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Author Topic: Why Affirmative Action is Justified  (Read 90994 times)

FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #120 on: July 07, 2006, 09:51:18 PM »

Like I said, if you're talking about collective guilt along the lines of Jaspers's thinking, I'd probably still let this slide.  Jaspers argued that the passivity of Germans in general made them all, in some form, culpable of Nazism.  However, that did not make them all Nazis.  The difference here is between a passive and an active attribution.

Calling all white people racist means you're ascribing an active contribution to the practice to them.  I'm okay with reasoning that claims that all white people are involved in upholding the foundation of racism (whether actively or passively; this also explains their collective guilt); I'm not okay with reasoning that claims all white people are racists.

Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

thorc954

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #121 on: July 07, 2006, 10:05:59 PM »
LurkingJ, you are hardcore with this LSD thing, you responded like five seconds later.  Anyway, I think we should squash this discussion about the definition of racism. I see your point but still like my definition better.  Anyway, the real topic of this conversation is that AA is justified, and my point was simply that at the law school level it is not.

FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #122 on: July 07, 2006, 10:16:51 PM »
How can you see my point and still decide to keep your definition as is?  My point addresses specific incongruencies in your argument that make it untenable. 

And nah, it was just coincidence.  I just happened to log in right after you posted.
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #123 on: July 07, 2006, 10:18:08 PM »
In any case, I should make it clear that the definition of "racism" and its roots in power relationships are fundamental to any proper conversation about AA.  Here, I think, we agree.
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

thorc954

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #124 on: July 07, 2006, 10:43:00 PM »
My point is simply that I can understand your arguments, however, my definition contributes inactivity to activity. Contentmenent with current situation to racism. The power relationship is indeed key to any proper conversation about racism.  IDK, anyway, I am running out of things to say on this issue, and I feel like I made some decent points about both AA and the definition of racism. Either way, racism is merely a word and words have such little actual meaning now a days... Concepts are everything. Our society is messed up. That is the way it is. We are all prejudice, and depending on whether you agree or disagree all whites are racist. Either way, the world goes on.  The point is that AA is unjustified in the law school situation, will you atleast agree with that point?

oh, and I dont believe you that it was a coincidence, lol.

FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #125 on: July 07, 2006, 10:59:15 PM »
Dude, why the @#!* would I lie about it being a coincidence?


In any case, my problem with your definition is that it doesn't sufficiently explain why one is allowed to attribute an active involvement to those who are passively involved.  And if you are doing so, then you are, as I claimed earlier, making an argument that would make all non-persecuted Germans Nazis.

If racism is prejudice brought to power, then for your definition to work first you have to establish that all whites are prejudiced -- not just prejudiced in general, but prejudiced specifically in terms of race. 

This, whether you like it or not, is impossible.  There are two problems as I see it.

1.  Some white people simply are not prejudiced in this way.  In fact, some white people dedicate their entire lives to countering the effects of racism.  Your definition renders your solution impossible.  If all white people are racists who are intent on keeping the status quo for their own benefit, then no white people are going to work for the elimination of racism.  Even if just one white person works against racism, your definition is faulty.

2.  Some white people that are prejudiced are not in a position of power.  In fact, I'd venture to say that most white people that are prejudiced are not in a position of power.  Many of them are dirt poor.

To #2, your counter is probably that it doesn't matter, because just by condoning the status quo, white people label themselves as racist -- they don't have to actively engage in racist behavior.  But this is the problem -- that answer presupposes your own conclusion.

THAT is why I've challenged you to explain specifically why passive and active involvement are one and the same thing.  Because, as I see it, they're not.  And by making them the same thing, you are actively involved in a racist act yourself: marking a collective without regard to individual difference.   
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

thorc954

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #126 on: July 07, 2006, 11:03:09 PM »
Dude, why the @#!* would I lie about it being a coincidence?


ummm... I was joking. Trying to insinuate that you were always on... .umm... yea...

philibusters

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #127 on: July 07, 2006, 11:07:15 PM »
Whoa, looks like you guys got sidetracked on a discussion about the definition of racism.  If racism is a concept, then why can't you both be right, there is structual racism that affects whole societies and then there are normative beliefs  that individuals hold.  They are different things clearly---and if you both acknowledge they are different abstract concepts does it really matter which one gets the title racism?

And whats this about everybody being prejudice?  I certainly agree we all look at the world from a unique (very narrow, self centered) perspective, but that doesn't make you prejudice per se.  You may just very well not be aware of the other sides position, feelings, and desires.  Not everybody takes Atticus Finch's advice and puts themselves into other people's shoes.  But then there are other people who actively hate and spread messages of hate, and whatever you call the two, they also seem worth distinguishing.
2008 graduate of William and Mary Law School

thorc954

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #128 on: July 07, 2006, 11:11:56 PM »
1) I believe that all whites are prejudice. I know it is something I cant prove, but I have not met a single white person in the duration of my life that did not have some prejudice about people of a different race.  We all see color as one of the defining attributes in another person.  Id even venture to say that people actively working against racism still had racial prejudices.  Either way, it cant be proved, and I wont attempt it.

2) Even dirt poor whites are in a position of power over dirt poor blacks.  This should be innarguable, but you may disagree.  I wanna quote Chris Rock on something, but I dont remember exactly what he said in his joke. It was something like, yea, im a rich famous black man, but not even a blind crippled white man would change positions with me.  I may have butchered the quote, but that is the general idea.  

And, Im not sure how to explain at this time why active and passive involvement are one in the same... I just think that either way they are involvement, maybe? Its late, you will have to deal with my lack of answer for the time being...


what school are you going to next year?

FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #129 on: July 07, 2006, 11:13:21 PM »
(Edit:  this is in response to philibusters.  Long time no see, by the way.)

The definition of racism is fundamental because the power structures involved are key to a debate about the justification of Affirmative Action.

If all white people are racists, then no white people should be in favor of Affirmative Action, unless there is some specific benefit to white people inherent in Affirmative Action.

I don't think the position that all people are racist is tenable.  I don't think there is some specific benefit offered to white people by AA -- if there was, we'd have to argue as to why it is then still justified, and the ethics underpinning that justification.

So you see, by arguing the definition as we are doing here, we channel the discussion.  I think red was on the right track -- I want to channel the discussion in the direction of her argument.
 
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.