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Author Topic: The goals and progress of AA  (Read 2928 times)

Trinitygunner

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #10 on: May 04, 2005, 09:56:26 AM »
Here are a few posts I made in regards to AA in a discussion on another message board. I think there is a much more intelligent readership here, so I figured I'd post them. Feel free to respond:



I'm going to address this point by points here:

1) The whole point of AA is to allow everyone to compete for their dreams. AA does not embarrass a minority because we are less intellectually capable, and yes, I agree with you that all people is just as capable. The problem with this point of view is that not everyone is put on a level playing field from the very beginning. Our inherent capabilities are stretched by the environment in which we are raised in. If, everyone is on an equal playing field, then yes--AA would not be necessary. The problem is, that we are not on an equal playing field. A person growing up in an inner-city high school simply does not have the tools or opportunities given to him. Example: compare a student who grew up in south side chicago vs. a chicago suburb. Or, compare a student who grew up in south-central los angeles vs. someone who graduated from Beverly Hills HS. A student at BVHS has an opportunity in which teachers, counselors, and administrators alike encourage high academic achievement, and the school has the resources to purchase up-to-date equipment and textbooks. A student who grew up in the inner-city/urban high school might be lucky if he/she has a TEACHER for a science class. (You can check my facts by reading any of the literature that discusses inequality in education). On top of that, a student who grows up in the inner-city may be so poor and have to work, cannot afford SAT prep classes, can't afford college, have parents to take care of, siblings, etc.  In other words, many of these less-fortunate students have little cultural capital to go off of. In short, many of these kids grow up in a culture that says failure is OK, you can't make it to college, you're stuck here, etc--and it is society that is telling these kids this.

Let's say, exceptions happen (and they do, I had a roommate in college at Berkeley from inner-city Los Angeles), and some of these kids make it out. They are placed in a position at 4-year universities to "succeed" and hypothetically "even out" the playing field. It is indeed a pipe dream that this happens. Again, it comes down to resources. Most of these kids have to work 15, 20, or even full time to simply PAY for college, and as such their studies suffer. Moreover, I feel that there is somewhat of a consensus that LSAT classes help, and many of these folks cannot afford the $1000 it takes to pay for an LSAT class. Finally, we go back to the K-12 preparation--many of these students are not prepared for the intense workload at the college level, thus possibly making their grades suffer.

2) I don't know if you have ever been to a low-income neighborhood. Many of these folks WANT to get out. Ever met a person that says..."hey, I want to stay in Watts forever?" Right. This might be singularly the most ignorant statement I've ever heard. Many of these folks cannot even get JOBS that pay $10 an hour, let alone find jobs that will allow them to work 70 hours a week. Also, many of these families are single-parent homes. Hypothetically, say what you say is true...Work it out: 70 hrs x $10 = $700. Roughly $2800/month. Take out taxes, we're talking about $2100/month. Take out health care, we're talking $1500/month. You try and raise even ONE child for $1500/month. On top of that--it is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to find a job that pays $10/hour for many of these families, for a couple of reasons. First, these jobs are few and far between. SEcond, most of the parents do not have the education required to take a job that is so high-paying. Why do these parents not have the education, because many of them grew up in the same environment and also had to work when they were in high school, or perhaps back in the 70s there was more discrimination, who knows. But for the kids of this generation, they are in a situation where they cannot move out of the "hood."

Another issue that gets raised is the concept of fair housing. Yes, there is a law that requires housing be fair and race-blind, but this does not happen. Many of these minorities simply cannot get a place outside the inner-city, either because it's too expensive (ever try to find an affordable apartment in the suburbs that's cheap in a major metro area?), or because of pure, old-fashioned discrimination.

Finally, back to the job issue--racism still exists in finding jobs. The University of Chicago economics department publishes a study every couple of years that documents the racism that exists in the job market. What they do is, send out identical resumes to jobs posted in the classifieds--one using a non-ethnic name (like John or Anthony), and another using an "ethnic" name (like Jose or Jamaal). What they find, without fail, is that the "non-ethnic" names get more call-backs than the ethnic-named resumes. Remember, all the resumes are identical, except for the name. And, before you go off and tell me it's a small sample or whatever, this is an academic study in which the send out dozens of resumes.

3) You're issue of broken families. Nobody is 'rewarding' these kids--but is it THEIR fault that their father's left them high and dry. Nobody says black or hispanic folks have a harder time keeping their families together--no AA-supporter would ever say that. It's a CULTURE within the inner-city that needs to be broken, and this is not something AA addresses. It's something that the urban leaders and social programs need to address. But, again, nobody is rewarding these kids to encourage this behavior, and nobody gets into law schools because daddy left home. AA simply tries to level out the playing field that has been made uneven by two centuries of discrimination.

In short, mainstream society has spent two centuries putting themselves in a position to succeed. Is it reverse discrimination? Possibly. Without AA, would there again be discrimination at the law school level? Probably. Even if not, however, there is still plenty of discrimination that goes on from K-12 and college that law schools would not have to discriminate anymore...and who wants an old-white boys club at these law schools?
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srbin84

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #11 on: May 04, 2005, 11:35:23 AM »
Actually, point #2 was the best received of the three on the other board by all, black, white or other.  I think one thing I later clarified on that board was that I was not talking about living in L.A. or NYC, obviously, but rather in a place with a low cost of living in the South or elsewhere.  Anybody can find 70 hours a week.  I never said it had to be from one job.  You would just need to find two jobs or maybe even three, and as far as the $10/hr, I would say just to live somewhere near a factory.  They don't discriminate who they hire, pay well and allow for overtime and many have working hours 24/7 (example: steel mill).  You'd probably make a little more that $10/hr to be honest with you.  Another point I later made was that I was born into a poor Chicago neighborhood, and my parents did not have any money or education, but they worked A LOT to get out of there just before I started school becuase they wanted me to have a good education.  Another example is an old GF of mine, who is from another country and has three siblings and her monther living with her, whose father hardly speaks English yet works 60+ hours a week in a factory to support his entire family.
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PSUDSL08

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #12 on: May 04, 2005, 12:54:27 PM »
I've posted something similar on another thread, but I think AA is counterproductive to our society. On the whole, AA placates minorities by allowing them to think that the government is really looking out for their needs. However, it ignores the greater societal problems that exist, including wealth disparity and lack of quality K-12 education. AA benefits white women over any other minority/gender combination. Rather than focusing on achievement and the significance of a person's struggle in this society, AA focuses on the unchangable characteristic that is race. To quote Dr. Martin Luther King: "I have a dream that my four little 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"
And since it's true that for the most part, minorities are more economically disadvantaged than whites, why not make AA based on economic need? A policy based on economic need would increase diversity without focusing on race. It would provide assistance to those who really need it. I'll never be convinced that a black/hispanic person living in Beverly Hills should have a better chance of being admitted to a law school than me.
If you want to attack me on this one, go right ahead...but when pertaining to post-undergrad education, how many truly disadvantaged people are there in this bunch? Almost all of us have the education, ability, and money (including financial aid) needed to go to school.

Trinitygunner

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #13 on: May 04, 2005, 02:42:13 PM »
Actually, point #2 was the best received of the three on the other board by all, black, white or other.  I think one thing I later clarified on that board was that I was not talking about living in L.A. or NYC, obviously, but rather in a place with a low cost of living in the South or elsewhere.  Anybody can find 70 hours a week.  I never said it had to be from one job.  You would just need to find two jobs or maybe even three, and as far as the $10/hr, I would say just to live somewhere near a factory.  They don't discriminate who they hire, pay well and allow for overtime and many have working hours 24/7 (example: steel mill).  You'd probably make a little more that $10/hr to be honest with you.  Another point I later made was that I was born into a poor Chicago neighborhood, and my parents did not have any money or education, but they worked A LOT to get out of there just before I started school becuase they wanted me to have a good education.  Another example is an old GF of mine, who is from another country and has three siblings and her monther living with her, whose father hardly speaks English yet works 60+ hours a week in a factory to support his entire family.

what we are arguing here seems to be a universalistic vs. probabilistic argument. Yes, there are exceptions--i've never, EVER denied that. But, with that being said, you are also white, and thus cannot begin to fathom the discrimination that minorities face. I don't even begin to say I know what many of the URMs face, but whatever it is they face, I don't, and I'm lucky for it.

we do dream of a nation where people are not judged by the color of their skin--but alas, we still live in a nation that does judge. AA simply tries to rectify it--without it, we will be in a very bland white-yellow society.

One last thing about AA--we seem to get caught up in the idea of most-qualified. Who says anyone should admit the most qualified? Schools should admit those students who bring the most to the table. If we admitted based on numbers alone, then we may get quite a boring student body. But if we took in the people who brought the most, then, why is that a problem? I want to go to a school that has minorities, culture, and a vibrant ethnic dynamic to it! Most qualified vs. Most appropriate. Would I have a problem if a minority got in purely based on his/her minority status? Damn right I would. But nobody gets in because they are black, white, asian, yellow, or purple--people get in to law schools on a combination of factors, and race/culture is one of them. Do you REALLY want a law school in which 90-95% of the students are white? I don't. You can keep those schools...I want to go to a school that's diverse--both in terms of background and experience. And the easiest and quickest way (perhaps not the best way...but I'd rather have AA as it is now then not have it all), is to use race.

I agree with a prior post about economic disadvantaged AA--it's a good idea, but also with it's own problems. We have no perfect way of evening out the playing field--but to say let's get rid of all the AA programs all together, that would be a disaster.
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Trinitygunner

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #14 on: May 04, 2005, 02:49:02 PM »
I've posted something similar on another thread, but I think AA is counterproductive to our society. On the whole, AA placates minorities by allowing them to think that the government is really looking out for their needs. However, it ignores the greater societal problems that exist, including wealth disparity and lack of quality K-12 education. AA benefits white women over any other minority/gender combination. Rather than focusing on achievement and the significance of a person's struggle in this society, AA focuses on the unchangable characteristic that is race. To quote Dr. Martin Luther King: "I have a dream that my four little 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"
And since it's true that for the most part, minorities are more economically disadvantaged than whites, why not make AA based on economic need? A policy based on economic need would increase diversity without focusing on race. It would provide assistance to those who really need it. I'll never be convinced that a black/hispanic person living in Beverly Hills should have a better chance of being admitted to a law school than me.
If you want to attack me on this one, go right ahead...but when pertaining to post-undergrad education, how many truly disadvantaged people are there in this bunch? Almost all of us have the education, ability, and money (including financial aid) needed to go to school.

there is far more to the uneven playing field than economics--although finances has a large part to do with it. There a sense of cultural capital and an "outsider" mentality. We need to get rid of this "outsider" mentality. Minorities (yes, even asians) are "outsiders" or an opposition group--with that being said, there's a large amount of cultural capital that minorities do not possess in gaining admission to colleges (what i mean by cultural capital is: connections, proper way of presenting oneself, etc.) and post-graduate schools. Now, the next argument tends to be--well "work hard and you'll get ahead." Yes, this may be true--i.e. Asian-Americans (esp. Chinese/Japanese/Koreans) have the highest per-capita income out of all groups--whites included. Most "model-minority" proponents would say--"see, discrimination doesn't exist anymore." What this neglects to point out is: 1) Asian-Americans make less per hour than whites and 2) Asian-Americans make less per year of education than whites, and finally 3) Asian-Americans tend to enter the science/technical fields where salaries are higher. Why do you ask AAs enter science/tech fields? Because it is in these fields where being a minority does not matter--people are judged based on objective means.

Again, I must reiterate, w/o AA where race is taken into account, there would be discrimination--i.e. the Univ of Chicago study.
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angmill08

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #15 on: May 04, 2005, 05:53:00 PM »
Anybody can find 70 hours a week.  I never said it had to be from one job.  You would just need to find two jobs or maybe even three, and as far as the $10/hr, I would say just to live somewhere near a factory.  They don't discriminate who they hire, pay well and allow for overtime and many have working hours 24/7 (example: steel mill). 

Steel mills??? These are exactly the type of jobs that have been leaving the US over the past 20 years. Manufacturing work is hard to get these days as plants close and do layoffs. And less desirable, lower pay plant work (like in the food industries, meat processing, etc) there is a big problem with racial discrimination in terms of getting  the more desirable and better paying jobs in the plant -- there is a lot of literature on this,  I bet even a cursory search on the internet would get lots of info.
In addition, when a single parent works 70 hrs a week, they have to pay for all those day care hours, which takes a big bite out of the disposable income they accrue each hour.
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srbin84

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #16 on: May 04, 2005, 06:13:34 PM »
Say what you will about discrimination in factory type jobs, but I personally am not interested in hearing anything proclaiming it to be rampant or anything remotely close to it.  I gave you examples in my previous post, and my own family came to the U.S. and got those types of jobs without speaking English.  Are you really trying to tell me that an employer would hire somebody who he/she can't even talk to before he hires a black or hispanic whose native language is English?
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angmill08

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2005, 06:35:03 PM »
Yes, this is exactly the concern, that whites get the best jobs, latinos the next, and blacks the worst. I'll try to dig up one of the articles I read about this in chicken factories recently.
But also consider that there were simply more of "those types of jobs" (ie, factory work with benefits, paid overtime, middle class salary if you got senority) in the US when our parents and grandparents were entering the workforce. Don't tell me you haven'y heard this before!
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Trinitygunner

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2005, 08:55:33 PM »
Yes, this is exactly the concern, that whites get the best jobs, latinos the next, and blacks the worst. I'll try to dig up one of the articles I read about this in chicken factories recently.
But also consider that there were simply more of "those types of jobs" (ie, factory work with benefits, paid overtime, middle class salary if you got senority) in the US when our parents and grandparents were entering the workforce. Don't tell me you haven'y heard this before!

thank god. a person who agrees with me.

honestly, i feel most people who are anti-affirmative action are white and asian people who feel like AA "screws" them over. Maybe it does on a micro-level, i don't know. but let me say this...without affirmative action, we'd be living in a bland, bland world where the white male dominates everything. If that's the world you want--then fine. But that's not the world i want.
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ImVinny!

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Re: The goals and progress of AA
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2005, 10:29:44 AM »
Anybody can find 70 hours a week.  I never said it had to be from one job.  You would just need to find two jobs or maybe even three, and as far as the $10/hr, I would say just to live somewhere near a factory.  They don't discriminate who they hire, pay well and allow for overtime and many have working hours 24/7 (example: steel mill). 

Steel mills??? These are exactly the type of jobs that have been leaving the US over the past 20 years. Manufacturing work is hard to get these days as plants close and do layoffs. And less desirable, lower pay plant work (like in the food industries, meat processing, etc) there is a big problem with racial discrimination in terms of getting  the more desirable and better paying jobs in the plant -- there is a lot of literature on this,  I bet even a cursory search on the internet would get lots of info.
In addition, when a single parent works 70 hrs a week, they have to pay for all those day care hours, which takes a big bite out of the disposable income they accrue each hour.

I'm going to have to agree with Srbin here, I live right next to many steel mills, and they do not discriminate who they hire. As long as someone is willing to do the work, they get the job. There are many steel mill jobs, and in fact I live right next door to an oil refinery and they also have many jobs. Factories will hire anyone that is willing to work.
I worked in a factory and the work is hard, but somebody's got to do it. And they don[t discriminate who does what. In fact, most of the supervisors (getting like $20/hr or more) were black. It doesn't amtter to them, just as long as people are willing to do the work, or take some extra hours.
It can be done.