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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Katherine Kersten's Korner

This week's kolumn isn't the feel-good space-filler that she has written of late, breaking her streak. It's also something that I really can't care too much about, that of who belongs to which holier-than-though professional group of some kind or another. It highlights several types of crazy, though, so I'll go through it.

Wingnuttia Level: TA (too apathetic)

It starts with the law firm of Maslon, Edelman, Borman and Brand. It was founded 50 years ago by a Jewish lawyer who couldn't work anywhere else. It was involved with lots of civil rights cases over the years, including desegregating Minneapolis schools. It is headed by a woman. All good.

In 1997 the firm decided to represent some white students who thought that they were denied admission to the law school because of their race. It was a pretty controversial case.

As aside: if I remember this case (and there's no guarantee that I do), the case revolved around the argument that the scores and G.P.A.s the white students had would have been good enough to get them into the school had they not been white, since the standards for non-whites are lower. I detest this kind of affirmative action. Saying that a score of 150 on the LSAT is an automatic rejection if a white student receives it but can lead to admission if a non-white student receives it goes completely against any notion of objective standards. If you want to do that, then get rid of objective measures like grades and tests and go with totally subjective means of determining fitness. I support the kind of affirmative action where objective standards aren't lowered for anybody, where if everything else is more or less equal you take the person with the more diverse background. That's good in my opinion.

Anyway, in 2006 the Maslon firm applied to Twin Cities Diversity in Practice, "a consortium of nine major corporations and 19 law firms interested in recruiting and hiring minority attorneys." They were not admitted because the Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers thought that Maslon's representation of these white students was unacceptable and "carries an unacceptable 'taint' that is likely to undermine ... the goal of attracting future attorneys of color."

Well, this seems pretty silly to me. Lawyers are lawyers: they get paid by their clients to do what their clients tell them to do. Everybody is entitled to legal representation. Malson did what they did for the same reason that Wal-Mart pressures its suppliers to reduce their costs constantly. And yes, people find fault with both things. That doesn't make it any less silly when you get right down to it.

The Minnesota Association of Black Lawyers, however, is not helping its cause by holding minority-only parties on public property. I agree that any group of professionals, be it lawyers, doctors, plumbers, truck drivers, or underwater basket weavers, that hold a racially-segregated meeting in the year 2006 is completely disgusting. It boggles the mind that a group of people can decry representing white students in a discrimination case one minute and then discriminate against white people the next. Have they no sense of irony?

In the grand scheme of things, though, does this matter? Like I said, whether Maslon belongs to this "Twin Cities Diversity in Practice" isn't going to affect whether Maslon actually hires minorities or whites or anybody else. But it does manage to paint a whole lot of people in a pretty poor light. Inspirational, isn't it?


At 5:24 AM, September 07, 2006, Anonymous jeff said...

What I find interesting is how much time and blog space you and other liberal Blogger’s give to this columnist.

If I don't like something i turn it off or at least stop reading it. You and other liberals feel the need to shout her down and name call. What exactly is the point?

Is there some deeper issue where you feel the need to be heard and you feel that you should write on this each and every time she pens a new column? Why does the DFL think they are so frickin smart and no one should be able to voice their opinion without you shouting at them or name calling at them or their viewpoint?

Since she has the guts to put her name on her column, then why don't you do the same?

At 5:37 PM, September 07, 2006, Blogger MN Politics Guru said...

I write about her column because her writing is full of inaccuracies and they need to be addressed. It's not her opinions I have problems with; it's her lies. And history shows that if you don't address misinformation head-on, it will spread.

What I find interesting is that so many conservatives defend her. She is a lousy writer, and she makes conservatives look bad whenever she just makes things up for her column. I certainly wouldn't want her to be my spokesperson.

At 9:34 AM, September 11, 2006, Anonymous jeff said...

If her column is inaccurate, then what about all of the other stories that get published in the StarTribune? How do you feel about Doug Grow, CJ or Nick Coleman’s accuracy? It can't be fact if it’s leaning left and inaccurate if it goes right. Isn't that a bit hypocritical to believe since the newspaper does in fact lean left or center to begin with?

From what I read in her column and your blog, there is no chance she is trying to speak for you. I just don't get why liberals think they need to speak for everyone else. We all have a voice and we use it no matter what viewpoint or issue is addressed.


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