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Author Topic: No more AA at Michigan Law?  (Read 13126 times)

PNym

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #110 on: August 29, 2007, 09:43:32 PM »
The largest issue I have with this debate is the fact that those individuals opposing affirmative action are trumping up the consequences/adverse effects of it.

Well, if a policy proposal causes more adverse consequences than it ameliorates, then it makes little sense to implement it. That is, if the costs exceed its benefits, then the proposal should not be enacted. This seems like a sensible way of evaluating any proposal - why do you have issues with this?

Though discrimination is very difficult to prove, because of the systemic controls in place to prevent such detection, it still can be unveiled (pardon my sentence structure).

What systemic controls? Given the political climate, where discrimination of any kind is frowned upon, it is likely that most discrimination is ad hoc (consists of individual cases) rather than systemic (intentional, and coordinated amongst different parties, usually parties playing some institutional role).

Perhaps republicans taking a stand against corporate lobbyist for less transparency in employer/employee relations would make evidence of discrimination available for public consumptioin.

I'm sorry, I don't understand this point.

Nonetheless, at the end of the day the powers that be can always vet the compensation of a Black man, White man, White woman with similar academic and job related experience.

Who will do the vetting? If the vetting (comparison of qualifications) is done by someone pushing AA and outside the company or with no accountability to the future of the academic institution, it's likely that the qualifications they will examine and prioritize will be different from those that would be valued if the evaluator were accountable for the future quality of the organization.

These negligible adverse consequences you all continue mention are just that, negligible.

I've given several reasons why I don't think the effects are negligible (although I might not have provided them in this particular thread). If you don't remember what reasons I gave, ask and I'll repost them in this thread.

Furthermore, instances where privileged minorities are, as you all seem to think, taking advantage of the system are few and far between.

I don't know how much of this occurs, but it's galling when it does.

Secondly, quotas particularly regarding employment were put in place because qualified minority candidates were often overlooked for their less qualified White counterparts. Instances of discrimination like this ran rampant, which if I am not mistaken was the root cause for AA coming in to being.

Actually, if I'm not mistaken, AA, the brainchild of either the Kennedy or Johnson administrations, had originally aimed primarily at increasing resources dedicated to finding qualified candidates amongst minority populations. This original program didn't lower the standards for minority candidates, nor did it provide any advantage for minority candidates who were selected for later rounds of evaluation - the program merely increased the manpower used to find candidates in these populations.

Quotas and preferential hirings came later, once AA administrators wanted additional power and authority and saw that the political climate had become favorable to more radical steps to increase minority hirings/admissions/contracting.

Lindbergh

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #111 on: August 30, 2007, 01:20:33 AM »
I'm shorter than 6". Do I have as good of a chance at playing in the NBA as someone who's 7"? No.

I'm not sure why six inches v. seven inches would have an effect on your chance at playing in the NBA.  :D


True, but I think we can agree that you won't be playing in the NBA if you're 6" tall.

But I think we can also agree that if you're 6" tall, your chances of playing in the NBA are actually identical to the chances of a person who's 7" tall.  :)

So you're arguing that height is irrelevant in the NBA?  ???

Just kidding.  You're right of course.

Lindbergh

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #112 on: August 30, 2007, 01:41:02 AM »
The largest issue I have with this debate is the fact that those individuals opposing affirmative action are trumping up the consequences/adverse effects of it.

I honestly don't think we're trumping up anything.  I think the adverse consequences are very real, and fairly obvious.  The only question is whether the benefits outweight the negatives, and it seems that a reformed system would retain most of the benefits while removing most of the negatives. 


These negligible adverse consequences you all continue mention are just that, negligible.

Is it negligible when ethnic tension and resentment is increased?  When stereotypes are reinforced?  When minority achievements are stigmatized?  By what measure?  It seems to me that these consequences signficantly increase the potential for dicrimination, which is presumably the problem AA is intended to remedy.


Furthermore, instances where privileged minorities are, as you all seem to think, taking advantage of the system are few and far between.

Studies indicate that most minorities who benefit from AA in university admissions are at least middle-class (average income), and those minorities admitted to top law schools overwhelmingly come from familes with income levels higher than most whites.  There's therefore no question that many minorities who benefit from AA are clearly privileged by at least one important measure.  I can't really accuse them of "taking advantage" of the system, though, given that the system doesn't appear to have an economic/educational component to begin with. 


Secondly, quotas particularly regarding employment were put in place because qualified minority candidates were often overlooked for their less qualified White counterparts. Instances of discrimination like this ran rampant, which if I am not mistaken was the root cause for AA coming in to being.

I hope we can all agree that anyone being passed over for less-qualified applicants because of skin color is wrong, and I'm sure this has negatively impacted minorities at times, particularly in the past. 

The root cause of AA, however, was more general -- to help remedy institutions that had clearly-established patterns of discrimination in hiring/admissions.  Even then, it wasn't really about preferences, but rather about simply ensuring the organization was actively seeking and hiring fully qualified minority applicants.