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Messages - kslaw
« on: February 26, 2004, 12:53:01 PM »
the bright side to this...the more time that goes on, the more my expectations drop. At first, I was hoping for a 171 (my highest practice test), within a day, that dropped to 169 (second highest practice score). by yesterday, I'd decided I'd be ecstatic if I just got a 165. Today, I'm just praying I got at least one point over 120.
« on: February 26, 2004, 09:19:11 AM »
Crusader, I said affirmative action is meant to counteract the discrimination that cannot be proven. The discrimination that can be proven should be taken to court because discrimination is against the law.
Making discrimination illegal is very different from affirmative action.
Discrimination: All white candidates with 3.5 and 165 LSAT are admitted. Black candidates with same scores are not.
No discrimination: All candidates with 3.5 and 165 are admitted.
Affirmative action: White candidates whose GPA is below 3.5 are not admitted. All black candidates whose GPAs are over 3.0 are admitted.
All candidates below 3.0 are rejected. All candidates above 3.5 are admitted. Candidates between 3.0 and 3.5 are "reconsidered". Those candidates between 3.0 and 3.5 who are white, throw them out, they're nothing special (even if they did grow up in poverty, raise five siblings, and work full-time as a high school student). All of those candidates between 3.0 and 3.5 who are black, give them a spot (even if they did grow up with the same advantages that we stereotype as "white advantages".). In fact, give them a scholarship, so that the money their parents have saved for their education can be used to buy them a brand new sports car. Oh, and the reason we're justifying this...the color of their skin....
If, as a society, we want equality, then there has to truly be equality. I'm not belittling the effects of slavery, but there comes a point where we have to stop dwelling on the past and the problems it created, and start instead focusing on the future and the solution to the present problems. Sure...for someone who benefits from affirmative action, you can defend it and justify it and make valid arguments for it, but the bottom line is...no matter how valid your argument may sound, it's not going to solve the problem. I have no doubt it would be nice for minorities if all of the majority just stepped aside, kneeled down, and said no, you. we shall take our turn living in poverty so that the other races catch up...but we have families, too. You just won't ever see a time when individuals in America are willing to watch their own families struggle to right the wrongs of 50 years ago.
You may say...the majority should learn to empathize with the victims of slavery and the inequalities among races. But we can just as easily say...you didn't experience slavery, so you need to learn to empathize with those of us who've worked hard to do everything we need to do to provide our families a comfortable lifestyle, and still find ourselves passed over for job after job, while watching our neighbor, a minority, being offered her choice of jobs. especially in times when that neighbor, though qualified, is less qualified than us.
You may deny it happens, but I work in the employment/human resources field (think headhunters) and we constantly get faxes/emails/letters from companies who are hiring who let us know they will hire a minority unless there is no minority that applies.
That is simply not equality. No discrimination at all would be equality. Separate but equal is not equal, so why should the rules governing our behavior be separate? Why should a black man who owns a company be allowed to advertize that he will give preference to black individuals...but a white man could never do that?
« on: February 25, 2004, 05:18:10 PM »
Affirmative action does not protect minorities from being discriminated against.
Laws against discrimination protect certain protected classes (minorities included) against discrimination.
Affirmative action just allows for preferential treatment for minorities, which is expected to counteract that discrimination which cannot be proven.
As far as your solution...the government is not responsible for solving every problem faced by Americans. I believe that racial and economic disparity has become part of the government's agenda because 1. politicians have used it to gather support during election periods and 2. the fear of backlash from the minority group because the trends that exist.
Really, the federal government's responsibility in this matter is to laws clarifying what it means to protect each citizens' right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Which they did. Anti-discrimination laws. and it is up to the courts to uphold those anti-discrimination laws.
In my opinion: protecting against discrimination means ensuring that minorities and non-minorities are treated equally...that minorities are not blocked from higher education/job opportunities if they are well qualified.
Affirmative action is giving permission to discriminate against non-minorities under the pretense of breaking the cycle of poverty among minority groups.
Which, as I said before, I would support as a temporary measure (meaning, several generations) if it actually had the desired effect. But it doesn't. It is increasing the economic disparities within the same racial group (the rich minorities get richer, the poor minorities get poorer). It is also breeding resentment and hypersensitivity to racial issues.
In my opinion, a more appropriate solution to breaking the cycle of poverty would be to address the poverty directly. Instead of giving scholarships, etc, to privileged minorities...send money into the inner cities to strengthen the educational opportunities there.
« on: February 25, 2004, 01:18:39 PM »
Yesterday afternoon, I was in a staff meeting where it was discussed that it was time to remove from the personnel handbook the words that "priority in hiring will be given to females and minorities".
Of course, I thought of this discussion.
anyway, back on the subject. there were points being made that minorities were more likely to grow up poor, with lackluster educational opportunities, and less support and encouragement. And because of these disadvantages, should have the advantage of affirmative action, because this would help to alleviate the affects of the disadvantaged upbringing.
And...the fact that these minorities have grown up poor can be attributed to the history of slavery. So..to rectify the situation, we introduce affirmative action.
I paraphrased this quickly, so i apologize for misinterpretations, etc.
I think it is a compelling argument, I do. I find one major flaw in it.
that the minorities who grew up in poverty are not the ones benefitting from affirmative action. (not primarily). Those I know who have benefitted from affirmative action have been the ones who grew up in middle class suburbia, with all of the same advantages the white kid beside them had, who knew as a teenager that they would have an advantage over the white kid beside them.
On the other hand, in the inner cities, we have children who are living in poverty, going hungry, struggling to learn without the necessary materials, dropping out of school, and continuing the cycle of poverty.
Affirmative action is doing nothing for them. It really isn't. At best, it provides them a motivator...tells them that it's not as hopeless as it may seem because affirmative action will help counteract the prejudice/racism, just as long as they work hard.
I would support preference given to inner city children in undergraduate college admissions. I would also support (in graduate and law school admissions) 'forgiveness' of lower GPAs for people who came from inner city school systems, or people who had to work and support their family while in school. I would definitely agree with giving a job/spot to a minority if it came down to two absolutely identical candidates, only difference being race.
however, my problem with all of this is that it considers race, but not other demographics (such as economic class). So when a white boy grows up in poverty, loses both parents, raises his four siblings, manages to graduate from an inner city school with a 3.8...he will lose a job or spot to a minority whose parents are doctors, who graduated with a 3.5 from a private school that offered tutors to students who had below a B, and who spent most of her school day passing notes to her friend.
I don't think minority status should be a trump card. While I agree that being a minority is more difficult than not being a minority, and that something should be done to help alleviate some of the disparity between races and classes, i also think that we all have some aspect of ourselves or our lives that we believe has made our life harder...and where do we draw the line as far as which ones count more?
It does seem that things are being steered in that direction, so I'm not really complaining.
« on: February 25, 2004, 12:55:35 PM »
actually, CJ, on test day we were the same. It was the early sections that I felt comfortable with, and the last two that I didn't.
I keep thinking, though, since I was confident about 3 of the 5 sections, that means I screwed up (especially since one of my comfortable ones doesn't even count towards the score.
waiting sucks. and it will only get worse since after I apply, I'll have to wait again. CJ, didn't you apply to Pitt?
« on: February 25, 2004, 11:12:43 AM »
CJLaw, what scares me is I'm the same way, and during this test, I was thinking it was easier than the practice exams, and felt confident about the test.
By the end of the test, I'd lost all confidence, though. I hated the student/faculty housing question and realized that the fact that I finished all the sections early (when I'd struggled for time in practice tests) meant I hadn't been reading them carefully enough.
oh well. only a few more days.
« on: February 25, 2004, 10:26:02 AM »
Did anyone take them last year? If so, do you remember when they came in?
« on: February 25, 2004, 10:00:55 AM »
I'm glad I'm not the only one. I honestly think my score could be anywhere between 120 and 175. (I was saying 120-180, but then I thought about a few questions I'm sure I got wrong.)
I have checked www.lsac.org
several times a day. I have dreams every night about receiving my score. last night, the dream was that I only got 7 right. it's at the point where my fiance, who goes to work earlier than me, is checking www.lsac.org
every morning and calling me. (our Internet isn't working at home).
It's awful. when do you think they'll come in? I thought today was going to be the day, but now I'm starting to believe the "get your scores early thing" is a lie and we'll just get them on Monday.
« on: February 25, 2004, 09:13:35 AM »
Anyone else really anxious for their score? I'd like to send in an application to the law school in my city, which is due March 1. I don't want to apply until I know if my score is high enough.
I just wish we'd get our scores early.
« on: February 23, 2004, 05:06:34 PM »
A few things I find interesting:
The implication in at least one post that anyone who is against affirmative action is unsympathetic to the plight of minorities or is viewing the issue from a selfish point of view.
I've known many minorities who were against affirmative action. Are they unable to relate to themselves?
and keep in mind that it is non-minorities who uphold affirmative action.
That said...I find it troubling that our dedication to civil rights and "all men created equal" has led us to believe that individuals should be rewarded on the basis of their membership in a group, rather than either the group's needs being addressed based on the group's status, or the individual being rewarded based on their own merit.
I do understand the reasoning behind affirmative action. I believe that at one time, it was a legitimate move. I also believe that it has not shown itself to be as effective as expected, and that flaws in the policies have emerged.
it seems to me that levelling the playing field should come in the form of equalizing educational opportunities for children, not in the form of awarding coveted spots in a program to individuals in that minority status simply because they are a minority.
I also think that it's possible to go to far with the levelling the playing field approach. there are few people who sailed through life without a problem. Life isn't fair. We know that; we're adults. And we can always consider our own plight worse than the next guys. maybe someone feels that being a minority was the hardest thing ever. maybe another still carries the pain of their parents' divorce. Or a third thinks about the how being dyslexic as a child put them at a disadvantage for the rest of their life.
Bottom line is...most of us have had our disadvantages...doesn't mean we should get special treatment because of them.* If we continue on this trend, it's just going to end up that everyone is being given 'special preference' except a handful...in which case it's no longer special preference...it's discrimination against the small handful.
I think everyone here is smart enough to consider beyond their own personal persepctive and think about things in terms of what's good for society as a whole. While affirmative action may have been a logical attempt to solve the big picture problem...I don't see it, in the long run, having the desired results.
Oh, and on the subject of whether people have lost jobs due to affirmative action...it depends on the organization, I think. I've known some companies that don't pay any attention. I've known of other companies that were slapped with a discrimination suit, and then ran out and made an active effort to hire minorities. Because of the field I'm in, I see correspondence every day discussing available openings, etc. I know of at least three companies (I applied to two of them in the past) who clearly state "in an effort to maintain a diverse workforce, Comapny X will consider only minorities for this position, unless no minority candidates apply" or a variation of that (I just copied that from a fax we just received).
*Disclaimer: for those of you who remember my discussion of addressing a head injury, the statement about special treatment may seem hypocritical. however, I have decided to limit mention of the head injury. the application requests explanation of interruption in education and since mine was interrupted (semester off, followed by three part-time semesters), I'll answer truthfully and factually.