Law School Discussion

Dr King & AA


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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2005, 02:59:46 PM »
I really am not informed enough in the areas of King's ideologies to state where I think he would stand.  I would like, however, to quote another great black man, Frederick Douglass:

"n regard to the colored people, there is always more that is benevolent, I perceive, than just, manifested towards us. What I ask for the negro is not benevolence, not pity, not sympathy, but simply justice. The American people have always been anxious to know what they shall do with us... . I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us. Do nothing with us! If the apples will not remain on the tree of their own strength, if they are worm-eaten at the core, if they are early ripe and disposed to fall, let them fall! ... And if the negro cannot stand on his own legs, let him fall also. All I ask is, give him a chance to stand on his own legs! Let him alone! ... [Y]our interference is doing him positive injury." What the Black Man Wants: An Address Delivered in Boston, Massachusetts, on 26 January 1865, reprinted in 4 The Frederick Douglass Papers 59, 68 (J. Blassingame & J. McKivigan eds. 1991) (emphasis in original).

This is the quote that Justice Thomas put forward in his dissenting opinion in the Grutter v Bollinger case.  I realize of course that it is not the case that the black man is left alone, free to determine his own fate, and that to think so would be overly idealistic.  But I see real strength and power in that short paragraph.  If you are interested, you can read Justice Thomas's entire opinion (it's really not that long) at (it's about 2/3 of the way down the page):

Douglas did write those words, but no one heeded them. as a result the probelm with discrimination got worse, not better. does anyone sincerely think that douglas would be against AA as a form of compensation? 

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Re: Dr King & AA
« Reply #51 on: January 30, 2005, 05:58:07 PM »
I'll say this, but first I'll provided a caveat- I haven't read the whole thread.  Alas, ADD and laziness take their toll after a while.

I agree that King would have supported AA, but only in order to advance his dream (read Trevor's post, which was very well stated).  AA should be at best a transitory period- the question becomes how will we know when that period has been exhausted?

On another tangent, I think that AA is a failure.  It is simply designed to do something that it cannot do.

I don't care what color a person is, if they had one iota of Dr. King's internal motivation, they would succeed in this world.  Nothing could stop them.  Nothing.  Of course, King's genius was realizing that he was different from most people in this regard.  But it is not stretching the truth to say that AA is a huge advantage for a URM that chooses to use it; sadly, many choose not to because they fall too far behind as children.

The problem with AA is that it cannot create internal motivation, only opportunities for those who want them.  I've said it before- it would serve minorities better if the government funded programs that helped families raise their children in productive and intellectually stimulating environments.

Here's some suggestions:

1.  Free learning centers in urban settings.
2.  Free laptops to each qualifying family with educational software.
3.  Summer learning camps for URMs during elementary school.
4.  You get the idea.

Until this happens, you are going to see the same thing over and over again- scores upon scores of minorities that never get a chance to apply to law school because their childhoods doomed them to a life of failure.

AA is tantamount, in many cases, to handing a guy a saddle when he's never seen a horse.
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