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Author Topic: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?  (Read 13349 times)

AlphaBusey

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #50 on: July 03, 2007, 10:21:54 AM »
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

To say we have a colorblind society is just not true.  But then again, one has to wonder if AA is an effective way to correct the underlying problem.  Legislation is an imperfect way to initiate social change.  For instance, the Civil Rights Act paved the way for minorities to play a much larger role in public life, but that hasn't necessarily erased personal attitudes.  And with something like AA, there is a popular perception that a minority gets preference based on their race, so that you might have a situation where there are two equally qualified applicants, and one is selected solely because he is a minority.  Nevermind that "equally-qualified" is not really something that can be judged in such a subjective situation, some people still perceive this scenario to be valid.  And that can breed resentment, and in my experience, it has.  So rather than bridging the racial divide, at times it only perpetuates it.  While the reality may be far from the "whites are getting gipped" interpretation, the popular perception, at least in my little corner of white America, is that this is a very real occurence.  It sucks when the shoe's on the other foot :P  But the only point to consider, is maybe some of these programs, at least in their current forms, are actually doing more to sour race relations than to improve them?
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Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #51 on: July 03, 2007, 07:25:50 PM »
I think that the fallacy here is to accept racial status as the only determining factor about whether or not a student will be able to add a unique factor to any discussions, or a particularly interesting outlook to law school classes.  I'm a 20 year old white male, so according to the current formula, any points that I would have would be bland - but I have much more to offer than just my racial background.  I'm an Eagle scout, I've been on mission trips, I'm the first in my family to go to college, I grew up in a coal mining family in the mountains of West Virginia, I was homeschooled, I played tournament chess...and besides all that, I'm just unique.  No two people are alike.  So why is it that I'm less unique than others? Why is it that just because someone has a particular color of skin that they are more interesting?  I agree that helping out lower-income students is indeed an admirable goal - just do it across the board.
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Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #52 on: July 03, 2007, 07:42:42 PM »
Because by providing people of lower income with an education, we help them raise their ability to generate further income, and provide a better life for not only themselves, but their future generations. 
Mercer University School of Law '12

Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #53 on: July 03, 2007, 07:56:05 PM »
To that, I offer two answers:

1) Providing for low-income students is not a question of diversity - instead, it is about improving that person's life.

2) Ideally, I am speaking of a private law school, through which the alumni provide funding for scholarships for this express purpose.  Not that I don't believe in merit scholarships - far from it.  We also need to provide for our brightest students, in order to assure the best future. 
Mercer University School of Law '12

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #54 on: July 03, 2007, 09:11:08 PM »
talk to me when you agree to stop tying public school funds to property taxes.
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Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #55 on: July 03, 2007, 10:16:28 PM »
I guess we can talk, then.  I'm perfectly fine with it - in fact, I feel that most public schools vastly overspend.  My high-school education cost under 1000 dollars, due to the fact that I was homeschooled.  While I'm not saying that teachers shouldn't be paid, or computers bought, I do believe that many schools are rather extravagant with their money, taking trips to Europe using school money that could go to better use in more needy schools or in more needy areas of the government.
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Netopalis

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #56 on: July 04, 2007, 11:09:30 AM »
1) My argument here is that there are a great number of people of minority who are at least middle class, and a fair number who are wealthy.  Those that are already wealthy do not need help in the same way that people of low income do, since they can already afford to pay for law school. 

2) Not at all.  My argument here was that students of low income should receive tuition assistance - I never said anything about preferential placement.  Also, I never said anything about not looking at the numbers - where did you get that?
Mercer University School of Law '12

Booyakasha2

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #57 on: July 04, 2007, 11:30:05 AM »
The ends of AA is worthy.  Diversity and the equalization - for the lack of a better word - for years of institutionalized discrimination, are valid issues that need to be addressed.  However, I'm not sure the means in which these ends are achieved is the best way to go about it.  Every black doctor/lawyer/etc i look at I can't help but think in the back of my mind, how they didnt do as well as their peers on the mcats, on the lsats, etc, but still got into school.  Basically, i can't help but wonder if they are less competent than their white and asian peers.  Asians actually get reverse-AA, especially in post-grad programs.   
Princeton Law 2010

philibusters

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #58 on: July 04, 2007, 12:33:41 PM »
I guess we can talk, then.  I'm perfectly fine with it - in fact, I feel that most public schools vastly overspend.  My high-school education cost under 1000 dollars, due to the fact that I was homeschooled.  While I'm not saying that teachers shouldn't be paid, or computers bought, I do believe that many schools are rather extravagant with their money, taking trips to Europe using school money that could go to better use in more needy schools or in more needy areas of the government.

I got to call you on the my highschool education thing only cost a $1000 thing.  Umm, how did that work your parents just left you at home all day with books, probably not, most likely you had a stay at home parent (or at least one who only worked part time), which means you are losing imputed income.  Even if you parent didn't go to college, assuming it is your mother she could have found other work and say made $25,000.  Thats just a made up number but you get my point.  You wouldn't want to add that entire $25,000 to the cost of your education because maybe your parent would not have worked full time anyway, but we assume home schooling was a factor in their choice to stay at home or if they worked part time, how many hours to take, thus you would have to add some of that $25,000 to your cost of education.  My guess is that once you figured out what that cost is, it will be higher than what a normal high school spends per year on each student.

Now assume both your parents have law degrees with earning potntials of over $100,000, home schooling would be incredibily expensive, more expensive than say the most expensive prep schools.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

philibusters

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Re: How Do You Feel About Affirmative Action?
« Reply #59 on: July 04, 2007, 01:08:20 PM »
I think that the fallacy here is to accept racial status as the only determining factor about whether or not a student will be able to add a unique factor to any discussions, or a particularly interesting outlook to law school classes.  I'm a 20 year old white male, so according to the current formula, any points that I would have would be bland - but I have much more to offer than just my racial background.  I'm an Eagle scout, I've been on mission trips, I'm the first in my family to go to college, I grew up in a coal mining family in the mountains of West Virginia, I was homeschooled, I played tournament chess...and besides all that, I'm just unique.  No two people are alike.  So why is it that I'm less unique than others? Why is it that just because someone has a particular color of skin that they are more interesting?  I agree that helping out lower-income students is indeed an admirable goal - just do it across the board.

Diversity has multi good features.  You are choosing to only dwell on one of the features, different world viewpoints.  People of different races generally come from slightly different cultures than whites, that applies not only to minority groups that get AA, but also those that don't like Asians and Indians for example.  Also being a minority is a society also probably gives you experience and a set of skills to handle situations.  Thus it is pretty clear minorities as a group would have different skills than whites.  Secondly,  you are correct in that you may have unique viewpoints and adopt unique problem solving strategies, which would highly contribute to the law school atmosphere.  However, AA is focused on the group dynamic, not the individual dynamic, I think its assumed that within all groups a certain % will be unique, thus by taking minorities you feel you have a good chance to bring in multi problem solving skill sets (not necessarily unique), whereas it impossible to tell on an application who truly is unique. 

For example you wre homeschooled, raised in a coal mine town, and have shown an interest in a host of other activities including ones that reflect on your personality and values and others that reflect more on your interests.  However, and this is what they stress when they tell you to write your personal statement for law school--So what?--we care about what you learned from those, what skills you developed from those things, for example maybe as an eagle scout say you volunteered from working at a pound, what did  you learn, maybe you learned that being kind, but stern and forceful rather than smothering the animals in sympathy is best for the animal in the long run as they needed to be tough for their tough life, maybe from watching the animals you learned which strategies work best for dealing with harsh environments, environments where you can't win and you are trying to mitigate your damages.  Same with home schooled, you lost to opportunity to interact with large number of kids, understand how cliques work and such, all that would have been training for the real world and a worthwhile learning experience, but maybe being homeschooled allowed you to work with a few peers on small projects, learning how to utilize each other strengths and how to minimize potential projecting ending conflict between the group members, that would be experience that is valuable in dealing with real world situations, say running a small business or law firm.  My point is somebody with your history could be a oneway thinker and have learned nothing from their experience, or they could have way more problem solving skills than their peers--but your assumption that merely having the experiences equal perspective and problem solving skills is incorrect.

For minorities we assume their culture have different problem solving strategies than mainstream white society.  For example Asians emphasize consensus in group decision making more than our individualistic society.  That could be very valuable problem solving skill set in transactional work that lawyers do.  Further, for races like African Americans, 95% of them that make it to law school will have developed coping skills to deal with racism and being an obvious outsider in some ways in society, those coping skills and strategies, could be valuable in the real world, for example they may be able to tell a client who wants to sue for defamation that suing will only give more exposure to the lies about them and that if they want a quiet peaceful life just to let it go, whereas a white person like you or I, might instantly want to fight and up end screwing the client's reputation worse than before despite our honest intentions.

Secondly diversity in education goes way beyond different viewpoints.  It forces students to learn to accept differences in their peers from themselves.  How often do white people complain for example that black people are too loud in responding to scenes in movie when at a movie theater and they miss the next minute of the movie cause of that and how often do african americans say white people are too stiff and we would assume things like when they see us not respond at a movie theater to a comic scene by laughing for thirty seconds taht contributes to the idea.  Anyway, neither approach is right or wrong, but they are different--diversity forces others to accept differences and tolerate it--this applies even we learn nothing from interacting with a different group.  Tolerance is a value unto itself, because the alternative to tolerating differences is fighting over them which is usually pretty wasteful.

Third there are a ton of political, socio-economic goals associated with diversity.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School