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Author Topic: Why Affirmative Action is Justified  (Read 89462 times)

SapientiaEstPotentia

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #150 on: July 12, 2006, 01:00:37 AM »
Democracy temporarily halted AA in California.
One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another. -- René Descartes, A Discourse on Method

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #151 on: July 12, 2006, 01:04:43 AM »
So you want to limit consideration to firms in the top three now?  Because you know, Sullivan & Cromwell, Skadden, and Simpson Thatcher (among hundreds of other top firms) all have numbers much closer to FF's than to Wachtell's.

These stats (at the bottom) are a bit old, but FF doesn't rank in the top 10

http://www.gothamgazette.com/article//20041228/5/1231

Oh my God, Breadboy, I really don't know what's happening here, but I think you are missing the boat.  Let me be clear, I don't care if it's top 10 in partner compensation or anything else!  The point is that if anything, FF is more representative of your average large firm than your friends at Wachtell are.  But I barely had a point. 
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #152 on: July 12, 2006, 01:08:47 AM »
This argument is not dismissing family background or socioeconomic status as integral components to the "holistic picture".  It is not claiming that Affirmative Action is perfect, or even the ideal solution.  It is not claiming that there are no ironic racial subtexts to AA's practice, either.

What it is claiming is that Affirmative Action, as it stands, is an effective and legitimate method of solving a very real and very troublesome problem.  It describes, in detail, the problem (or problems), and then explains why Affirmative Action, as it stands, is a way of solving that problem (or problems).


But I think you (and possibly red) are showing great naivete about the way affirmative action "as it stands" actually operates.  You may like to think that adcoms are huddled in a room somewhere contemplating the immense suffering of their law school's applicants, but the truth is that elite schools like Harvard are much more likely to admit a URM with borderline numbers above a poor white kid with similar numbers, simply because of the color of the applicants' skin.  You might like to think that the poor white kid will get a "holistic" approach, but in reality the school must maintain a certain percentage of blacks/hispanics and has no such mandate about the percentage of poor people it must admit.       


Please, demonstrate where this was claimed.

I just told you that the argument is not claiming that Affirmative Action is perfect, nor that it's ideal.  There are no pretensions that Affirmative Action forces the correct call in every situation. 

The argument does claim that, on average, AA works to the advantage of candidates who legitimately need it.  The argument outlines the reasons why these candidates are automatically disadvantage from the get-go.  It does not claim that those who do not qualify for AA are not similarly disadvantaged. 
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

SapientiaEstPotentia

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #153 on: July 12, 2006, 01:22:10 AM »
Where’s the socio-political article showing that Pete Wilson and Ward Connerly promoted and helped pass Prop 209 with a personal agenda?
One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another. -- René Descartes, A Discourse on Method

FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #154 on: July 12, 2006, 01:31:36 AM »

I understand what you're saying, but you are overlooking the obvious.  If you were really concerned about evening out advantages and disadvantages, you would embrace SES-based AA and not race-based AA.  If adcoms gave more weight to applicants who had underprivileged backgrounds (as I believe they should) and ignored race, blacks would probably still benefit (since more blacks than whites are poor).  But under this system of SES-based AA the unfairness of admitting Colin Powell's grandson over a poor white kid would be removed. 


What I believe and support is a separate issue altogether.  If you've read any of my previous posts in this forum, you'd know that I wholeheartedly support SES-based AA, and that I agree that it solves many of the race-based issues as well.

However, your argument here, as it's stated, seems to be completely overlooking the basis of red.'s argument: that race, in and of itself, can have a major deleterious effect on an applicant before the cycle even begins (while getting an education, writing the LSAT, etc.).  This is one area that SES-based AA cannot take into account.  This is the basis of the argument put forth in this thread. 
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

SapientiaEstPotentia

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #155 on: July 12, 2006, 01:33:44 AM »
With enough votes, (California’s )Prop 209 may be overturned.  Now, if Arnold supported such a view, he would garner the Democratic votes he is working hard to win. 
One cannot conceive anything so strange and so implausible that it has not already been said by one philosopher or another. -- René Descartes, A Discourse on Method

Miss P

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #156 on: July 12, 2006, 01:47:32 AM »
But I barely had a point. 

I think we agree.

Ha ha.  At least I'm marginally self-aware. 

Also, if my point was minor, your point was both deeply flawed and minor.  Oh, well.
That's cool how you referenced a case.

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FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #157 on: July 12, 2006, 02:23:06 AM »
Okay, guys, this is entertaining, but take it to a different thread, lest red. blame me for another hijack (she seems to be fond of doing such things).
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

FossilJ

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #158 on: July 12, 2006, 03:35:22 AM »
Are you intentionally pulling a breadboy here?

Let's go through this in steps.

MaraudingJ, it seems that everyone (including red) agrees that not all URM's suffer from this stereotype threat; in fact, even assuming the threat is indeed real, the threat obviously affects different blacks in different ways (how else to explain black people getting above 174?).  Once it is established that different URM's are affected differently by the stereotype threat, using the stereotype threat as a valid reason for race-based AA becomes just another stereotype itself. 

You'll have to explain this further.  The stereotype threat exists -- it is real.  It affects a significant amount of black candidates (as these studies demonstrate).  I already agreed with you that AA is not an ideal blanket solution, but considering that a significant proportion of this demographic is affected by the problem, I think the solution is reasonable.

Also, there is no reason to think that other classes of people (poor people, people from Arkansas, people from community colleges) aren't affected by the stereotype threat as well. 

I agree.  But this is simply irrelevant to the fact that black people are affected by the stereotype threat.

It would be impossible to thoroughly research all the ways different groups of people might be psychologically affected by various generalizations. 

We don't need to.  All we care about is stereotype threat, and that can definitely be researched in as many demographic groups as you wish.

Therefore, the best way to assess LSAT scores is not to point to psychological research regarding decreased self-esteem of certain groups,

This statement makes me think you either didn't read any of red.'s long, explicit posts, or you simply didn't understand them.  I pick the former.

but to take into account SES status and ignore psychological reasons why someone might not score well on the LSAT (since there is a plethora of such reasons, and all the members of a particular race cannot possibly share them all).

Perhaps.  But this is not a claim that the argument put forth in this thread defends. 

And I think that, rather than ignore effects that have been proven to impact the performance of large segments of a particular demographic, one would want to look at as many as possible and design a system that is as fair as possible in light of this information.  This is why I believe SES is an important factor in a candidate's profile, and this is why I (and, if I recall correctly, red.) argue that the LSAT is not the ideal way to assess candidates. 

Unfortunately, as long as the LSAT exists, it demonstrates proven flaws, including (but not limited to) stereotype threat within certain demographics.
 
Before I go to bed, I want to point out that you and Red both seemed to be very concerned about the "problem" of blacks scoring poorly on the LSAT (and therefore being less competitive for law school admission as a group than other races). 

We are.  But that's because the LSAT is a poor test.  It is a poor test for a variety of groups, not just blacks.  However, in this thread, red. specifies why it's bad for minorities, particularly blacks.  She is not claiming that it's only bad for minorities and nobody else. 

While it may be a problem, why is it a problem that rich white people should be solving?

Who said they should be solving it?  red. sure as hell didn't. 

But while we're at it, I'll give you my two cents.  The truth, unfortunately, is that those in a position to make a difference in the way law schools administer Affirmative Action are, overwhelmingly, rich white people.  They don't have to solve it, but if it needs to be solved, they'd be the ones with the power to do so.

I think it's very arrogant to think that blacks are simply pawns in a white man's game that the white man can move around at will and that somehow if white people gave preferential treatment to blacks that everything would be OK.  Maybe just maybe blacks can solve their own problems.       

And this is precisely the type of argument that red. is attempting to avoid in this thread.  It's not about who gets to solve whose problems.  It's about what that solution is to be.  No agency has been removed from minorities in this thread.  I don't see why you'd think it has.
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

SouthSide

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Re: Why Affirmative Action is Justified (by red.)
« Reply #159 on: July 12, 2006, 04:35:25 AM »
We are.  But that's because the LSAT is a poor test.  It is a poor test for a variety of groups, not just blacks.  However, in this thread, red. specifies why it's bad for minorities, particularly blacks.  She is not claiming that it's only bad for minorities and nobody else. 

I will continue to make this point. The problem is in societal attitudes about minorities; it is not in the test. There is no evidence that the LSAT is a poor or biased test.

Also note: If you accept red's argument, which I do in part, you realize that the better the LSAT got, the more the stark the so-called "stereotype threat" would become. Presumably, if everyone universally acknowledged that the LSAT was a massive determining factor in law school success, the psychological pressure of stereotypes would be even more pronounced.
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