t social justice and egalitarianism for half Koreans start with the NBA? My high school basketball coach did a short stint with the LA Lakers, but I don’t think he really liked me, and he certainly gave me no playing time; he seemed to prefer the high-flying African Americans to me and my steady set shot. Ok, so I’m 5 ft, 9 8 in. with 26.5 inch inseam. My standing vertical jump is about six inches. But I can shoot a mean three-point shot; the NBA player that I try to emulate is Steve Kerr. My high scoring game was 44 points; it was circa 1984 at Northwest College, an intramural game–ok, I admit that the other team only had four players. So I think in order to give half Koreans a step up, they should get preferential treatment in the NBA. Every single NBA team should be required by law and social pressure to hire at least one half Korean. I volunteer to play on the Raptors. I would be at the same time the first half-Korean and the oldest player in NBA history.
The one great thing about DIY trading is that nobody asks you your race when you trade, unlike the US census. It’s anonymous. And as a half Korean, a member of a despised group both in Korea and in the other half of the world, I find great solace and refuge in that anonymity.