10 December 2015

Abigail Fisher and the Power of White Women's Tears Against Affirmative Action

The strength of White Woman's Tears are Supernatural. They're about to burn away over 50 years of federal policy.

I kind of wanted to stay away from this topic- it's one I have a fair amount of passion about (not usually a reason to avoid discussion) and one i have a wealth of knowledge about. That being said, that combination usually makes me avoid conversations like the plague, as I know someone is going to say something simultaneously uninformed and inflammatory: these conversations are things I generally choose not to engage in. But every once in awhile, someone gets under my skin in such a way as to make me hit the blog and get my rant on. Gonna try something different for me: I'm going to write a letter to Ms. Fisher.

Ms. Fisher (mind if I call you Abigail):

Please control your toxic tears, they're dissolving federal policy.

You didn't get into the University of Texas, your dream school. It's devastating to have goals and to fall short of achieving those goals. I'm sure (almost) everyone has been there at one point in time in their lives. I know I have, on a multitude of occasions. It's one of the ways we grow as people: we're handed adversity and we need to figure out ways to best move on from those things. It's something my parents taught me, as I'm sure your parents probably taught you. And I know you did "move on" as you ended matriculating at Louisiana State University. And now, you seek to bring down Affirmative Action, blaming it as the reason you were not admitted...well let's look at that...

2008, when you applied to UT, was  a particularly brutal year. Texas has a program that guarantees admission to Texas residents who graduate in the top 10% of their graduating class, and in 2008, the year in question, this group claimed 92% of the spots for admission to UT. This does indicate that if your grades were in the top 10% of your graduating class, this would have been a guaranteed admission to your Dream School. If you don't make it in the top ten percent, the admissions process is quite brutal, a place where it can't be expected that your 3.59/1180 would hold as much water as you imagined. They evaluate a variety of things, of which one is race, to create a Personal Achievement Index that they then weigh with your Academic Index which is the measuring stick to admit you. 47 people were admitted with lower PAI/AI scores than you, and that sucks. But 42 of them were white as well, which seems to call into question the base of the suit. At this point, it looks like you're trying to gut the cause of Affirmative Action in the United States because, and i need to see if i got this right: 

five students of color, who had lower scores on this system, got lower scores than you. i hope you don't mind if i say this, as a guy who is petty and hate-filled: this was some petty, hate-filled shit. there are a couple of reasons....

first, this seems to focus on the five minorities rather than the 42 white people who also got lower scores than you did and were admitted. do you know about the history of the whites who were admitted ahead of you, as there were like 8x more of them than minorities. what did they have that you didn't have? it wasn't their skin color. did they score higher on the index? did they come from single family homes? was their socioeconomic status one which allowed them access to points you weren't able to access? my guess is you don't know because you never asked. it's not referenced in your suit at all. and the five black and latino kids who did "take your spot"- would it interest you to know that 168 black and brown students with HIGHER PAI/AI scores than you were NOT admitted to the University of Texas, and that any of those kids taking any of those five spots (or the 42 with white kids in them) would ALSO have meant you wouldn't have been admitted, and you'd have less grounding than you do now. 

second, UT offered you the same option they offer all their in-state kids, the ability to transfer to Texas after a year at another Texas state school and complete the year with a 3.2 GPA. This seems like a solid middle ground- involves staying in state, you can save money that way, and when it's all said and done, you get to move on to Austin, which is clearly where you wanted to be the whole time, and where you re-located after matriculating at LSU. and you chose not to do this as well. 

what you did is attack affirmative action, which i find hilarious in its short sightedness. man, i really hope you didn't get a degree in History, as it speaks volumes of the worth of said degree. it's short sighted because women are the largest beneficiaries of Civil Rights legislation and affirmative action policies. There are literally six million women in occupational classifications they would not be in today if it were not for affirmative action, with implications in the homes of (mostly) white families. And these statistics aren't from some biased source, they're from the Department of Labor. The implications of this has been that white women are more aligned economically with white men than Black and Latino women. Studies also show that women are more successful companies that do business with the federal government, and are subject to affirmative action laws, female employment raising 15.2% with federal contractors but only 2.2% elsewhere. Hell, the only reason we even GOT a Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed was the inclusion of white women in the fold. 

i'd make a variety of arguments about the importance of AA to me, but i'm sure these would only fall on your deaf ears. 

so in closing, I'm sorry you didn't get into the school of your choice. I'm sure you cried over it. But your toxic tears shouldn't dissolve policy that, in all actuality, you should want to protect more than I do, as it's way more likely to benefit you than it will me. 



  1. To be fair the Abigail, LSU really does suck as a school.

  2. How come the media can't explain it this completely, concisely and accurately? Great job explaining how stupid this lawsuit is.

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