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Author Topic: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?  (Read 13598 times)

Hank Rearden

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #40 on: January 01, 2007, 10:52:57 PM »
I'm generally a supporter of AA (and have benefitted from it a number of times).  However there is one question that I heard someone ask and I have not yet been able to find an answer that I feel is adequate.  The question was asked by someone who fully supported AA on the undergraduate level but opposed it at the graduate level.  The question was why do minorities need AA for graduate school if they got a boost for undergrad which presumably gave them a leg up and an opportunity on par with other non-minority students.  If anyone has an answer for this, please share, as I haven't really come up with an answer myself.

I don't see that as a valid objection.  What if someone got a boost from AA in high school?  Does that disqualify him from getting a boost from AA in college?  What if someone's parents got a boost from AA?  Does he become ineligible too?  There is no logical reason to think the line beyond which someone does not deserve a boost should be set at the undergraduate level.   
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philibusters

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #41 on: January 01, 2007, 11:24:35 PM »
I'm generally a supporter of AA (and have benefitted from it a number of times).  However there is one question that I heard someone ask and I have not yet been able to find an answer that I feel is adequate.  The question was asked by someone who fully supported AA on the undergraduate level but opposed it at the graduate level.  The question was why do minorities need AA for graduate school if they got a boost for undergrad which presumably gave them a leg up and an opportunity on par with other non-minority students.  If anyone has an answer for this, please share, as I haven't really come up with an answer myself.

I like that post-its thoughtful. 

First off I think hank rearden is mostly correct (In some post in the AA section, I adapted in argument I read from one of John Delaney's books about how the LSAT and other standardized tests are flawed, and used that example, to point out how merit is not the key to admissions processes we like to think it is, also another poster started a thread about the history of admissions at Ivy league schools based on article by Malcolm Gladwell I think, that make a similar point to what I think Hank Rearden was trying to make), but rather than going down that path which would require a fairly lengthy post, it which I would confuse people more than help them out, I will take a simpler approach to the problem.  AA is not pre-predominately about merit.  In a thread this summer, I think the one about the stereotype threat, I posted 10 or 11 abstract ways to analyze AA, in another thread,  I listed 7 or 8 groups that benefit from AA and 3 that might be hurt.  Merit is def a value that greatly influences the policies behind AA, but try to think more broadly.  This means trying to think of all the values that influence AA, not just merit, and thinking of all the groups of people affected by AA, not just the beneficiaries.
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LegalMatters

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #42 on: March 21, 2007, 02:04:47 PM »
I guess I'll revive the thread, sort of.

After working for a while out of college, my perspective on it has changed a lot over the years (yes, point and laugh). When I applied to college, I was angry because it seemed a lot of outside scholarship money was only available for African-American students. And then I found out a lot of that money was never claimed, which made me even more angry.

I always felt that AA was an insult to all minorities: You're not good enough, not smart enough, so we need to give you extra help because you're obviously not capable of doing it yourself. It's unAmerican to say anyone in this country can't do something, right? Then I went to work and that's where I learned people still prejudge based on appearances.


AA doesn't work if it's just a quota system, and that's all it is right now. It gets a predetermined amount of candidates in the door. To make it work and eventually eliminate the need for it, attitudes have to change. Having minority students in class won't change a professor's behavior who has preconceived notions about minority groups. We've all heard the stereotypes: African-Americans are loud, Asians are smart, Latinos don't speak English well, etc. It's a bunch of garbage but we're fooling ourselves if we think law school professors will be less inclined than the general population, or even other professors in other programs, to act on those stereotypes.

And before I give up the soap box, I'll add the attitudes need to start changing in elementary and high schools. I have a friend who teaches history at what's classified an inner-city, mostly black high school outside of D.C. She has admitted teachers have lower expectations for black and Latino students. I can sort of relate to that too because I was never quick study in one subject, starting in elementary school, and after years of teachers reinforcing it, I still feel that way to this day.

<gets off soap box and quietly runs away>

Kittyl30

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #43 on: March 31, 2007, 12:55:08 AM »
we're doing AA in constitutional law now (bakke, all the michigan cases, etc.) and its intersting to read people's opinions on it

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rsieg10

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #44 on: April 28, 2007, 12:54:58 AM »
AA is bull.  If everyone is to be treated equally, doesn't AA oppose this idea?  Furthermore, each law school applicant has gotten to undergrad one way or another.  Once we get there, we should work our asses off to get a high undergrad GPA and LSAT score.  At this point, your undergrad performance is what matters--not your race.  I think people often use their race to excuse a poor GPA/LSAT score.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #45 on: April 28, 2007, 04:13:23 AM »
AA is bull.  If everyone is to be treated equally, doesn't AA oppose this idea?  Furthermore, each law school applicant has gotten to undergrad one way or another.  Once we get there, we should work our asses off to get a high undergrad GPA and LSAT score.  At this point, your undergrad performance is what matters--not your race.  I think people often use their race to excuse a poor GPA/LSAT score.

It's funny that you think people are treated the same.  Unfortunately history has proven you wrong time and time again.  Even today people are not treated the same.  Look what happened with Hurrican Katrina.  Do you think that type of response would have been the same if a rich white neighborhood or part of a city was flooded?  Look at Michael Richards and Don Imus.  Open this week's issue of Time magazine and you will read that the average infant mortality rate for a white baby in Alabama is 6 in 1000.  The average mortality rate for a black baby is 17 in 1000.  Why do you think this is?  I mean the signs are all around you.  Simply put, not everyone in our society is treated equally.  In Georgia, you're four times more likely to get sentenced to death as a black man if you killed a white man than if you were a white man who killed a black man.  I mean I could go on and on, but it will probably never sink in.  You are so focused on the fact, that somehow AA is not treating everyone as equals, when inequality is ALL around you.  This type of inequality is directed against minorities who have had less political power and less influence and still do.  I hope you take Constitutional Law soon.  The whole book is filled with cases involving discrimination against African Americans including many recent cases.  Read Justice Brennan's dissent in McCleskey v. Kemp, which is probably the most beautiful and heartbreaking opinion I have ever read.  "It is tempting to pretend that minorities on death row share a fate in no way contected to our own, that or treatment of them sounds no echoes beyond the chambers in which they die.  Such an illusion is ultimately corrosive, for the reverberations of justice are not so easily confined.  The destinies of the two races in this country are indissolubly linked together..."  Anyway, it speaks of the hopelessness of the African American's call from death row for his voice to be heard.  His voice is shouting from everywhere and it needs to be heard.  For a minute please, listen, and perhaps you'll realize what real injustice sounds like.
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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #46 on: April 28, 2007, 09:16:20 AM »
it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling inside.
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rsieg10

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #47 on: April 28, 2007, 08:22:36 PM »
Exactly, no matter how much I preach, it'll never sink in.  You'll always think that because of the history involved, you'll think you are continually discriminated against.  Because racism existed in the 1960s, you should be given privileges post 2000.

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #48 on: April 28, 2007, 09:14:33 PM »
Exactly, no matter how much I preach, it'll never sink in.  You'll always think that because of the history involved, you'll think you are continually discriminated against.  Because racism existed in the 1960s, you should be given privileges post 2000.

I'm white, idiot.  I really hope you're not going to a good law school.  I gave examples of discrimination that has occured recently.   You totally ignored that but yet you keep saying discrimination doesn't exist. 

Just another example:

"The release of 91,000 pages of internal records by the state of New Jersey reveal that a systematic policy of searching cars driven by blacks or Hispanics has been carried out for at least a decade."  Read this article.  It is one of thousands of instances of discrimination occuring today.  From the NY Times..."New Jersey prosecutors dismiss criminal charges in 86 cases involving people who said state troopers singled them out because of their race; current crop of dismissals brings total to 150, some of which are 10 years old, and some in which prison sentences are being or have been served; convictions will be purged from records"  http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=F70F10FA385B0C738EDDAD0894DA404482&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fPeople%2fK%2fKenna%2c%20James
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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #49 on: July 03, 2007, 01:46:42 AM »
AA is bull.  If everyone is to be treated equally, doesn't AA oppose this idea?  Furthermore, each law school applicant has gotten to undergrad one way or another.  Once we get there, we should work our asses off to get a high undergrad GPA and LSAT score.  At this point, your undergrad performance is what matters--not your race.  I think people often use their race to excuse a poor GPA/LSAT score.

Affirmative action was outlawed here in Florida by the Florida legislature in 2000.  There is obviously resentment against affirmative action in other states.  A good example is Colorado.  I am Native American, and there are times when I feel like maybe I should stay in Florida for law school because the other states have far too much tension on campus.  I know for a fact that CU Boulder has a huge amount of turmoil because of affirmative action.  The minorities over there have disagreements about it.  There is a lot of resentment from non-minorities at CU Boulder.  The tension seems too high when these debates get started.  I know the CU Republicans held an "affirmative action" bake sale to protest the policy.  Immediately, many minority students claimed racism.  The students were divided.  When I read about these events in my former state I feel like maybe it is best to avoid applying to a law school with that type of tension.  Over here, affirmative action was outlawed, and I have never heard anyone complain about it.  Back in 2000, there were protests by some minorities, but it has largely faded.  Minority enrollment increased despite the demise of affirmative action.  FSU recently had an African American Rhodes Scholar on the championship track team.  The main person in charge of the Florida Department of Health last year was a Haitian American MD.  Maybe I should just go to law school in-state to stay away from the raging debate and castigation on other college campuses where the policy is still in effect.  Law school is stressful enough by itself, but to compound it with outright racial tension because of affirmative action seems to make it harder than it has to be.  When I posted these facts about Florida on other boards like facebook, I just got hate mail from other minorities accusing me of being a traitor.  If you are a minority and resent that affirmative action was outlawed in Florida, then it is best to complain to the Florida legislature.  I had nothing to do with it.  I wasn't even here in 2000 when it was outlawed.  I was in Colorado and moved here for a new job in 2002.  But like other minorities in FL, I have learned to live with the fact that affirmative action has been outlawed.  I am successful without affirmative action like many other students classified as "underrepresented minorities."  I am a real Apache.  I have been doing great in my math class and college major (i.e. "Stand and Deliver").  Here in Florida, affirmative action is gone and from another time - a relic of the 1990s like the Nintendo 64, VHS tapes, 386 processor, "Melrose Place," or "Saved by the Bell."