Saturday, May 23, 2009
Ken Oldfield, referred to below in connection with his book, Resilience, Queer Professors From the Working Class, is engaged in a long term project, "Hypocrisy Studies." An excerpt from his entry on Scalia, the man who equates silk purses with admission to elite schools, follows:
"Antonin Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice. Another of Reagan's contributions to "Trickle Down" economics. According to one source, "Scalia's ascent to the pinnacle of his profession was proclaimed by many as an example of the American dream" ("Antonin," 1999) coming true.
Hardly! Scalia is of very comfortable origins. Antonin's dad received his Ph.D. from Columbia University and was a professor of Romance languages at Brooklyn College. Justice Scalia's mother was an elementary school teacher. His parents sent Antonin to The Right Schools, including Xavier High School ($34,800), a tony Jesuit military academy in Manhattan. He received his undergraduate degree from Georgetown University ($171,752). While there, and as a Sheldon Fellow of Harvard, he studied at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). Presumably, he went to Switzerland to learn more about poor people, the primary beneficiaries of trickle down economics.
After learning to appreciate how the bottom half lives, Antonin returned to the States. He received a law degree from Harvard ($146,544) in 1960 and that same year married an English major from Radcliffe College, Maureen McCarthy. Her father was a physician, which might help explain the Radcliffe connection.
In 1977, Scalia's deep and abiding commitment to fighting socialism carried Antonin to Washington, D.C., where he became a Resident Scholar with the American Enterprise Institute. From 1967-71, Scalia fell off the free market bandwagon and into the grips of socialism when he became a law professor at the publicly owned University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Over the years, he has also taught at several other law schools, institutions that were, probably just like the University of Virginia, brimming with students of poverty and working class origins, including Georgetown University, the University of Chicago and Stanford University."
Thanks Ken for allowing me to reprint this. But back on Scalia and and the silk purse quote (immediately below). First, there is something nice about Scalia slamming the elite schools. Second, just to keep the barnyard idea going. Relying on elite credentials is like buying a pig in a poke. In my time in teaching, I have seen way too many silk purses that were empty.