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Author Topic: Dr King & AA  (Read 10056 times)

TheZooker

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #30 on: January 17, 2005, 08:54:51 PM »
I'm very surprised that you guys are so anti-Clarence Thomas.  Is it solely his stance on AA that you are so strongly in disagreement with, or with his appointment as a whole (barring his AA ideologies)?

My problem is actually with his entire judicial philosphy - which, though it appears he attempts to be a Scalia copycat, is actually consistent but far too libertarian for my tastes.

My problem with him on the issue of affirmative action is no different from my problem with Rehnquist, Scalia, and Kennedy.  It's just that White people love to tote him out and use him as evidence that AA really is screwed up - as if because some token Black person says something, it must be true for everyone else.

But anyway, Zooker I can't find that article you linked to earlier (all the threads have my head spinning!  :)) Do you want to post that link again? I'd appreciate it.

I know you probably weren't directing the 'token' comment at me in particular, but the only reason I brought up his opinion is because it contains the Douglass quote that I have always found so compelling.  I was actually purposefully avoiding attributing any special, or 'extra' meaning to Thomas's opinion simply because he is black.

And the links I referred to earlier are:

http://www1.law.ucla.edu/~sander/Documents/Sander%20FINAL.pdf

http://www1.law.ucla.edu/~sander/

Dr. Sander, in addition to his extensive work on AA, also has written some extremely thought provoking pieces on class structure and potential wealth disparity solutions.  This latter area of expertise is one very near and dear to my heart.  Now if only I could get admitted to UCLA!

I think you'll find the AA piece interesting, and I'll be curious about your take on it.  I'll forewarn you, though, it is very long...

Omegaman

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #31 on: January 17, 2005, 09:07:53 PM »
1) Then what is a "token black"?
A "token black" is the one black representative to a board, in an organization, or other places where White folks feel the need for "diversity", but don't want to really interrupt the status quo.  In Thomas' case, he is the token Black for the Supreme Court.

2) What makes Thomas a "token black"?
See above.  Tokenizing someone is making her/him a representative of his/her ethnic group.  Thomas was clearly serving this role when he was appointed. Bush needed to insert a Black person, not for his diverse perspective or his particular expertise, but just to fill a quota.

3) How has he annointed himself the spokesperson for all Black people?
President Bush did when he selected him as a conservative to fill the "Black seat" on the SCOTUS bench (despite his issues with womanizing.) Thomas has tried all his life to avoid pigeonholing, but he has been tokenized anyway.  Of course, when I mentioned "spokespeople" I was referencing the people you mentioned in your previous post, such as Jesse Jackson, who often claim to speak for Black people even though every Black person I know criticizes him on the regular.

4) What makes you say he has been "co-opted"?
He hasn't, as far as I can tell.  Again, I was referencing other that you mentioned as Black leaders, who are less as interested in advancing Black-American concerns and more interested in advancing themselves through their civil rights credentials (in the case of White liberals) or their amazing conservatism (for White conservatives - see Alan Keyes and Armstrong Williams as examples.)

Again, I disagree with Thomas' judicial philosophy as do most progressives of all ethnicities who believe in a strong court.  It is not him personally, but the way White people tokenize him, that is abhorrent.


But here's the question. When and how does the Black conservative not become a token. You'll always have people exploit those who a intellectually weak, such as armstrong williams, who has been exposed. But what about Thomas Sowell. Take away race and AA an conservative view isnt in itself a sign of being a token. So those Blacks who truly have conservative Judicial view ( because alot blacks have conservative moral and religoius views). I think its crazy to compare marshall and Thomas they are from different times, and to me the transition from Marshall to Thomas makes sense. And we shouldn't hold it against him the fact that whites only discuss affirnmative action with conservatives, thats not the conservatives fault unless like a armstrong williams they only discuss these hot button topics.

VinnyMyCousin

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #32 on: January 17, 2005, 09:08:13 PM »
1) Then what is a "token black"?
A "token black" is the one black representative to a board, in an organization, or other places where White folks feel the need for "diversity", but don't want to really interrupt the status quo.  In Thomas' case, he is the token Black for the Supreme Court.

I'm not really sure what you're talking about in terms of interrupting the "status quo". It's not a SCOTUS justice's job to "interrupt" the status quo.  I think it's to interpret the law.
Are you saying that Thomas was unqualified for the job? Besides, if this is your definition of "token" black, then many other appointments in several different administrations could be construed to be "token" blacks. Thomas is unfairly pointed out b/c many in the black community dislike his position on the issues.  


3) How has he annointed himself the spokesperson for all Black people?
President Bush did when he selected him as a conservative to fill the "Black seat" on the SCOTUS bench (despite his issues with womanizing.) Thomas has tried all his life to avoid pigeonholing, but he has been tokenized anyway.  Of course, when I mentioned "spokespeople" I was referencing the people you mentioned in your previous post, such as Jesse Jackson, who often claim to speak for Black people even though every Black person I know criticizes him on the regular.

I don't particularly like Jackson either. Sharpton's is even worse. Re: womanizing, I will refer you to the article again, b/c it points out the interesting fact that again, Thomas is unfairly singled out about this "womanizing" fiasco due to his politics. "Womanizing" didn't stop Jesse Jackson from being a prominent figure in the public sphere. People also forgive mayor Barry for his crack fiasco as well.

4) What makes you say he has been "co-opted"?
He hasn't, as far as I can tell.  Again, I was referencing other that you mentioned as Black leaders, who are less as interested in advancing Black-American concerns and more interested in advancing themselves through their civil rights credentials (in the case of White liberals) or their amazing conservatism (for White conservatives - see Alan Keyes and Armstrong Williams as examples.)

You mean blacks can't be conservative-minded unless it's to advance themselves?

VinnyMyCousin

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #33 on: January 17, 2005, 09:15:52 PM »
But here's the question. When and how does the Black conservative not become a token.

Great question. I'm wondering the same thing.

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #34 on: January 17, 2005, 09:17:59 PM »
Vinney,

Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton and the type are HARDLY the spokesmen for the Black Community.  :D

The first thing that you need to understand is that there is, in fact, a Black Community.  And whether you agree or not, the fact that there IS a black community in this country is a good thing. If you're not a part of it, this may be hard to comprehend, but it does exist, has existed for some time, and hopefully for most of us it will continue to exist in the future.  It is a foreign concept for the mainstream to accept because unless you are in touch with your family heritage, many do not view themselves as being part of any community.  This is not the case for Black people.  The black community has developed for many generations.  It is not about exclusion, it is about support, it is about family, and it is about survival.

Part of the reason for the survival of this community is that the Black Community occasionally produces selfless leaders who uplift the group, open doors, knock down walls, and create pathways for those behind them.  Much like what you see in the BLSD on this board. A good number of the posters in the BLSD board are current law students or law school graduates who come back to encourage other black pre-law students and offer advice because we have a sense of unity when it comes to the betterment of the community.  Again, don't look at this as a bad thing, this is something very positive and should be celebrated rather than condemned. As members of the Black community we care about each other.

The Black community is just like any family, with a wide variety of views and a wide range of opinions.  There is no single "black" opinion or way of thinking on any one topic, however distinguish that fact from acts that we all recognize uplift the community.  There are certain people, regardless of their own personal beliefs, who dedicate themselves to the betterment of the Black Community. Clarence Thomas is NOT one of them.  

His opinions are his opinions and he is entitled ot them.  But when you compare what he has done in his capacity in the law for the betterment of the Black community to what Thurgood Marshall and Charles Hamilton Houston achieved in their capacity, the truth is revealed.  The latter two men sat before the Supreme Court of the United States and made an argument on why Black children should be able to attend the same schools as whites.  They researched, they documented, they spent many hours trying to convice the Supreme Court of the United States that it was wrong when it decided Plessy v. Fergusen, and that the Black community deserved better. And you know what, the Supreme Court agreed with the argument presented by Marshall in Brown v. Topeka, Kansas Board of Education.  

Now the rhetorical question I pose to you is where do you think the black community would be if men such as Thurgood Marshall and Charles Houston had adopted the "identity-less" "anti-community" "self-individual" attitude that you suggest that we should adopt with respect to the Black community?  

At some point, segregation in schools would have been abolished right?  But when?  Who was going to step forward and make the argument?  Clarence Thomas? Let's not hold our breath.

"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

VinnyMyCousin

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2005, 09:40:04 PM »
2) What makes Thomas a "token black"?
Tokenizing someone is making her/him a representative of his/her ethnic group.

Here you've made what I think is the best articulation of an anti-AA argument yet on this board, whether you realize it or not. Admitting a black, hispanic, or American Indian via the implementation of AA in the name of "diversity" automatically makes the black/hispanic/american indian admittee the representative of his/her ethno-racial grouping. Measuring "diversity" by the mixture of skin tones and ethnic backgrounds makes everyone a subunit of their respective category. The idea that the "diversity" of a mostly white classroom or workplace will be enhanced as a direct result of taking on a black or hispanic applicant (chosen by virtue of their race/ethnicity) only makes sense if that "black" or "hispanic" applicant represents a "black" or "hispanic" perspective. So, mobell, if making someone a "representative of his/her ethnic group is 'tokenizing'", then AA makes "tokens" of us all.


(Note: If you're responding to this post, I ask you to please refrain from bringing up the "need to right past wrongs" argument, as 2003's SCOTUS decision regarding the Univ. of Michigan case made that justification illegal, ruling that affirmative action was no longer justified as a way of redressing past oppression and injustice, but rather that it promoted a "compelling state interest" in diversity. For all practical purposes, there is no need to harp on a justification that has been ruled illegal.)  

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #36 on: January 17, 2005, 09:59:10 PM »
Good point. I think somebody just got handed their proverbial hat.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #37 on: January 17, 2005, 10:06:24 PM »
It's after 3 AM here and I'm hitting the sack, though I'd love to continue this argument.  I promised myself that on MLK Day I could spend time defending AA policy on LSD...but starting tomorrow I need to get cracking on my thesis.  With the exception of Zooker and the Sander article, I'm done for now with AA and will post about law school stuff and on BLSD from here on out.  Let's save this for law school when we can do it in person.  :)

that's what's so funny about all of this...nobody talks about this in law school because nobody cares and rightfully so.
"A lawyer's either a social engineer or a parasite on society. A social engineer is a highly skilled...lawyer who understands the Constitution of the U.S. and knows how to explore its uses in the solving of problems of local communities and in bettering [our] conditions."
Charles H. Houston

Omegaman

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #38 on: January 17, 2005, 10:19:39 PM »
2) What makes Thomas a "token black"?
Tokenizing someone is making her/him a representative of his/her ethnic group.

Here you've made what I think is the best articulation of an anti-AA argument yet on this board, whether you realize it or not. Admitting a black, hispanic, or American Indian via the implementation of AA in the name of "diversity" automatically makes the black/hispanic/american indian admittee the representative of his/her ethno-racial grouping. Measuring "diversity" by the mixture of skin tones and ethnic backgrounds makes everyone a subunit of their respective category. The idea that the "diversity" of a mostly white classroom or workplace will be enhanced as a direct result of taking on a black or hispanic applicant (chosen by virtue of their race/ethnicity) only makes sense if that "black" or "hispanic" applicant represents a "black" or "hispanic" perspective. So, mobell, if making someone a "representative of his/her ethnic group is 'tokenizing'", then AA makes "tokens" of us all.


(Note: If you're responding to this post, I ask you to please refrain from bringing up the "need to right past wrongs" argument, as 2003's SCOTUS decision regarding the Univ. of Michigan case made that justification illegal, ruling that affirmative action was no longer justified as a way of redressing past oppression and injustice, but rather that it promoted a "compelling state interest" in diversity. For all practical purposes, there is no need to harp on a justification that has been ruled illegal.) 

ROFL. Thank you for preempting an argument that I was not planning to make. I am quite familiar with the court's reasoning in Grutter, which pokes holes all over your argument.

By definition, creation of a critical mass of a minority group is permitted by AA. The policy does not look at the effects of admitting a single Black or Hispanic or Vietnamese person, but rather admitting such a number so that the interests of diversity are served.  One of the pedagogical interests of classroom diversity is so that people have exposure to different ethnicities in a meaningful sense - not just one person of an ethnic group.  This is the problem with tokenizing.  It presumes that one person is able to represent a whole group.  AA, however, ensures that there is a large enough group of people for a "representative sample", so to speak.  Try again.

Sis you are putting it down!!!
This is why these AA debates end up being silly. Like ive said before in my profession Ive nver heard of a surgeon complain that he knew someone that would've been a surgeon but the residency program at harvard or yale gavve it to some minority not qualified. with AA your talking about small numbers. And medicine exposes law and these silly AA debates because in this society we dont consider legal representation as a right as oppossed to medicine. So besides the fact that medicine is more quantitative than law, people in the medical feild dont cry as much about AA because they know they cant pay back $150,000 in debt taking care of poor people. And in our society giving adequate health care is far more urgent than legal care.
So alot of these AA critics know that the bottom line is diversity is essential. I want to pursue public interest you will only find very few law school that seriously have strong PI programs, where as medicine very few school will let you in if you dont say you'll consider Family medicine. So why is there a difference? Because Our society forces diversity without AA programs. lets speak as intellectuals quantitatively, can someone prove why we need another white corporate lawyer? would difference would it make. meanwhile research has shown why we must have more health care providers of color. So are all the white health researchers sell outs?

theo

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #39 on: January 17, 2005, 10:27:47 PM »
http://www.nola.com/national/t-p/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1105860359107000.xml

In September 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the eulogy for three of the four girls killed in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala. What King could not know was that, within earshot of the blast, just blocks away at her father's church, was another little black girl, a friend of the youngest victim, who 42 years later would be on the verge of becoming America's foremost diplomat.

* * * *

It's a stunning juxtaposition that offers those who knew King, lived that history and ponder his legacy an opportunity to wonder: How might they explain Rice's rise to him? And what would he make of it?

She is, after all, the literal fulfillment of King's dream -- a woman judged not by the color of her skin but by the content of her character. She is also living proof that King's eulogy was prescient, that "these children -- unoffending, innocent and beautiful -- did not die in vain."
quid leges sine moribus vanae proficiunt?