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Interesting Conclusion to the Trinity Racist Post Controversy:

I posted about the controversy a month ago; to recap, quoting from a Hartford Courant story,

More than 200 Trinity College students, faculty and staff rallied on campus Monday in response to a racially offensive comment posted on an online message board....

The comment, posted anonymously on a website called TrinTalk, disparaged minority students and said their admission to the college correlated with a drop in the rankings of "our fine Trinity." TrinTalk is not affiliated with the college....

I referred to the incident, and criticized a sociology professor who responded that "If the college wishes to end hate on campus, ... it could, by changing its policies to not admit students who are intolerant, increasing student and faculty diversity, and making diversity a central goal" (the Courant's paraphrase, but I confirmed its substantive accuracy).

Well, here's the interesting twist, according to The Trinity Tripod:

Lynda Ikejimba '09 announced that she was responsible for the racist TrinTalk.com post ....

"I am the person responsible for the outrageous, despicably racist post published on the TrinTalk website," wrote Ikejimba in a campus-wide apology email. "And I am a black woman. I am writing to apologize to all of you for what I have caused."

Explaining that she had hoped to set up a social experiment mirroring the satire of A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, Ikejimba said, "In my experience at Trinity, race relations have not been optimal. Those who have been here long enough can recall the incidents that stand out the most, but often there are more minor unreported events that ultimately shape our time here.

"Over time, significant efforts have been made to reshape the culture for the better, with the establishment of the Campus Climate Committee, and a surge in the number of accepted minorities, to name two examples. In my mind, the metamorphosis begged the question of how students feel about Trinity finally shedding some of its legacy [...] For this reason I wrote in the TrinTalk forum, under the guise of someone very resistant to the transformation [...] These ideas notwithstanding, I realize now that what I did was incredibly stupid and wrong, and far from the shadow of any resemblance of literary work, the idea was ill-conceived and its execution was horrendous."

Ikejimba ended with, "I asked whether the remake of the face of our school was genuine, and the answer was a resounding 'yes', but I deeply regret that the answer came at the expense of your dignity. I am very ashamed of the pain I have caused the students, faculty, staff, and administration, and I hope this apology brings some sense of relief." ...

Matt_T:
An event in the spirit of the pervasive "hate speech" hoaxes at other colleges, apparently.
12.4.2008 12:53pm
DangerMouse:
Yet another hoaxer, again. At least her name is out there for everyone and all her future employers to Google.
12.4.2008 1:01pm
wfjag:

Explaining that she had hoped to set up a social experiment mirroring the satire of A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift,

Dear Ms. Ikejimba:
Hopefully you actually learned something in college. Satire is an art. Swift was a great satirist because he was a great humorist. People who attempt satire who are not great humorists generally come across as asses. Hint: Last year Eddie Murphy made well in excess of $50 Million. You didn't. Neither did I. I try to keep that in mind before demonstrating my wit. When I fail to do that, I usually receive a reminder of why he makes so much as a humorist and I don't.
Sincerely,
12.4.2008 1:12pm
Human_nature:
For tens of thousands of years, humans have banded together based on race, creed, geographic origin, religion, and all manner of other associative criteria, to either 1) take things from people who are different or 2) for common defense against people who are trying to take things. It has been and continues to be human nature to associate with people like yourself, and to disassociate from people unlike yourself.

It is one thing to command that government and the law treat everyone equally. It is something else entirely to try to push this onto individual actions.

We are fighting human nature.... that is a guarantee we will lose.
12.4.2008 1:12pm
Happyshooter:
I was on the student government at Michigan a few years ago. This sort of circumstance is not unknown. It seemed to happen about one every six months, at a very good reputation public university with about 30k total students.
What is uncommon is the public admission of who did the action.

Usually in my time the hate speech crime would be revealed to the student government so we could prep a march or rally or some such, then word would whisper out as to who really did it and the plans would be canceled as the cone of slience came down over the whole event.

I was friendly with university workers, and they clued me into something that had happened before my time. A black law student was failing out, and powerful racist white forces burned his dorm room. The U was all ready to go along with it when the city fire marshal wanted to know why he purchased a can full of gas when he didn't have a car. That was the supposed reason for faculty in the law school having grades pre-reviewed, and for the MAP minority grade boosting program at the law school.
12.4.2008 1:24pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
To give credit where credit is due, when Eugene blogged about this earlier, Federal Dog was the first to suggest that it might be another hoaxes. Roux and geokstr each recounted similar incidents in the comment thread.
12.4.2008 1:28pm
Steve:
That was the supposed reason for faculty in the law school having grades pre-reviewed, and for the MAP minority grade boosting program at the law school.

The MAP was a program that offered a study group for minority students and gave them a little extra access to professors and the like. The idea that it was ever a "grade boosting program" for minorities was a flat-out myth, which leads me to suspect that the arson story you related was apocryphal as well.
12.4.2008 1:37pm
Cornellian (mail):
Ms. Ikejimba, you're no Jonathan Swift.
12.4.2008 1:48pm
Props:
... to Ms. Ikejimba for admitting her mistake and apologizing. Of course it would have been better had she taken responsibility sooner or not conducted her experiment at all, but in this day and age of blame-shifting and excuse mongering, it is nice to see someone accept responsibility for their actions and issue a legit apology. If only the Barney Franks of the world would follow suit...
12.4.2008 1:53pm
John Stephens (mail):
I'm just wondering: When was last time there a racial incident on a US campus that didn't turn out to be a hoax?

These days, I automatically assume any such report to be false, but I'm far more cynical than most people are willing to admit to.
12.4.2008 2:01pm
Sarcastro (www):
I think this is proof we stamped out racism ages ago. All that's left is the hoaxes!
12.4.2008 2:05pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@wfjag: I was with you until you mentioned Eddy Murphy. The last time he did something genuinely funny, Reagan was president.
12.4.2008 2:07pm
Preferred Customer:
@ martinned:

I took the reference to Eddie Murphy as some sort of meta-satire.
12.4.2008 2:12pm
TJIC (www):
> I was with you until you mentioned Eddy Murphy. The last time he did something genuinely funny, Reagan was president.

You mispelled "governor".
12.4.2008 2:17pm
BRS (mail):
Do we know if she was keeping some sort of journal of results? If not, I wonder what the difference between "setting up a social experiment" and being a troll is. Who knew that the jerk you were trying to ignore on your favorite message board was actually a social scientist.
12.4.2008 2:23pm
Assistant Village Idiot (mail) (www):
Nice apology, that's something.

I think most Americans are willing to discuss concrete, measurable racism and do something about it. Most Americans are not willing to discuss any topic endlessly, however. Much of the "need for dialogue" seems to come from those who wish to be listened to endlessly, and deeply resent people walking away. The irony is how great a percentage of the people with a "need for dialogue" about racism are not actually, y'know, African-American.
12.4.2008 2:39pm
Norman Bates (mail):
I'm with Props. Ms. Ikejimba did a foolish and harmful thing. But at least she had the sense to realize that she had committed a serious transgression and the grace to sincerely and publicly apologize for it. Other students and even tenured professors caught at the same game have refused to do the same.
12.4.2008 2:42pm
tolerant undergrad (mail):
Why did Ms. Ikejimba emphasize her race and sex in her campus-wide apology e-mail? Are white males disallowed from attempting satire via these sorts of social experiments (i.e., hoaxes)? (Certainly not, just read Swift.) Would a white hoax-perpetrator face the same consequences, even if he claimed the same Wholesome Intentions? I think he would not, but I'm interested to see if others agree.
12.4.2008 2:43pm
tolerant undergrad (mail):
Also, the second link does not link to the Trinity Tripod story, which is here

Interestingly, Ikejimba cites "a surge in the number of accepted minorities" as evidence of better race relations on campus. Were I a prospective minority student, her internet post would make me think twice before attending Trinity.
12.4.2008 2:53pm
EMG:
Maybe Ms. Ikejimba's apology was also motivated by Jonathan Swift:

"A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday." Jonathan Swift
12.4.2008 2:55pm
AKD:

significant efforts have been made to reshape the culture for the better, with the establishment of the Campus Climate Committee


I am the only one who finds this rather disturbing?
12.4.2008 3:08pm
Melancton Smith:
This is how you conduct a social experiment.
12.4.2008 3:23pm
geokstr:
Eugene:

I...criticized a sociology professor who responded that "If the college wishes to end hate on campus, ... it could, by changing its policies to not admit students who are intolerant, increasing student and faculty diversity, and making diversity a central goal"

I am constantly amazed at how the words "tolerance" and "diversity" have been commandered and twisted by the left. "Tolerance" is only meant to be shown towards the usual approved victim groups, not whites, or males, or the non-Muslim religious folk. "Diversity" means only that a given group must look like the bar scene from the original Star Wars movie, but no one is allowed to have "diverse" opinions to the right of Bernie Sanders.
12.4.2008 3:27pm
KenB (mail):
I agree the lady gets credit for a gracious apology. I did not perpetrate hoaxes as a college students, but I did write "satirical" pieces for the school paper that I now think were merely stupid. I'm willing to cut her slack as a college student with poor judgment.
12.4.2008 3:41pm
Nifonged:
Some of you are taking this statement, "kejimba, who came forward voluntarily, did not respond to a request for comment Friday." at face value.

What does "voluntarily" mean? Back when I was at BIGLAW I knew some associates that "voluntarily resigned," but the reality was they were told to quit or be let go. Its not difficult to trace posts on a college message board. Nor is it outside the realm of possibility that she was caught and told to make this apology.
12.4.2008 3:47pm
Carolina:

The MAP was a program that offered a study group for minority students and gave them a little extra access to professors and the like. The idea that it was ever a "grade boosting program" for minorities was a flat-out myth, which leads me to suspect that the arson story you related was apocryphal as well.

How is such a program defensible? These are students at one of the best law schools in the country - and one subset of them needs specialized study groups and extra access to professors? That one factual tidbit tells you all you need to know about the admissions policies.
12.4.2008 3:48pm
Crunchy Frog:
I'm willing to be that it was already traced back to her, and she was given the opportunity to save face.
12.4.2008 4:02pm
Steve:
How is such a program defensible? These are students at one of the best law schools in the country - and one subset of them needs specialized study groups and extra access to professors?

They probably didn't need it. My roommate was in the program and he was positively mystified by its existence. I suspect that's why it was ultimately phased out.

That said, there was never any truth to the rumor that minority students received a "grade boost," and I'm not sure what to think of the person who originally started that rumor.
12.4.2008 4:19pm
einhverfr (mail) (www):
Melancton Smith:

That is AWESOME. Good thing Catherine was not an HR VP or something instead of a mere 8th grader. A stunt like that (wearing a pro-McCain T-shirt) could get one fired, or even "crucifixed...."
12.4.2008 4:35pm
Happyshooter:
The MAP was a program that offered a study group for minority students and gave them a little extra access to professors and the like. The idea that it was ever a "grade boosting program" for minorities was a flat-out myth, which leads me to suspect that the arson story you related was apocryphal as well.

"A little extra access" equals getting a pre-test of the exam on the same subjects, and a one on one with the prof to learn how to boost your performance.
12.4.2008 4:41pm
Steve:
"A little extra access" equals getting a pre-test of the exam on the same subjects, and a one on one with the prof to learn how to boost your performance.

Simply false. I was inclined to think you had made an honest mistake when you repeated the story that minority students received a grade boost, but now I question my assumption.

There's always people who get off on imagining that minorities are receiving all sorts of hidden perks that are denied to us oppressed white male types, and there's people who delight in spreading stories to that effect. In this case the stories are just untrue.
12.4.2008 4:53pm
Happyshooter:
Simply false. I was inclined to think you had made an honest mistake when you repeated the story that minority students received a grade boost, but now I question my assumption.

No, you weren't. I am going to post one more thing on this and drop it. I was there for MAP, and I was there when they tried the lego test for undergrad adissions.

I was also there when the wolverine bar (Michigan's special purpose bar group for black lawyers) and the state bar put on special classes for black students on how to pass the bar exam, with lectures by the author of the essay questions.

I don't know on the fire, that was a second or third hand story.

I had friends who got the pre-test options, and I knew one of the women giving the lego test. The wolverine bar thing was well known.
12.4.2008 5:06pm
Nifonged:
"There's always people who get off on imagining that minorities are receiving all sorts of hidden perks that are denied to us oppressed white male types, and there's people who delight in spreading stories to that effect."

Wow strawman much? Hope your roomate was able to tolerate your self-indulgence. Do you delight in seeing your world-view only?
12.4.2008 5:08pm
Ben P:

Simply false.


I freely admit I have no personal knowledge of the facts in question, but when viewed in a favorable light, the things he stated really seemed pretty normal for what a study group might do. (Granted, I don't really think they were written with a favorable light in mind).

It seems to be that should an organized study group exist, offering practice exams and hitting up professors for hints on how they grade essays aren't inappropriate functions. Any student who's truly concerned about their grades would do much the same on their own.
12.4.2008 5:10pm
Sean O'Hara (mail) (www):
I'm reminded of Matt Ruff's novel "Sewer, Gas and Electric," in which a student hung a Union Jack out of his dorm window then went downstairs and yelled, "OMG! Someone's flying a Confederate flag!" to see how many people would actually notice the truth. No one did.

That is how you conduct a social experiment along these lines.
12.4.2008 5:26pm
Steve:
I freely admit I have no personal knowledge of the facts in question, but when viewed in a favorable light, the things he stated really seemed pretty normal for what a study group might do.

A pre-test of the exam that other students don't receive? A one-on-one with the professor to receive tips for the final? These things simply didn't happen as part of the program, and I don't consider them normal incidents of a study group. Frankly, I don't believe the participants in this program received any information more meaningful than what some of my friends and I received by inviting one of our professors to lunch.

Let's remember, as well, that even these claims were offered in an attempt to back away from the original claim that minority students received a literal "grade boost" at Michigan. I prefer to think that people spread such tales because they honestly believe them to be true, rather than in a conscious attempt to denigrate the accomplishments of their minority colleagues.
12.4.2008 5:33pm
Ben P:

A pre-test of the exam that other students don't receive? A one-on-one with the professor to receive tips for the final? These things simply didn't happen as part of the program, and I don't consider them normal incidents of a study group.


I did say "in a favorable light." In that context, a "pre-test" is fundamentally the same thing as a practice test. A contracts exam is a contracts exam is a contracts exam, it need not be on the same hypotheticals to help someone.

I admit I left out the "one on one," but a meeting with a professor to "learn how to boost your preformance" is just as easily the person in charge of the study group asking if the professor is willing to tell the group the kinds of things he looks for when grading exams. That sounds to me like exactly the same thing you'd get if you invited a professor out to lunch to get the same hints.


The case I'm making is that this sounds to me suspiciously like a case of the telephone game. The school starts a study group intended for minority students (do we actually have evidence that white students were told they absolutely could not attend if they wished?)that does relatively typical things for a study group.

Over several tellings that gets morphed into "they get to work on the exam ahead of time and get one on one advice on how to do it" then gets morphed again into "they just got a grade boost."
12.4.2008 5:40pm
whit:

Simply false. I was inclined to think you had made an honest mistake when you repeated the story that minority students received a grade boost, but now I question my assumption


so, they don't get a grade boost. they just get access (apparently free to boot) to resources that others don't, because of the color of their skin.

how is that not a racist program? (that's a rhetorical program)

offering stuff to some students and not others, on account of their race (or minority) status is racism. it's that simple.

it goea against everything we are supposed to stand for. like equality and all that good stuff
12.4.2008 5:43pm
Steve:
offering stuff to some students and not others, on account of their race (or minority) status is racism. it's that simple.

Yeah, it was terrible. Like Jim Crow in reverse. The fact that those minority students received a free benefit, whereas I was required to actually take the initiative in asking a professor to lunch in order to receive the exact same benefit, is positively unacceptable in a society that claims to value equality. I'm not sure racism is even a strong enough term for it.

The case I'm making is that this sounds to me suspiciously like a case of the telephone game.

I happen to agree with that. It's also the case that in a high-stress, ultracompetitive environment, people have a natural inclination to worry that other people are getting an edge somehow. It doesn't necessarily have to have anything to do with race.

All I really care about is getting the facts out, since it's pretty bad if people are going around believing that minority students at a given institution didn't really earn their grades but were instead beneficiaries of some sort of "minority grade boost." As long as people accept the facts, if they want to apply some over-the-top characterization to them like the commentor above, that's fine with me. As one of my professors at the aforementioned institution liked to say, it all depends on whose ox is being gored.
12.4.2008 5:55pm
GPE (mail) (www):

In my mind, the metamorphosis begged the question of how students feel about Trinity finally shedding some of its legacy...


The logic of that statement begs the question of it's proper use.
12.4.2008 6:00pm
EvilDave (mail):

offering stuff to some students and not others, on account of their race (or minority) status is racism. it's that simple.


Yes, but it is the right kind of racism.
Some racism is more racist than others.
12.4.2008 6:01pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Well, if you are looking for a recent racist incident where the perps have been identified, try this one

Following an investigation by George Fox administrators, the four students confessed to being involved in the hanging of a cardboard cutout of Sen. Barack Obama from a tree on the university's academic quad. The incident drew media attention not only nationally but internationally.
The cutout, which was attached around the neck by fishing line, was discovered and immediately removed by a custodian at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 23. A sign, which read "Act Six Reject," was taped to the cutout. Act Six is a leadership and scholarship initiative that provides training and full scholarships to urban student leaders from the Portland area.
12.4.2008 6:02pm
Ralph Wiggum (mail):
Is there even anything wrong with agents provocateur when they doing the Left's work?
12.4.2008 6:03pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: All
RE: Heh....

...another fraud perpetrated by a female of that particular persuasion.

Why am I suddenly reminded of the case of that basketball player in Denver, the La Cross team at Duke, the black female professor that had a hangman's noose on her door.

I even witnessed such a case myself in my unit where a person of similar gender and background made false allegations to the Inspector General.

Indeed, the distaff has, in the past, related a similar report about a serial-false-allegator she was familiar with.

What is WITH these people, anyway?

Is it a genetic thing? There might be an interesting doctorate study in there somewhere.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The truth will out.]

P.S. As a lesson, I would recommend that the apology be accepted and she be terminated from attending the college.

If they don't terminate her, it just says it's okay to lie about something as serious as this.
12.4.2008 6:07pm
Nifonged:
"Yeah, it was terrible. Like Jim Crow in reverse. The fact that those minority students received a free benefit, whereas I was required to actually take the initiative in asking a professor to lunch in order to receive the exact same benefit, is positively unacceptable in a society that claims to value equality. I'm not sure racism is even a strong enough term for it. "

Sarcasm = great arguments! Seriously, do you even believe your own post?

"since it's pretty bad if people are going around believing that minority students at a given institution didn't really earn their grades but were instead beneficiaries of some sort of "minority grade boost.""

Sophistry. What does "earning a grade[paraphrased]" have to do with being provided with a "disproportional educational benefit?" If law schools afford free MPRE or bar classes just for minorities, I wouldn't say that minorities didn't "earn" their passing marks on either test (after all, if they pass they pass), but that doesn't mean that I wouldn't feel some discomfort that this additional opportunity wasn't provided to the general student population.
12.4.2008 6:08pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
P.P.S. I'll wager that she didn't come forward to confess until someone had tracked her down....
12.4.2008 6:09pm
Eli Rabett (www):
And this one

Three Quinnipiac University students face charges in connection with two separate incidents of threats made on campus. The arrests were made following reports of a number of racial incidents at Quinnipiac over the past several days.
12.4.2008 6:09pm
Roger Schlafly (www):
People who attempt satire who are not great humorists generally come across as asses.
She may not be a great humorist, but she still had a right to make her point as she wants.
12.4.2008 6:12pm
whit:
steve, i can't believe (and i hope that you aren't) you are serious.
12.4.2008 6:16pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: All
RE: Experiment?

I doubt the report that this was an experiment. If it were an experiment, she would have documents somewhere of what (1) she did in preparation, (2) her theory, (3) the expected results and (4) she had observed. But for some strange reason, none of this is apparent.

Therefore, I doubt her veracity about it being an 'experiment'. At least until we see all her documentation that predates and includes the 'experiment'.

After all, she's already been caught in ONE lie. Why should we not expect to find others, if it was not the 'experiment' she claims it was.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[The Truth will out....]
12.4.2008 6:16pm
jj08:
whit:

Equality is so, you know, Dead White Male junk. So last millennium.

The one good thing that I see coming from the Obama regime - and I do mean the only good thing - is that the Messiah may do to the race lobby what William Jefferson Clinton did for the radical feminists. White liberal guilt trips are no fun once you are actually stuck on them.
12.4.2008 6:18pm
whit:
jj08, the one good thing i look forward to from the obama regime is that he has pledged to (iirc) stop these stupid raids on medical mj clinics by the feds.

pretty sad that we have to rely on a leftwinger like obama to score a federalist victory, but i take em where i see em.
12.4.2008 6:21pm
Ronald D. Coleman (mail) (www):
Isn't pretty clear by now that people who do this have some common psychological syndrome? There are surely enough data points to work this up or at least get a grant.
12.4.2008 6:30pm
Chuck Pelto (mail) (www):
TO: Roger Schlafly
RE: The Right?

She may not be a great humorist, but she still had a right to make her point as she wants. -- Roger Schlafly


To what? Perpetrate a hoax?

I wonder if it's against the law in the state where Trinity College exists to perpetrate a hoax. It's something akin to shouting 'Fire!' in a darkened theater. People COULD get hurt. As obviously a good number were. And, in a worst case scenario, someone might get killed.

Regards,

Chuck(le)
[We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. -- Ronald Reagan]
12.4.2008 6:33pm
guest (mail):
Ikejimba: "...but often there are more minor unreported events that ultimately shape our time here."

Get used to it, sweetie. It's called life.

If everytime you encounter 'minor unreported events' you do something that causes racial distrust and civil unrest, well, ... what a horrible society that will be.

I guess it's just soooo 'unfair' to be black in America.
12.4.2008 6:42pm
Steve:
What does "earning a grade[paraphrased]" have to do with being provided with a "disproportional educational benefit?"

In my world, falsely claiming that minority students get an extra 0.5 added to their GPA on the basis of race equates to implying that those students didn't really earn their grades.

People can rant all they want about how it's racist to offer minority students a once-a-week study group, but at least that's something that actually happened. The claim that there was actually a "grade-boosting program" for minorities, however, was just one of those crazy rumors that get spread around.
12.4.2008 6:54pm
WHOI Jacket:
Don't disturb the argument with the straw-man.
12.4.2008 7:17pm
Roger Sweeny (mail):
Steve, thanks for making sure that the MAP program is described correctly ("One of the most striking differences between a cat and a lie is that a cat has only nine lives." Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson). And to EvilDave and others, thanks for pointing out that if you really believe people shouldn't be treated differently because of their race, then MAP was wrong.
12.4.2008 7:27pm
p. rich (mail) (www):
People can rant all they want about how it's racist to offer minority students a once-a-week study group, but at least that's something that actually happened. The claim that there was actually a "grade-boosting program" for minorities, however, was just one of those crazy rumors that get spread around.

Depends on how you define "grade boosting program", doesn't it? You seem to be interpreting it as "a program to deliberately alter grades". That's not what the words mean, and it would be reasonable to suppose that the expected result of the special study program was higher grades for the participants. This is consistent with a straightforward interpretation of "grade boosting", unless data were to show no such effect - or the intent were otherwise.
12.4.2008 7:52pm
Steve:
Well, that is in fact what the words mean, and it was a relatively popular (but false) belief during the heyday of this program that minority students received an automatic 0.5 adjustment to their GPA. So you have to view the original claim in that context. Otherwise, I guess anything at all could be construed "grade boosting" if you're into spin rather than facts.
12.4.2008 8:02pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Gee, that has never happened before.

Shame of it is that I have long now assumed that anything like this is a hoax. I am quite sure many people have become like me.
12.4.2008 8:11pm
Bill B (mail):
I have no knowledge of the MAP discussed above however the existence of a program that gives extra access to professors and the actual tests would mirror the program for minority students at the University of Virginia School of Medicine when I attended (class of '96). The program allowed minority students to take 1st year courses from the same professors and take the same tests for no grade the summer before classes were to start. Minority students then repeated the same courses for a grade along with all the other students. This was repeated the second summer and the normal 2 year basic science program was stretched over 3 years to accommodate this. No notation was made in the transcript to indicate that the courses were being taken for the second time for a grade (obviously someone reading the transcript could see that the person took 5 years to complete the usual 4 year school).

Was this a "grade-boosting" program? Whatever you want to call it being allowed to take the course twice was a hell of an advantage when grade time came around. The only person that was REALLY pissed off about this was of course the valedictorian of our med school class who was a first generation African immigrant who felt that her achievement (not being in the program) was going to be denigrated because of the assumption that she received those advantages.
12.4.2008 8:27pm
Mr L (mail):
People can rant all they want about how it's racist to offer minority students a once-a-week study group, but at least that's something that actually happened. The claim that there was actually a "grade-boosting program" for minorities, however, was just one of those crazy rumors that get spread around.

Or a logical deduction from the stated purpose of such initiatives (to improve minority grades) and the obvious fact that the programs don't provide anything that's not already readily available. It's not exactly unfair to suppose that professors may read between the lines, either - particularly when such programs involve extra preparation from them. After all, what possible explanation could there be for subpar grades despite one-on-one instruction besides bias? Reverse the incentives and you've got a strong candidate for the EEOC's attentions.

Of course, the fatal assumption is that these programs must actually accomplish something in order for the college to devote time and money to them. Rarely the case, in my experience.
12.4.2008 8:50pm
A Law Unto Himself (mail):
I wonder if she violated the terms of use for the website???
12.4.2008 9:04pm
Steve:
After all, what possible explanation could there be for subpar grades despite one-on-one instruction besides bias?

Despite all my posts on this thread, we're still stuck on the incorrect notion that "one-on-one instruction" was part of the program? I'll give up the lost cause at this point.
12.4.2008 9:08pm
Thomas Hart (mail) (www):
I'm retired and have been out of academia for 15 years, so I don't follow college rankings. Is there any correlation between Trinity's admission policies and its rankings?
12.4.2008 9:15pm
Chester White (mail):

Hey, unnamed sociology professor, if "increasing diversity" is the goal, then they should let in MORE intolerant people, no?

Surely the existing proportion of racists is very tiny.

I bet the sociology department could use a few more conservatives, Republicans, and Christians as long as you're at it.
12.4.2008 9:25pm
Just Some Guy:
Like other commenters here, I have begun to think "hoax" whenever we hear about this sort of thing.

Still, I must admit to some admiration for the way the woman came clean. She didn't hide or run away, and she gave out her name. She admitted it was wrong and asked to be forgiven. Give her credit. Sounds to me like someone on the right track.
12.4.2008 9:43pm
Chester White (mail):

"I was with you until you mentioned Eddy Murphy. The last time he did something genuinely funny, Reagan was president."

Did you not see Shrek?
12.4.2008 9:53pm
Eli Rabett (www):
Contrary to many here, A Modest Proposal was not greeted with uniform hilarity. Many took it seriously. Of course some of them, like some of our Volokh friends thought it was an excellent proposal to be implemented forthwith. Others thought it out of bounds. Alberto Gonzales refused to answer.
12.4.2008 10:14pm
David Warner:
TJIC,

"> I was with you until you mentioned Eddy Murphy. The last time he did something genuinely funny, Reagan was president.

You mispelled "governor"."

Speaking of Reagan and Murphy...
12.4.2008 10:29pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
After various hoaxes like this, other schools have instituted programs, arranged for sensitivity sessions, spent money on convocations for self-flagellation, and generally annoyed normal people, while indulging in an orgy of accusations of collective guilt of racism, or some ism or phobia.
What did Trinity do, if anything, and are they going to move to undo it?
12.4.2008 10:57pm
beb (mail):
This reminds me of the "lynching" of Obama incident at the Oregon College during the election campaign. It struck me as probably a hoax and when they caught the people responsible, they refused to reveal their identities. That convinced me even more that it was a hoax.

Has anybody heard any follow up to that story? It really is important to get to the bottom of all of these incidents.
12.5.2008 1:58am
whit:

People can rant all they want about how it's racist to offer minority students a once-a-week study group


riiiight. because pointing out racism is "ranting". fascinating.

here's a little hint. if you offer stuff to people on account of their race (which necessarily means you are denying it to others on account of your race), that's a racist policy.

hth.

otoh, political protests of racist policies, like oh ... say... affirmative action bake sales get the full brunt of university discipline shoved down their throat (until FIRE stepped in that is...)
12.5.2008 3:17am
LM (mail):

I was with you until you mentioned Eddy Murphy. The last time he did something genuinely funny, Reagan was president.

Not true! He was caught cruising transvestite hookers during Clinton's second term.
12.5.2008 5:12am
M. Simon (mail) (www):
Following an investigation by George Fox administrators, the four students confessed to being involved in the hanging of a cardboard cutout of Sen. Barack Obama from a tree on the university's academic quad.


If only they had done McCain or Bush or Palin they would have gotten a big round of applause.
12.5.2008 7:01am
Hoosier:
Someone who does something foolish, then admits that it was foolish, even though she was not compelled to do so, makes no excuses for herself, and apologizes without any attempt at shifting the blame?

Clearly, the woman is insane.
12.5.2008 7:17am
Tantor (mail) (www):
It's a sorry day for racists everywhere when their numbers dwindle to so few that their work must be outsourced to minorities. What's next? Will black students be forced to burn crosses on their own lawns and dance around in bedsheets to keep racism alive?
12.5.2008 7:46am
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Despite all my posts on this thread, we're still stuck on the incorrect notion that "one-on-one instruction" was part of the program? I'll give up the lost cause at this point.


Coming from the only person on this thread to repeat the "grades boosted by .5" rumor, that's rich.
12.5.2008 8:01am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ryan Waxx
Until they were caught at it, UMich provided extra points for melanin in undergrad admissions. The points for melanin amounted to more than those for maxing the SAT.
Not at all strangely, they'd been denying doing it. Big time denials. University letterhead, venues and officials.
Then when they got caught, they switched quite smoothly to why it was a terrific idea.
No "oops, our bad."
Those guys can do something well.
Perhaps the .5 boost is a misremembering of the UMich doing what universities do (lying).
12.5.2008 8:38am
wfjag:

martinned:
@wfjag: I was with you until you mentioned Eddy Murphy. The last time he did something genuinely funny, Reagan was president.

1. Age revealed. I will always have a soft spot for the man who saved SNL from the likes of Al Franken;
2. I liked Dr. Doolittle (I &II) -- although he was upstaged by the Dog.
12.5.2008 8:40am
celebrim:
Does Ms. Ikejimba believe that people should be given special priviledges and immunities on the basis of their skin color?

If not, how does she justify the fact that she has not been dismissed from Trinity College? If a white student had engaged in such behavior, regardless of the proffered reasoning, whether jest, satire, drunkeness, or mere stupidity - there would be very little doubt that the student would be dismissed. Indeed, not only would such a student be dismissed, but criminal charges might have been brought against them and at the very least they would have been given the modern of equivalent of a tar and feathering and being run out of town on a rail.

Ms. Ikejimba is not guilty of an offensive satire. Jonathan Swift did not publish the essay under a false name, and Mr. Swift's essay - when studied - gives numerous clues to the fact that it is a satire and not meant to be taken at face value. So, Ms. Ikejimba is either again speaking falsely or else demonstrating a keen failure to understand the word 'satire' when she offers her apology. If the former, then her continued failure of ethics demonstrates she has no place at Trinity. If the latter, then she's clearly not benefiting from her time at Trinity.

Ms. Ikejimba is doing no more than offering the dressed up version of that most childish of defenses - 'I was just kidding'.

So, in short, for attempting to incite a riot, slandering by association every white person at Trinity, putting the institution in a disparaging light, and ironicly helping to justify the very racist opinions she claims to abhor, Ms. Ikejimba expects to be forgiven because she's black and a woman.
12.5.2008 9:34am
GMS:
"Interesting twist"? How about "predictable"? What would be a twist would be if it was not a hoax.
12.5.2008 10:16am
Happyshooter:
Until they were caught at it, UMich provided extra points for melanin in undergrad admissions. The points for melanin amounted to more than those for maxing the SAT.
Not at all strangely, they'd been denying doing it. Big time denials. University letterhead, venues and officials.


Michigan first had seperate admissions grids for black/hispanic and white/asian kids. A residence college professor heard a rumor that was the case, and sent FOIA requests. At first they denied, then they stonewalled.

When the grids got out at last they switched to 20 extra point for blacks/hispanics on a sliding point scale. As posted above, 20 points was a huge gain.

This was the plan the Supremes found violated the constitution.

In the middle of the case Michigan tried the lego tests on a small scale basis, but dropped them when the right wing media flipped out.

After the Supreme Court decision in the law school case that reserving a critical mass quota was not a good thing but is okay because blacks need a few years of extra help to get caught up in society, the people of the state of Michigan amended the state constitution to prevent the program.

The University sued the state claiming that the state constitution banning critical mass violated the University's federal first amendment rights. The Sixth Circuit pointed out the government (University) doesn't have rights against the people.
12.5.2008 10:39am
Frogg (mail):
It is funny how "something that seemed really brilliant when I was drunk" becomes "social experiment" when enough pressure is applied.
12.5.2008 10:55am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Happy.
The prof was Carl Cohen. I gather a facility was to have been named after him due to his brilliance in something academic. But the plan was put on hold for some reason....
12.5.2008 11:09am
sherlock (mail):
I am tired of the "satire" defense. Impersonating someone in order to create a false impression that they and their fellows hold abhorrent beliefs and act in despicable ways is not satire - it is just plain lying. And in this case it is objectively racist.

Remember the College Republicans' "Affirmative Action Bake Sales"? That was honest and above-board satire that did not try to smear anyone from behind a facade of lies. They portrayed their point of view honestly, openly, and without rancor, using the true art of satire. And of course they were vilified by other student groups and punished by the college administration. That is the wages of true satire on today's college campus.

What are the wages of creating and spreading false racist lies? Forgiveness and even admiration, apparently, in the eyes of the hypocrites who seem to dominate our universities.
12.5.2008 12:06pm
Percy Thrillington:
A similar hoax occurred at Harvard Law about a year and a half ago, except that the hoaxer wasn't forced to self-identify; instead, the whole thing was swept under the rug.

It happened in one of the 1L sections. During a class discussion pertaining to racial issues, someone sent around a nasty anonymous (or so it seemed) e-mail derogating African-Americans (blaming them at least in part for behavior which reinforces certain stereotypes). That triggered predictable PC anger, outrage, etc. -- even a letter to the Dean demanding adoption of a PC wish list of measures to curb such "hate speech."

For a while, it looked like it would turn into a big deal, like a similar incident a few years ago (just Google "Kiwi Camara"). Then it was discovered that the whole thing was a hoax: the e-mail was traced to someone with undeniably PC credentials (indeed, someone who signed the letter to the Dean!) who, when confronted, claimed the e-mail was merely an attempt at satire/parody of people with racist attitudes, meant to furnish an object lesson for class discussion. The whole thing quickly went away; as best I can tell, there was no official punishment of the hoaxer, or even public identification of the hoaxer.

In my opinion, that incident did not involve an attempt at satire or parody; instead, I believe the 1L hoaxer was trying to create another racial incident at Harvard Law. So you can judge the matter for yourself, over the weekend I'll try to post somewhere, and link here to, various e-mails which were exchanged within the 1L section about the matter; I think I have most, if not all, of them. (If I leave out anything important, I assume someone among the dozens of others who have these same e-mails will fill in the gaps.)

Based on my experience at Harvard Law, and comments above by Thorley Winston and others, it certainly seems that hoax racial incidents are relatively common at public universities, and actual racial incidents are relatively uncommon -- suggesting that the speech codes and other controversial measures for combating racism and other "isms" on campus may be doing more harm than good, by encouraging members of minority groups and their PC fellow travelers to perpetuate hoaxes in support of their agenda.

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington
Harvard Law School, Class of 2010
12.5.2008 8:08pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Thrills:

The moral authority of being victimized is way too valuable to give up.
A hoax that isn't busted and widely seen to be "busted" is a counter. One more dismal example of our broken society, et tedious cetera.
Can't fault them for trying.
Additionally, not being racist is really easy. So, to gain any distinction by not being racist, it is necessary that everybody else be racist. Since most people aren't, steps must be taken.
Ditto most of the other isms and phobias.
12.6.2008 10:31am
ed (mail) (www):
Hmmmm.

After all these hoaxes I must admit that outright rampant racism is starting to look pretty attractive.
12.6.2008 10:54pm

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