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Author Topic: What drives AA?  (Read 3876 times)

philibusters

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #10 on: April 06, 2006, 09:57:07 PM »
IKNY-- Are you saying you would feel more comfortable with fresh of the boat asian over your standard white kid?  Is it being asian that attracts you to them or shared experiences and perspectives?

During the AA cases a few years ago, the law schools put out the theory of a critical mass.  Critical mass is the idea that having a few isolated individuals of a race won't add real diversity because they will be just that--too isolated and that there has to be a minimum amount for them to be comfortable and for there to be real diversity.  Thus the law schools argued that while to some it might appear they were using quotas, they were really basing admissions on reaching a certain critical mass.

It was a clever an argument, but too clever, and probably should not have made, cause Rehnquist easily disposed of it by pointing out that the critical mass seems to be twice as high for African Americans than hispanaics for example. 

However, what IKNY says rings true, there is a critical mass, nobody would want to stand out totally-for people to be comfortable they needed to be surrounded with a certain amount of people who are like them.

One thing that I can't figure out is what percent of middle class and wealthy urm's go back to live in urm concentrated minorities.  If it is a high %, then the benefits of AA spread out to entire communities as the urm would gain a stronger infrasture in their community, more teachers of their own race, better politicians, more educated everything and that would set up the next generation to be in a better position than the previous generation.  However if beneficiaries of AA don't go back to urm's communities, but settle into mainstream the benefits aren't spread out quite as much and the benefits of AA would be more concentrated into hands of a few urm's.
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lkny

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #11 on: April 07, 2006, 02:07:19 AM »
IKNY-- Are you saying you would feel more comfortable with fresh of the boat asian over your standard white kid?  Is it being asian that attracts you to them or shared experiences and perspectives?
Both. But when it comes to law school, FOBs aren't really a concern.

During the AA cases a few years ago, the law schools put out the theory of a critical mass.  Critical mass is the idea that having a few isolated individuals of a race won't add real diversity because they will be just that--too isolated and that there has to be a minimum amount for them to be comfortable and for there to be real diversity.  Thus the law schools argued that while to some it might appear they were using quotas, they were really basing admissions on reaching a certain critical mass.

It was a clever an argument, but too clever, and probably should not have made, cause Rehnquist easily disposed of it by pointing out that the critical mass seems to be twice as high for African Americans than hispanaics for example. 
That makes sense. Hispanics may feel more comfortable with white people than blacks do.

One thing that I can't figure out is what percent of middle class and wealthy urm's go back to live in urm concentrated minorities.  If it is a high %, then the benefits of AA spread out to entire communities as the urm would gain a stronger infrasture in their community, more teachers of their own race, better politicians, more educated everything and that would set up the next generation to be in a better position than the previous generation.  However if beneficiaries of AA don't go back to urm's communities, but settle into mainstream the benefits aren't spread out quite as much and the benefits of AA would be more concentrated into hands of a few urm's.
From what I see, URMs move back to live in URM concentrated areas but in the richer neighborhoods. But how many of them are doing advocacy work, which is what really matters?

philibusters

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2006, 06:35:10 PM »
Copying and pasting from another thread, I changed my opinion a tiny bit.  When I talked about legitimacy of the law I only focused on the law's legitimacy to the whole society, not individual communities, however, while having more urm lawyers adds overall legitimacy to the law like I wrote about, I think the greatest impact of AA admits is with urm communities.  I said in anotehr thread... I think in our society there is a

"GREAT need to bring the law profession to urm communities-for example crime is higher in lots of urm communities in part because of economic reasons, but also in part because the urm communities are alientated from the law profession-to them the law seems distant, something the mainstream population uses to suppress them (Think of the Chappelle show, where he talks about how the police treat blacks and whites differently) and they have less instinct to try to play life by the values of the law.  For example, pure guess on my part, but if a urm was robbed, they would be less likely to call the police and more likely to take action on their own, precipating more crime than say a white person. I think one of the goals of law is to reach all segements of society, and AA is beneficial to that process."
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

Noah Calhoun

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2006, 07:28:34 PM »
It is mostly political.  The point about minorities being part of the profession legitimizing the law as a profession is a good one, but this does not explain why AA overwhelmingly increases the ranking (quality) of the school a minority applicant can go to.  Unless you need comparable representation in areas of law that are exclusive to top schools, just having black lawyers cannot be explained by current AA policy (it would be much easier to just offer scholarships/have higher enrollment at lesser schools).  Also, I think that the majority of anti-AA students are those who are trying to go to top schools, those trying to go to local second tier schools are probably largely unaware or indifferent—hence AA policies at these schools are not challenged nearly as much.

I won’t even comment on the altruistic motives of the school or anyone else.  My guess is they are minimal if they exist at all.

I think it is mainly political.  Special interest politics is the major force behind social policy.  Revoking AA policies or eliminating race from them would enrage blacks, especially young blacks in universities—who when aggravated, like any large group of young people, can cause quite a bit of trouble.  Ensuring that a certain percentage of the entering class is black appeases this group and has only a marginal effect on the rest of the population (white people).  The gain is more focused than the loss; that is what drives it.


prestige? 

most of the minorities that end up in hys have the numbers.  some may have numbers that are closer to top 20 but they still have numbers at/around the 25%.  if all these minorities were granted full rides at top 20-25 schools but dinged at each and every top10 (including hys) then what's to prevent firms from limiting their hiring to top 10 only.  many firms already do this.  it would be hard for the aba to require firms to higher minorities when they can validly argue that they would if they could find ANY in the top 10.  this is an extreme example.   

Biglaw firms participate in AA too. 

philibusters

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2006, 11:23:57 PM »
I am bumping this thread because IvyWhore, John Galt, DB Girl were talking in a thread about AA in terms of social justice.

The more I think about the issue the less satisfied I am with what I wrote in the earlier posts, I feel those are guesses in the dark, I would really have to look in the history of AA to get a better feel for what drives it, that said hardly anybody put out any ideas in this thread. 
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philibusters

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2006, 12:49:48 AM »
My analysis wasn't solely focused on African Americans, I used the term urm at all points except when talking about the political processes when I talk about the political coalition between the democrats and African American leaders.  I didn't include white woman so much because they are not considered a urm for admission purposes, but you are right if you look at AA not in the law school context, but larger world context, you could include them.

I am not sure AA came out of social justice movements-I don't know the history too well, but my guess is that they came out of the political processes the social justice movements put in motion, not out of the movements themselves, my guess is AA is a political compromise, but again, I don't know the history of AA all that well.

At points we are in substantial agreement like when you say "he percentage of african american attys right now is about 4%. shutting off major populations of people from access to the legal system and by extension the political process would create huge representation issues in this country. at the time aa was created, those issues were tearing this country apart. i don't think aa is targeted so much at helping the poor as creating a black, latino, native and female middle class--if our country had continued with a huge underclass (women included) i think we would be seeing much more serious political consequences than we see now."
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

philibusters

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2006, 01:10:44 AM »
I don't think the aim of social justice movements was AA.  They wanted woman's right, an end to racial prejudice, the ability to work here after immigrating, et cetera.  Never is AA a goal, they want the cake, AA is a crumb...to me my guess is AA is how the people in power responded to the social movements.  Like I said I don't know the history all that well, and if I make a journal and get the chance to write on this topic, I would love to write my student note on the history of AA.  If AA is what the movements aimed for when they talked about access to education, they aimed low.

The other thing is and I acknowledge I may have used the term first, I can't remember, is that social justice movement might not be the best term.  The movements we are thinking about like the civil rights movement were certainly inspired by social justice, but they were also interest group movements as well.  Its not an either or thing, you can be both, but just referring to them as social justice movements seems misleading to me.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

philibusters

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2006, 01:20:44 AM »
wait--what is your definition of social justice? i do think that the goals of the social movements we are talking about were broader than aa--but access to higher education was a major part of the civil rights movement. as I said most de-segregation cases began with graduate and undergraduate institutions. i can say with some certainty that access to professional opportunities was a major goal of the women's movement as well. how can you say that something that is piece of the pie is not included in the pie itself? i do agree that it was a small part of the plan, but it was still a part. if you're saying the actual structure of aa was LBJ's idea then i agree with you there--but the overall issue of access to higher education for urms (at the time that included women) was not his idea. also, since you don't know the history i'll let you know that aa at the beginning was much more focused on recruitment from the inner-city, so the program we see today is not exactly the program that was implemented...

crap didn't see you new post, I just modified my old one, look to that. 

Edit: Or not as I see my modifications don't really address your concerns.  I didn't say something that was a piece of the pie wasn't part of the pie I said that AA was the result of political compromise.  It wasn't an explicitly goal of the movements, it was compromise of the movements and established social institutions.  By social institutions I mean both political institutions (like COngress or the Democratic party) and non-political ones (like a law school).  Law schools could emphasize fairness to all, attack the adversial system which hurts the poor and disadvantaged, work on making the law reach out to alienated parts of society, but for the most part (they do a little) they don't do those things.  They support the adversial system (gets us paid more) and train their students for corporate law for the most part.  If social justice was the goal of AA, they would be giving out merely a crumb.  Like I said earlier though, I am not convinced social justice drives AA. 
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

faith2005

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2006, 01:41:02 AM »
lol--ah okay i understand. i agree aa was the least controversial idea in the overall scheme of the 60's movements. and i agree that the reason why most schools latched onto it was b/c of that reason. definitely no one in power wanted a true change in the make-up of political power in the U.S.  :D

i have to disagree with you about interest group/social justice distinction. the civil rights movement came out of multi-racial coalitions--so if the interest group is people who want to see the U.S. become more democratic, then I guess I can see that. but the movement(s) of the 60's and 70's were definitely not simply defined (or consisting of) by the people who they were supposedly advocating for...

bass

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Re: What drives AA?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2006, 01:54:08 AM »
I haven't read the rest of this thread, and I don't know the answer. I know that I drive a neon.