Law School Discussion

Specific Groups => Minority and Non-Traditional Law Students => Topic started by: Infinity on July 28, 2006, 04:58:48 PM

Title: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on July 28, 2006, 04:58:48 PM
Red's thread has recently gone offroad from its attempt to provide a justification for AA based purely on merit.  Plus I have a bigger question for Red et al: why does AA need theoretical justification at all?

In other words, for all those attempting to provide various justifications for AA based on diversity, merit, fairness, and other abstract or semi-abstract principles: why does AA need a justification beyond the empirical fact that it lessens the racial stratification of our society without imposing a significant cost? 

This "empirical fact" is certainly debateable (maybe it doesn't reduce racial stratification or maybe the cost is too high), and I'd be open to hearing arguments about it, but otherwise, justifications from fairness, merit, diversity, etc. all seem largely irrelevant.

Certainly these abstract principles are employed in my implicit assumption that lessening racial stratification is a good thing, but that is irrelevant; few people, i think, support racial stratification, though their particular reasons for opposing racial stratification differ, so we should ignore why and instead focus on the fact that most people do oppose racial stratification.  As long as we all agree that racial stratification should be reduced, if it is empirically true that AA helps reduce it, and the cost of AA is not too great, then AA is justified, end of story.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Miss P on July 28, 2006, 06:17:28 PM
Red's thread has recently gone offroad from its attempt to provide a justification for AA based purely on merit.  Plus I have a bigger question for Red et al: why does AA need theoretical justification at all?

In other words, for all those attempting to provide various justifications for AA based on diversity, merit, fairness, and other abstract or semi-abstract principles: why does AA need a justification beyond the empirical fact that it lessens the racial stratification of our society without imposing a significant cost? 

This "empirical fact" is certainly debateable (maybe it doesn't reduce racial stratification or maybe the cost is too high), and I'd be open to hearing arguments about it, but otherwise, justifications from fairness, merit, diversity, etc. all seem largely irrelevant.

Certainly these abstract principles are employed in my implicit assumption that lessening racial stratification is a good thing, but that is irrelevant; few people, i think, support racial stratification, though their particular reasons for opposing racial stratification differ, so we should ignore why and instead focus on the fact that most people do oppose racial stratification.  As long as we all agree that racial stratification should be reduced, if it is empirically true that AA helps reduce it, and the cost of AA is not too great, then AA is justified, end of story.

Smart Man/Woman!

Its doesnt need to be justified.

It doesnt even need the bolded justification you offered, albeit I think thats an agreeable goal to most people.

I agree.  I think that this is the real challenge to put to people, actually.  Anti-AA types will argue about any justification you make and whether your particular goal is sound, but what they're really scared of is racial equality.  Let them explain this.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: thorc954 on July 28, 2006, 08:30:02 PM
Damn the OP made a seriously good point. Prepare to hear some fairness, discrimination, and slippery slope arguments though.
[/quote]

I wanted to start it off with some slippery slope arguements... I figured I might as well be the first. 

It doesnt need to be justified to those that believe that racial stratification is unfair, but then again, those people usually arent the ones that oppose AA to begin with.

I am one of the people that believe that racism has in many ways been replaced by classism. Although I feel racial stratification is unjustified, I find absolutely nothing appaling about classism. I think that AA targets poor blacks while ignoring poor whites. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on July 28, 2006, 09:08:15 PM
I wanted to start it off with some slippery slope arguements... I figured I might as well be the first. 

It doesnt need to be justified to those that believe that racial stratification is unfair, but then again, those people usually arent the ones that oppose AA to begin with.

I am one of the people that believe that racism has in many ways been replaced by classism. Although I feel racial stratification is unjustified, I find absolutely nothing appaling about classism. I think that AA targets poor blacks while ignoring poor whites. 

I'm sure people are opposed to classism too, but what does that have to do with AA?  To argue against AA because it does not take into account class is like saying that since I oppose in baseball both steroids and corked bats, any rules that ban corked bats but not steroids are flawed.  If people think classism is a major problem in law school admissions, then other policies can be implemented to compensate, but that need not necessarily concern AA.  Though there might be some overlap between AA and SES, just the way there may be between baseball hitters who use corked bats and steroids (see: Sammy Sosa), you can have separate policies.

I also don't really think this is a slippery slope argument (just because we have AA for race it does imply that we need some policy for class).  And, by the way, I HATE slippery slope arguments--i think they're intellectually lazy.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: thorc954 on July 28, 2006, 09:21:18 PM
My point simply is that racism has somewhat been replaced by classism, yet AA is still trying to correct for racism. Granted, there is an obvious connection between race and class, but I think something is missing with AA in its current state...

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on July 28, 2006, 10:16:12 PM
My point simply is that racism has somewhat been replaced by classism, yet AA is still trying to correct for racism. Granted, there is an obvious connection between race and class, but I think something is missing with AA in its current state...



You can often disguise your class, but it is pretty tough to hide your race. 

And I agree, there is no need to justify AA to anyone.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: thorc954 on July 28, 2006, 10:21:42 PM


You can often disguise your class, but it is pretty tough to hide your race. 

And I agree, there is no need to justify AA to anyone.
[/quote]

true, but when your class dictates your education and your lsat scores, it is a whole other story... im suggesting that class is the cause of the score discrepency rather than race
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on July 28, 2006, 10:29:13 PM


You can often disguise your class, but it is pretty tough to hide your race. 

And I agree, there is no need to justify AA to anyone.

true, but when your class dictates your education and your lsat scores, it is a whole other story... im suggesting that class is the cause of the score discrepency rather than race
[/quote]

What do you do about the idea that class is a spectrum, not a firm category?  Just deflate the numbers of the rich kids to give a boost to anyone below a certain class cut-off?

Also, rich kids make rich alums.  This helps the school and arguably all the less well off kids who the school helps with the money given by the wealthy.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on July 28, 2006, 10:33:49 PM
I would also add that I think law schools DO compensate for class: they take grade inflation in mind when looking at GPA, they often ask about your parents' education level, they ask you to talk about adversity you've overcome.  I think these soft factors help boost people.  It is just a lot harder to point to someone and say, "That poor kid took my spot because I am too rich!" 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Towelie on July 28, 2006, 10:50:00 PM
Why does AA need justification? Because any law needs justification. Aside from that, I also think lawmakers need to show that AA is the best solution to the problem. Saying that a law needs no justification is a step I'm not willing to take, and those of you who agreed with the OP might want to question what would become of society if this was a policy we all adopted.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on July 28, 2006, 10:52:54 PM
Why does AA need justification? Because any law needs justification. Aside from that, I also think lawmakers need to show that AA is the best solution to the problem. Saying that a law needs no justification is a step I'm not willing to take, and those of you who agreed with the OP might want to question what would become of society if this was a policy we all adopted.

I think the OP is referring to the context in red.'s thread, about justifying it to bitter white kids who feel like they were denied in order to let in AA kids.  Not legal justification in the eyes of the courts (or are you referring to the legislature?).
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Towelie on July 28, 2006, 11:05:30 PM
Why does AA need justification? Because any law needs justification. Aside from that, I also think lawmakers need to show that AA is the best solution to the problem. Saying that a law needs no justification is a step I'm not willing to take, and those of you who agreed with the OP might want to question what would become of society if this was a policy we all adopted.

I think the OP is referring to the context in red.'s thread, about justifying it to bitter white kids who feel like they were denied in order to let in AA kids.  Not legal justification in the eyes of the courts (or are you referring to the legislature?).


I think any law needs justification - not only to the courts and legislature, but also to the people the law affects. However, I don't think it should be justified by random people on an internet message board.

That said, I am a huge opponent of AA and take issue with your classification of those who oppose it as "bitter white kids who feel like they were denied in order to let in AA kids". First off, although I certainly don't feel this way, it is a valid claim. Aside from that, there is certainly a valid argument against AA which is not rooted in racism or bitterness, but rather in equality and the hope that instead of bumping minority applicants up, we as a culture can find a system where students can score the same - regardless of their race, gender, or creed. If this means revamping the LSAT, then so be it. If this means improving our school system (particularly in impovershed areas), so be it. But, for the life of me, I cannot and will not conceed that the proper answer is giving certain minority groups a literal bump on the LSAT. Even if that policy does make law school more diverse, it makes it seem as if we have just admitted that minorities cannot do better on the test and, instead of investigating and changing that, we should just bump their scores up to make it fair. Seems absurd to me.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on July 28, 2006, 11:27:37 PM
It is not valid to claim AA admits are the reason a non-minority did not get admitted.  Why not blame the rich kid who took a year off on daddy's dime to study the LSAT with prep courses and private tutors for having an inflated LSAT even though he does not have more ability? Why not just suck it up and think, "Hey, the class must have had some really amazing candidates who were simply better than I am."

Instead there is a lot of talk about how AA kids are taking spots unfairly.  How many AA admits do people think there really are?  Why focus on the minority kids over all the other "unfair" admits?  At the heart of it, I can't help but think that focus is indicative of a certain degree of racism.     
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Towelie on July 29, 2006, 12:39:47 AM
It is not valid to claim AA admits are the reason a non-minority did not get admitted.  Why not blame the rich kid who took a year off on daddy's dime to study the LSAT with prep courses and private tutors for having an inflated LSAT even though he does not have more ability? Why not just suck it up and think, "Hey, the class must have had some really amazing candidates who were simply better than I am."

Instead there is a lot of talk about how AA kids are taking spots unfairly.  How many AA admits do people think there really are?  Why focus on the minority kids over all the other "unfair" admits?  At the heart of it, I can't help but think that focus is indicative of a certain degree of racism.     


I guess the claim that I meant was valid was that a lot of people think that with their numbers they would have been admitted to a school that is drastically better than the one they are attending had they been a minority.. and it's hard to debate that.

However, I will agree that the kids who say "minorities took my spot!" are idiots. My claim is that rather than giving minorities extra points on the LSAT or a less stringent admission's policy, we should instead not take the easy way out and fight the root of the problem. As I said earlier, if this means fixing the LSAT itself, then I am for it.. and if this means completely revamping our nation's public school system, then I am for that too. But simply sitting back and accepting that certain minority groups are doing worse and having the only response being to lessen admission's standards seems pretty lazy to me, and not the right answer.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on July 29, 2006, 07:35:31 AM
While I think that Towlie and others who oppose AA because it doesn't address the larger problem are making a good point, at the same time I think they are asking a question AA was never meant to answer.  Restructuring society and the educational system to be free of racial bias is a wonderful idea; AA is one solution to what you do in the meantime, especially since on some level I think that simply time and incremental steps forward are going to accomplish the larger goal.  Seeing minority students in the classroom at all levels of education, including grad school, are one way to reduce racism.  It is not the only way.  It probably isn't the best way.  But it is a step forward, however flawed that step is.

If there is something better, propose it.  But advocating that the American educational system should be free of racial bias is more of a wish than a plan.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on July 29, 2006, 11:43:24 AM
While I think that Towlie and others who oppose AA because it doesn't address the larger problem are making a good point, at the same time I think they are asking a question AA was never meant to answer.  Restructuring society and the educational system to be free of racial bias is a wonderful idea; AA is one solution to what you do in the meantime, especially since on some level I think that simply time and incremental steps forward are going to accomplish the larger goal.  Seeing minority students in the classroom at all levels of education, including grad school, are one way to reduce racism.  It is not the only way.  It probably isn't the best way.  But it is a step forward, however flawed that step is.

If there is something better, propose it.  But advocating that the American educational system should be free of racial bias is more of a wish than a plan.

I think this is spot on.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: !! on July 29, 2006, 04:54:26 PM
For just a moment, take color out of the equation.  People are in a better position to compete with students who have comparable abilities to themselves.  Since (almost) all first-year programs are curved, the ability to compete is essential.  And as any school's career placement office will happily tell you, first year grades are the most important because they are the only ones employers will be able to see when they interview you in the fall of your second year.

If you want to critique my logic, go ahead.  But please don't waste your time calling me a racist or overpriveleged.  Neither of those is the case.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Miss P on July 29, 2006, 08:00:05 PM
I think the argument was that if, instead of being admitted to schools where the majority of students were better qualified, whatever that may mean, students admitted via affirmative action went to insitituions they were better able to compete, the number that either faired poorly or failed out would be less than the number failing out of top institutions. 

I think there are at least a couple of problems with this argument:

First, it assumes that it is the lower entry credentials of some URM students that leads to their trouble in school and in professional life.  I haven't seen any particularly compelling evidence that this is the case, and the LSAT itself doesn't seem reliable or precise enough given the score variations people experience with different amounts and forms of preparation.  Here's one response I posted about this several months ago:

LSAC conducted a bar passage rate study in the late 1990s (published in 98) that most seem to agree is reliable(www.lsacnet.org/Research/LSAC-National-Longituinal-Bar-Passage-Study.pdf (http://www.lsacnet.org/Research/LSAC-National-Longituinal-Bar-Passage-Study.pdf)).

The study showed that African-American students with the same UGPA and LSAT scores as similarly situated (same-tier LS) white students earned lower grades in LS.  This implies that something else, aside from the UGPA and LSAT scores of the applicants, led to differences in LS performance.  (The same was true for Latino/a, Asian-American, and older students.)  The reigning hypothesis (I think) is that environmental features of the average law school (such as professors' lowered expectations of, classmates' hostility toward, and feelings of alienation among students in underrepresented groups) are to blame for the lower grades.  Ironically, this suggests that increased efforts to recruit and enroll URM students would be the best way to "help" URM students who have a hard time in law school.

Second, job placement and other resources are not spread equally across law schools (especially among tiers) so that advocating for people to move to lower-ranked law schools is advocating that they accept a different range of employment opportunities.  Of course flunking out of any school or failing to pass the bar will screw you out of almost any opportunity (A 2001 Duke JD applied for my cruddy legal assistant job last month and this really freaked me out), but merely having a lower rank in your class may not.  Since we are framing this discussion in terms of the benefit accrued to the individual URM applicant with lower entry credentials than most white applicants at the same schools, do you think it would actually benefit her to go to a lower-ranked school?  Assuming we're talking about private bar employment, I think she would be much better off in the bottom 20% of the class at Georgetown, with myriad corporate recruiters, than in the top half of a class at T2 School X where only the top 5-10% compete with Georgetown students for jobs, and the others join small personal injury firms or become personal mortgage attorneys or the like.

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: obamacon on July 29, 2006, 09:39:41 PM
The study showed that African-American students with the same UGPA and LSAT scores as similarly situated (same-tier LS) white students earned lower grades in LS.

This sounds like it might have a few problems, the biggest one being that affective action makes this pretty rare. Can you elaborate a bit more upon it?


Quote
Of course flunking out of any school or failing to pass the bar will screw you out of almost any opportunity (A 2001 Duke JD applied for my cruddy legal assistant job last month and this really freaked me out), but merely having a lower rank in your class may not.

Are you sure about this? If you were a hiring partner would you take a top 5% GW grad or a bottom 20% Columbia grad?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Miss P on July 29, 2006, 09:44:31 PM
The study showed that African-American students with the same UGPA and LSAT scores as similarly situated (same-tier LS) white students earned lower grades in LS.

This sounds like it might have a few problems, the biggest one being that affective action makes this pretty rare. Can you elaborate a bit more upon it?


I don't know quite what you're asking.  But if you are suggesting that there aren't plenty of white students with the same UGPA and LSAT or index scores as URMs in same-tier law schools, I think you have a very warped perception of the power of affirmative action. 

In any case, read the report from the study or even -- if you must -- the Sander articles (he bases his argument on the data from the study as well).
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: obamacon on July 29, 2006, 11:13:16 PM
But if you are suggesting that there aren't plenty of white students with the same UGPA and LSAT or index scores as URMs in same-tier law schools, I think you have a very warped perception of the power of affirmative action.

I wasn't thinking of the proper, ABA definition of tier and I apologize. What I meant to take issue with was the similarly situated part. In the 3rd and 4th tiers this would be less of a problem, but not in the 1st tier which contains both Yale and University of the Pacific.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Miss P on July 30, 2006, 12:39:17 AM
But if you are suggesting that there aren't plenty of white students with the same UGPA and LSAT or index scores as URMs in same-tier law schools, I think you have a very warped perception of the power of affirmative action.

I wasn't thinking of the proper, ABA definition of tier and I apologize. What I meant to take issue with was the similarly situated part. In the 3rd and 4th tiers this would be less of a problem, but not in the 1st tier which contains both Yale and University of the Pacific.


I think, actually, that Pacific-McGeorge is at the bottom of the second tier.  So no, students at these schools would not be similarly situated.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: obamacon on July 30, 2006, 01:26:29 AM
I think, actually, that Pacific-McGeorge is at the bottom of the second tier.  So no, students at these schools would not be similarly situated.

It is tied for 97th in the 1st tier this year along with 3 others.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on July 30, 2006, 08:18:28 AM
I think, actually, that Pacific-McGeorge is at the bottom of the second tier.  So no, students at these schools would not be similarly situated.

It is tied for 97th in the 1st tier this year along with 3 others.

97th is the bottom of the second tier.  T1 = 1-50  T2 = 51-100  T3 = 101-200   T4 = All the rest ABA accredited schools. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Miss P on July 30, 2006, 10:21:33 AM
Of course flunking out of any school or failing to pass the bar will screw you out of almost any opportunity (A 2001 Duke JD applied for my cruddy legal assistant job last month and this really freaked me out), but merely having a lower rank in your class may not.

Are you sure about this? If you were a hiring partner would you take a top 5% GW grad or a bottom 20% Columbia grad?

Sorry, I missed this question before.  (Did you edit your post?)  I don't claim to understand the psychology of hiring partners, so I can't say for sure, but I think there are at least a few problems here.  First, I doubt that someone in the bottom fifth of the class at Columbia would be in the top 5% of the class at GW -- law school work is the same and the capabilities of students at these schools are just not that different.  Second, yes, NY firms will do much more hiring from Columbia in summers and after law school than they will from GW, and I think this would mean better chances for someone in the bottom 20% at Columbia than in the middle 20% at GW.  Third, GW is a particularly bad example since (at least according to Leiter and his followers) its placement rate in top firms is much higher than most similarly ranked schools.  A better comparison would be Washington & Lee, Minnesota, or a top T2 school like Cardozo.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Miss P on July 30, 2006, 10:33:59 AM
Miss P's post states that people who question AA are afraid of racial equality. This may be true for some, but not for all. Anyone could assert that the people who are for AA are afraid that races are NOT equal, and it would be just as difficult to believe or refute.

You're right -- I was being flip, and I'm sorry about that.
I do believe, however, that AA does not require the elaborate and acrobatic justifications red. and others tried to provide in the companion thread to this one.  From my perspective, AA is justified if you accept the three following propositions:

(1) African Americans generally have lower "entry credentials," and especially LSAT scores, than similarly situated white students; and

(2) The LSAT's correlation with grades and performance in law school is not precise enough to warrant such heavy reliance on the test; and

(3) It would be nice to have more black students in law school (or more black lawyers or more black professionals generally) than we would have if we did not give consideration to race in evaluating these entry credentials.

Also, I'm not afraid that the races aren't equal; I know that the races aren't equal.  We're just talking in different terms.  I do believe that people of different races are equally capable and intelligent; I do not believe that people of races have the same types of training, support, and opportunities.

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: obamacon on July 30, 2006, 12:43:22 PM
I think, actually, that Pacific-McGeorge is at the bottom of the second tier.  So no, students at these schools would not be similarly situated.

It is tied for 97th in the 1st tier this year along with 3 others.

97th is the bottom of the second tier.  T1 = 1-50  T2 = 51-100  T3 = 101-200   T4 = All the rest ABA accredited schools. 

*Runs and hides under bed*
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on July 30, 2006, 03:54:03 PM
The OP's question appears confused.

a) an apparent "justification" is embedded in the question as to why AA needs justification
b) it assumes that race is a significant variable, rather than explaining why it is so
c) it flatly states that AA reduces racial stratification "without significant cost"
d) it decries "abstract" justifications (and there any other kind?) in favor of vague justifications.

It seems well-intentioned, but does nothing to advance the discussion - or to clarify the questions - around affirmative action.

I'm sorry you found my post confusing; I'll try to explain it better.

To respond to each of your points:
a) True, by asking "why affirmative action needs justification," and then denying that it does, you could argue that my post provides a latent theoretical "null-justification" for AA (as we might call it), but I doubt that any reasonable person would call that "justification."  As soon as someone discusses any issue, it is impossible to show why the questions motivating the discussion are unprofitable without employing those questions and thereby giving them some sort of validity; in this case, by trying to suggest that asking for a theoretical justification is unimportant, I suggest that it is important to consider the question.  Nevertheless, considerate readers will not take my question as implying that I think AA actually needs one.

b) This is another question we can safely avoid.  The causes of racial stratification are irrelevent (as are questions about whether or not race or SES or biology or anything of the sort are "significant variables" in causing racial stratification).  If we agree that there is racial stratification in society (for whatever reasons) and that we would like to get rid of it (for whatever reasons), then if AA helps alleviate the problem at an acceptable cost, that is enough for us to support AA.

c) This is a blatant misreading.  I frankly state:

This "empirical fact" is certainly debateable (maybe it doesn't reduce racial stratification or maybe the cost is too high)

(I even put "empirical fact" in scare quotes!).  I certainly make no claims to be well versed in the matter and am open to hearing why or why not AA does or does not work.  My current understanding is that it does work at an acceptable cost, but I am open to arguments showing otherwise. 

d) Yes there are other kinds of justifications: empirical justifications.  Many people would say that these are not actual "justifications," which is fine by me; in which case, let's do away with worrying about justifications.  Many things we do and many things that are useful have either no justification or faulty justification; we do them because they work, not because they are theoretically justified, so i see no need to provide any justification for AA beyond the fact that it works (which, as I state in (c), I am open to debate about).  Why do we X (sleep, find an aria in the Marriage of Figaro beautiful (I'm thinking of Shawshank Redemption), choose the cherry lollipop over the apple-flavored one)?  Should we all cease doing it until we figure out why?  If by "vague justifications" you mean a lack of theoretical certainty, then yes, I propose vague justifications, but I dare you to find any human conduct that has a certain justification.  Once you escape that nice cozy clean world of theory for the contingencies of practice, such certainty evaporates.

In my mind, theories provide ex post facto justification for practices, they do not justify practices prior to their performance.  Theoretical justifications are sought by those of the philosophical mindset, and they can be fun to discuss and debate--fascinating insights can be made into why certain practices worked while others did not--but such justifications are tangential to the practice, in this case, AA. 

As long as AA accomplishes our goal at an acceptable cost, we should continue to do it.  This does not mean we cannot seek ways to improve AA or attempt to find other policies that are more efficient at achieving our goal at a lower cost (which would then make the cost of AA too high, the way that increases in the precision of military bombs throughout the past 70 years have made civilian casualities from bombings more and more unacceptable in warfare).  But neither of these other courses is an argument against using AA now.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 08:28:07 AM
Affirmative action on the surface seems like a good idea, but in reality it doesn't address the right things.  Consider a situation that I had back when I was in high school.  There was a girl who was half hispanic who lived in a similar neighborhood as many of the white kids, thus being from a similar financial background.  She had the same educational opportunities as the whites, and she was in the top 10% of the class.  She was offered a full-ride to an ivy-league school, and nobody else in the top 10% was even offered a full-ride to the state schools(including the valedictorian).  Admirably, this girl turned down this scholarship because she wanted to get it off merit, not because of her race.  However, to get back to the point, how is this correcting the "social injustices" that many of you are speaking of?  She had the same opportunities as the rest of us, but yet got much better rewards for similar results.  I do agree that there is a correlation with race and socio-economic standing, so address that.  But addressing the issue by race alone is downright wrong.

Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."  Does affirmative action do this?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 04, 2006, 09:31:50 AM
First, an isolated anecode is not an argument against an entire policy.  For every half hispanic girl who gets a boost when she experienced no disadvantage, there are thousands and thousands of kids who are hispanic and live in a spanish-speaking home, have spanish-speaking friends, and who are disadvantaged on a test that is in English and tests verbal ability, for example.  To say nothing of any cultural or economic disadvantages that have already be discussed to death.  Because you can think of one person who doesn't need AA, that doesn't mean that no one does or that it is a bad program.

Secondly, as we've said before, AA is not a means to bring about a racial utopia but it is a means to deal with the dytopia we are currently experiencing.  Don't confuse the means with the ends.  AA is a coping mechanism, not a cure.  (Although I believe it will contribute to the cure for racial injustice in the end).
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 09:57:03 AM
First off, this is just one personal experience.  And yes, it is isolated, but I have heard of many stories like this.  But more importanly, it shows how the AA system is so very flawed.  It isn't necessarily helping the disadvantaged, it is helping the people of a certain skin color or ethnic background.  If it is the disadvantaged you are all worried about, why not do as somebody earlier stated and replace AA with a program that gives preferance to the economically poor and disadvantaged?  The way things work now, a minority that is filthy rich can get the same advantages as somebody who is in poverty.  Plus, there are plenty of white kids that are just as poor and disadvantaged as the minorities.  What do you say to them?

There is no way that this is a cure.  I'm sure you've heard these arguments, and will probably just insult them, but they are very valid. First, this won't help solve racism.  If anything it will make a lot of white people resent minorities.  No matter if that is justified or not, you are going to have people who feel like they were cheated out of a position in a school or a job.  That isn't going to make them like the person who they think didn't deserve it.

Second, it is telling the white people that they have to do twice as good to get ahead, and it is telling the minorities that they can do pretty good, and the government will get them the rest of the way.  Is that really an accomplishment?  Many successful minorities are against affirmative action because they feel they will always have it in the back of their mind that maybe their success had some sort of aid.  Jerome Holmes, recently appointed as Justice of the 10th Circuit of Appeals, is publically against it, and he is an African American man.  Dinesh D'Souza, an Indian immigrant author, is another prominant individaul with that mindset. 

Finally, what would be wrong with eliminating the race box altogether on applications?  There would be no way to give preference to anyone who is white or any other color.  Instead, be more specific about life's other circumstances.  That would be the way to have a more equal application process. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on August 04, 2006, 10:04:42 AM
Affirmative action on the surface seems like a good idea, but in reality it doesn't address the right things.  Consider a situation that I had back when I was in high school.  There was a girl who was half hispanic who lived in a similar neighborhood as many of the white kids, thus being from a similar financial background.  She had the same educational opportunities as the whites, and she was in the top 10% of the class.  She was offered a full-ride to an ivy-league school, and nobody else in the top 10% was even offered a full-ride to the state schools(including the valedictorian).  Admirably, this girl turned down this scholarship because she wanted to get it off merit, not because of her race.  However, to get back to the point, how is this correcting the "social injustices" that many of you are speaking of?  She had the same opportunities as the rest of us, but yet got much better rewards for similar results.  I do agree that there is a correlation with race and socio-economic standing, so address that.  But addressing the issue by race alone is downright wrong.

Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."  Does affirmative action do this?


In what way does your story even begin to even suggest that that affirmative action is wrong? First, this girl was in the top 10% of her class which means she had the academic portion pretty set. Second, you ignored an obvious alternative that she had more going for her besides her grades. You didn't address anything about her ECs or leadership positions. You didn't address her reputation or her ability to garner a stellar recommendation. You didn't speak toward her writing ability or her unique experiences. It is quite plausible that this girl is a far superior candidate than the rest of the members of the top 10% of the class because of her accomplishments beyond performance in the classroom. Your analysis looks at one criteria for admission alone, ignoring all others, and makes a determination from that. In other words, you didn't prove anything other than her results were different from the other members in the same percentile in her class. Your conclusion doesn't follow the evidence.  

Its funny how you quote King, but then advocate for a numerical based approach to admission. King didn't say people should be judged by a SAT or LSAT score. He said character. I fail to see how the quote has any relevance in strengthening your claim. It is ironic that affirmative action actually gives African Americans an opportunity to articulate their character, talents, and promise as a means for qualification.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on August 04, 2006, 10:41:04 AM
First off, this is just one personal experience.  And yes, it is isolated, but I have heard of many stories like this.  But more importanly, it shows how the AA system is so very flawed.  It isn't necessarily helping the disadvantaged, it is helping the people of a certain skin color or ethnic background.  If it is the disadvantaged you are all worried about, why not do as somebody earlier stated and replace AA with a program that gives preferance to the economically poor and disadvantaged?  The way things work now, a minority that is filthy rich can get the same advantages as somebody who is in poverty.  Plus, there are plenty of white kids that are just as poor and disadvantaged as the minorities.  What do you say to them?

There is no way that this is a cure.  I'm sure you've heard these arguments, and will probably just insult them, but they are very valid. First, this won't help solve racism.  If anything it will make a lot of white people resent minorities.  No matter if that is justified or not, you are going to have people who feel like they were cheated out of a position in a school or a job.  That isn't going to make them like the person who they think didn't deserve it.

Second, it is telling the white people that they have to do twice as good to get ahead, and it is telling the minorities that they can do pretty good, and the government will get them the rest of the way.  Is that really an accomplishment?  Many successful minorities are against affirmative action because they feel they will always have it in the back of their mind that maybe their success had some sort of aid.  Jerome Holmes, recently appointed as Justice of the 10th Circuit of Appeals, is publically against it, and he is an African American man.  Dinesh D'Souza, an Indian immigrant author, is another prominant individaul with that mindset. 

Finally, what would be wrong with eliminating the race box altogether on applications?  There would be no way to give preference to anyone who is white or any other color.  Instead, be more specific about life's other circumstances.  That would be the way to have a more equal application process. 

Since I'm bored, I'll just go ahead and respond to the salient points in your post. The new great argument is to advocate for economic based affirmative action. So the argument goes that it will help both disadvantaged minorities and whites. However, a basic understanding of statistics and reality will confirm that such a policy would overwhelmingly support whites only. 1) Rich whites and Middle class whites score better on the SAT, LSAT than Rich URMs and Middle Class URMs. 2) Rich and Middle class URMs may or may not score better than Poor Whites. 3) Poor Whites score better than Poor URMs. If you agree to the factual validity of those three claims then you must also agree that eliminating race as a consideration would dilute the number of middle class and upper class URMs admitted in favor of their better scoring upper class and middle class white peers. And poor whites would get the bulk of the admissions slots based on this economic boost since they score better than poor URMs and since they outnumber all other ORMs. Thus, you are solidifying access to power based on race -and although that is not as visible as affirmative action, that sort of policy would be detrimental to the goal of racial progress in this country and equal opportunity. Replace a race policy that spreads access to power across various backgrounds and ethnicities to a race policy that augments greatly the majority's control on power and economics. No, thanks. We had that once before and it wasn't exactly America's best moment.

To your second paragraph, what do I care what people think? Fact of the matter is that people want to believe in the American idea that if they work hard and play by the rules then they will get ahead, yet they don't want to accept the obvious: that failure is the individual's fault. Using minorities as a scapegoat is common, but it certainly isn't a reason that we should eliminate a policy. A more plausible way to advance race relations is to increase the black middle class and getting people on the same level educationally, socially, and economically (within reason, through access to basic opportunities for upward mobility) so that we can start to understand each other across cultures. I think affirmative action certainly is a better solution than no solution at all.

Finally, you won't be able to eliminate race from consideration. Some people go to HBCUs, some have ethnic last names. The fact is, it is too late for a color blind society. It is telling, however, that you would advocate for the elimination of tools that boost minorities standing in society, but mention nothing about the long standing tools that continue to give access to the most priviledged of our society. Indeed, what we ought to be talking about is why we accept such an overreliance on a test that doesn't really predict in any meanifulway a qualification to be in law school (or in college regarding the SAT). We should not accept testing as a standard just because everyone is exposed to it. We ought to be questioning what truly qualifies someone to be in school. I know race alone doesn't qualify someone, but I also know that LSAT alone doesn't either.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 11:31:24 AM
As far as the girl from my high school, the point was that she didn't have anything outstanding compared to anyone else in my school.  Yes, she was very smart, and yes, she had a lot going for her, but there were also white students who had just as much going for her and who were smarter than she was.  I don't remember all the specifics (this was four years ago), but I do remember her even admitting that it wasn't at all fair.  This is why she turned down the opportunity. 

Yes, I quote King.  There are plenty of whites who have just as much character as minorities.  They aren't being judged by their character, they are being judged by their race.  That is what AA is designed to do. 

I definately agree with the LSAT.  I think it's stupid that 4 hours can determine how qualified someone is.  There should be many more considerations than that.  And, I agree that things need to be done to make everyone on an equal playing field.  That being said, if this is the standard, why can't the minorities that 'James Bond' speaks of do as well?  If they have the money, they have the same opportunity.  If they don't, they don't have the same opportunity.  This is why it should be done on class, not race.  Bond also says that "failure is the individual's fault."  I can turn this around.  Minorities need to stop blaming white America and take the responsibility. 

I think that there definately should be policy implemented to fix the problems of equality.  However, I don't see the equality being a race problem as much as financial.  If your poor, your public education will be worse than if you can afford private or prep schools.  But, I think the answer to equality is to fix the educational experiences at a younger age.  I think affirmative action used to be effective, but I think it is getting more and more outdated.  I think that if you are going to have legislation, it must be fair to everyone, and have as few holes as possible.  Flawed laws don't need to be anywhere in our system. 

You can easily take race off an application.  You can also take the names off.  For admissions purposes you can assign a case number or code names, etc.  Professors do it for grading essays all the time...





Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Kirk Lazarus on August 04, 2006, 11:48:56 AM
As far as the girl from my high school, the point was that she didn't have anything outstanding compared to anyone else in my school.  Yes, she was very smart, and yes, she had a lot going for her, but there were also white students who had just as much going for her and who were smarter than she was.  I don't remember all the specifics (this was four years ago), but I do remember her even admitting that it wasn't at all fair.  This is why she turned down the opportunity. 

Yes, I quote King.  There are plenty of whites who have just as much character as minorities.  They aren't being judged by their character, they are being judged by their race.  That is what AA is designed to do. 

I definately agree with the LSAT.  I think it's stupid that 4 hours can determine how qualified someone is.  There should be many more considerations than that.  And, I agree that things need to be done to make everyone on an equal playing field.  That being said, if this is the standard, why can't the minorities that 'James Bond' speaks of do as well?  If they have the money, they have the same opportunity.  If they don't, they don't have the same opportunity.  This is why it should be done on class, not race.  Bond also says that "failure is the individual's fault."  I can turn this around.  Minorities need to stop blaming white America and take the responsibility. 

I think that there definately should be policy implemented to fix the problems of equality.  However, I don't see the equality being a race problem as much as financial.  If your poor, your public education will be worse than if you can afford private or prep schools.  But, I think the answer to equality is to fix the educational experiences at a younger age.  I think affirmative action used to be effective, but I think it is getting more and more outdated.  I think that if you are going to have legislation, it must be fair to everyone, and have as few holes as possible.  Flawed laws don't need to be anywhere in our system. 

You can easily take race off an application.  You can also take the names off.  For admissions purposes you can assign a case number or code names, etc.  Professors do it for grading essays all the time...


Its real telling that you don't remember the specifics but you remember admitting her wasn't all that fair. It is also quite funny, at least to me, that people on the outside looking in have a better idea of qualification than the people who are actually in the position to decide what they want in a class. I agree with you about one thing though, if she turned down the opportunity for the reason specified, she isn't all that bright.

No, your understanding of affirmative action is wrong. It is designed not to let race be an ovewhelming factor of disadvantage for applicants especially those applicants that are under represented in law schools, med schools, colleges, etc.

All social policy initiatives are flawed. I've already articulated a major concern with economic based affirmative action that you have yet to refute or even address. Moreover, you have failed to address the social stigma that being a minority still has on an individual. Money cannot erase prejudice or discrimination from others. We do agree that there needs to be more effort in trying to fix the problems of education particulary in primary and secondary schools, but I ask why eliminate affirmative action prior to those other problems being solved?

Finally, why take race off of the application but leave income? If someone is to be judged by the principle of character alone as you maintain, wouldn't it be contradictory to let them be judged by their income as you would argue? I don't see how you can reconcile your advocacy of economic affirmative action with the principle, as you interpret it, that you supposedly adhere to when quoting King.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 12:07:09 PM
The reason why I would be ok with economic affirmative actions is because yes, people who have money do have better opportunity to do well on things like standardized tests.  Race, if there is equal opportunity, doesn't inhibit you from doing well on a test if races do have equal capability (which i believe we all do).  As far as character, I think that we all have character building experiences no matter what race we are.  I also came from a high school that really wasn't accepting of Christians at times.  I got picked on a lot when I was younger because I held firm to Christian ideals.  However, these types of discrimination aren't looked at.  I think that character is race neutral, either you have it or you don't.  There are social stigmas for everyone these days, just in different forms (though you probably do have a better perspective on that that I do). 

We don't agree about the girl I knew in high school.  She was very bright, as were many people from my school.  She also knew that the advantage she was getting wasn't fair, and turning that opportunity down took a TON of that character you've been talking about.  Doing the right thing isn't always the most advantagious to yourself.  Oh, and explain to me how it is telling that I can't remember specifics?  I remember her saying "i turned it down because it wasn't a fair way to get it."  That's not all that hard to remember.  It is hard to remember how many community service hours she had, or who wrote a letter of reccomendation.  It just seemed normal compared to everyone else. 

I think we should eliminate affirmative action simply because I truely believe that the problems will fix themselves if we address the other problems causing the issue.  But, at the time being, reverse discrimination isn't the answer.

As far as answering your comments on economic affirmative action, I honestly had trouble understanding what you were meaning (i don't mean that sarcastically at all).  Could you paraphrase it again? 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 04, 2006, 12:25:27 PM
I think my position is pretty clear and doesn't need to be rehashed, but how is the thing your friend did noble? If she thought she was unqualified to be at the ivy league school, then why did she apply at all? It seems borderline stupid for her to turn down an offer because of the results of her peers.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 12:31:45 PM
She thought that she could get in on her own merit.  It's like me applying to a target school.  That was her target school.  Her scholarship letter was for a minority scholarship so she turned it down because she felt that affirmative action is wrong, not because of her peers.  And, sticking up for your convictions is noble. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 04, 2006, 12:49:49 PM
She thought that she could get in on her own merit.  It's like me applying to a target school.  That was her target school.  Her scholarship letter was for a minority scholarship so she turned it down because she felt that affirmative action is wrong, not because of her peers.  And, sticking up for your convictions is noble. 

That's silly. Its quite plausible that she was admitted because she was well qualified in relation to the entire applicant pool and then she was given the scholarship becaue she was one of the most qualified among the minority admits. Did she only turn down the scholarship? Or did she turn down her offer of admission?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 12:55:59 PM
She ended up going where she got a merit-based scholarship.  She didn't have a ton of money so she needed the scholarship, just wanted one for other reasons than race.  If memory serves me correct she went to Northwestern instead.  There really is no telling if she got into that school off merit alone or because of AA because acceptance letters don't really specify as far as I know. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 04, 2006, 01:01:27 PM
She ended up going where she got a merit-based scholarship.  She didn't have a ton of money so she needed the scholarship, just wanted one for other reasons than race.  If memory serves me correct she went to Northwestern instead.  There really is no telling if she got into that school off merit alone or because of AA because acceptance letters don't really specify as far as I know. 

so you'd agree that the same is true with the ivy league school as well?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: obamacon on August 04, 2006, 01:03:28 PM
She ended up going where she got a merit-based scholarship.  She didn't have a ton of money so she needed the scholarship, just wanted one for other reasons than race.  If memory serves me correct she went to Northwestern instead.  There really is no telling if she got into that school off merit alone or because of AA because acceptance letters don't really specify as far as I know. 

While I admire that sort of spirit, such reckless regard for one's self-interest is problematic at best.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: ty1228 on August 04, 2006, 01:10:59 PM
I really don't have much to add on the AA debate.  I think both sides have good points and some serious flaws (probably the reason it is such good issue to debate).  I just wanted to say one thing after reading this thread and watching the arguments unfold. 

I think scooby has been very respectful and considerate in sharing a controversial position.  Whether you agree with his opinions or not, I think he deserves courtesy and respect.  I think James Bond on the other hand has weakened his otherwise sound position by saying that scooby's argument is "telling" (seemingly implying that scooby is a racist).  I see no evidence of racism in scooby's posts.  I think Mr. Bond would have a much stronger argument if he would refrain from suggesting that people who disagree with him are racist. 

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 04, 2006, 01:15:31 PM
I really don't have much to add on the AA debate.  I think both sides have good points and some serious flaws (probably the reason it is such good issue to debate).  I just wanted to say one thing after reading this thread and watching the arguments unfold. 

I think scooby has been very respectful and considerate in sharing a controversial position.  Whether you agree with his opinions or not, I think he deserves courtesy and respect.  I think James Bond on the other hand has weakened his otherwise sound position by saying that scooby's argument is "telling" (seemingly implying that scooby is a racist).  I see no evidence of racism in scooby's posts.  I think Mr. Bond would have a much stronger argument if he would refrain from suggesting that people who disagree with him are racist. 



I'm james bond and i think your argument would be stronger is you didn't create a strawman. Its telling because he has articulated a conclusion but can't remember the specifics - meaning that he might be committed to the position without actually knowing if it is accurate. Please don't put words in my mouth. If I am going to call someone a racist, I will as everyone on this board is aware.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 01:19:19 PM
Well first off, I don't think I have to remember every specific detail of her application to know that even she felt her situation wasn't fair. 

Also, again, I didn't understand what you were asking.  What are you asking if I admit to agreeing to? 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: ty1228 on August 04, 2006, 01:25:15 PM
No need to get defensive.  Just telling you how your argument looked to an outside observer.  If you intended for your statement to imply something other than racism (as your response to me states) you may have been unsuccessful.  Again, I'm not involved in the debate but I think your words may be easily interpreted in a manner not consistent with your intentions.  With that said, I'm glad my post allowed you to clarify your position so any other confused lurkers may rest assured that you were not calling scooby a racist. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 04, 2006, 01:29:16 PM
Well first off, I don't think I have to remember every specific detail of her application to know that even she felt her situation wasn't fair. 

Also, again, I didn't understand what you were asking.  What are you asking if I admit to agreeing to? 

I'm not concerned about her position. She isn't here for me to talk to. I'm concerned about your position and why you think she was unqualified. And why her particular situation is indicative of the failure of affirmative action in general. Quite frankly, your points on both of these issues are inadequate. Next we discussed economic affirmative action and I suggested that while it was great in principle, in practice it would have severe flaws - but you weren't able to understand my reasons why. That's fair enough. Although I take issue with your points, I have been nothing but respectful to you (just as you have shown great respect). I resent the previous poster's comments about me suggesting that you are a racist.

The question I most recently asked you is that if a school doesn't specify if one is admitted on "merit" or "affirmative action" how were you able to discern that the girl was unqualified to be at the ivy league school?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 04, 2006, 01:30:01 PM
No need to get defensive.  Just telling you how your argument looked to an outside observer.  If you intended for your statement to imply something other than racism (as your response to me states) you may have been unsuccessful.  Again, I'm not involved in the debate but I think your words may be easily interpreted in a manner not consistent with your intentions.  With that said, I'm glad my post allowed you to clarify your position so any other confused lurkers may rest assured that you were not calling scooby a racist. 

Fair enough.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 02:48:02 PM
Well, first of all, I didn't understand what you were getting at when you described the economic affirmative action problems.  I was hoping you could describe the problems in another way.  Maybe I could see what you were getting at if you used different words. 

The point that I was trying to get at with the girl i knew was that she had very similar numbers as the white people at my school (i had a prodominately white school, so she was the only minority in the top 10%), but yet she got into a MUCH better school than the rest of us.  I can't prove definitively that she wouldn't have gotten in anyway, but it does give the appearance that her race had something to do with it. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 04, 2006, 03:35:52 PM

However, a basic understanding of statistics and reality will confirm that such a policy would overwhelmingly support whites only. 1) Rich whites and Middle class whites score better on the SAT, LSAT than Rich URMs and Middle Class URMs. 2) Rich and Middle class URMs may or may not score better than Poor Whites. 3) Poor Whites score better than Poor URMs. If you agree to the factual validity of those three claims then you must also agree that eliminating race as a consideration would dilute the number of middle class and upper class URMs admitted in favor of their better scoring upper class and middle class white peers. And poor whites would get the bulk of the admissions slots based on this economic boost since they score better than poor URMs and since they outnumber all other ORMs. Thus, you are solidifying access to power based on race -and although that is not as visible as affirmative action, that sort of policy would be detrimental to the goal of racial progress in this country and equal opportunity...

...Fact of the matter is that people want to believe in the American idea that if they work hard and play by the rules then they will get ahead, yet they don't want to accept the obvious: that failure is the individual's fault. Using minorities as a scapegoat is common, but it certainly isn't a reason that we should eliminate a policy. A more plausible way to advance race relations is to increase the black middle class and getting people on the same level educationally, socially, and economically (within reason, through access to basic opportunities for upward mobility) so that we can start to understand each other across cultures. I think affirmative action certainly is a better solution than no solution at all.


Perhaps I am misunderstanding your point here, but aren't your statements contradictory. If URMs of middle and upperclass SES underperform their White economic and social peers, and also underperform some of their White and Asian socioeconomic inferiors, then how can we justify AA on the basis of increasing "the black middle class and getting people on the same level educationally, socially, and economically..." Once URMs obtain an improved socioeconomic station, is there not an expectation that they will perform (academically) in a manner that reflects their improved lot? Doesn't the idea that URMs with less impressive test scores (but access to greater resources) than poor Whites and Asians reap greater rewards (admissions) actually undermine racial harmony rather than "advance race relations"?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 04, 2006, 03:48:47 PM

However, a basic understanding of statistics and reality will confirm that such a policy would overwhelmingly support whites only. 1) Rich whites and Middle class whites score better on the SAT, LSAT than Rich URMs and Middle Class URMs. 2) Rich and Middle class URMs may or may not score better than Poor Whites. 3) Poor Whites score better than Poor URMs. If you agree to the factual validity of those three claims then you must also agree that eliminating race as a consideration would dilute the number of middle class and upper class URMs admitted in favor of their better scoring upper class and middle class white peers. And poor whites would get the bulk of the admissions slots based on this economic boost since they score better than poor URMs and since they outnumber all other ORMs. Thus, you are solidifying access to power based on race -and although that is not as visible as affirmative action, that sort of policy would be detrimental to the goal of racial progress in this country and equal opportunity...

...Fact of the matter is that people want to believe in the American idea that if they work hard and play by the rules then they will get ahead, yet they don't want to accept the obvious: that failure is the individual's fault. Using minorities as a scapegoat is common, but it certainly isn't a reason that we should eliminate a policy. A more plausible way to advance race relations is to increase the black middle class and getting people on the same level educationally, socially, and economically (within reason, through access to basic opportunities for upward mobility) so that we can start to understand each other across cultures. I think affirmative action certainly is a better solution than no solution at all.


Perhaps I am misunderstanding your point here, but aren't your statements contradictory. If URMs of middle and upperclass SES underperform their White economic and social peers, and also underperform some of their White and Asian socioeconomic inferiors, then how can we justify AA on the basis of increasing "the black middle class and getting people on the same level educationally, socially, and economically..." Once URMs obtain an improved socioeconomic station, is there not an expectation that they will perform (academically) in a manner that reflects their improved lot? Doesn't the idea that URMs with less impressive test scores (but access to greater resources) than poor Whites and Asians reap greater rewards (admissions) actually undermine racial harmony rather than "advance race relations"?

Well as I have already stated, standardized tests don't measure your academic ability (at least not the SAT or the LSAT). Those standardized tests do not measure smarts either. They only measure first year performance. Additionally, just because a person is on the same level economically does not mean that other variables have been eliminated that unfairly inhibit students from performing optimally on standardized tests. See Red's affirmative action thread for a exhaustive discussion on this. Additionally, you're making a pretty large leap in connecting class to opportunities (a link that has been taken for granted, but surely should be discussed particularly dealing within the concept of race). I fail to see a contradiction.

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 03:56:34 PM
Do you care to explain how educational opportunities are inhibited soley on the basis of race?  I don't really see how this works.  If the minority is able to afford to go the the same type of school as the white, then what is inhibiting him or her (academically speaking)?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 04, 2006, 04:01:46 PM
Do you care to explain how educational opportunities are inhibited soley on the basis of race?  I don't really see how this works.  If the minority is able to afford to go the the same type of school as the white, then what is inhibiting him or her (academically speaking)?

Do you really need me to go through all of the variables? And again are we talking about classroom performance or standardized testing with regards to the LSAT and SAT? Note how I've been silent and haven't made any arguments regarding classroom performance.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 04:47:43 PM
"just because a person is on the same level economically does not mean that other variables have been eliminated that unfairly inhibit students from performing optimally on standardized tests."

If you could explain that statement. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 04, 2006, 07:02:39 PM
It is a measured fact that minorities underpeform on standardized tests, even after GPA and Socioeconomic factors are corrected for.  You have to accept that as a given.  See Red's thread for more detail on that.

It is also true that the tests were developed using majority students to make it work.  Those test sections on the LSAT?  Well, since more majority students than minority students take the test, the test is calibrated for the majority.  That is also simply given.

Now, with this fact pattern, you can either conclude that standardized tests do not fairly measure the abilities of minority students due to a hidden racial bias in the test, inherent in the methodology used to develop the test or some other social factor, or you can conclude minority students are just not as smart as white students.

(I'm going with the biased test theory, myself.)
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 07:19:08 PM
Ok, I've heard that theory, and it's always sounded odd to me, but I don't know enough about it to make any further comments.  However, wouldn't it be easier to fix this problem and change the LSAT than to keep using a problematic system like AA? 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 04, 2006, 07:59:41 PM
How do you fix the LSAT for minorities without breaking it for the majority?  That, and the test makers have an interest in not admitting the test is biased.  It is also more profitable for them to not change the test.  Any major change would require years of testing to revalidate the test as a predictive tool of 1L performance for both minority and majority students.  The private testing company is not going to do that unless the schools refuse to use the LSAT unless they do.  The schools aren't going to stop using the LSAT as long as the rankings depend on LSAT scores.  I guess you could try to get US News to stop using the LSAT in their rankings. 

What do you do when trying to get US News to stop using the LSAT, the schools to campaign to LSAC to change the test, and LSAC to reformulate and retest everything, assuming an unbiased test that is still predictive is possible?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 08:17:00 PM
So you try to fix that with something that causes more problems.  It doesn't make sense to me. 

Maybe they could start doing some simple statistical analysis on what questions minorities miss and the same for whites.  At least do something.  If nothing else, minorities will be able to know what to work on to bridge that gap.  I don't know all the solutions, but I do strongly feel that AA is wrong, and isn't the answer. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 04, 2006, 08:32:33 PM
I don't think it causes more problems, except for a small group of people.  What problems do you think it causes?  That some people will hate minorities more?  I think that is a very tiny, very misguided group.  We, as a society, shouldn't pander to that group.  There are always people who will use minorities as a scapegoat for their problems.  This doesn't make it the minorities' fault, nor do we need to coddle that feeling.  Likewise with those who doubt the achievements of a minority because there is a system like AA that helps increase diversity and bridge the unfair gaps in our system.

Saying that doing a statistical analysis of what questions minority students miss paints minority students with the same brush.  While the majority is white American kids, minorities are hispanic, asian, black american, black carribean, black african, etc.  What if different questions are biased for or against different minorities?  You are back to scrapping the whole thing and starting over.  Which isn't a terrible idea, but in the meantime you need SOMETHING.  AA is that thing.

Again, I don't hear as much talk about rich kids and their advantages.  People aren't discussing banning test prep classes the way they do AA, although test prep classes gives a boost to people with time and money to spare.  Why is there such resentment toward minority candidates for an AA boost, but not to the wealthy for their extra tutoring, extra classes, extra parental support, etc. etc. etc.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 09:39:52 PM
Tutoring is the same thing as studying.  And, there is no law mentioning test prep.  Eliminating that would be pointless.

Affirmative action does do those "small" things, but it is still simply an unfair tool.  I'm not blaming them for my inability to get into certain schools, but I also think that they should be subject to the same standards as me. 

You also say that people need to stop blaming minorities for their problems.  Why can't the minorities stop blaming the whites for theirs? 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 04, 2006, 09:40:59 PM
Oh, and as far as the LSAT, they should at least try to figure out why minorities score lower.  I think they should do that and then figure out what to do from there. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 05, 2006, 09:28:40 AM
Oh, and as far as the LSAT, they should at least try to figure out why minorities score lower.  I think they should do that and then figure out what to do from there. 

Good tip.  What is your idea for what to do in the meantime, though?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 05, 2006, 07:52:10 PM
I would suggest to stop having uneven standards.  A broken solution isn't a solution.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 05, 2006, 08:04:18 PM
I would suggest to stop having uneven standards.  A broken solution isn't a solution.


um...no admission is standard. The test is standardized, but the admissions cycle takes in various factors. There are too many variables to have a set standard for admissions. That's why admissions is different based on each individual's qualifications and why it is relative to the strength of the overall applicant pool.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 05, 2006, 08:43:38 PM
Right but you still don't have to involve things that aren't in people's control.  I think the only variables that should be used are ones that people have made or not made for themselves.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 05, 2006, 09:53:47 PM
Right but you still don't have to involve things that aren't in people's control.  I think the only variables that should be used are ones that people have made or not made for themselves.

then why include income?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: mantis on August 05, 2006, 11:16:30 PM
Agreed with John Galt and the other "pro-AA" posters... It seems anyone arguing against AA misses the fact that race is just another (arguably) arbitrary criterion for admissions.  There is simply no way to make an admissions process completely numbers-based.  A 3.9 from Duke is different than a 3.9 from BFEState.  Or so one would hope.  How do you control for that?

Even if you can control for differences of educational background to the point that you know that you've enrolled all of the students who are empirically the "smartest" or most prepared to be law students or whatever... why would ANY school want to be filled with students who are basically all the same?  They ask us to write a personal statement for a reason.  In theory I imagine they want to know what we bring to the table besides our undergraduate academic credentials and amazing LSAT-taking abilities.  As has been pointed out so many times before, Yale turns down 179/3.9 students all the time.  Why?  Because they can.  There are enough out there that Yale could probably populate its campus five times over if that was the only thing they wanted.  But why would anyone want that?  Even if I were one of those 179/3.9 folks, I think I would hate to be lumped with a bunch of people exactly like me.

You can argue that race shouldn't be one of the things that differentiates us from one another because it's not something that we can control.  But what about legacies?  What about people who are born into families that are wealthy enough to virtually guarantee future donations of buildings or scholarships etc.?  People who are politically connected?  Who knows what the law schools look for and who are we to say what they should and should not include?  After all, we sort of have a vested interest... So while I might be all in favor of including race but not legacies, I shouldn't expect my son-of-the-dean-of-Penn neighbor to agree.  For example.

I guess my biggest beef is that the argument against AA so often makes it sound like AA suggests that we use ONLY numbers and race as admissions criteria when clearly that is not the case.  

Two unrelated sidenotes...
One in regard to the anecdote about the Hispanic girl who turned down the "minority" scholarship:  Wouldn't it be funny if the school just wanted to give her a scholarship because they thought her PS was awesome or her experience editing the newspaper was exceptional or whatever and they just handed her the minority scholarship because it freed up a "regular" scholarship for another outstanding (and white) applicant?

Second in regard to, "Tutoring is the same thing as studying."  Really?  I mean, are you really really sincerely from your heart and every logical neuron in your brain trying to argue this?  If this is true, why do we hire tutors?  Why do people pay for LSAT prep courses?  Why do we even have teachers in the first place if all we need to do is sit down and study the books on our own to receive an education?  I find this statement to be 100% preposterous.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Intuition on August 06, 2006, 01:48:28 AM
I am going to jump into this debate somewhat late and I'm not going to read through 6 or 7 page of replies. Rather, I will attempt to answer the question posed by the original post.

I agree that racial stratification is a negative aspect of our society and that most people oppose the stratification of groups according to race. The "significant cost" you speak of, I think, manifests itself in several ways. First, by acknowledging the stratification of racial groups, we cannot help but prolong the stratification. This is a type of self-fulfilliing prophesy....you tell someone they need help over and over and sooner or later they begin to believe it. I ask you, is AA a motivating factor or a demotivating factor? And yes I realize that minority groups have had so much taken from them that in some ways it makes sense to give things back. But why does that involve taking something from the privileged? We don't live in a truly zero sum society. 

I think AA is a neanderthal approach to the problem. I personally don't have the perfect answer, but I think we can do better than AA. I think those racial groups who have been wronged want something better as well. They don't want preferential treatment. Just my .02
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 06, 2006, 09:34:29 AM
I am going to jump into this debate somewhat late and I'm not going to read through 6 or 7 page of replies. Rather, I will attempt to answer the question posed by the original post.

I agree that racial stratification is a negative aspect of our society and that most people oppose the stratification of groups according to race. The "significant cost" you speak of, I think, manifests itself in several ways. First, by acknowledging the stratification of racial groups, we cannot help but prolong the stratification. This is a type of self-fulfilliing prophesy....you tell someone they need help over and over and sooner or later they begin to believe it. I ask you, is AA a motivating factor or a demotivating factor? And yes I realize that minority groups have had so much taken from them that in some ways it makes sense to give things back. But why does that involve taking something from the privileged? We don't live in a truly zero sum society. 

I think AA is a neanderthal approach to the problem. I personally don't have the perfect answer, but I think we can do better than AA. I think those racial groups who have been wronged want something better as well. They don't want preferential treatment. Just my .02

What is with all these code words like "preferential treatment?" Please, get the hell out of here. Whites get more preference than anyone in schools. If they didn't, Asian would represent a higher proportion of the students in top schools. You don't think schools keep their asian populations artifically low to make sure there are enough slots for whites? And the priviledged don't have something taken away - there isn't exactly a shortage or priviledged kids in the best schools? Why should they have access to all the slots and the scarce resources, when they are the very ones who by birth were the best prepared to reap the benefits of this society?

Race should be a factor, among several others, in determining admission to schools. There are many justifications including but not limited to: 1) guaranteed access to scarce resources that otherwise would go to the majority even if every one was on the same playing field; 2) acknowledgment that the denial of these scarce resources based on race for so long resulted in second class citizenry for certain racial groups and hindered the progress of an entire group; 3)acknowledgement that diversity in the classroom based on race benefits both the minority and majority students (which is more than I can say for the LSAT as a measure for qualification); 4)Racial diversity in our educational system particularly at the higher level benefits the entire society (more than I can say for test scores).

Indeed, many argue that an admission system shouldn't have a qualification that people cannot control, but then why have legacy? One cannot predict nor choose which family they are going to be a part of. Why choose income? Most individuals cannot predict what social class their are going to be born in. Is it because race is the most visible? Did you know that the LSAT correlates more with a students wealth and social status than it does with first year performance in law school? Why have a marker of wealth as a method of qualification? We ought to have a different approach in talking about  merit and qualification in this society, but some people seem content on blaming others for their failures.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: obamacon on August 06, 2006, 10:13:03 AM
Indeed, many argue that an admission system shouldn't have a qualification that people cannot control, but then why have legacy? One cannot predict nor choose which family they are going to be a part of.

I’m not exactly thrilled with legacy admissions, but I understand them and support the idea to some extent. Essentially, it provides one more reason for you do to any particular thing successfully. For example, while building a successful business is likely to make an individual a good deal of money, that isn’t the only perk of business ownership. That you can pass down your business to your children so they won’t have to struggle as you did is one of the reasons people bother slogging through the trenches of everyday business life when they’ve made more than enough money to satisfy themselves. I believe a similar phenomenon exists with college admissions. As a future Yale student, you can be assured that your children, if they would like to go to law school, probably have a semi-reserved spot waiting for them. This may well influence your giving pattern as well as that of other alumni or cause you to do any number of things for Yale or for your children that non-Yale law graduates wouldn’t consider.

Personally, I want my children to work hard, if not harder than I had to for my success, and I think any freebies are probably outside of what’s best for them. I do understand the other position. “I want life to be easier for my children than it was for me,” has been the theme song for generations of Americans, and while it probably isn’t the best message one can send to his children, I don’t doubt that it helps push people to do more than they would if they only considered themselves.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: obamacon on August 06, 2006, 10:25:29 AM
1)   guaranteed access to scarce resources that otherwise would go to the majority even if every one was on the same playing field

Go into this a little more if you would. Consider what you just said about Asian college admissions, and that blacks from the Caribbean (who have similar if not worse histories than blacks from the U.S.) don’t seem to have the problems that blacks from the U.S. have.

Quote
2) acknowledgment that the denial of these scarce resources based on race for so long resulted in second class citizenry for certain racial groups and hindered the progress of an entire group

Jews have been second class citizens for thousands of years, but if you looked closely you’d see that they were overrepresented in the highest echelons of society both then and now.

Quote
3)acknowledgement that diversity in the classroom based on race benefits both the minority and majority students (which is more than I can say for the LSAT as a measure for qualification); 4)Racial diversity in our educational system particularly at the higher level benefits the entire society (more than I can say for test scores).

If this is true, shouldn’t it be much lower on the priority list than ideological, religious, or even ethnic diversity?

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 06, 2006, 01:50:57 PM
I am going to jump into this debate somewhat late and I'm not going to read through 6 or 7 page of replies. Rather, I will attempt to answer the question posed by the original post.

I agree that racial stratification is a negative aspect of our society and that most people oppose the stratification of groups according to race. The "significant cost" you speak of, I think, manifests itself in several ways. First, by acknowledging the stratification of racial groups, we cannot help but prolong the stratification. This is a type of self-fulfilliing prophesy....you tell someone they need help over and over and sooner or later they begin to believe it. I ask you, is AA a motivating factor or a demotivating factor? And yes I realize that minority groups have had so much taken from them that in some ways it makes sense to give things back. But why does that involve taking something from the privileged? We don't live in a truly zero sum society. 

I think AA is a neanderthal approach to the problem. I personally don't have the perfect answer, but I think we can do better than AA. I think those racial groups who have been wronged want something better as well. They don't want preferential treatment. Just my .02

What is with all these code words like "preferential treatment?" Please, get the hell out of here. Whites get more preference than anyone in schools. If they didn't, Asian would represent a higher proportion of the students in top schools. You don't think schools keep their asian populations artifically low to make sure there are enough slots for whites? And the priviledged don't have something taken away - there isn't exactly a shortage or priviledged kids in the best schools? Why should they have access to all the slots and the scarce resources, when they are the very ones who by birth were the best prepared to reap the benefits of this society?

Race should be a factor, among several others, in determining admission to schools. There are many justifications including but not limited to: 1) guaranteed access to scarce resources that otherwise would go to the majority even if every one was on the same playing field; 2) acknowledgment that the denial of these scarce resources based on race for so long resulted in second class citizenry for certain racial groups and hindered the progress of an entire group; 3)acknowledgement that diversity in the classroom based on race benefits both the minority and majority students (which is more than I can say for the LSAT as a measure for qualification); 4)Racial diversity in our educational system particularly at the higher level benefits the entire society (more than I can say for test scores).

Indeed, many argue that an admission system shouldn't have a qualification that people cannot control, but then why have legacy? One cannot predict nor choose which family they are going to be a part of. Why choose income? Most individuals cannot predict what social class their are going to be born in. Is it because race is the most visible? Did you know that the LSAT correlates more with a students wealth and social status than it does with first year performance in law school? Why have a marker of wealth as a method of qualification? We ought to have a different approach in talking about  merit and qualification in this society, but some people seem content on blaming others for their failures.

you get out of here. if asians are hurt by letting in less qualified whites that should end too. all your justifications for race affirmative action are rubbish. everyone has an equal opportunity to study hard and get into their schools. stop excusing people's laziness. you think the majority student benefits by race based diversity. i don't. most whites if polled oppose affirmative action. good lord, such a crock of sh*t.

hahhahah, wow you're dumb.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 06, 2006, 02:00:26 PM
1)   guaranteed access to scarce resources that otherwise would go to the majority even if every one was on the same playing field

Go into this a little more if you would. Consider what you just said about Asian college admissions, and that blacks from the Caribbean (who have similar if not worse histories than blacks from the U.S.) don’t seem to have the problems that blacks from the U.S. have.

Quote
2) acknowledgment that the denial of these scarce resources based on race for so long resulted in second class citizenry for certain racial groups and hindered the progress of an entire group

Jews have been second class citizens for thousands of years, but if you looked closely you’d see that they were overrepresented in the highest echelons of society both then and now.

Quote
3)acknowledgement that diversity in the classroom based on race benefits both the minority and majority students (which is more than I can say for the LSAT as a measure for qualification); 4)Racial diversity in our educational system particularly at the higher level benefits the entire society (more than I can say for test scores).

If this is true, shouldn’t it be much lower on the priority list than ideological, religious, or even ethnic diversity?




Well I would have to disagree with lumping African Americans with other groups. I think the histories are significantly different. Jewish people have been discriminated against because of their success and in some societies have been made scapegoats for problems as a result. I think there are substantial differences. Either way, the united states didn't wrong in the same fashion or degree any group worse than Blacks.

To your second point, I would be open to making race a factor that is less significant in the process. I don't think that anyone should be admitted because of race alone, so I'm in favor of letting work experience, overcoming economic obstacles, etc. I'm not sure that it isn't. See my argument is not that it should be an overwhelming factor in admissions. I'm not arguing that I'm 100% behind affirmative action as it is currently performed. I am only defending the use of race as a factor in determining admission.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: mivida2k on August 06, 2006, 02:09:34 PM
Galt if one of these posters was "black like me" they would kill themselves.  They could not deal with "white" society's drama with the "black" male.

You're doing a wonderful job by the way Mr. Galt. 

 :D ;)

Carry on.......
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: H4CS on August 06, 2006, 04:14:10 PM
Galt, I normally agree with you on many things, except for your weird decision to live in Connecticut, and you've done an otherwise fine job of talking to idiots in this thread, who I would normally just ignore, but this paragraph is killing me:

[quote
Well I would have to disagree with lumping African Americans with other groups. I think the histories are significantly different. Jewish people have been discriminated against because of their success and in some societies have been made scapegoats for problems as a result. I think there are substantial differences. Either way, the united states didn't wrong in the same fashion or degree any group worse than Blacks.

It's just unnecessary and wrong.  Firstly, anti-semitism is far more complicated than you portrayed it and you make it seem like Jews living far below the poverty line as second-class citizens (or worse) in shetls were the victims of pogroms because they were successful.  Furthermore, even focusing on America that's a very limited understanding of the history of discrimination against Jews, who were effectively shut out of the Ivy League for quite some time.  There are substantial differences and I don't think Jews should be the recipient of Affirmative Action now, but there's no need to get that part wrong.  Secondly, it's not hard to make an argument that the United States wronged Native Americans in a worse fashion and to a worse degree than any other group and continues to do so. 

This isn't the oppression Olympics and there's no need to agrue these points.  There was also no reason to state them in the first place.  The reason that some minority groups have succeeded is not hard to answer, but falling back to misinformed comparisons is not the way to do it.  When you do so, you just allow people to continue to believe that Jews and Asians have "superior" cultural values than blacks instead of focusing on immigration patterns, support networks, legal status, assimilative ability, etc.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 06, 2006, 04:19:23 PM
Galt, I normally agree with you on many things, except for your weird decision to live in Connecticut, and you've done an otherwise fine job of talking to idiots in this thread, who I would normally just ignore, but this paragraph is killing me:

[quote
Well I would have to disagree with lumping African Americans with other groups. I think the histories are significantly different. Jewish people have been discriminated against because of their success and in some societies have been made scapegoats for problems as a result. I think there are substantial differences. Either way, the united states didn't wrong in the same fashion or degree any group worse than Blacks.

It's just unnecessary and wrong.  Firstly, anti-semitism is far more complicated than you portrayed it and you make it seem like Jews living far below the poverty line as second-class citizens (or worse) in shetls were the victims of pogroms because they were successful.  Furthermore, even focusing on America that's a very limited understanding of the history of discrimination against Jews, who were effectively shut out of the Ivy League for quite some time.  There are substantial differences and I don't think Jews should be the recipient of Affirmative Action now, but there's no need to get that part wrong.  Secondly, it's not hard to make an argument that the United States wronged Native Americans in a worse fashion and to a worse degree than any other group and continues to do so. 

This isn't the oppression Olympics and there's no need to agrue these points.  There was also no reason to state them in the first place.  The reason that some minority groups have succeeded is not hard to answer, but falling back to misinformed comparisons is not the way to do it.  When you do so, you just allow people to continue to believe that Jews and Asians have "superior" cultural values than blacks instead of focusing on immigration patterns, support networks, legal status, assimilative ability, etc.

Yep, my paragaraph was unnecessarily simplistic. My only point was that the patterns of discrimination and reasons were for discrimination were different. But you're right, Spaulding and I agree with you. I did not mean to suggest that the reasons I listed were the only reasons why Jewish individuals were discriminated against.

With regards to Native Americans, I probably would agree and as such Native Americans incidentally are the most sought after group in admissions.

Oppression Olympics is a bad idea in so far as it allows the oppressed individual (or group) to keep blaming their status on the oppressor. It also divides groups in a silly war of who is the most oppressed and its traditionally used to splinter groups that otherwise should be allied. Yet, there is something to be said about reminding the majority about how gross the past was and I think indeed that is one of the reasons for the limited success of African Americans in many sectors and should be remembered when developing policy.

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 06, 2006, 04:30:50 PM
Galt if one of these posters was "black like me" they would kill themselves.  They could not deal with "white" society's drama with the "black" male.

You're doing a wonderful job by the way Mr. Galt. 

 :D ;)

Carry on.......

Thanks mivida. Means a great deal coming from you. :)
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: misery on August 06, 2006, 05:05:42 PM
What is with all these code words like "preferential treatment?" Please, get the hell out of here. Whites get more preference than anyone in schools. If they didn't, Asian would represent a higher proportion of the students in top schools. You don't think schools keep their asian populations artifically low to make sure there are enough slots for whites? And the priviledged don't have something taken away - there isn't exactly a shortage or priviledged kids in the best schools? Why should they have access to all the slots and the scarce resources, when they are the very ones who by birth were the best prepared to reap the benefits of this society?

ah yes, the Asian card.  Interestingly, no one ever performs studies on admissions for Asians (or maybe I just don't care enough to look for it.)  I'm glad you mentioned it though, as "reverse AA" is pretty much a foregone conclusion to most Asians.  Perhaps I should start a thread on it sometime.

Back to your original topic, New York has a (magnet) high school system that gives no one "preferential treatment."  As you predicted, the 'first choice' high school has a 51% Asian population.  In that everpresent 'quest for diversity,' a top high school whose demographics were so skewed from the general population of NY would be a huge problem.  Naturally, some people started complaining.  I'll let you guess which groups were first to complain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stuyvesant_High_School
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 06, 2006, 05:19:12 PM
Although I'm glad that discussion picked up again on this thread, most of the posts focus on providing or disproving theoretical justifications of AA.  Getting bogged down in questions of which ethnic groups have been wronged or most wronged in US history (a fairness\historical justification) or questions about how "diversity" does or does not improve society or improve education in classrooms (a diversity justification) or questions on whether or not the LSATs are an apt measure of "merit" and whether or not stereotype threat or test-bias or other factors mean that certain groups deserve boosts to their admissions chances (a meritocratic justification) is unhelpful.  Moreover, the heated debates, name-calling, and general lack of civility found in the largely superficial posts of the past few days reveal a disinclination to attempt to persuade others reasonably.

I found only one post particularly on the mark:

I am going to jump into this debate somewhat late and I'm not going to read through 6 or 7 page of replies. Rather, I will attempt to answer the question posed by the original post.

I agree that racial stratification is a negative aspect of our society and that most people oppose the stratification of groups according to race. The "significant cost" you speak of, I think, manifests itself in several ways. First, by acknowledging the stratification of racial groups, we cannot help but prolong the stratification. This is a type of self-fulfilliing prophesy....you tell someone they need help over and over and sooner or later they begin to believe it. I ask you, is AA a motivating factor or a demotivating factor? And yes I realize that minority groups have had so much taken from them that in some ways it makes sense to give things back. But why does that involve taking something from the privileged? We don't live in a truly zero sum society. 

I think AA is a neanderthal approach to the problem. I personally don't have the perfect answer, but I think we can do better than AA. I think those racial groups who have been wronged want something better as well. They don't want preferential treatment. Just my .02

So I would like to respond to Intuition.  I think you're right that there are some individuals who object to AA because, as minority students, it leads them to question whether their own accomplishments are deserved (as in scooby's example of the hispanic girl at his school) or makes them worry that others will undervalue them (Clarence Thomas, for instance, has said much to this effect).  And when you suggest that AA involves "taking something from the privileged," you correctly indicate that some majority students are enraged by AA and focus their displeasure on minority students whom they see as unfairly taking what is rightfully theirs.  So you're right that AA contributes to racial stratification, which is a cost.

My response is that although AA is not perfect (nobody is saying it is) and it certainly has costs, as long as it helps reduce racial stratification, then we should continue it.  That is, even though it may somewhat contribute to racial stratification by engendering hostility in some majority students or undermining the self-confidence of some minority students, that does not mean that it is, on balance (so to speak), increasing racial stratification.  You've pointed out one cost of AA, certainly a grave cost, but I still think that AA reduces racial stratification when all the costs and benefits are tallied (mostly by increasing the quality of education available to minority students, which, in turn, leads to minority groups being better represented in society, and so forth).  Hopefully, some day, we may reach a point closer to MLK's fabled vision of a color-blind society (or, perhaps better, a color-indifferent society), and when we're closer to that point, when AA's contribution to maintaining racial stratification exceeds its contribution to reducing it, then we should get rid of AA and figure out something else.  But so long as it is working now, we should continue to do it.  So you're right, Intuition, to point out that AA does somewhat maintain or increase racial stratification, but without evidence that AA increases racial stratification more than it decreases it, your argument does not undermine my empirical support of AA.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 06, 2006, 06:28:53 PM

First, by acknowledging the stratification of racial groups, we cannot help but prolong the stratification.

How on earth did you find this to be "on the mark"?

I meant that I thought it was the only one relevant to the topic of the thread, though I'm with you Leo in disagreeing with it.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: obamacon on August 06, 2006, 06:59:08 PM
This isn't the oppression Olympics and there's no need to agrue these points.

I'll read and respond later, but I just wanted to congratulate you for writing the funniest thing I’ve seen here this week.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: H4CS on August 06, 2006, 07:15:57 PM
This isn't the oppression Olympics and there's no need to agrue these points.

I'll read and respond later, but I just wanted to congratulate you for writing the funniest thing I’ve seen here this week.


Thanks, I stole the concept from Angela Davis.  Also, I misspelled argue.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 06, 2006, 10:38:47 PM
Just to throw another point out there, I don't think that a lot of people who are against AA feel that their spot has been taken by a benificiary of AA, but rather that it doesn't seem fair that someone who has underperformed isn't subjected to the same standards.  I know I can't get into Yale, but I do feel that is unfair that someone who has similar qualifications as me can. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: H4CS on August 06, 2006, 11:01:56 PM
Just to throw another point out there, I don't think that a lot of people who are against AA feel that their spot has been taken by a benificiary of AA, but rather that it doesn't seem fair that someone who has underperformed isn't subjected to the same standards.  I know I can't get into Yale, but I do feel that is unfair that someone who has similar qualifications as me can. 

You put the rabbit in the hat with the word underperformed, no wonder you were able to pull something out at the end. 

But I actually dissent on this point with a lot of pro-AA people.  AA hurts most white people.  Granting people additional rights will always cause one element of society to fight back, even if they are non-exclusive rights, it's one of the basics of the new institutional economics.  Allowing women go to law school hurt men in the same way.  AA helps very qualified white people by giving them the benefits of diversity while screwing over mediocre candiates who might in fact lose a spot that they would previously been more likely to receive.

Let's use the analogy of the Negro Leagues.  You better believe that allowing black players to play in the MLB hurt many sub-par white players who now had to compete against more people for the same number of roster spots.  At the same time, it definitely benefitted the white players who now got to compete against a higher caliber of player and it most certainly benefitted fans who got to see better games.  Now imagine if the Brooklyn Dodgers decided that instead of looking at the whole player to determine talent, they were rather going to look at something insular such as how fast you ran the 40 during the scouts' combine.  Woah, this analogy is getting out of control, but I think the point stands.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: H4CS on August 06, 2006, 11:43:24 PM
its not a large number of whites that lose their spots, but there are some. the problem with your analogy is that the schools don't look at the whole applicant. you can be a 4 star general, have a ph.d in nuclear physics, a 4.3 gpa, be the winner of a nobel prize but if you're white and have a 164 lsat, you don't get into hysccn.

They are not "their" spots.  And you are wrong, there are outstanding non-URMs at the top schools with great GPAs, great soft factors, and low 160s.  There are also people with great LSATS and soft factors with not-so-great GPAs.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: H4CS on August 06, 2006, 11:50:39 PM
They are not "their" spots.  And you are wrong, there are outstanding non-URMs at the top schools with great GPAs, great soft factors, and low 160s.  There are also people with great LSATS and soft factors with not-so-great GPAs.

This is right about where you start citing me as evidence, isn't it?

It's doubly amazing since all those sneaky URMs kept stealing your spot.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: H4CS on August 07, 2006, 12:13:32 AM
stop playing word games. if they would have gotten in in the absence of affirmative action it was their spot. onward to your next point. aa supporters always say that non-urm's get into the top schools with low 160's lsats but they never seem to show up on lsn. i wonder why.

Your statement is about as sensible as saying "they would have gotten in if fewer qualified people applied" or "they would have gotten in if adcoms put extreme priority on tying your shoes while drunk."  Nobody has a right to a spot and they are not applying in a vaccuum.  Hell, all those spots would have been mine if the only requirement was having my name.  Goddamn URMs stealing my spots.  Bastards don't even have my name.

And LSN is just not an acurate way to measure this.  At admitted students weekends, people would secretly admit that they felt out of place with low scores and were very excited to be there.  One of my friends is going to HYS with a 163, big guy.  I know others in the 160 range.  None of them had heard of LSN.  Most likely because they were too busy doing great things, such as your hypothetical nobel prize winning, to pay attention to piddling sites like these.  Not all of us are that smart.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: H4CS on August 07, 2006, 12:19:51 AM
aa supporters always say that non-urm's get into the top schools with low 160's lsats but they never seem to show up on lsn. i wonder why.

Because I don't feel like posting. "Low 160's" is a bit harsh, but I'll take the bait anyway.

Yale troll.  Not a top school, buddy.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 07, 2006, 02:32:39 AM
It's not a matter of who has a right to a spot, it is a matter of who deserves a spot.  A person with better credentials deserves a spot more than someone who's aren't as good.  I still for the life of me can't understand how anyone could justify letting an individual who isn't as qualified to take a spot while there are more qualified people who don't have that spot.

Also, you talk about people with great soft factors getting in, and that's great, but they've actually accomplished something.  Being born into a certain race isn't accomplishing something.  It doesn't add to your character at all really, no matter what race your born into.  Character is actions you've taken (or in some cases not taken). 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: KingJason on August 07, 2006, 05:26:19 AM
FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS NEEDED. I HAVE READ ALL MESSAGES ON THIS BOARD AN ITS APPARENT THAT SOME OF YOUR HAVE MISSED THE BIG PICTURE. SOME OF YOU ARE CLAIMING THAT "THEY TOOK MY SPOT" OR "THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED". BUT THE ONE I HEARD THE MOST IS "WE HAVE SIMILAR CREDITIALS". I HAVE SEVERAL POINTS TO MAKE AND PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THEM BEFORE ATTEMPTING REPLY!

1. FIRST OFF A PERSON FROM THE PROJECTS OR ANY OTHER ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTEGED INNER/ OUTER CITY IS DEFINTLEY NOT THE SAME AS A WHITE PERSON WHO IS 2, 3, 4... GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT, LETS BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THAT!! THEIR EXPERIENCES ARE VERY DIFFERENT AND ITS AMAZING HOW MUCH CAN BE LEARNED FROM EITHER SIDE ONCE THE MEET, IT WORKS TWO FOLD, STUDENTS GAIN KNOWLEDGE FROM EACH OTHER WHICH IN TURN HELPS THEM TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY EFFECTIVLEY. A VALUABLE AND UN-CONTENDED BENEFIT OF AA.

2. LETS HONEST AS TO WHY MINORITIES DON'T FARE WELL ON THE CREDENTIALS. WE (YES I SAID WE) HAVE SECOND-THIRD RATE INNER CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGH CRIME RATES WHICH CREATES STRONG CRITICISMS (WHICH IS PRODUCED BY POVERTY BY THE WAY), AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF SEVERLY LIMITED EXPOSURE TO HIGHER EDUACTION IN GENERAL SO WITH THOSE KINDS OF BARRIERS ITS NO WONDER WHY ITS A HARDER ROAD TO ATTAIN THE POSSIBLITY TO GO TO COLLEGE LET ALONE LAW SCHOOL. ACT AND SAT PREP BELIEVE IT OR NOT IS NOT NECC. OFFERED IN PRIMARILY MINORITY SCHOOLS. WITH THOSE LIFE EXAPERIECES THEY BRING TO THE CLASSROOM OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE 0 IDEA OF WHAT EXPEREINCES EVEN LOOK LIKE IT WILL EDUCATE THEM(LAST I CHECKED THAT WAS THE GOAL OF EDUCATION) AND ALSO EMPOWER THE MINORITES TO EMPOWER THEMSELVES.

3.ITS READILY APPARENT THAT AA IS TAKEN PERSONALLY BY SHORTSIGHTED PEOPLE. THEY SAY THIS PERSON TOOK MY SPOT  HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW IT WAS YOUR SPOT HAVE YOU HAD A LIFE FULL OF HARDSHIPS I MEAN COME ON. BUT THATS BESIDES MY INTENDED POINT. AA IS JUST TRYING TO DIVERSIFY THE CLASS WHILE ALOWING THOSE FROM MINORTY BACKGROUNDS TO HAVE THE SAME OPPURTUNITY. THE OUTCOME WOULD BE A DIVERSIFIED CLASS SENSITIVE TO MORE THAN JUST THE ELITE!!! BELIEVE IT OR NOT ITS ACTUALLY NOT ABOUT YOU!!


4. AA IS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE NOT JUST A FEW PEOPLE. HONESTLY HOW MANY NON-URMS HAVE BEEN PUSHED IN TO COLLEGE BY THEIR FAMILY. FOR URMS THIS NOT VERY OFTEN THE CASE. ITS NOT TO BLAMING ANYONES PARENTS BUT JUST SOMETHING TO BE CONSIDERED.

ONE DAY ONE OF YOU WILL HAVE A CLIENT THATS A MINORITY, SO TELL ME HOW VALUABLE WAS IT TO HAVE MINORITIES IN YOUR CLASS TO TELL ABOUT THEIR CULTURE. AND VICE-VERSA FOR MINORTIES

I KNOW YOU ALL ARE GOING TO ARGUE AN POST AND QUOTE...YADA YADA YADA. BUT HONESTLEY AT LEAST ONE OF YOU WILL BE A LAWYER SO I WRITE THIS IN THE HOPE THAT SOMEONE LOOKS AT WHAT I SAID AND REALIZES THAT WE ARE HERE TO SERVE THE COMMUNITIY. I AM AN AFRICAN AMERICAN MALE AND JUST BY READING THIS YOU MAY HAVE BEEN EXPOSED TO ANOTHER SIDE OF THIS ARGUMENT.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 05:35:43 AM
FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS NEEDED. I HAVE READ ALL MESSAGES ON THIS BOARD AN ITS APPARENT THAT SOME OF YOUR HAVE MISSED THE BIG PICTURE. SOME OF YOU ARE CLAIMING THAT "THEY TOOK MY SPOT" OR "THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED". BUT THE ONE I HEARD THE MOST IS "WE HAVE SIMILAR CREDITIALS" I HAVE SEVERAL POINT TO MAKE AND PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THEM BEFORE ATTEMPTING REPLY!

1. FIRST OFF A PERSON FROM THE PROJECTS OR ANY OTHER ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTEGED INNER/ OUTER CITY IS DEFINTLEY NOT THE SAME AS A WHITE PERSON WHO IS 2, 3, 4... GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT LETS BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THAT!! THEIR EXPERICES ARE VERY DIFFERENT ITS AMAZING HOW MUCH CAN BE LEARNED FROM EITHER SIDE ONCE THE MEE.T IT WORKS TWO FOLD A STUDENTS GAINS KNOWLEDGE FROM EACH OTHER WHICH IN TURN HELPS THEM TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY EFFECTIVLEY. A VALUABLE AND UN-CONTENDED BENEFIT OF AA.

2. LETS HONEST AS TO WHY MINORITIES DON'T FARE WELL ON THE CREDENTIALS. WE (YES I SAID WE) HAVE SECOND-THIRD RATE INNER CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGH CRIME RATES WHICH PRODUCES STRONG CRITICISMS (WHICH IS PRODUCED BY POVERTY BY THE WAY), AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF SEVERLY LIMITED EXPOSURE TO HIGHER EDUACTION IN GENERAL (HONESTLY WE ALL KNOW MANY NON-URMS HAVE BEEN PUSHED IN TO COLLEGE BY THEIR FAMILY). SO WITH THOSE KINDS OF BARRIERS ITS NO WONDER WHY ITS A HARDER ROAD TO ATTAIN THE POSSIBLITY TO GO TO COLLEGE LET ALONE LAW SCHOOL. ACT AND SAT PREP BELIEVE IT OR NOT IS NOT NECC. OFFERED IN PRIMARILY MINORITY SCHOOLS. WITH THOSE LIFE EXAPERIECES THEY BRING TO THE CLASSROOM OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE 0 IDEA OF WHAT EXPEREINCES EVEN LOOK LIKE IT WILL EDUCATE THEM(LAST I CHECKED THAT WAS THE GOAL OF EDUCATION) AND ALSO EMPOWER THE MINORITES TO EMPOWER THEMSELVES.

3.ITS READILY APPARENT THAT AA IS TAKEN PERSONALLY BY SHORTSIGHTED PEOPLE. THEY SAY THIS PERSON TOOK MY SPOT  HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW IT WAS YOUR SPOT HAVE YOU HAD A LIFE FULL OF HARDSHIPS I MEAN COME ON. BUT THATS BESIDES MY INTENDED POINT. AA IS JUST TRYING TO DIVERSIFY THE CLASS WHILE ALOWING THOSE FROM MINORTY BACKGROUNDS TO HAVE THE SAME OPPURTUNITY. THE OUTCOME WOULD BE A DIVERSIFIED CLASS SENSITIVE TO MORE THAN JUST THE ELITE!!! BELIEVE IT OR NOT ITS ACTUALLY NOT ABOUT YOU!!


4. AA IS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE NOT JUST A FEW PEOPLE.

ONE DAY ONE OF YOU WILL HAVE A CLIENT THATS A MINORITY, SO TELL ME HOW VALUABLE WAS IT TO HAVE MINORITIES IN YOUR CLASS TO TELL ABOUT THEIR CULTURE. AND VICE-VERSA FOR MINORTIES

I KNOW YOU ALL ARE GOING TO ARGUE AN POST AND QUOTE...YADA YADA YADA. BUT HONESTLEY AT LEAST ONE OF YOU WILL BE A LAWYER SO I WRITE THIS IN THE HOPE THAT SOMEONE LOOKS AT WHAT I SAID AND REALIZES THAT WE ARE HERE TO SERVE THE COMMUNITIY

what's there to post and quote? you haven't said anything new. all you've done is equate white with rich and privileged and minority with poor and disadvantaged. since this is clearly not the case i'm not going to bother addressing your individual points.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: KingJason on August 07, 2006, 05:44:23 AM
LIKE I SAID I DONT CARE ABOUT ANYONE WHO WANTS TO CRITISIZE. ITS SEEMS TO ME THAT ALL YOU READ WAS THE RICH KID/POOR KID SCENE. THE QUOTE PART WAS PUT IN INTENTIONALLY TO DRAW THE IDIOTS OUT.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: KingJason on August 07, 2006, 05:54:14 AM
FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS NEEDED. I HAVE READ ALL MESSAGES ON THIS BOARD AN ITS APPARENT THAT SOME OF YOUR HAVE MISSED THE BIG PICTURE. SOME OF YOU ARE CLAIMING THAT "THEY TOOK MY SPOT" OR "THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED". BUT THE ONE I HEARD THE MOST IS "WE HAVE SIMILAR CREDITIALS" I HAVE SEVERAL POINT TO MAKE AND PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THEM BEFORE ATTEMPTING REPLY!

1. FIRST OFF A PERSON FROM THE PROJECTS OR ANY OTHER ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTEGED INNER/ OUTER CITY IS DEFINTLEY NOT THE SAME AS A WHITE PERSON WHO IS 2, 3, 4... GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT LETS BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THAT!! THEIR EXPERICES ARE VERY DIFFERENT ITS AMAZING HOW MUCH CAN BE LEARNED FROM EITHER SIDE ONCE THE MEE.T IT WORKS TWO FOLD A STUDENTS GAINS KNOWLEDGE FROM EACH OTHER WHICH IN TURN HELPS THEM TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY EFFECTIVLEY. A VALUABLE AND UN-CONTENDED BENEFIT OF AA.

2. LETS HONEST AS TO WHY MINORITIES DON'T FARE WELL ON THE CREDENTIALS. WE (YES I SAID WE) HAVE SECOND-THIRD RATE INNER CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGH CRIME RATES WHICH PRODUCES STRONG CRITICISMS (WHICH IS PRODUCED BY POVERTY BY THE WAY), AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF SEVERLY LIMITED EXPOSURE TO HIGHER EDUACTION IN GENERAL (HONESTLY WE ALL KNOW MANY NON-URMS HAVE BEEN PUSHED IN TO COLLEGE BY THEIR FAMILY). SO WITH THOSE KINDS OF BARRIERS ITS NO WONDER WHY ITS A HARDER ROAD TO ATTAIN THE POSSIBLITY TO GO TO COLLEGE LET ALONE LAW SCHOOL. ACT AND SAT PREP BELIEVE IT OR NOT IS NOT NECC. OFFERED IN PRIMARILY MINORITY SCHOOLS. WITH THOSE LIFE EXAPERIECES THEY BRING TO THE CLASSROOM OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE 0 IDEA OF WHAT EXPEREINCES EVEN LOOK LIKE IT WILL EDUCATE THEM(LAST I CHECKED THAT WAS THE GOAL OF EDUCATION) AND ALSO EMPOWER THE MINORITES TO EMPOWER THEMSELVES.

3.ITS READILY APPARENT THAT AA IS TAKEN PERSONALLY BY SHORTSIGHTED PEOPLE. THEY SAY THIS PERSON TOOK MY SPOT  HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW IT WAS YOUR SPOT HAVE YOU HAD A LIFE FULL OF HARDSHIPS I MEAN COME ON. BUT THATS BESIDES MY INTENDED POINT. AA IS JUST TRYING TO DIVERSIFY THE CLASS WHILE ALOWING THOSE FROM MINORTY BACKGROUNDS TO HAVE THE SAME OPPURTUNITY. THE OUTCOME WOULD BE A DIVERSIFIED CLASS SENSITIVE TO MORE THAN JUST THE ELITE!!! BELIEVE IT OR NOT ITS ACTUALLY NOT ABOUT YOU!!


4. AA IS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE NOT JUST A FEW PEOPLE.

ONE DAY ONE OF YOU WILL HAVE A CLIENT THATS A MINORITY, SO TELL ME HOW VALUABLE WAS IT TO HAVE MINORITIES IN YOUR CLASS TO TELL ABOUT THEIR CULTURE. AND VICE-VERSA FOR MINORTIES

I KNOW YOU ALL ARE GOING TO ARGUE AN POST AND QUOTE...YADA YADA YADA. BUT HONESTLEY AT LEAST ONE OF YOU WILL BE A LAWYER SO I WRITE THIS IN THE HOPE THAT SOMEONE LOOKS AT WHAT I SAID AND REALIZES THAT WE ARE HERE TO SERVE THE COMMUNITIY

what's there to post and quote? you haven't said anything new. all you've done is equate white with rich and privileged and minority with poor and disadvantaged. since this is clearly not the case i'm not going to bother addressing your individual points.


SOO WHAT THE HELLL IS THE CASE??!!!
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 06:25:18 AM
stop playing word games. if they would have gotten in in the absence of affirmative action it was their spot. onward to your next point. aa supporters always say that non-urm's get into the top schools with low 160's lsats but they never seem to show up on lsn. i wonder why.

Your statement is about as sensible as saying "they would have gotten in if fewer qualified people applied" or "they would have gotten in if adcoms put extreme priority on tying your shoes while drunk."  Nobody has a right to a spot and they are not applying in a vaccuum.  Hell, all those spots would have been mine if the only requirement was having my name.  Goddamn URMs stealing my spots.  Bastards don't even have my name.

And LSN is just not an acurate way to measure this.  At admitted students weekends, people would secretly admit that they felt out of place with low scores and were very excited to be there.  One of my friends is going to HYS with a 163, big guy.  I know others in the 160 range.  None of them had heard of LSN.  Most likely because they were too busy doing great things, such as your hypothetical nobel prize winning, to pay attention to piddling sites like these.  Not all of us are that smart.

sure. completely rational.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 06:27:01 AM
FIRST I WOULD LIKE TO SAY THAT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS NEEDED. I HAVE READ ALL MESSAGES ON THIS BOARD AN ITS APPARENT THAT SOME OF YOUR HAVE MISSED THE BIG PICTURE. SOME OF YOU ARE CLAIMING THAT "THEY TOOK MY SPOT" OR "THEY ARE NOT QUALIFIED". BUT THE ONE I HEARD THE MOST IS "WE HAVE SIMILAR CREDITIALS" I HAVE SEVERAL POINT TO MAKE AND PLEASE READ AND UNDERSTAND THEM BEFORE ATTEMPTING REPLY!

1. FIRST OFF A PERSON FROM THE PROJECTS OR ANY OTHER ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTEGED INNER/ OUTER CITY IS DEFINTLEY NOT THE SAME AS A WHITE PERSON WHO IS 2, 3, 4... GENERATION COLLEGE STUDENT LETS BE VERY CLEAR ABOUT THAT!! THEIR EXPERICES ARE VERY DIFFERENT ITS AMAZING HOW MUCH CAN BE LEARNED FROM EITHER SIDE ONCE THE MEE.T IT WORKS TWO FOLD A STUDENTS GAINS KNOWLEDGE FROM EACH OTHER WHICH IN TURN HELPS THEM TO SERVE THE COMMUNITY EFFECTIVLEY. A VALUABLE AND UN-CONTENDED BENEFIT OF AA.

2. LETS HONEST AS TO WHY MINORITIES DON'T FARE WELL ON THE CREDENTIALS. WE (YES I SAID WE) HAVE SECOND-THIRD RATE INNER CITY PUBLIC SCHOOLS, HIGH CRIME RATES WHICH PRODUCES STRONG CRITICISMS (WHICH IS PRODUCED BY POVERTY BY THE WAY), AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF SEVERLY LIMITED EXPOSURE TO HIGHER EDUACTION IN GENERAL (HONESTLY WE ALL KNOW MANY NON-URMS HAVE BEEN PUSHED IN TO COLLEGE BY THEIR FAMILY). SO WITH THOSE KINDS OF BARRIERS ITS NO WONDER WHY ITS A HARDER ROAD TO ATTAIN THE POSSIBLITY TO GO TO COLLEGE LET ALONE LAW SCHOOL. ACT AND SAT PREP BELIEVE IT OR NOT IS NOT NECC. OFFERED IN PRIMARILY MINORITY SCHOOLS. WITH THOSE LIFE EXAPERIECES THEY BRING TO THE CLASSROOM OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE 0 IDEA OF WHAT EXPEREINCES EVEN LOOK LIKE IT WILL EDUCATE THEM(LAST I CHECKED THAT WAS THE GOAL OF EDUCATION) AND ALSO EMPOWER THE MINORITES TO EMPOWER THEMSELVES.

3.ITS READILY APPARENT THAT AA IS TAKEN PERSONALLY BY SHORTSIGHTED PEOPLE. THEY SAY THIS PERSON TOOK MY SPOT  HOW THE HELL DO YOU KNOW IT WAS YOUR SPOT HAVE YOU HAD A LIFE FULL OF HARDSHIPS I MEAN COME ON. BUT THATS BESIDES MY INTENDED POINT. AA IS JUST TRYING TO DIVERSIFY THE CLASS WHILE ALOWING THOSE FROM MINORTY BACKGROUNDS TO HAVE THE SAME OPPURTUNITY. THE OUTCOME WOULD BE A DIVERSIFIED CLASS SENSITIVE TO MORE THAN JUST THE ELITE!!! BELIEVE IT OR NOT ITS ACTUALLY NOT ABOUT YOU!!


4. AA IS FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE NOT JUST A FEW PEOPLE.

ONE DAY ONE OF YOU WILL HAVE A CLIENT THATS A MINORITY, SO TELL ME HOW VALUABLE WAS IT TO HAVE MINORITIES IN YOUR CLASS TO TELL ABOUT THEIR CULTURE. AND VICE-VERSA FOR MINORTIES

I KNOW YOU ALL ARE GOING TO ARGUE AN POST AND QUOTE...YADA YADA YADA. BUT HONESTLEY AT LEAST ONE OF YOU WILL BE A LAWYER SO I WRITE THIS IN THE HOPE THAT SOMEONE LOOKS AT WHAT I SAID AND REALIZES THAT WE ARE HERE TO SERVE THE COMMUNITIY

what's there to post and quote? you haven't said anything new. all you've done is equate white with rich and privileged and minority with poor and disadvantaged. since this is clearly not the case i'm not going to bother addressing your individual points.


SOO WHAT THE HELLL IS THE CASE??!!!


do you really need it clarified? not all whites are rich. not all blacks are poor.

oh, turn off caps lock before you post again. it's f-ing annoying.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lawprofessor on August 07, 2006, 08:03:49 AM
It's not a matter of who has a right to a spot, it is a matter of who deserves a spot.  A person with better credentials deserves a spot more than someone who's aren't as good.  I still for the life of me can't understand how anyone could justify letting an individual who isn't as qualified to take a spot while there are more qualified people who don't have that spot.

Also, you talk about people with great soft factors getting in, and that's great, but they've actually accomplished something.  Being born into a certain race isn't accomplishing something.  It doesn't add to your character at all really, no matter what race your born into.  Character is actions you've taken (or in some cases not taken). 

I have a couple of questions.  How is it determined who deserves a spot?  Do legacies deserve their spots?  If it is just a matter of LSAT and GPA, everyone with the highest LSAT and GPA would always get into every school and even white people with slightly lower LSATs and GPAs would not deserve to get in.  It is interesting that I never see the anti-AA people making the argument that those white students dont deserve to be there. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: H4CS on August 07, 2006, 08:23:31 AM
I have a couple of questions.  How is it determined who deserves a spot?  Do legacies deserve their spots?  If it is just a matter of LSAT and GPA, everyone with the highest LSAT and GPA would always get into every school and even white people with slightly lower LSATs and GPAs would not deserve to get in.  It is interesting that I never see the anti-AA people making the argument that those white students dont deserve to be there. 

Well, LP, you're of course rubbing against one of the deeper underlying problems here; that many of those that oppose AA don't like that what they have is not what adcoms want and are essentially arguing that their perceived strengths should be all that is considered in this process.  I call it the Googler theory of AA.

It's hilarious when you realize that in many cases as these people are often just frat-types who coasted their way through just-slight-more-that-minimum coarseloads while boasting how easy it was to study at the last minute to get a B+ without doing any work.  Or they "had a bad freshman year" which is used as an excuse to explain poor performance without taking repsonsibility for it.  Instead of blaming themselves for not doing better, they're scapegoating.  They want to decide who "deserves" a spot and it's them and them alone.  I think this describes about 2/3 of the opposition to AA that we've seen in this thread and on this board in general.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lawprofessor on August 07, 2006, 08:51:46 AM
FWIW, I'm saddled with the cruel burden of cruising through anti-AA threads repeating myself ad infinitum. Let's wind it up again, and hope it registers with someone ...

Admissions committees do not exist to reward your merit. Their job is not to pat you on the head and give you blue ribbons because you "deserve" them. Their job, actually, has very little to do with you: they seek to assemble the best possible class for their college, according to whatever criteria strike them as reasonable.

Most will want a class that is ethnically and economically diverse; therefore, they might even reject "more qualified" whites for "less qualified" URMs. Note the quotation marks: anti-AA people always use their own arbitrary definitions of "qualified" here; unsurprisingly, these are numbers-based and convenient to their argument. This is a red herring.

The only true and meaningful definition of "qualified" in this instance is not what YOU think it is, it's what THEY think it is. If someone was admitted in your place, then by definition they are MORE QUALIFIED in this sense. You may not agree that admissions should look beyond LSAT, or whatever, but too bad.

Admissions isn't about YOU, or making you feel good, or rewarding your achievements. If you don't offer what the school wants, too bad. You were playing the wrong game.

Besides, plenty -- a majority, indeed -- of non-URMs are admitted to these classes every year. Why are you so viciously resentful of the URMs, then? Why not kick yourself for being beaten by an entire CLASS of non-URMs? After all, they kicked your ass royally, fair and square. Sucks, doesn't it?

Repeat after me: "I didn't make the cut."

Say it over, like a mantra. You're just not good enough.

Believe that. It's manifestly true.

Now, what was your problem with AA again?



I couldnt have said it any better and I am on an admissions committee.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 07, 2006, 08:52:50 AM
Also, people are generally much more receptive to economic-based AA than race-based.

The argument is often made that by operating only on race, AA risks ushering in hordes of middle and upper-middle class URMs who faced no hardships at all. I think this is manifestly untrue; if it can be demonstrated that the population targeted by AA is overwhelmingly poor, this should allay some of the concerns, yes?

I think you may be walking down the wrong path with this line of thinking.  Pro-AA people come back with how unfair it is to poor white applicants.  Many pro-AA people don't seem to acknowledge that minorities have unique challenges and unique things they can contribute in a group learning situation (such as a law school classroom employing the socratic method) that white students couldn't contribute even if they are of the same socio-economic status.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 07, 2006, 09:05:31 AM
I think you may be walking down the wrong path with this line of thinking.  Pro-AA people come back with how unfair it is to poor white applicants.  Many pro-AA people don't seem to acknowledge that minorities have unique challenges and unique things they can contribute in a group learning situation (such as a law school classroom employing the socratic method) that white students couldn't contribute even if they are of the same socio-economic status.

I'm unconvinced this is true. I think poor white applicants get a better ride, overall.

That said, economic AA isn't a panacea, either. Look at Medicaid; the very poor are in better shape for health care than the working poor, whose incomes vault them past the cutoff for coverage. Class inversion is not a solution; it just shifts the problem to another group.

Economic AA would have the same problems -- those on the thresholds would complain. Ultimately, it's a decision that is made on a case-by-case basis.

To perhaps increase my vulnerability further I don't think AA should be mandated; it should simply be reflected in the admissions decisions of colleges keen on building representative and educationally profitable classes. In my optimism, I do believe this happens now.






Post more often
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:30:51 AM
It's not a matter of who has a right to a spot, it is a matter of who deserves a spot.  A person with better credentials deserves a spot more than someone who's aren't as good.  I still for the life of me can't understand how anyone could justify letting an individual who isn't as qualified to take a spot while there are more qualified people who don't have that spot.

Also, you talk about people with great soft factors getting in, and that's great, but they've actually accomplished something.  Being born into a certain race isn't accomplishing something.  It doesn't add to your character at all really, no matter what race your born into.  Character is actions you've taken (or in some cases not taken). 

I have a couple of questions.  How is it determined who deserves a spot?  Do legacies deserve their spots?  If it is just a matter of LSAT and GPA, everyone with the highest LSAT and GPA would always get into every school and even white people with slightly lower LSATs and GPAs would not deserve to get in.  It is interesting that I never see the anti-AA people making the argument that those white students dont deserve to be there. 

is the legacy argument the best the pro-aa crowd can come up with? you know why we don't make the argument that whites with far below median lsats don't deserve to be there, because they don't get in. harvard didnt admit any white with lower than a 168 this cycle according to lsn which i tend to believe more than h4cs's self serving anecdote.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:32:28 AM
I have a couple of questions.  How is it determined who deserves a spot?  Do legacies deserve their spots?  If it is just a matter of LSAT and GPA, everyone with the highest LSAT and GPA would always get into every school and even white people with slightly lower LSATs and GPAs would not deserve to get in.  It is interesting that I never see the anti-AA people making the argument that those white students dont deserve to be there. 

Well, LP, you're of course rubbing against one of the deeper underlying problems here; that many of those that oppose AA don't like that what they have is not what adcoms want and are essentially arguing that their perceived strengths should be all that is considered in this process.  I call it the Googler theory of AA.

It's hilarious when you realize that in many cases as these people are often just frat-types who coasted their way through just-slight-more-that-minimum coarseloads while boasting how easy it was to study at the last minute to get a B+ without doing any work.  Or they "had a bad freshman year" which is used as an excuse to explain poor performance without taking repsonsibility for it.  Instead of blaming themselves for not doing better, they're scapegoating.  They want to decide who "deserves" a spot and it's them and them alone.  I think this describes about 2/3 of the opposition to AA that we've seen in this thread and on this board in general.

and blacks explain their crappy gpas and crappy lsats on institutional racism and the slavery bull. never their own laziness.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:35:28 AM
FWIW, I'm saddled with the cruel burden of cruising through anti-AA threads repeating myself ad infinitum. Let's wind it up again, and hope it registers with someone ...

Admissions committees do not exist to reward your merit. Their job is not to pat you on the head and give you blue ribbons because you "deserve" them. Their job, actually, has very little to do with you: they seek to assemble the best possible class for their college, according to whatever criteria strike them as reasonable.

Most will want a class that is ethnically and economically diverse; therefore, they might even reject "more qualified" whites for "less qualified" URMs. Note the quotation marks: anti-AA people always use their own arbitrary definitions of "qualified" here; unsurprisingly, these are numbers-based and convenient to their argument. This is a red herring.

The only true and meaningful definition of "qualified" in this instance is not what YOU think it is, it's what THEY think it is. If someone was admitted in your place, then by definition they are MORE QUALIFIED in this sense. You may not agree that admissions should look beyond LSAT, or whatever, but too bad.

Admissions isn't about YOU, or making you feel good, or rewarding your achievements. If you don't offer what the school wants, too bad. You were playing the wrong game.

Besides, plenty -- a majority, indeed -- of non-URMs are admitted to these classes every year. Why are you so viciously resentful of the URMs, then? Why not kick yourself for being beaten by an entire CLASS of non-URMs? After all, they kicked your ass royally, fair and square. Sucks, doesn't it?

Repeat after me: "I didn't make the cut."

Say it over, like a mantra. You're just not good enough.

Believe that. It's manifestly true.

Now, what was your problem with AA again?



my god, did you manage to break a 155? your reasoning skills are beyond hopeless. you are not making a logical argument. all youre doing is saying that the admissions policies are justified because they are. it's about judging whether what they're doing is right.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 07, 2006, 09:35:51 AM
In general, anti-AA venom-spitters are slighted white males whose easy-ride lifestyle was relied upon to pave the way silently for their success. When these bitter little narcissists hit a wall -- a committee blind to their supposed innate superiority, a hurdle where everything they value about themselves can't QUITE get them past -- they lash out in shame-rage, a classic sociopathic / narcissistic response. The only legitimate response is to ignore their petulant hisses, and remind them that they are NOT the center of the universe, NOT the best, and when you come right down to it, not even really very good at all. See them spit in shame and fury!

Can't blame them really, given the state of society. It wasn't too long ago that the basic unit of society was the "citizen." Today, it's the "consumer." We scrabble about in a vast me-first, spend-more super-size orgy of waste and excess, and dawn's about to break.

Whew. Good morning, LSD!

I am a little kinder.  I think that many anti-AA people simply don't have a lot of encounters with discrimination.  Not personally, not anyone they know.  Likely it is because they are from a largely white, middle class or higher, world.  They know that they wouldn't (consciously) discriminate, nor would their friends.  Why is race a problem, except for those gang bangers who bring it on themselves?  Ironically, these are the folks who stand to benefit most from increased diversity to minorities from all points on the SES spectrum.  To see how even an articulate, middle class black girl gets ostracised and struggles because of her race.  To listen to her unique perspective.

Look earlier in the thread.  Scooby (if I recall correctly) compared the racism that minorities face to the discrimination he faced as a CHRISTIAN in his high school.  Seriously, the best model for personal discrimination he faced was as a Christian in America.  No wonder he doesn't see a need for AA.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:36:38 AM
Also, people are generally much more receptive to economic-based AA than race-based.

The argument is often made that by operating only on race, AA risks ushering in hordes of middle and upper-middle class URMs who faced no hardships at all. I think this is manifestly untrue; if it can be demonstrated that the population targeted by AA is overwhelmingly poor, this should allay some of the concerns, yes?

I think you may be walking down the wrong path with this line of thinking.  Pro-AA people come back with how unfair it is to poor white applicants.  Many pro-AA people don't seem to acknowledge that minorities have unique challenges and unique things they can contribute in a group learning situation (such as a law school classroom employing the socratic method) that white students couldn't contribute even if they are of the same socio-economic status.

what can rich blacks contribute that rich whites cant. stop with the bull. you've been reading too much alice walker crap.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lawprofessor on August 07, 2006, 09:37:07 AM
It's not a matter of who has a right to a spot, it is a matter of who deserves a spot.  A person with better credentials deserves a spot more than someone who's aren't as good.  I still for the life of me can't understand how anyone could justify letting an individual who isn't as qualified to take a spot while there are more qualified people who don't have that spot.

Also, you talk about people with great soft factors getting in, and that's great, but they've actually accomplished something.  Being born into a certain race isn't accomplishing something.  It doesn't add to your character at all really, no matter what race your born into.  Character is actions you've taken (or in some cases not taken). 

I have a couple of questions.  How is it determined who deserves a spot?  Do legacies deserve their spots?  If it is just a matter of LSAT and GPA, everyone with the highest LSAT and GPA would always get into every school and even white people with slightly lower LSATs and GPAs would not deserve to get in.  It is interesting that I never see the anti-AA people making the argument that those white students dont deserve to be there. 

is the legacy argument the best the pro-aa crowd can come up with? you know why we don't make the argument that whites with far below median lsats don't deserve to be there, because they don't get in. harvard didnt admit any white with lower than a 168 this cycle according to lsn which i tend to believe more than h4cs's self serving anecdote.

No, it is not the best argument, but you still didnt respond to this "weak" argument.  Are you arguing that all of Harvards admits this cycle posted their LSAT score on LSN????  
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 07, 2006, 09:38:43 AM
Also, people are generally much more receptive to economic-based AA than race-based.

The argument is often made that by operating only on race, AA risks ushering in hordes of middle and upper-middle class URMs who faced no hardships at all. I think this is manifestly untrue; if it can be demonstrated that the population targeted by AA is overwhelmingly poor, this should allay some of the concerns, yes?

I think you may be walking down the wrong path with this line of thinking.  Pro-AA people come back with how unfair it is to poor white applicants.  Many pro-AA people don't seem to acknowledge that minorities have unique challenges and unique things they can contribute in a group learning situation (such as a law school classroom employing the socratic method) that white students couldn't contribute even if they are of the same socio-economic status.

what can rich blacks contribute that rich whites cant. stop with the bull. you've been reading too much alice walker crap.

Looks like you haven't read enough.

And this is the last time I am ever going to respond to you.  You don't deserve any response whatsoever.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:41:03 AM
is the legacy argument the best the pro-aa crowd can come up with? you know why we don't make the argument that whites with far below median lsats don't deserve to be there, because they don't get in. harvard didnt admit any white with lower than a 168 this cycle according to lsn which i tend to believe more than h4cs's self serving anecdote.

Untrue.

And LSN is a skewed sample, you mean little coffin-humper. Look at the admissions grid for any middle or low-ranked school for evidence.

Stop living wrong. The beam in thine own, pal. Why didn't you just study up a bit more? Hmm? Maybe you'd have made the cut, then. Just think -- you could be sitting pretty with all of us, sniping slighted losers in AA threads.


i'm not even a law student fagboy. i took the lsats but decided instead on a top 3 business school so i can go into finance and own all you liberal pussies.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:42:42 AM
my god, did you manage to break a 155? your reasoning skills are beyond hopeless.

Damn. Hot damn! This coffin humper has FUEL!

you are not making a logical argument. all youre doing is saying that the admissions policies are justified because they are. it's about judging whether what they're doing is right.

No, it's about accepting reality.

If you want to discuss whether URMs ought to be admitted preferentially, that's one thing. When you verge into "so and so stole my spot," that's real. They didn't steal your spot. They beat you. It's your own fault for not knowing the rules of the game.



six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:44:58 AM
i'm not even a law student fagboy. i took the lsats but decided instead on a top 3 business school so i can go into finance and own all you liberal pussies.

Here it comes.

A top-3 business school, eh? Which one?

Put your money where your mouth is.

Furthermore, your life shouldn't be about 'owning' us liberal pussies. It should be about 'owning' your insecurity, and your rotten core. Own THAT, you mouthbreathing, cat-strangling dicktaster.

you expect me to tell you my actual school, wow you're dumb. i'll be able to put my money where my mouth is because i'll have more of it than you especially if you do faggot ass public interest work. enjoy billing hours ass pirate.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:47:11 AM
six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.

Quod erat demonstratum, eh? Affixing cutesy little proof-terms to your hogwash is supposed to, what, impress me? Did they teach you that in a top-3 business school?

You're a joke. HTH.

is your african american studies ba from university of florida supposed to impress me? your very existence is an insult to god.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 09:52:37 AM
six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.

Quod erat demonstratum, eh? Affixing cutesy little proof-terms to your hogwash is supposed to, what, impress me? Did they teach you that in a top-3 business school?

You're a joke. HTH.

is your african american studies ba from university of florida supposed to impress me? your very existence is an insult to god.

Yes, it is.

Actually, what would impress you? Besides yourself?



i'd be impressed if you were a urm and actually accomplished something on your own without being handed everything on a silver platter.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 07, 2006, 09:58:54 AM
six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.

Quod erat demonstratum, eh? Affixing cutesy little proof-terms to your hogwash is supposed to, what, impress me? Did they teach you that in a top-3 business school?

You're a joke. HTH.

is your african american studies ba from university of florida supposed to impress me? your very existence is an insult to god.

Yes, it is.

Actually, what would impress you? Besides yourself?



i'd be impressed if you were a urm and actually accomplished something on your own without being handed everything on a silver platter.

what an ironic argument.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: paigeroo on August 07, 2006, 10:06:44 AM
i'm not even a law student fagboy. i took the lsats but decided instead on a top 3 business school so i can go into finance and own all you liberal pussies.

Here it comes.

A top-3 business school, eh? Which one?

Put your money where your mouth is.

Furthermore, your life shouldn't be about 'owning' us liberal pussies. It should be about 'owning' your insecurity, and your rotten core. Own THAT, you mouthbreathing, cat-strangling dicktaster.

Aaand Arkadin has lost his temper.  I wish I could have reduced you to name calling.  Now I feel inferior.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 07, 2006, 10:22:35 AM
six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.

Quod erat demonstratum, eh? Affixing cutesy little proof-terms to your hogwash is supposed to, what, impress me? Did they teach you that in a top-3 business school?

You're a joke. HTH.

is your african american studies ba from university of florida supposed to impress me? your very existence is an insult to god.

Yes, it is.

Actually, what would impress you? Besides yourself?



i'd be impressed if you were a urm and actually accomplished something on your own without being handed everything on a silver platter.

what an ironic argument.

not so. starting from an early age you get liberal judges with white guilt to force bussing onto us which lowers our property values and brings thugs and criminals into our schools. you get esl and free lunches and extra time on tests all on taxpayer dime. when it comes time to apply to college you send in your bad 80 average and 1200 sat and harvard and princeton are all over themselves to admit you. when you @#!* up in college as you will because you will be in over your head you send in your crappy 3.0 in african american studies and 160 lsat and the top schools get a woody thinking about you. if you don't go to grad school you go work for a corporation. if you don't get promoted because you don't make the effort you'll still join the class action suit against the company and take a bull position in the token diversity department which contributes nothing to the company. you'll make a lot of money if you don't spend it all and your kids will get the same advantages. the cycle repeats
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 07, 2006, 11:16:17 AM
six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.

Quod erat demonstratum, eh? Affixing cutesy little proof-terms to your hogwash is supposed to, what, impress me? Did they teach you that in a top-3 business school?

You're a joke. HTH.

is your african american studies ba from university of florida supposed to impress me? your very existence is an insult to god.

Yes, it is.

Actually, what would impress you? Besides yourself?



i'd be impressed if you were a urm and actually accomplished something on your own without being handed everything on a silver platter.

what an ironic argument.

not so. starting from an early age you get liberal judges with white guilt to force bussing onto us which lowers our property values and brings thugs and criminals into our schools. you get esl and free lunches and extra time on tests all on taxpayer dime. when it comes time to apply to college you send in your bad 80 average and 1200 sat and harvard and princeton are all over themselves to admit you. when you @#!* up in college as you will because you will be in over your head you send in your crappy 3.0 in african american studies and 160 lsat and the top schools get a woody thinking about you. if you don't go to grad school you go work for a corporation. if you don't get promoted because you don't make the effort you'll still join the class action suit against the company and take a bull position in the token diversity department which contributes nothing to the company. you'll make a lot of money if you don't spend it all and your kids will get the same advantages. the cycle repeats

Dude, I had a 1560 on the SAT. A 169 on the LSAT. A 3.87 in college. I grew up in the inner city. I have tons of fellowships, some national scholarships, some publications, leadership positions in national orgs, and have had paid jobs in the offices of some of our nation's most recognized policy makers. I make it in life - everything was handed to me. You make it in life, you deserved it all. Hilarious.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lawprofessor on August 07, 2006, 11:26:09 AM
Well said brother.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 07, 2006, 11:35:53 AM
six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.

Quod erat demonstratum, eh? Affixing cutesy little proof-terms to your hogwash is supposed to, what, impress me? Did they teach you that in a top-3 business school?

You're a joke. HTH.

is your african american studies ba from university of florida supposed to impress me? your very existence is an insult to god.

Yes, it is.

Actually, what would impress you? Besides yourself?



i'd be impressed if you were a urm and actually accomplished something on your own without being handed everything on a silver platter.

what an ironic argument.

not so. starting from an early age you get liberal judges with white guilt to force bussing onto us which lowers our property values and brings thugs and criminals into our schools. you get esl and free lunches and extra time on tests all on taxpayer dime. when it comes time to apply to college you send in your bad 80 average and 1200 sat and harvard and princeton are all over themselves to admit you. when you @#!* up in college as you will because you will be in over your head you send in your crappy 3.0 in african american studies and 160 lsat and the top schools get a woody thinking about you. if you don't go to grad school you go work for a corporation. if you don't get promoted because you don't make the effort you'll still join the class action suit against the company and take a bull position in the token diversity department which contributes nothing to the company. you'll make a lot of money if you don't spend it all and your kids will get the same advantages. the cycle repeats

Dude, I had a 1560 on the SAT. A 169 on the LSAT. A 3.87 in college. I grew up in the inner city. I have tons of fellowships, some national scholarships, some publications, leadership positions in national orgs, and have had paid jobs in the offices of some of our nation's most recognized policy makers. I make it in life - everything was handed to me. You make it in life, you deserved it all. Hilarious.


John, may I ask you if you think your standardized test scores, which are impressive for any person--white, black, or Asian--are an accurate reflection of your native intellectual abilities? Do you honestly think that there is not a significant correlation between general intelligence and standardized test scores, or between test scores and academic ability? Obviously, it is not a 1:1 ratio, but it does correlate highly. Certainly, you do not think it is a coincidence that you distinguished yourself academically in the same manner that you distinguished yourself on the SAT and LSAT. You also mention that you were reared in the inner city; presumably you were not a son of privilege. Yet, you were able to thrive intellectually. It seems that steadfast proponents of AA do not think it is possible for URMs to persevere in the face of racism (as you did)? Why is this so?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lawprofessor on August 07, 2006, 11:47:20 AM
six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.

Quod erat demonstratum, eh? Affixing cutesy little proof-terms to your hogwash is supposed to, what, impress me? Did they teach you that in a top-3 business school?

You're a joke. HTH.

is your african american studies ba from university of florida supposed to impress me? your very existence is an insult to god.

Yes, it is.

Actually, what would impress you? Besides yourself?



i'd be impressed if you were a urm and actually accomplished something on your own without being handed everything on a silver platter.

what an ironic argument.

not so. starting from an early age you get liberal judges with white guilt to force bussing onto us which lowers our property values and brings thugs and criminals into our schools. you get esl and free lunches and extra time on tests all on taxpayer dime. when it comes time to apply to college you send in your bad 80 average and 1200 sat and harvard and princeton are all over themselves to admit you. when you @#!* up in college as you will because you will be in over your head you send in your crappy 3.0 in african american studies and 160 lsat and the top schools get a woody thinking about you. if you don't go to grad school you go work for a corporation. if you don't get promoted because you don't make the effort you'll still join the class action suit against the company and take a bull position in the token diversity department which contributes nothing to the company. you'll make a lot of money if you don't spend it all and your kids will get the same advantages. the cycle repeats

Dude, I had a 1560 on the SAT. A 169 on the LSAT. A 3.87 in college. I grew up in the inner city. I have tons of fellowships, some national scholarships, some publications, leadership positions in national orgs, and have had paid jobs in the offices of some of our nation's most recognized policy makers. I make it in life - everything was handed to me. You make it in life, you deserved it all. Hilarious.


John, may I ask you if you think your standardized test scores, which are impressive for any person--white, black, or Asian--are an accurate reflection of your native intellectual abilities? Do you honestly think that there is not a significant correlation between general intelligence and standardized test scores, or between test scores and academic ability? Obviously, it is not a 1:1 ratio, but it does correlate highly. Certainly, you do not think it is a coincidence that you distinguished yourself academically in the same manner that you distinguished yourself on the SAT and LSAT. You also mention that you were reared in the inner city; presumably you were not a son of privilege. Yet, you were able to thrive intellectually. It seems that steadfast proponents of AA do not think it is possible for URMs to persevere in the face of racism (as you did)? Why is this so?

This is not so.  They dont think it is impossible.  They think that is it a heavy burden to be forced to endure. And it is no doubt that most are unable to excel in the face of racism.  And we can always find one person who is able to persevere in the face of racism, that does not mean EVERYONE should be able to perservere.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 07, 2006, 12:07:23 PM
six of one, half a dozen of the other. if urm's are admitted preferentially they're stealing someone's spot. qed.

Quod erat demonstratum, eh? Affixing cutesy little proof-terms to your hogwash is supposed to, what, impress me? Did they teach you that in a top-3 business school?

You're a joke. HTH.

is your african american studies ba from university of florida supposed to impress me? your very existence is an insult to god.

Yes, it is.

Actually, what would impress you? Besides yourself?



i'd be impressed if you were a urm and actually accomplished something on your own without being handed everything on a silver platter.

what an ironic argument.

not so. starting from an early age you get liberal judges with white guilt to force bussing onto us which lowers our property values and brings thugs and criminals into our schools. you get esl and free lunches and extra time on tests all on taxpayer dime. when it comes time to apply to college you send in your bad 80 average and 1200 sat and harvard and princeton are all over themselves to admit you. when you @#!* up in college as you will because you will be in over your head you send in your crappy 3.0 in african american studies and 160 lsat and the top schools get a woody thinking about you. if you don't go to grad school you go work for a corporation. if you don't get promoted because you don't make the effort you'll still join the class action suit against the company and take a bull position in the token diversity department which contributes nothing to the company. you'll make a lot of money if you don't spend it all and your kids will get the same advantages. the cycle repeats

Dude, I had a 1560 on the SAT. A 169 on the LSAT. A 3.87 in college. I grew up in the inner city. I have tons of fellowships, some national scholarships, some publications, leadership positions in national orgs, and have had paid jobs in the offices of some of our nation's most recognized policy makers. I make it in life - everything was handed to me. You make it in life, you deserved it all. Hilarious.


John, may I ask you if you think your standardized test scores, which are impressive for any person--white, black, or Asian--are an accurate reflection of your native intellectual abilities? Do you honestly think that there is not a significant correlation between general intelligence and standardized test scores, or between test scores and academic ability? Obviously, it is not a 1:1 ratio, but it does correlate highly. Certainly, you do not think it is a coincidence that you distinguished yourself academically in the same manner that you distinguished yourself on the SAT and LSAT. You also mention that you were reared in the inner city; presumably you were not a son of privilege. Yet, you were able to thrive intellectually. It seems that steadfast proponents of AA do not think it is possible for URMs to persevere in the face of racism (as you did)? Why is this so?

This is not so.  They dont think it is impossible.  They think that is it a heavy burden to be forced to endure. And it is no doubt that most are unable to excel in the face of racism.  And we can always find one person who is able to persevere in the face of racism, that does not mean EVERYONE should be able to perservere.

No disrespect intended, but I find the idea that "most [URMs] are unable to excel in the face of racism" highly dubious at best and downright insulting at worst. I think this idea would come as a surprise to the millions of black Americans who managed to educate themselves and lift themselves out of poverty in the period following the cessation of Jim Crow. Do we really want to perpetuate the idea to the majority culture and to young black Americans that they have so little control over their lives that but for the largesse of liberal politicians and university admissions committees they could not prosper and succeed?

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 07, 2006, 01:30:55 PM
Do any of you guys even read what you write before you post it?  You certainly don't read what anyone else has written.  You guys all talk around each other.  It would be better to try to respond to each other and not just snarl at shadows.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 08, 2006, 08:51:19 AM

The silver lining is that most anti-AA arguments I've heard come from slighted non-URMs (slighty whities?) who are manifestly displeased with their harvest from admissions season. Thus, we can relax knowing that they have been irrevocably burdened with varying degrees of inferiority complex for the balance of their academic and professional lives.

It is a fallacy on this board that only disgruntled, captious white kids have a problem with AA, especially in its current incarnation in America. Indeed, many prominent black intellectuals (as well as some not-so-prominent but independent-minded black Americans) have serious reservations about AA as a tool of distributive justice. If you want to examine some nuanced and legitimate arguments against AA (including from some who actually acknowledge that they were beneficiaries of AA), read John McWhorter, Shelby Steele (brother of Claude), Thomas Sowell, and Stephen Carter. One common theme among their critiques of AA is that it serves to reinforce, rather than undermine, certain racist stereotypes about black Americans. This may explain, in part, the tendency among some "disgruntled white kids" on this board to paint all URMs minorities with the same brush. In effect, the URM has to prove that he or she got in on merit and were held to the same standards because AA implies that the majority of blacks "can't cut it" without the aid of AA.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 01:14:55 PM
I keep seeing over and over the pro-AA people saying something along the lines of "white people who are mad about their own shortcomings."  Is it at all possible to see something that is wrong and be angered by it even if it isn't something that effects them personally?  It's like people don't even read what's written before them.  It's NOT so much that I can't get into certain schools, the problem is that it's not fair that others who have the same numbers CAN.  If everything was on an equal playing field, it would be likely that right around the same numbers would be required to get in.  You would still need in the 170's to get into Yale.  Why is it that liberals always want to critisize the person who takes the opposite viewpoint without addressing the real issue????  STOP IT!
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 02:00:48 PM
There ya go again, you don't have an answer so you point the blame elsewhere.  It's not jealousy.  Jealousy would be if they actually were superior.  I'm jealous of those who actually did score a 170.  I'm not jealous of someone who did as well as me or even worse in college and on the LSAT.  I'm mad because I see an injustice, just like I'm mad when someone is fired just because they are black.  Fairness is not seen here. 

Regardless if my points have been answered, people keep saying the same things after I've addressed theirs, so therefore I feel that I have to say it again.

You said, "Don't begrudge your betters their successes. And don't fool yourself with carefully chosen yardsticks like LSAT score. Overall, they're just better applicants, people the school wants to admit. That's why they beat you."


WHAT????  They aren't my better, and they beat me because schools are forced to accept them.  It's obvious that you didn't read one of my earlier posts because I even mentioned that.  It would be one thing if they had the option to be diverse or not, but they don't.  Schools have to fill their quotas, so therefore that point isn't valid.


Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 02:15:42 PM
So the only way that can get in is if they compete with their peers, not just people in general....
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 08, 2006, 02:19:32 PM
There ya go again, you don't have an answer so you point the blame elsewhere.  It's not jealousy.  Jealousy would be if they actually were superior.  I'm jealous of those who actually did score a 170.  I'm not jealous of someone who did as well as me or even worse in college and on the LSAT.  I'm mad because I see an injustice, just like I'm mad when someone is fired just because they are black.  Fairness is not seen here. 

Regardless if my points have been answered, people keep saying the same things after I've addressed theirs, so therefore I feel that I have to say it again.

You said, "Don't begrudge your betters their successes. And don't fool yourself with carefully chosen yardsticks like LSAT score. Overall, they're just better applicants, people the school wants to admit. That's why they beat you."


WHAT????  They aren't my better, and they beat me because schools are forced to accept them.  It's obvious that you didn't read one of my earlier posts because I even mentioned that.  It would be one thing if they had the option to be diverse or not, but they don't.  Schools have to fill their quotas, so therefore that point isn't valid.


All your points have been proven false because you're looking at admissions through a lens that only includes numerical values when cleary there are other variables (besides race) that play a significant role.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 08, 2006, 02:21:19 PM
You said, "Overall, they're just better applicants, people the school wants to admit. That's why they beat you."

WHAT????  ... Schools have to fill their quotas, so therefore that point isn't valid.

You seem to have a problem with this. To walk you through this one, replace "the school" with "society" or "government backed by the people" and you will see the point remains.

Your argument would only make sense if relatively unqualified URMs were admitted. As it is, I warrant that those who gain admission to HLS or peer schools are the absolute top performers from their demographic. So again, why begrudge them their admission? They've demolished their entire peer group at every stage of their academic career. You didn't. If you had, you'd be at Harvard, too.

That's what it boils down to. You hide behind absolute standards of human merit, which as anyone will tell you is ridiculous in just about any sense. Context matters.

But, I think what scooby is arguing is that there should be one standard or one common yardstick that is applicable to all candidates. I think people, like myself, who have deep reservations about AA believe that URMs should be judged against all of their peers, not only the peers in their "demographic." This idea that we need to grant URMs a "handicap" in order for them to compete is the height of white liberal smugness. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 02:28:29 PM
The question shouldn't be how we can get minorities into schools, but rather how we can get them onto an equal playing field.  Letting them into schools just because they have lesser scores and accepting it as how things are isn't helping anything.  Rather, if you could get them to score on average the same as everyone else, then you'd be giving real help.  Stop letting them take the easy way out. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 02:36:58 PM
If I beat all my peers at Easy Credit University, should I go to Harvard?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 02:44:01 PM
I was responding to the post.  You said beating your peers deserves credit, and I was giving an example.  Do you expect insults to make you somehow correct all of a sudden?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 08, 2006, 02:51:04 PM
This idea that we need to grant URMs a "handicap" in order for them to compete is the height of white liberal smugness. 

HBCUs are known to eschew grade inflation, and Red. posted convincing published studies demonstrating that minorities (all else equal) tend to underperform on standardized tests.

So are you fighting to erase "white liberal smugness," or to deny reality?

What I am arguing is that we need to examine realistically why the gap in performance on standardized tests exists and figure out ways to eliminate it, rather than ignore or try to justify it. Unfortunately, the Steele and Aronson piece has been widely misinterpreted. What the study demonstrated is that the presence of stereotype threat exacerbated the performance gap between the black and white test takers. In the absence of the stereotype threat, the gap in performance still persisted. Please review the January 2004 issue of American Psychologist (which is the publication of the American Psychology Association) for a more in-depth analysis of the Steele and Aronson study.

The article is entitled “On Interpreting Stereotype Threat as Accounting for African American–White Differences on Cognitive Tests.”  In it, the authors explain that “scores were statistically adjusted for differences in students' prior SAT performance, and thus, Steele and Aronson's findings actually showed that absent stereotype threat, the two groups differ to the degree that would be expected based on differences in prior SAT scores” and “caution against interpreting the Steele and Aronson experiment as evidence that stereotype threat is the primary cause of African American–White differences in test performance.”

Frankly, it is strange that people would uncritically accept a theory that, in effect, says blacks as a group collapse under mental pressure. Is this a realistic assessment of how proponents of AA actually view black Americans?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 02:58:14 PM
That was a good point Deontologist.

My problem with AA in 2 sentences or less:

AA sets different academic standards for different races of people which is the same as stating that some races have to do better than others to succeed.  Further, AA creates anomosity towards minorities from the whites and Asians while at the same time casting doubt on minorities real abilities.


And to answer your other question, no, I don't want all-white classes.  That would make me a racist and my minority friends would all tell you that I'm definately not racist.  What I want is the same standards that are set on me to be set on everyone else.  Hopefully minorities can step up and make themselves represented by earning it.  I've seen enough brilliant minorities to know that this is possible. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Scholastically Challenged on August 08, 2006, 03:12:53 PM
I was responding to the post.  You said beating your peers deserves credit, and I was giving an example.  Do you expect insults to make you somehow correct all of a sudden?

Yes, I do.

Tell me, in two lines or less: what is your problem with AA? Do you want an all-white class?



Great offensive move.

Now you tell us in 2 sentences or less why you support AA.

If possible, I'd like to hear a real view - not one cultivated from a life of priveledge and spoon fed success. One that makes your view pertinent and vanquished of self serving idealistic drivel.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 03:17:52 PM
Are insults part of the liberal's training?  Why is it that I'm automatically a racist because I'm against AA?  

How long ago was slavery?  Were any African Americans today under slavery?  Most African Americans going into school now didn't even live through the biggest part of the civil rights movement that Dr. King led.  Reperations were due to those who were wronged, but this isn't that world.  

How dare you say that I want to keep the minorities in the ghetto.  I would LOVE to see them get out.  That's why I've already expressed I would be a proponent of economic AA.  However, not all minorities live in these conditions, and not all whites don't live in these conditions.  Further, I know the minorities are capable of whatever they want to.  I actually hope one of them is president in 2008.  I would love to see Condi Rice as president.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Scholastically Challenged on August 08, 2006, 03:19:32 PM
Now you tell us in 2 sentences or less why you support AA.

It's great to reduce thought to catchphrases and slogans.  Always a winning strategy.

Silence vermin. Your master piper used the same strategy above.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 03:22:50 PM
All insults, no substance. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 03:29:02 PM
The no substance comment was refering to you Demicron.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Scholastically Challenged on August 08, 2006, 03:31:43 PM
All insults, no substance. 

You want to see me insult you? Keep sidestepping my posts.

You're being demolished here, and it's a shame you won't stick around to admit it.

He is not really being demolished here. He just hasn't learned the subtle usage of demagoguery like you have. In my estimation its about even. He has more heart and substance but on the head of a scud missile, whereas you have very little heart, slight substance on a ballistic missile.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 03:36:52 PM
And as to Mr. Arkadin, I have to appologize.  For some reason or another half of your post will show up, then I'll respond, then the other half will show up.  It has been happening ever since we started today.

I'll try to hit them all, but there have been a lot, so if I miss one, I appologize.  First, I can't step into anyone's shoes, but the way I see it, everyone has hardships in one way or another.  I know I have friends who are white who have grown up poor, or in dysfunctional families that probably lived just as hard of a life as anyone else.  I personally will admit that I have it easy, but I have friends of multiple races that have had their share of problems for various reasons.

I have no doubt that AA has reduced racial stratification.  It has made a more diverse playing field.  But, at what cost?  I honestly think that the minorities could get there without the help with a little bit of will-power.  Their scores aren't all that much lower anyway.  I think that AA has given them a self-fullfilling prophecy.  Even more, if the goal is to get a 165 to get into Columbia, then all you'll try to do is get a 165.  If your trying for a 170, you'll try harder.  I wonder if we gave everyone the same goal they'd all perform more similarly.  Just a thought.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Scholastically Challenged on August 08, 2006, 03:40:47 PM
He is not really being demolished here. He just hasn't learned the subtle usage of demagoguery like you have. In my estimation its about even. He has more heart and substance but on the head of a scud missile, whereas you have very little heart, slight substance on a ballistic missile.

I like this one too, UNICRON.  It may not be as good as the previous quotation, but it's high-quality text nonetheless.

Am I being mistaken for someone? Good. Perhaps a new player has entered the fray.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 08, 2006, 03:43:53 PM
Deontologist: So basically, the point of that post was to prove that blacks innately underperform on tests.

That doesn't sound right to me, but I'll admit that I don't know anything about it. So, let's assume it's true, for the sake of argument.

Does this mean we shouldn't admit them? Or that we should still hold them to the SAME standards as whites, knowing (as we now do) that they INNATELY underperform?

If you consult the original post in this thread, you will find what I believe is a quite cogent defense of AA: if it indeed reduces racial stratification in society, then it's proven its worth. Why attack its methods?

Alleged class mobility is a mainstay of American culture; or American myth, perhaps, since it happens less and less today (for more, see the excellent NYT feature on Class in America, May 2005). If AA catalyzes such mobility, then this ought to be a good thing. The only real problem with it is that to make this omelet, eggs are indeed broken: usually, the hopes some white middle class dreamer who's used to feeling superior to inner city 'slackers.' But then, we didn't order an egg-white omelet, did we?


I did not say that black "innately" underperform whites. I reiterated something that is widely acknowledged, which is that blacks (as a group) tend to underperform on certain standardized tests. However, there are many individual blacks who excel on standardized tests. The tragedy is that they have to constantly contend with charges that they were admitted to elite schools based on skin color rather than merit because of the pernicious effects of AA. I refuse to accept the notion that blacks cannot compete on a level footing with whites and Asians. After all, Asians tend to outperform all groups, including whites, on standardized tests; do we need to set different barometers for white candidates to counteract this phenomenon? Going to an elite institution is not the sole avenue to success in America. If you are bright, motivated, ambitious, and hardworking, you can achieve no matter what institution you attend. When the University of California could no longer use race as a factor in admissions, yes, black admissions at their flagship campuses—Berkeley and UCLA, declined. However, black admission and attendance at somewhat less selective campuses increased, taking up the slack. What, are all of these black students doomed to failure now because they did not attend Berkeley?

There is a genuine cost to AA, for blacks, Hispanics, whites, and Asians. It does feed racial resentment, and it does stigmatize individual minorities, who are presumed to need a leg up to compete. The attrition rate for less qualified students at elite institutions far surpasses those of their more qualified white and Asian peers. Moreover, generally, the beneficiaries of AA are not poor blacks in the inner city; they are more privileged middle and upper class blacks. Henry Louis Gates will tell you the same thing. Therefore, AA fails to help those who most need it and punishes those who played no part in the legal and economic disfranchisement of black Americans. Shelby Steele reports that black students “from families that make $100,000 a year or more perform worse on the SAT than whites from families that make $10,000 a year or less.” Is it fair or logical to assume that a poor white or Asian kid did not overcome as many or more obstacles than a rich black kid? Can’t we hold well-positioned black students to the same standards as their peers?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 08, 2006, 05:27:40 PM
I believe that's true (value of diversity).  I think it could be argued, though, that AA could be used to make sure a minority candidate gets into a school their numbers would qualify them for otherwise than one where they are 8-10 points below.  IMO, that would not only create diversity within the legal community, but it would also become impossible for someone to argue that their seat had been "stolen" by someone who wasn't also "qualified."

Also just thoughts. 

Well I don't think we should have to pander to people who think that their seats have been stolen. For someone to have a seat stolen, they'd have to assume that they had possession of a seat initially. Of course, why apply if you already have a seat in the class right? Your position, IMO, could only stand if LSAT was a better method of qualification than taking someone's race into consideration. I think you have to establish that. So far, what I've heard is that the school, the students, and society benefit more from having more lawyers of color than is current and benefit from having minority students in top flight legal education programs than they benefit from having another 179 scorer. So we have to evaluate what qualification means.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: TrojanChispas on August 08, 2006, 05:45:58 PM
Are insults part of the liberal's training?  Why is it that I'm automatically a racist because I'm against AA?  

How long ago was slavery?  Were any African Americans today under slavery?  Most African Americans going into school now didn't even live through the biggest part of the civil rights movement that Dr. King led.  Reperations were due to those who were wronged, but this isn't that world.  

How dare you say that I want to keep the minorities in the ghetto.  I would LOVE to see them get out.  That's why I've already expressed I would be a proponent of economic AA.  However, not all minorities live in these conditions, and not all whites don't live in these conditions.  Further, I know the minorities are capable of whatever they want to.  I actually hope one of them is president in 2008.  I would love to see Condi Rice as president.

Wrong.  Slavery has had a profoundly negative effect on black culture,self-esteem, society, economy, family, education, and almost every other important mainstay of a healthy group of people.  Major rifts in the fabric of a community have long lasting effects.  Imagine how five generations of being enslaved, and another five of being a legaly second class citizen would affect your family.  Im sure you would just rise above all of it no problem and never need or want a hand up.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Scholastically Challenged on August 08, 2006, 05:57:23 PM
I believe that's true (value of diversity).  I think it could be argued, though, that AA could be used to make sure a minority candidate gets into a school their numbers would qualify them for otherwise than one where they are 8-10 points below.  IMO, that would not only create diversity within the legal community, but it would also become impossible for someone to argue that their seat had been "stolen" by someone who wasn't also "qualified."

Also just thoughts. 

I agree with you more or less.  Its worthwhile to have a diverse pool of lawyers regardless of where they graduate from.

The problem is that the T-14 schools are gatekeepers to the upper echelons of power in the US. There are plenty of smart kids throughout the tiers, but its the kids at the T-14s which are chosen to Clerk for the Supreme Court/Federal Appeals, get the US Attorneys jobs, positions in the Department of Defense, associate positions in the big time firms, professorships at law schools etc.  So by increasing divesity at those schools you hopefully diversify these sectors aswell.

We have to keep in mind you dont get any "AA" points on the bar exam, so if these so-called "undeserving" AA admits really cant tow the line they would get weeded out anyway.

Diversity, what a beautiful keyword. But where is the proof of concept in real life? We can talk about a fullfillment of the soul, or more esoteric feelings? Maybe there are some studies floating around comparing a more homogenous environment to that of a diverse one (in terms of race). Race is not a barometer for a differing of experience.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 08, 2006, 06:01:22 PM
I think the LSAT and the importance placed on it is totally ridiculous, Galt, but I think it's pretty evident that it is the single most important factor in deciding whether or not to admit a candidate.  Wrong, IMO, but that's just the way it is. 

I just think with the admissions process being, again IMO, stupid, the issue of AA is complicated. 

I think you're right. I think one of the negative byproducts of USNEWS is that schools sometimes over-rely on the test for admission to school against their own criteria. USNEWS doesn't value work experience or publications or any number of other qualifications for a student (to be fair, it would be nearly impossible for them to collect all this data). Instead they limit student quality to LSAT and GPA and weight the LSAT more. So schools, afraid to fall in the rankings, must compete to satisfy those LSAT requirements in selecting a student body. In turn, I think that hurts many promising minority and majority students because there are only so many times you can take someone below your targeted median before it begins to hurt you in the rankings.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 09:24:40 PM
How many times are people on this board going to say things about pandering to people who feel that their seats have been stolen?  I don't think anyone on this thread has made that claim!!!  We've made the claim that it isn't "fair" that seats are given to those with lesser credentials. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 08, 2006, 09:33:31 PM
How many times are people on this board going to say things about pandering to people who feel that their seats have been stolen?  I don't think anyone on this thread has made that claim!!!  We've made the claim that it isn't "fair" that seats are given to those with lesser credentials. 

Why does it bother you that someone with lessor numbers got in to a school?  What difference does it make to you?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 09:37:28 PM
It's a matter of principle.  Do things have to affect me directly for it to matter?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: FossilJ on August 08, 2006, 09:39:28 PM
Now I see why red. left again.

I love how a thread debating the need for AA justification, an off-shoot of a thread that tried to avoid all the substance-less opinions (read: blathering hot air) that usually crop up in this forum, just managed to unravel into the same inane bickering that red. was concerned about in the first place.

I see a whole lot of writing stating a whole lot of nothing in this thread.  Blah blah blah, you think AA's unfair.  Blah blah blah, you believe AA is the solution.  Yadda yadda yadda, liberals do that, conservatives do this, look at the past, look at the future, diversity this, constitutional that, SHUT THE @#!* UP.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 09:42:54 PM
That would bother me the same way that it bothers me that people with legacies can get in with lower numbers.  I honestly think every single person should be put onto an equal playing field. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: aerynn on August 08, 2006, 09:46:19 PM
That would bother me the same way that it bothers me that people with legacies can get in with lower numbers.  I honestly think every single person should be put onto an equal playing field. 

I don't believe there is such a thing as a level playing field.  Every person, every set of experiences, is so different as to be incomparable.  I would rather have a diverse class, though, than a bunch of early 20-something white men with high test scores and middle class parents who know how to play the drums for example.  That's part of why I care.  I want different people in my class, not just a bunch of high test scorers.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: FossilJ on August 08, 2006, 09:48:58 PM
That would bother me the same way that it bothers me that people with legacies can get in with lower numbers.  I honestly think every single person should be put onto an equal playing field. 

That said, that's exactly what AA is attempting to do.  Adjust the playing field so that all participants start from roughly the same spot.  Ironic, isn't it?

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 09:54:25 PM
Admissions isn't started on a level playing feild.  It is started with X for white people and X-5 for minorities.  There are multiple playing fields.  It's putting people from different leagues on the playing field to make the metaphore more accurate. 

Let's move this idea to a different avenue.  Let's take sports.  How about basketball.  White basketball players are traditionally not as good at the game as the African Americans, which makes them grosely underrepresented.  Now, should you put more white players in the NBA?  No, definately not, because they aren't as good.  However, recently there have been a few more white players breaking in, but not because they are being given breaks, but rather because they work their butts off to get there.  I think everything should be that way. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 08, 2006, 10:01:21 PM
Admissions isn't started on a level playing feild.  It is started with X for white people and X-5 for minorities.  There are multiple playing fields.  It's putting people from different leagues on the playing field to make the metaphore more accurate. 

Let's move this idea to a different avenue.  Let's take sports.  How about basketball.  White basketball players are traditionally not as good at the game as the African Americans, which makes them grosely underrepresented.  Now, should you put more white players in the NBA?  No, definately not, because they aren't as good.  However, recently there have been a few more white players breaking in, but not because they are being given breaks, but rather because they work their butts off to get there.  I think everything should be that way. 

Yeah, but in this case the individual not performing has repercussions on the team whereas an individual not performing in schools generally only affects the individual. And your analogy does not follow because there is diversity on the basketball court. If a team is selecting players and has a team of ten but needs two more players, it might look at other things beyond overall cumulative skill. For example, if the team has two really strong point guards, it might cut a third point guard trying to make the team for a seven foot center. Now this seven foot center is no where near as skilled as the point guard and no where near as good, but he is selected becuase the seven footer fills a need that the point guard does not. Even in selecting basketball players, merit is not always cut and dry and diversity (although not racial) is neccessary and embraced.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: anonomous on August 08, 2006, 10:05:24 PM
Yes but those teams have the CHOICE to take whoever they want.  Most schools don't. 
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: John Galt on August 08, 2006, 10:06:30 PM
Yes but those teams have the CHOICE to take whoever they want.  Most schools don't

um, who do you think makes the decision? The applicant?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: FossilJ on August 08, 2006, 10:07:14 PM
Admissions isn't started on a level playing feild.  It is started with X for white people and X-5 for minorities.  There are multiple playing fields.  It's putting people from different leagues on the playing field to make the metaphore more accurate. 

Let's move this idea to a different avenue.  Let's take sports.  How about basketball.  White basketball players are traditionally not as good at the game as the African Americans, which makes them grosely underrepresented.  Now, should you put more white players in the NBA?  No, definately not, because they aren't as good.  However, recently there have been a few more white players breaking in, but not because they are being given breaks, but rather because they work their butts off to get there.  I think everything should be that way. 

I don't really want to get into an AA opinion debate, as you could probably tell from my sarcastic post earlier on this page.

I think you're being intentionally obtuse, though, so I'll post again.  Just in case you actually don't get it, I'll clarify my point.

AA works on the premise that the playing field is not equal to begin with.  It accepts, prima facie, that applicants from different racial backgrounds have a number of factors that interfere not only with their education, but with their professional lives in general.  Then it tries to correct for such inequalities by adjusting the scale at whatever level we're talking about, be it undergraduate applications, graduate applications, or the general work force. 

I'm not saying AA is good or bad.  I'm not saying it's right or wrong.  I'm not saying it's effective or useless.  I'm saying that, ironically, it proceeds from the same premise from which you would like to crucify it.

And your basketball analogy is poor.  In terms of career opportunities, the NBA isn't a level playing field at all.  It self-selects for genetic freaks.  But that's not the problem.  The problem with the analogy is that, unlike the life circumstances that can severely affect the admissions process (including SES and stereotype threat, amongst other things), all basketball players are put in a highly regulated and standardized environment (the court and the rules), have a ball shoved in their hands, and are told to play the game.  What they do after that is based on merit, but the actual playing field, the list of rules, was always the same for everyone - it was always just a basketball court, a ball, and some shoes.   
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 09, 2006, 08:06:29 AM
Admissions isn't started on a level playing feild.  It is started with X for white people and X-5 for minorities.  There are multiple playing fields.  It's putting people from different leagues on the playing field to make the metaphore more accurate. 

Let's move this idea to a different avenue.  Let's take sports.  How about basketball.  White basketball players are traditionally not as good at the game as the African Americans, which makes them grosely underrepresented.  Now, should you put more white players in the NBA?  No, definately not, because they aren't as good.  However, recently there have been a few more white players breaking in, but not because they are being given breaks, but rather because they work their butts off to get there.  I think everything should be that way. 

I don't really want to get into an AA opinion debate, as you could probably tell from my sarcastic post earlier on this page.

I think you're being intentionally obtuse, though, so I'll post again.  Just in case you actually don't get it, I'll clarify my point.

AA works on the premise that the playing field is not equal to begin with.  It accepts, prima facie, that applicants from different racial backgrounds have a number of factors that interfere not only with their education, but with their professional lives in general.  Then it tries to correct for such inequalities by adjusting the scale at whatever level we're talking about, be it undergraduate applications, graduate applications, or the general work force. 

I'm not saying AA is good or bad.  I'm not saying it's right or wrong.  I'm not saying it's effective or useless.  I'm saying that, ironically, it proceeds from the same premise from which you would like to crucify it.

And your basketball analogy is poor.  In terms of career opportunities, the NBA isn't a level playing field at all.  It self-selects for genetic freaks.  But that's not the problem.  The problem with the analogy is that, unlike the life circumstances that can severely affect the admissions process (including SES and stereotype threat, amongst other things), all basketball players are put in a highly regulated and standardized environment (the court and the rules), have a ball shoved in their hands, and are told to play the game.  What they do after that is based on merit, but the actual playing field, the list of rules, was always the same for everyone - it was always just a basketball court, a ball, and some shoes.   

Earlier in this thread I addressed some of the issues that people claim adversely affect the qualifications of URMs in the undergraduate and graduate admissions process, namely stereotype threat and socio-economic status. I still have yet to receive a response that addresses the misrepresentation of stereotype threat as the reason URMs tend to underperfrom on standardized tests. I also cited the statistic that black students from families that earn $100,000 or more earn lower SAT scores than white students from families who earn $10, 0000 or less. Again, why on earth should we assume that a middle or upper middle class black kid overcame more obstacles than a poor white or Asian kid? There is also some statistical evidence that suggests Asian students are held to a higher standard for admission than white students; that, in effect, if a white and Asian student are equally qualified, the preference is given to the white candidate. Is this fair? Or, do you think there should be one standard for all applicants?

This is a question of fairness. People keep asking, “Why do you care if some kid gets admitted with a lower LSAT score.” I ask, “Why would anyone care that one group is given preferential treatment over another group on the basis of race?” The answer to that question seems obvious to me.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 09, 2006, 11:34:23 AM
Earlier in this thread I addressed some of the issues that people claim adversely affect the qualifications of URMs in the undergraduate and graduate admissions process, namely stereotype threat and socio-economic status. I still have yet to receive a response that addresses the misrepresentation of stereotype threat as the reason URMs tend to underperfrom on standardized tests. I also cited the statistic that black students from families that earn $100,000 or more earn lower SAT scores than white students from families who earn $10, 0000 or less. Again, why on earth should we assume that a middle or upper middle class black kid overcame more obstacles than a poor white or Asian kid? There is also some statistical evidence that suggests Asian students are held to a higher standard for admission than white students; that, in effect, if a white and Asian student are equally qualified, the preference is given to the white candidate. Is this fair? Or, do you think there should be one standard for all applicants?

This is a question of fairness. People keep asking, “Why do you care if some kid gets admitted with a lower LSAT score.” I ask, “Why would anyone care that one group is given preferential treatment over another group on the basis of race?” The answer to that question seems obvious to me.

None of what you're arguing matters.  Even if what you are saying is true (and I claim no proficiency in the matter and am not seeking to argue about it one way or another), all your argument proves is that one theoretical justification for AA is torpedoed.  In its place, you provide theoretical reasoning for why AA is not justified, which is just as easily combated.  Pursuing such a course to attempt to justify or unhinge AA results in inane debates about largely incorrect and irrelevant abstractions for implementing a concrete policy.  My point in starting this thread is that debating such justifications is a waste of time.  We should look at what AA professes to do, see whether we like what it professes to do, and whether it actually does what it professes to do, not why it is theoretically necessary.

If you're so worried about fairness, worry about large-scale racial stratification (and fairness is not the only reason to worry about it, in fact, i don't care why you worry about the empirical fact of racial stratification, there are lots of good reasons to do so, and fairness may or may not be one of them).  For whatever reason, in our society, citizens of certain races are disproportionately represented in (and have a harder time of joining) the middle and upper-middle classes, and, perhaps more crucially, almost all areas of leadership, whether government, media, business, law, medicine, academia, etc.  If you think that such stratification is undesirable, than any policies that help alleviate it are desirable.  To my mind, AA in law schools, particularly elite law schools, increases the number of students from under-represented races likely to achieve prominent positions in society.  You can argue that it does not succeed in this mission, or argue that it does so at too high a price, but questions about stereotype threat and theoretical qualms about "fairness" are irrelevant.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: FossilJ on August 09, 2006, 11:35:10 AM
I'm not going to rehash this.

Read this thread (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,64541.0.html).  If you still don't find a "challenge" to your post, then please post again.  
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 09, 2006, 01:33:51 PM
Earlier in this thread I addressed some of the issues that people claim adversely affect the qualifications of URMs in the undergraduate and graduate admissions process, namely stereotype threat and socio-economic status. I still have yet to receive a response that addresses the misrepresentation of stereotype threat as the reason URMs tend to underperfrom on standardized tests. I also cited the statistic that black students from families that earn $100,000 or more earn lower SAT scores than white students from families who earn $10, 0000 or less. Again, why on earth should we assume that a middle or upper middle class black kid overcame more obstacles than a poor white or Asian kid? There is also some statistical evidence that suggests Asian students are held to a higher standard for admission than white students; that, in effect, if a white and Asian student are equally qualified, the preference is given to the white candidate. Is this fair? Or, do you think there should be one standard for all applicants?

This is a question of fairness. People keep asking, “Why do you care if some kid gets admitted with a lower LSAT score.” I ask, “Why would anyone care that one group is given preferential treatment over another group on the basis of race?” The answer to that question seems obvious to me.

None of what you're arguing matters.  Even if what you are saying is true (and I claim no proficiency in the matter and am not seeking to argue about it one way or another), all your argument proves is that one theoretical justification for AA is torpedoed.  In its place, you provide theoretical reasoning for why AA is not justified, which is just as easily combated.  Pursuing such a course to attempt to justify or unhinge AA results in inane debates about largely incorrect and irrelevant abstractions for implementing a concrete policy.  My point in starting this thread is that debating such justifications is a waste of time.  We should look at what AA professes to do, see whether we like what it professes to do, and whether it actually does what it professes to do, not why it is theoretically necessary.

If you're so worried about fairness, worry about large-scale racial stratification (and fairness is not the only reason to worry about it, in fact, i don't care why you worry about the empirical fact of racial stratification, there are lots of good reasons to do so, and fairness may or may not be one of them).  For whatever reason, in our society, citizens of certain races are disproportionately represented in (and have a harder time of joining) the middle and upper-middle classes, and, perhaps more crucially, almost all areas of leadership, whether government, media, business, law, medicine, academia, etc.  If you think that such stratification is undesirable, than any policies that help alleviate it are desirable.  To my mind, AA in law schools, particularly elite law schools, increases the number of students from under-represented races likely to achieve prominent positions in society.  You can argue that it does not succeed in this mission, or argue that it does so at too high a price, but questions about stereotype threat and theoretical qualms about "fairness" are irrelevant.

You may want to review your own thread. I offered rebuttal evidence to the notion of stereotype threat and SES playing operative roles in the achievement gap between whites and Asians versus URMs in response to the numerous posts that cited these phenomena as justifications for lowering admissions standards for certain underrepresented groups.

However, I also offered a critique of your contention that AA alleviates racial inequity, or racial stratification to use your term, without significant costs. There are indeed significant and deleterious costs associated with AA as it is currently practiced in the US. I noted: (1) It stigmatizes URMs and reinforces the negative stereotypes that our society has perpetuated about certain groups lacking the innate ability to compete; (2) It actually serves to reduce the number of blacks who graduate (and graduate with above median grades) because the attrition rates at elite school for less qualified minority candidates far exceed those of their white and Asian peers; thus an URM student who may have performed admirably and graduated in a timely fashion at a less selective institution fails to obtain a degree at all; and (3) Affirmative Action fails to help those who most need it—truly disadvantaged (i.e. poor) blacks (who actually constitute a minority of the black population despite what some of you seem to think). If our goal is to limit racial inequity (which is inextricably linked to economic inequity), how does it profit society to lavish all the rewards of AA on middle and upper-class black students who should be able to compete on their own merits, rather than genuinely disadvantaged black students, who actually rarely perform well enough to qualify for even an AA admit.






Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 09, 2006, 01:41:44 PM
I'm not going to rehash this.

Read this thread (http://www.lawschooldiscussion.org/prelaw/index.php/topic,64541.0.html).  If you still don't find a "challenge" to your post, then please post again. 

I did read red’s argument in full, and I also consulted the primary sources and discovered the work of Steele and Aronson has been mischaracterized repeatedly (which they also acknowledge), including on red’s well-meaning thread.

I wrote:

"What I am arguing is that we need to examine realistically why the gap in performance on standardized tests exists and figure out ways to eliminate it, rather than ignore or try to justify it. Unfortunately, the Steele and Aronson piece has been widely misinterpreted. What the study demonstrated is that the presence of stereotype threat exacerbated the performance gap between the black and white test takers. In the absence of the stereotype threat, the gap in performance still persisted. Please review the January 2004 issue of American Psychologist (which is the publication of the American Psychology Association) for a more in-depth analysis of the Steele and Aronson study.

The article is entitled “On Interpreting Stereotype Threat as Accounting for African American–White Differences on Cognitive Tests.”  In it, the authors explain that “scores were statistically adjusted for differences in students' prior SAT performance, and thus, Steele and Aronson's findings actually showed that absent stereotype threat, the two groups differ to the degree that would be expected based on differences in prior SAT scores” and “caution against interpreting the Steele and Aronson experiment as evidence that stereotype threat is the primary cause of African American–White differences in test performance.”

Frankly, it is strange that people would uncritically accept a theory that, in effect, says blacks as a group collapse under mental pressure. Is this a realistic assessment of how proponents of AA actually view black Americans?"
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 09, 2006, 03:45:43 PM
However, I also offered a critique of your contention that AA alleviates racial inequity, or racial stratification to use your term, without significant costs. There are indeed significant and deleterious costs associated with AA as it is currently practiced in the US. I noted: (1) It stigmatizes URMs and reinforces the negative stereotypes that our society has perpetuated about certain groups lacking the innate ability to compete; (2) It actually serves to reduce the number of blacks who graduate (and graduate with above median grades) because the attrition rates at elite school for less qualified minority candidates far exceed those of their white and Asian peers; thus an URM student who may have performed admirably and graduated in a timely fashion at a less selective institution fails to obtain a degree at all; and (3) Affirmative Action fails to help those who most need it—truly disadvantaged (i.e. poor) blacks (who actually constitute a minority of the black population despite what some of you seem to think). If our goal is to limit racial inequity (which is inextricably linked to economic inequity), how does it profit society to lavish all the rewards of AA on middle and upper-class black students who should be able to compete on their own merits, rather than genuinely disadvantaged black students, who actually rarely perform well enough to qualify for even an AA admit.

Now this is a good argument.  I'm not convinced by it, but at least its clear, reasonable, and on topic.

You make 3 points, so I'll respond to each.  But, let me first say that, at this point, as soon as the debate is about the empirical question of whether AA works at an acceptable cost or not, most of my work is done.  I'm not an expert on AA, nor am I familiar with all the relevant data as to who it affects and what its costs are, so on these points I am easily persuadable if compelling arguments\data are presented.  The best I can do is see whether such arguments may be compelling if there is data to back it up one way or another, and hope others can supplement my understanding.  To take your points in reverse order.

3) Whether or not AA overlooks economically disadvantaged is irrelevant as that is not AA's purpose.  By arguing that AA fails to consider economics, you're suggesting that only an economic AA is justified because that alone would be "fair" (or "meritocratic," or whatever).  This is the the type of argument i don't care for.  AA's purpose is not to help out the underprivileged (other policies can tend to that) but to lessen racial stratification.

2) This is interesting, and I would like to see the figures on it.  However, as you present it, your point is ambiguous: higher dropout rates for black students (what about other underrepresented races???) in comparison to white and asian students when they are "less qualified" raises many questions of how much greater the attrition rate is and whether or not the greater attrition rate is balanced by the greater opportunities available to those who do graduate.  We can at least speculate on the counterfactual: if the students who drop out would, in a non-AA world, have been admitted to lesser law schools, would they have dropped out there as well?  Perhaps they would not have dropped out at lower law schools, but the students who drop out would, I imagine, not have made great contributions to society had they gone to a different law school, whereas, those who do graduate from a better law school have a greater opportunity to make important differences owing to the increased prestige of their J.D. institutions.  Thus it seems to me that a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.

1) Certainly this stigmatization occurs, as numerous leaders have discussed it (e.g. Clarence Thomas, as i mentioned in a previous post).  And this is a problem.  My inclination, though, is that so long as AA increases the number of leaders who would not otherwise be there, this is an acceptable cost since without AA, there would be fewer such leaders (I do not think that stigmatization has held many people back from achieving great things...as with Clarence Thomas).  It might hurt people's self-esteem, which is undesirable, but it must be borne until there is less stratification.

And, in general, to 1) and 2): certainly these are costs.  Nobody says AA doesn't have costs.  But do you truly believe that these costs outweigh AA's benefits?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 09, 2006, 04:49:41 PM
However, I also offered a critique of your contention that AA alleviates racial inequity, or racial stratification to use your term, without significant costs. There are indeed significant and deleterious costs associated with AA as it is currently practiced in the US. I noted: (1) It stigmatizes URMs and reinforces the negative stereotypes that our society has perpetuated about certain groups lacking the innate ability to compete; (2) It actually serves to reduce the number of blacks who graduate (and graduate with above median grades) because the attrition rates at elite school for less qualified minority candidates far exceed those of their white and Asian peers; thus an URM student who may have performed admirably and graduated in a timely fashion at a less selective institution fails to obtain a degree at all; and (3) Affirmative Action fails to help those who most need it—truly disadvantaged (i.e. poor) blacks (who actually constitute a minority of the black population despite what some of you seem to think). If our goal is to limit racial inequity (which is inextricably linked to economic inequity), how does it profit society to lavish all the rewards of AA on middle and upper-class black students who should be able to compete on their own merits, rather than genuinely disadvantaged black students, who actually rarely perform well enough to qualify for even an AA admit.

Now this is a good argument.  I'm not convinced by it, but at least its clear, reasonable, and on topic.

You make 3 points, so I'll respond to each.  But, let me first say that, at this point, as soon as the debate is about the empirical question of whether AA works at an acceptable cost or not, most of my work is done.  I'm not an expert on AA, nor am I familiar with all the relevant data as to who it affects and what its costs are, so on these points I am easily persuadable if compelling arguments\data are presented.  The best I can do is see whether such arguments may be compelling if there is data to back it up one way or another, and hope others can supplement my understanding.  To take your points in reverse order.

3) Whether or not AA overlooks economically disadvantaged is irrelevant as that is not AA's purpose.  By arguing that AA fails to consider economics, you're suggesting that only an economic AA is justified because that alone would be "fair" (or "meritocratic," or whatever).  This is the the type of argument i don't care for.  AA's purpose is not to help out the underprivileged (other policies can tend to that) but to lessen racial stratification.

2) This is interesting, and I would like to see the figures on it.  However, as you present it, your point is ambiguous: higher dropout rates for black students (what about other underrepresented races???) in comparison to white and asian students when they are "less qualified" raises many questions of how much greater and the attrition rate is and whether or not the greater attrition rate is balanced by the greater opportunities available to those who do graduate.  We can at least speculate on the counterfactual: if the students who drop out would, in a non-AA world, have been admitted to lesser law schools, would they have dropped out there as well?  Perhaps they would not have dropped out at lower law schools, but the students who drop out would, I imagine, not have made great contributions to society had they gone to a different law school, whereas, those who do graduate from a better law school have a greater opportunity to make important differences owing to the increased prestige of their J.D. institutions.  Thus it seems to me that a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.

1) Certainly this stigmatization occurs, as numerous leaders have discussed it (e.g. Clarence Thomas, as i mentioned in a previous post).  And this is a problem.  My inclination, though, is that so long as AA increases the number of leaders who would not otherwise be there, this is an acceptable cost since without AA, there would be fewer such leaders (I do not think that stigmatization has held many people back from achieving great things...as with Clarence Thomas).  It might hurt people's self-esteem, which is undesirable, but it must be borne until there is less stratification.

And, in general, to 1) and 2): certainly these are costs.  Nobody says AA doesn't have costs.  But do you truly believe that these costs outweigh AA's benefits?


yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 09, 2006, 06:57:24 PM
yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all.  I'd certainly prefer the latter.  It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.

But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could).  Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous.  Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man."  If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people.  Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.

The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so.  Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues. 

I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Deontologist on August 09, 2006, 08:53:28 PM

Now this is a good argument.  I'm not convinced by it, but at least its clear, reasonable, and on topic.

You make 3 points, so I'll respond to each.  But, let me first say that, at this point, as soon as the debate is about the empirical question of whether AA works at an acceptable cost or not, most of my work is done.  I'm not an expert on AA, nor am I familiar with all the relevant data as to who it affects and what its costs are, so on these points I am easily persuadable if compelling arguments\data are presented.  The best I can do is see whether such arguments may be compelling if there is data to back it up one way or another, and hope others can supplement my understanding.  To take your points in reverse order.

3) Whether or not AA overlooks economically disadvantaged is irrelevant as that is not AA's purpose.  By arguing that AA fails to consider economics, you're suggesting that only an economic AA is justified because that alone would be "fair" (or "meritocratic," or whatever).  This is the the type of argument i don't care for.  AA's purpose is not to help out the underprivileged (other policies can tend to that) but to lessen racial stratification.


I am sorry, but I think you gravely misunderstand the purposes of AA as an instrument of public policy. The US government instituted AA in the wake of the passage of the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts of 1964 and 1965, respectively. The goal of AA as initially proposed by JFK, and enacted under LBJ, was to provide equality of opportunity (not outcome) for black Americans, and then later for all historically disadvantaged segments of the American citizenry, including Hispanics and women. Its goal is to remedy the insidious effects of past discrimination and racism by requiring institutions to implement measures that ensure blacks and other disadvantaged groups are treated fairly. How did LBJ and other policy makers measure the effects of discrimination? They examined the economic and social condition of blacks, for instance, relative to that of whites. Thus, AA was in large measure targeted at ameliorating the economic condition of black Americans. Hence, its raison d’etre is to uplift those who are underprivileged. Again, don’t think of it like some abstruse philosophical and legal concept. Consider it in the manner that political pragmatists like LBJ and Nixon did. AA was intended to have certain concrete effects, chief among them the economic uplift of a socially and economically downtrodden group. But AA has done all that it can at this point. Was AA necessary in 1965 as a remedy to the fact that in LBJ’s words, black Americans had been “hobbled” by the burdens of pervasive and overt racism and discrimination? Absolutely. It is necessary today a generation later when it is clear that the vestiges of public and private discrimination, particularly in higher education, are nearly non-existent. I say no. Do proponents of AA really think the nation’s colleges and universities, especially the elite institutions, are still bastions of white racism determined to keep out blacks and other URMs?


2) This is interesting, and I would like to see the figures on it.  However, as you present it, your point is ambiguous: higher dropout rates for black students (what about other underrepresented races???) in comparison to white and asian students when they are "less qualified" raises many questions of how much greater the attrition rate is and whether or not the greater attrition rate is balanced by the greater opportunities available to those who do graduate.  We can at least speculate on the counterfactual: if the students who drop out would, in a non-AA world, have been admitted to lesser law schools, would they have dropped out there as well?  Perhaps they would not have dropped out at lower law schools, but the students who drop out would, I imagine, not have made great contributions to society had they gone to a different law school, whereas, those who do graduate from a better law school have a greater opportunity to make important differences owing to the increased prestige of their J.D. institutions.  Thus it seems to me that a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.

I think one figure reported by Thomas Sowell clearly demonstrates the great cost AA inflicts on many URMs at elite institutions. Sowell says that the average black student admitted to MIT is in the top 10% of students in mathematics in the nation. However, they represent the bottom 10% at an institution like MIT, where you literally have a plethora of Nobel-caliber minds. Twenty-five percent of these gifted and talented black students fail to graduate from MIT. How many of these students who manage to slog through or who drop out could have been stars at Boston College or Boston University or any number of well respected but somewhat less selective colleges and universities? Consider how they feel confronting this failure and consider how desperately we need blacks represented in science and mathematics disciplines, and then try to make the same argument that “a higher attrition rate, although unfortunate, may be a necessary cost for increasing social fluidity for all races.”

Here is some additional food for thought. At UC Berkeley, between 1987 and 1990, only 58% of the African-American students entering as freshman successfully completed their degree within six years. For Hispanics, the completion rate was 67%. The white and Asian six-year graduation rates were 83% and 89% respectively.

Again, we are not talking about a few blacks or Hispanics here and there underperforming; we are looking at a systemic problem of widespread underperformance and failure by thousands of minority students who could have succeeded at colleges better matched to their abilities and academic preparation. A continuing record of underachievement and failure will only work to limit the ability of URMs to fully participate in our society.

Many privileged liberal white students adopt the myopic view that the Ivy League is the only route to success and distinction. As Abigail Thernstrom quipped, it’s not a matter of either “Yale or jail.” There is a wide breadth of opportunity in between.


1) Certainly this stigmatization occurs, as numerous leaders have discussed it (e.g. Clarence Thomas, as i mentioned in a previous post).  And this is a problem.  My inclination, though, is that so long as AA increases the number of leaders who would not otherwise be there, this is an acceptable cost since without AA, there would be fewer such leaders (I do not think that stigmatization has held many people back from achieving great things...as with Clarence Thomas).  It might hurt people's self-esteem, which is undesirable, but it must be borne until there is less stratification.


I have seen no evidence that indicates a preponderance of black “leaders” come from elite schools. Again, even for white males, the evidence is that those who have reached the pinnacle of their respective professions (especially in business) come from a wide range of schools—public and private. Condi Rice attended the University of Denver. Claude Steele, of stereotype threat fame, went to Hiram College. So on and so forth. Also, if blacks tend to underperform at more selective schools and receive below median grades, it is unlikely they will be competitive for the most prestigious posts (clerkships, big law, fellowships etc.) after graduation. Again, our goal should be to encourage as many URMs as possible to give themselves an opportunity to perform well and graduate. This is the best way to increase the numbers of URMs in the professions.

Finally, I think you underestimate the invidious effect the stigma of underachievement or lack of ability has on URMs and the majority culture. We do not want to engender in a generation of young Americans that idea that URMs are less able. Ideas have power and weight. If not, the civil rights revolution could not have succeeded.

And, in general, to 1) and 2): certainly these are costs.  Nobody says AA doesn't have costs.  But do you truly believe that these costs outweigh AA's benefits?

So, yes. All in all, I believe the considerable costs associated with AA outweigh its meager benefits.

Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 09, 2006, 11:15:32 PM
yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all.  I'd certainly prefer the latter.  It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.

But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could).  Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous.  Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man."  If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people.  Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.

The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so.  Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues. 

I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.

affirmative action does not ensure equal opportunities. it ensures equal outcome which is a very different ballgame. yes, my moral lines are inflexible. there is no circumstance in which imprisoning an innocent man is morally justifiable. flexible morals are amoral.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 10, 2006, 08:44:59 AM
yes because some of us see this as a moral issue, not as a do benefits outweigh the cost issue? ever hear the old adage it's better to let 10 guilty men go free than imprison one innocent man? by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man but it's morally repugnant to us. just like with affirmative action. racially based discrimination's offensiveness penetrates to the very heart of the american mainstream.

It's a simple question: would you prefer to be what you consider "morally" pristine and have a racially stratified society, or would you prefer to be "morally repugnant" and have a society with equal opportunities for all.  I'd certainly prefer the latter.  It's obviously not such a cut-and-dry issue, but that's what you would like to make it, apparently, by drawing such precise and unflexible moral lines.

But I can happily answer your example: generally speaking, I would rather set free 10 guilty men than incarcerate 1 innocent man, even if that made me, in your mind, "morally repugnant" (though I understand you don't think that, you very easily could).  Mostly, though, your analogy is ridiculous and ambiguous.  Certaintly, it is not true, as you wrongly assume, that "by any standard it's more beneficial to society to imprison the innocent man."  If you gave me specifics (which would be silly since its an unrealistic hypothetical---obviously if we knew which people were guilty or innocent we would treat them accordingly), for instance that the 10 guilty men to be set free were serial killers, or 10 of the 9/11 bombers, and the innocent man was only going to be in jail overnight, then I might very well say that it would be "morally repugnant" to free the 10 guilty people.  Or, if you said the 10 guilty men were petty theives or drug dealers, then i would prefer to set them free instead of wrongy imprisoning for decades one innocent man for some serious felony.

The point is, calling something "morally repugnant," or even deciding that something is a "moral issue" does not necessarily make it so.  Furthermore, the way you're throwing around the term "morally repugnant" without saying precsisely what is repugnant and why it is so implies that you object to AA but you don't know why, or you can't say way, which suggests the sort of fuzzy theoretical thinking I find useless when discussing concrete policy issues. 

I shouldn't have even wasted these 5 minutes responding to this post, but I already did, so I'll post it anyways.

to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 10, 2006, 03:02:06 PM
to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?

You're confusing "logic" with "rhetoric," and poor rhetoric at that.  If you really think that your sentence follows logically from what I said, then God help you.  Try thinking sometime, it might help.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Lerting on August 10, 2006, 03:07:31 PM
to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?

You're confusing "logic" with "rhetoric," and poor rhetoric at that.  If you really think that your sentence follows logically from what I said, then God help you.  Try thinking sometime, it might help.

it does. you're arguing that even if aa discriminates its okay because the ends justify the means. you could make a similar argument for detaining all blacks.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 10, 2006, 03:12:26 PM
yes, my moral lines are inflexible. there is no circumstance in which imprisoning an innocent man is morally justifiable. flexible morals are amoral.

This really isn't the place for this, but I can't resist.  Do you really think that all flexible morals are amoral?  I mean, really?

So, for instance, if, somehow, for some reason, you were put in a situation where you either had to release 10 of the 9/11 bombers (or, perhaps, 10 of these potential bombers they arrested today in London) or put an innocent man in jail for one night, you would choose the former, because the latter would be immoral?

Or have you ever stolen a grape?  Or told a harmless or mostly harmless lie?  In which case are you immoral or, as you seem to think, amoral?   If so, do your insults "immoral" and "amoral" even have any meaning anymore?  Or do they become vapid modifiers, like most swear words these days.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: Infinity on August 10, 2006, 03:17:18 PM
to further your logic, why not round up all 35 million american blacks and put them in concentration camps? crime will go down. our education statistics will look better when compared to japan and europe, illegitimacy will go down, obesity will go down. what's the cost?

You're confusing "logic" with "rhetoric," and poor rhetoric at that.  If you really think that your sentence follows logically from what I said, then God help you.  Try thinking sometime, it might help.

it does. you're arguing that even if aa discriminates its okay because the ends justify the means. you could make a similar argument for detaining all blacks.

You have a very strange idea of what "ends" would be accomplished by detaining an entire race of people.  Most people, including myself, don't think that imprisoning an entire race of people could ever be an acceptable end.

Logically, just because the ends justify the means in one situation, it does not follow, as you seem to "think," that any end justifies any means.
Title: Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
Post by: FossilJ on August 10, 2006, 05:24:53 PM
as you seem to "think,"

 :D :D :D :D :D