I realize there was a systematic demoralization and abuse of certain people in early America. I realize it was NOT fair. But show me one person who descends from a slave family and I will support his admission over he who was from a slaveholding family. Aside from that, I find it hard to swallow a pill that makes me - whose family was not here until 1934 (and whose family faced "Italians Need Not Apply" signs when they got here) - "responsible" for enslaving people in eighteenth and nineteenth century Georgia.
You can't be serious. But if you are, can you tell me which of the following beliefs is driving your thought process?
1)most of the 30+ million black people in America are immigrants of recent vintage
2)some black people came on a party cruise in the 1800s and liked the place so much that they decided to stay.
What I was trying to illustrate with my point is that many people choose to justify AA by citing a long history of racism in the US going back to slavery. THAT is a justification with which I cannot live.
Now, the point that Leo makes is a valid one and one to which I want to respond. I do not think MY personal chances of admission at any given program would be changed if AA was abandoned, and it is not for that reason that I want it disolved. I simply think that, on a whole, if we are to REALLY ever become a society that is free from all forms of racial prejudice, AA needs to go away. It is - for better or worse - one more system that classifies people based on something they CANNOT help: who they were born.
Also, AA is less an issue with admission to larger programs, such as Law or Med schools, than with small programs (PhD, for example). If dept X at school Y only has 4 open PhD slots for a given year and they utilize AA, there is a greater chance that the overall effect on the applicants will be greater. I have experienced this firsthand in my own graduate fellowship applications. It is not that these students are not deserving, nor is it that I am blind to the greater societal concerns.
Will I EVER understand what it is to be a URM in the US? No. And that is my point. Responses such as Leo's serve to foster actual debate without frivolity while those of TinaTina seem flippant in the context of this important issue.
I just feel - with all my sincerity and heart and mind - that if we are EVER to be free from prejudice we need to eliminate ALL vehicles for that prejudice. AA is a policy of racial prejudice, and it is one of the few institutions that actively fosters a distinction by race. For us to all be equal, we need to ALL be equal. And it may be idealistic, but I think that things such as AA hurt this end more than help it.
Naive Naive Naive. Why must the first step in removing all vehicles for prejudice involve the extirpation of AA, a program that by and large does not affect a material portion of whites? It’s almost like white folks have never even “casually” examined the demographic breakdown of law schools, let alone top law schools. Which by the way are typically less than 8% Black. As I said in my earlier post, it takes almost no kilocalories of brain energy to cite the removal of AA as a means to deal with all discrimination. The challenge lies in creating an effective strategy to deal with discrimination, racism and other forms of prejudice that exceeds the performance of what we have done in the past. Easier said then done. First step to combating discrimination…level the playing field. Come on guys that’s a softball. Give me a couple ideas we can theoretically employ to level the playing field.
Don’t mind me I will just grab a chair and rest these old bones in the meanwhile so I don’t interfere with the great meeting of the minds
Quick hint…it starts on an individual level.