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What Do Cupcakes Have to Do with Affirmative Action?: Making the Invisible Visible. IAFC Leadership Summit 2005 Washington DC Presentation by: Steve L. Robbins, Ph.D. S.L. Robbins & Associates www.SLRobbins.com. Affirmative Action. A controversial, touchy subject I Love White Guys!.

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what do cupcakes have to do with affirmative action making the invisible visible

What Do Cupcakes Have to Do with Affirmative Action?:Making the Invisible Visible

IAFC Leadership Summit 2005

Washington DC

Presentation by:

Steve L. Robbins, Ph.D.

S.L. Robbins & Associates

www.SLRobbins.com

affirmative action
Affirmative Action
  • A controversial, touchy subject
  • I
  • Love
  • White
  • Guys!
main points
Main Points
  • Challenge ourselves to see things that might be currently invisible
  • We all make mistakes
  • Gut reactions
  • Checking our gut reactions
can you add
Can You Add?
  • What is 9 + 1?
  • Answer = 10
  • What is 9 + 2?
  • Answer = 11
  • What is 9 + 3?
  • Answer = 12
  • What is 9 + 4?
  • Answer = 13
can you add5
Can You Add?
  • What else can the sum of 9 + 4 be if it is not 13?
  • 9 + 4 = 13 in a Base 10 math context
  • 9 + 4 = (12) 1 in a Base 12 context
  • What do you know?
  • What don’t you know?
cognitive dissonance
Cognitive Dissonance
  • An anxious, uncomfortable state that humans do like like to be in
  • We try to get of CD very quickly
  • Natural tendency to ignore or dismiss new, CD producing information
  • Harder to entertain new ideas
entertaining new ideas
Entertaining New Ideas
  • “The measure of a great (person) is the ability to entertain new ideas without necessarily having to accept them.”(Aristotle)
  • Cognitively and emotionally difficult to entertain new ideas
  • We interpret info through unique lenses and filters
a bit about culture
A Bit About “Culture”
  • “Culture is the acquired knowledge people use to interpret experience and generate behavior.”(James Spradley)
  • Partly explains the different reactions of African Americans and Whites to the response to Katrina
  • The person who grows up in poverty in inner city Los Angeles CA will see the world differently that the one who grows up upper class in Brentwood, CA
are you nice
Are You NICE?
  • Not
  • Inclined to
  • Critically
  • Examine
two worlds
Two Worlds
  • Conceptual
  • Operational
  • Example: Meritocracy
  • How do John Kerry and George W. Bush get into Yale with “C” averages in H.S.?
review unintentional intolerance
Review: Unintentional Intolerance
  • Mindlessness +
  • Multiple Redundant Messages =
  • Unintentional Intolerance
mindlessness
Mindlessness
  • We live life rather mindlessly everyday
  • Brain helps us to be more efficient
  • Brain writes cognitive scripts
  • Examples of CGs
multiple redundant messages
Multiple Redundant Messages
  • Many messages can impact us without us knowing it
  • Burger King & “Branding”
  • NIKE
  • Easy to build “brands”
unintentional intolerance in action
Unintentional Intolerance in Action
  • Example
  • “TOP”
  • I can get you to give me the wrong answer when you know the right one
unintentional intolerance in action15
Unintentional Intolerance in Action
  • Example: Hiring
  • Value= Formal Education
  • 4 yr degree
unintentional intolerance in action16
Unintentional Intolerance in Action
  • General Pop. = 25%
  • Whites = 35%
  • People of Color = 15%
  • Example: Resumes
unintentional intolerance in action17
Unintentional Intolerance in Action
  • General Pop. = 25%
  • Throw away 75%
  • Whites = 35%
  • Throw away 65%
  • People of Color = 15%
  • Throw away 85%
what is affirmative action
What is Affirmative Action?
  • On March 6, 1961 President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925.The intent of this executive order was to affirm the government's commitment to equal opportunity for all qualified persons, and to take positive action to strengthen efforts to realize true equal opportunity for all. It was superseded by Executive Order 11246 in 1965.
what is affirmative action19
What is Affirmative Action?
  • On September 24, 1965 President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246, prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, and national origin by those organizations receiving federal contracts and subcontracts. Its basic intent was to recognize and do away with formal and informal barriers that historically prevented underrepresented groups (i.e. “minorities”) from opportunities afforded to the rest of the population.
myths about aa
Myths About AA
  • Myth 1: We now have a level playing field and AA is not needed anymore.
  • Reality: Though progress has been made, people of color and women are still more likely to be unemployed, employed at lower wages, and hold jobs with a lower base pay. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Glass Ceiling Commission Report of 1995 and subsequent reports state that while white men make up approx. 40% of the Fortune 2000 workforce, they hold more than 90% of senior management jobs.
some fire service stats
Some Fire Service Stats
  • As of the year 2000, women make up 47% of the U.S. labor force. Approximately 5,200 women work as full-time career firefighters and officers, representing just over 2% of the total.
  • In 1998, there were 27,000 African-American and 9,000 Hispanic career firefighters, representing 11.8% and 3.9% of the total respectively.
  • Where is the fire service in 2005? Gains have been made, but there is more to do.
myths about aa22
Myths About AA
  • Myth 2: Affirmative Action is just reverse discrimination against white men.
  • Reality: Affirmative action merely enables people who might otherwise be shut out, to get their foot in the door. Affirmative action permits factors such as race, gender and national origin to be considered when hiring or admitting qualified applicants, keeping the doors of opportunity which had been historically closed to some, open to all.
myths about aa23
Myths About AA
  • Myth 3: Affirmative Action is just a quota system.
  • Reality: Quotas are illegal. With affirmative action, federal contractors and employers must establish goals and timetables and make good faith efforts to meet them. But a legal affirmative action plan does not include quotas.
myths about aa24
Myths About AA
  • Myth 3: Affirmative Action is just a quota system.
  • Reality: Quotas are illegal. With affirmative action, federal contractors and employers must establish goals and timetables and make good faith efforts to meet them. But a legal affirmative action plan does not include quotas.
u of michigan cases
U of Michigan Cases
  • Two AA Cases: Graduate School and Undergraduate School
  • Supreme court rules that race can still be a factor
  • Supreme court is okay with graduate school process, but tells Michigan it must change its undergrad process of awarding up to 150 points to applicants
cupcakes and aa
Cupcakes and AA
  • Spring 2005 @ GVSU
  • College Republicans hold a an Anti-Affirmative Action “Cupcake” sale
  • Message: “In 2005, the deck is stacked against white guys.”
  • “White guys can’t make it anymore.”
at the cupcake sale
At the Cupcake Sale
  • White males pay $2.00
  • Asian Americans pay .75 cents
  • African Americans/Women pay .50 cents
  • Latinos/Hispanics pay .25 cents
  • Native Americans pay .05 cents
  • It’s not FAIR!
what s the problem
What’s the Problem?
  • Assumption:
  • The playing field is level. Everyone starts out with the same amount.
  • Video Excerpt: “Race” The Power of an Illusion
back to the michigan case
Back to the Michigan Case
  • 150 point process used to narrow the pool
  • No “unqualified” person is getting in
the big stink
The Big Stink
  • Of the 150 points…
  • 20 points for under-represented minorities (racial pref points)
  • “They get 20 points just for being minorities”
  • That’s not fair to white people
the invisible points
The Invisible Points
  • Of the 150 points…
  • 20 points if you are poor (can’t be combined with “minority points)
  • (white points)
  • 16 points if you come from the U.P.
  • (white points)
  • 10 points for attending top H.S.
  • (white points)
the invisible points32
The Invisible Points
  • 8 points for taking AP/Honors courses
  • (white points)
  • 4 points if parents are alums
  • (white points)
  • Total of 58 points that operate as “white racial preference” points
  • But people get mad at the 20 points for under-represented minorities
making the invisible visible
Making the Invisible Visible
  • Giving your folks more knowledge about AA can help them see the need for “Affirming Action” approaches
  • It will help them change their lenses and filters
  • “The Greatest” by Kenny Rogers
thank you
Thank You!

“Justice requires those who suffer the least to speak up the most.”