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Author Topic: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?  (Read 18185 times)

Deontologist

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #140 on: August 08, 2006, 05:43:53 PM »
Deontologist: So basically, the point of that post was to prove that blacks innately underperform on tests.

That doesn't sound right to me, but I'll admit that I don't know anything about it. So, let's assume it's true, for the sake of argument.

Does this mean we shouldn't admit them? Or that we should still hold them to the SAME standards as whites, knowing (as we now do) that they INNATELY underperform?

If you consult the original post in this thread, you will find what I believe is a quite cogent defense of AA: if it indeed reduces racial stratification in society, then it's proven its worth. Why attack its methods?

Alleged class mobility is a mainstay of American culture; or American myth, perhaps, since it happens less and less today (for more, see the excellent NYT feature on Class in America, May 2005). If AA catalyzes such mobility, then this ought to be a good thing. The only real problem with it is that to make this omelet, eggs are indeed broken: usually, the hopes some white middle class dreamer who's used to feeling superior to inner city 'slackers.' But then, we didn't order an egg-white omelet, did we?


I did not say that black "innately" underperform whites. I reiterated something that is widely acknowledged, which is that blacks (as a group) tend to underperform on certain standardized tests. However, there are many individual blacks who excel on standardized tests. The tragedy is that they have to constantly contend with charges that they were admitted to elite schools based on skin color rather than merit because of the pernicious effects of AA. I refuse to accept the notion that blacks cannot compete on a level footing with whites and Asians. After all, Asians tend to outperform all groups, including whites, on standardized tests; do we need to set different barometers for white candidates to counteract this phenomenon? Going to an elite institution is not the sole avenue to success in America. If you are bright, motivated, ambitious, and hardworking, you can achieve no matter what institution you attend. When the University of California could no longer use race as a factor in admissions, yes, black admissions at their flagship campuses—Berkeley and UCLA, declined. However, black admission and attendance at somewhat less selective campuses increased, taking up the slack. What, are all of these black students doomed to failure now because they did not attend Berkeley?

There is a genuine cost to AA, for blacks, Hispanics, whites, and Asians. It does feed racial resentment, and it does stigmatize individual minorities, who are presumed to need a leg up to compete. The attrition rate for less qualified students at elite institutions far surpasses those of their more qualified white and Asian peers. Moreover, generally, the beneficiaries of AA are not poor blacks in the inner city; they are more privileged middle and upper class blacks. Henry Louis Gates will tell you the same thing. Therefore, AA fails to help those who most need it and punishes those who played no part in the legal and economic disfranchisement of black Americans. Shelby Steele reports that black students “from families that make $100,000 a year or more perform worse on the SAT than whites from families that make $10,000 a year or less.” Is it fair or logical to assume that a poor white or Asian kid did not overcome as many or more obstacles than a rich black kid? Can’t we hold well-positioned black students to the same standards as their peers?

John Galt

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #141 on: August 08, 2006, 07:27:40 PM »
I believe that's true (value of diversity).  I think it could be argued, though, that AA could be used to make sure a minority candidate gets into a school their numbers would qualify them for otherwise than one where they are 8-10 points below.  IMO, that would not only create diversity within the legal community, but it would also become impossible for someone to argue that their seat had been "stolen" by someone who wasn't also "qualified."

Also just thoughts. 

Well I don't think we should have to pander to people who think that their seats have been stolen. For someone to have a seat stolen, they'd have to assume that they had possession of a seat initially. Of course, why apply if you already have a seat in the class right? Your position, IMO, could only stand if LSAT was a better method of qualification than taking someone's race into consideration. I think you have to establish that. So far, what I've heard is that the school, the students, and society benefit more from having more lawyers of color than is current and benefit from having minority students in top flight legal education programs than they benefit from having another 179 scorer. So we have to evaluate what qualification means.

TrojanChispas

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #142 on: August 08, 2006, 07:45:58 PM »
Are insults part of the liberal's training?  Why is it that I'm automatically a racist because I'm against AA?  

How long ago was slavery?  Were any African Americans today under slavery?  Most African Americans going into school now didn't even live through the biggest part of the civil rights movement that Dr. King led.  Reperations were due to those who were wronged, but this isn't that world.  

How dare you say that I want to keep the minorities in the ghetto.  I would LOVE to see them get out.  That's why I've already expressed I would be a proponent of economic AA.  However, not all minorities live in these conditions, and not all whites don't live in these conditions.  Further, I know the minorities are capable of whatever they want to.  I actually hope one of them is president in 2008.  I would love to see Condi Rice as president.

Wrong.  Slavery has had a profoundly negative effect on black culture,self-esteem, society, economy, family, education, and almost every other important mainstay of a healthy group of people.  Major rifts in the fabric of a community have long lasting effects.  Imagine how five generations of being enslaved, and another five of being a legaly second class citizen would affect your family.  Im sure you would just rise above all of it no problem and never need or want a hand up.
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Scholastically Challenged

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #143 on: August 08, 2006, 07:57:23 PM »
I believe that's true (value of diversity).  I think it could be argued, though, that AA could be used to make sure a minority candidate gets into a school their numbers would qualify them for otherwise than one where they are 8-10 points below.  IMO, that would not only create diversity within the legal community, but it would also become impossible for someone to argue that their seat had been "stolen" by someone who wasn't also "qualified."

Also just thoughts. 

I agree with you more or less.  Its worthwhile to have a diverse pool of lawyers regardless of where they graduate from.

The problem is that the T-14 schools are gatekeepers to the upper echelons of power in the US. There are plenty of smart kids throughout the tiers, but its the kids at the T-14s which are chosen to Clerk for the Supreme Court/Federal Appeals, get the US Attorneys jobs, positions in the Department of Defense, associate positions in the big time firms, professorships at law schools etc.  So by increasing divesity at those schools you hopefully diversify these sectors aswell.

We have to keep in mind you dont get any "AA" points on the bar exam, so if these so-called "undeserving" AA admits really cant tow the line they would get weeded out anyway.

Diversity, what a beautiful keyword. But where is the proof of concept in real life? We can talk about a fullfillment of the soul, or more esoteric feelings? Maybe there are some studies floating around comparing a more homogenous environment to that of a diverse one (in terms of race). Race is not a barometer for a differing of experience.
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John Galt

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #144 on: August 08, 2006, 08:01:22 PM »
I think the LSAT and the importance placed on it is totally ridiculous, Galt, but I think it's pretty evident that it is the single most important factor in deciding whether or not to admit a candidate.  Wrong, IMO, but that's just the way it is. 

I just think with the admissions process being, again IMO, stupid, the issue of AA is complicated. 

I think you're right. I think one of the negative byproducts of USNEWS is that schools sometimes over-rely on the test for admission to school against their own criteria. USNEWS doesn't value work experience or publications or any number of other qualifications for a student (to be fair, it would be nearly impossible for them to collect all this data). Instead they limit student quality to LSAT and GPA and weight the LSAT more. So schools, afraid to fall in the rankings, must compete to satisfy those LSAT requirements in selecting a student body. In turn, I think that hurts many promising minority and majority students because there are only so many times you can take someone below your targeted median before it begins to hurt you in the rankings.

scooby21322

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #145 on: August 08, 2006, 11:24:40 PM »
How many times are people on this board going to say things about pandering to people who feel that their seats have been stolen?  I don't think anyone on this thread has made that claim!!!  We've made the claim that it isn't "fair" that seats are given to those with lesser credentials. 

aerynn

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #146 on: August 08, 2006, 11:33:31 PM »
How many times are people on this board going to say things about pandering to people who feel that their seats have been stolen?  I don't think anyone on this thread has made that claim!!!  We've made the claim that it isn't "fair" that seats are given to those with lesser credentials. 

Why does it bother you that someone with lessor numbers got in to a school?  What difference does it make to you?
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scooby21322

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #147 on: August 08, 2006, 11:37:28 PM »
It's a matter of principle.  Do things have to affect me directly for it to matter?

FossilJ

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #148 on: August 08, 2006, 11:39:28 PM »
Now I see why red. left again.

I love how a thread debating the need for AA justification, an off-shoot of a thread that tried to avoid all the substance-less opinions (read: blathering hot air) that usually crop up in this forum, just managed to unravel into the same inane bickering that red. was concerned about in the first place.

I see a whole lot of writing stating a whole lot of nothing in this thread.  Blah blah blah, you think AA's unfair.  Blah blah blah, you believe AA is the solution.  Yadda yadda yadda, liberals do that, conservatives do this, look at the past, look at the future, diversity this, constitutional that, SHUT THE @#!* UP.
Pish, J only wants to waste YOUR time.  Get wise.

scooby21322

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Re: Why Does Affirmative Action need Justification?
« Reply #149 on: August 08, 2006, 11:42:54 PM »
That would bother me the same way that it bothers me that people with legacies can get in with lower numbers.  I honestly think every single person should be put onto an equal playing field.