My Opinion on “Ben Boychuk and Pia Lopez go Head to Head over Should California let universities use race as a factor in admissions?”

By Martha Montelongo

I was admitted to UCLA through affirmative action, and my ethnicity was a factor. How much of a factor? I don’t know. And I always wonder if I could have been admitted without that as a factor, on my merit alone. My background was interesting and harsh, and would have been so, had my parents been Jewish, Polish, German, Italian etc. My resiliency, doggedness, and spirit could have been that of a Chinese or Vietnamese or an Anglo or Irishman just as well. So why would I get special treatment based on my ethnicity? The hardest thing about the question race as a factor for admissions raises for me is the cloud of doubt and denigration race based admissions has had on my own sense of self-regard. The doubt this issue casts in my own regard, over my ability without the advantage of the race card has been hurtful on many occasions.

Most recently I moved back to Whittier, CA after living in Santa Cruz for 23 years. I’m still in the process of sorting out my affairs but I had to change my medical group to a local group so that I could resume preventative and proactive personal health care for myself. The thought occurred to me several times as I was looking at the names of doctors in the assorted HMO groups available to me.

I remember Killer King Hospital, a.k.a. Martin Luther King Jr Hospital in Los Angeles County near Watts and South Central. Race trumped qualifications and the results were ghoulishly frightening. So many people died, were maimed, and tormented as a result of a policy that strictly adhered to race as the number one criteria for leadership, control and administration of this hospital. It was allowed to carry on it’s reckless neglect and malpractice for years, and the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors failed to act because of their fear of standing up to the politics of race identity political groups that roared at the mere suggestion of any serious reforms in policy.

I say it often–I love being Latina. I love speaking Spanish. I love my Mexican American cultural heritage. I have fond and delightful memories of family gatherings and experiences and my music collection includes classics from the 30s, 40s and 50s of Mexican Bolero and Romantic songs. But I don’t want to look at the name of a doctor and wonder, are they qualified or did they get here because of their name and cultural background? Did they get in to their medical schools by meeting the standards as an equal, or did they beat out a more qualified person because of their race?

Or let us ponder what if both applicants were equal in every since of their test scores and academic achievement, then, do we sanction a choice be made by a public government agent based on an individual’s ethnicity and race?

It reminds me of an incident when I was a child of six or 7 years of age. A little girl our same age lived two houses up the street from us. For a few summers, we, my twin and I, would spend almost everyday at her house. She had so many toys and so many games and they always had a dough boy pool in the back and it was so hot and that pool and then the cool of the air-conditioned house and the toys and the snacks, were all so wonderful.

We’d endure her petulant and unfair behavior of taking the stack of Candy Land cards under the table in the middle of a game so that she would draw the best cards. She’d mess up every once in a while and one still had a shot at winning. We loved the colorful board, and all her games and playing together. And they were very generous with us.

But one day we had a disagreement over I don’t remember what. It was a shouting match on her front lawn. She got so mad, she slapped my little sister who was only four years old, to get at me. Without thinking, and just reacting, her little brother, equal in age to my little sister was near me, and I grabbed his hand and slapped him. I was so instantly ashamed. It was a primitive reaction. I won’t condone policy that acts in the way I did, in that moment.

Pia Lopez responds to comments in the piece posted here in the SacBee.

She implies that all other things being equal, that for the sake of diversity, so that the University environment reflects the diversity of the community, the race factor matters. She says: “The aim is to gather a pool of qualified candidates and then to look at each person, on a case-by-case, individually to see what they would bring to the mix in an entering class.” What right does anyone have to play God in this mix? How about a lottery, all things being equal?

How about this Pia? How about we put all of our efforts into transforming, not just reforming, but transforming our public schools that are the only option for the poor in every community, save for the lucky few who get saved from the failures that are our public schools, because they win a lottery and get into one of the few Charter Schools allowed by cowardly and or compromised politicians and the teachers unions that control them? How about we stop perpetuating the myths that black and Latino kids aren’t capable of high achievement in math, science, English, and more?

I got A’s in my major at UCLA. I worked very hard to learn how to write a decent sentence, paragraph, and essay. I was too proud to quit, give up or fail.

I went to a high school that sent a lot of non Hispanic kids to elite colleges. We, those kids and I, had the same teachers. I got decent grades in those same classes. Why didn’t those teachers have to teach such that when I got to UCLA, I wasn’t below the basic Subject A course in skill level? I was fortunate in that the Affirmative Action Program, then directed by Steve Duarte, had a Summer Program component to it. They housed those of us admitted under special admission in a dorm for 10 weeks, and they gave us an intensive course in remedial math or English, depending on our major as well as two university undergraduate level courses, simultaneously.

It is a high price we pay as a society to tolerate and enable the job programs that dominate what passes for our K-12 Public Education System. We fail the majority of our students who are poor and or lower middle class, whose parents can’t afford to move or to send their children to private schools or who are not educated enough themselves, to teach their own children.

Supporting race based quotas is to support a system that fails the majority and saves or gives a chance out of mediocrity and failure to a handful of tokens, so that liberals can feel good about themselves while they go on enjoying the luxury of our taxpayer supported State Universities, a welfare program for the rich and upper middle class in our country.

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog’s John Hrabe, CA City Journal’s Ben Boychuk, Marijuana Policy Project’s Morgan Fox

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT


Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929 
July 19, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:  Tonight on Gadfly Radio, What’s race got to do with it? The CA Redistricting Commission went dark a few weeks ago.  But one discovery written about by CalWatchDog investigative reporter John Hrabe touches on contorted measures taking root behind closed doors, to further secure centralized power for the CA State Democratic Party and the public unions and environmentalist groups they are beholden to, while conceding to collectivists demands by ethnic identity groups, for race to be used as a determining factor for districts’ makeup, trumping the integrity, cohesiveness, natural boundaries, and community interests of neighborhoods, cities and counties. 

Cities are cutting vital services including police, fire and other services to make ends meet. Most other states are better off, but national unemployment has risen to over 9 percent now. Yet the Obama Administration has announced a reversal of its 2009 position that put marijuana enforcement as a low priority, seemingly respecting individual State laws.


What are the costs vs benefits of criminalizing medical marijuana in spite of CA’s Medicinal Marijuana laws? What are the fears and the real consequences? What are the threats and dangers of the Obama Administration’s reversal of policy if pursued as recently stated? Morgan Fox, Communications Director with the Marijuana Policy Project MPP joins us to discuss the impact of the Obama Administration’s recent flurry of statements regarding Federal enforcement guidelines and policy and the MPP in CA. 


Ben Boychuk joins me, and among the other topics aforementioned, we’ll touch on the latest issue of CA City Journal‘s subscription magazine’s summer issue including a poignant piece by Joel Kotkin called Lost Angeles: The City of Angels goes to hell. Wow!

Ben will also touch on Steven Greenhut’s hard hitting commentary in the same issue, When Heroes Become Bureaucrats: Why cops and firefighters stood by as a man drowned in San Francisco Bay. Zing!

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929.

I am a stand for liberty, freedom and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives. 

Thank you for supporting our enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this newsletter with others. I value your patronage.

It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce! Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are. California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources, when we get it right. Join us.

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes:



iTunes

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog’s John Seiler, City Journal & Claremont Institute’s Ben Boychuk & Hoover Institute’s Bill Evers on CA Charter Schools in Peril, Congressional Candidate Craig Huey’s Amazing Race, and Mike Shaner, Entrepreneur in business to Advance Liberty

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

July 5, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT: Bill Evers, a formidable specialist in CA Education Policy, along with fellow education policy expert and commentator, Ben Boychuk on the precarious condition and peril of Charter Schools in CA. What are these ominous bills, including AB 114 and AB 440 and SB 645.

Here’s a comprehensive webinar put together by The Charter Schools Development Center, breaking down SB 645’s proposed changes to current Charter School law in CA, and the severe impact these changes bode for the survival of Charter Schools in CA.

We’ll also look at AB 86 by Tony Mendoza, which as currently amended would require at least half of all teachers and  classified employees (i.e., non-teaching staff) to sign off on any  petition to convert a school to a charter. (This is somewhat related to the Parent Trigger.) And as Boy Boychuk puts it, “speaking of the Parent Trigger (and in keeping with the rule of three), there remains the threat of AB 203, which could very well lock the trigger by giving districts more power to deny petitions, etc.”
 

Next Tuesday, July 12,  Craig Huey squares off against sitting L.A. City Councilwoman Janice Hahn in the special run off election to replace Jane Harman in the 36th Congressional District.  The fact that Craig Huey is in this two-top-vote-getters race defies conventional wisdom about what is possible, even in a district that is as solid blue as this one.  Is it his message, his outreach, and are old and tired campaign strategies working for Janice Hahn, a poster child of Los Angeles political machine politics?

Mike Shaner, is an entrepreneur who is passionate about winning hearts and minds over to stand for liberty and stand up against the ever expanding size and power of government. He’s got a very popular blog and he’s active on FB too.   He’s a transplant from Alabama and lives in Oak Park, CA, thus the name of his blog, The Oak Park Republic.  He’s a convert from the left, to the far right, to libertarian policy.  We’ll talk with Mike tonight about his first full op-ed ever published on Lew Rockwell, called A Tale of Two Elections: Historic or Unimportant. He’s passionate and thoughtful. We’ll get a taste of his talent tonight.

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929. 

 I am a stand for liberty, freedom and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.   Thank you for supporting our enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this newsletter with others.  I value your patronage. 
It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!
Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are.  California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources,  when we get it right.   Join us.

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes: 


iTunes

Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha w/CalWatchDog’s John Seiler, City Journal & Claremont Institute’s Ben Boychuk, and CA Sen. Doug LaMalfa on CA budget deal, a tax cut July 1st, and San Francisco may ban circumcisions and sale of pets in the city.

Gadfly Radio Tonight, at 8 PM PT

Live Call in number: 1-818-602-4929

June 28, 2011 Tonight live at 8PM PT:
Tonight on Gadfly Radio, Martha Montelongo, CalWatchDog’s John Seiler, CA State Senator Doug LaMalfa R D4, and City Journal contributing writer and Claremont Institute fellow and columnist Ben Boychuk. 

We’ll discuss the new fake budget deal just cut (Seiler says Chiang should oppose this one too because it’s also a fake budget) between the Dems in the CA Legislature and Governor Jerry Brown.  Californians are about to enjoy a sales tax cut come July 1st. 
Did CA Controller Chiang’s  move to suspend pay to the legislators for their reject budget delivered June 15th blaze a new political trail in CA?  John Seiler thinks so. He thinks this is a showdown between the left and the fiscally responsible within the Democratic Party.  We’ll discuss it.
We’ll talk with Senator LaMalfa about policy shaping up under most people’s radar, concerning AB 32’s impact on water for CA agriculture and water and power for Californians including Southern Californians who seem blissfully unconcerned, as if the water wars don’t concern them.   Two articles on the politics of water policy  here and here.
Ben Boychuk has been posting on Facebook about San Francisco’s efforts to ban the practice of circumcision on infant boys within the City/County limits.   We’ll talk about this and their efforts also to ban the sale of pets in the City.  Nannystate or deflection from their fiscal crisis?

We’ll take your calls, questions and comments on the air at 1-818-602-4929. 

 I am a stand for liberty, freedom and prosperity for all people; a stand for vibrant and innovative small businesses that create jobs, that in the process of prospering, nurture and support creative and dynamic culture, in the work place, and in our personal lives.   Thank you for supporting our enterprise, by listening, sponsoring, and or sharing this newsletter with others.  I value your patronage. 
It’s a pleasure to share this program with CalWatchDog’s team of government watch dogs and the great investigative work they produce!
Tuesday nights live, on Gadfly Radio in Southern California or where ever you are.  California, the land of beauty and unlimited possibility because of the abundance of our greatest capital resource, our human resources,  when we get it right.   Join us.

Or you can listen to a podcast later, if you miss the live call-in show by clicking on the white player to stream or the orange player to download and or subscribe to Gadfly on iTunes: 


iTunes

Head to Head: Should state support its ‘parent trigger’ law? A resounding ‘Yes!’

On Tuesday, in the SacBee, Pia Lopez, a Sec Bee Columnist and Ben Boychuk of the Heartland Institute wrote this very instructive op-ed on California’s Parent Trigger Law, what it is, what does, and why it should be supported.

Ben Austin, Executive Director of The Parent Revolution joins me on Saturday night on KRLA, 870AM at 11PM Pacific Time for a conversation on this issue!

THE ISSUE: California enacted the nation’s first “parent trigger” law last year, giving parents the right to petition their school board to transform schools that are underperforming. Pia Lopez and Ben Boychuk share uncommon agreement: This law should be preserved.

The assault on California’s year-old parent empowerment law – better known as the “parent trigger” – offers liberals and conservatives a rare opportunity to defend a unique reform that advances the common good, promotes freedom of choice, and uses a time-honored democratic process to force the public education system to adopt changes it would otherwise reject.

The parent trigger is a modest law – fewer than 600 words – but it has the potential to upend the public education status quo. Simply, if at least half of eligible parents at a persistently underperforming school sign a petition, school district officials must undertake one of four options prescribed by state and federal law.

The first test will come in the Compton Unified School District, in southern Los Angeles County. On Dec. 7, 62 percent of parents at McKinley Elementary submitted a petition requesting that the school board convert the school to a charter school.

Meanwhile, a group of parents at Mount Gleason Middle School in the Los Angeles suburb of Sunland are circulating a petition to replace the school’s principal.

Click here to read more.

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