Political Correctness

Kai Chang has written the best critique of “political correctness” that I’ve ever read.

Simply put, the great “PC” cliché, as commonly deployed in mainstream discourse, is cultural propaganda designed to befuddle and misdirect while defending the current power structure. All politics deal with power relations, and in the debate over America’s alleged climate of “political correctness”, there’s a stark asymmetry of power between the defiant megaphone-wielders who complain of being constrained by humorless hypersensitivity from below, and the under-represented people of color, women, LGBT, handicapped, poor, and otherwise marginalized or dispossessed people who have no choice but to absorb the linguistic, cultural, and physical barbs of the ruling class. The megaphone-wielders feel psycho-emotionally oppressed by their inability to crack puerile ethnic jokes without criticism; the under-represented simply are oppressed.

Kudos to OSU’s Office of Admissions

Oregon State University’s Office of Admissions website now displays a link to the Oregon University System Application Fee Deferral Form. The fee deferral is a terrific benefit for students who cannot afford to pay the $50 application fee.

By linking to the fee deferral form, Oregon State University’s Office of Admissions has removed a potential barrier for students who have high financial need.

Oregon State University’s Fee Deferral information availability rating is now 8/10
(the form is described and linked).

For more information about Oregon State University, check out the OSU Admissions Blog.

(Yes, this is a plug for the OSU Admissions Blog :-) I created the OSU Admissions blog using WordPress and Dan, Blake, and Julie are making it one of the premiere Admissions Blogs in the US.)

Substantial Cruelty Sanctioned by US Government

I read a New York Times article titled “Medicaid Wants Citizenship Proof for Infant Care.” It bothers me…a lot.

The Bush Administration announced that as part of a “new federal policy,…children born in the United States to undocumented immigrants with low incomes will no longer be automatically entitled to health insurance through Medicaid.”

When an undocumented woman has a baby in the US, the baby is automatically a US citizen. The socio-economic status of most undocumented folks means that the babies qualify for Medicaid coverage. “Under the new policy, an application must be filed for the child, and the parents must provide documents to prove the child’s citizenship.”

Continue reading Substantial Cruelty Sanctioned by US Government

Oregon Institute of Technology 10/10

A couple of weeks ago I posted about the Oregon University System Application Fee Deferral Form. The deferral form allows students with high financial need to defer their admissions application fee ($50) at an Oregon University System School.

I decided to rank each of the state schools in Oregon on the basis of whether or not the fee deferral form was readily available on their websites. Initially, the Oregon Institute of Technology (OIT) received a ranking of 0 out of 10 since the fee deferral form was nowhere to be found on their website. 4 days after that post I received a comment from Palmer Muntz, the Director of Admissions at OIT, informing me that a link to the fee deferral form would be added to the OIT Admissions website.

Yesterday, I received an email from Palmer. The Oregon Institute of Technology is now a perfect 10/10. The fee deferral form can be found on the OIT Admissions Application Forms page.

From the OIT Admissions website:

If it is a financial hardship for you to pay the application fee, you may qualify to have the fee deferred until after you have enrolled at OIT.

I feel that Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Institute of Technology are doing the right thing by prominently providing this piece of information to students who have high financial need. The University of Oregon is not far behind. With a little web editing, the fee deferral form would be even easier to find…

Eastern Oregon University, Oregon State University, Portland State University, and Western Oregon University need to provide prominent links to the OUS fee deferral form. The amount of students who use the form would not cause significant monetary loss. The fee is deferred. Students would still pay the fee after they receive their financial aid packages.

Adding information about the OUS deferral form should be an easy decision for all OUS Schools.

Kudos to Palmer and the Admissions staff at OIT!

Hierarchy of Oppressions Redux

Once again, oppressions are all bad. Classism, racism, sexism, ableism are all oppressions. A new book by a University of Illinois at Chicago scholar: “The Trouble With Diversity: How We Learned to Love Identity and Ignore Inequality” attempts to place classism as the worst of the worst oppressions.

It makes me nervous when a white professor says that class trumps race:

“We must shift our focus from cultural diversity to economic equality to help alter the political terrain of contemporary American life.”

Why can’t “we” focus on both cultural diversity and economic equality?

Oppressions are interconnected. The “isms” feed off of each other. Eliminating class inequality would be great, but what about all forms of inequality? Fixing one problem (classism) while furthering marginalization (in this case, racism) just creates more injustice.

Professor Michaels, diversity is not troublesome.