Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: 1654134681665465 on March 08, 2008, 02:28:35 AM

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Post by: 1654134681665465 on March 08, 2008, 02:28:35 AM
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Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: steuby on March 08, 2008, 10:30:57 AM
I kinda feel for the minority students at Top 25 schools.. I think that AA really places a stigma on them, even if they have better academic credentials than their classmates.

Look at Clarence Thomas -- he still has a chip on his shoulder.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: OperaAttorney on March 08, 2008, 10:40:57 AM
Look at Clarence Thomas -- he still has a chip on his shoulder.

maybe.  but that's not a great reason for him to give the attorneys arguing in front of him the silent treatment.

Clarence Thomas has a chip on his shoulder for reasons other than AA.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: OperaAttorney on March 08, 2008, 10:42:38 AM
Here are some excerpts from the CNN article:

Ward Connerly, who heads the American Civil Rights Coalition -- a nonprofit organization working to end racial and gender preferences -- and the main backer of the ballot initiatives, says the 37 word initiative would read: "The state shall not discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education or public contracting."

"It would forbid any state or local agency or special district from engaging in preferential treatment," Connerly said. Connerly, who is of African-American and American Indian descent, said affirmative action causes resentment. He criticized cases in which a Caucasian student might be denied a college slot in favor of a black student with a lower grade-point average. "It's foolish not to think that the kid who is turned away is not going to ... resent that," Connerly said.

Shanta Driver, National Director of United for Equality and Affirmative Action Legal Defense Fund -- an organization dedicated to integrating minority students in educational institutions -- said the ballot initiative is a mistake. "It places us in the position of denying ... equal opportunity to blacks and Latinos," she said. Driver and other affirmative action supporters believe this movement would erase the progress made since the Civil Rights Act of 1964. "It's obviously a huge step backwards," she said.


My thoughts

If systemic racism were non-existent in this country, I would be in full support of Ward Connerly and his anti-AA campaign. But this is not the case. The vestiges of racism still linger in an imposing manner, necessitating the existence of AA policies. Our country's AA policies may not be perfect--what on earth is?--but they serve an important and necessary purpose, as Shanta Driver claims.

I'm also puzzled by Ward Connerly's constant reference to the resentment that AA supposedly fosters amongst us. At first glance Connerly's argument seems plausible, but it presents some problems, for me at least, when situated within our societal context. First, it oversimplifies the issue. AA policies were established because women and people of color were the victims of systemic discrimination. It is not just a black-and-white issue. Second, Connerly fails to account for the resentment intrinsic to race relations in this country. In fact, I'm inclined to think that he considers it non-existent or, at worst, negligible. But what about whites who resent blacks and latinos because of their skin color, not AA? They still exist today; I've had the "pleasure" of interacting with some of them at school and elsewhere. Racial antagonism existed in America long before 1964, and only an idiot would think that ending AA will substantially increase racial amity.

Will Ward Connerly and his cohorts succeed in banning AA in these 5 states? I think so, unfortunately. America's ruling zeitgeist is premised on the false notion that racism no longer holds us captive. How will public institutions respond? By finding clever, legal means to circumvent the obstacle. But they'll still have their hands tied. What does this mean for URM law school applicants? That private schools are probably the better bet. This is just my opinion, of course.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 08, 2008, 10:51:38 AM
http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/03/07/affirmative.action/index.html?iref=mpstoryview

"If it was wrong when I was born in '39 ... it's wrong now," he said. "If it was wrong to do it against a brown-skinned man, it's wrong to do it against a white man."

Such a simple concept-I don't understand why some people continue to refuse to accept it.  You can tell yourself that red roses are blue, but that won't change the facts of reality. 

What is your motivation behind this crusade of yours?

Did a brown skinned man wrong you at some point in your life? Or are you just afraid of them? What is it?
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: OperaAttorney on March 08, 2008, 10:52:40 AM
Look at Clarence Thomas -- he still has a chip on his shoulder.

maybe.  but that's not a great reason for him to give the attorneys arguing in front of him the silent treatment.

Clarence Thomas has a chip on his shoulder for reasons other than AA.

your explanation?

He's a pathetic sellout. If Thomas could change his skin color, he probably would.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: worstapplicantever on March 08, 2008, 01:37:45 PM
even if they have better academic credentials than their classmates.


except they will rarely if ever have better credentials, because if they did they would be at harvard or yale.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: goaliechica on March 08, 2008, 01:39:06 PM
As long as Whites are the majority, there is always going to be the cry of "institutional racism".  So are you proposing that AA continue until there are more Blacks and Hispanics than Whites?  If this is the case, then I would venture that your motivations are racist. 


I know this isn't what you're on about, but being in the majority doesn't mean that you stop being oppressed. Look at South Africa.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: simonsays on March 08, 2008, 01:44:35 PM

I agree that AA was needed when it was first implemented.  The problem with such a program is that no one is EVER going to agree that it should be ended.  As long as Whites are the majority, there is always going to be the cry of "institutional racism".  So are you proposing that AA continue until there are more Blacks and Hispanics than Whites?  If this is the case, then I would venture that your motivations are racist. 



But you realize the biggest beneficiaries of AA as a whole are white men? 

The reason is not related to race, but that more and more women are are entering the professional ranks.  Of the women, white women represent the largest percentage.  When you consider that the current standard of living typically requires a 2-income household, two professional wage-earners do much better than a single wage-earner.  When you break down the demographics white/asians as a whole have higher percentages of both sexes with professional degrees, and double the earning power.  This also reduces the necessity of the male to maximize earnings, given the margin of slack is in the female's income.

 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: goaliechica on March 08, 2008, 04:50:05 PM
Oh, so as long as there are Whites IN America, then AA should continue-because as long as there are Whites, there will be oppression? 

This is why I don't take people in favor of AA seriously. 

Um, no. What?  ???

My point was that the question of who is or isn't a minority in terms of absolute numbers is mostly meaningless.

Some might argue that AA should continue until there is a more equitable balance of power in terms of who controls the government, businesses, higher education, etc. You are right that there is no clear way to decide when that will be, but your argument that the perception of inequity is based on absolute numbers doesn't make any sense. The perception of inequities that some people feel should be addressed by AA comes from the fact there are, in fact, inequities in terms of power, influence, wealth, etc. Doesn't mean AA is the way to fix it, but your comment that until whites are a minority, or until whites are not present at all, people will be able to cry institutionalized racism is distorted. People cry institutionalized racism because of actual, measurable inequalities. Doesn't prove or disprove institutionalized racism, or the need for AA, but that's where it's coming from.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Total Idiot Tagger on March 08, 2008, 05:18:43 PM
But you realize the biggest beneficiaries of AA as a whole are white men? 

The reason is not related to race, but that more and more women are are entering the professional ranks.  Of the women, white women represent the largest percentage.  When you consider that the current standard of living typically requires a 2-income household, two professional wage-earners do much better than a single wage-earner.  When you break down the demographics white/asians as a whole have higher percentages of both sexes with professional degrees, and double the earning power.  This also reduces the necessity of the male to maximize earnings, given the margin of slack is in the female's income.

 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: simonsays on March 08, 2008, 08:26:59 PM
It's not so difficult when you assimilate the data on household (v. individual) incomes, education, and the fact that median household income for some minority groups are declining. The effect is more prominent with dual income households with college degrees.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Affluence_in_the_United_States

"The US Census Bureau offers income data by household and individual. It is to be noted that 42% of households have two incomes earners;"

"The top 5% of households, three quarters of whom had two income earners, had incomes of $166,200 or more,[8] with the top 10% having incomes well in excess of $100,000."

"incomes for those employed, full-time, year-round and over the age of twenty-five ranged from $20,826 ($17,422 if including those who worked part-time[4]) for those with less than a ninth grade education to $100,000 for those with professional degrees...Of those with a master's degree, nearly 50% were among the top quarter of income earners (top third if including those who work part time)."

"As mentioned earlier in the article 42% of households have two or more income earners, 76% of households with six figure incomes have two or more income earners.[8] Furthermore people are most likely to marry their professional and societal equals. It therefore becomes apparent that the majority of households with incomes exceeding the six figure mark are the result of an economic as well as personal union between two economic equals. Today, two nurses, each making $55,000 a year, can easily outearn a single attorney who makes the median of $95,000 annually"

then, you realize the degree of the boost from individual to household income for whites and asians is most likely due to two college educated wage-earners:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/8/84/Race_6_figure_household_and.png

Oh yea, and thanks to TotalIdiotTagger for creating a new account, solely for the purpose of trying to bring recognition to others...  You'll go far in life


Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: ..................................1 on March 09, 2008, 07:28:13 PM
 
Oh, so as long as there are Whites IN America, then AA should continue-because as long as there are Whites, there will be oppression? 

This is why I don't take people in favor of AA seriously. 

I guess we should just ignore the historical economic exploitation of African Americans in America, which has ultimately contributed to wide disparities in income and earning potential.  Or maybe we should just ignore the historical judicial exploitation of African Americans in America, which has contributed to the prison industrial complex and the weakening of the African American family structure.  Or maybe we should just ignore the notions of white supremacy and black inferiority which many of you hold dear to your hearts.  Or maybe all of that is irrelevant…. ???

Bottom line, one's privilege or disadvantage is often influenced by their individual circumstances inherited at birth.  There are various environmental and/or societal factors that could have a negative impact on one's individual merit.  Hence, one’s individual potential cannot be comprehensively measured by “merit.”

Just because a person has less credentials (lower gpa, lsat, experience) does not mean that he or she will not supersede top tier students in the classroom or in the workplace.  Despite having a disadvantaged background and/or mediocre credentials, AA provides minorities the opportunity to show and prove their individual potential .  AA also contributes to diversity.  But I guess the classroom and the workplace should not mirror the diverse country that we live in. 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: mikephelps on March 11, 2008, 04:23:39 PM
I guess I just don't get it.  The LSAT should be the great equalizer.  I mean, it's a test that you study for, so why should being a black female mean that you can score 10/12 points less than a school's median and still get in?  I know a few well to do black chicks who went to my school.  Why should they get the big LSAT boost?  I guess AA is wrong when it's about color.  If you are poor, disadvantaged, and didn't have the benefit of a good education, a little AA is great, but if you're some well off person of color who had access to a decent education you're kind of cheating the system, right? 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: ..................................1 on March 11, 2008, 06:17:19 PM
I think some of us either missed or ignored a couple of very important history lessons. Cougar, none of your examples compare to the 300+ years of slavery and the 90 or so years of Jim Crow that African Americans have experienced in America. As a result, there never has been, nor will there ever will be true equality this country.  AA provides educational and work opportunities for students who have conquered significant generational and environmental obstacles.  I guess it's easy for one who is privileged to ignore the insidious and egregious circumstances that African Americans have experienced over time, and continue to experience in today's society.   

Your assumption that these statistics are based off of "many minority children who CHOOSE not to finish high school and pursue a college education" is just plain ignorant. News flash kind sir: Many students from urban backgrounds live in single parent, or no-parent homes, where they are forced to provide for themselves at a young age.  Instant gratification becomes a mode of survival when there are economic burdens that hinder you from obtaining simple necessities like food, clothes and shelter.  While you probably received guidance and financial assistance from mommy and daddy, many kids from urban environments begin working in the 9th or 10th grade, and work from then until they die.  Take that into consideration when you are complaining about how the school of your dreams rejected you or your buddy for a student of color with a 3.5/ 150.

I honestly do not expect one who has absolutely no history of disadvantage to relate to the concept of being disadvantaged, underprivileged, discriminated against, and deprived of various opportunities due to race and economic instability.  AA policies contribute to creating more equitable opportunities and ultimately leveling the playing ground for disadvantaged groups.

Mike, How can one cheat a system that once labeled him as 3/5ths of a man? Maybe he is just getting what he worked for.


 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: ..................................1 on March 11, 2008, 11:45:13 PM
I believe that the personal attacks began when you called me an idiot, and thanked me for waisting your time, however, I do apologize for the sarcasm. The "some URM stole my spot Theory" is frequently used in the AA debate and it was actually in response to Phelps, not you.
 
I understand your argument cougar but i disagree.  You are right, Blacks have had more opportunities in the last 50 years, but covert discrimination (gov. policies & in the workplace) and inequality remains to be an issue for blacks in America.  I guess the problem is that I am an advocate for the "socialist, entitlement minded, welfare state like Hillary and Barack want," so that govenment can completely fulfill it's purpose to promote quality of life, the personal opportunity to succeed, and to support persons who are unable to care for themselves.  I feel that AA should be a never ending program because it promotes the personal opportunity to succeed. 

I am new to this message board, and I appreciate the diverse prespectives and all arguments presented.  Thank you.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: yoyodawg on March 12, 2008, 08:58:30 AM
According to O'Connor and the Supreme Court, we won't have AA programs in 25 years or so. See Grutter v. Bollinger.

So there's only 25 years worth of useless debate left!

Get it in while you can kids.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: ..................................1 on March 12, 2008, 10:05:59 AM
lol @ "yoyodawg" and "get it while you can kids."  I love it.
A lot can happen in 25 years my friend. 

The revolution will not be televised. 

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Outlaw22 on March 12, 2008, 10:32:00 AM
Do you really think the AA policies we've had in this short period of time since the civil rights movement have made up for the "equal opportunity" damages of 300 + years of slavery and 90+ years of Jim Crow Laws? Do you think it's even come close? Until you can make a case for that, you have no business talking about how AA needs to end. 400 years of enlavement, discrimination, disenfranchisement, hate crimes, lynching, second class citizenship, and the list goes on...and you think in these few decades of AA policies we're all on equal footing again? That's simply absurd.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: ..................................1 on March 12, 2008, 12:00:46 PM
Bless you Outlaw.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Outlaw22 on March 13, 2008, 07:53:21 AM

All I got out of this was "Whine, whine.  Self entitlement.  Whine, whine."



To summarize:  Stop crying and get over yourself. 

NEWS FLASH. I'm white. There's no self-entitlement.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 13, 2008, 08:28:09 AM
Do you really think the AA policies we've had in this short period of time since the civil rights movement have made up for the "equal opportunity" damages of 300 + years of slavery and 90+ years of Jim Crow Laws? Do you think it's even come close? Until you can make a case for that, you have no business talking about how AA needs to end. 400 years of enlavement, discrimination, disenfranchisement, hate crimes, lynching, second class citizenship, and the list goes on...and you think in these few decades of AA policies we're all on equal footing again? That's simply absurd.

All I got out of this was "Whine, whine.  Self entitlement.  Whine, whine."

NEWS FLASH: Nothing will EVER make up for what occurred to Blacks in the past.  AA-a racist, ineffective, and harmful program-is NOT the way to do it.  Stop clinging to this horrible program like it is going to "fix" the past.  Instead of AA, why isn't greater emphasis placed on programs that would lower teenage pregnancy, low graduation rates, extremely high rates of crime (especially of the violent variety), and so.  These programs WOULD make a noticeable impact, yet are unpopular among urban populations because it doesn't involve free handouts.  Stop trying to "correct the past" by using programs that require no commitment or effort on the part of the recipient.  "Fixing" the past would require work-which is not popular, because the Dems have taught the poor to be dependent and believe that they will never be anything unless the Dems throw them the scraps from their political table. 

To summarize:  Stop crying and get over yourself. 

This indicates you have exactly no clue what affirmative action is or does, nor do you have any clue as to what is actually going on, socially and politically, with programs that strive to lower teenage pregnancy, raise graduation rates, and lower inner city crime.

Or rather, you have your head in a hole (most likely your own ass), and you have a certain image of how things are that is quite out of step with reality.

But it makes you feel better, and without it you wouldn't have a shtick to play off, so have at it, kitty cat.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: ..................................1 on March 13, 2008, 09:47:09 AM
Anyone who thinks that AA is a "racist and harmful" program is obviously racist.  It's not about crying, whining or asking for handouts. It's about providing equal opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups.  Why is that so hard for people to understand.   ??? Please provide a logical response.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: ..................................1 on March 13, 2008, 09:58:11 AM
  ??? Please provide a logical response.

only if you assume that only invidious racism is racism.  ;)

  ??? Please provide a logical response.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 13, 2008, 10:31:25 AM
Or rather, you have your head in a hole (most likely your own ass), and you have a certain image of how things are that is quite out of step with reality.

word on the street is that the hole is actually zoloft's ass.

It could be. I've been experiencing some discomfort there for the past few months...
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: upwithmontana on March 13, 2008, 07:42:29 PM
Anyone who thinks that AA is a "racist and harmful" program is obviously racist.  It's not about crying, whining or asking for handouts. It's about providing equal opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups.  Why is that so hard for people to understand.   ??? Please provide a logical response.

I'll take a stab and then bow out because I don't want to get into this:  The reason, I think, that people can't understand the justification for AA is because they do not see it as providing equal opportunity.  They see it as providing more opportunities to minorities.  I AM NOT ONE OF THESE PEOPLE, but I see a lot of them where I live.  I think it's because there are not a lot of opportunities for people in my locale to see the real disadvantage that exists in areas with more minorities.  I would not, however, go as far as to say that all of these people are racists just because they point out that it's not an equal opportunity system in all cases; because they are right, it's not.  Everyone can agree that not all whites are privleged and not all minorities are unprivleged.  There will be instances where an advantage (or disadvantage) will be given to someone who doesn't really need the help.

The justification, as far as I have concluded is best described using something like LS admissions as an example:  Say a school gets 6500 apps per year.  It cannot feasibly seach into the economic and social advantage of every one of those applicants.  So it concludes based on the averages.  If I walk down the street, see a black guy, and assume he is poor based on his being black, I will be wrong plenty of times (on many levels).  But if I make the same judgment about a white guy, I will be wrong on an economic level many more times.  Sure, maybe a white applicant came from a poor background, his parents passed away early, he dealt with prejudice because is was in a wheelchair, whatever.  Yeah, maybe a black girl grew up as the daughter of a wealthy businessman and got a Mercedes onher 16th, OK.  But if the adcomms are going to get decisions out before August, they are going to have to trust the numbers a little bit.  Besides, the white disadvantaged can indicate that they are such in additional materials and receive a boost as well.  Is this racism?  If making determinations about somebody based soley on race is racist, then, yes.  But I bet not a single person would ever want it to be necessary.  But, I think it is, right now.  The people who are against AA simply disagree that anyone should be entitled to an advantage over others.  Many of them do not realize just how deep American history has cut minorities.  Some are racist.

As someone said earlier, AA will continue to be justified until there is an proportionate number of minorities who are in influential positions.  This tends to infiltrate higher education first.  Asian Americans are not given URM staus because they are not underrepresented anyomre.  But they still benefit from AA in the workplace as far as I have seen (although, that is dwindling too).  Once the rest of the minority groups catch up, I bet you'll see URM status become less and less of an issue in higher education.  To me, therein lies the only commendable reason to support AA:  practice it now with the hope that doing so will prevent you from having to in the future.  I think we're still a long way from the tipping point.



 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Astro on March 13, 2008, 08:13:17 PM
So because he is a conservative and is adamantly against fool-hardy liberal policies he is a "sell out"?   It is interesting how it is okay to tear down and make racist remarks/action toward a black conservative (throwing Oreos as Michael Steele), but totally unacceptable to claim a black Dem is an idiot because of their ideas without being called a racist. 

Zoloft-No crusade, I just think AA is wrong and that America is better than a system that chooses race/gender over merit. 

I believe that there will ALWAYS be racism in America.  When I lived in Paterson, NJ I could not believe how much of a target I became because I was White.  Black friends I had made awful comments about Hispanics. Hispanic friends said racist things about Blacks. 

Continuing to use a system that potentially creates resentment and continually promotes mediocrity (whereas a merit based system promotes competition and choosing the most qualified) past its point of usefulness, is not good for capitalism, not good for improving race relations, and . 

I agree that AA was needed when it was first implemented.  The problem with such a program is that no one is EVER going to agree that it should be ended.  As long as Whites are the majority, there is always going to be the cry of "institutional racism".  So are you proposing that AA continue until there are more Blacks and Hispanics than Whites?  If this is the case, then I would venture that your motivations are racist. 



Here's something for you to wrap your head around.




"Merit" doesn't exist.

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Astro on March 13, 2008, 08:13:56 PM
As long as Whites are the majority, there is always going to be the cry of "institutional racism".  So are you proposing that AA continue until there are more Blacks and Hispanics than Whites?  If this is the case, then I would venture that your motivations are racist. 


I know this isn't what you're on about, but being in the majority doesn't mean that you stop being oppressed. Look at South Africa.


Hey!   :D :D :D
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: goaliechica on March 13, 2008, 08:15:48 PM
As long as Whites are the majority, there is always going to be the cry of "institutional racism".  So are you proposing that AA continue until there are more Blacks and Hispanics than Whites?  If this is the case, then I would venture that your motivations are racist. 


I know this isn't what you're on about, but being in the majority doesn't mean that you stop being oppressed. Look at South Africa.


Hey!   :D :D :D


What?  :D

::oppresses J::
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Astro on March 13, 2008, 08:17:26 PM
As long as Whites are the majority, there is always going to be the cry of "institutional racism".  So are you proposing that AA continue until there are more Blacks and Hispanics than Whites?  If this is the case, then I would venture that your motivations are racist. 


I know this isn't what you're on about, but being in the majority doesn't mean that you stop being oppressed. Look at South Africa.


Hey!   :D :D :D


What?  :D

::oppresses J::

::moves to township::
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: CoupDeGlace on March 13, 2008, 08:47:29 PM
Anyone who thinks that AA is a "racist and harmful" program is obviously racist.  It's not about crying, whining or asking for handouts. It's about providing equal opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups.  Why is that so hard for people to understand.   ??? Please provide a logical response.

That's a stretch. To say that "anyone who thinks AA is racist and harmful is racist" is a gross generalization.

Yes, some people against AA are in fact racist. It's just like how some people who are in favor of ending illegal immigration favor that position because they hate Mexicans and think they're lower than Whites. But that's ignoring the valid arguments of many people who are against illegal immigration for the fact that it exploits the immigrant to the benefit of a few, as well as those immigrants who endure years of bureaucratic red tape to get a chance to come to this country legally.

My point being, there's more than one camp that believes affirmative action is wrong.

To me, affirmative action has a noble intention but in the end what it's doing is creating a further entrenchment of ideas of racial inequality. What it's saying is that people of color need lower standards in order to get into schools, get jobs, etc. that, if they were white, would require a lot more to get in.

This is doing nothing to dispel racist notions that black people are intellectually inferior to whites, for example. All it's doing is allowing people to discount the achievements of people of color. Say you have a black man at an Ivy League institution, and he had a 3.95 GPA and a 170 LSAT. Too many people would look at him and not assume he was there for that reason, but rather, that he had far lower numbers and got in because he's black.

I'm looking at it from another standpoint too. I'm from a biracial family. I'm white, however, my younger brother is biracial, black/white. He's incredibly bright, and I know that if he keeps up what he's doing, he is definitely destined to do well.

Yet, the thought of people discounting his achievements and thinking he got an 'easy in' is annoying. But this is what a lot of people think, and why? Because a lot of people that do have lower standards have been getting in due to Affirmative Action.

There is no way we're going to ever have a country of racial equality until we get rid of Affirmative Action, because it is what it is, positive discrimination. Now, I'm not saying that we're at a state of racial peace and harmony where blacks aren't still more or less economically disadvantaged compared to whites. Maybe this isn't the best time to end AA, but eventually it'll have to be done.

I also don't see, however, how arguments like yours about the past abuses against African-Americans will ever be assuaged by Affirmative Action. It's not ever going to turn back the clock and prevent those things from happening. And until we realize that we need to start where it matters, at the lowest levels of education when these kids are young, all it's going to do is continue to justify lower standards for minorities in this country. Are we doing anyone a favor by continuing to perpetuate this?

I firmly believe that this is more of a question of socioeconomic status than race. I'd be all for a version of AA which was based on socioeconomic status. This is because it would still cover a large proportion of the minority communities, as much of them are disproportionately economically disadvantaged. Yet it would also remove the issue of race. And it would also present opportunities for those whites who are from equally disadvantaged backgrounds, and yes, there are many in this country. I know the argument goes that AA doesn't hurt those people, but at the same time there is no policy to help these people either. Whites are expected to have higher test scores, higher GPAs, more achievements, but when someone is economically disadvantaged and goes to a horribly funded public school system, there's just as much of a chance of a poor white having lower scores and grades as a poor black or a poor Latino. Why? Because race has nothing to do with potential for achievement.



Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: clairel on March 14, 2008, 12:14:09 AM
as someone who was intuitively against AA pre-law school , yet is now pro-AA, i wanted to interject one idea into this discussion. most URMs who are admitted into a school they would normally be rejected from are basically qualified in raw term; for instance, many URMs admitted to HYS have lsats over 163-165 and high gpas. how are we concluding that they are "unqualied" for HYS based on scoring in the 92-95th percentile of test-takers? i was sorry that i was not admitted to harvard with a slightly higher lsat and slightly higher gpa, but i don't see that my career prospects are limited that much more by being admitted to CCN or MVPN?

i would be anti-AA if it meant that URMs were admitted to HYS with the same scores as me being admitted to schools that were ranked 10-20 spots lower. as it is, most URMs get one boost up: they get into HYS with the same scores as any other candidate getting into a t6 or at least a t-14. why is this so intuitively offense? there are plenty of caucasian candidates who also get into t14s and tier 1s with relatively low scores below the 25th percentile (look for LondonBoundJD and other applicants on the Where Should I Go Next Fall? board). that's the nature of law school admissions; it's usually numbers-driven, but sometimes an applicant gets a boost based on their addendums or personal statements.

so feel free to continue this debate. i just wanted to reiterate that basically, URM status only promotes people one step up the law school rankings scale. someone who is objectively unqualified for HYS or a t-14 (an lsat score in the 140s/150s) is unlikely to gain admission. if they have a slightly lower lsat but still are in the 95th percentile of lsat takers, they're potentially qualified to attend most highly ranked law schools, and it is up to such schools to reject/waitlist them accordingly. otherwise, the free market (especially in the private school sector) has spoken.

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: charlottem on March 14, 2008, 07:00:37 AM
Anyone who thinks that AA is a "racist and harmful" program is obviously racist.  It's not about crying, whining or asking for handouts. It's about providing equal opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups.  Why is that so hard for people to understand.   ??? Please provide a logical response.

I'll take a stab and then bow out because I don't want to get into this:  The reason, I think, that people can't understand the justification for AA is because they do not see it as providing equal opportunity.  They see it as providing more opportunities to minorities.  I AM NOT ONE OF THESE PEOPLE, but I see a lot of them where I live.  I think it's because there are not a lot of opportunities for people in my locale to see the real disadvantage that exists in areas with more minorities.  I would not, however, go as far as to say that all of these people are racists just because they point out that it's not an equal opportunity system in all cases; because they are right, it's not.  Everyone can agree that not all whites are privleged and not all minorities are unprivleged.  There will be instances where an advantage (or disadvantage) will be given to someone who doesn't really need the help.

The justification, as far as I have concluded is best described using something like LS admissions as an example:  Say a school gets 6500 apps per year.  It cannot feasibly seach into the economic and social advantage of every one of those applicants.  So it concludes based on the averages.  If I walk down the street, see a black guy, and assume he is poor based on his being black, I will be wrong plenty of times (on many levels).  But if I make the same judgment about a white guy, I will be wrong on an economic level many more times.  Sure, maybe a white applicant came from a poor background, his parents passed away early, he dealt with prejudice because is was in a wheelchair, whatever.  Yeah, maybe a black girl grew up as the daughter of a wealthy businessman and got a Mercedes onher 16th, OK.  But if the adcomms are going to get decisions out before August, they are going to have to trust the numbers a little bit.  Besides, the white disadvantaged can indicate that they are such in additional materials and receive a boost as well.  Is this racism?  If making determinations about somebody based soley on race is racist, then, yes.  But I bet not a single person would ever want it to be necessary.  But, I think it is, right now.  The people who are against AA simply disagree that anyone should be entitled to an advantage over others.  Many of them do not realize just how deep American history has cut minorities.  Some are racist.

As someone said earlier, AA will continue to be justified until there is an proportionate number of minorities who are in influential positions.  This tends to infiltrate higher education first.  Asian Americans are not given URM staus because they are not underrepresented anyomre.  But they still benefit from AA in the workplace as far as I have seen (although, that is dwindling too).  Once the rest of the minority groups catch up, I bet you'll see URM status become less and less of an issue in higher education.  To me, therein lies the only commendable reason to support AA:  practice it now with the hope that doing so will prevent you from having to in the future.  I think we're still a long way from the tipping point.



 

Which is it?
Adcomms don't have the time to figure out if you're socioeconomically disadvantaged so they should just go by race and that's fair because proportionately there are more disadvantaged URMs.
or
Adcomms can look at your additional materials if you're white and disadvantaged and then give you the big old boost too.
Honey, reality check:  You could've have been raised by wolves, never seen the inside of a school and have no shoes,  but if you happen to be white TOO - Guess what, you do not get the 10/12 point LSAT boost that the rich, black female is going to get.
Let's not argue about what's fair. 
Let's just go forward on the basis that white guilt and political correctness are ruining everything this country stands for. 
If you're a urm, you are benefitting from this system and your opinion is irrelevant.
If you are white, count yourself lucky if that urm didn't take your spot.

 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 14, 2008, 08:29:00 AM

Which is it?
Adcomms don't have the time to figure out if you're socioeconomically disadvantaged so they should just go by race and that's fair because proportionately there are more disadvantaged URMs.
or
Adcomms can look at your additional materials if you're white and disadvantaged and then give you the big old boost too.
Honey, reality check:  You could've have been raised by wolves, never seen the inside of a school and have no shoes,  but if you happen to be white TOO - Guess what, you do not get the 10/12 point LSAT boost that the rich, black female is going to get.
Let's not argue about what's fair. 
Let's just go forward on the basis that white guilt and political correctness are ruining everything this country stands for. 
If you're a urm, you are benefitting from this system and your opinion is irrelevant.
If you are white, count yourself lucky if that urm didn't take your spot.


Your spot?

Were you given that spot? Are you anymore entitled to it than anyone else?

Why is it shocking or upsetting that there is a positive social agenda that, in some cases, does not apply to a white person (at least directly)?

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Oldguy48 on March 20, 2008, 10:58:58 AM
I posted this in another thread where a similar sentiment was voiced and then (naively) set about to see if this was an isolated occurrence.  I was surprised to find a more blatant example here.  Sigh.




I probably should just skate on out of here and keep my opinion to myself but I find some of this spouting particularly small minded and not a little disappointing.  I am in somewhat unique situation in that I am applying to law school as an older (part time) student at the same time as my oldest daughter is applying to college as an undergraduate.   I am (we are) white middle/upper middle class.  I have spent a good amount of time talking to my daughter who is terrific student about realizing that she is going to be competing against lots of really talented other students some of whom are of different cultural and racial backgrounds and not only are the colleges going to be trying to create a diverse student body which would be to her benefit because in the world she is going to live and work in it would be great disservice for her not to be exposed to as many different and varied peoples as is possible, but also because I hope it will continue to shape her perception of the world as place in which it is natural for all different kinds people to co-exist and function homogenously.

I have also tried to prepare her for the fact that there will be people of color who will be given an advantage in the admissions process.  In short, that schools will be accepting students with lesser grades and scores than she and while it might be tempting to be angry and see this as unfair, it is important to understand that it exactly the opposite; It is her chance (albeit not volitional) to help redress a situation that had been firmly entrenched in the American Psyche from it's inception (1617?) until (arguably) 1968.  Perhaps it is because I remember life in the 1960s (although just a child) I realize that the disadvantages and biases that existed for so long cannot begin to be reversed or mediated in just one generation, or two or maybe even 5 and in some areas of the deep south 10 or more.  Although we all would like to see the sun rise and set on our own desires and expectations I believe (and I would never assume that anyone else should have to believe what I believe) that we have a moral obligation to look at the world as being more than that-- it should be a collective, a continuum.  While it is easy to say "It wasn't me who was a bigot," or "I never owned slaves, my great-grandparents never owned slaves, why should I have to be punished?" or even more insidiously "He grew up in a middle class neighborhood, His family has more money than me, why should he get in over me with worse grades?"  realize that until 1954 in the Sweatt V. Painter case (thats only 54 years a long time I suppose if you're 21 but for those of you talk to your grandparents about what life was like in the 40's and 50's) blacks could be and were routinely excluded from "white" law schools (even if their scores were higher).

I have told my daughter that we are able walk down the street and no one sees us and identifies us by our SAT or LSAT scores; We carry that inside and can choose or not to show or disclose it and thus can avoid being judged or categorized fairly or unfairly at our discretion.  With hope, someday the same may be true of race, but until that day comes what we can do to help move toward that end is to allow with grace and dignity someone whose color has been made for centuries an ignominious badge,  to stand in front of us, higher or lower scores not withstanding.

I will try to take what acceptances I get and be grateful.  I hope many of you can do the same.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 20, 2008, 11:16:29 AM
I posted this in another thread where a similar sentiment was voiced and then (naively) set about to see if this was an isolated occurrence.  I was surprised to find a more blatant example here.  Sigh.




I probably should just skate on out of here and keep my opinion to myself but I find some of this spouting particularly small minded and not a little disappointing.  I am in somewhat unique situation in that I am applying to law school as an older (part time) student at the same time as my oldest daughter is applying to college as an undergraduate.   I am (we are) white middle/upper middle class.  I have spent a good amount of time talking to my daughter who is terrific student about realizing that she is going to be competing against lots of really talented other students some of whom are of different cultural and racial backgrounds and not only are the colleges going to be trying to create a diverse student body which would be to her benefit because in the world she is going to live and work in it would be great disservice for her not to be exposed to as many different and varied peoples as is possible, but also because I hope it will continue to shape her perception of the world as place in which it is natural for all different kinds people to co-exist and function homogenously.

I have also tried to prepare her for the fact that there will be people of color who will be given an advantage in the admissions process.  In short, that schools will be accepting students with lesser grades and scores than she and while it might be tempting to be angry and see this as unfair, it is important to understand that it exactly the opposite; It is her chance (albeit not volitional) to help redress a situation that had been firmly entrenched in the American Psyche from it's inception (1617?) until (arguably) 1968.  Perhaps it is because I remember life in the 1960s (although just a child) I realize that the disadvantages and biases that existed for so long cannot begin to be reversed or mediated in just one generation, or two or maybe even 5 and in some areas of the deep south 10 or more.  Although we all would like to see the sun rise and set on our own desires and expectations I believe (and I would never assume that anyone else should have to believe what I believe) that we have a moral obligation to look at the world as being more than that-- it should be a collective, a continuum.  While it is easy to say "It wasn't me who was a bigot," or "I never owned slaves, my great-grandparents never owned slaves, why should I have to be punished?" or even more insidiously "He grew up in a middle class neighborhood, His family has more money than me, why should he get in over me with worse grades?"  realize that until 1954 in the Sweatt V. Painter case (thats only 54 years a long time I suppose if you're 21 but for those of you talk to your grandparents about what life was like in the 40's and 50's) blacks could be and were routinely excluded from "white" law schools (even if their scores were higher).

I have told my daughter that we are able walk down the street and no one sees us and identifies us by our SAT or LSAT scores; We carry that inside and can choose or not to show or disclose it and thus can avoid being judged or categorized fairly or unfairly at our discretion.  With hope, someday the same may be true of race, but until that day comes what we can do to help move toward that end is to allow with grace and dignity someone whose color has been made for centuries an ignominious badge,  to stand in front of us, higher or lower scores not withstanding.

I will try to take what acceptances I get and be grateful.  I hope many of you can do the same.




Yeah.
AA will make them whole.  It will right the wrongs.  I didn't realize what a beautiful thing AA really is. 
Diversity of ideas is far less important than diversity of skin tone. 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Oldguy48 on March 20, 2008, 11:37:13 AM
Quote
Yeah.
AA will make them whole.  It will right the wrongs.  I didn't realize what a beautiful thing AA really is.
Diversity of ideas is far less important than diversity of skin tone.


I imagine you cannot be so limited in your thought process, but then perhaps my belief that anyone trying to become a lawyer must be capable of proficient critical thinking is as foolish as your statement above.  I suppose by your reckoning conservation, or fair labor practices, or even driving sober are all without merit since they don't "right the wrongs" of the past, of extinct species, women killed in factory fires, kids killed in DUI accidents. Instead of seeing AA as looking to change the past look at it something trying to effect a change in the future.

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 20, 2008, 12:10:55 PM
Quote
Yeah.
AA will make them whole.  It will right the wrongs.  I didn't realize what a beautiful thing AA really is.
Diversity of ideas is far less important than diversity of skin tone.


I imagine you cannot be so limited in your thought process, but then perhaps my belief that anyone trying to become a lawyer must be capable of proficient critical thinking is as foolish as your statement above.  I suppose by your reckoning conservation, or fair labor practices, or even driving sober are all without merit since they don't "right the wrongs" of the past, of extinct species, women killed in factory fires, kids killed in DUI accidents. Instead of seeing AA as looking to change the past look at it something trying to effect a change in the future.




Uh huh.  You sure told me. 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: The Knight on March 20, 2008, 12:35:53 PM
I posted this in another thread where a similar sentiment was voiced and then (naively) set about to see if this was an isolated occurrence.  I was surprised to find a more blatant example here.  Sigh.

...blah blah blah...

This is it.  This is the disconnect.

(Most) people from your generation see AA as a component in the "righting of wrongs." 
(Most) people from my generation (currently younger than 25) see AA as a continuation of racial highlighting.  At this point AA probably does as much harm as it does good.  Like all forms of discrimination it generates hate.  It is in the name of a good cause, but so are the suicide bombs that extremists strap to themselves before they run into a crowd of people.

My generation doesn't care nearly as much about race as your generation does.  As a matter of fact, I would say that if every American over 40 years old died right now, the level of racism (it's severity) in America would drop to 30% of it's current state.

I realize that this is conjecture.  I'm using the example to highlight how different our generations think. 

Are some members of my generation racist?  Yes.  However, racism isn't a naturally occurring trait.  Who did we learn it from?

My point is this: Racism is irrational.  Racism, just like every other irrational idea, will die out over time.  In the mean time, we need to do our best to keep our government away from the problem. 

For example, the day Senator Byrd dies America will instantly be about half as racist as it is now.  Hell, I bet a god damned unity rainbow will sprout over the Charleston Capitol building the morning of.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Oldguy48 on March 20, 2008, 01:24:44 PM
I have no great desire to prolong this discussion but I would encourage you to look up and research the following facts (not silly conjectures about 'everyone over 40 dying' something which is not worthy of the thoughtful tone of the rest of your response):  Percentage of minorities (primarily black and hispanic)  in Prison vs. the percentage of the general population; percentage of residential homes rebuilt (of primarily minority owners) since Katrina vs. the percentage of hotels and casinos; percentage of minorities in highest positions of power in government and private enterprise.  For you to contend that racism will die a natural death is quite naive.  The reason that your generation is less racist than the one that came before is precisely because of active social programs like affirmative action.  My children have grown seeing and interacting with minorities which makes them feel that it is a natural thing.  That did not happen by accident and without continual work the situations that you find are illustrated above (if you look it up)  will not change.  It was only 30 years ago that Doug Williams was the first black quarterback of note in the NFL (there were one or two before which were less than anomalies). The prevailing "wisdom" was that African Americans were not smart enough to play quarterback.  Kids of color growing up after '54 weren't specifically forbidden to play the position but without any successful role models they were tacitly "encouraged" to take up running back, wide receiver etc.  We are all the beneficiaries of the fact now  the position of quarterback is mostly colorblind.   I'm sorry to be the one to break it to you that racism will not "die out over time" anymore than anti-semitism has died out the last 5000 years.  It requires that we who know better take the appropriate steps.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Astro on March 20, 2008, 02:41:48 PM

(Most) people from my generation (currently younger than 25) see AA as a continuation of racial highlighting. 



This is just patently false.  Speak for yourself, asshat.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 20, 2008, 03:11:53 PM

(Most) people from my generation (currently younger than 25) see AA as a continuation of racial highlighting. 



This is just patently false.  Speak for yourself, asshat.


Speak for yourself, sweetheart. 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Astro on March 20, 2008, 03:16:50 PM

(Most) people from my generation (currently younger than 25) see AA as a continuation of racial highlighting. 



This is just patently false.  Speak for yourself, asshat.


Speak for yourself, sweetheart. 

Wow.  That was clever.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 20, 2008, 03:18:05 PM

(Most) people from my generation (currently younger than 25) see AA as a continuation of racial highlighting. 



This is just patently false.  Speak for yourself, asshat.


Speak for yourself, sweetheart. 

Wow.  That was clever.



Thank you.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: yoyodawg on March 21, 2008, 08:45:52 AM

(Most) people from my generation (currently younger than 25) see AA as a continuation of racial highlighting. 



This is just patently false.  Speak for yourself, asshat.


Speak for yourself, sweetheart. 

Wow.  That was clever.


What's more clever? The "asshat" remark or the "sweetheart" remark?
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Nemorino on March 21, 2008, 02:14:29 PM
If I may throw in my two cents...

I moved to the United States when I was 17, and I was certainly not ready for the chaotic world of competitive high school juniors filled with tests, AP classes, college visits and applications. Despite the language barrier (and my general naivete), I was able to do pretty well. My guide and best friend throughout the ordeal was a black student who is one of the most intelligent people I know (he got his undergraduate degree from MIT and is currently at HBS, but the degrees alone can't explain his wit and intelligence). My own ideas about AA were formed in part through the various discussions I had with him, who was adamantly against it.

My friend refused to reveal his race on his college applications. His relatives would jokingly say "you are a [black man] who thinks he's too good for other [black people]," except they were using the n-word, in my presence! (I couldn't hold it against them because according to one of his uncles, not using "polite talk" in my presence was a demonstration of closeness and acceptance) This kind of attitude, my friend argued, was the root of all AA-related problems. He has said on more than one occasion, "I'm not too good for my own kind, but I am DEFINITELY too good for this racist system that tells black, Hispanic and native American children everywhere, 'we've lowered the standards for you because we don't expect any better from you.'"

My position on this issue has changed significantly since then. There is no question that the intended beneficiaries of AA are still systematically disadvantaged. I am not arguing that these disadvantages are born of some evil, racist policies. It's just statistics. A black or Hispanic child, statistically speaking, is less likely to have access to the kind of education, peer interaction and family upbringing which set people up for the best jobs, government positions, academic posts, etc. Can we trace this phenomenon back to slavery? Racism of the past? Maybe. I don't know and I DON'T CARE where the blame lies. We can justify the need for bridging the socio-economic gap without citing historical or moral responsibility. Such gaps (which can easily be construed as having racial implications) have caused so much tension, hate and needless restriction on our ability to exchange ideas freely. Real incidents of racism are often ignored. Innocuous mistakes or the results of free market competition are blamed on racism. Scholars are NOT free to explore the unpopular edges of the race (and gender) question. Some people try to use the current state of chaos to their advantage, and to the detriment of our societal well-being. Surely we can benefit greatly from rooting out the underlying cause of all this.

And I happen to believe that AA is not the right way to do this. Instead of attacking the root of the problem, AA encourages our educational institutions to pass off that responsibility to someone else. BigLaw is a great example of this. Instead of trying to narrow the 200 point gap in SAT scores between whites/Asians and blacks/Hispanics, high schools try their best to send off as many kids to college, whether they are ready or not. They say, "surely, these underachieving students' study habits, writing skills and test-taking know-how will improve once we send them off to good colleges!" In turn, colleges - which so eagerly accepts under-qualified members of URM - fail to provide enough support and encouragement. Even those minority students who are truly qualified (such as my friend) sometimes fall into the trap of underachievement. An intelligent black student, who could have gotten 170+/3.8 with adequate guidance and an appropriate amount of societal pressure and expectation, ends up with a 3.5 and a 165 because everyone tells him that he will have a good shot at the nation's top law schools if he gets over 3.5 and 165. I am not suggesting that the number difference makes him any less intelligent than he is. He is, however, systematically shielded from "peer competition" which is a crucial part of the legal education. This intelligent student goes off to a top law school where a similar tragedy unfolds. He gets hired by a diversity-starved top firm where, all of the sudden, the playing field is even - or worse yet, hostile to him. Not only is the "shield" gone, many people, as a result of the widespread usage of AA, have negative preconceived notions about his general qualifications. This is entirely unfair to people like my friend whose unbridled success is attributable only to his talent, work ethic and refusal to give into AA's not-so-subtle message.

Our educational system isn't failing because it can’t send poor minority students to its prestigious institutions. Nay, it's failing because we systematically refuse to provide the kind of support and motivation that the underachieving students (from every race and economic background) so sorely need. And I contend that AA is partly to blame. Instead of encouraging an underachieving student to do his best, we give him a training wheel, make him depend on it, and then take it away without warning. How is this suppose to help him?
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 22, 2008, 08:39:39 AM

(Most) people from my generation (currently younger than 25) see AA as a continuation of racial highlighting. 



This is just patently false.  Speak for yourself, asshat.


Speak for yourself, sweetheart. 

Wow.  That was clever.



Thank you.

You're so brave.

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Oldguy48 on March 22, 2008, 09:28:52 AM
I find it hard to believe that as I sit and wait (endlessly) for my replies from law schools that this is the board on which I am spending so much time.  I often find that people who oppose AA do so from anecdotal arguments "I know a smart black student and he's against AA."  Nemorino makes a plausible indictment of the educational system, but then goes awry when stating

Quote
Our educational system isn't failing because it can’t send poor minority students to its prestigious institutions. Nay, it's failing because we systematically refuse to provide the kind of support and motivation that the underachieving students (from every race and economic background) so sorely need. And I contend that AA is partly to blame. Instead of encouraging an underachieving student to do his best, we give him a training wheel, make him depend on it, and then take it away without warning. How is this suppose to help him?

I live and raise my children in town which is known for its excellent public school system.  This was by choice.  I, fortunately, can afford the 20K per year in property tax which funds the school system.   
While it is true that my ability to live and send my children to school here is function of socio-economic rather than racial factors it cannot be argued that statistically, particularly in urban areas poverty affects minorities in greater relative percentages than whites (see http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/vanneman/socy441/trends/racepov.html). 

The question that we as society should be trying to understand and answer is "why?".  There is no simple single answer, but in my opinion AA is trying to address the idea that to break the cycle of poverty it is necessary to increase the educational level of those who traditionally did not have the advantages (both economic and social) of living in the "majority." 

It is absolutely true that admitting a high-school student who is ill prepared with basic foundation (a 1000 SAT score to Princeton) to rigorous college is doing that student a disservice.  In truth that is not what AA is doing and I think even the most bigoted among us would have to agree.  It is not Yale accepting 140/2.0.  It is perhaps Yale accepting a 168/3.3 UM rather than a 171/3.65 white student.  The underlying, perhaps even unstated, assumption is that that UM if given the same opportunities the white student had had would have indeed been ahead of where he is now.  We all can point to anecdotal examples of "friends" of color who had the same education and financial circumstance as we, and therefore conclude that AA has given them an unfair advantage but again I cannot help but reflect that for literally hundreds of years we in the majority have had that unfair advantage. 

AA is not a solution aimed at individuals and if seen as such will always be interpreted as flawed and unfair to other individuals.  It is, I believe, a less than perfect but necessary attempt to shift the traditional and stilted racial balance in the other direction with the ultimate goal of becoming obsolete when the "playing field" is level.  Until we reach that point however I think it is still an useful and morally necessary tool.

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: steuby on March 22, 2008, 11:24:35 AM
Man.. It's hard not to tremble with awe when subjected to the wisdom of the aging hippie.. P.S. there's a sale: http://www.birkenstockexpress.com/Products/footwearL2.cfm/cnav.218/id.220320081014-977126

Back to the point: when did old hippies like you come to believe that imperfect systems were permissable? And to the anecdotal evidence: thanks for providing your own example...

I can't wait for the grey bearded, birkenstock wearing, smelly old hippies like you in law school. It should be fun.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: The Knight on March 22, 2008, 11:31:00 AM
Man.. It's hard not to tremble with awe when subjected to the wisdom of the aging hippie.. P.S. there's a sale: http://www.birkenstockexpress.com/Products/footwearL2.cfm/cnav.218/id.220320081014-977126

Back to the point: when did old hippies like you come to believe that imperfect systems were permissable? And to the anecdotal evidence: thanks for providing your own example...

I can't wait for the grey bearded, birkenstock wearing, smelly old hippies like you in law school. It should be fun.
TITCR

Also, where the hell do you live that you pay 20k a year in property tax?  You can't be in the US.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: simonsays on March 22, 2008, 12:08:58 PM

I live and raise my children in town which is known for its excellent public school system.  This was by choice.  I, fortunately, can afford the 20K per year in property tax which funds the school system.   
While it is true that my ability to live and send my children to school here is function of socio-economic rather than racial factors it cannot be argued that statistically, particularly in urban areas poverty affects minorities in greater relative percentages than whites (see http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/vanneman/socy441/trends/racepov.html). 

The question that we as society should be trying to understand and answer is "why?".  There is no simple single answer, but in my opinion AA is trying to address the idea that to break the cycle of poverty it is necessary to increase the educational level of those who traditionally did not have the advantages (both economic and social) of living in the "majority." 



Ha ha!  does the cycle of poverty apply to anyone who can't afford areas with $20k in property taxes?   I assume you're the subset of Democracts who can afford to be (the other subset being those who can't afford to be).

Your post indicates you're so out of touch.  Admittance into Yale has little bearing on the vast majority towhom AA is helpful (those in the lower T4/T3 population) where just getting into college is a feat...  The basic flaw in your argument is you're using the lower end of the curve (cycle of poverty) to provide justifications on the upper end (admittance to Yale).

BTW: I'm old too...but not that old
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Oldguy48 on March 22, 2008, 01:28:13 PM
Sigh.  I find it sad that for the most part there is no meaningful discussion to be had with either young or entrenched/bigoted people. 


Quote
I can't wait for the grey bearded, birkenstock wearing, smelly old hippies like you in law school. It should be fun.

is an example of stupidity that will never pass for even the hint of intelligence in law school  I too look forward to seeing you in law school.  Someone needs the push the front of the curve.


Quote
Also, where the hell do you live that you pay 20k a year in property tax?  You can't be in the US.

and
Quote

Ha ha!  does the cycle of poverty apply to anyone who can't afford areas with $20k in property taxes?   I assume you're the subset of Democracts who can afford to be (the other subset being those who can't afford to be).

Show both of you to be the ones out of touch.  Talk to your parents and actually ask them what they pay in school/property tax.  In Westchester, NY where I live this is not even towards the high end.  My wife and I (both who work very hard) are very lucky and it is precisely that fact that makes me willing to accept someone getting into school ahead of me who does not have the scores, grades or economic/racial advantages that I do.

Both of your presences and doltish comments just further my belief that it far too soon to eliminate AA.   

Finally,  look at LSN (here is link for Columbia   http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/search_schools.php?action=search&cycle=5&school_code=2163&status=3&sort=lsat&order=d&status=3&application_type=0&program=1)
You will note that the many of the UM have similar numbers to what I quoted.  Good for them, shame on you.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: steuby on March 22, 2008, 01:42:50 PM
For your information, Mr. Greybeard, I have very little opinion of AA either way. Most of my family could benefit. I probably couldn't, but whatever.

My problem with you is your superiority complex. Every post I've seen of yours is approximately 1000 words long full of self-aggrandizement. I'm sure you like the smell of your own flatuence.

You criticize others on grounds of being entrenched, but you are, in every post of yours, steadfastly pro-AA. What kind of consistency is that? That whole open-minded thing is supposed to go both ways, feminine hygiene product bag. I'm sure your kids kiss your birkenstocks daily, and bow to that practiced nasily hippie tone of yours, but don't expect it anywhere else.

And I wish you sincerely good luck on that whole curve thing.. Maybe some emeritus members of the faculty will appreciate a fellow herbivorous dinosaur, but otherwise expect to be laughed at. I, of course, am not protesting middle aged members of the student body, but don't expect any pedestals, as this feminine hygiene product does... because you won't get any.. Maybe that's why he's so obessed with AA -- he feels that his dusty ass deserves some advantage, also.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 22, 2008, 02:07:47 PM
Sigh.  I find it sad that for the most part there is no meaningful discussion to be had with either young or entrenched/bigoted people. 


Dude, this lesson is usually learned the first week on this board.

Reread some of the other AA threads. These dolts have no ability for a meaningful discussion about race.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: steuby on March 22, 2008, 02:15:23 PM


Dude, this lesson is usually learned the first week on this board.

Reread some of the other AA threads. These dolts have no ability for a meaningful discussion about race.

I'm sorry we couldn't live up to your high standards, dude.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: simonsays on March 22, 2008, 02:27:01 PM
Sigh.  I find it sad that for the most part there is no meaningful discussion to be had with either young or entrenched/bigoted people. 

Quote

Ha ha!  does the cycle of poverty apply to anyone who can't afford areas with $20k in property taxes?   I assume you're the subset of Democracts who can afford to be (the other subset being those who can't afford to be).

Show both of you to be the ones out of touch.  Talk to your parents and actually ask them what they pay in school/property tax.  In Westchester, NY where I live this is not even towards the high end.  My wife and I (both who work very hard) are very lucky and it is precisely that fact that makes me willing to accept someone getting into school ahead of me who does not have the scores, grades or economic/racial advantages that I do.

Both of your presences and doltish comments just further my belief that it far too soon to eliminate AA.   

Finally,  look at LSN (here is link for Columbia   http://www.lawschoolnumbers.com/search_schools.php?action=search&cycle=5&school_code=2163&status=3&sort=lsat&order=d&status=3&application_type=0&program=1)
You will note that the many of the UM have similar numbers to what I quoted.  Good for them, shame on you.

Good flame!  Well executed!!  Next time, don't mention Westchester and people might take it seriously.   
 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Astro on March 22, 2008, 02:33:59 PM
Sigh.  I find it sad that for the most part there is no meaningful discussion to be had with either young or entrenched/bigoted people. 


Dude, this lesson is usually learned the first week on this board.

Reread some of the other AA threads. These dolts have no ability for a meaningful discussion about race.

TITCR

The reality is, 99% of the posts on this board are knee-jerk reactions of entrenched mindsets.  This counts for BOTH sides of the argument. 

A useful discussion, however, ye shall not have.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 23, 2008, 11:44:34 AM
There are many bigots in favor of AA.  Not all bigots are white.  Not all those against race based AA are bigots.   Not all those against raced based AA are white. 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: NYU2011 on March 23, 2008, 12:45:31 PM
Can anyone provide a logical argument saying affirmative action toward URM's is better than would be giving a leg up to the socioeconomically disadvantaged?

The only logical argument in favor of affirmative action is that URM's have less opportunities because they are statistically more socioeconomically disadvantaged.  This is ridiculous because it would be much better to give students a boost based on socioeconomic factors. 

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 23, 2008, 01:18:06 PM
Can anyone provide a logical argument saying affirmative action toward URM's is better than would be giving a leg up to the socioeconomically disadvantaged?

The only logical argument in favor of affirmative action is that URM's have less opportunities because they are statistically more socioeconomically disadvantaged.  This is ridiculous because it would be much better to give students a boost based on socioeconomic factors. 





AA is not a noble cause.  It is a way for colleges to say, hey, look at us, we are so diverse.  It's about filling quotas.  It's all about perception.  Breaking people down according to race is easy.  They can say, look at us, we care and here's a simple set of statistics that prove it.

Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: The Knight on March 23, 2008, 06:58:37 PM
Sigh.  I find it sad that for the most part there is no meaningful discussion to be had with either young or entrenched/bigoted people. 


Quote
I can't wait for the grey bearded, birkenstock wearing, smelly old hippies like you in law school. It should be fun.

is an example of stupidity that will never pass for even the hint of intelligence in law school  I too look forward to seeing you in law school.  Someone needs the push the front of the curve.


Quote
Also, where the hell do you live that you pay 20k a year in property tax?  You can't be in the US.

Show both of you to be the ones out of touch.  Talk to your parents and actually ask them what they pay in school/property tax.  In Westchester, NY where I live this is not even towards the high end.  My wife and I (both who work very hard) are very lucky and it is precisely that fact that makes me willing to accept someone getting into school ahead of me who does not have the scores, grades or economic/racial advantages that I do.

Both of your presences and doltish comments just further my belief that it far too soon to eliminate AA.   

Are. You. F,ucking. Kidding. Me?
I'm out of touch?  I know that a home valued at well over half a million dollars (700k) in the state that I live is around 5k a year.

Far be it from me to assume that you don't live on a three-f,ucking-million dollar estate.  Are you the type of person that I'm going to have to deal with as a co-worker?

I bet you go to starbucks every f,ucking day of your life, you god damned hippy.

/flame

To everyone else out there, I'm done.  I'm done with AA topics on this board.  LSD fails at AA discussion.  The End.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: NYU2011 on March 23, 2008, 08:17:09 PM
Can anyone provide a logical argument saying affirmative action toward URM's is better than would be giving a leg up to the socioeconomically disadvantaged?

The only logical argument in favor of affirmative action is that URM's have less opportunities because they are statistically more socioeconomically disadvantaged.  This is ridiculous because it would be much better to give students a boost based on socioeconomic factors. 

did you just answer your own question?  yes you did.

Actually, no I didn't.  What I did do was show why a common, but ridiculous, answer to my question is not a good answer.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: NYU2011 on March 23, 2008, 10:34:54 PM
Ok valid point.  I should have said "the only logical argument I can see" instead of "the only logical argument".  I assume many disagree with me as most of the posters in this thread seem to be in favor of race based affirmative action, therefore I would like one to respond with a rational answer.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 24, 2008, 08:39:04 AM
Ok valid point.  I should have said "the only logical argument I can see" instead of "the only logical argument".  I assume many disagree with me as most of the posters in this thread seem to be in favor of race based affirmative action, therefore I would like one to respond with a rational answer.

Why not call a few admissions departments and ask for their explanations...?
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Nemorino on March 24, 2008, 09:56:47 AM
"I often find that people who oppose AA do so from anecdotal arguments 'I know a smart black student and he's against AA.'"

The example of my "smart black friend" illustrates one of many points in my argument. In fact, my main point - that AA fails the not-so-smart or not-so-ready URMs - has very little to do with him.

"While it is true that my ability to live and send my children to school here is function of socio-economic rather than racial factors it cannot be argued that statistically, particularly in urban areas poverty affects minorities in greater relative percentages than whites (see http://www.bsos.umd.edu/socy/vanneman/socy441/trends/racepov.html)."


I assume you meant to say "it CAN be argued," right? In fact, my initial post relies on this very statistic to make the claim that it is necessary to bridge the socio-economic gaps between different races.

"There is no simple single answer, but in my opinion AA is trying to address the idea that to break the cycle of poverty it is necessary to increase the educational level of those who traditionally did not have the advantages (both economic and social) of living in the 'majority.'"

I wholeheartedly agree with respect to AA's intended purpose and its validity. I would certainly concede that AA is somewhat successful in elevating the educational level of a subset of the underprivileged population (of course, its potency is reduced by the unusually high dropout and bar failure rates among the beneficiaries). Without the proper institutional support, however, this is just window-dressing. That a big portion of the intended beneficiaries of AA does not survive the "fair market" competition after 7-12 years of AA-endorsed advanced schooling is a scathing indictment on AA. AA is failing precisely because it's treated as the be-all, end-all approach to reducing racial inequality. As it currently stands, people are generally suspicious of ANY black, Hispanic or native Americans with degrees from prestigious schools. This suspicion is justified in some cases - after all, the beneficiaries of AA do tend to underperform despite their fancy degrees, even more so than their non-URM counterparts (there are plenty of white top law school graduates who are bad lawyers). If the underprivileged minority were to receive any preferential treatment (a notion which I can't categorically reject), it should be more substantial than simply lowering the bar for them. For example, I am likely to support a program which provides (and/or mandates) extra support - tutors, afterschool programs, etc. - for the underprivileged students, whether or not the programs are race-blind. This kind of program would probably cause an even bigger uproar among those who are shut out because of their race (because they would have to be funded by tax dollars) and the Supreme Court probably won't be too sympathetic, but at least we'd be attacking the source of the problem.

"The underlying, perhaps even unstated, assumption is that that UM if given the same opportunities the white student had had would have indeed been ahead of where he is now."

Once again, I wholeheartedly agree! Perhaps the 168/3.3 student, assuming that he/she is indeed underprivileged, could have done as well as the 171/3.65 student if given the same opportunity AND held to the same standards (I am referring to my argument in the initial post about how AA sometimes DISCOURAGES UMs from reaching their full potential). I understand that AA is trying to address this imbalance. But as I've said multiple times, AA does not focus the source of the problem. Rather, it creates and implements a superficial standard of measuring the imbalance. Why don't we attack the source? Your parents can't answer your questions about schoolwork? We'll give you tutors. Your parents are working full time, and have no time or incentive to encourage your intellectual growth? We will assign you to mentors and FORCE you to attend afterschool programs specifically designed to keep you on track. I understand these programs will be very difficult to implement. They are costly, they can be abused easily, and if they are not race-blind, they are probably unconstitutional. But it would still be a better solution than AA.

P.S. I never made an anti-AA argument based on unfairness to certain individuals, even though I happen to be a socio-economically disadvantaged person of color who does not receive preferential treatment under AA. Rather, my arguments and conjectures are based on the aggregate failures of AA, as evidenced by many statistical results - for example, that "black students as a whole have dramatically lower bar passage rates than white students with similar credentials." Source: http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010522
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 24, 2008, 11:20:08 AM
Off topic:

Does anyone really think that if AA were refurbished and/or eliminated in law school admissions, that it would likewise be refurbished and/or abolished in firm hiring?

Point being, so the top schools have less URM attending, fewer URM in general are accepted to law schools, but top firms just start taking URM from lower ranked schools and a wider geographic net.

This whole conversation seems to me to be a rather moot point, and a way for some of you to express your frustration for not having a "deserved" seat at a top 14 school.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Astro on March 24, 2008, 12:56:51 PM
Off topic:

Does anyone really think that if AA were refurbished and/or eliminated in law school admissions, that it would likewise be refurbished and/or abolished in firm hiring?

Point being, so the top schools have less URM attending, fewer URM in general are accepted to law schools, but top firms just start taking URM from lower ranked schools and a wider geographic net.

This whole conversation seems to me to be a rather moot point, and a way for some of you to express your frustration for not having a "deserved" seat at a top 14 school.

No *&^%!  This board was actually called "White Whiners" until Andrew thought it needed a polite touch-up.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 24, 2008, 03:23:42 PM

I love how people say, 'what, that spot wasn't yours, the minority didn't take YOUR spot'.   No, nobody's saying you had your name on the chair, but you know without AA who'd be sitting there, and who'd be at a lesser rated school.   
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 24, 2008, 03:27:46 PM

I love how people say, 'what, that spot wasn't yours, the minority didn't take YOUR spot'.   No, nobody's saying you had your name on the chair, but you know without AA who'd be sitting there, and who'd be at a lesser rated school.   

Who?
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: filet o' fish on March 24, 2008, 03:28:43 PM
I (and probably the majority if Americans) believe that AA based on socio-economic factors are, not just acceptable, but desirable. 

I think you misunderstand what AA really is, and what exactly law school (or college) admissions really look at, but whatever...
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 24, 2008, 08:54:58 PM
I love how people say, 'what, that spot wasn't yours, the minority didn't take YOUR spot'.   No, nobody's saying you had your name on the chair, but you know without AA who'd be sitting there, and who'd be at a lesser rated school.   

unhappy with your school?

How perceptive.  Go Longhorns!
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: OperaAttorney on March 25, 2008, 10:41:16 AM
Wassup Nemorini,

Thanks for sharing. Here are some of my random thoughts...

If I may throw in my two cents...

My friend refused to reveal his race on his college applications. His relatives would jokingly say "you are a [black man] who thinks he's too good for other [black people]," except they were using the n-word, in my presence! (I couldn't hold it against them because according to one of his uncles, not using "polite talk" in my presence was a demonstration of closeness and acceptance) This kind of attitude, my friend argued, was the root of all AA-related problems. He has said on more than one occasion, "I'm not too good for my own kind, but I am DEFINITELY too good for this racist system that tells black, Hispanic and native American children everywhere, 'we've lowered the standards for you because we don't expect any better from you.'"

I applaud your friend for his ambition and exceptional work ethic, but I also question his anti-AA views--with good reason.  I know enough URMs (I'm one of them!) who have done exceedingly well in college because of AA (and not in spite of it). Here's the message I get from AA: "We realize the stark degree of inequity in society and want to even the playing field for those who have been and remain shortchanged by the current system."

My position on this issue has changed significantly since then. There is no question that the intended beneficiaries of AA are still systematically disadvantaged. I am not arguing that these disadvantages are born of some evil, racist policies. It's just statistics. A black or Hispanic child, statistically speaking, is less likely to have access to the kind of education, peer interaction and family upbringing which set people up for the best jobs, government positions, academic posts, etc. Can we trace this phenomenon back to slavery? Racism of the past? Maybe. I don't know and I DON'T CARE where the blame lies.

The answer to your 2 questions is a resounding YES.  And although I'm no "victimologist," I still don't see how one can effectively address current problems without a realistic appreciation of the past. Simply put, history matters and you SHOULD care about EVERY aspect of the "puzzle."

We can justify the need for bridging the socio-economic gap without citing historical or moral responsibility. Such gaps (which can easily be construed as having racial implications) have caused so much tension, hate and needless restriction on our ability to exchange ideas freely.  Real incidents of racism are often ignored. Innocuous mistakes or the results of free market competition are blamed on racism.

Here we must agree to disagree.  Many conscious scholars and intellectuals would argue that such "mistakes" are not "innocuous," that they are instead carefully implemented strategies with invidious ends.  These scholars & intellectuals would also reject the free-market-competition theory, since the capitalists in our country exercise a significant amount of control over circulation and availability.  Do you know the true story behind the '80s crack epidemic in the hood?

And I happen to believe that AA is not the right way to do this.

We don't live in a world of absolutes.  In fact, things are rarely completely right or wrong.  In most cases we go for the best case scenaro, and, in my opinion (of course), AA is the best case scenario at the moment. Is it perfect? Absolutely not. But America without AA would be horrible for most underrepresented people of color.  Such an end would not justify the means that many anti-AA proponents propose.

An intelligent black student, who could have gotten 170+/3.8 with adequate guidance and an appropriate amount of societal pressure and expectation, ends up with a 3.5 and a 165 because everyone tells him that he will have a good shot at the nation's top law schools if he gets over 3.5 and 165.

I am a black male with "beautiful" numbers. No one has ever told me to settle for less because of AA. (Do you really believe this BS?)  And while there are URMs who think that AA will hold them up, I know of many URMs who work hard because they know how rough it is in the real world. 

Not only is the "shield" gone, many people, as a result of the widespread usage of AA, have negative preconceived notions about his general qualifications. This is entirely unfair to people like my friend whose unbridled success is attributable only to his talent, work ethic and refusal to give into AA's not-so-subtle message.

"Many people" (aka white people) have always attempted to discredit people of color. This ain't new! If AA did not exist, they'd look for something else.  And, for the record, your friend's "unbridled success" is in part due to the struggles of those before him, including the civil rights activists who fought for AA.  There's no such thing as a self-made man--we've all received a hookup at one time or another.


Instead of encouraging an underachieving student to do his best, we give him a training wheel, make him depend on it, and then take it away without warning.

Now I agree that we should encourage underachieving students to reach their full potential.  In fact, I have regular talks with Black freshpersons and sophomores who would rather party on the weekend than do their homework. Additionally, I know--on a concrete level--that my UG experience has been enriched by AA; I simply am a better law school applicant because of it. For me and countless others, it has not been a training wheel.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Letsgo on March 25, 2008, 10:50:11 AM
You never lived in Patterson.  You lived in Haledon or Wayne.  You don't need to lie to give yourself standing. 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Nemorino on March 25, 2008, 02:36:37 PM
Hey, OperaAttorney

Thanks for the welcome. Are you into opera? (I am, as my name indicates... but then again, if you weren't into opera, you wouldn't recognize the name :P)

"I know enough URMs--I'm one of them!--who have done exceedingly well in college because of AA (and not in spite of it). Here's the message I get from AA: 'We realize the stark degree of inequity in society and want to even the playing field for those who have been and remain shortchanged by the current system.'"

First of all, Kudos to you and all those around you who have done well. You are living proof that those who claim "why are we so afraid to admit the simple truth? [Insert minority type here] people are just not as intelligent!" are wrong. Unfortunately I met plenty of people (especially those of my own race) who actually believe this.

Would you mind clarifying what you mean by "because of AA" though? Later you say that your "UG experience has been enriched by AA; I simply am a better law school applicant because of it." What do you mean by that? I'm not trying to be a jerk - I'm just confused. How did AA enrich your experience? By expanding African American presence/influence on campus? How are you a better law school applicant, besides the simple explanation that your beautiful numbers shine even more against the backdrop of AA's lowered standards?

As for your interpretation of AA, while I don't want to make the cliched argument of "well my people have suffered in the past and I am at the bottom rung of society, so why don't I get preferential treatment," perhaps you understand why certain people - poor whites, Asians and Arabs, just to name a few groups - resent the idea. I don't necessarily endorse their arguments, and it is laughable to compare the current plight of poor whites to hundreds of years of slavery or a systematic massacre of one's ancestors, but I don't think AA's main stated purpose is to make reparations, as you imply. Otherwise, Hispanics wouldn't be in the mix. While the whole idea of measuring one ethnic group's suffering against that of another group is pretty absurd (who suffered more? African American Slaves, Chinese railroad workers, or Hispanic miners?), it is indisputable that a significant majority of the black and Native American students applying to colleges/grad schools today are descendants of those who were directly affected by America's dark past, and that a significant majority of the Hispanic, Asian, and Arabic students can't make similar historical reparations claims. AA, as the term "URM" implies, is all about under-representation, regardless of who's responsible for the phenomenon.

The answer to your 2 questions is a resounding YES.  And although I'm no 'victimologist,' I still don't see how one can effectively address current problems without a realistic appreciation of the past. Simply put, history matters and you SHOULD care about EVERY aspect of the 'puzzle.'

I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree here as well. I am a hard-headed law & econ guy. For example, even though I believe that a nation-wide ban on civillian ownership of every type of fire arm is a direct violation of the letter AND the spirit of the Second Amendment, I would fully support it because I believe it will raise our society's overall well-being. For me, very few laws, ideals, or historical tendencies are so sacrosanct that it can override utility. In the case of "bridging the racial gaps in social and economic standing," the question of whether we are morally obligated is nearly irrelevant for me. I just happen to think that reducing the gap will add to our collective well-being.


"Many conscious scholars and intellectuals would argue that such "mistakes" are not "innocuous," that they are instead carefully implemented strategies with invidious ends."

Really? I mean I'd buy the argument of "your slip-up demonstrates your deep seeded, perhaps unconscious prejudice against that minority group," but carefully implemented strategies? I would appreciate some examples in this arena. Maybe I haven't being paying enough attention. Who are the scholars that endorse this idea?

"These scholars & intellectuals would also reject the free-market-competition theory, since the capitalists in our country exercise a significant amount of control over circulation and availability."

Ditto. I wasn't speaking of the economic theory. Rather, I was referring to individual cases such as this: <http://www.abovethelaw.com/2007/12/lawyer_of_the_day_charlene_mor.php>
"Free market competition," especially under the law firm model, doesn't just require general competence. It also requires congeniality, social and political savvy, and perhaps most importantly, an ability to restrain yourself from screaming at your bosses. Surely you must agree that it's absurd for the attorney in question to blame her termination on racial discrimination. Just about any person of any race (except perhaps the son/daughter of the firm's namesake partner) behaving in such manner would have been fired!

In most cases we go for the best case scenaro, and, in my opinion (of course), AA is the best case scenario at the moment. Is it perfect? Absolutely not.

Please read my second post. I think the best case scenario is to devote far more resources to the actual education of URMs from an early age, not pushing them through various educational institutions only to have a significant portion fail to make the socio-economic leap. I'd be happy to pay more taxes to support mandatory afterschool programs for the underperforming URM children, because that is getting to the heart of the problem.

No one has ever told me to settle for less because of AA. (Do you really believe this BS?)  And while there are URMs who think that AA will hold them up, I know of many URMs who work hard because they know how rough it is in the real world.

I am not denying the existence of URMs who push themselves hard despite the lower standard to which they are subjected. But you yourself have conceded that there are those who rely heavily on their URM status. I know plenty of people (many of whom are good friends of mine) who aim lower because of AA. Some of them have been told explicitly by their prelaw advisers that they don't have to aim higher than 170 to get into yale/harvard/stanford law schools. I don't hold it agianst the advisers either. It is a valid, rational advice. Perhaps you feel offended by this notion (because you happened to have given your best shot regardless), but I assure you, it's no BS.

"Many people" (aka white people) have always attempted to discredit people of color. This ain't new! If AA did not exist, they'd look for something else.

Ok, but as it stands, you can't discredit those people entirely. Beneficiaries of AA DO tend to underperform, both in school and in their career. See <http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/la-oe-sander26sep26,0,3998908.story?coll=la-opinion-rightrail> for example. "Still, certain facts are indisputable. Data from one selective California law school from 2005 show that students who received large preferences were 10 times as likely to fail the California bar as students who received no preference."

Perhaps if we root out the cause of that doubt, maybe they will run out of semi-legitimate reasons.

"your friend's "unbridled success" is in part due to the struggles of those before him, including the civil rights activists who fought for AA."

Well I can't speak for the civil rights movement - I don't have any subject matter expertise - but wasn't the struggle about equal treatment? It is my understanding that not all civil rights activists (past and present) are proponents of AA. Just as those activists rejected "separate but equal," they would also have eschewed "separate but better for blacks," right? I thought the idea was to hold everyone to the same standard, regardless of the color of their skin. Dr. King wasn't endorsing the appointment of an incompetent man of color over a competent white man, was he? I am not being sarcastic here. I really don't know - because I moved to the US during the 11th grade, I missed a lot of social studies and US History classes.

Look, I am certainly willing to concede that AA has been a positive force on some people's lives. But there's plenty of data out there which suggests that so far, AA has been a limited success at best and a spectacular failure at worst. You can't just turn a blind eye to these findings. I am not arguing for a ban on AA with no contingency plan. Even though my motivations are different from those of many AA supporters, I do believe that we need to bridge the socio-economic gaps between various races. As you said in your post, we should strive for the best case scenario. And you must open yourself up to the possibility that AA is not the best case scenario. It's billed as one because a lot of people have made their careers out of defending it.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: upwithmontana on March 25, 2008, 06:18:58 PM
Anyone who thinks that AA is a "racist and harmful" program is obviously racist.  It's not about crying, whining or asking for handouts. It's about providing equal opportunities for historically disadvantaged groups.  Why is that so hard for people to understand.   ??? Please provide a logical response.

I'll take a stab and then bow out because I don't want to get into this:  The reason, I think, that people can't understand the justification for AA is because they do not see it as providing equal opportunity.  They see it as providing more opportunities to minorities.  I AM NOT ONE OF THESE PEOPLE, but I see a lot of them where I live.  I think it's because there are not a lot of opportunities for people in my locale to see the real disadvantage that exists in areas with more minorities.  I would not, however, go as far as to say that all of these people are racists just because they point out that it's not an equal opportunity system in all cases; because they are right, it's not.  Everyone can agree that not all whites are privleged and not all minorities are unprivleged.  There will be instances where an advantage (or disadvantage) will be given to someone who doesn't really need the help.

The justification, as far as I have concluded is best described using something like LS admissions as an example:  Say a school gets 6500 apps per year.  It cannot feasibly seach into the economic and social advantage of every one of those applicants.  So it concludes based on the averages.  If I walk down the street, see a black guy, and assume he is poor based on his being black, I will be wrong plenty of times (on many levels).  But if I make the same judgment about a white guy, I will be wrong on an economic level many more times.  Sure, maybe a white applicant came from a poor background, his parents passed away early, he dealt with prejudice because is was in a wheelchair, whatever.  Yeah, maybe a black girl grew up as the daughter of a wealthy businessman and got a Mercedes onher 16th, OK.  But if the adcomms are going to get decisions out before August, they are going to have to trust the numbers a little bit.  Besides, the white disadvantaged can indicate that they are such in additional materials and receive a boost as well.  Is this racism?  If making determinations about somebody based soley on race is racist, then, yes.  But I bet not a single person would ever want it to be necessary.  But, I think it is, right now.  The people who are against AA simply disagree that anyone should be entitled to an advantage over others.  Many of them do not realize just how deep American history has cut minorities.  Some are racist.

As someone said earlier, AA will continue to be justified until there is an proportionate number of minorities who are in influential positions.  This tends to infiltrate higher education first.  Asian Americans are not given URM staus because they are not underrepresented anyomre.  But they still benefit from AA in the workplace as far as I have seen (although, that is dwindling too).  Once the rest of the minority groups catch up, I bet you'll see URM status become less and less of an issue in higher education.  To me, therein lies the only commendable reason to support AA:  practice it now with the hope that doing so will prevent you from having to in the future.  I think we're still a long way from the tipping point.



 

Which is it?
Adcomms don't have the time to figure out if you're socioeconomically disadvantaged so they should just go by race and that's fair because proportionately there are more disadvantaged URMs.
or
Adcomms can look at your additional materials if you're white and disadvantaged and then give you the big old boost too.

Honey, reality check:  You could've have been raised by wolves, never seen the inside of a school and have no shoes,  but if you happen to be white TOO - Guess what, you do not get the 10/12 point LSAT boost that the rich, black female is going to get.
Let's not argue about what's fair. 
Let's just go forward on the basis that white guilt and political correctness are ruining everything this country stands for. 
If you're a urm, you are benefitting from this system and your opinion is irrelevant.
If you are white, count yourself lucky if that urm didn't take your spot.

 


Sorry just came back to this one.  Hopefully you understand the difference in the time and resources required to obtain background info offered up in additional materials and full-on background investigations when no such info is provided.  If not, then I can't speak with you.  I'm white, poor, 1st generation college, came from a economically depressed area.  I told the schools as much (hopefully without being too whiny), and I think I got a bit of a boost. 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: OperaAttorney on March 25, 2008, 07:30:33 PM
Ciao Nemorini!

L'ELISIR D'AMORE was the first opera I recorded on video.  Televised over a decade ago, the cast featured our beloved Luciano Pavarotti and Kathleen Battle, then at the height of her powers.  I still return to it. They're both great in their arias, as well as their 2 duets. Do you sing as well?
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: OperaAttorney on March 25, 2008, 09:35:54 PM
Hey NemorinO,

I like your response format much better.  So here goes...

Would you mind clarifying what you mean by "because of AA" though? Later you say that your "UG experience has been enriched by AA; I simply am a better law school applicant because of it." What do you mean by that? I'm not trying to be a jerk - I'm just confused. How did AA enrich your experience? By expanding African American presence/influence on campus? How are you a better law school applicant, besides the simple explanation that your beautiful numbers shine even more against the backdrop of AA's lowered standards?

While my numbers as a college applicant weren’t shabby, they were not extraordinary, Nemorini.  Nevertheless, I worked hard to put together the best application package, hoping for the best. Consequently, I matriculated at one of the most prestigious UC campuses and am willing to admit that AA might have worked in my favor.   (I have several friends, including a first-generation college student, with similar experiences.)  And as an undergraduate, I have availed myself of every suitable academic-support program, as well as other programs/resources that exist because of AA (e.g., the African American Student Union, internships for students of color, minority mentorship opportunities, etc.).

I don't think AA's main stated purpose is to make reparations, as you imply.

How does sanctioning policies that seek to level “the playing field for those who have been and remain shortchanged by the current system” imply advocating reparations?

I suppose we'll have to agree to disagree here as well. I am a hard-headed law & econ guy.

I am a hard-headed crit who believes that contextual reasoning is of utmost importance. ;)  I’m also not a law student yet—I’m applying this fall—so give me a year or two to catch up with you.  What did you study in college?

Really? I mean I'd buy the argument of "your slip-up demonstrates your deep seeded, perhaps unconscious prejudice against that minority group," but carefully implemented strategies? I would appreciate some examples in this arena. Maybe I haven't being paying enough attention. Who are the scholars that endorse this idea?

To this day, the Reagan administration is condemned for its key role in pumping crack into inner-city neighborhoods.  In addition, the mandatory crack/cocaine sentencing laws remain disparate. Michael Eric Dyson is one scholar who readily comes to mind.

Ditto. I wasn't speaking of the economic theory. Rather, I was referring to individual cases such as this: http://www.abovethelaw.com/2007/12/lawyer_of_the_day_charlene_mor.php

I haven’t visited the above link, but you did not provide such details with your reference to “free market competition.”  Morrisseau sounds incorrigible, though.  If the stories are true, she deserved to get canned.

Please read my second post. I think the best case scenario is to devote far more resources to the actual education of URMs from an early age, not pushing them through various educational institutions only to have a significant portion fail to make the socio-economic leap.

While I agree that devoting more resources to the education of URMS at an early age is an urgent necessity, I do not believe that that alone constitutes the best-case scenario for URMs. People of color still suffer from institutionalized racism at higher levels, though that does not seem to be the case for the incorrigible Morrisseau.

Some of them have been told explicitly by their prelaw advisers that they don't have to aim higher than 170 to get into yale/harvard/stanford law schools.

Might they have been told that a URM with a 170 LSAT is a highly competitive candidate for admission to HYS?  I’m prepping for the June LSAT and am aiming for the elusive 180. LOL

Ok, but as it stands, you can't discredit those people entirely.

Yes, I can.  If I assume that every white person I meet is not prejudiced (until I am proven otherwise), why should a white person assume my qualifications are subpar because of my skin color? Those who do so can blame it on AA, but I know better.  My sister did not graduate at top of her med school class, but she’s an accomplished OB/GYN today.  Numbers only mean so much, Nemorino.

Well I can't speak for the civil rights movement - I don't have any subject matter expertise - but wasn't the struggle about equal treatment? It is my understanding that not all civil rights activists (past and present) are proponents of AA.

In order to secure equal treatment for everyone, "special" measures were taken to "protect" those formerly subject to discrimination.  AA proponents argue that such "protection" is still necessary.

I thought the idea was to hold everyone to the same standard, regardless of the color of their skin.

To transcend race issues, we must first confront and deal with race issues.

Dr. King wasn't endorsing the appointment of an incompetent man of color over a competent white man, was he?

How is competency defined? Who gets to define it? What biases are included/excluded?

I really don't know - because I moved to the US during the 11th grade, I missed a lot of social studies and US History classes.

You seem well-informed, Nemorino.  I don’t expect you to have full knowledge of the particulars; I know I don’t. Are you currently in law school?

Even though my motivations are different from those of many AA supporters, I do believe that we need to bridge the socio-economic gaps between various races.

I agree that socioeconomic status should be considered in law school admissions.  I do, however, reject the argument that race-based admission policies should be eliminated and have already shared why.  Besides, I have observed that many anti-AA proponents harbor unbenign motives.
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: eastend on March 26, 2008, 05:31:11 AM
This has gotten a little too self-congratulatory. 
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: OperaAttorney on March 26, 2008, 05:49:21 AM
This has gotten a little too self-congratulatory. 

Would you like to add your caustic commentary?  ::)
Title: Re: States ending AA
Post by: Nemorino on March 28, 2008, 03:43:40 PM
I wish I could sing! Alas! One of the few ways in which I currently serve mankind is by keeping my mouth :-X!

As much as I respect Pavarotti and Kathleen Battle, it must have been hell for the stage managers. When you put the world's biggest Divo and a contender for the world's biggest Diva together - well, that's how you end up with a contract mandating that the production staff provide a bowl of non-brown M&Ms for each performance.

And as an undergraduate, I have availed myself of every suitable academic-support program, as well as other programs/resources that exist because of AA (e.g., the African American Student Union, internships for students of color, minority mentorship opportunities, etc.).

As you might have guessed, I am a fan of these programs and opportunities. If you consider these to be products of (or an integral part of) AA, then I suppose I can't reject AA altogether. I would still argue that it's irresponsible for a school to admit underqualified URMs and then either (i) fail to provide adequate support designed to "pull them up" to the institution's standard (the kind you received, apparently) or (ii) fail to get those students to take advantage of the available support. And I contend that a lot of law schools are failing this two-pronged test. Otherwise, findings such as those mentioned in Richard H. Sander's study don't make sense. Here are some direct quotes from The Chronicle of Higher Education:

"After the first year of law school, 51 percent of black students have grade-point averages that place them in the bottom tenth of their classes, compared with 5 percent of white students."

"Among students who entered law school in 1991, about 80 percent of white students graduated and passed the bar on their first attempt, compared with just 45 percent of black students."

<http://chronicle.com/free/v51/i12/12a03501.htm>

These are hard facts, even though the rest of the study is a statistical extrapolation which seems credible but not fully proven... because the State Bar of California, under heavy pressure from AA proponents, refuse to grant Prof. Sander - and hundreds of other interested scholars - access to recent and detailed raw data.

How does sanctioning policies that seek to level “the playing field for those who have been and remain shortchanged by the current system” imply advocating reparations?

If not for historical reparation (i.e. our moral obligation as a society to give preferential treatment to the victims of slavery and their descendants), why do you insist on race as a critical factor, as opposed to socio-economic standing alone? I'd hate to delve into this cliched realm of the AA debate, but a strict reading of your interpretation (without inferring historical reparation) should allow the poor white folks living in the heart of Appalachian Mountains, who "have been and remain shortchanged by the current system," to enjoy the benefits of AA.

Besides, your previous statements such as "The answer to your 2 questions is a resounding YES" and "Simply put, history matters and you SHOULD care about EVERY aspect of the 'puzzle'" led me to believe that you consider reparations as at least one of the justifications for AA.

To this day, the Reagan administration is condemned for its key role in pumping crack into inner-city neighborhoods.  In addition, the mandatory crack/cocaine sentencing laws remain disparate. Michael Eric Dyson is one scholar who readily comes to mind.

Well, without studying the facts of these allegations, I can still say without hesitation that if true, that's not the kind of innocuous mistake I was referring to. I was speaking of incidents such as the one at my old high school when a Jewish girl accused her friends of anti-semitism after they made fun of her big nose  :o Her friends were practically expelled (asked to go to the other school in the district, even though that school was 35 minutes away).

Yes, I can.  If I assume that every white person I meet is not prejudiced (until I am proven otherwise), why should a white person assume my qualifications are subpar because of my skin color? Those who do so can blame it on AA, but I know better.

I should have said, "one can't discredit those people entirely." You can dismiss their suspicions about yourself because your school records and the quality of your work will speak for themselves, according to your other post. But can you defend every other beneficiary of race-based AA? According to the statistics cited in Sander's study, many - at least 51%, apparently - of the African American law school graduates can't necessarily do the same. If someone told me that they consider every white person to be prejudiced unless proven otherwise, I wouldn't agree with their position. Nonetheless, knowing well that there are plenty of prejudiced white people out there, I'd have to conclude that there is at least a modicum of legitimacy in their suspicion. When backed by hard facts such as those I cited earlier, I can't blame someone for feeling similarly about AA.

My sister did not graduate at top of her med school class, but she’s an accomplished OB/GYN today.  Numbers only mean so much, Nemorino.


But there are certain numbers that really, really matter: % of bar passage rate, for example. When 43% of African American law school graduates never become lawyers because they fail the bar multiple times, there is a problem with the current system.

<http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010522>

Besides, I have observed that many anti-AA proponents harbor unbenign motives.

Ain't that the truth! But as I said in my initial post, I think you should understand - if not in your heart, at least through the power of reason - that people of all races are STILL shortchanged by the current AA system. I am not just referring to the poor white, Asian or Middle Eastern people. What about the 43% of the African American law school graduates who are $100,000 in debt($200,000 if they also went to a fancy college) with no law license?


I feel like I've said enough on the subject matter. I do appreciate the opportunity to re-examine, re-affirm and articulate my opinion on this divisive issue. There's no better catalyst for this process than an intelligent opponent, so thank you.

No I'm not a law student yet. I studied economics at a very good college (and yes I wrote my thesis on law and economics) and now I'm working in nyc. The elusive 180 is indeed elusive, but I am going for 178+. Eh, these numbers are pretty artificial anyway.

Best of luck to you!