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Author Topic: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA  (Read 13375 times)

Captain

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2007, 05:10:41 PM »
However, any student of David Hume ...



Well guess what- a kid from the bronx and a middle-class black are most likely the same thing. The middle class is not the upper class- lets not get that confused. And no matter how much you talk about it there will never be a way to give just economically poor blacks AA and not to those who are well off- try to manage that one and I'm pretty sure that the whole system would go away pretty fast. Look up the actual purpose of AA and maybe that will make more sense- you can't just shut off one part of a group. There are programs out there for the disadvantaged, AA is not one of them and it was never supposed to be- it's based on race and sex.

What is the actual purpose of AA?

The purpose is to make the percentage of minority groups in higher education be equal to the percentage in the general population.
Apparently this works by taking kids who were going to go to college anyway, and sending them to Yale instead of Rutgers.

Are you saying that the Supreme Court allows AA as an instument to make the percentage of minority groups in higher education equal to the percentage in the general population? Which case does that come from? I thought the Supreme Court ruled that AA could be used by schools to promote diversity for the benefit of the school if the school desired to do so.

The question wasn't, "What did the Supreme Court rule that AA could be used for," it was "What is the purpose of AA."

Even so, a middle class black kid from NJ who went to a prep school isn't making your school more diverse. He had basically the same experience as I did... Now, the kid from inner city Newark had a VERY different experience.
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donwario

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2007, 05:24:12 PM »
However, any student of David Hume ...



Well guess what- a kid from the bronx and a middle-class black are most likely the same thing. The middle class is not the upper class- lets not get that confused. And no matter how much you talk about it there will never be a way to give just economically poor blacks AA and not to those who are well off- try to manage that one and I'm pretty sure that the whole system would go away pretty fast. Look up the actual purpose of AA and maybe that will make more sense- you can't just shut off one part of a group. There are programs out there for the disadvantaged, AA is not one of them and it was never supposed to be- it's based on race and sex.

What is the actual purpose of AA?

The purpose is to make the percentage of minority groups in higher education be equal to the percentage in the general population.
Apparently this works by taking kids who were going to go to college anyway, and sending them to Yale instead of Rutgers.

Are you saying that the Supreme Court allows AA as an instument to make the percentage of minority groups in higher education equal to the percentage in the general population? Which case does that come from? I thought the Supreme Court ruled that AA could be used by schools to promote diversity for the benefit of the school if the school desired to do so.

The question wasn't, "What did the Supreme Court rule that AA could be used for," it was "What is the purpose of AA."

Even so, a middle class black kid from NJ who went to a prep school isn't making your school more diverse. He had basically the same experience as I did... Now, the kid from inner city Newark had a VERY different experience.

I'm still a little confused by Jillibean's post to "Look up the actual purpose of AA and maybe that will make more sense." Where do you look up the actual purpose?


On the other issue, your example raises a valid point.

donwario

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2007, 05:40:29 PM »
Why do people make such a big deal of a few blacks getting into law school? Because it really is still a few...

I'm not sure I follow. Do you mean it is not worth discussing because of the number of students?

naturallybeyoutiful

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2007, 06:26:42 PM »
Even so, a middle class black kid from NJ who went to a prep school isn't making your school more diverse. He had basically the same experience as I did... Now, the kid from inner city Newark had a VERY different experience.

With all due respect, Captain Longshot --
I do take issue with the bolded statements, particularly the latter.  Being black in this country IS in itself an experience. It would be incorrect of you to assume that a middle class black kid attending a prep school is (a) receiving similar benefits and opportunities in both home, school, and society as white kids from the same social class or is (b) somehow immune from facing some of the same obstacles, discrimination, and barriers to opportunity as do blacks of a lower social status. 

I find it difficult to believe that the student you referenced (and the family he hails from) is simply living a "chocolate-covered" version of your life, as your second statement seems to imply.  This seems to be a conception of "race" that a non-minority would likely hold.  I would venture to guess that you may simply not know this student well enough, or be made privy to enough of his family's business, to genuinely know whether "he had basically the same experience [you] did."  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised at all to find that he may have a "VERY different experience" than *YOU*, while at the same time share a wealth of common experiences with that black kid from Newark.
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1LCorvo

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #24 on: March 19, 2007, 08:03:38 PM »
A great deal has been said since my latest comments. In any case, I think Captain Longshot has a point (albeit a deceptively valid and good one).

In seems as if the main thesis for those who defend AA is that MOST blacks (despite economic status) still suffer in this country. One might easily look at the number of black students who attend law school, and subsequently go on to practice law. Thus, AA is justified because of the fact that blacks (of any class) are still second, or maybe third, class citizens. However, there's a HUGE problem with this reasoning, that is to say, it is not quite right. African Americans, today, have gained so much. Sure, we do not have thirty members in the senate, but we are making strides in many other professions. I think this is particularly noticable among middle class African Americans; and hence the disutility of a program such as AA.

Suffice it to say that middle class blacks have a different experience than lower (poor) class blacks. They are usually better educated, with more access to resources. As longshot was trying to state, middle class blacks usually enjoy a financial burden-less (not to say that they are immune to financial problems) life comparable to middle class whites. Which, theoretically, ought to put them in a better academic situation than say poor whites and asians. This, in turn, should translate into higher LSAT scores and UGPAs.

In any case, it seems erroneous to argue that African American's have different life experience because of their skin color. This supposes that blacks have experiences that raise awareness to the fact that they black. Moreover, this also supposes that these "experiences" will lead to something intriguing about the person, which might add to the diversity of a law class. Again, none of this follows. Being black doesn't necessarily lead to having a distinct burdensome black experience (whatever that means).

Excuse me if I've gone off a tangent. I'm not even sure what my original purpose was...but I do look forward to you ripping me apart.
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UGAfootballfanatic

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #25 on: March 19, 2007, 08:35:13 PM »
This was posted on the students and grads board, but it does fit into this discussion well:


http://www.law.ucla.edu/sander/Systemic/final/SanderFINAL.pdf

The author is a law school professor who studies race and the law, and his overall conclusion is that AA doesn't help but instead hurts the students it was created to help. Why? Because those students end up in schools where they will struggle, often end up in the bottom of the class, and get a bigger disincentive for being lower ranked in the class than if they'd gone to school with their academic peers and ranked in the middle of the class.
Just one person's opinion, but this is very well reasoned out, and has one of the few places where you can get hard #'s related to LS performance and race.

My personal experience: I know one black student in the top 10% of the class, and both her parents are upper middle class attorneys and doctors. Frankly, she didn't need AA to do well, and was probably going to succeed where ever she went because she was well prepared and frankly, works her a55 off.

naturallybeyoutiful

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #26 on: March 19, 2007, 09:49:46 PM »
African Americans, today, have gained so much. Sure, we do not have thirty members in the senate, but we are making strides in many other professions. I think this is particularly noticable among middle class African Americans; and hence the disutility of a program such as AA.
I'm not exactly clear as to how the moderate gains blacks have made over the past 40 years justify an outright dissolution of AA programs.  I'd be interested in hearing more about this though.


Suffice it to say that middle class blacks have a different experience than lower (poor) class blacks. They are usually better educated, with more access to resources.
If the applicant pool were made up only of "lower (poor) class blacks, " then I could understand not supporting AA for middle class blacks on those grounds. 


As longshot was trying to state, middle class blacks usually enjoy a financial burden-less (not to say that they are immune to financial problems) life comparable to middle class whites. Which, theoretically, ought to put them in a better academic situation than say poor whites and asians. This, in turn, should translate into higher LSAT scores and UGPAs.
I've never seen anyone in the middle class living a financially burdenless life, particularly in the black middle class which has not yet achieved parity with the white middle class.  That aside, I think your last points get closer to substantive issues.  The real question that you are raising here is, then why do black applicants on average have lower LSATs and GPAs than the rest of the population, even of students from lower social classes.  This is an idea worth discussing because, barring any ludicrous claims of genetic/innate inferiority, it raises the issue that there must be some other mitigating factors (internal or external to the black applicant pool) at work. 


In any case, it seems erroneous to argue that African American's have different life experience because of their skin color.
I could accept this statement were we not living in a country founded on a racial caste system.  It would think it would be erroneous to make rash judgments about a particular individual, but quite acceptable to speak about the increased likelihood of members of a group on average to be dealing with a set of conditions known to be present within a racial caste system.


This supposes that blacks have experiences that raise awareness to the fact that they black.
I've never met a black person in this country who was completely unaware that they were black.  Unaccepting perhaps.  Unaware, doubtful!


Moreover, this also supposes that these "experiences" will lead to something intriguing about the person, which might add to the diversity of a law class. Again, none of this follows. Being black doesn't necessarily lead to having a distinct burdensome black experience (whatever that means).
In some ways, I agree with your first statement.  The point I tried to make in my clarification to Longshot was that he could not assume that a black person of his same socio-economic status shared his life experience.  This in no way conflicts with what you just shared here.  I agree that the simple fact that a person has "black" skin is not in and of itself an indicator of "diversity."  It is the growing up, attending schools, renting or buying a house, applying for jobs, receiving services, choosing a neighborhood, buying a car, raising your kids, demanding equal access to any and everything, and driving while black (not by any stretch an all-inclusive list!) that create the diversity of experience that is common to many blacks in this country, irrespective of social class. 


Excuse me if I've gone off a tangent. I'm not even sure what my original purpose was...but I do look forward to you ripping me apart.
:D  Never that!  Thanks for posting.  Discussing issues like this sharpens us all! 
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naturallybeyoutiful

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2007, 09:53:04 PM »
http://www.law.ucla.edu/sander/Systemic/final/SanderFINAL.pdf

The author is a law school professor who studies race and the law, and his overall conclusion is that AA doesn't help but instead hurts the students it was created to help. Why? Because those students end up in schools where they will struggle, often end up in the bottom of the class, and get a bigger disincentive for being lower ranked in the class than if they'd gone to school with their academic peers and ranked in the middle of the class.
Just one person's opinion, but this is very well reasoned out, and has one of the few places where you can get hard #'s related to LS performance and race.

I just heard him speak at a conference this weekend.  I agree that the introduction of empirical data is a boon to discussions like these.  I will say that Sander makes a number of points that require careful consideration.  I will also say that it was interesting (a) to see other professors/practitioners use his same data in other presentations and arrive at just as compelling yet differing conclusions, and (b) to not feel like he adequately answered my question to him about his position.
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1LCorvo

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2007, 10:51:11 PM »
Quote from: 1LCorvo on Today at 08:03:38 PM
African Americans, today, have gained so much. Sure, we do not have thirty members in the senate, but we are making strides in many other professions. I think this is particularly noticable among middle class African Americans; and hence the disutility of a program such as AA.

I'm not exactly clear as to how the moderate gains blacks have made over the past 40 years justify an outright dissolution of AA programs.  I'd be interested in hearing more about this though.

I am certainly not advocating the outright dissolution of AA programs. However, I do
believe that AA programs should be geared toward students who need it more (i.e. students from lower class families)-regardless of race. With that said, I think a proportionate number of blacks benefited from AA programs of the past, and it would seem reasonable to suggest that their offspring ought not to need it. Yet, it seems as if AA programs are being recycled. So, those who benefited from it in the past are continuing to benefit (well at least their offspring). And, I’m pretty confident that there is a general approbation on the classic “Michael Jordan Sons Case”. That is, most would agree that AA programs should not benefit the offspring of parents that are incredibly rich (i.e. Michael Jordan) over a poor ____ child from the ghetto.


Quote from: 1LCorvo on Today at 08:03:38 PM
As longshot was trying to state, middle class blacks usually enjoy a financial burden-less (not to say that they are immune to financial problems) life comparable to middle class whites. Which, theoretically, ought to put them in a better academic situation than say poor whites and asians. This, in turn, should translate into higher LSAT scores and UGPAs.
I've never seen anyone in the middle class living a financially burdenless life, particularly in the black middle class which has not yet achieved parity with the white middle class.  That aside, I think your last points get closer to substantive issues.  The real question that you are raising here is, then why do black applicants on average have lower LSATs and GPAs than the rest of the population, even of students from lower social classes.  This is an idea worth discussing because, barring any ludicrous claims of genetic/innate inferiority, it raises the issue that there must be some other mitigating factors (internal or external to the black applicant pool) at work.

Burdenless is a terrible word to use (is it even a word?). A clearer term might be financial stable. However, being financial stable rest on a continuum. So, there are some people who barely worry (i.e. paying the bills) about finances-think Bill Gates. While, there might exist those who are living pay check to pay check.
In any case, the LSAT/GPA discrepancies among white/Asian and black law applicants are unexplained phenomena. However, do you think the comfort of AA might contribute to black students and their performance on the LSAT. That is, since black students can rely somewhat on AA programs to gain seats into top programs, they do not stress as much over the LSAT (probably study less). It is sort like when you have a tough older brother. So, at times, you feel like you can get away with murder. That’s just one possible explanation. I’m confident that there are many more.



Quote from: 1LCorvo on Today at 08:03:38 PM
In any case, it seems erroneous to argue that African American's have different life experience because of their skin color.

I could accept this statement were we not living in a country founded on a racial caste system.  It would think it would be erroneous to make rash judgments about a particular individual, but quite acceptable to speak about the increased likelihood of members of a group on average to be dealing with a set of conditions known to be present within a racial caste system.
I agree (though hesitantly)

Quote from: 1LCorvo on Today at 08:03:38 PM
This supposes that blacks have experiences that raise awareness to the fact that they black.
I've never met a black person in this country who was completely unaware that they were black.  Unaccepting perhaps.  Unaware, doubtful!

I should have been more specific. “Blackness” is a loaded and often poorly explained concept. The term black could mean a few things depending on the person. Some might view being black as purely genetic (scientific); while others will might add more characteristics (such as a common historical bond, accepted behavior/language, etc.). There seems to be a divide between the purely scientific concept and the metaphysical/theoretical concept. So, when I said that some blacks are “unaware that they are black”, I was referring to the theoretical/metaphysical concept of black. I hope that makes some sense. It seemed like a coherent thought when I was reflecting on it….

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1LCorvo

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Re: Middle Class Blacks Do Not Need AA
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2007, 11:01:42 PM »


http://www.law.ucla.edu/sander/Systemic/final/SanderFINAL.pdf

The author is a law school professor who studies race and the law, and his overall conclusion is that AA doesn't help but instead hurts the students it was created to help. Why? Because those students end up in schools where they will struggle, often end up in the bottom of the class, and get a bigger disincentive for being lower ranked in the class than if they'd gone to school with their academic peers and ranked in the middle of the class.
Just one person's opinion, but this is very well reasoned out, and has one of the few places where you can get hard #'s related to LS performance and race.

My personal experience: I know one black student in the top 10% of the class, and both her parents are upper middle class attorneys and doctors. Frankly, she didn't need AA to do well, and was probably going to succeed where ever she went because she was well prepared and frankly, works her a55 off.

This is a controversial article. It was published in 2003, and has received some criticism  (see the following: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=886382. In any case, I was a somewhat skeptical of the final conclusion. It might be the case that African American peform (on average) worse than whites in the first year of law school. But, there are SO many factors that might contribute to why this is. It seems to matter minutely on the school. this is so because presumably each law school has a similar first year curriculum, so it would not seem to matter what tier the school might be. Thus, I reason that their are other factors (like the enviorment) that would contribute greater to a students performance. And, not so much where they are placed; Unless you can prove that Harvard has a tougher curriculum than say Temple.
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