I’m reading an article in San Francisco Chronicle (4/17 article) about how Chinese gained rights to send their kids to School in San Francisco.
It occurs to me that I have met some exceedingly smart and successful Chinese people who have a few characteristics in common when asked about their Chinese ancestry and its effect on their success
- America is a meritocracy and they are the proof
- Swears by a few benefactors who are absolutely benevolent and instrumental putting them on the right path.
- Repeats pop-wisdom mentras to be elite: network above all else; genetically well disposed with ancient and recent ancestors for proof; being crazy is vital; being different is vital; winning at everything contributes to ability to win at everything else;
What do these two topics have in common?
Nothing really. These completely westernized Chinese Christians could not get their children to school due to superintendents scorn for Chinese people “a nation of liars … filthy and impure.”
Frankly, I could say the same today, perhaps I too have gained the true American perspective. But Chinese people do lie a lot and are quite impure in some sense and filthy in other ways.
Wait! What about those non-Christian Chinese who did not wear westernized clothing and who did not speak perfect English? What happened to their sob stories? Why was it particularly heinous that people of these attributes could not send their children to school? I suppose they tried harder to get into school.
Today, my friends are almost all saying that top ranked American schools are not worth the effort. There is significant loss of faith in the system: It allocates spaces to students by race. The system seems to favor smallest most disadvantaged minority and not favor systematically producing productive members of society–it’s a show and not a school.
I’m saddened by this. But I think, at least for most minority from disadvantaged background they gain less from school than better prepared “more advantaged” students.
But that’s only fair.
Some times I don’t want to see minorities succeed. The cost of it is high. If a strange green aliens blob came into my kids classroom and it ask to be part of the class, I would say no. It would distract my kid from studying. It’s green goo might be pregnant with young kids… who knows? Maybe teacher will spend half a class making arrangement for him to show him that America welcomes Aliens that she fail to perform her normal duties for human kids.
I guess I am unsure any more. Was universal health care like this? Are the doctors busy feeding homeless people food through IV’s and not taking care of productive members of our society? Should that matter that some people are minimally productive and should be prioritized before nonfunctional elements of society? Who’s to say? But not being able to say does not deny the possibility of that peioritization having economic and moral superiority!