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AICP racial preferences (was: I am disgusted)

Mastiff

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I just got this from the Oregon APA:

To: OAPA List
Sent: November 20, 2003 9:37 AM
Subject: oapa: 2004 AICP EXAM

REDUCED 2004 AICP EXAM FEE SCHOLARSHIP SLOTS Oregon has one (1) slot.

Reduced AICP Exam Fee Scholarship Selection Criteria:

§ Members of ethnic or racial minorities shall be given
preference.


Does this bother anyone else?! I know I've ranted on this before, but here is my reply:

Do you know why I refuse to take the AICP exam? Because of the absurd and irresponsible "criteria" below.... It smacks of discrimination like nothing I have read in a professional organization in some time. Are you seriously going to pass over one race to give a scholarship to a different race? This society will never be colorblind or non-sexist with standards, set by organizations, such as these. As planners, I believe we should lead the way. Your criteria should read "No preferance will be given based on race, creed, religion, or sex..."

In addition, the AICP "Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct" reinforces the idea that minorities and women somehow can't make it on their own. Here, in C - 7:

"A planner must strive to increase the opportunities for women and members of recognized minorities to become professional planners."

Huh?! As my professional duty I "must strive" to be racist and sexist?! Yes, fellow planners, that's what it says. If it were to say I must give equal opportunity, no problem... But from where I stand, I'd give the opportunity to the person who is most deserving, regardless of all the politically correct mumbo-jumbo. I wasn't born with the proverbial siver spoon, I worked my way through college, and never even sniffed at the "good 'ol boy" network. If I had sniffed it, I'd rail against it in the same manner as I am here, with these "criteria". Until these things change, I cannot, by my own codes, take an oath such as this. I suppose, for now, I'll just have to do my planning "uncertified"...
 

Cardinal

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I would be irate if it were my state chapter spewing this nonsense. Scholarships of this sort should be based on financial need, not race or gender. I wonder... if you told them you were gay and/or getting a sex change, would you be eligible?
 

Mastiff

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Cardinal said:
I would be irate if it were my state chapter spewing this nonsense. Scholarships of this sort should be based on financial need, not race or gender. I wonder... if you told them you were gay and/or getting a sex change, would you be eligible?

I was irate... Didn't that come through? Oh, and it CC'ed to every Oregon APA member. This should be lively.
 

Habanero

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I'd be mad too- I really hope someone wouldn feel pity for me and give me a job because I don't have a penis.
 

SlaveToTheGrind

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Habanero said:
I'd be mad too- I really hope someone wouldn feel pity for me and give me a job because I don't have a penis.

Actually, with today's medical breakthroughs....just kidding.

Scholorships should be based on need. The purpose is to give money to those who don't have any or enough - a characteristic that is not determined by race, color, or gender.

Maybe Mastiff should apply as LuWanda Rafael Two Bears Wang (not that there is anything wrong with those names). It should be based on NEED.
 

Chet

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Besides, there are what, seven people in Oregon that work in planning that might fit that criteria? ;)
 

Chet

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Habanero said:
I'd be mad too- I really hope someone wouldn feel pity for me and give me a job because I don't have a penis.

Actually, I thought you said you had one all the time. ;)
 

Mastiff

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We have lots of women planners out here...

As I am finding out RIGHT now. Needless to say, I'm getting just a few angry responses!
 

Chet

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Mastiff said:
We have lots of women planners out here...

Gender was not one of the criteria you posted. I presume it was, but you snipped out just the one that irked you?
 

Suburb Repairman

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Yulp. I'm forwarding my formal apology to the APA for being born a white anglo saxon protestant male! :-@

HELLO! We're all planners and most of us are in the same pay scale: poor! God this crap pisses me off! I got hosed on college scholarships because my parents looked a little too rich on paper (not in real life). At the same time, I watch these pricks in my dorm take their grant money and spend it on the latest greatest Playstation 2 game or some $140 Nike's that will just fall apart in 6 months! Two semesters later they've flunked out and wasted taxpayers' money that could have been used for someone with more academic merit. My parents have struggled putting me through school while dealing with their health problems, but the scholarship/grant office didn't give two shits. They should just take race and sex off of all future applications so that way people are awarded for their merits, not because of some cultural characteristic. By the way, I'm not some spoiled brat who's parents give them everything: they pay for the percentage of classes I get "A"s in, and I pay for the rest.

Thank you APA. Thank you for showing me that I will continue to be screwed because I was born "privaleged". If it weren't so damn far to Chicago, I would personally make a trip up there just to drop a flaming bag of dog poo on their front step. I'm glad I'm not a minority group because it would drive me crazy not knowing whether I was selected because I was more qualified or because I filled their quota.
 

Seabishop

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Mastiff, does the letter mention financial need at all or just race? As a white dude I grew up in the same poor neighborhood as minority kids who would have gotten scholarships even though we were all in the same economic boat. There is just a built in assumption that minorities ARE discriminated against and such policies make up for it.

Your example makes less sense than other policies because it targets people who are already professional planners. Its not a matter of greater opportunity for the underpriveledged.

Straying off topic:
There was a public service-type commercial on TV a while ago that showed a white kid and black kid playing at a playground. The white mom pulls her kid aside and says "don't play with that girl." The commercial goes on to stress tolerance. But WHO ACTS LIKE THAT? That commercial claims to show the hidden, racist world of white people to minorities just perpetuating the problem of mistrust.
 

H

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staying off topic...

Seabishop said:
Straying off topic:
There was a public service-type commercial on TV a while ago that showed a white kid and black kid playing at a playground. The white mom pulls her kid aside and says "don't play with that girl." The commercial goes on to stress tolerance. But WHO ACTS LIKE THAT? That commercial claims to show the hidden, racist world of white people to minorities just perpetuating the problem of mistrust.

Yes that commercial made me angry, too. Even growing up in the south I NEVER saw such a thing from anyone.

Propaganda commercials like that breads a reverse racism through the paranoia of making people think other people are out to get them.

It was negative advertising and wasn’t helping anything. I am glad it is off the air.
 
Last edited:

michaelskis

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Suburb Repairman said:
By the way, I'm not some spoiled brat who's parents give them everything: they pay for the percentage of classes I get "A"s in, and I pay for the rest.


Lucky punk. I will be in debt for many, MANY years because I did not receive any financial assistance from my parents. I was able to get into a few big name colleges, but they where pricey and not able to give me scholarships. WELCOME to the world of reverse discrimination. There is no equal treatment by several factors of society today. Out on the street, I do not care what color of a persons skin is. I do care if they are guy or girl because, well, I am not going to flirt with a guy… but still. People are People. That is all that is important. The most popular rapper is white, and the most popular golfer is black… ten years ago, people would have thought that was absurd. We as AMERICANS need to set the example, and show our civic, social, governmental, and employment leaders, and we should all be treated as if we where HUMAN, not minority or majority.

OK… back to reality. I think that it is one thing to sit here, but I do have to applaud those who are willing to stand up for what they believe in.
 

jordanb

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Have you seen the articles recently finding that girls are basically blowing boys away at school now? Appearently in their zeal to make school "equitable," and fighting percived discrimination against girls, they discriminated against boys, pathologizing their normal behavior and forcing them into an educational model more tailored to girls. The end result is that boys are discouraged and turned off of school at an early age.

The real hilarious thing is if you combine this with that dating thread, that women are attracted to successful men. What's going to happen when women are way more sucessful than all of their prospective mates?
 

Mastiff

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Seabishop said:
Mastiff, does the letter mention financial need at all or just race? As a white dude I grew up in the same poor neighborhood as minority kids who would have gotten scholarships even though we were all in the same economic boat. There is just a built in assumption that minorities ARE discriminated against and such policies make up for it.

Your example makes less sense than other policies because it targets people who are already professional planners. Its not a matter of greater opportunity for the underpriveledged.

Oh, it also has financial needs, including cities who can't help you pay... But WHY race?!
 

Duke Of Dystopia

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jordanb said:
......The real hilarious thing is if you combine this with that dating thread, that women are attracted to successful men. What's going to happen when women are way more sucessful than all of their prospective mates?

You get a similar situation presently among aftican americacans in many cases. The sociological presure to "be with your own" then causes problems within the relationship because the old models on how to "be a man" no longer mean much.

Only advice, learn how to adapt and be vicious about it.

We put a lot of crap onto what we want our schools to do for our kids. I see lots of parents falling down on spending time with thier kids. Teach them the necessity of an education. Get them to buy in, and any boy or girl for that matter will compete with others just fine. Spend TIME with your kids and you don't have to worry about the feminization of our schools.

Personally, I would never have made it through high school without causing a national incident today. I turned out OK any way! :)
 

BiteMeElmo

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In Canada the RCMP have similar practices, but I'm not sure if they're "official". If you're a white male, you have the least chance of getting in than anyone else. When I was younger, I considered the RCMP as a career option, but hearing about this totally turned me off it.
 

jresta

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I wouldn't call it reverse discrimination. If anything it's just "discrimination". Although, they're not really telling you "you can't work here" they're telling you "hang on and let's wait to see who else signs up and then we'll tell you if you have a chance".

Jordan makes a good point. A lot of the policies of the last 20 years have been a lot more anti-male than pro-woman. It's also interesting if you look at the Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Their stats on wage growth since 1950 show that wages grew for men and women fairly evenly until 1972 (this is all adjusted for inflation) then mens wages stopped growing and flipped back and forth $.50 or so up to the present where the median man's purchasing power is exactly the same as it was in 1972 Meanwhile women's wages have continued to grow - often at 5% a year or better.

That's not to say that the wage gap between men and women shouldn't be closed but for men to have stagnant wages for 31 years because of it?

As far as planners are concerned, i can see the PC rationale for wanting more minority planners but i don't at all agree with it. Unless they're serious community activists they're not going to handle the situation any differently from a white planner of the same socio-economic background. We all read the same publications and we all take the same planning classes.

The only reason i could see giving preference to minority planners is to deal with cultural/language barriers in a specific neighborhood . . . but even there i would be very careful because that's more or less tokenizing the planner and is pretty demeaning in and of itself.
 

LouisvilleSlugger

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wow!!!! yeah, I agree with everyone on this. I'm of the Hispanic background and something like this is really crazy. it should be based on need! regardless of race / ethnicity.
 

Chet

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OK with the exception of jresta, whom I dont know very well and dont know race or ethnicity (sorry jresta) this thread has been repsonded to only by middle class white males. And Habenero, but shes a butch one anyway, right ;) (sorry Habenero but any chick thats taller than me and can hand me my arse on a platter in a debate gets some 'o the chet handed back now and then!)

So, lets here from some of the dviersity that is cyburbia. Dont let this be an Angry White Male thread - share your true thoughts. And be honest.
 

pete-rock

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Chet said:
OK with the exception of jresta, whom I dont know very well and dont know race or ethnicity (sorry jresta) this thread has been repsonded to only by middle class white males. And Habenero, but shes a butch one anyway, right ;) (sorry Habenero but any chick thats taller than me and can hand me my arse on a platter in a debate gets some 'o the chet handed back now and then!)

So, lets here from some of the dviersity that is cyburbia. Dont let this be an Angry White Male thread - share your true thoughts. And be honest.

This topic is poison, but I'll give it a shot.

For those who may not know, I'm a black male, and I've been a planner for some 15 years. Just passed the AICP last year, on my first and only try; my employer paid for the exam.

I understand the value of "workplace diversity" and "equal access". And I see real educational and workplace imbalances. I think society benefits when it's clear that people from all groups can and do have access to the things that help them to attain their version of the "American Dream". But I also realize that diversity is not a strongly held value for most people in the nation; no one is thinking about how our society is better when they see someone else winning out by getting a benefit that was not earned. Not that people are anti-minority; just that other values are more important to them.

I'm in the middle on this one. I think blacks are still somewhat spatially, economically and socially isolated in this country; but I also think overt attempts to change that only create doubt and enmity.
 

PlannerGirl

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Thanks for speaking up Pete :)

As a woman I have to sit and wonder at times if I have not been given chances based on gender and not if I was the best person for the job. This bothers me to no end.

I think I can see where having some sort of incintive to pull a group into a field, topic, class (fill in the blank) might be wise but Im not sure even as a woman in a male dominated field that I want any sort of leg up based on my gender.

as always YMMV
 

Mastiff

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Just irked over a concept.

...that any person should be chosen for something, like a scholorship, based on their skin color. Or sex... Or anything, really...

I've received dozens of responses from here in Oregon, and basically answered them with these points:

1) If a private foundation wants to give education monies to certain races or classes, fine. But an entity like APA or AICP shouldn't do such a thing. Need is need.

2) If the AICP wants to recruit more minority and women planners, great. I'll go along with it if the membership as a whole decides it is the thing to do. But using an "oath" to force me to do it is wrong... that's my opinion. The real "minority" in planners, are the people who start out to become planners. Use our dues to make presentations to high schools and on college campuses, instead of sending me 20 pounds of junk mail a month.

They say I have to make the opportunitities, and I say they should make them.

3) To the female and minority planners, I ask you... Would you be upset if you received a scholorship over another person more needy because of your gender or skin color?

How about a job? It's an honest question...
 

Cardinal

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This has been a good debate, and I like the way it is headed. I'll add some more to it.

Discrimination is far from eradicated in our society. I have seen it firsthand. I basically ended my career as an officer in the Army of Illinois when I corroborated a black sergeant's claims that he was systematically discriminated against in a southern Illinois Guard unit. The good old boys who ran things didn't like that, and made it clear that if I wanted a promotion I would need to look elsewhere. I also suspect discrimination against women on the part of some in this city, but do not have the evidence to prove it.

That sort of attitude and those discriminatory actions need to be vigorously opposed. Everyone deserves an even playing field. So how is that achieved? It seems that some people within APA feel that an "even playing field" can only be achieved by giving an advantage to a minority group. Does this then create a disadvantage for a non-minority person or persons? I believe it does, and that it is, in fact, another form of discrimination.

My interpretation of the code of ethics is that it calls on us to be aware of minorities and the unique needs they may have. We should understand that alternative means of outreach may be more effective among some populations, or that there may be a need to deliver services in a different manner. Where discrimination does appear, as in the neighborhood meeting thread, it should be rigourously attacked. (Actually, these statements are true with any unique population, not just minorities.) I begin to have a problem, however, when I see race or gender used as an excuse to justify an alternative outcome for one group versus another.

APA makes a limited number of scholarships available to each state chapter. The criteria that they grant these on is financial need. There are many planners in declining rural areas, in inner cities, on reservations, in not-for-profit organizations and elsewhere, who make very little money and whose employers do not pay their costs for things like AICP. These are the people for whom the scholarships are intended. I would hate to see someone in this situation, who may in fact be the neediest person, passed over for a scholarship just because he might be a white male.
 

pete-rock

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Re: Just irked over a concept.

Mastiff said:
To the female and minority planners, I ask you... Would you be upset if you received a scholorship over another person more needy because of your gender or skin color?

How about a job? It's an honest question...

I see at least two ways to answer this question:

The stock "Civil Rights Activist" Answer: Minorities have, for many years, been aware that other, less needy people have received scholarships, jobs and other benefits due to the color of their skin. It's part of the privilege of being in the majority.

Pete-Rock's Answer: It's never happened, to my knowledge, but I could definitely see how that could cause others to doubt my ability in school or at work, and in turn affect my self-esteem.

And I kinda see both points.

I went to a large public university in the Midwest, not in the South but very close to it (hint: it's known for basketball coaches who throw chairs). I attended with no scholarship whatsoever; just student loans to the hilt. My freshman year, another student asked me if I played on the football team, and I said no. He asked if I was on the basketball team, and I again said no. He asked if I played any sports -- again I said no. He then asked me, "well, what the hell are ya here fer?" Two years later, as a resident assistant in the dorms, I saw a drunk kid smashing beer bottles against a wall. I had to write him up. He disagreed, though, saying that "n----r RAs are supposed to write up only n----r students."

Both instances made me feel that I was viewed as less of a student on campus. My presence, and that of other minorities, at the school may have helped to change a perception that others may have had. And in the long run, that has a societal benefit. But if there's any policy that makes minorities the target of anger, no matter how well intentioned and needed, I wonder if it works.
 

el Guapo

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Pete
First, I am sorry for your dealings with white racist assholes, but I am no more responsible for them than you are for Al Sharpton. We both have people in our ethnic group that make us embarrassed (Trent Lott to name but one..). Moreover, I do see examples of their redneck attitude in my region more often than I wish.

The race-baiters are right in one small way, there still are people filled with hate in some positions of power. Nevertheless, if I might offer an observation, they are more marginalized every passing day. The average 'Caucasian' (I hate that term) is less tolerant of anyone's prejudice. The majority, IMHO, of Caucasians think it is time for the race-baiters to quit bitching and recognize that only the fringe hold those old time beliefs seriously anymore. They would like credit for cleaning up someone else's mess. They inherited the problem just as blacks did.

So I guess all I can say is I am actively working towards a world where people are judged on the content of their character in my small sphere of influence. I am doing what I can where I can because I want my progeny to live in that world. This sometimes means I piss off other people when they tell a racist joke in my presence or make a put down comment, by not only not laughing, but also doing my best to make them see the error of their ways as politely as I can. I also have educated my child in the ways of a proper gentleman. I have seen to it that my child was raised to see the person and not their color first.

Why am I telling you this? It is simple, if a black guy and white guy can have a civil discussion on racism and how we should deal with it in our society, and we can do it without polemics, and maybe we find we have common ground, then I think that is proof the world is becoming a better place, at least in regards to this issue.
 

Mastiff

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Re: Re: Just irked over a concept.

pete-rock said:

I went to a large public university in the Midwest, not in the South but very close to it (hint: it's known for basketball coaches who throw chairs).

You went to Texas Tech?!

Seriously... I understand your points as well. I thing EG hit it better than I could. All I can do is a) control my own sphere of influence, and b) speak out to people who might listen. I simply refuse to discriminate... against any race or either sex, and won't take an oath to the contrary.

I once got into a debate in the school paper when a black professor wrote a headline piece about how the university need "more black professors". In my letter to the editor, I responded that the university needed "more good professors"... he called me a racist. But, he had a tough time when I questioned him on the matter. You see, one of us had put race into play... and one of us had not. You don't have to be caucasian to be a racist.
 

Mastiff

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Oh, and...

I noticed that part in your post about creating anger towards minorities... it was never my intent to imply that I was "irked" with the person who got the scholorship.

I'm irked that a policy decision was made by the APA / AICP that made race a criteria for selection, that's all...
 

Chet

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Re: Just irked over a concept.

Mastiff said:
1) If a private foundation wants to give education monies to certain races or classes, fine. But an entity like APA or AICP shouldn't do such a thing.

But Mastiff - APA and AICP are private organizations. Just as the Boy Scouts of America can willingly flaunt its no-gay policy, APA can flaunt its affirmative action. Opposite sides of the same coin IMHO. You do not need to be a member, do you? If you do not agree with their political leanings: (1) run for national office and unseat the b*stards, or (2) walk away.
 

el Guapo

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Re: Re: Just irked over a concept.

Chet said:
But Mastiff - APA and AICP are private organizations. Just as the Boy Scouts of America can willingly flaunt its no-gay policy, APA can flaunt its affirmative action. Opposite sides of the same coin IMHO. You do not need to be a member, do you? If you do not agree with their political leanings: (1) run for national office and unseat the b*stards, or (2) walk away.

Damn, Chet, I hate it when you are right! Of course the old "feminist" arguments of the 1970's could be made that to advance one had to be a member of the club. Thus, exclusion from the good old boy network denied the woman networking opportunities. But once again my argument falls apart. Unlike those exclusive golf clubs that wouldn't allow women as members, the APA will allow anyone to GALIP right on in. Damn, foiled again... ;)
 

pete-rock

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el Guapo said:
Pete
First, I am sorry for your dealings with white racist assholes, but I am no more responsible for them than you are for Al Sharpton. We both have people in our ethnic group that make us embarrassed (Trent Lott to name but one..). Moreover, I do see examples of their redneck attitude in my region more often than I wish.

Hey, what's wrong with Al Sharpton?! ;)

Thanks, but I didn't bring those instances up to gain sympathy. S#!t happens, and no one person is a representative of an entire group of people. I only mentioned this because on the whole, those a$$holes had to confront their own negative belief system because of my presence on campus, and there's likely a positive societal benefit to that. That's the upside. The downside is that there will be whites who will question the legitimacy of some blacks academic ability or position, and some blacks who will wonder if they were in fact good enough for the school or the job.

The race-baiters are right in one small way, there still are people filled with hate in some positions of power.

It's actually not hate that I see as the problem; it's benign neglect. Blacks are still fairly isolated in this country -- in part maybe our own doing -- and a lack of familiarity can breed contempt.

Why am I telling you this? It is simple, if a black guy and white guy can have a civil discussion on racism and how we should deal with it in our society, and we can do it without polemics, and maybe we find we have common ground, then I think that is proof the world is becoming a better place, at least in regards to this issue.

There's plenty of common ground, only people on the margins who want to keep us from meeting there.
 

Suburb Repairman

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Re: Re: Just irked over a concept.

pete-rock said:
Two years later, as a resident assistant in the dorms, I saw a drunk kid smashing beer bottles against a wall. I had to write him up. He disagreed, though, saying that "n----r RAs are supposed to write up only n----r students."


Hey, another Resident Assistant! :) We'll have to swap stories sometime! I'm Head RA in an athletic dorm and one of my black coworkers had a similar problem like you described. The only difference was the bigot said that "I bet if I was black you wouldn't mess with me-you f***ing n****s always take care of your own!" He then called me, since I'm the Head RA. He took care of writing up the policy violation and I took care of writing the "disrespecting a university official" complaint against the racist resident (Head RAs are the only one's that can do that). I took real pleasure in filing the complaint and made sure to include all of the comments verbatim. Instead of a simple meeting with me, he now has to go through student justice. I'm sure they will help him "broaden his perspectives". I have a feeling his grades will help remove him from the school in January anyway, so he won't be a problem anymore. Ironically, my co-worker has written up more black residents than white residents.
 

Mastiff

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Re: Re: Just irked over a concept.

Chet said:
But Mastiff - APA and AICP are private organizations. Just as the Boy Scouts of America can willingly flaunt its no-gay policy, APA can flaunt its affirmative action. Opposite sides of the same coin IMHO. You do not need to be a member, do you? If you do not agree with their political leanings: (1) run for national office and unseat the b*stards, or (2) walk away.

A good point, and I may do one or the other. Will you be my campaign manager? Right now I'm working on Oregon, then we can go national from there...

But, I said "private foundation", in terms of a gift giving entity, not an organization that, in all regards, represents our profession in the U.S.
 
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