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Author Topic: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities  (Read 4648 times)

FU_LSAT

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Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« on: September 03, 2005, 09:12:28 PM »
I understand that this topic often elicits strong reactions in many people. However, in my opinion, one particular aspect of this discussion has been glanced over: Why AA is just as unfair to minorities as it is to whites.

Suppose two African American males have just graduated from, say, University of Michigan Law school. One gained admission to the law school with spectacular numbers, maybe 3.9/174. The other gained admission via affirmative action. In this case, let us say that he had a 3.4/156. As graduates of such a prestigious school, both get jobs with top-tier law firms.

When the recent graduate with the fantastic numbers arrives for his first day of work, he notices that others stare at him in curious bewilderment. Despite the fact that he certainly "earned" his spot at Michigan, behind his back his colleagues wonder, "How did he get into Michigan Law? Hmmm, I wonder if he got in simply because of his race." Deservedly, the applicant with mediocre numbers is received with similar glances, reactions and comments in his new office.

Is AA fair to minorities who have the numbers to get into top schools? Is it right that they will forever be looked at as though they benefitted from an unfair program or faced a different set of standards, especially given that they may have actually met or exceeded those standards? I think that AA needs to be eliminated, not necessarily because it is unfair toward whites but because it is unfair toward minorities who have earned and actually deserve their spots in America's top law schools.   
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ThePerfectSoldier

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2005, 09:24:59 PM »
A good thought, really, but one that has been presented before, and the answer to that(I'm assuming the question is whether AA should be repealed on the answer) is still no.  At least to me.  I think curious stares are far outweighed by the need to promote minorities.  I will gladly take any glance or even be thought of as an Affirmative Action spotholder if it means someone else can get an opportunity of their own.  Besides, I'd be kicking their asses in class/cases soon afterwards ;D.

FU_LSAT

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2005, 09:28:24 PM »
For the record, I'm white. But I hope that people don't equate my being white and against AA with being a racist, as I am certainly not at all. At the end of the day, in my opinion, AA works contrary to the ultimate goal of equality favored by many successful minorities--goals that, I for one, strongly support.   
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ThePerfectSoldier

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2005, 09:39:34 PM »
I'm not trying to accuse you of racism, so if I came across as that, then I apologize - BUT, I think that this is not a viable argument against AA.  The risk of reputation of those who succeed and are minorities is much lesser than the payoff for minority achievement.

John Galt

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2005, 09:39:38 PM »
This has got to be the weakest argument ever for eliminating affirmative action. We should eliminate a beneficial program because of the way people percieve all blacks in higher education? First, those people would be ignorant for generalizing, and second, African Americans are quite aware of the social challenges they face once out of school. It would be good for both the 3.4, 156 and the 3.9/174 to remember that high performance will eliminate any doubts.

Clarence Thomas seems to be stuck on this point as well. But were it not for affirmative action, he would not have been a Yale graduate, he would not have been head of the Civil Rights Commission, he would not be a Supreme Court Justice irrespective of his ability. Affirmative Action opened up the doors of opportunity for him - doors that would have been closed otherwise.

People are going to have their perception's of black folks regardless. I'm more worried about the social ramfications in a society without affirmative action.

ThePerfectSoldier

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2005, 09:40:46 PM »
Another thing...Affirmative Action is, at BEST, a RATIONALIZATION for people assuming that blacks are not worthy of being in positions as lofty as their own.  It is far from being the cause.

John Galt

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2005, 09:42:58 PM »
For the record, I'm white. But I hope that people don't equate my being white and against AA with being a racist, as I am certainly not at all. At the end of the day, in my opinion, AA works contrary to the ultimate goal of equality favored by many successful minorities--goals that, I for one, strongly support.   

If you've really thought about this then what other suggestions do you have for ensuring equality of opportunity in our system that are superior to affirmative action?

dividebyzero

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2005, 10:23:08 PM »
Clarence Thomas seems to be stuck on this point as well. But were it not for affirmative action, he would not have been a Yale graduate, he would not have been head of the Civil Rights Commission, he would not be a Supreme Court Justice irrespective of his ability. Affirmative Action opened up the doors of opportunity for him - doors that would have been closed otherwise.

Haven't you noticed? The Honorable Justice Thomas seems to have burrowed so far up Scalia's ass that he doesn't even remember how he landed the job in the first place.

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pop_tort

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2005, 01:02:16 AM »

When the recent graduate with the fantastic numbers arrives for his first day of work, he notices that others stare at him in curious bewilderment. Despite the fact that he certainly "earned" his spot at Michigan, behind his back his colleagues wonder, "How did he get into Michigan Law? Hmmm, I wonder if he got in simply because of his race." Deservedly, the applicant with mediocre numbers is received with similar glances, reactions and comments in his new office.

Is AA fair to minorities who have the numbers to get into top schools? Is it right that they will forever be looked at as though they benefitted from an unfair program or faced a different set of standards, especially given that they may have actually met or exceeded those standards? I think that AA needs to be eliminated, not necessarily because it is unfair toward whites but because it is unfair toward minorities who have earned and actually deserve their spots in America's top law schools.   

If a black person is even fortunate enough to make it into a top firm, I don't think having colleagues "stare at him in wonder" as to how he got into Michigan Law School will be the first of his concerns. There are a lot of culturally deprived people who stare at minorities as it is, so gee, what's new??

It's already enough of a struggle to be black in America, much less make it through the educational system where there are so many factors working against people of color.... How ever a person makes their way into law school, if they were able to perform so successfully to make it into BIGLAW, who cares about the numbers??? By that time, I don't think a minority is going to give a flying f**k what some stupid colleagues think in regards to how they *got in* to a top law school. And really, I don't think it's something that a working professional has the time nor desire to sit down to ponder about.

Hmmm, I *wonder* if it might be the kind of thing that some 20 year old white kid might fume about and post on internet message board.....?

FU_LSAT

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Re: Why affirmative action is unfair to minorities
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2005, 02:48:53 AM »
I think that some of you are missing my point. Its not so much my concern that newly hired black associates may face ignorance or awkard stares in their place of work. My concern is that a young minorities' credentials may be questioned by their colleagues and others because of a program that gives preferential treatment to some at the expense of others.

A degree from Michigan or Harvard or some other prestigious school allows for a certain standing in the legal community. And I feel that AA degrades this accomplishment, especially if someone can look upon a person of a particular racial or ethnic background and provide an alternative explanation for why that particular person has found the career success that they have. Without an alternative explanation--without affirmative action--no lawyer of minority status who has earned a spot in one of America's top law schools or legal firms will ever again be mistaken for anything other than what they really are: one of our country's best and brightest legal minds.

Moreover, to address those of you who say that what others say or think about you does not matter at all, I say this: You are lying. Nobody goes to law school for purely altruistic reasons. We all are a little bit self-interested. We want others to respect our accomplishments and congratulate us on our successes. And if getting into Michigan, Harvard, Stanford or (insert T14 school here) is a less impressive accomplishment depending on ones race, I really feel bad for the black or hispanic kid with the top numbers--the kid who worked his way into his 1L spot only to see other, lesser applicants from a similar racial category gaining admission because of a de facto quota system.
"Procrastination is like masterbation...you're only f-ing yourself"

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