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U.S. Supreme Court to hear Gratz v. Bollinger in Affirmative Action landmark

By jvcoleman in Op-Ed
Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:44:07 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

While the world and much of the population of America desperately watches for signs of hope from the killing fields in Iraq, ripples from the decades-long civil rights backlash movement have quietly begun to wash ashore at the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Gratz v. Bollinger, a case that is expected to challenge the constitutional legitimacy of Affirmative Action, will be heard by the highest court in the land. Given the recent change of course in the history of democratic rights in America, this effectively puts all existing ameliorative programs designed to help minority students from low-income backgrounds enter college and succeed on an equal playing field into jeopardy.


It has been almost exactly 50 years since Brown v. Board of Education (1954) was decided in the U.S. Supreme Court (USSC), which began the modern civil rights struggle in the US. For many decades, critical decisions at the USSC and Federal district and appellate court levels have paved the way for the reform of racist voting laws, discrimination in the workplace, and other "norms and standards" applied consciously or unconsciously to prevent minorities from achieving equal status to that of whites. The jurisprudential touchstone in these decisions has always been to seek the greater benefit of oppressed peoples, even if it went against the norms and standards, or even general wishes, of the establishment.

The social progress of blacks and other oppressed minorities in America is now facing a great crisis: a changing landscape in the Federal judiciary toward reversing key civil rights rulings and a return to the regressive policies of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. At the root of this groundswell is the powerful Federalist Society, whose unobtrusive reach now extends well into the chambers of the USSC. If George W. Bush serves another term, the current nearly balanced makeup of the USSC will change decisively toward conservatism, and will most likely stay that way for decades.

Such is the state of the civil rights movement in contemporary U.S. jurisprudence: Jennifer Gratz, a white cheerleader from the suburbs of Detroit sues the University of Michigan for admittance discrimination on the basis of race.

"I was treated unfairly because of my skin color," said Jennifer, 25, who now lives comfortably near San Diego, CA with her husband.
At issue is the points system used by the University of Michigan to objectively promote admissions of underrepresented members of its undergraduate class of approximately 5,000 students. Out of 150 points used in this threshold system, 110 are based on "academic performance" (which is not always an objective or race-neutral measure in itself, depending on economic background). A maximum of 40 points may be awarded for special circumstances (see sidebar here), of which 20 may come from considerations of race.

Gratz and co-plaintiff Patrick Hamacher are patronized by wealthy conservative focus groups such as The Center for Individual Rights, The American Civil Rights Institute, The Center for Equal Opportunity, and the National Association of Scholars. The University of Michigan has only its own funds to defend itself, but more than 78 amicus briefs have been filed on behalf of UM's stance on Affirmative Action, compared to 19 against. Among those in favor of race-conscious admissions: the alma maters of every member of the court, dozens of Fortune 500 companies and 21 retired generals and admirals, including three former military academy superintendents. George W. Bush has not taken an "official stance" on the matter, while Colin Powell and Condolezza Rice have come out in favor of Affirmative Action.

All of this drama is contrasted against the relative ideological stalemate within the current court. There are 9 total judges in the USSC: 8 Justices, and one Chief Justice. The 4 that are expected to support Affirmative Action are Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. The 3 that are expected to oppose Affirmative Action are Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas. The two "swing" Justices in this case are Kennedy and O'Connor.

The effects of the decision on this case, which will not be handed down for several months after the arguments are heard, will have deep and long-lasting effects on the ability of universities to promote and foster campus diversity, and most importantly, the lives and careers of oppressed and disadvantaged minorities wishing to enter selective colleges on an equal footing compared to their richer white counterparts.

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U.S. Supreme Court to hear Gratz v. Bollinger in Affirmative Action landmark | 313 comments (287 topical, 26 editorial, 0 hidden)
What the hell? (4.84 / 13) (#3)
by TypographicalError on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:21:15 PM EST

The social progress of blacks and other oppressed minorities in America is now facing a great crisis: a changing landscape in the Federal judiciary toward reversing key civil rights rulings and a return to the regressive policies of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.

I know this is an op-ed, but you can't just say inflammatory shit like this without saying some words to back it up. It's hyperbolic nonsense. Simply because the Supreme Court is reversing legislation doesn't mean that they will regress to the jurisprudence of a hundred years ago. More likely, they will support a fair playing field for everyone. I know that at the very least Thomas wants this.

--
The world does not revolve around your vagina unless I am allowed to put my tongue in it. - TRASG0

How is it nonsense? (3.33 / 6) (#7)
by jvcoleman on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:30:00 PM EST

Using the Supreme Court to abolish a solution that is an imperfect remedy for unarguable past wrongs, without proposing another remedy? How is that progressive in any conceivable way?

More likely, they will support a fair playing field for everyone.

With the wave of a magic wand, perhaps?

[ Parent ]

that's not their job. (5.00 / 10) (#12)
by Work on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:42:11 PM EST

Their job isnt to come up with alternatives. Their job is to rule on whether the current one is constitutional or not.

Its up to the legislature to decide how to proceed.

[ Parent ]

Two wrongs do not make a right. (4.83 / 6) (#14)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:43:47 PM EST

And other states seem to have survived switching to race-blind admissions criteria. Judge people by their individual abilities and backgrounds, not their skin color... And as I said in another post, none of this would even be an issue if liberals would stop attacking this straw man and start attacking the real problem - the criminal destruction of our urban school systems.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
"and backgrounds," (2.66 / 3) (#26)
by twistedfirestarter on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:01:34 AM EST

Affirmative action is not about judging anyone just by their skin colour, but about correcting historical disadvantage and alleviating current social problems. Many minorities (particularly blacks) have been harshly and unfairly exploited in the past. This has created entrenched poverty in entire communities of people.

Entrenched poverty is self-perpetuating. Leaving people to their own devices is not a reasonable option. It is simply not good social policay. Washing our hands of it would not just be cowardly, but it would be stupid too. Think of all the criminals, drug addicts and other social costs at least partially caused by entrenched poverty in minority communities. Someone has to pay for that.

To play the "fairness" card now is duplicitous. History isn't fair. Slavery wasn't fair. It was horrific, devastating and essentially an immense theft of wealth in the form of labour from the black community to the white. Wealth does not magically transfer itself to everyone over time - it tends to stay within communitites, families and races. Imagine someone stole money from you, and then turned around and said "From now on, everything must be fair. My stuff is mine and your stuff is yours."

Would you be inclined to just accept this as "justice". Or would you at least want some marginal, token form of compensation?

And college admission certainly is far from an exact science. I am sure many whites get into college who shouldn't have, and that many perfectly competent students get overlooked anyway.


[ Parent ]

my 2 cents (5.00 / 10) (#30)
by midas2000 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:24:49 AM EST

Granted, I'm not very familiar with affirmative action laws, so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I was under the impression that they operated primarily based on race and not on economic background.

If this is true, then your poverty argument, while not completely irrelevant, seems to be standing on weak ground, to me anyways. While yes, minorities are more likely to come from poorer and less privileged backgrounds, it seems that your argument should promote an affirmative action based on one's economic background and not one's race, since the two don't seem to be directly or necessarily related.

The current system, when justified by the poverty argument, has a lot of flaws; the most apparent of which are when two students who have nearly identical upbringings and opportunities are judged ultimately by their skin color, the minority getting the job etc. even though he has had no greater hardship than the other guy. This seems directly contradictory to the stated goals of the program (again, only when justified by this argument).

Personally, I'm not a fan of the current system, but I think I would support an affirmitive action program based on economic background, not race.

While the second argument is certainly a valid point, I think that there comes a time when we have to stop the eye for an eye behaviour and we just call it even. Or just call it not even and stop anyways. Otherwise, we will perpetuate a system of unfairness forever and ever into infinity and we'll never improve.

I don't know if any of that made sense, I'm kinda woozy from allergy medicine :)

cheers,
-midas



[ Parent ]
You missed something (5.00 / 4) (#46)
by jubal3 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 03:31:18 AM EST

...Imagine someone stole money from you, and then turned around and said "From now on, everything must be fair. My stuff is mine and your stuff is yours." Would you be inclined to just accept this as "justice". Or would you at least want some marginal, token form of compensation?<BR<BR>The answer is, of course, "sure" for something that was stolen from my Grandparents.

The continual blaming of black poverty on racism is a tired argument. Equal claims (probably just as bogus) could be made correlating today's black poverty to the Great Society programs.
Jim Crow laws haven't been around since most of these kid's PARENTS have been alive.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
Black Poverty and Slavery (2.66 / 3) (#102)
by Thomas M Hughes on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:58:42 PM EST

At this point in time, I see the situation like this:

Dawn of US history, whites enslaved blacks, and utilized them for labor, building up the status of whites economically and socially for a good period of time (decades to centuries).  Civil War breaks out, whites say "Okay, you blacks are free."  That is, "We're not giving you anything for all those years you were enslaved, but we'll use you now as a cheap source of labor."

Thus, they went from being slaves, to being poor, directly as a result of the slavery problem.  The former slaves were never made equal to whites when they were liberated.  In many ways, they were continued to be treated as second class citizens.  This treatment continued in the US for another century, with blacks largely still treated as second class citizens, with few voting rights, and continued systematic poverty.

Only by 1964 with the Voting Rights Act and other civil rights legislation do you ever see the US truly start to attempt to undo continued systematic efforts to maintain black poverty.  However, simply deconstructing the self-reinforcing system of poverty that had been in effect for centuries still does not resolve the problem that continues to occur.

Thus, what do we know at this point in time?  First, we know that blacks tend to be in worse economic conditions then whites.  Second, we know that the system has reinforced black poverty for a number of centuries.  Third, we know that there has never been an attempt to correct the problem made by whites in the first place.  At most, aside from affirmative action programs, whites have only removed offical barriers to entry that were forcefully keeping blacks impoverished.

As such, blacks today were born of parents who had been granted some liberties in 1964, but are largely poor due to the existing system of black impoverishment that had existed prior to that.  Their parents were born poor, due to the system of impoverishment that their grandparents had lived under.  Their grandparents born under the great grandparents, and so on and so forth, back to slavery, where the problem originated.  Thus, blacks largely poorer then others due to the fact that there was never, ever, an attempt to resolve the problem of black poverty.  Instead, we just say "Oh, the people who caused that were alive a hundred years ago.  We're all equal now."

Instead of whites seeing it as correcting a social injustice (systematic black poverty), they see it as punishment against them, since they are the ones who stand to lose the most by addressing the problem.  Furthermore, they see this as unfair, because they do not believe they created the problem, and because they did not create it, they should not be responsible for it.  Thus, blacks are told that, while what our forefathers did was wrong, they've now been free for a hundred and fifty years, and if they had just worked hard enough, they wouldn't be poor anymore.

However, a poor black was required to go to a poor black school for decades, which gave him little to no chance of being accepted into a higher education, insuring that he will remain poor, and doing manual work for much of his life.  His poverty was created by his parents poverty.  And as such, his children's poverty will be insured due to his poverty.  And this poverty is created through systematic bias against blacks that permiated all of society for centuries in the US.  Simply removing the blocks does not correct this systematic problem.  It removes the blocks.

Now, it is possible for the exceptional few to attain near equality with whites, yes.  However, there is constant discouragement for that accomplishment, that persists due to the nature of education and the market in the US.  Simply providing the potential does not equate to resolving the original injustice.  Furthermore, saying "Oh, that injustice that's affecting you now happened a long time ago, so its not an issue anymore" does not resolve the problem.

I will even go on to say that the existing systems of affirmative action or calls for reparations will not solve the problem either.  But the important thing to remember is that there exists a systematic problem of black poverty in the US that reinforces itself over time.  Short of active involvement by some force, this reinforcement of poverty won't go away.

[ Parent ]

No one's challenging that part of your argument (5.00 / 4) (#144)
by Lugh on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:42:26 PM EST

I don't think anyone is arguing with your underlying premise about there being a systemic black poverty problem in the US. The argument is over whether or not the current type of AA is the correct solution.

If you have two candidates for a position, and, all other things being equal, one is selected because of the color of their skin, then the other candidate has been discriminated against. The problem with current forms of AA is that, the farther the system goes in correcting the historical injustice, the greater injustice it perpetrates on the current generation (ie- as time progresses, the more the system will help those who have escaped the poverty cycle, and therefore, have less need for assistance).

The current AA regime mistakes correlation for causality-- blaming being black (or hispanic or native american, etc.) for being poor. If that were the case, then the solution would be either skin-bleaching treatments for all non-whites, or melanin injections for all caucasians. Race was the genesis of the problem, but, as you point out, the problem now is a self-perpetuating cycle of poverty-- one which happens to be associated with, but not caused by, race. Race-blind, need-based affirmative action should be a more effective solution, as it will simultaneously work to correct the historical injustice, while it more effectively targets those who actually need assistance.


Remove the obvious falsehood to e-mail me.
[ Parent ]

It really doesn't matter if AA is right.... (4.50 / 2) (#225)
by gte910h on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:14:03 AM EST

...but if its legal. That is what SCOTUS determines. I'd bet they'll say it isn't.

I think AA is far from great anyhow. I'd much prefer to see equal schooling measures (every school a state gets equal funds based on (Number of Students) X (State Amount For Education), outlawing local taxes to pay for schooling). It be nice to see a gradual phaseout of AA to go with that, but since it IS probably illegal under the constitution, that might not be an option. That'd also help the "honkey redneck kids" that are most hurt by affirmative action, and most likely to turn that injury into some measure of racism.

[ Parent ]

Legality of AA (1.00 / 2) (#274)
by Thomas M Hughes on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:58:52 AM EST

It really doesn't matter if AA is right but if its legal.  That is what SCOTUS determines.  I'd bet they'll say it isn't.
That is a valid comment, and worthy of discussion.  However, a simple bet that they won't doesn't really spark much of a discussion.

Due to time constraints, I am not able to go and grab some of my law books and go through judicial commentary to find relevant cases in relation to this.  I'm not entirely convinced that the court will find it unconstitutional.  Scalia probably will though.

[ Parent ]

Lol...Scalia... (none / 0) (#310)
by gte910h on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 05:37:10 PM EST

I'm not certain either....I just think its more likely that SCOTUS will find it illegal than find it legal. Enough that I would place a bet on that outcome.

I'd love to see an article about the rhetoric of around the SCOTUS right/legal dichotomy. But I can't really think of the article required to spark that discussion.

[ Parent ]

a question (5.00 / 2) (#268)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:15:00 PM EST

How does all this history about black oppression in the United States justify affirmative action, which gives preferences solely based on skin color. For example, why should a Nigerian immigrant (most of whom are well-educated and do not particularly need special assistance) be given affirmative action preference solely because of the color of his skin?

[ Parent ]
A Response (none / 0) (#273)
by Thomas M Hughes on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:55:34 AM EST

How does all this history about black oppression in the United States justify affirmative action, which gives preferences solely based on skin color. For example, why should a Nigerian immigrant (most of whom are well-educated and do not particularly need special assistance) be given affirmative action preference solely because of the color of his skin?
It doesn't.  Which is why my last paragraph was included in my comment.  Quote:
I will even go on to say that the existing systems of affirmative action or calls for reparations will not solve the problem either.  But the important thing to remember is that there exists a systematic problem of black poverty in the US that reinforces itself over time.  Short of active involvement by some force, this reinforcement of poverty won't go away.
My comment was not particularly a defense for Affirmative Action, per se, but instead a critique against those who I find are usually against Affirmative Action type programs.  I do feel that the existing system doesn't work very effectively.  I do not agree that the response is to completely dispose of the system, and replace it with nothing at all.

This is why a large section of my comment was focused upon those who say things such as "You were never enslaved, and your parents were never enslaved.  You've been free for a hundred years, why should you get preferences over me for something my great grandparents may have done?"  These sorts of comments suggest not only that the program of affirmative action doesn't work, but that the underlying premise, that we should attempt to correct the problem of systematic black poverty, is flawed.  

Now, your comment may still be valid, keeping that in mind.  For example, if a Nigerian immigrant came to the US and experienced poverty, why should he be privy to attempts to correct past injustices?  He was not systematically included within the initial injustice of slavery in any direct way, thus his poverty might be more directly pointed towards his own faults.

However, I'm not entirely convinced by this critique, due to my own feelings on poverty in general.  It is my general belief that poverty itself is an injustice that society should seek to minimize or eliminate whenever possible.  However, completely destroying poverty is hardly an easy task.  We can, and do notice, that certain groups that are easily targetable bear more of the problem of poverty then others, such as blacks.  We can say with a pretty good idea that black poverty originated with slavery in the US, and that's more of a reason to target this underpriviledged group first.  However, if a hypothetical program helps impoverished decendents of slaves get out of poverty, and also happens to help a few of non-slave origins...does it really matter?

I guess you could say it more briefly: Correcting historical injustices should take precedence.  But if in doing so, you manage to correct additional societial injustices, so much the better.

But your post suggested our Nigerian friend might actually be well-educated, and not in need of special assistance.  If this is the case, then providing him a benefit above others is, in actuality, an injustice itself.  This is a place where the current affirmative action system fails.  However, the response to a flawed system is not no-system at all, but a thoughtful discussion on how to replace and improve the system, such that it addresses the problem it was intended to address.

[ Parent ]

Poverty, race, and affirmative action (5.00 / 3) (#187)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:02:20 AM EST

I am all for helping the "entrenched poor", as you call them, out of the unfortunate poverty cycle. However, one must remember correlation does not causation make.

While black and other minority populations may have been horribly repressed in our sordid past, and while that may have a great deal to do with why so many minorities are economically disadvantaged, making rules based on the race of someone rather than their economic status is a bit odd to me.

If we are to take "affirmative action" in raising the standard of living and education for our poor, then we must make the guidelines for that action based on economic -- rather than genetic -- factors.

This is why I'm against AA policy -- it's racist. Basically, you are saying to the minority "because you are a minority, you need to have special rules to compete with the majority." Even if the (laudable) goal is to increase diversity, that increase will only be beneficial if it is a diversity of culture that is enhanced. Culture and race lines may run very close in this country, but I can't be the only one that hopes for a day when race doesn't dictate cultural elements...

Further, making any actions now based on "oops, our ancestors/predecessors where racist assholes" smacks a bit of the horse following the cart. One doesn't undo racism against blacks by enacting racism against whites (yes, I know that's an extreme oversimplification).

All in all, the goals of AA are wonderful -- helping the disadvantaged (often minorities), and guarding diversity -- but the method is severely flawed.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

AA *is* a fair playing field. (4.00 / 5) (#11)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:41:58 PM EST

Unless you consider the fact the blacks, at least, are far more likely to grow up in poverty, less likely to get home loans approved and less likely to get a tertiary education a "fair playing field".

[ Parent ]
Out of curiosity . . . (4.57 / 7) (#25)
by ubernostrum on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:01:10 AM EST

Should we advocate breaking the legs of good black basketball players, so white men who can't jump will have an equal playing field to compete with them?


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]
No, but I would have nothing against (4.66 / 3) (#27)
by twistedfirestarter on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:03:48 AM EST

giving the white players stilts.

[ Parent ]
No no no (4.00 / 5) (#82)
by ubernostrum on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 03:36:15 PM EST

That will not do. We cannot "boost" the white players, then they would enjoy an unfair advantage over all nonwhite/nonblack players. Thus the only solution is to bring the good basketball players down to everyone else's level; i.e., by breaking their legs.

Remember, this is about one privileged group starting off ahead of the pack, and redressing that so that all are equal.


--
You cooin' with my bird?
[ Parent ]

Dont bring Basketball into this (5.00 / 1) (#183)
by smallstepforman on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:47:00 AM EST

The two best teams of the 2002 Basketball world championship (FIBA) are Yugoslavia and Argentina (with the US a distant 4th). None of them have black players. The comment that white man cant jump is a myth.

[ Parent ]
Re:AA *is* a fair playing field. (4.50 / 2) (#177)
by drsmithy on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:35:33 AM EST

Unless you consider the fact the blacks, at least, are far more likely to grow up in poverty, less likely to get home loans approved and less likely to get a tertiary education a "fair playing field".

And which part of this do you believe is influenced by the pigmentation of their skin ?

[ Parent ]

that's simply a socio-economic issue (4.50 / 2) (#267)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:12:40 PM EST

If that's your concern, you should support giving preference to poor people, regardless of race, not affirmative action. The children of Colin Powell did not grow up in poverty, have no problem getting home loans, and had no trouble getting a tertiary education; clearly, there's no reason to given them preference simply because their skin happens to be black. Similarly, the children of a poor uneducated rural white person have all the disadvantages you cited as being characteristic on average of black people. Thus, the obvious solution is to simply give assistance to poor people -- this will still help the poor black people, and as an added bonus will help poor asian and white people as well, instead of helping wealthy black and hispanic people who do not need the assistance.

[ Parent ]
Brilliant! (4.66 / 6) (#5)
by duncan bayne on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:28:07 PM EST

This is truly excellent news. Now perhaps we'll cease hearing from people claiming to reduce racism by promoting alternate forms of racism.



Uh. (4.85 / 7) (#6)
by Work on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:29:08 PM EST

I fail to see how striking down affirmative action means jim crow laws will be all the rage, as implied by "changing landscape in the Federal judiciary toward reversing key civil rights rulings and a return to the regressive policies of the nineteenth and early twentieth century".

I somehow doubt the voting rights of minorities will be repealed and the separate but equal doctrine will pervade society once again.

There are 9 total judges in the USSC: 8 Justices, and one Chief Justice. The 4 that are expected to support Affirmative Action are Justices John Paul Stevens, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer. The 3 that are expected to oppose Affirmative Action are Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

Back this up. While rehnquist, scalia and thomas are historically constructionists, you've provided no further information on past stances with regard to affirmative action. This is going to interest many readers, as Thomas is a minority himself.

Thomas is a party-line conservative (3.66 / 3) (#8)
by jvcoleman on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:34:30 PM EST

but, like most USSC Justices (possible exception being Scalia), he doesn't often go spouting off about his political biases. It's widely known in legal circles that Thomas is opposed to Affirmative Action; this is reflected in the plaintiffs' strategy.

[ Parent ]
Links Links Links. (none / 0) (#10)
by Work on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:40:50 PM EST

I follow the court and its members decisions and I don't know the past opinions of its members regarding AA.

Much less the average k5 reader who doesn't understand why the court is appointed for life, much less follow court cases.

[ Parent ]

I'm sorry. (none / 0) (#17)
by jvcoleman on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:47:15 PM EST

I tried, but I cannot find any direct quotes from Thomas on google. I think the second hand quotations (e.g., "Thomas is known to oppose AA") would not really be as useful. I know because I am familiar with a lot of law students who have detailed knowledge of this case.

[ Parent ]
There's a reason for that (5.00 / 1) (#158)
by DrSbaitso on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:16:23 PM EST

There haven't been any decisions on Affirmative Action made by the Supreme Court since California Board of Regents v. Bakke. The Court kept denying cert, time and time again, until it finally granted cert this time. Therefore, you won't find any Thomas opinions on AA because he hasn't written any. Rest assured, he'll vote with the Italion Stallion and the Chief, because he does so 88 percent of the time (source: O'brien, David. Constitutional Law and Politics Vol 1, 5ed. Norton: NY, 2001. P186). So rest assured, the bloc will vote together.

Aeroflot Airlines: You Have Made the Right Choice!
---Advertising slogan for the only airline in the USSR
[ Parent ]
Yet another rant (4.64 / 14) (#9)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:38:41 PM EST

asserting that opposition to affirmative action is, by definition, support for racism.

Did ever occur to you that there are better methods to combat racism than rigging college admissions so that unqualified people are admitted?

Here's an idea! Why don't we FIX THE FREAKING GRADE SCHOOLS THAT CRIPPLED THOSE PEOPLE IN THE FIRST PLACE!

Instead of lowering the test scores, fix the freaking schools!


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


Sure. (none / 0) (#13)
by twistedfirestarter on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:42:43 PM EST

So do you want to pay for this with your taxes?

[ Parent ]
Looks like I'm gonna be. (4.00 / 1) (#19)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:50:03 PM EST

The Pa legislature appears to be about to get off it's butt and start replacing property taxes with income taxes as the main method for funding schools.

But funding isn't the primary issue - at least, not the way most people think. Urbans school systems chew thru more cash per capita than many suburban schools - but less of it is actually spent on the kids. I wonder why that is... Hmmmm... patronage, unions, corruption... Gee, I wonder...


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
or... (3.00 / 3) (#24)
by jvcoleman on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:58:11 PM EST

Urbans school systems chew thru more cash per capita than many suburban schools - but less of it is actually spent on the kids. I wonder why that is...

How about higher cost of living, greater population density, older infrastructure, language and immigration situatuions, poorer local communities, untended social decay and crime, NONE OF WHICH are simple problems that can be solved tomorrow by throwing more money at them. That's why the white families moved their kids off into the bedroom communities in the 'burbs generations ago.

For now, the only way to correct for these adversities is to use Affirmative Action. Don't wreck it now...

[ Parent ]

Let the schools phase it out themselves. (3.00 / 3) (#15)
by jvcoleman on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:44:41 PM EST

If they choose. Don't have a couple of Justices declare it unconstitutional, and put other civil rights legislation in jeopardy.

Instead of lowering the test scores, fix the freaking schools!

Okay, so for the next 20 years while that's happening, we can screw over the kids that went to poor schools? Don't worry, young colored boy, my white son may have ridden into State U. on a scholarship from his magnet school, but your kids will probably get a better shot than you did.

[ Parent ]

Lol. Can we let the diners (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:46:36 PM EST

Phase out segregated lunch counters, if they want to?


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
you idiot (3.75 / 4) (#20)
by jvcoleman on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:51:40 PM EST

If white people were barred from college, it would be one thing. The idea that letting blacks into selective college keeps whites out (assuming that every black that is admitted holds a place that "rightly" belongs to a white) is utterly specious. In most cases, affirmative action is used to maintain a MINIMUM proportion of black students that is typically less than 5%. That's far less than the proportional population of blacks in America (roughly 10%).

[ Parent ]
yabba dabba doo (5.00 / 5) (#41)
by FieryTaco on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:11:13 AM EST

The idea that letting blacks into selective college keeps whites out (assuming that every black that is admitted holds a place that "rightly" belongs to a white) is utterly specious.
You're right. It's specious, which is why nobody is making that argument. The argument would be that a selective college has a fixed class size, ie. there will only be 500 freshmen this year. The first 499 position by the best 499 applicants. The 500th most qualified, via objective standards, applicant comes along and happens to be white. The 501 most qualified, qualified by the same objective standards, applicant comes along and is black and is chosen over the white student, then the white student was screwed and racially discriminated against. The white student has as much right to expect equal treatment as the black student does.

[ Parent ]
Are you done beating that strawman yet? (4.50 / 2) (#68)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 11:29:06 AM EST

What are you saying? That blacks can't be judged on the basis of their abilities? Why not?


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
whatever (5.00 / 4) (#18)
by scatbubba on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:48:46 PM EST

not all white kids ride into university from a 'magnet school'. Some of them are poor too, or from broken homes. You are saying that disadvantaged black, as well as middle class and rich black should get in before disadvantaged white. I disagree. I think you go by qualification. If the blacks do worse because their schools are full of drugs and violence, well maybe jesse jackson and al sharpton can stop criticizing 'the man' and instead work in their own community to change this stuff. Instead of affirmative action, fix the problem.

[ Parent ]
In this case (5.00 / 1) (#76)
by subversion on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:11:28 PM EST

A white youth from disadvantaged background and a black youth from disadvantaged background have an equal 20 point bonus.  Check the Michigan Review's (a fairly anti-AA UM paper) admissions calculator for details.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]
are you saying (none / 0) (#83)
by scatbubba on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 03:49:24 PM EST

that affirmative action is based on background and not race? I dont' actually follow AA too much since it doesnt' exist in my country. From the press i've read, it sounds mostly race based.

[ Parent ]
AA varies. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
by subversion on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:31:53 PM EST

Michigan's system works in the way I described.  Other systems work in other ways.

Michigan actually provides for two seperate concerns - diversity and socioeconomic hardship.  Diversity is culturally based; white applicants from minority schools receive the same bonus as minority applicants from white schools, oddly enough.  Socioeconomic hardship is based on just that - poverty.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

The white boy experience (5.00 / 2) (#22)
by godix on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:56:04 PM EST

I went to a high school that was about 70% black. Do I get those 20 points also? If this is all about bad schools instead of race then I should get the same bonus.


"You think we're arrogant, and we think you're French."
- George Herbert Walker B
[
Parent ]
Actually (5.00 / 1) (#75)
by subversion on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:10:18 PM EST

At U of M, yes.

Being from a predominantly minority school is accounted the same as being a minority.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

Very odd (none / 0) (#141)
by godix on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:32:12 PM EST

They changed the rules. The first time this arguement came around the line '20 points for... attendance at a predominantly minority high school' was not in there. I do remember going through the their policy very carefully in a previous article on this subject since this is, for me, the key difference between racial quotas and a somewhat misguided attempt to help people in POS high schools. I suspect this is something they threw in their policy recently to help fend off further lawsuits. Regardless of why, it looks like they have addressed my central complaint against the policy. I think there are better ways of reaching out to 'economically disadvantaged' people than by what the predominate race of their school was, but that kind of nitpicking isn't worthy of a lawsuit.


"You think we're arrogant, and we think you're French."
- George Herbert Walker B
[
Parent ]
Econ vs. diverse (none / 0) (#224)
by subversion on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:01:49 AM EST

If you read carefully, you'll note that there is a seperate category for economically disadvantaged, so the minority/high school provision is pretty much solely there for the promotion of diversity.

I wish other people would read as carefully as you seem to have done.

If you disagree, reply, don't moderate.
[ Parent ]

Most magnet schools that (5.00 / 4) (#36)
by jubal3 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 01:41:26 AM EST

I am aware of, go to great pain to attract and retain minority students. Complete with tutoring, etc. And BTW, why the hell should a poor black kid get promoted over a poor white kid, with an equally "underpriveleged" background? Because their grandparents lived under Jim Crow? When the hell does it end? ever?


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
long term vs. short term (3.80 / 5) (#21)
by jjayson on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:54:20 PM EST

Nobody is saying that we shouldn't do that, but that is a very long term goal. In the meanwhile, stop-gap measures need to be in place to fix generations of problems. How should we do that? Do you have a better idea than slightly stacking the decks for minority candidates?

Remdember, nobody is being denied a quality education. There are always comparable alternatives.
_______
Smile =)
* bt krav magas kitten THE FUCK UP
<bt> Eat Kung Jew, bitch.

[ Parent ]

Even if you managed to create perfect schools... (4.33 / 3) (#23)
by schwong on Mon Mar 31, 2003 at 11:57:58 PM EST

...you'll have ten years of students coming down the pipe who've been educated in the current system. Pardon me, but I'd rather not throw out what we've got now because you say there's a utopia down the road.

There are lots of good arguments against affirmative action. This isn't one of them.

[ Parent ]

Alternate idea (3.50 / 2) (#42)
by NaCh0 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:47:44 AM EST

Here is an alternate idea for you. If you're behind in your grade level, whatever color you are, pick up a book and catch up. Nobody ever said education comes without effort.

--
K5: Your daily dose of socialism.
[ Parent ]
What if.. (2.00 / 1) (#307)
by baron samedi on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 06:26:58 AM EST

Your Physics book is from circa 1965?
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
What if... (5.00 / 1) (#308)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 04:11:03 PM EST

The laws of physics were the same in 1965? Actually, science education was probably BETTER in 1965.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

How to fix the schools (4.66 / 3) (#73)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:01:14 PM EST

Spend money on the students who want to learn, not the troublemakers and dropouts. In some city high schools, honors classes have 40 to 1 student ratio, but 16 year olds pregnant with their second child have a 3 to 1 ratio.

Decouple state aid from attendance numbers.

Teachers can't cut the mustard? Bye, bye.

Teach more math and reading, less painting and gym. In many city high schools, many (over 1/2 in many cases) high school seniors have a 3rd grade reading level.

[ Parent ]

amend? (1.75 / 4) (#28)
by atavist on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:07:23 AM EST

Why not just amend the Civil Rights Act and make it very plain that race is an ok factor in some instances. It would sure beat the current position of affirmative action supporters hoping that justices can read between the lines and find what they want them to find.

define "some" (none / 0) (#29)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:19:52 AM EST

How about "those instances wherein there is a historical and counter-vailing bias". Does that sound reasonable? Well, that's pretty much the statute now.

[ Parent ]
link (none / 0) (#32)
by atavist on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:29:55 AM EST

Can you link to that? It'd be good to put the link in your article.

[ Parent ]
UC v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978) (none / 0) (#33)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:36:09 AM EST

There are links to cases here. One good one is Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1978), with regard to the equal protection statute.

[ Parent ]
It isn't the civil rights act (none / 0) (#35)
by jubal3 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 01:38:08 AM EST

that's being used as a challenge, it's the 14th amendment to the US Constitution, which provides for equal treatment under the law.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
Sure (none / 0) (#72)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 01:56:49 PM EST

That sounds just great. We'll write a civil rights act that says: "You must hire/accept a number of black & hispanic students equal to 35% of your employee/student body"

How is that different that black & white water fountains?

[ Parent ]

Why not just fix the SAT testing? (3.20 / 5) (#31)
by prostoalex on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:28:33 AM EST

If you're a minority, you get a perfect score and don't have to take the exam.

Conflicting opinions... (4.90 / 10) (#34)
by jch on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 12:45:16 AM EST

[Note: For the sake of clarity, we're really talking about ethnicity--not rasicm, aren't we?]

...this effectively puts all existing ameliorative programs designed to help minority students from low-income backgrounds enter college and succeed on an equal playing field into jeopardy.

Incorrect. They're designed to help all minority students--not just those of low-income backgrounds. If they're being given an advantage due to any arbitrary reason (i.e., the color of their eyes), this is unethical and doesn't sit easy with the social equality and equal opportunity ideals people so graciously support (discrimination is discrimination). Affirmative action programs are just as guilty of generalizations and prejudice as "white only" laundromats--in that they're making a value judgement on an imaginary catagorization of people, and advantaging/disadvantaging members of these catagories.

...will have deep and long-lasting effects on the ability of universities to promote and foster campus diversity, and most importantly, the lives and careers of oppressed and disadvantaged minorities wishing to enter selective colleges on an equal footing compared to their richer white counterparts.

The only (ethnic) campus diversity I respect is the kind that is a consequence of effort and success--not the consequence of the physical characteristics some people inherited. This artificial diversity is harmful to the intitution--I mean, higher education is generally their goal, right? How are they accomplishing this goal by turning away sucessfull students and replacing them with less successful ones? They're not--they're hindering it.

Also, it saddens me to read this opinionated pro-civil/social-equality/opportunity piece and all the while you're assuming that all minorities are poor stupid gangsters from government-run project housing--you're just as guilty as those whom you denounce.

Wow (1.00 / 2) (#45)
by KittyFishnets on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 03:28:22 AM EST

I thought you were brilliant up until that last sentance.

[ Parent ]
Wow. (4.00 / 1) (#71)
by duffbeer703 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 01:53:50 PM EST

You are a real ignorant SOB.

Affirmative action is a means to keep big-city Democrats in office. If you tell someone for their entire life that they need your government programs, you'll know what lever to pull when election time comes around.

It's no coincidence that most minorities vote 95% Democrat, even in local elections.

[ Parent ]

a vast left-wing conspiracy (none / 0) (#237)
by NerdOfSteel on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:27:43 PM EST

This puts me in mind of a little piece I wrote up on my personal blog a few weeks ago: I'm playing with ideas. So bear with me. Both parties, the Democrats and Republicans, win their national, control-of-the-three-branches victories by tiny margins. A shift of ten percentage points in a key demographic and a party could be out of the running for decades. One thing the Democrats have in the past been able to count on is the black vote. They get 90% of it and that doesn't look like it'll change any time soon. But if it did, if that landslide support dropped to say 70%, the Dems would be screwed. The Republicans would maintain their current control of Congress and the Presidency for the foreseeable future. What's a Democrat do to? Here's my conspiracy theory: The Democrats have made Black America dependent on them. The Great Society created a welfare state from which escape is almost and often impossible. Along with it, a belief was manufactured among a significant number of African-Americans that government programs are the only path to success, to working their way out from under the horrible conditions they were placed under during slavery and Jim Crow. Was such government support necessary? For a time, yes. But now, gentle reader, I submit that, far from helping, such government programs do little more than keep much of Black America in the unenviable position in which it finds itself. Affirmative action hurts blacks. All the data supports this. It creates a culture of failure, one where a black child can say, "Why should I work hard and care about education? The government will always lower standards to assure me a position." Or, "Why should I address issues of violence and drug use within my own community? Those are problems caused by chronic oppression. That's what my elected official tells says." Everybody likes handouts. If I have the choice of working for something or getting it for free, chances are I'll take the latter. Democrats have convinced blacks that the only way they can possibly hope to compete with other racial groups is through government handouts. And because of those handouts, Black America continues to lag far behind in economic and educational success. The Democrats have made an art out the politics of blame. And it's what's keeping them in power. For that to stay the case, there must be a perpetual victim. So the Dems do everything they can to keep blacks down while making them think the Dems are doing everything they can to give them a leg up. Do I believe this conspiracy theory? I don't know. But it certainly fits the facts.

[ Parent ]
Notice for example: (none / 0) (#240)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:36:27 PM EST

The Democrats oft oppose the ascendance of any Black person to any greater office than the House.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

more uni's (1.66 / 3) (#190)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:09:29 AM EST

Affirmative action programs are just as guilty of generalizations and prejudice as "white only" laundromats [...]
No they're not. "Whites only" is a massive amount of exclusion (all blacks) which achieves massive amount of de-facto inclusion (for all white) - Affirmitive action is a small amount of inclusion which achieves a small amount of de-facto exclusion.

The difference, I guess, depends on your point of view.

[...] in that they're making a value judgement on an imaginary catagorization of people, and advantaging/disadvantaging members of these catagories.
The categorization of people may be imaginary to you, but not to the categorized.

This artificial diversity is harmful to the intitution--I mean, higher education is generally their goal, right? How are they accomplishing this goal by turning away sucessfull students and replacing them with less successful ones? They're not--they're hindering it.
Fuck me dead. Just make some more damn universities and be done with it.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

It's time to throw out race-based preferences (4.80 / 10) (#39)
by jubal3 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:07:31 AM EST

Race-based preferences were instituted under the idea that they were
A: The only way to get minority representation in many parts of the country where "institutional racism" was a huge part of the culture and
B: To redress "past inequities" like Jim Crow laws, which had prevented minorities from getting equal opportunity in education and jobs under color of law.

At this point however, none of those laws have existed in over a generation. While some minorities are still greatly under-represented, others are not (Asian students college enrollment rates far exceed whites per capita).
The original purpose of affirmative action is, I would say, largely acheived. People in this country are not legallyheld back by virtue of race anynmore.

If the goal is really diversity, I'd actually be all for using some form of affirmative action based on poverty levels. It's simply ridiculous to assume that because a kid is black, he is therefore comes from an oppressed background. Should a middle class or wealthy black kid get preferencce over a kid from appalachia who is dirt poor and whose whole family for generations has been dirt poor, based solely on skin color? If the aim was really diversity, the poor white kid would add a great deal more diversity than the middle class black kid.
Affirmative action in regard to race-based hiring/college admissions was a good idea when implemented. In the south particularly, it was the only way to get any kind of reasonable representation for blacks.

But Jim Crow hasn't been alive in this country for a very long time (over 35 years) and blacks and other minorities have made enormous strides in coming up to par with their white counterparts. What remains cannot be solved by race-based laws. On the contrary, I believe that race-based laws are at this point, creating, rather fixing, racial divides.

The black family unit has disentigrated in this country at rates far beyond that of whites. Divorce, single-parent children, you name it. And that is AFTER affirmative action, etc. I'm not a sociologist and I'm not going to try to solve that problem here. But I will state that I think this has more to do with other issues than institutional racism at this point.
So lets institute *real* diversity and base it on income levels. Target the affirmative action where it really needs to go. To the poor and underprivileged, not based on someone's skin color.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
factually incorrect summary of affirmative action (4.45 / 11) (#43)
by Delirium on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:48:36 AM EST

The effects of the decision on this case, which will not be handed down for several months after the arguments are heard, will have deep and long-lasting effects on the ability of universities to promote and foster campus diversity, and most importantly, the lives and careers of oppressed and disadvantaged minorities wishing to enter selective colleges on an equal footing compared to their richer white counterparts.
Affirmative action is explicitly not a program to help oppressed and disadvantaged minorities vs. their richer white counterparts. Instead, it is a program to give categorical preference to blacks, hispanics, and native americans over anyone who is not black, hispanic, or native american (primarily whites and asians). While this does in some (perhaps even most) cases lead to preferring poor blacks over rich whites, it also leads to many cases similar to the following: The children of a wealthy black businessman or politician attending the best private schools money can buy (say, Colin Powell or Al Sharpton's children) are given preference over the children of poor Vietnamese immigrants solely because of the color of their skin.

That is, plain and simple, racism.

so ... (1.00 / 2) (#194)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:32:47 AM EST

you're arguing that, even though Affirmitive Action is more likely to be a benefit to poor black kids, that we should get rid of it because it might not benefit the poor vietnamese kid when in the same school as a rich black kid?

And I thought this was about lazy white kids.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

huh? (none / 0) (#208)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:46:16 AM EST

What I'm arguing is that affirmative action gives preferences to people solely based on their skin color, which is overt racism. To illustrate this point more clearly, I pointed out the following egregious example of affirmative action: a rich black kid who is very advantaged compared to the general population is given preference by affirmative action over a poor Vietnamese kid who is disadvantaged. The only reason for this preference is that one kid has black skin while the other is ethnically Asian, and affirmative action prefers people with black skin to Asians. My argument is that there is no plausible way to justify this preference.

[ Parent ]
but ... (2.00 / 1) (#255)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:34:54 PM EST

What I'm arguing is that affirmative action gives preferences to people solely based on their skin color, which is overt racism.
What if you could statistically prove that skin colour and wealth (or any other "advantage") correlate inversly?

Forget your ideology, and the fact that statistics is a synonym for not-the-whole-truth; The discrimination is still solely based on their skin colour but the effect of the discrimination may be statistically significant from the minority's point of view.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

some comments (none / 0) (#266)
by Delirium on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:08:18 PM EST

There's certainly correlation between skin color and wealth, but my conjecture is that that's primarily for historical reasons. Even if black and hispanic people are discriminated against more than asian and white people on average, I'm not sure affirmative action is justified. A rich black person may be discriminated against in comparison to a rich white person, but his children are still much better off than the children of a poor person of any race. Thus I think leveling the playing field based on socio-economic considerations is far more important, and race should be used either not at all, or at most as a minor criterion only used to break very close ties. The children of a poor inner-city black person should be assisted, but so should the children of a poor uneducated rural white person, and so should the children of a poor Vietnamese immigrant. All of these children should get preference over the children of a wealthy businessman, whether or not the wealthy businessman happens to be black. As it currently stands, that is not the case -- the rich black person is given preference over the poor Asian and white people, which I find immoral.

A tangental issue to all of this is that I don't think "leveling the playing field" at the employment or college level is really the right approach anyway, except as a balance to still-extant discrimination. I don't think still-extant discrimination is the major problem though currently; the problem is that certain groups historically have a pattern of doing worse economically and educationally. By the time you get to college or employment, it's too late to easily change that. If black children are on average less-qualified than white or asian children to attend college, then simply giving them preference in college admissions is not a good strategy; all this does is lead to blacks having a higher dropout or failure rate in college than whites and asians (which is, in fact, the case currently), which certainly doesn't help anyone. Instead, focus should be put on ensuring that all kids are given equal opportunities earlier so that by the time they're 18 and ready to apply for college, they can be qualified and not need special preferences. So far more needs to be done earlier; my guess as to why it's not focused on as much as affirmative action is that it's much much harder to fix the actual problems rather than bandaging them with racial preferences.

[ Parent ]

when you put it that way ... (none / 0) (#289)
by gdanjo on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:27:04 PM EST

... I agree with you :-) But it required a great deal of explination on your part. Your shorter summary previously didn't convince me because I only saw a strawman.

Now, if we could get all poor black people to read your reasoning, we'd be ok - I'm sure they are reasonable and they, too, would agree. Until then, it simply looks like a gift that we're taking back with no good reason other than white man's religious lust for "equality" as both a "natural right" and "guilt minimiser" - as it suits us.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Where is Affirmative Action for penguins? (4.80 / 5) (#44)
by Tux on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 03:01:00 AM EST

Where is Affirmative Action for penguins such as myself?  Granted, penguins have never been discriminated against by most governments, and we have our own U.N. recognized country in Antarctica, but we have have had our share of problems.

Penguins constantly have to defend themselves against attempted rape and other forms of sexual abuse by hordes of free software users led by such people as Osama Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong-Il, and RMS.  Sometimes they have been successful.  Where is restitution for the peguins of the world who have violated?

I think trolls and goatse are a fresh outlet for news and lively debate, too.
-An AC in response to the idea that slashdot is a fresh outlet for pertinent news and lively debate

Really (4.50 / 2) (#51)
by evilpenguin on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:33:51 AM EST

And I bet if I was black I would have gotten into MIT.  But noooooo...

Racist bastards.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
[ Parent ]

Don't forget (none / 0) (#193)
by aonifer on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:23:14 AM EST

the negative stereotypes in Hollywood.

[ Parent ]
even worse (none / 0) (#249)
by ethereal on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:46:02 PM EST

Some penguins have to give in to the Man and disguise themselves as more "acceptable" birds in order to make it in show biz.

Feathers McGraw, for instance.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

One general note about education (4.42 / 7) (#50)
by pyramid termite on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:56:13 AM EST

It's beyond doubt that inner city school systems are poor compared to suburban ones. It's also beyond doubt that what passes for an education in both is lacking. However, I've noticed many people in this argument blaming the schools and the society for a bad education, as if education was something passively consummed like TV.

This is wrong. YOU are responsible for how much you know, no one else. This is the message that should be sent to young people. Remember that if we pass off the responsibility onto the government, then we run the danger of the government only teaching us what it wants us to know. There's much that could be done to fix the educational system, and I don't defend the disparity between poor and rich schools. But the argument that someone went to a crappy school and got a crappy education because of it doesn't work - if you want to be educated, you will be, no matter what the percieved or actual obstacles may be.

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
Education (none / 0) (#55)
by zakalwe on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:51:26 AM EST

If you want to be educated, you will be, no matter what the percieved or actual obstacles may be.
I think though that this touches on the heart of the problem with poor education. The most fundamental problem is that getting a poor education will usually mean teaching people not to want to be educated. Faced with poorly taught subjects day after day - who wouldn't grow bored, and start to consider the system worthless, and the subjects not worth knowing. The subjects I always did well in were the ones I had greatest enthusiasm for, and its no coincidence that these were also the ones that were best taught - the best teachers are ones that can inspire interest in a subject.

You can't just write off people as not wanting to get an education, rather than due to poor schooling because the two aren't independant. Motivation is also a function of the education you get.

[ Parent ]

It's not the government's job (none / 0) (#221)
by tekue on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:53:00 AM EST

You can't just write off people as not wanting to get an education, rather than due to poor schooling because the two aren't independant. Motivation is also a function of the education you get.
It's not the government's job to motivate you. If anything in that area, government's job is to provide you with an opportunity. Motivation cannot be taught.
--
A society that puts equality ahead of freedom will end up with neither. -Milton Friedman
[ Parent ]
Demotivation can (none / 0) (#226)
by zakalwe on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:27:28 AM EST

Possibly motivation can't be taught, but its trivially easy to demotivate people. I'm just objecting to the notion that its solely the fault the kids who aren't caring enough. Motivation, love of learning, and the desire to better yourselfs aren't magic intrinsic propertys that spontaneously manifest in you because you're such a brilliant person - they're just as much a product of your environment and upbringing as the rest of your personality. Some environments do a worse job of nurturing such virtues than others. Some actively discourage them. Motivation is not independant of education and environment.

[ Parent ]
No, that doesn't work (none / 0) (#88)
by rantweasel on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:08:57 PM EST

It's not a 1:1 match like that.  Sure, your drive and ambition to learn have a lot to do with it, but if you don't have access to the calculus book or the calculus teacher, it's a lot harder to learn calculus.  You can't just blame under-educated kids for all of their problems, just like you can't blame it all on lack of resources or whatnot.  If you take two students, give one all of the resouces they need, and give the other none, it's real easy to figure out who'll be ahead and the end of the day.  And if you take two students with equal resources and unequal drive, you'll find the same disparity.  So stop blaming the whole thing on the students and realize that there are problems that need fixing.

mathias

[ Parent ]

Access to resources (5.00 / 1) (#198)
by Souhait on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:51:30 AM EST

There are libraries with untolds amount of information available in them. Regardless, in my high school there was a hell of a lot of diversity - out of 600 students, the entire football team was either black or Tongan (pacific islanders.) However, there were only about 30 kids that took the high level AP courses, and not a single one was a minority. Blame the schools, blame whoever - the point remains that it will take more than just tossing a kid in school to get him to learn. It's an entire culture issue - parents that stress education and the importance of grades make infinitely more difference than any amount of money. And while there are problems that need fixing, AA is definitely not any sort of solution.

[ Parent ]
You know... (none / 0) (#282)
by baron samedi on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:43:10 PM EST

You have to *apply* to get in to college. Who the hell is arguing that anywhere in this country people are being "thrown" in to college? If a person wants to go to college, can we assume that they have made a commitment to education, for pete's sake? Concerning your point about libraries, yes, you're partly right. However, if a community has a school that sucks, you can bet that if it has a library, it sucks, too. Besides, how many libraries have a chemistry or biology labs, or computer labs with all the latest and greatest? How are you supposed to compete on a level field when your Physics textbook is from 1965? These are real problems. They need to be addressed. I fear if you have your way, people who live in such circumstances will become a permanent underclass. Not exactly my vision of America.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
Personal observations (none / 0) (#99)
by pattern on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:56:31 PM EST

I went to a very economically depressed public school for a few years. Most of the people who dropped out did so because they had to work full time. Their family, to whom they were very close, literally needed the money to survive. They couldn't afford to think about the long-term benefits.

I don't think you appreciate the difficulty of being poor. That said, affirmative action is a pile of crap, and it stinks.



[ Parent ]
Oral Arguments (4.50 / 2) (#52)
by br284 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 06:40:16 AM EST

Just a note, but I'll be working really hard with some other people today to bring the oral arguments to the web. We should have the audio of the argument online as soon as we can do a Real encoding of it, and Findlaw will have MP3's of the argument shortly after. Also, by the end of the day, we should have a time-encoded transcript of the arguments with the audio.

Check the Oyez Project throughout the day for the audio. When we have it, it will be under "Featured Audio" on the frontpage.

-Chris

Gratz Argument online (none / 0) (#89)
by br284 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:25:12 PM EST

Gratz v. Bollinger audio is now online at http://beta.oyez.org/oyez/audio/1540/argument.smil. Note that you need RealPlayer to listen to the stream. Findlaw should be making MP3's of both arguments available soon.

Grutter should be online in a few minutes and I'll post a link when that is up.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

Grutter Argument Online (none / 0) (#95)
by br284 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:40:49 PM EST

http://beta.oyez.org/oyez/audio/1541/argument.smil.

-Chris

[ Parent ]

I believe the term is: reverse discrimination. (4.50 / 10) (#53)
by evilpenguin on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:25:38 AM EST

The term has been thrown about by the anti-AA lobby for a good reason: it's the most succinct way to depict the true nature of Affirmative Action.

Affirmative action is not only racist (implicitly to both the minorities which it is supposed to help and to those who aren't forturnate enough to be in said minority), but it is simply wrong-headed.  Be it college admissions or when applying for a job, to put a metric on a person which does not measure their actual ability defeats the purpose of selective admittance.

Two people of equal intelligence, of equal accomplishment, should indeed be treated as equal.  How can the same people who perpetuate AA claim to be colour-blind when, by it's very nature, the system they promote is inherently racist?

I understand the purpose of AA is to "level the playing field" to make up for "centuries of disadvantage under the cruel hand of racism", etc.  Fine; I'm all for need-based aid.  But a poor white kid should then get the same amount of aid as a poor black kid, if we're truly making up for economic disadvantage.  To say the minority is "double-plus un-advantaged" simply because of his ancestory is wrong.

To adress this article in specific:

  • Yes, that cheerleader is a bit full of herself (but so is your snide, contemptuous cynicism), but does that make her points any less valid?  Do you want to discredit her opinion because she (seemingly) managed to be sucessful in life anyway?  A "point system" for race is plain rediculous -- and then why would I want to go to such a college, if I know that for all the work I do, it still amounts to less than an equal amount of work done by someone else?  This happens every day, hundreds of thousands of times with each new semester, but most aren't this vocal or persistant.
  • You seem to wish to foster diversity for it's own sake -- why?  The goal of diversity, in (this) most ideological sense, is to make those who would otherwise be in a exclusive environment aware of other cultures and respect them with equality.  But we keep coming back to this "more equal" thing, because the minorities are supposed to be greater (not equal) opportunity?  How does this breed respect?  If anything, it breeds quite the opposite -- contempt.  Diversity by simple innundation does not yield respect.
I honestly believe (no matter how naively) that a poor person (not a "poor black" or "poor white" person, but just a poor person) really can compete on the same level as the more privlidged.  It might take more effort to beat the odds, but it's possible.  If AA was a way to alleviate that effort, I would be in favor of it, but it can't -- it's not increasing the ability of those it encompasses, but rather artificially panders.  Don't lower standards, but rather encourage the effort and ability of all to reach them.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
Amen (2.00 / 1) (#105)
by bearclaw on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:11:17 PM EST


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
when I see "reverse discrimination" ... (2.00 / 1) (#179)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:38:24 AM EST

... I put "I want to" in front of it.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

That's because... (none / 0) (#214)
by evilpenguin on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:30:00 AM EST

...you'd rather have a competition of catch phrases than actually debate.  This line of thinking is much well known in modern politics -- if you can't respond to points, fill the air with witty non sequiturs.  Very commendable.
--
# nohup cat /dev/dsp > /dev/hda & killall -9 getty
[ Parent ]
when I see "catch phrases" ... (none / 0) (#253)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:24:50 PM EST

... I think "speed chess." It's a perfectly legitimate form of debate; it just requires different tactics.

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Some discrimination is OK? (none / 0) (#236)
by borful on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:26:11 PM EST

You say:
A "point system" for race is plain rediculous -- and then why would I want to go to such a college, if I know that for all the work I do, it still amounts to less than an equal amount of work done by someone else?

Michigan's point system gives points for lots of things besides race - the county you live in, athletic prowess, etc. You reject points based on race; do you also reject the other parts of the point system? What criteria should they use?

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

Affirmative action vs. integration (4.87 / 8) (#56)
by ssyreeni on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:13:38 AM EST

An earlier poster made an excellent remark on how affirmative action doesn't necessarily lead to integration, but may actually give rise to heavily segregated campuses. I think the point might benefit from elaboration.

Because of my political background, I think the law should be color-blind, without exception. Like a number of earlier posters, I believe AA is basically a well-intentioned but ill-advised policy. Granted, in areas where racial biases are common and AA is sanely executed, it can help equalise minority students' opportunities. However, like most legislative measures, AA is a rigid, unaccommodating sort of thing, and gives rise to unexpected outcomes when we try to apply it universally. Lawsuits like the current one are a particularly salient example.

I think the worst possible outcome of AA is that actual integration never comes about, while the racial bias introduced by AA becomes a reason for further discrimination and hate. In a time when other legal rights are approximately equal, that kind of reaction shouldn't come as a surprise. I think it's quite possible that affirmative action serves as much to propagate racist attitudes as it does to alleviate them.

Now, a totally color-blind law is a two edged sword. It doesn't discourage integration, but it doesn't encourage it, either. It's quite possible for people to have equal rights before the law while at the same time widespread racial discrimination stays the norm, or even expands. Thus those of us who are for color-blindness tend to rely on grassroots changes in people's attitudes and the economic incentive to cooperate with different kinds of people more than legislative intervention. Rather slow-acting poisons, that is. It isn't even a given that leaving race out of public policy will lead to equal opportunities.

But if we assume that racism is deeply rooted enough to prevail thru extended periods of racially neutral public policy, we'll also have to admit that active integration and equalisation will necessarily produce a backlash. It will lead to unrest which could have been avoided. The history of the black rights movement is filled with examples of the principle.

I tend to think that racism cannot be rooted out by legislative fiat. The best such policy can do is promote contact, but as we've seen, people can always negate the benefit by relying on social ostracism and a private, hostile code of conduct. Rather I think racism has to abolished at the level of individual people, with their separate views. Actively trying to override those views will often lead to outcomes that are far worse than, say, self-imposed segregation on-campus. What is needed instead of changes in law is changes in attitudes and manners.

The most contentious way of putting the idea would be that, although imprudent and arguably immoral, discrimination at the level of individual relationships is a legal right. Trying to go against it, whether by affirmative action or by any of the number of other racially motivated interventions most Western societies have in place, will breed unrest and confrontation. In the worst case such interventionism will actually nourish racial biases. From this viewpoint the only real cure to racism lies in simply forgoing the issue of race in politics, and relying on social development and bottom-up evangelism to weed out counterproductive attitudes.



one important point (4.00 / 1) (#84)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 03:59:51 PM EST

Because of my political background, I think the law should be color-blind, without exception...

That's great, I think most agree with you. However, this case is not about a race-based law, it is about the right of a school (and other exclusive bodies such as workplace hiring codes) to promote campus diversity by placing some importance on the ethnic background of its applicants. It's applied whenever they feel not enough minority candidates are represented on campus.

If you were hiring spokesmen for a national-level ad campaign, and 95% of the applicants were white males, you'd probably have to treat some of them unfairly to ensure that other demographics were represented in your work force. That's an extreme case, but in college admissions at selective schools, if a dean wants to promote diversity, I think it's fair to give some priority to qualified applicants of color. It's not like hordes of blacks are keeping whites out, either, it's about making sure that minorities keep a minimum presence for the benefit of campus diversity.

[ Parent ]

A Quota By Any Other Name.. (none / 0) (#104)
by bearclaw on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:06:54 PM EST

That's an extreme case, but in college admissions at selective schools, if a dean wants to promote diversity, I think it's fair to give some priority to qualified applicants of color.
But what if being black is the only qualifying thing? Assuming every other thing between the black and white applicant are the same? That's not fair, especially if the school is a public school, like in this case.

The SCOTUS has shown in the past that they do not like quotas. And as a few justices pointed out today, this smells like a quota. After all, like one justice said, couldn't the University simply lower its standards to let in more minorities? Yes, this implies, that on average, minorities are scoring less on the academic side of the equation. But as some justices pointed out, this *is* the case.


-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
strawman (1.00 / 1) (#111)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:23:58 PM EST

But what if being black is the only qualifying thing?

It isn't. You have to meet stringent academic criteria to be considered. Being black (+20 pts out of 150) gives you the huge and overwhelming advantage equivalent to a few points on the SATs, which have never been demonstrated to be a particularly effective way to predict academic success.

[ Parent ]

So (none / 0) (#167)
by bearclaw on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:40:36 PM EST

Because SATs don't work, we should institute something else that doesn't work?
-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Oh.. (none / 0) (#168)
by bearclaw on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:43:16 PM EST

You never answered my question about lowering overall academic standards. As one of the justices asked, couldn't the state just lower standards to allow in a more diverse student body? After all, isn't having "less smart" people with "more smart" people making the campus diverse?
-- bearclaw
[ Parent ]
Equivalent to SATs? (5.00 / 1) (#269)
by jreilly on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:51:58 AM EST

If I recall correctly, the University of Michigan system awards 12 points to an applicant for a perfect SAT score, while giving 20 points for being black. Now while UM may think SATs aren't a terribly good metric for academic success, I'd like to see them prove that the color of your skin is a better indicator.

Oooh, shiny...
[ Parent ]
Public or private (none / 0) (#113)
by ssyreeni on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:27:05 PM EST

Your argument would work beautifully in the context of a privately funded university. In that case, only the people who actually choose to have dealings with the institution would have to care, and discrimination would become a purely private matter. The wider problem could be taken care of by competition in the educational market. The whole matter would be private, and we would only have a moral case for discrimination/nondiscrimination. That's all squarely in the realm of what I was talking about when I separated private morality from public policy.

The crux of the matter is, U-Mich isn't private by a long shot. That changes the rules considerably. When the university is (at least in part) publicly supported, it becomes an instrument of governmental policy. Whether it discriminates or not isn't solely a thing of individual discretion, but rather a one of active guidance by a political, force-backed instance. Association with the university is no longer a choice, but an enforceable duty. That's also where affirmative action as a concept becomes relevant -- as far as I can tell, AA isn't something which concerns itself with the private economy. If I'm not wrong, AA is an exception to equality before the law granted to states and the federation for a perceived-to-be-beneficial cause. It might bulge into the realm of private economy as far as previous, contradictory legislation goes, but no further. It's a thing primarily about the public economy, like the separation between church and state, but not about the private one.

This is what I'm seeing in the current case, at least. If the university was a private one, and the dispute over discrimination fell under contract law, I can't see how the cheerleader could have been granted a supreme court hearing. Now the dispute is about public counter-discrimation policy versus impartiality, the former of which the state and its intermediaries aren't entitled to promote.



[ Parent ]
Affirmative action only hides the problems (4.84 / 13) (#57)
by Caton on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:14:33 AM EST

Affirmative action is saying, yeah, minority X is underrepresented, so instead of finding out why they didn't have access to the same education as others, instead of fixing the causes of that underrepresentation, let's lower the standards for that minority.

Affirmative action is a silent acceptance of prejudice. It's writing into law that minorities and women are inferior. It's been hindering the social progress of minorities for ages, by being an excuse for not fixing the education system that is actively oppressing those minorities.

Scrapping affirmative action will not fix the deficiencies of the education system. But it will make them impossible to ignore.



---
As long as there's hope...
Make that.. (none / 0) (#59)
by lb008d on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:47:00 AM EST

an excuse for not fixing the education system that is actively oppressing those minorities

...an excuse for not fixing the educational, cultural, economic and political systems that are actively oppressing those minorities...

[ Parent ]

You're right (5.00 / 1) (#61)
by Caton on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:10:57 AM EST

...but I think that once the education system is fixed, those same minorities will be able to fix the cultural, political and economic systems by themselves.

---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Shouldn't think so (none / 0) (#66)
by tetsuwan on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 11:19:38 AM EST

At least in some countries, no matter your education, you will still be at an extreme disadvantage when looking for a job. The education system (for the masses) is quite isolated from the outside world, fixing problems there does not automatically fix problems in the rest of the society.

[ Parent ]
Still... (none / 0) (#67)
by Caton on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 11:28:39 AM EST

You are, I think, comparing apples to oranges. Being an educated member of a less educated minority is not the same thing as being a member of an educated minority.

In a democratic country, equal access to education should be enough. In a non-democratic country, affirmative action would not be an issue.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
The point I'm addressing (none / 0) (#69)
by tetsuwan on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 11:50:33 AM EST

Even if the education system, as far as impersonal interaction (classes, exams, essays) goes, isn't biased (as sociology before the 70's), decisions based on personal interaction can still be unfairly biased and racist.
A man with dark complexion and broken English (just a slight foreign accent may be enough) can be ruled out as "impossible to hire" a soon as he enters the room for a job interview. Heck, they may have interviewed ten people for the position, there's no way you can easily brand the employer as a racist, unless there's explicit laws about this situation (like affirmative action).

This is the case in Sweden, and the job market here is quite racist.

[ Parent ]

question (none / 0) (#181)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:42:12 AM EST

Does a "dumber" black person not learn as much in University as the smarter white person? Or does he/she learn more?

Would a "dumber" black person put in as much effort as the smarter white kid? Or will they sit back and think "shit, this was easy, I'll cruise into any job just be being black"?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

You proved my point (5.00 / 1) (#202)
by Caton on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:24:18 AM EST

You're a perfect product of years of affirmative action. A black person has to be "dumber" in your book. It cannot be holes in previous education, it has to be lack of intelligence. Shame on you.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
you didn't answer my questions ... (none / 0) (#252)
by gdanjo on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:16:48 PM EST

... so I'll answer them for you.

Does a "dumber" black person not learn as much in University as the smarter white person? Or does he/she learn more? Would a "dumber" black person put in as much effort as the smarter white kid? Or will they sit back and think "shit, this was easy, I'll cruise into any job just be being black"?
I'm glad you asked, gdanjo. Well, I beleive that a "dumber" black person (one that has less knowledge than a "smarter" white person, not necessarily less intelligence) will try twice as hard at Uni just to prove themselves. They will appreciate that they got a "helping hand" in the application, then prove that it was not all in vein.

Perhaps we should do a study to see how well "advantaged" minorities are doing compared to "disadvantaged" whites (when they re-applied to another school).

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

That was a question? (none / 0) (#259)
by Caton on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:50:49 PM EST

How much do you think somebody who doesn't know German will learn in a German literature course? Probably not a lot, however hard s/he works. How does someone who was never taught what a limit is handle a topology course? Badly.

The basis for the higher education given in college must have been covered before. When those basis have not been covered, no amount of extra work will help. Which means some of the most talented and intelligent people will drop out, and that's an unacceptable waste.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
waste? (none / 0) (#290)
by gdanjo on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:35:00 PM EST

The most talented will not drop out. The most talented of the "minimum" talented will drop out.

If you're in that range (near the minimum entry requirements) then no matter what you do your entry will be based mainly on luck. Afirmitive Action is designed to make the minorities a little more lucky.

Is that such a great sacrifice? Is the price of talent so great? Are we that low on talent in this world?

Dan ...
"Death - oh! fair and `guiling copesmate Death!
Be not a malais'd beggar; claim this bloody jester!"
-ToT
[ Parent ]

Yes, waste! (none / 0) (#292)
by Caton on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 09:52:37 PM EST

The most talented will not drop out, provided they don't have to work while studying; if they have to, then they will have to choose between sleeping and backfilling holes in their education. And most of the time, sleep will win -- and they will drop out.

Take a look at the Arab world: they're pissing away half of the talent they have. The result of this oppression of women is well know. AA is not as bad as Islam, but it's still pissing away the talent of a significant part of the population.

Real talent is very, very rare. I should know -- I'm one of those who had some talent, but not enough to make a difference in their field of choice. And I still was one of the best. Says a lot.

Wasting talent is an horrible mistake that takes generations to correct.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
Or: (5.00 / 1) (#264)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:56:22 PM EST

They can go on to fail out in greater numbers. Note that Harvard, with the top graduation rate, is famed for massive grade inflation and graduating EVERYONE who goes there, most of them with a "cum laude". I don't know about the other two schools with relatively small differences, however.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

more on the Federalist Society's machinations (3.66 / 3) (#60)
by infinitera on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:05:09 AM EST

Courtesy of the American Prospect.

The left-wing magazine you quote (none / 0) (#140)
by jubal3 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:31:32 PM EST

says:
"Federalist Society publications, strategy sessions and panel discussions attack cases that would place individual rights above property rights, agencies that regulate business, and judges who seek to expand federal civil-rights laws and gender-equality protections."


Now while you might disagree with those positions, they are hardly evil on their face. And by the way, where in the hell do judges get off "expanding federal civil rights laws?"
That's the legislature's job, not that of the judiciary.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
judicial activism? (none / 0) (#153)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:12:45 PM EST

Surely that term isn't new to your ears.

[ Parent ]
I'm very familiar (none / 0) (#161)
by jubal3 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:22:15 PM EST

with it, but it's so off-topic I didn't want to open the can of worms too wide. :))


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
the worms don't go down too well (5.00 / 1) (#166)
by infinitera on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:40:08 PM EST

Too much wriggling. Judicial activism. Heh. You'd think enforcing the law was a crime. But I guess you don't really need your Miranda rights. The purpose of the judiciary is to counteract the repressive nature of the State's other branches. If you'd like to think your congresscritter infallible and the law Holy Writ, you're welcome to do so. Me, I prefer conflict and debate over my country's laws, and that includes their constitutionality - which many a Senator willfully disregards.

[ Parent ]
Your example (none / 0) (#188)
by jubal3 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:05:58 AM EST

is hardly a good one of judicial activism. Pretty clear lines of demarcation exist in the constitution implying a separation of church and state, as well as a volume of writing on that specific subject on the parts of Msrs. Madison, Hamilton, et al.
Interpreting the constitution is one thing. Legislating from the bench is another. But honestly, I don't want to debate the issue on this thread. Good topic for another article though.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
No Official Stance? (4.50 / 8) (#64)
by Dphitz on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:33:20 AM EST

Dubya himself announced his administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court that affirmative action (regarding the Michigan case) was unconstitutional.  That sounds rather official to me.  


God, please save me . . . from your followers

the chicken hawk (1.00 / 1) (#110)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:20:08 PM EST

Who benefitted from being a "legacy" at Yale, which is the most useless and pathetic reason to grant someone entrance to college, has decided to "let the court decide". Well, how noble of him.

[ Parent ]
That's nothing (none / 0) (#245)
by ethereal on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:59:29 PM EST

Ted "Theodore" Olson, the Bush Administration solicitor general (formerly of Bush v. Gore fame) actually presented oral arguments on behalf of the United States on the anti-affirmative action side. He wouldn't be permitted to do that unless that side were the Administration's position. I think the President has very clearly made his position known, no matter what he's heard to say on the topic.

--

Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

By Killing fields, I'm sure you refer to: (3.75 / 4) (#70)
by tetsuwan on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 01:06:10 PM EST

this

Come on, drop the diatribe.

affirmative action is racism (4.16 / 6) (#77)
by juju2112 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:11:47 PM EST

Hiring or accepting a less qualified black candidate over a more qualified white candidate because they are black is racism. No two bones about it.

(reposted as a topical comment. whoops!)

"more qualified" (2.00 / 6) (#109)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:17:42 PM EST

Do you honestly think that a rich white kid that had his parents pay for an SAT cram course is really that much more qualified, that much more deserving, to get into a good school than a black kid who scored about 40 to 60 points lower (which is about what those 20 admissions points are equivalent to)? Are you that confident that GPA and SAT are the ultimate and objective measure of a young person?

[ Parent ]
Read up on the Michigan policy. (5.00 / 2) (#119)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:41:43 PM EST

Difference between a 400 SAT and a 1600 SAT?

12 points.

Difference between an essay written by JEFF K and an "outstanding" essay?

3 points.

http://www.michiganreview.com/adminguide.html

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

they changed it recently (none / 0) (#126)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:46:52 PM EST

The brief cites their policies since 1992, when the SAT and ACT counted for more.

[ Parent ]
Going to mod this zero. (2.00 / 3) (#125)
by FieryTaco on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:46:45 PM EST

Because not all white kids are rich. Most white kids (and calling them white is a bit derogatory, why not call them Caucasian? or Basq, or Romany, or any of numerous other "white" races that it's easier to blend into a single group) are not rich and their parents can't afford to throw money around.

[ Parent ]
scores is scores boss. (none / 0) (#127)
by Hide The Hamster on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:48:36 PM EST




Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

[ Parent ]
A zero score on this comment is shameful (none / 0) (#147)
by jubal3 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:59:23 PM EST

Fierytaco, why don't you try reading the guidelines for zero ratings. It's not for silencing opinions you don't like. The zero rating should be reserved for comments devoid of content.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
you are right. (nt) (none / 0) (#155)
by RJNFC on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:14:46 PM EST



[ Parent ]
worth (none / 0) (#174)
by juju2112 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:15:08 AM EST

Yes, I believe that a high GPA or SAT score means that the student is likely to be more prepared for college than someone with a lower score. No, the scores aren't an absolute measure of a person's worth. But personal worth is irrelevant in this case. This isn't charity -- they want the best people.

The colleges want intelligent students to fill their limited number of spots. They can't know for sure how a person will do in college, but they do want to make the best educated guess that they can. Saying that the scores aren't a perfect indicator doesn't mean it's okay to bring in some other completely irrelevant indicator.

We are effectively forcing them to not choose the most prepared students. We want them to choose, in some cases, based on race instead. That's racism. There's no way around it. We're trying to combat racism with racism. Isn't that sort of defeating the purpose?

[ Parent ]

Er.. (none / 0) (#180)
by juju2112 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:40:40 AM EST

Wait.. I guess in this case the affirmative action isn't legislated? The colleges are just choosing to practice it. Doh!

I guess in that case they may have a right to do what they want with their own institution. But it's still discrimintation based on race.

[ Parent ]

It is a publicly funded institution (none / 0) (#191)
by jubal3 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:14:31 AM EST

rather than a private university. As such, it is subject to the same requirements as a braqnch of the government.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
Okay. (none / 0) (#199)
by juju2112 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:56:04 AM EST

Ahh.. I see. So it IS a requirement? That makes more sense, as it seems like the administration would value smart students more than diversity, and tailor their admission policies accordingly.

[ Parent ]
this is true. (none / 0) (#112)
by Dogun on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:24:53 PM EST

This is true. However, what do you do when you are aware of the fact that your measure of qualification is not all that accurate? Some poor kid who performs well, hailing from a place where people don't generally do so, and from a poor family, may in fact be more of an indication of high potential than someone who comes from a different, less hostile background, like the one I came from. Some of the smartest people I've met didn't score incredibly highly on the SATs; if you want to consider someone's potential, you need to bring in some other factors. I suspect that part of the University of Michigans admission policy revolves around this. I suspect that another part revolves around the goal of roping in an interesting class; people from a variety of countries, religions, backgrounds, with a wealth of interests. The school I wanted to go to originally, UC Berkely (EECS), denied me. I was a little disappointed, but you get over these things. It may have even been the case that I was on the tail end of the admits, and lost my space to a 'less qualified' applicant. But I know better - SAT scores and grades aren't what define an individual. If they were, then colleges would never have you write admission essays.

[ Parent ]
Racism (none / 0) (#235)
by borful on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:19:07 PM EST

Is choosing based on race between two otherwise equally qualified candidates still racism?

Is racism always, under all circumstances, wrong?

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

Applying to only one college is idiotic (4.50 / 10) (#81)
by GGardner on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 02:58:26 PM EST

Jennifer Gratz, one of the plantiffs in this case, spent three months preparing her application to the University of Michigan. She didn't apply to any other schools. Later, she applied to Notre Dame, probably a more difficult school to get into, but only as a lark. She didn't get into either, and is now sueing UM.

The first thing that every high school junior should know is that you always have backup schools, and stretch schools to apply to. Applying to one is just idiotic, and I have no sympathy for her.

No shit (none / 0) (#85)
by electricmonk on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 04:25:15 PM EST

If it hadn't been for my backup school, I wouldn't even be in a college right now. Sometimes, shit happens. I certainly can't understand why someone would gamble with their future like that when it is comparatively easy to submit applications to several schools once you have an essay or two written.

--
"There are only so many ways one can ask [Jon Katz] what it's like to be buried to the balls in a screaming seven-year-old" - Ian
[ Parent ]

Cheerleader: (4.00 / 2) (#93)
by JChen on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:36:14 PM EST

What did you expect?

Let us do as we say.
[ Parent ]
What? (n/t) (none / 0) (#100)
by electricmonk on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:19:52 PM EST


--
"There are only so many ways one can ask [Jon Katz] what it's like to be buried to the balls in a screaming seven-year-old" - Ian
[ Parent ]

Thank You! (none / 0) (#278)
by baron samedi on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:19:17 PM EST

I was wondering when or if someone would point this out.

I don't know much about the guy plaintiff, but this chick takes the cake. I've been tracking this story for a while now, and what a whiner she is.

Here's what you do: apply to one and only one law school. You don't get in. Sue. If this woman was well and truly interested in studying law, she would have applied to more than one law school. But she only applied to UM, and when she didn't get in she cries "Waaahh! No fair! Affirmative action ruined my life!"

Please. She could have gone to law school if she wanted to. If she was shooting for UM, she could have gotten into a lot of schools.

The college I went to had a couple of affirmative action programs. One was targetted at low-income students who lived in the area, and another was for wealthy kids from the northeast who went to prep schools. The second one was informal, but I still think about the low-income, predominantly hispanic students, and how hard they worked, and how much I admired their achievements, and how I loathed the idiot prepsters with the parents with the fat checkbooks who spent all their time smoking herb.

UM will probably have to ditch this points approach and have to implement something more nuanced.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]

Heh (4.60 / 10) (#87)
by trhurler on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:06:51 PM EST

If you think affirmative action programs produce "a level playing field," you need to work with some grads of such programs. Guess what? If you weren't good enough to get in without preferences(and lots of blacks and other minorities do just that,) you probably aren't any good upon getting out either. The result is just MORE resentment, MORE racism, and MORE problems. A person, regardless of skin color, who really wants to succeed doesn't need to cheat to do it, and the sort who wants to cheat shouldn't be encouraged.

Universities love affirmative action, partly because they're run by the people who invented it, but partly because it means federal money for them. However, it is bad for everyone, minority or not, except for the people getting paid to carry it out. Unqualified people bump out qualified ones. You trade having genuinely capable minority students for having lots of minority students, and the result is just more resentment, more racism, and more problems.

Were I an employer, I'd look to hire my legally required minority employees(and there's a sick thing to contemplate,) from overseas, where they might actually have been required to work to the same standards as everyone else their whole lives. Competence is more important to me than political correctness.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

so 20 points for student-athletes... (2.00 / 3) (#106)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:14:02 PM EST

that's okay with you, but not to help insure that minorities that make up a significant part of the state's population are represented? The majority of those student-athletes don't participate in revenue sports like football and basketball, by the way. They are brought in because their talents and experiences add something intangiable, but something of value to the student body.

Were I an employer, I'd look to hire my legally required minority employees(and there's a sick thing to contemplate)...

There is no legal requirement for anything at stake. What is being contested is the right of the university to promote minority admissions, systematically, in order to ensure that the student body is diverse. That diversity is an asset, not a legal requirement.

They could always do it the way Dubya made it into Yale, with a nod and a wink, but instead they thought it would be more fair to use a points system. 20 extra points out of 150 won't get a dumbass into UM, regardless of race, but it could make a student from a poor high school compete more fairly with one from a rich prep school.

[ Parent ]

Why is this so often used (none / 0) (#118)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:36:37 PM EST

Whenever someone says something against affirmative action I see something like:

But what about the points for athletes?
What about the points for legacies?

There are many people who are against these points as well as points for underrepresented minorities. (As for me, I think Bush-style legacies are just fucking wrong. Points for athletes can be alright as a sport is something that a person does and acheives in, but they should be used carefully...)

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Bah (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by trhurler on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:45:49 PM EST

Athletics may be something you compete in and achieve in, but so are a lot of things that are irrelevant to academic performance. Say what you will, but at the end of the day, only two things REALLY matter that justify even paying for the existence of universities - those are research and academic studies. Research is not really relevant to the present discussion, but academic studies are, and admissions guidelines should NOT be favoring people whose supposed qualifications have nothing to do with academics. I don't care if it is race, athletics, "legacies," or whatever. It is bullshit.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
so... (2.00 / 1) (#128)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:48:54 PM EST

When you were in college, you did nothing but attend class and read books in the library? You never learned a single solitary thing from someone you would not have otherwise met, had you not been in college together?

Sounds very boring.

[ Parent ]

Sure I did (5.00 / 3) (#130)
by trhurler on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:59:29 PM EST

As it happens, I learned quite a bit from a white guy:) The thing is though, it doesn't matter what I learned from someone else. Taxpayer dollars were not being spent so I could have a great experience meeting people, or so I could go to parties with people from other backgrounds, or so I could be tutored in calculus by a guy who barely speaks comprehensible English. My and my parents' money certainly wasn't spent for those reasons.

It is all well and good to meet interesting people, but the sole justification for funding undergraduate programs and for paying for them in tuition and fees is academic in nature. Diversity is not worth thousands of dollars. And that's the point: the university's core purpose should not be subverted in the pursuit of secondary goals. Those goals should be met by means which are not contrary to the primary goals.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Heh, no (5.00 / 2) (#120)
by trhurler on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:42:10 PM EST

Admitting students due to athletics is lame too, and should be stopped - but let's be honest - probably the majority of those students are minorities as well, and in reality, this is yet another way of getting more minorities in. Most sports aren't dominated by white guys anymore.

If you think you can run a company of any size(>= 15 people) without consciously making sure to hire some minorities, try it. You'll be run out of business. It may not be on the books, but it is a legal requirement, this lawsuit notwithstanding.

20 points out of 150 may not get a real dumbass in, but consider: the student from the poor high school either is or is not as qualified as the rich preppie. If he is as qualified, then even if he can't compete with the very best applicants, he certainly should get in(hell, I got in on the strength of nothing but moderately good grades and great test scores, and anyone talented can get those, even at a shitty high school - and my school was a lot tougher than UMich too,) and that's all that counts.

Finally, let me point something out: diversity may or may not be a worthwhile goal(nobody has ever really given a substantive reason to believe this, but it is political suicide to suggest otherwise, so nobody has to do so,) but in any case, nobody is clamoring for diversity at traditionally all black schools. Funny, isn't it? And really, even if diversity has benefits(it may well, although I'm not sure what you'd find if you could actually measure it; my experiences in college were mixed, and I'm honest enough to admit it since I don't want to run for elected office,) do those benefits outweigh bringing in the best students you can get? I seriously doubt it; all it takes is one slow bastard in a class, and now even if the instructor leaves that guy hanging, the class will be much worse for everyone else. And after all, people aren't paying big bucks for the dorm experience or the lousy cafeteria food - they're paying for classes.

My gut feeling is that plenty of minorities could qualify without being given preferential treatment, and that everyone would be better off that way. Of course, I routinely hear that my gut feelings are meaningless - but the people who say it fly into a rage when I point out that they have not one iota of data that suggests that their position is anything but a gut feeling. (Graduation rates and so on are irrelevant, as school standards tend to follow the abilities of the student body, both upward and downward. Etc.)

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
you're wrong (1.00 / 1) (#145)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:52:37 PM EST

...It may not be on the books, but it is a legal requirement, this lawsuit notwithstanding.

In most places (virtually everywhere) there are no legal requirements for workplace diversity. And class action suits based on racial discrimination, contrary to what overlawyered.com would have you believe, are incredibly rare. The ones that get a lot of publicity tend to be the most egregious examples of top-down stratification, where the workforce is 60% minority/female but the management (which is promoted from the workforce) is 95% white male. If a company wants to improve its diversity, I don't see why it cannot set hiring guidelines so that this is a major (or high) priority. This court case isn't challenging the enforcement of quotas... It's about allowing a university to make ethnic diversity on campus a priority, just as it might do for funding certain types of major study programs.

My gut feeling is that plenty of minorities could qualify without being given preferential treatment, and that everyone would be better off that way.

Well, the problem is that the objective criteria a university uses to identify a good candidate are easily pumped up if you have the resources to do so. Gifted and talented programs, SAT prep, summer internships, these are all hallmarks of suburban magnet schools.

In the inner city schools like where I went to school, we were lucky if the doors stayed open or the teachers didn't go on strike. The unfortunate fact is that some of my former classmates were incredibly intelligent but not savvy about how one gets into college. You have these kids from the prep schools that are practicing their college entry essays in 9 th grade, and people I knew that were trying to survive a neighborhood ridden with crime. It's not fair to objectively say that one person with a lot of encouragement and support is more qualified or deserving to get into college than someone who is the first in their family to graduate high school, because in the end you're reduced to a number on an admissions sheet. If it's fair to judge someone by their athletic ability, extracurricular activities, and legacy admissions, it's fair to take into account other aspects like their ethnicity.

People pay a lot of money to go to selective colleges for the sum total experience. One small part of it is the classes (don't be a git and suggest otherwise), other parts are the social climate, intellectual sophistication, the networking, family pride, and so forth. You take anyone from one of the better colleges and ask them, candidly and anonymously, if diversity is a good thing. It's not just the administrators that say yes. It's the students.

[ Parent ]

Sure (5.00 / 1) (#151)
by trhurler on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:11:21 PM EST

That's why Fortune 500 companies have compliance officers in their HR departments whose sole job(and there's always more than one of them at any big company) is making sure the company is within X percent of "racial parity" with regard to the general population(X depending on the company, but being a lot closer than you'd think.) That's why they create entire new job classifications mainly just so they can hire less qualified applicants and cherry pick the ones that'll give them the demographics they're supposed to achieve. They spend millions upon millions of dollars just for grins. Riight. Sure, lawsuits may be scarce - because the companies are bending over backwards to MAKE them scarce!

As for magnet schools, I don't know about other places, but here, they're in the inner cities, and white kids like me weren't eligible to go there without paying(whereas the black kids went for free, of course.)

Finally, no, the classes aren't one small part of it. If it weren't for the classes, the whole thing would be laughed at by anyone serious, whereas any other element could be done away with and people would still pay money for it. Nobody pays $30,000 or more(lots more, depending on circumstances,) for social climate, fancy conversation, and so on.

All the "side benefits" are the reasons people give for going to college, just like they tell everyone how nice and funny and smart their girlfriends/boyfriends are when all they care about is how good are they in bed and how good looking are they. They're the socially acceptable excuses in which we disguise our self centered desire for a good career and some partying, which things are greatly facilitated by a college education. Sure, there are naive kids who go off to school genuinely believing otherwise - but they don't STAY naive for long. The few exceptions don't leave. They become professors:)

Sorry if all this realism is upsetting you, but college is not the storybook experience people want to make it out to be. Reality is, it is another rite of passage whose main criteria are the self perpetuation of the associated power structure and the promotion of new people into that structure in support of that perpetuation.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
all this tells me is... (1.00 / 2) (#162)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:29:09 PM EST

That you never attended a selective school of any real caliber. You should ask yourself why, in this world of dollars and sense, there are first-tier private universities whose tuitions are above $30,000 when comparable state schools offer an education at a small fraction of the cost. How do they compete in the market for good students, if the only thing that matters are the classes (which vary only slightly from place to place at then undergraduate level)?

That's why Fortune 500 companies have compliance officers...

They have compliance officers because, without them, it's likely that the typical social prejudices against minorities would likely take their toll in hiring and promoting, leading to lawsuits. Your position seems to be that this terrible burden of equal opportunity enforcement has simply materialized from the aether, as if there had been no problems until these pesky coloreds started getting uppity all of a sudden. Tell me, when you settle down for your nightly viewing of Birth of a Nation, does it help you sleep better to know that even with the present incarnation of Affirmative Action, blacks are still excluded from the middle of the management ranks and upwards, in virtually every sector of the economy?

[ Parent ]

Jesus what a cheapshot (5.00 / 3) (#207)
by jubal3 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:35:33 AM EST

"Tell me, when you settle down for your nightly viewing of Birth of a Nation"

Can't you pro-AA folks manage to defend your point without  calling the opposition kluxers?

This kind of comment firmly cements the opinion among those who disagree with you that you have not reason, but merely emotion behind your arguments.


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
Oh really? (5.00 / 2) (#231)
by trhurler on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:50:36 PM EST

So, does it make you feel all smug and superior to question my academic background and call me a Klan-loving racist pig? If you ever wonder why people ridicule you and don't give a damn what you think, the fact that you substitute this sort of character assassination for having any real arguments in favor of your(emotionally motivated) position is the reason.

Expensive schools exist for the same reason Mercedes exist. In reality, Toyota and Honda build much better cars, but they have no snob appeal. How do they get students? Why do people buy Mercedes? The reasons are the same. Everything else is excuses.
They have compliance officers because, without them, it's likely that the typical social prejudices against minorities would likely take their toll in hiring and promoting, leading to lawsuits.
Leaving out the social commentary, this is what I said. If they didn't have these people, they would get sued into oblivion. Therefore, having them is a legal requirement of doing business. What part of this do you have trouble understanding?
blacks are still excluded from the middle of the management ranks and upwards
So that explains why the HR director here is a black guy, I guess. And certainly why blacks are the fastest growing segment of the middle and upper-middle class. Yeah, it is because they're oppressed! Let me clue you in on the actual mistake of affirmative action. First, the rationale: Black people have been oppressed historically, but can perform equally given a chance(this part, I largely agree with.) Therefore, since they are not performing equally, they must still be oppressed(this part is bullshit plain and simple: black urban culture is far more responsible for black failures than any white man - find a black man who has truly renounced thug life and all the crap that goes with it, and you find a black man on his way up in the world. White trash aren't filling up executive boardrooms either, you know.) So, rather than improve the quality of black candidates for various positions(this takes time, and requires the cooperation of those blacks,) we'll just lower the standards for them, so that we get more of them "passed." The result LOOKS like a fairer society, because there are more black people in various positions than there otherwise would be, but this is only because you willfully ignore the fact that many of them are not as good as other people in their fields!

Affirmative action is essentially a cooking of the books so that they look like what it was decided they ought to. It may cure the symptom in some peoples' eyes, but it makes the root problems WORSE, not better.

--
'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
Don't put words in the guy's mouth (5.00 / 2) (#132)
by jubal3 on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:12:25 PM EST

Bringing up an entirely different issue which trhurler did not mention, nor defend in anyway, is a spurious method of defending your position. He said quite clearly that the goal of "diversity" was questionable in and of itself. How about you answer that point, rather than bring up a wholey un-related issue?


***Never attribute to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence. -HB Owen***
[ Parent ]
Qualified v. Unqualified (none / 0) (#234)
by borful on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:16:33 PM EST

"Unqualified people bump out qualified ones." Where I went to school, I think this was true, but I went to a low-end state school. There was exactly the resentment that you describe.

At a high end prestige (still state) school like the ones in this case, it's not true. All the students are qualified in that they meet the school's minimum standards for admission. However, they have so many more candidates than places that they have to cut the field down by rejecting qualified candidates.

Does the fact that (in this case) they minority candidates being helped are actually qualiified for the university affect your opinion of their points system?

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

They may both be qualified (none / 0) (#239)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:33:10 PM EST

But the system leads to rejection of better qualified students in favor of minimally qualified ones.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Not in this case (none / 0) (#243)
by borful on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:19:05 PM EST

Especially with the law school. They have way more candidates than places. Also, I think you overrate the predictive ability of admissions criteria. Grades are the most predictive, test scores less so, but there is not really a good, reliable indicator of future academic performance. The admissions people don't have measures that are very accurate.

This is important when people discuss "more qualified" vs. "less qualified". The fineness of measure in the discussion is within the margin of error. (This is probably only true at high prestige schools. Where I went, they did admit unqualified minorities, and gave them special (less difficult) classes and free tutoring. Not that I'm bitter.)

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

Not true (none / 0) (#311)
by lorcha on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 06:49:51 PM EST

At a high end prestige (still state) school like the ones in this case, it's not true. All the students are qualified in that they meet the school's minimum standards for admission.
This is just not true. UM has a two-tiered admission system whether they like to admit it or not.

Look at the point system. Being a minority is the same as getting a full grade point advantage. It's the same as getting a perfect SAT. Let's say the minimum for whites, then, is a 3.8 GPA. For blacks, it's a 2.8. How is that not two-tiered? How is an A student not totally different from a B student, especially in today's grade-inflated schools?

Even at this high-end state school, the requirements for admission are totally different based on what skin color you have. I hope the Supreme Court strikes this down once and for all for the racism that it is. Maybe then there can be less money spent on AA-related lawsuits and more money spent on educating all of our children, regardless of skin color.

--
צדק--אין ערבים, אין פיגועים
[ Parent ]

Great article, (3.66 / 3) (#94)
by JChen on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:37:54 PM EST

now where is your opinion? Lots of facts, but very little juice. Better under news or politics.

Let us do as we say.
my opinion (1.00 / 1) (#103)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:02:58 PM EST

I thought I have made it abundantly clear. I'm trying to get people to realize that there is a very real danger of all civil rights law being eroded by these Federalist society nutcases.

More people need to know what is going on in the Federal judiciary. Black, white, chinese, we are all part of this multicolored society. Interesting that the angry white males will soon have overturned decades of work in one presidential term.

[ Parent ]

Just to be clear... (none / 0) (#98)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 05:52:59 PM EST

An examination of the actual scoring system doesn't show much real bias. Sure coming from an under-represented minority (i.e., not black but any minority group) does give you a boost of up to 20 points out of 150, but 110 points comes from academic criteria. I would be suprised if SCOTUS overturned their own precedent on such a weak criteria.

jvcoleman, you need to remember your own hyperbole and narrow-mindedness are creating more arguments here than the actual case at hand...


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


hmm (5.00 / 1) (#138)
by Danse on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:22:40 PM EST

Isn't giving any points based solely on race descriminatory?






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
That's the question before the court. (none / 0) (#154)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:13:09 PM EST

And, again, it hinges a lot on the exact wording of the rule and whether or not the SCOTUS decides the nation has a compelling interest in creating diversity.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
so (none / 0) (#173)
by Danse on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:03:54 AM EST

What it boils down to is whether they think they have a good reason to discriminate or not. I think they're batty.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Shrug. It's the same criteria (none / 0) (#218)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:26:55 AM EST

It's the same standard used to limit gun ownership, commercial speech, and freedom of religion. Your right extends up to the point where they create a "compelling interest" in limiting them.

And, yeah, I know that "compelling interest" is a hell of a vague term but, for one example, how else to you limit things like "We're forming the First Unified Church of LSD Abuse" and so on...


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
yeah (none / 0) (#227)
by Danse on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:24:48 AM EST

Compelling interest is somewhat vague, and I really don't think they've made a good argument that diversity is a compelling interest (the court seems to have accepted that it is a long time ago though). But even if I give them that, I think their argument that AA is the way to achieve diversity is even worse. They're addressing a symptom, not the problem, and they're addressing it in a way that is causing people to be treated unconstitutionally. Out of 150 points, I lose 20 simply because of my skin color or heritage. Any way you cut it, it's descrimination. Two wrongs don't make a right and all that.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
unfair characterization (none / 0) (#303)
by aphrael on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 05:22:14 PM EST

I lose 20 simply because of my skin color or heritage. Any way you cut it, it's descrimination

You don't lose anything. It's a threshold game. There's some number of points you have to get. You get these points for various different things. If you get that number of points, you're in.

How does the fact that some other person gets [x] points for something that you can't possibly qualify for result in you losing points? What is being taken away from you?

[ Parent ]

ahh (none / 0) (#306)
by Danse on Sun Apr 06, 2003 at 05:00:32 AM EST

How does the fact that some other person gets [x] points for something that you can't possibly qualify for result in you losing points?

Ok, let's say it another way. What if I got those points for being white? Everyone would be screaming discrimination then. But somehow it's not discrimination if they get those points for having some other skin color?






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
I think it's equivalent (none / 0) (#313)
by Delirium on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 02:18:16 PM EST

There are some number of students (give or take a percentage) that they admit in a given year, simply because a school can only take so many people. Thus, the threshold is set somewhere so that it takes as many people as they can fit. If everyone else gets points added to their score, the threshold will go up, which is equivalent to keeping it the same and subtracting points from your score.

[ Parent ]
THE KILLING FIELDS? (3.35 / 17) (#101)
by sllort on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 07:21:33 PM EST

I can't believe this story is about to section. Two million dead Cambodians are calling out from the grave, you assholes. They are telling you not to insult them by comparing their mass murder to a challenge to affirmative action and a petty war in the Middle East.

Please, K5, maintain some shred of dignity. Don't condone this PETA-esque attempt to trivialize a Holocaust. I've never read anything online which made me want to vomit this badly.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.

why the 1 (1.00 / 1) (#107)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:14:36 PM EST

I rated you down because you added nothing of value to the discussion. I set the story to be Op-Ed and that is my opinion and my way of saying things. I didn't do anything wrong, but you just did.

[ Parent ]
You did nothing wrong? (5.00 / 5) (#121)
by sllort on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:43:43 PM EST

2 million dead Cambodians disagree. You should have just been done with it and said "the Buchenwald of Iraq"... but maybe you wouldn't have gotten away with it so easily. You make me sick.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]
Do they really? (5.00 / 2) (#222)
by MalcolmCleaton on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:58:39 AM EST

It's pretty hard to reliably get inside the heads of two million dead people, but my guess would be that those Cambodians are probably pretty cross with the people who killed them, and probably don't give a flying fuck who writes what on a website.

Thanks,
Malcolm.

[ Parent ]

I have to agree with sllort (5.00 / 2) (#184)
by cce on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:51:34 AM EST

Though I'm also against the war, I think his objection to your use of the phrase "killing fields" is quite justified. Your "way of saying things" is either ignorant or insensitive to what happened in Cambodia, where approximately 2 million people (30% of the population) died. I've been to Cambodia and seen the rows of skulls, and it's quite appalling.

Moreover, your mention of Iraqi "killing fields" (where, exactly, are these killing fields?) has nothing to do with the article, a digression that adds "nothing of value" to a discussion of affirmative action. You should've recognized that the phrase you chose wasn't appropriate, swallowed your pride, and taken it out in edit.

Lastly, sllort's objections add plenty of "value to the discussion" -- namely, a reminder of what the "killing fields" actually were. Choose your words more carefully next time, and go watch the movie "The Killing Fields" or something.

[ Parent ]

Killing Fields (none / 0) (#213)
by pmc on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:25:42 AM EST

I think his objection is nonsense. "Killing Field", as a phrase, has been about for ages - since about the 12th Century. It comes from the design of castles. Inside the main gate of the castle was what was called the "Sortie Field", where the defenders would form up troops to go and attack the enemy. Occasionally the enemy would breach the main gate first and gain access to the sortie field. To guard against this occurence the sortie field would be surrounded by hundreds of ports for firing at the enemy, and the sortie field would be turned into a killing field.

The phrase generalised to occasions where one side had such overwhelming advantage that the other side were slaughtered, which is roughly what is happening in Iraq at the moment.

[ Parent ]

You're right. (none / 0) (#223)
by sllort on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:59:15 AM EST

Killing field is a generic term, and had he used it, I'd be ok with it.

But the phrase the killing fields has special meaning, just like the phrase work brings freedom and elbow room. In the correct context, it is meant to call up visions of a Holocaust, a mass murder of defenseless people.

And justified or not, I object to jabbing at the Iraq war by labelling it as a Holocaust in an affirmative action article. Not because of my feelings about the war, but because I feel that if K5 is ever to be taken seriously by the world at large, pathetic jabs like that can't be put in the articles we show to the world. Would anyone read Newsweek if they pulled crap like that? More to the point, would anyone even read Salon if they did stuff like that?

I'm just saying that with that article on the frontpage, K5 has no chance of attracting new arrivals. They will show up, read the first paragraph, roll their eyes, and close the window.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

You're Wrong (none / 0) (#232)
by pmc on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:09:06 PM EST

Killing field is a generic term,

Firstly, it is not a generic term. Secondly, it would be grammatically wrong to put "killing field" where he wrote "the killing fields".

Would anyone read Newsweek if they pulled crap like that? More to the point, would anyone even read Salon if they did stuff like that?

Easy way to find out - lets see who uses the phrase "the killing fields" not in connection with Cambodia

And, definitely my favourites
  • Newsweek about Jeffrey Dahmer (The cover story, no less)
  • Salon about the failure of the Camp David peace accords
People are still reading all of these.

[ Parent ]
Post Process, Google ninja (none / 0) (#248)
by sllort on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:13:30 PM EST

First rate publications:

The CIA about Stalin killing field, actually refers to mass murder
The Age about the Sioux killing field
CNN about soccer in Afghanistan killing field
The Observer about Kosovo killing field
Newsweek about Jeffrey Dahmer killing field,   actually refers to mass murder
Salon about the failure of the Camp David peace accords   actually refers to mass murder

Second rate publications:

K5

Ha'aretz Daily about Iraq terrible use, just as bad as K5 (unsurprising)
Houston Chronicle about Basketball reprehensible
San Francisco Chronicle about Oakland urban poverty legitimate colloquial use
The Guardian about Byran Ferry's divorce reprehensible, but considering their editorial standards unsurprising
Newark Star Ledger about Iraq reprehensible

Apolitical (second meaning) use:

Nature about electro-magnetic fields ew, bad pun. not political though
Science News about the extinction of Sabre Tooth Tigers apolitical
Time about poaching apolitical

Thank you though for proving my point.
--
Warning: On Lawn is a documented liar.
[ Parent ]

Thank god. (4.42 / 7) (#108)
by Grand Fromage on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:15:50 PM EST

The day affirmative action is shot down will be a very happy day for equality advocates everywhere.

yeah, real happy (1.00 / 1) (#114)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:28:51 PM EST

Only certain white people would use the term 'equality' to describe a revocation of Affirmative Action. And notice how people living in rich commuter suburbs are the ones whining about how quotas ruin the self-image of those neurotic, self-doubting former thugs from Martin Luther King High who think their kingdom of riches and beauty was all because of white patronage.

[ Parent ]
Only certain minorities too (5.00 / 1) (#116)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:32:48 PM EST

Or else every time I've heard a minority speak against affirmative action they were telling lies.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Uh. (5.00 / 1) (#133)
by Grand Fromage on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:16:04 PM EST

So you think discrimination against whites somehow equals equality?  Can I have some of what you're smoking?

[ Parent ]
uh (5.00 / 1) (#135)
by Danse on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:21:25 PM EST

I don't hear people arguing that. I hear them arguing that giving people "extra points" based on their race, whatever it may be, is wrong. There may be problems regarding educational opportunities for minorities in this country, but AA is not the way to fix them.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
So? (5.00 / 3) (#146)
by Grand Fromage on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:53:43 PM EST

How is giving minorities an advantage based on race not discriminating against whites?  Race should not even be asked for, let alone considered a factor in college admissions.  It should be based on achievement and ability alone.

[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#156)
by Danse on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:14:53 PM EST

I think you just agreed with me.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
So I did. (none / 0) (#160)
by Grand Fromage on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:21:51 PM EST

I took the subject line as a sarcastic jab and didn't bother with little things like comprehension.  Don't mind me.

[ Parent ]
The legal arguments (4.87 / 8) (#115)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:30:39 PM EST

One interesting thing that appeared to me while reading through all these legal filings is that the legal arguments of the defense in this case seem to be based more, if not entirely on, diversity as a compelling interest. Compensation for past or present discrimination seems to enter very little into their argument.

What if "diversity," as colleges use the word, is bullshit?

My life has been improved greatly by my friends. I have friends from all sorts of races - yet my life has not been improved by one of my black friends because he is black, but because he is an interesting person.

I fail to see how exposure to a black or hispanic person somehow automatically makes your education better. Is it, "God damn but after seeing all those black-skinned folk sitting at the lunch table together I am so much more educated! Good thing they're here instead of someone more interesting or intelligent!" (Note here that I do not say that minorities are less intelligent/interesting, but those who are only able to get in with the help of Affirmative Action are replacing someone better "qualified" by whatever non-racial qualifications the college uses. Please do not think that to me qualifications only means SAT scores and grades, as so many rebutt me with this falsehood.)

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."

maybe (4.00 / 3) (#122)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:45:06 PM EST

What if "diversity," as colleges use the word, is bullshit?

You could posit that question about any given system of valuation. But as it stands, universities almost unanimously tend to cherish their diversity and try to increase it whenever possible. That should tell you something. Maybe it's all bullshit, but I'm at a large and diverse university and I wouldn't trade it for an ounce of this faux-moral superiority ("AA = reverse discrimination").

[ Parent ]

reverse descrimination? (5.00 / 3) (#134)
by Danse on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:18:06 PM EST

AA is descrimination. I don't know exactly what "reverse descrimination" would be.






An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
I think that defense makes sense. (5.00 / 3) (#123)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:45:40 PM EST

I'm pretty sure that diversity, as a compelling interest, was part of the reason the SCOTUS upheld similar rules last time.

And it does make sense, freedom of association is important, but if society self-segregates completely, that's the first step to becoming just another bunch of mistrustful tribes squabbling over the same pieces of real-estate. Creating environments where people come into casual contact with people of other races and creeds is the medicine to prevent that.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Ah (4.33 / 3) (#129)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 08:57:41 PM EST

So blacks and hispanics are just incapable of getting into college on their own?

The eradication of self-segregation isn't even proven - if all the black kids live in the Black Kids Dorm or join the Black Kids Fraternity, eat together at the Black Kids Table, join the Black Kids Extracurricular Clubs, and maybe even take the Black Kids Classes, while some of the white and asian kids come to view the black kids as unworthy of attending the same college as them, segregation remains.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I still don't think you understand (3.50 / 2) (#150)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:10:53 PM EST

how the U of M scoring system worked. It doesn't say "you get 20 points for being black" it says "you get as much as 20 points for being a member of an under-represented ethnic group" - in other words, it tends to boost which ever groups are currently in short supply on campus. That might be blacks, one year, and asians the next. It is also, at best, only a 15% bonus out of the entire 140 point scoring system. Hardly an exclusionary rule.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Hmm (4.00 / 1) (#157)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:15:56 PM EST

What about schools where whites are underrepresented (usually because of high percentages of Asians)?

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Which schools are those? (5.00 / 1) (#163)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:31:39 PM EST

Seriously - the only school at question in this suit is U of M. But, I would assert that, yes, if whites were under-represented, then the rule should give them the same boost that is available to other groups.


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
White Underrepresentation (3.66 / 3) (#171)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 11:09:05 PM EST

White people make up around 75% of the country. (This 75% probably is a bit too high because it should contain some people who actually consider themselves hispanic...)

UC Berkeley - 30% (45% counting all foreigners and unknowns as white.)

MIT - 34% (52% counting all foreigners and unknowns as white.)

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I don't think so... (none / 0) (#178)
by pb on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:37:06 AM EST

Whites and Asians generally don't count as under-represented minorities based on admissions, and they definitely don't for that school. But if they had been, then they'd be protected, but someone has to be over-represented, or the math doesn't work out. And if you fixed the percentages on both sides, then it would become a quota, which is illegal. And remember, California is only 46.7% white.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]
So (4.50 / 2) (#186)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:58:44 AM EST

When a dark skinned group is underrepresented compared to the national percentage they need special programs but when a white skinned group experiences the same underrepresentation they do not deserve a similar special program?

At MIT, blacks make up 6% of the student body compared to 12% of people in the USA. Whites make up 34% compared to 75% of people in the USA. Absolutely, whites are underrepresented to an extremely greater degree than blacks. MIT would have to replace 250 non-black students with blacks to attain parity, but they'd have to replace 1710 non-whites with white students to match the white percentage of the country. Relatively, whites are still underrepresented to a slightly greater degree (5%).

Hah, this shit is hilarious. I think I can use this to shut down half the unthoughtful arguments I see in favor of Affirmative Action. Or, maybe I should get MIT to award a bonus to white kids!

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Um... (none / 0) (#189)
by pb on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:08:31 AM EST

Who said anything about a national percentage?

No, if whites constituted an under-represented minority in a given University, they'd be eligible for affirmative action as well. That's why it's there, and still needed--this isn't happening.

You're outlining a quota system. It's ridiculously hard to get into MIT as-is, so I don't think they could easily fill quotas.

However, feel free to try to shut down other people's arguments in favor of Affirmative Action; you might get some good responses.
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

Reply (none / 0) (#192)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:15:30 AM EST

"You're outlining a quota system."

If I am, so are all Affirmative Action programs today - the only difference is that Affirmative Action as it is wants the percentage of Black people and Hispanic people in college to approach the national percentage, while my Affirmative Action + Honkey Points wants the percentage of EVERYONE to approach the national percentage.

"However, feel free to try to shut down other people's arguments in favor of Affirmative Action; you might get some good responses."

Not here, but in real life or other sites where people are less thoughtful and less skilled in debate...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Yup. (none / 0) (#201)
by pb on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:15:41 AM EST

The goal of affirmative action is to let in more under-represented minorities than would otherwise be admitted under fair (race-blind) criteria to better represent those minorities.  That's it; it's not about being fair or unbiased, it's about being unfair in the "right" direction. If you disagree with that principle, you disagree with affirmative action, and vice versa.

For the record, I don't think affirmative action is a very good system... then again, neither are a lot of poor K-12 schools out there...
---
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

MIT is a state school (2.00 / 1) (#279)
by baron samedi on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:23:12 PM EST

So really its student body should reflect the make up of the state of Massachusetts, not the national profile. So re-do the argument in terms of MA state, and see how well it holds up. Not trying to be contentious, but you should compare apples to apples.
"Hands that help are better by far than lips that pray."- Robert G. Ingersoll
[ Parent ]
MIT is not a state school (5.00 / 1) (#280)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:27:45 PM EST

MIT is private. Besides, MA had a greater percentage of whites compared to the whole country.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

How would you select a freshman class? (none / 0) (#233)
by borful on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:11:14 PM EST

"I fail to see how exposure to a black or hispanic person somehow automatically makes your education better."

How much time have you spent considering how a college would like its freshman class to look? If you were selecting the students who would make up the freshman class at a university, what would you look for? Given what you know of university administrators, what do they look for?

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

What to look for (5.00 / 1) (#238)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:29:21 PM EST

If I was doing admissions for a school of liberal arts, sciences, engineering, etc., first I would seek to enroll the most academically and intellectualy qualified students as shown primarily through grades and SAT scores and secondarily through academically oriented extracurricular activities, quality of the essay, and perhaps through any interview. If I was doing admissions for an art school, I would first seek to enroll the students with the best art with academics as a secondary concern, and I would do the same for a music school.

If the school was elite, there would be a greater number of students who are indistinguishably excellent in the above qualifications than seats in the freshman class. Then I would consider how students will add to the non-academic quality and interestingness of the student body, as shown through their essays, activities, interviews, hobbies, and so on.

Now, here is my impression of what most university admissions counselors actually look for. These are in no order since I do not know what they consider the most important.

*Quality of the student body, as above.
*"Diversity," defined as blacks, hispanics and sometimes women (MIT, for example)
*US News and World Report rankings and similar rankings. For example, there are colleges which actually reject their most qualified applicants because this works out to a higher ranking for them.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Like it (none / 0) (#242)
by borful on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:12:20 PM EST

So, you don't really care about rural/suburban/urban or US-raised v. foreign raised or poverty as a negative influence? (The idea that a poor kid with a 3.0 is a better candidate than a rich kid with a 3.0 because the poor kid had a tougher time.)

I like your comment about art and music. Of two otherwise equally qualified candidates for an arts school, would you pick the one with the better current portfolio or the one who shows more promise for future improvement?

And, does the idea of "good now" vs. "more promise for the future" hold up for a more academicly inclined student? It would be very hard to measure...

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

MLK's first draft (3.57 / 14) (#136)
by godix on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:21:43 PM EST

I say to you today, my friends, that in spite of the difficulties and frustrations of the moment, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal, but black men are created 20 points more equal than whites."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slaveowners will be able to apply to the same college but the sons of former slaveowners will get shafted in favor of the sons of former slaves.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Michigan, a wet state, dripping with the heat of injustice and oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of favortism and patronising administrators.

I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged by the color of their skin and allowed into school because if it and no one will care about the content of their character.

When we let favortism ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and hispanic men, hindus and buddhist, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Favored at last! favored at last! thank God Almighty, we are favored at last!"







Yes, I know I've posted this exact thing before. I've read these exact arguements about this exact topic before and didn't see much reason to re-type everything when a cut and paste job of my opinion from last time would do.


"You think we're arrogant, and we think you're French."
- George Herbert Walker B

Moral Action (2.50 / 6) (#137)
by Space on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:21:46 PM EST

Affirmative action is both necessary and moral in a country such as the US. One of the simplist and easiest to understand pro affirmative action arguments is that if society had began upon the basis of equal oppertunity then the racial composition of institutions and society at large would be more or less the same. However as things are today many races are grossly under represented throughout various social institutions so the positions that otherwise belonged to aformentioned minorities are going to a privledged class of people and deepening inequality. Now granted this isnt a water tight argument but it is simple and introduces people to the world outside me, me, me required to properly consider AA. Besides this diversity is needed throughout society in order for inequality to be progressively lessened and proper delivery of services. Firstly in social services minorities representation should reflect the racial composition of the organisations client base. If you were an American Indian forced of your land and into a reservation by white people you may be understandably reluctant to seek help from white people. There needs to be more racial diversity throughout teaching. Authority figures fundamentally alter peoples perceptions of the world and more racial diversity among teachers introduces children to the idea that we live in a racially diverse society. Minority teachers can also better understand the needs and difficulties of minority students and help students realise the system can move with them and not against them. More racial diversity throughout the media causus is also prefered because we live in a "mediated reality", and any racial bias throughout the media will be reflected in how people percieve the world at large and this can in turn fan further descrimination in increasingly overt ways as possible bias becomes more apparent. There are other fields such as medicine and law that I could also go into but I feel as though I have covered enough here.
<recycle your pets>
Totally immoral, you mean (3.66 / 3) (#159)
by Caton on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:18:02 PM EST

Affirmative action has allowed to mask the problems in the education system that are the real discrimination and oppression of minorities. Affirmative action in universities has allowed crappy colleges and high schools to keep screwing blacks, latinos and native americans.

"Racial diversity" through affirmative action means having some token members of minorities propped up while screwing the rest. If you find it's "moral", then you have a problem.

I could understand affirmative action as an interim measure, while the whole education system is fixed. But as it stands now, it is the most racist and oppressive piece of legislation I heard of.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
eroding equality (4.00 / 2) (#204)
by Space on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:01:01 AM EST

Do you have an alternative that encourages racial diversity throughout key professions and encourages social participation? The only alternative is to get rid of affirmative action and let racism and inequality exponentially rise after a period of so much progress. Don't worry though the US penal system has an insatiable thirst for downtrodden minorities and is only too happy to accept more convicts. It's economical too, prisons in the US are run by profit driven enterprises that have lobbiests on capitol hill they are going to tenure out prison labour to buisiness soon too, perhaps even tobbaco plantations. The over represented black prison population will feel right at home.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
economics, not race (none / 0) (#230)
by Mudlock on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:21:10 PM EST

All the pro-affirmative action arguments seem to boil down to one thing: some races are economically underprivleged, so they should be helped. So... why not give help to all who are economically underprivleged, regardless of race? Wouldn't that solve the same problem, but be blind to race?

I'm a male WASP, but a poor one (mom & dad make about $17K/yr). When I was trying to find a way to pay for college, I saw a lot of scholarships for women and racial minorities, but not many for me. Thankfully, the school I ended up going to had an excellent need-based financial aid program.
--
But everybody wants a rock to wind a piece of string around.
[ Parent ]

tripartite poverty (none / 0) (#260)
by Space on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:15:05 PM EST

To consider poverty in strictly economic terms is wrong because people can be economically poor but culturally and socially rich. Cultural and social dimensions play just as large a role If not more in determining peoples life chances. Giving people money is fine but the major problem encountered throughout the modern welfare state is people need cultural and social resources to advance and this money you give them can be squandered with no apparent benefit if those resources are lacking. Being a white man in a white mans world is an enormous cultural resource that many people neglect to think about and having positive role models that you can relate to is also extremely important. Many inner city black children are poor in all dimensions because their parents are working poor, they are black and embody black culture and the only positive role models they can relate to are wealthy criminals such as drug dealers and pimps. AA addresses the problem from both the top and the bottom with the eventual goal being a multicultural and sexually diverse world that doesn't unfairly favour white men over minorities.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
"Cultural and social riches" ... (none / 0) (#275)
by ChuckVA on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 12:17:20 PM EST

... don't put food on the table, nor do they put books in the hands of children.

[ Parent ]
No (none / 0) (#293)
by Space on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 11:09:22 PM EST

They give you a better chance of securing a job, advancing in a occupation and help you make wiser decisions about your future they also help you avoid pitfals like drug abuse and thriftless spending. Watch how fast trailer trash who win a stake in the lottery lose their money and you will have a decent idea of what it means to be economically rich but socially and culturally poor.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Re: cultural riches (none / 0) (#299)
by jcholewa on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 11:00:21 PM EST

> They give you a better chance of securing a
> job, advancing in a occupation and help you
> make wiser decisions about your future they
> also help you avoid pitfals like drug abuse
> and thriftless spending. Watch how fast trailer
> trash who win a stake in the lottery lose their
> money and you will have a decent idea of what
> it means to be economically rich but socially
> and culturally poor.

If it helps, I'm a "white" person who sees himself as being both economically and socially/culturally poor.  I save most of the money I get, and I try to spend money only on items that are on sale.  But this hasn't helped me at all in securing a job, advancing in an occupation or any similar goals.

I am an outwardly friendly person, but I have no social life.  I am at a healthy weight and work out at reasonable frequency, I keep my personal hygiene at an acceptable level, and I try to listen to others and strive to be interested in their interests.  But no person, man or woman, black, white, green, polka-dotted or swirly-skinned, has so much as given me a quick smooch on the cheek.  I am a social outcast.

My employers value my work (I tried to quit a couple years back, and they were not hesitant at all in convincing me to forestall that intended action), but I haven't gotten a raise in three years.  Heck, I'm a self-taught, skilled labourer in computer-oriented disciplines, and I can't get any more money than friends that I have who are freakin' file clerks (no offense to file clerks).  The few (two) friends I have live in a totally different cultural universe.  They're hopelessly obsessed pro wrestling fans, and I can't quite see what they see in it, but I try my best to keep up to date with the relevant news, or I may as well just stop hanging out with them.  Having two friends who seem to only speak Phoenecian is better than sitting at home, alone, for the rest of eternity.

Being fiscally responsible does not equate to being rich culturally.  I wish it did.  I'm going to be thirty years old in only a few years, and I'd like to learn what I'm missing socially before I die.

    -JC

[ Parent ]

I understand (none / 0) (#301)
by Space on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 10:36:12 AM EST

I read your response with interest and considered it carefully. I can understand how being socially and culturally dislocated must make you feel alienated from mainstream society. This is symptom of inequality also felt by the people who I discussed earlier that need to extricate themselves from their culture to advance in "white society". However to say that white people cannot suffer from social and cultural dislocation is incorrect because "white culture", it's self is divided by classism, ageism, spatial inequality and asthetic superficiality. Some of these things are perhaps lacking deserving attention and have serious social ramifications in contemporary society. However these barriers to social inclusion are not as widespread or as difficult to overcome as racial inequality that frequently incorporates many of the aformentioned barriers as well. Overcoming these barriers is an extraordinary life challenge that all people must face with varying difficulty and success based on their life chances which includes the social support networks people have access to and relative level of inequality experienced. Having discussed the macro social dynamics of inequality, it's the micro dynamics that create vicious cycles of progressive inequality experienced by minority communities and underclasses in white society. The principal micro social dynamic is self-esteem. Unless disadvantaged persons of any social background have adequate self-esteem they cannot overcome the barriers that shape their disadvantaged social position. Some minority communities have addressed this well and provide networks for supportive social and cultural enrichment. However the white underclass often finds it doesn't have suitable networks such as these and people have to turn to themselves that can lead to personal growth or mental illness. This is why mental health is such a pressing concern today. On a personal note I would like to thank you for sharing your own personal experience with me because I found it very interesting from the social science perspective that I am trained in.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Wrong question (none / 0) (#256)
by Caton on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:42:44 PM EST

Do you have an alternative that encourages racial diversity throughout key professions and encourages social participation?
You are assuming racial diversity must be encouraged. Why? As long as no minority is oppressed and everybody has equal opportunities, I'm happy. If it means Pygmies will be underrepresented in professional basketball, well, I can live with it.

I think the key is identifying what the underlying problem is, and then fixing that problem instead of adjusting the consequences of the problem. Children from poor families do not have equal chances because the families cannot pay for extra tutoring? Great, that's the problem, provide extra tutoring for free to those children. Those whose families live in crappy, crime-ridden environments suffer from the constant fear that the presence of crime implies? Clean up the mess and get rid of the criminals. And so on. Then let those children grow up. You'll notice they're as intelligent, hard-working, moral etc. as anybody else.

Any kind of 'affirmative action' is based on the hidden assumption that 'those people' are inferior and need 'special help', and the result is that oppressed minorities never get the kind of help they really need. Feely-goody programs are just another oppression tool.



---
As long as there's hope...
[ Parent ]
honourary stupid white men (none / 0) (#262)
by Space on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:44:49 PM EST

Your proposal makes splendid sense make minorities more economically dependent and under the thumb of whitey, get 0 tollerance law enforcement programs to increase the over represented minorites throughout prison population cut unnecessary "feel goody" social programs jeeze I think you should join the republican party then you can force you arbitrary ethnocentric views on the entire populace! Lets assume that your plan does work, the only type of minorities that will succeed in your system are those who abandon their minority identity and culture and become some souless coloured on the outside and white on the inside person like condeleza rice or collin powell, honarary stupid white men as Michael Moor dubbed them. Have you noticed that the only women who succeed in politics are men at heart such as Margret Thacher or as they dubbed her the iron lady. Did you know these types of people suffer high degrees of mental illness and isolation? Its because they have lost their social identity they arent fully accepted by whites because of their appearance and how they express themselves and they arent accepted by their minority community because they are culturally alien. The bottom line is that the only way we can change a white mans world to a multicultural and sexually diverse world is through AA because the system will always favour it's own unless you force it otherwise.
<recycle your pets>
[ Parent ]
Ah, yes (none / 0) (#263)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:53:04 PM EST

If a Black person is unsuccessful, it is because he is opressed. If a Black person is successful, it is because he is an Uncle Tom House Nigga.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Money is overrated (4.80 / 5) (#139)
by stephensells on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:26:32 PM EST

I hear so many times that the problem is that inner city schools don't have enough money and that is why they have low test scores. BS. I went to a very cheap private school because the school system around here is so crappy. Our school had about half of the money per student as the local public school and still churned out students with average SAT scores of 250 pts (and everyone could go, no "smartness" exams to get in). The first time I walked into the public school in my area I was amazed how nice it was; it was easy to see all the money they received. People fail to see it is the mindset/culture of the students that makes the difference. Many students don't stress the importance of driving yourself to get a good education. Most of the tend to be in minorities, but there are many in all races. Money is crap when it comes to education.

Quite right, it isn't money (4.33 / 3) (#142)
by godix on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:36:16 PM EST

It's the fact that you can and will get kicked out of a private school for things that would, at best, get you an in school suspension at public schools. In my HS pretty much the only way to get expelled was if you A) quit showing up entirely or B) got arrested and jailed for more than a weekend or two. And people wonder why teachers spend so much time being babysitters instead of teachers.....


"You think we're arrogant, and we think you're French."
- George Herbert Walker B
[
Parent ]
Uh, so? (5.00 / 1) (#148)
by Bartab on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:01:35 PM EST

Private schools only keep students that want to learn, or at least do not actively avoid learning.

Simple business decision, and the right one to make.

--
It is wrong to judge people on the basis of skin color or gender; therefore affirmative action shall be implemented: universities and employers should give preference to people based on skin color and gender.
[ Parent ]

Sorry (none / 0) (#152)
by godix on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:12:36 PM EST

I should have realized straying away from the superficial problems of schooling and looking at one of the root causes for why public schools suck wouldn't have gone over well. I knew I should have just stuck with looking at what to do with all the idiots coming out of public schools instead of trying to figure out WHY idiots are coming out of public schools. Apperently at least one of those couldn't follow the conversation.


"You think we're arrogant, and we think you're French."
- George Herbert Walker B
[
Parent ]
And so the private schools (none / 0) (#175)
by michaelp on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:17:31 AM EST

reject the bad students and choose the good ones.

So of course private school scores are higher, always will be so long as America continues to support the idea of universal education.


"Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed."

[ Parent ]
correction (none / 0) (#143)
by stephensells on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 09:39:38 PM EST

that would be SAT scores of 250pts higher . yes.. 250 pts, that would have not been worth the money of private school

[ Parent ]
partially true (2.00 / 1) (#169)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:45:57 PM EST

People fail to see it is the mindset/culture of the students that makes the difference.

Sure, you have a bunch of college admissions-savvy prep school kids, who agonize over the "right" classes to take in order to ensure acceptance at wherever mom and pop say will be best for them. Then you have inner city kids, that have no history of higher education in their families, who may be just as smart or smarter than their prep school counterparts. Universities don't want a bunch of suck-ups on campus. They want real people, and if giving a few points on the side can help keep their student body more interesting, the alumni and administrators both tend to favor Affirmative Action as a way of doing it.

[ Parent ]

partly what i said (none / 0) (#247)
by stephensells on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:58:32 PM EST

You named the fact that the inner city kids "have no history of higher education in their families". This is true, and that is what i meant when i included the word "culture". The idea of excelling academically and getting a higher education is not stressed or is norm in their culture. Its not always the student's fault, and I never said it was

[ Parent ]
Money and public education (4.00 / 2) (#182)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:44:13 AM EST

I both agree and disagree with your opinion. The abilities and drive of an individual student are indeed far more important than funding in determining future success. However, determined students who don't have access to appropriate materials to assist them will not do as well as similarly-determined students with many resources available.

Consider a parallel - affluent child A vs. economically depressed child D.

Assume both A and D have similar levels of aptitude in a particular area -- say, chemistry. Child A has access to a fully-equipped chem lab and a teacher with a doctorate. Child D, however, has a few surplus chem sets and a teacher who is certified for general science at the Baccalaurate level.

At the introductory level, the education will be similar with enough hard work by child D. However, if child A works just as hard, s/he will be able to progress much more quickly simply because of the resources available.

So, funding may be over-emphasized, but properly-managed increases in funding will tend to raise the level of available education in public schools.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

what tripe (4.25 / 8) (#149)
by dh003i on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:08:21 PM EST

It's real simple. For a public school, the only criteria for admitance should be academic and social merit. If you're a private school, you can have whatever ass-backward standards of admittance you want. Giving people an advantage in admissions just because of the color of their skin is as stupid and predjudiced as giving them an advantage for the color of their eyes. You want to help out economically disadvantaged students, fine, give them scholarships. But don't let them in when there are other people who are more worthy and likely to succeed, based on academic record and social record.

Social Security is a pyramid scam.

social merit? (1.00 / 2) (#165)
by jvcoleman on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:39:54 PM EST

Like being the son of the local supermarket owner or the daughter of the guy that has all the car dealerships? That sounds like pretty good criteria for university admission to me.

[ Parent ]
Wrong definition of "Social" (none / 0) (#176)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:33:14 AM EST

The term "social merit" in this context usually refers to things like community activism. If someone is socially conscious (say, by organizing a program to feed the local hungry), that is considered "social merit" and will help along many a college (or job) application.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

One problem with that... (1.00 / 1) (#205)
by The Rizz on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:18:41 AM EST

The major problem with this "social merit" idea is that it favors the rich.

Odds are, a "program to feed the local hungry" will be organized by someone of upper middle class (or richer) background.
The kid whose mother is a crack addict, so he needs to spend all his time working at Burger King to get money for food, isn't very likely to start up a lot of these types of programs.
Neither is the teenaged single mother who can barely keep up with work, school and the baby.

Race-based affirmitive action has to go, yes - but replacing it with "social activism ratings" only works if everyone going to the school comes from similar backgrounds (i.e. ones where they have disposable time on their hands).

--The Rizz

"During the last four centuries, Europe has exported most of its religious crackpots to America. Now we face the result." --Holger Bruns

[ Parent ]

Again, too black-and-white (none / 0) (#244)
by RadiantMatrix on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:15:34 PM EST

While a program to feed the hungry is likely to come from one better off, it isn't necessarily so. Besides, that's only one easy example.

A kid who is below poverty level and still manages to work his/her ass off to meet the academic requirements also has "social merit" -- that kind of work ethic and positive attitude is a benefit to society.

----------
I don't like spam - Parent ]

Amazing... (4.12 / 8) (#164)
by Alekzander on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:33:31 PM EST

after all the years of slavery and treating other races horribly that we still DON'T GET THE POINT. True racial equality means not having to look at someones skin color and saying, oh they need help into college. This kind of behavior does not help anyone at all, it just makes racism grow more prevalent. Let every race get into college on their merit, not by what color skin they were born with.

As I see it... (3.66 / 3) (#170)
by bhearsum on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 10:48:27 PM EST

It's unfair either way. With affirmative action, some minorities than need the help can get it. But also it creates a double standard for non-minorities. If there's a quota, or any other advantage for the minoritys, that means that a less qualified minority can take the place of a more qualified majority.

BUT. If you take it away, it makes it very easy for discrimination to take place against the minorities.

This is a lose-lose situation until people can see past the colour of someone's skin.

Off-topic, but (4.20 / 5) (#172)
by Sheepdot on Tue Apr 01, 2003 at 11:23:30 PM EST

While filling out applications for various jobs in my area, I was surprised to find that listed EOEs (Equal Opportunity Employers) were the only ones asking me for my race. If you're really an EOE, why ask for "race/ethnicity"? I guess the practical application of AA and EOE makes literally no sense.

Origin question (5.00 / 1) (#219)
by katie on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:48:23 AM EST

You're supposed to be asked it AFTER they hire you. Then it's to monitor their equal ops policy.

The one here is neat. There's a "Chinese" but no "Korean". I bet the Pakistani descended people are well pleased at ticking "Indian", but their only other option is "White". There's a "Black Caribbean" but no "White Caribbean". I'm in "White" along with any Inuits, French, Americans or for that matter, Native Americans. There is no "other" category or write in.

While it asks, very politically, "Do you consider yourself disabled?"[2][1], there's no "Other" option for gender, and no question at all for sexuality which kind of makes a mockery of the idea that we're after monitoring minority recruitment over ALL minorities...

[1] My answer to this was no on this one and yes on the security version: I don't consider myself disabled because I'm hoping it's going to get better, but on the other hand, if there's a fire I want them to come help me down the stairs...

[2] There is a legal definition which revolves around being eligable for a benefit. Which has a ridiculously subjective applications process which is notorious for suddenly deciding someone is no longer disabled after years of having the same thing wrong with them and they have to appeal to get it back again.


[ Parent ]

Voluntary Applicant Statistical Data (none / 0) (#246)
by otherones on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:33:31 PM EST

For an employer to claim that they are an EOE they must document their applicant pools and hires via a Voluntary Applicant Statistical Data Form and provide the government with yearly reports on this data. These forms ask you your race however are Voluntary to fill out. These forms are not to be shared with the hiring department or those in charge of the hire. You are not required to provide your race until you are hired.

[ Parent ]
EOE == aggressively recruiting minorities (5.00 / 1) (#298)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:35:54 PM EST

And they need to collect the data so they can show how wonderfully diverse they are.


--
Note that the depiction of the president as a deranged or Nazi paranoid is coming mostly from people who constantly tell us how passionately they
[ Parent ]

Subjective enough? (4.45 / 11) (#185)
by ph317 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:54:15 AM EST


I find your article very biased and manipulative.  The court case is about affirmative action only, yet you try to extend this into an assault on all the progress in civil rights of the past century.

I firmly believe in civil rights.  I'm not a racist.  I fully believe in equal op.  However, I'm staunchly against any form of affirmitive action.  There are lots of people in this same camp, it is a very valid position to hold.  We don't seek to undo the rest of the work of the civil rights movement, and we don't seek to suppress anyone - we simply believe that continuing to try to weight the scales to forcibly balance out past mistakes is a mistake in itself.


obviously, (2.00 / 2) (#197)
by mayor on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:43:14 AM EST

You oppose Affirmative Actions for philosophical reasons. In other cases, like the war in Iraq, you (perhaps) support the war for practical reasons, but not for philosophica reasons (i.g. love for war itself).

There you have it. Depending on the case tha is in front us, we shall claim idiological reasons, but when it suits us the other way, we shall claim that the end justifies the means. That is perfect!

The real reason usualy what is your benefits; and once that is done, we can go back and find the reasons.

[ Parent ]

All motives are both practical and philosophical (4.50 / 2) (#212)
by zakalwe on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:35:44 AM EST

You can say the same thing about many anti-war pro-AA people - they oppose the war for philosophical reasons, but support AA for practical reasons (Racism now makes up for it in the past.) You can't accuse one side and then ignore others doing exactly the same thing. In any case, the situation is more complicated. Most people define their goals / ideals as 'philosophical.'. The actions that they take to achieve such things may affect many of their goals, possibly in comflicting ways.

Personally, for instance, I would love it if Sadaam Hussein, and every other third world dictator was removed from power. In some cases, I'd even consider the resulting good worth bending other philosophical objections, such as assassination, maybe even killing innocents if the result is demonstratably better.

However, I'm opposed to the war for practical reasons because while it may achieve the above goal, the cost will be far more than any gains. I tend to doubt it will improve Iraq's situation at all in the long term, and the cost in lives, increased hatreds and new grievances will be very high.

I also oppose Affirmitive Action for primarily the philosophical reason that it is wrong to favour or opress someone purely for the colour of their skin. The greater good that this bending of principles is meant to accomplish, namely increased understanding through greater contact of minorities, seems as deluded as the pro-war arguments that claim war on Iraq will stop terrorism. All it does is breed resentment (and hence increases racism) among whites, and legitimises racism by supporting it through institutions. Like the war, the cost is too high, and the benefits are dubious.

[ Parent ]

The real discrimination in admission (2.40 / 5) (#195)
by Lulu of the Lotus-Eaters on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:36:51 AM EST

All the misguided folks with enormous white-priviledge who go on about "race blind" admission need to step back and look at the reality.

Here's an article that details just how much MORE preference WHITES receive in admission to UMich (or most any school):

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=15223

Let's do the numbers:

6 points - Underrepresented Michigan county
  --> I.e. the UP, which is overwhelmingly white
4 points - "Legacy" (parents, step-parents)
  --> i.e. a parent admitted when there was prevalent
       de facto descrimination against non-whites
1 point - Other (grandparents, siblings, spouses)
  --> i.e. a grandparent admitted when there was DE JURE
       discrimination against non-whites
5 points - National
  --> This includes AP tests and courses which are    
      generally not offered in MI's mostly-black schools

Yeah (5.00 / 1) (#196)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 01:43:09 AM EST

If you're a white person who is a 3rd generation Umich student AND attend a nationally famous high school AND live in the right part of Michigan you've managed to reduce the difference to four points.

You should mail UMich and see if anyone has actually received all of those 16 points you describe.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

I'm a student at Australia's QUT (4.00 / 4) (#200)
by synik on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:06:00 AM EST

My university has dozens of programs to help aboriginals and women.

It's quite silly, I have an aboriginal friend and a female friend both attending the same university. Neither of them come from disadvantaged backgrounds, yet they are both eligable for an easier entry to the university, as well as any number of multi thousand dollar scholarships.

How is this fair?

What should be done is each case checked on a individual basis. They could replace that "are you aboriginal" checkbox with "do require help due to an underprivileged background?"

---
The human race has suffered for centuries and is still suffering from the mental disorder known as religion, and atheism is the only physician that will be able to effect a permanent cure. -- Joseph Lewis

Berkley Affirmitive Action Bake Sale (4.57 / 7) (#203)
by n8f8 on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:39:22 AM EST

I think this demonstation did the best job of puttling anti-Afirmitive Action argumentsd in layman terms:

For the same chocolate chip cookie, whites were being charged $1.50, Asians $1.25, Latinos (Hispanics not from Mexico) $1.00, Chicanos (Hispanics from Mexico) 75 cents, American Indians 50 cents, and blacks 25 cents.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,79811,00.html

Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

$3.00 for Penguins!!!!! (none / 0) (#206)
by Tux on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 03:26:57 AM EST

I saw one of those bake sales when I was in college with the same prices listed.  Since I am a penguin, they charged me $3.00!!!!  They must have been free software users.  I bought my cookies somewhere else where I didn't get discriminated against for being a penguin.

I think trolls and goatse are a fresh outlet for news and lively debate, too.
-An AC in response to the idea that slashdot is a fresh outlet for pertinent news and lively debate
[ Parent ]

Race-based vs. athletic preference (none / 0) (#209)
by cce on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 04:44:28 AM EST

As the CNN article mentioned, applicants can get 20 points just for being an athlete, and 10 points for being from an "underrepresented Michigan county."  And what about legacy?  Why doesn't Gratz blame these other kinds of preferences, but rather she focuses on race?

IANAL, but that never stops anyone on the internet (none / 0) (#270)
by kerinsky on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 08:41:26 AM EST

Well without reading any of the case documents I would say it's probably because several laws and the constitution specifically mention, and prohibit, discrimination based on race and a handful of other categories such as sex, age and religion.

You don't have any enumerated legal right not to be discriminated against just because you don't come from a specific county in Michigan.  You would probably have to come up with some novel arguement for your case and as such it would be a much harder case to bring and win.  I would also guess that a case on such arguements would be less likely to be heard by the Supreme Court.

If the athletic or legacy bonus points can be shown to give a systematic skew against one of the protected catagories then there would be precedence for filing suit.  For instance if mintority A can't get the grandparent legacy bonus because 40 years ago the school was segregated the courts might step in.  The probable solution would be to drop all grandparent legacy bonus points, but they might instead grant minority A apllicants an equivilent number of points instead.

-=-
Aconclusionissimplytheplacewhereyougottiredofthinking.
[ Parent ]

Affirmative action is racism (4.83 / 6) (#210)
by Quila on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 05:18:35 AM EST

As long as our government is not absolutely colorblind, there will always be racism. How are we supposed to tell our children not to judge people by their race, but by the person within, when our government and its institutions are still judging people by their race?

of course it is (5.00 / 2) (#216)
by werner on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:14:59 AM EST

Affirmative action is institutionalized discrimination. If anything is designed to incite resentment, affirmative action is it.

Companies are forced to employ people because of factors irrelevant to the job, which inevitably leads to cases where better people lose out.

Minorities and women should be employed because they are good, not because they are minorities or women.

[ Parent ]

Diversity (4.66 / 3) (#211)
by olethros on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:11:26 AM EST

The school sites 'diversity' as the reason for admitting minorities more easily than non-minorities. I think that it has nothing to do with it, whatsoever. If there exists a 'disadvantaged' group of people, that because of their social status and history had not been able to achieve academic success then their social status and history should not be taken into account when deciding whether they should be accepted or not.

The only thing that a disadvantaged status would entitle you to would be perhaps to financial aid.. otherwise everyone should be accepted based on academic prowess only. As an example, consider a poor kid that had never had schooling in his life until he reached 18. Let's suppose it belongs to 'disadvantaged race'. Should he enter university without having been schooled? No. He could, however, be offerred to the opportunity for schooling...

The thing is that the problem does not suddenly appear at the university level. It is something that should be tackled at an early age. All kids should have equal rights during their primary and secondary education - as long as that is achieved, there will be no problems with 'minority groups' being accepted to universities or not. The race-basd demographic composition at the primary, secondary end higher education levels should be the similar to the composition at the overall population level. Focusing on the 'University' and 'Employnment' level is wrong, because it ignores the fact that the problem begins much earlier.

Another thing I have to mention is that even for groups of people that suffer from no social disadvantages, there are marked differences in their occupations during their early 20s. A simple example are the two sexual groups: male and female. Males and females have the same probability to have been raised in a disadvantaged environment. However there are marked differences in what they do in their 20s... this could be because of peer-group pressure and mentality - more women enter university - but almost none seek an engineering degree. This is *not* a proper analogy, but it does demonstrate that people from different groups, even though not disadvantaged in any measurable sense, might exhibit different behaviour simply because of different preferences - these preferences might be determined by the opinions of others in the same group.

So, my opinion is that some groups are underrepresented in universities because:

1) They had received unequal opportunities during their early education.

2) Peers in their group influenced them away from an academic career and towards other things.

In both of those cases, Affirmative Action would not have any effect.

PS. In fact, Affirmative Action has completely failed so far to get more women into engineering.... for example at my work, we've been advised by the equal opportunities bureau that we need to have more women in order to satisfy some government criteria for equal opportunities at work. However, the problem is that almost no women apply for a position here..
-- Homepage| Music
I miss my rubber keyboard.

This piece is written in a highly biased manner (4.33 / 9) (#215)
by The glass is half full on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:07:16 AM EST

The lead into this story sets the obvious bias of the author. How about some facts. Under the current situation colleges are forced to enroll poorly qualified students and make sure that they graduate regardless of their performance. The "quota" laws can be written in a bizarre manner too. This may have changed recently, but not too many years ago in California, Asians with better academic achievement were denied entry to the University of California over whites. Why? The law was written to limit enrollment to representative population numbers. The "liberals" felt that minorities would never acheive on their own. So much for hard work, huh? Schools should let in the best and brightest in regardless of race or gender. In the job market and when seeking other professionals do you want somebody who slid through school and got passed to keep the numbers up? My doctor is white - at least "he" had to achieve his diploma. All non-white / no-males autmatically have the stigma of being given a hand-out and free ride. Is that fair to those who work hard? The current system causes more racism and ill feeings then is solves. Perhaps you argue that the inner city schools do a poor job and hence these people are shut out. Fix the schools - stop dumbing down the universities! Actually fix the families... You say college costs too much. It does and college costs are proportional to how much Federal and State aid is doled out. Tuition has nothing to do with the cost of an education. It is a big scam. You need a degree to get a job - so pay up. I am a part-time college prof. so I know more that I should about all this.

This wasn't intended as a persuasive peice? (none / 0) (#250)
by Francis on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:28:11 PM EST

I agree that the author has an overt agenda, but I assumed that this was written as a persuasive argument rather than an expository essay. At any rate, I was not persuaded. I agree with your post entirely...


_ _ _ _ _ _ _

Insults are the first and last arguments of fools. -- Unknown
[ Parent ]

Persuasive? (none / 0) (#251)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 06:39:13 PM EST

If this was intended as persuasive, I'd hate to see how he writes when he wants to piss people off.

Of course, ranting seems to be how people all stripes try to "persuade" each other these days...


--
Note that the depiction of the president as a deranged or Nazi paranoid is coming mostly from people who constantly tell us how passionately they
[ Parent ]

Yes, perhaps I was too generous... (n/t) (none / 0) (#257)
by Francis on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:42:55 PM EST



[ Parent ]
In a similar vein, (4.33 / 6) (#217)
by werner on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:19:47 AM EST

a friend of mine took a year-long business course at Liverpool University. There were two courses run simultaneously - one for women only and one for men and women. As he observed, the second course also stipulated a 50/50 mix, so there were 3 times as many places on offer to women as men.

How is this fair?

Funny, funny (2.33 / 3) (#220)
by psychologist on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 09:21:15 AM EST

When there is no racism at all in America, then affirmative action should be dropped. In other words, when there is a black president.

I thought that was already decided? (none / 0) (#228)
by porkchop_d_clown on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 11:27:40 AM EST

Chris Rock is our next president!


--
You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him go off the high dive.


[ Parent ]
Nah, George Clinton (none / 0) (#286)
by epepke on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 05:39:08 PM EST

The real Clinton. Let's paint the white house black.


The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett


[ Parent ]
Why don't more people just lie about it? (4.00 / 4) (#229)
by waxmop on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 12:14:57 PM EST

I was in a bad mood one day when I was 17 and I filled in the bubble for "native american" on a college application on a whim and mailed it off. The school was a tiny, overpriced liberal arts school that I wasn't interested in.

A few months later, I got accepted to the school and I got offered a scholarship that covered everything. The scholarship wasn't aimed at ethnic minorities; just people with good grades and SAT scores. It was a better deal than I was offered anywhere else so I went to the school for a few semesters until I got bored of being stuck in a small town.

When I transferred away, I got copies of transcripts, etc, and I noticed this school actually listed my ethnicity as "native american". It was only at this point that I wondered if my scholarship was partially influenced by my ethnicity.
--
We are a monoculture of horsecock. Liar

Let's design a freshman class (3.75 / 4) (#241)
by borful on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 02:04:27 PM EST

If you were in charge of admissions for a very prestigious university, what would you want your freshman class to look like?

I suppose the first thing you'll need to decide is the mission of your university. What are you aiming to provide for those students? Do you want a broad or narrow focus? What sort of campus atmosphere do you want? What will be your academic focus?

Let's look at some examples. Schools like Caltech and MIT have a very tightly focused freshman class. They want people who get good grades, good test scores, and will work hard. They will blast information at those students and some will learn a lot. Some will fail. So be it. The opposite of that approach would be a community college. They'll take anybody with a high school diploma and you can not flunk out. A school like Harvard looks mainly to its reputation. The Ivy League wants all kinds of students - arts, sciences, humanities; locals and non-locals; citizens and foreign students.

Given that different universities have different goals, it seems clear that different universities will have different admissions policies. The administration of the school designs the policies based on their experience in the field and the results of previous years freshman class. For a university with complex goals, admissions is not a simple process.

So, if it were up to you, what would you want in the freshman class? Assume that the university is prestigious and has many more applicants than places in the freshman class. There are so many applicants that, based on previous years experience, you know that even after you reject all the people whose grades and test scores indicate that they will not make it at your university, you will still have many more applicants than places. How will you allocate these qualified applicants into the limited freshman class?

I'd do it this way: First, assign spots to all the people you have to take: friends and family of alumnai - the insiders. Then, take the special needs of the university into account: the athletes, the musicians, all the people who have won special scholarships into a program within the university. Then, pick the kids of the rich and famous. We can hit them up for donations.

OK, this first round gets all the "special" cases out of the way; this should end up being less than ten percent of the freshman class. Next, I'd fill about the class to about 60% based on academic merit: grades, test scores, and the essay. (I'd assign the academic merit like this: 50% grades, 30% test scores, 20% essay.) I'd assign the next 20% on a combination of academic merit and outside activities to get the kids who are spending time outside school doing interesting things. Finally, I'd look at the last 20% as a way to balance out the class by filling in "interesting" people.

This is where I would put "culture" . . . almost as a proxy for race, but not quite. With all the mixing, the idea of "race" is fading. Tiger Woods, for example, could qualify as white, black, asian, and pacific islander. What I'd be interested in as an admissions officer is not so much what race categories an applicant qualifies for as what that person's background can bring to the student body. If my freshman class is short on rural poor, I'd mix some in the last 20%. If we're short in kids from the inner city, I'll work them in. I'd work to get a good number of people who were not raised in the United States into my freshman class. I want all these different people in hopes that students thrown together in dorms, classes, and extra-curricular activities can learn from one another.

My memories from college are not limited to what I learned in the classroom. I learned more about people from the other students than from the classwork. I think a school with different types of people would be a better school than one with a monoculture.

What sort of freshman class would you like?

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.

Look like? (none / 0) (#254)
by godix on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:25:52 PM EST

If you were in charge of admissions for a very prestigious university, what would you want your freshman class to look like?

Roughly humanoid. If I were in charge of an institution who's entire point in existing is mentally, what does their looks matter?
I suppose the first thing you'll need to decide is the mission of your university.

The fact this question even has to be asked says alot about our universities. The mission of a university should be education. There's a special name for ones that don't believe education is the primary purpose, it's called daycare.
I learned more about people from the other students than from the classwork.

Were you at the university to learn about people or to learn about some specific field? I hate to tell you, but if it was to learn about people you got ripped off. You can learn just as much working at a sales job and you get paid for it as well!
What sort of freshman class would you like?

The ones most dedicated and capable of understanding the advanced subjects universities are supposed to teach. Anything else is just a circle jerk, and a rather expensive one at that.


"You think we're arrogant, and we think you're French."
- George Herbert Walker B
[
Parent ]
Mission (none / 0) (#258)
by borful on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 07:48:22 PM EST

Well, although I agree with you that the primary mission of the university should be to educate the students who are paying the tuition, that it often not what the university thinks its mission is. They often think their mission is to increase the sum of human knowledge. In professor terms: their research is more important than teaching the students. Professorial status is measured not by the learning of the students but by the publication of the professor's words.

University administrators may well think that the mission includes more than the classwork. They bring things like sports, art, music, debates, and visiting speakers onto the campus. There is more to a university education than coursework; if they did not believe that, they could issue diplomas based only on tests. Send Harvard a check for $100,000 and pass the test and you don't even have to show up. This is not what university administrators want for their mission.

But even within the mission, you still have not answered the question. You tried "The ones most dedicated and capable of understanding the advanced subjects universities are supposed to teach." but that's incomplete. I specified an elite institution that has many more qualified applicants than places in the freshman class. Every one of the students under consideration is fully "capable of understanding the advanced subjects". Within that group, what criteria do you use? Test scores and prior grades are predictive of college success, but it is not a very strong correlation. 3.9GPA/1700SAT vs. 3.8GPA/1650SAT does not tell you much about future success. It does give you an arbitrary line to discriminate on, but that line is no more or less arbitrary than Michigan's point system.

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

Why do we need Affirmative Action? (5.00 / 6) (#261)
by FlightSimGuy on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 08:19:40 PM EST

I found it curious why anyone in this day and age would think that such things as Affirmative Action are a good idea, so I went on a search for pro arguments; absolutely all of those that I found are entirely baseless, and I can't think of any good ones myself. Would anyone care to provide any?

In the meantime, here are the arguments are found, and my reason for why they're baseless.

  • Minorities live in poor areas, and therefore attend bad public schools. - A great many whites and others are poor. Also, I believe many states have a system where the top 10% of every school gets guaranteed admission to a public university. Isn't that sufficient to take care of the problem by ensuring that the best of the school get the opportunity, regardless of how bad the school is? I know not every state supports that, so shouldn't we be promoting that policy instead of this? I'm sure that the students play at least some part in this by choosing not to study. After all, no matter which school you attend, you're going to be learning the very same PreCalculous, and most students will still find it boring. Why should those who dealt with it and learned the material anyways be rejected in favor of those who chose not to attend class?
  • Minorities are poor, and therefore somehow do worse in the classroom and on tests. - I've heard a great many people try to connect those two points, and it just doesn't make sense to me. I won't even go into this, since I have the perfect counter argument: Many of the asians/chinese/etc in this country are recent immigrants (therefore just as poor as most blacks), and yet consistently score higher on standardized tests and SATs than even whites. Clearly, economic status and ability to learn are only vaguely connected, at most.
  • It's part of the retribution for slavery. - Bullshit. I thought that in our society, each of us is responsible for our own actions; not those of our parents, friends, or ancestors. Today's blacks have not been enslaved, so I don't see how they would be entitled to anything because of past events.
  • But the universities need diversity! - People in general are diverse, even those of the same race.. Why should we be specifically assisting some races above others? Moreover, why exactly do we need this diversity? A university, just like a school, is primarily a place to learn. Sure, you learn from other students just as much as you do from instructors, but I can't think of anything specific that minorities in particular will be able to teach me.
  • "The danger was underscored in a report Monday by the Century Foundation think tank, which found that the enrollment of blacks and Hispanics at selective colleges would plunge from a current 12% to 4% if admissions were based solely on test scores and grades." - Given the above arguments, I found this hilarious. So they chose not to study in school. Whose fault is that, exactly? Mine? Considering that said minorities account for over 10% of the general population, it's curious how they would only compose 4% of the student body. Sure it's curious, but no reason to artificially raise this number.
Now that that's out of the way, let me tell you a little about myself. I came to this country 10 years ago with two suitcases full of belongings and no money whatsoever. With only one working parent, my family was were able to save up enough money for me to attend a college/university of my choice. While living in a small apartment, I worked hard in school, and will (hopefully) succeed by myself. Now, why should another student who lived a similar life, but chose not to work hard in school be entitled to money and placement above myself?

Here's an argument you missed (4.66 / 3) (#285)
by borful on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 04:24:48 PM EST

Education begets education. Educated parents tend to make sure their children get a good education. Among some cultural groups (I have issues with using "race". Discussions seem to be more about behaviors associated with a cultural group. The genetics of appearance do not seem to have much to do with it.) education is not given much importance. However, there is a correlation between having a college degree and financial success in life. Since kids from cultures that don't stress education don't know what they're missing, university administrators who do know better will help the kids make the right choice.

The real problem I have with AA plans is that they use "race" as a proxy for culture. If Colin Powell's kid applied to Michigan, I'd say no extra points are deserved. If some poor inner city white kid - with the ghetto anti-education values - applied, I'd say points would be deserved.

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

Good Point, But... (5.00 / 1) (#287)
by FlightSimGuy on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 06:12:48 PM EST

An excellent point and your right, I did miss that one. However, college is a bit to late to start fighting this; even if, upon being accepted, these kids somehow have a divine inspiration and learn the value of education (which is unlikely; I can see them flunking right back out), it's a bit too late to start learning. For example, you're not going to learn Calculous very well if you never learned basic math.

This education-phobia is a problem that has to be dealt with, but I don't see how college is the right time to begin dealing with it. After all, they've been getting free, guaranteed education throughout school and haven't taken advantage of it. What's going to change in college?

[ Parent ]

Remember - elite schools in this case (3.00 / 1) (#288)
by borful on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 07:11:28 PM EST

A lot of people have posted that AA puts unqualified minorities in the places of qualified whites. (and asians) In the case of the elite schools that have many more candidates than places, they are eliminating all the unqualified candidates and only considering among the qualified. The kid who makes a 3.5GPA in an inner city school is going to do OK in school, if he can get in. At the elite schools, the GPA cutoff is sometimes higher than 3.9. It's nuts.

And, the university administrators would argue, the kids who can make those kinds of grades in a culture that actively opposes school are exactly the kids who know the value of an education. It's just tougher for them to get one. However, when they do get their education, they'll get better jobs and make sure their kids get a good education. The vicious cycle is replaced by a virtuous cycle.

Here's my question: How much money is spend on the AA lawsuits? If you took that money and did something for those kids back in high school and junior high, would that not be better? Cut the AA and put the money into educating the kids before college. Of course, that's not going to work because the lawsuit money is private and the schools are funded publicly. Ah well.

-borful
Money is how people with no talent keep score.
[ Parent ]

Missing the point (4.50 / 2) (#291)
by sacrelicious on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 08:45:55 PM EST

However, college is a bit to late to start fighting this; even if, upon being accepted, these kids somehow have a divine inspiration and learn the value of education (which is unlikely; I can see them flunking right back out), it's a bit too late to start learning. For example, you're not going to learn Calculous very well if you never learned basic math.

Obviously. However, this is a numbers game. There are those from poor cultures that are going to have these core skills and the desire to learn. These people need the "leg up" to make it clear that education is an important value to the next generation. Those who don't have the basics or the inclination are unfortunate results of a poor general education system, but are not the beneficiaries of AA.

AA is not about instant change. No societal institution can really be.

[ Parent ]

Point of view of a black man (none / 0) (#309)
by Quila on Mon Apr 07, 2003 at 08:19:11 AM EST

I was watching a Chris Rock skit a while ago, and he portrayed this cultural problem very well. I'm going from memory, but was something along the lines of:

Black man #1: "Look, look, I just got my master's degree!"
Black man #2: "Yeah, but can you kick MY ass?"

A society's comedy always provides a great view into its truths.

He also said something very important: there are "black people" and there are "niggers" (former being skin color only, the latter cultural) and that black people don't like "niggers." Actually it was something like "A black man working three jobs to support his family HATES the nigger on welfare!"

BTW, my personal knowledge of blacks is somewhat skewed. I never met a black person until I joined the Army, and there education is stressed and indeed necessary if you want to advance. I haven't met too many of man #2 above.


[ Parent ]

NBA to Be Diversified (4.85 / 7) (#265)
by FlightSimGuy on Wed Apr 02, 2003 at 10:13:20 PM EST

In the spirit of things, the NBA has announced that it will follow through with a similar program for diversification of it's players. "There have been too many black players. That's bad for diversity." Said an NBA spokesperson. To combat this problem, they have announced that the score for white applicants on team tryouts will be increased by 30%. "There has been a major problem with society," said the spokesperson. "Parents of white children often encourage education over sports, meaning that these kids will leave high school without ever learning how to play well." This means that all sorts of opportunities in professional sports are now closed off to these kids. "Hopefully this new program will allow these kids to compete with their black peers, who have gained an advantage by spending every second of their childhood practicing." The NBA has informed us that because almost 90% of the U.S. population is white, this tryout handicap will be increased until a proportional 90% of all basketball teams is also white. "We only want to ensure equal opportunity despite actual ability to play, and encourage diversity on the courts," comments the spokesperson.

AA will continue until affected whites fight back (3.50 / 2) (#271)
by cryon on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 09:38:38 AM EST

AA began as a way of improving the lot of blacks. It was meant to appease the blacks who rioted in the cities and destroyed the property of upper income whites. It also threatened the stability and the business climate of the urban centers that provided much of the income for higher income whites. So AA helps both minorities and higher income whites. However, AA sacrifices some income from some lower income whites (primarily those who are young and just starting out, and those who have yet to make it to the upper income stata (which once accomplished shields whites from the effect of AA). No politician who runs on a platform of ending AA will succeed. Why? What is the motivation for upper income whites to end AA? None! So if a candidate runs on a strong anti-AA platform, he will be beaten down by an opponent who is well-financed by the monied white interests. Why would they want to beat the anti-AA candidate? Because if AA is repealed, the blacks and mexicans will riot and the richer whites will lose their investments. AA will only end when the affected whites begin destroying property and taking lives, i.e., begin adopting the tactics that the urban blacks adopted decades ago, and which won them AA. Timothy McVeigh is the only one who has come close to doing anything like adopting these tactics. Flame on.....
HTGS75OBEY21IRTYG54564ACCEPT64AUTHORITY41V KKJWQKHD23CONSUME78GJHGYTMNQYRTY74SLEEP38H TYTR32CONFORM12GNIYIPWG64VOTER4APATHY42JLQ TYFGB64MONEY3IS4YOUR7GOD62MGTSB21CONFORM34 SDF53MARRY6AND2REPRODUCE534TYWHJZKJ34OBEY6

AA Racism (none / 0) (#272)
by JonesBoy on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 10:48:12 AM EST

I couldn't find any details, but I remember a story I saw on TV about white students receiving AA preference and aid into primarily black schools in the south.   The students were meeting resistance from AA supporters, who were claiming that these students were just taking money away from more needy undepriviliged students.

Does anyone else remember seeing this, or know which schools were involved?   I think a racial prejiduce within the system would be a good indication of injustice.
Speeding never killed anyone. Stopping did.

I actually go to U of M (none / 0) (#276)
by agentkhaki on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 01:59:55 PM EST

These are just some radom things I want to get out there. First of all, with regards to 'legacy' points - they are very few. If I remember correctly, something like 5 out of the 100+ required to get in. Strangely enough, BAMN (stands for 'defend affirmative action By All Means Nesessary' - no, I don't really see how you can ignore the first four words for the acronym either) had created posters at one time or another condemnig the practice of legacy points because of the high percentage of U of M alumi who are/were white. Bullshit, really. Second of all - diversity. Trust me when I say this: my experience with diversity has had a lot more to do with Asian cultures than anyone else. I'm not sure whether asians get any sort of minority bonus, but there are a) certainly quite a few more of them here and b) I seem to end up interacting with them on a far more regular basis, though I'm in the School of Art and don't consider myself a racist. I guess the point I'm trying to make is that while AA might increase diversity, it does nothing to ensure that black and white students will actually learn about each other, and react to one another's culture, and whatnot. The fact of the matter is that, for the most part, blacks maintain social groups with other blacks, whites with whites, asians with asians, and so on. (It's too 'racist' for me to come right out and say it, but I personally feel that blacks stick to their own social groups far more than any of the other cultural backgrounds mentioned). Though, blacks are just that - blacks. The term 'african-american' is pretty much outdated, since, after a few generations, you're not really an African anymore - just as you're not an Irishman or a Welshman or whatnot - you're an American. As such, culture isn't really caried as much as by, say, a first generation immigrant or someone who is actually from another country simply here to study. Finally, the University of Michigan might well have to spent their own money to defend this case, but remember that we're the most expensive public university in the nation. In other words, without financial aid, out of state tuition is $30,000+ per year, and $17,000+ in-state. Combine that with the fact that there are over 20,000 students here in various stages of their education, and that's a lot of cash. Plus we are a public university - the state gives us a budget as well. Plus, we have a lot of rich alumni who donate a lot of money to the school. Trust me, they're not exactly hurting for cash - though the current budget cuts put us '50 million' over budget for next year (for some reason, bad economy equals pay raises here at U of M... I don't get that either). Furthermore, they're actually getting the added bonus of having a land-mark case that can be taught at our 'oh-so-wonderful' law school by the people directly involved with the case. Trust me, that has worth as well. That's all for now. I'd post more, but... well, that's kind of long already. And I have to run. Class, and such.
404 - Signature not found
With paragraphs :o) (none / 0) (#277)
by agentkhaki on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 02:01:24 PM EST

These are just some radom things I want to get out there.

First of all, with regards to 'legacy' points - they are very few. If I remember correctly, something like 5 out of the 100+ required to get in. Strangely enough, BAMN (stands for 'defend affirmative action By All Means Nesessary' - no, I don't really see how you can ignore the first four words for the acronym either) had created posters at one time or another condemnig the practice of legacy points because of the high percentage of U of M alumi who are/were white. Bullshit, really.

Second of all - diversity. Trust me when I say this: my experience with diversity has had a lot more to do with Asian cultures than anyone else. I'm not sure whether asians get any sort of minority bonus, but there are a) certainly quite a few more of them here and b) I seem to end up interacting with them on a far more regular basis, though I'm in the School of Art and don't consider myself a racist.

I guess the point I'm trying to make is that while AA might increase diversity, it does nothing to ensure that black and white students will actually learn about each other, and react to one another's culture, and whatnot. The fact of the matter is that, for the most part, blacks maintain social groups with other blacks, whites with whites, asians with asians, and so on. (It's too 'racist' for me to come right out and say it, but I personally feel that blacks stick to their own social groups far more than any of the other cultural backgrounds mentioned). Though, blacks are just that - blacks. The term 'african-american' is pretty much outdated, since, after a few generations, you're not really an African anymore - just as you're not an Irishman or a Welshman or whatnot - you're an American. As such, culture isn't really caried as much as by, say, a first generation immigrant or someone who is actually from another country simply here to study.

Finally, the University of Michigan might well have to spent their own money to defend this case, but remember that we're the most expensive public university in the nation. In other words, without financial aid, out of state tuition is $30,000+ per year, and $17,000+ in-state. Combine that with the fact that there are over 20,000 students here in various stages of their education, and that's a lot of cash. Plus we are a public university - the state gives us a budget as well. Plus, we have a lot of rich alumni who donate a lot of money to the school. Trust me, they're not exactly hurting for cash - though the current budget cuts put us '50 million' over budget for next year (for some reason, bad economy equals pay raises here at U of M... I don't get that either). Furthermore, they're actually getting the added bonus of having a land-mark case that can be taught at our 'oh-so-wonderful' law school by the people directly involved with the case. Trust me, that has worth as well.

That's all for now. I'd post more, but... well, that's kind of long already. And I have to run. Class, and such.
404 - Signature not found
[ Parent ]

Asian (none / 0) (#283)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:05:29 PM EST

UMich does not give diversity points to Asians. Very few if any colleges do.

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Why there are so many asians: (none / 0) (#294)
by lpret on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:32:04 AM EST

I'll tell you why. I'm an American who has lived 12 years in Asia, mostly Philippines but 4 years in Japan. Asians are smart. They will work as hard as possible to achieve any goal they have. I have never met (in general) a more results-based society than the Asian one, and this is shown in their diligence in studying and perfecting what they do.

A recent study showed that Asians are the best at math (in high school), then Europe, and then the United States. They do what it takes. However, I would say that there is more of a history of blacks in the United States and the percieved role of not being as smart. I don't subscribe to that theory, but there are those who do.

What I would like to see is race completely taken out of the equation. What does it matter? I think high school should be the time at which minorities should be given as much help as possible to help them fulfill their goals. If it's to play basketball for UM, then help them play hoops. If it's for them to go into Engineering, then give them the foundation for that.


A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in. - Greek proverb
[ Parent ]

It has also been asserted (none / 0) (#297)
by porkchop_d_clown on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 12:32:29 PM EST

It has also been asserted, by William Raspberry and others (IIRC) that there is a cultural disdain for education among American Blacks which is why their test scores are lower even when adjusted for income.

I have no idea how you would go about testing such a hypothesis, though, and even less idea how you could fix it, if it were true. It's not like the average American White has all that much respect for education, either.


--
Note that the depiction of the president as a deranged or Nazi paranoid is coming mostly from people who constantly tell us how passionately they
[ Parent ]

I think it's certainly plausible (none / 0) (#312)
by Delirium on Thu Apr 17, 2003 at 02:16:56 PM EST

Disdain for education seems pretty well correlated to poverty. It's true among whites too -- subcultures with notorious disdain for education, such as the stereotypical "white trash," are also notoriously poor. And, conversely, blacks in subcultures with a focus on education, such as Jamaican and Nigerian immigrants, are typically relatively well-off.

[ Parent ]
Experience at University of Michigan (4.71 / 7) (#284)
by cypherpunks on Thu Apr 03, 2003 at 03:08:35 PM EST

    Background:
  • Recent graduate (within last 5 years)
  • Engineering Student
  • Middle class and attended mostly white suburban public high school
  • Worked in Detroit during summers w/ a diverse group of people (mostly of assorted Asian descent)

    Experiences:
  • Labelled racist for being white
  • Accused of assuming minorities only got in because of their ethnicity
  • Got along well with Indians, Arabs, Jews
  • Had little open interaction with Blacks and Hispanics
  • Often taunted or degraded by foreign-born students
Note: The first two experiences would happen without me opening my mouth. People would just assume I was racist because of I'm white. Attempts to convince people otherwise were met with disbelieve and derision. And sadly, a few friends who entered with very open minds towards people left with closed minds, because of the treatment they consistently received from certain groups of students.

There is no real discussion of affirmative action in the general populace at UM. There is no real discussion of much of anything. There is a lot of shouting and threats and ignorance and hatred. But there is no real effort to move beyond that state of mind.

The U's atmosphere is badly poisoned. If you've seen "PCU", you know what life is like on campus. The worst thing is that there never seems to be any interest in recruiting the best and brightest of each ethnicity to attend, just providing a certain desirable mix.

I've changed my mind (5.00 / 2) (#295)
by Quila on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 08:40:21 AM EST

I now think I like affirmative action and other perks and handouts based on minority status.

At least I do since I read that caucasians are now a minority in California. I'm going back. Where's my handout?! What, you say I don't qualify because I'm white? But I'm a minority!

Affirmative Action (none / 0) (#296)
by Dickie Crickets on Fri Apr 04, 2003 at 10:54:11 AM EST

Affirmative Action, it's so fair,
Gives those blacks a chance.
Affirmative Action, Baby loves it,
Look how well they daaaaaance.


--
King of Megaphone Crooners
Yeah But Are You Racist? (4.00 / 1) (#300)
by cobb on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 05:00:46 AM EST

It continues to amaze me how people who claim to understand so very much about Affirmative Action and racism, especially those who claim to have merited so much by their brainsweat, have never in their lives picked up one book on the subject.

I've read at least 100 posts here. Not one book citation yet.

And have any of you mouths taken a test and passed on racism? Hmm? You keep talking about qualifications and standardized test scores, what's your score on race?

OK so here's your chance. http://www.selectsmart.com/FREE/select.php?client=raceman

If you pass that, then maybe, just maybe you might have enough cojones to actually read something intelligent instead of barfing back racial soundbites.

Well (none / 0) (#302)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 12:31:35 PM EST

Even on that goofy test I scored as #1 Colorblind and #2 Anti-Racist, but I'm still against Affirmative Action.

I'll try to look up an anti affirmative post I made somewhere else months back that's a few pages long and has 6 or 7 sources. I have to work now though, no guarantees...

Tim
"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

To be expected (3.00 / 1) (#304)
by cobb on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 08:35:45 PM EST

colorblind means you would be against affirmative according to neoconservative logic. affirmative action awards a racial preference.

[ Parent ]
The Bottom Line (5.00 / 2) (#305)
by mmsmatt on Sat Apr 05, 2003 at 10:24:17 PM EST

Racism will not solve racism.

U.S. Supreme Court to hear Gratz v. Bollinger in Affirmative Action landmark | 313 comments (287 topical, 26 editorial, 0 hidden)
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