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No more AA at Michigan Law?

sharky

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #70 on: August 29, 2007, 06:26:15 AM »
I'm not sure that I find the VP tale a particularly compelling justification for AA.  I had to fight my adminstrators to let me take honors courses, then AP courses, and then courses off-campus at the local community college all the way through school despite being clearly being one of the top students in my class.  I'm not a minority, so I imagine that it came down to the fact that I was fighting for myself when other people just had their important parents up there complaining.  I think everyone's run across an incompetent school administrator during their academic careers, and it's pretty conceivable that occasionally you'd run across a racist/paternalistic every once in awhile. 


PNym

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #71 on: August 29, 2007, 06:53:30 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

Oops, typo  :P

PNym

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #72 on: August 29, 2007, 07:10:13 AM »
At some point we should also talk about improving public schools.  :(


Of course -- better K-12 education would be far more helpful than band-aid preferences at the college and graduate school level.

However, this would not affect wealthier folks that much, who can presumably already afford private schools. 

Better K-12 education would greatly improve the quality of minority students matriculating @ today's colleges and universities. But I've got to tell y'all about racism in private schools.

I first encountered racism as a teenager during the fall semester of my senior year at a private, Christian academy.  I hadn't take any honors courses, but I had performed extremely well as a junior, especially in Biology and Chemistry. In fact, I had helped several Honors Chemistry students with their homework even though I was enrolled in the regular Chemistry course. (They frequently asked why I didn't take the Honors Chemistry course).  Because of my ease with science courses and my stellar performance, I requested to enroll in the Honors Physics course, which led to a meeting with the vice-principal.  She told me she didn't think I could handle the Honors Physics course, because I had never taken an Honors class, and the Honors courses were much tougher than the regular courses.  In response I told her about my "unofficial" job as the Honors Chem tutor, but she acted like that meant nothing.  I also asked her if other students with no prior Honors coursework had ever enrolled in an Honors course.  As I expected, she revealed that some students had done so, but she emphasized that these were exceptional students. (Please note that the only non-A grade I'd received as a junior was in US History.)  At that point, I got indignant.  I wanted to ask if those "exceptional students" were white, but I decided to adopt a more diplomatic approach. (I didn't think showing out would do me much good since she was still the vice-principal.)  I prodded incessantly until she agreed to enroll me on a trial basis.  At the end of the semester I had the highest grade in Honors Physics, which meant that I could continue. End of story.

What's the point? I was old enough to discern her unspoken sentiment. Would she have reacted differently if I were white?  I'm not certain, but I'd bet you she would have.  Her polite condescension would have discouraged most other students, but my mama didn't no raise no fool!  I was determined to take Honors Physics, and would have gone to any length in order to enroll in the course.

I'm currently studying for Summer School finals, so I'm letting TJ and Piggy battle the AA-bashers for now. I need to keep a high GPA. After all, I don't want to piss off  my future presumptious law-school classmates who may think I got into a t14 law school with pathetic #s due to AA.

Cheers,

What happened was a real shame. I'm glad you did well in the end, though, despite your principal's interference.

I definitely understand that these types of circumstances would lead someone to support AA in an effort to make up for opportunities lost due to such people. I don't think AA is wise, but that doesn't mean I condone the lack of judgment shone by your vice principal (especially considering your academic record).

OperaAttorney

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #73 on: August 29, 2007, 09:24:05 AM »
I'm not sure that I find the VP tale a particularly compelling justification for AA.  I had to fight my adminstrators to let me take honors courses, then AP courses, and then courses off-campus at the local community college all the way through school despite being clearly being one of the top students in my class.  I'm not a minority, so I imagine that it came down to the fact that I was fighting for myself when other people just had their important parents up there complaining.  I think everyone's run across an incompetent school administrator during their academic careers, and it's pretty conceivable that occasionally you'd run across a racist/paternalistic every once in awhile. 



I just chose to share my story. I didn't offer it in justification of AA.

I'm not surprised at your response though LOL :).

UNAS

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #74 on: August 29, 2007, 11:05:23 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. 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). Perhaps republicans taking a stand against corporate lobbyist for less transparency in employer/employee relations would make evidence of discrimination available for public consumptioin. 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. These negligible adverse consequences you all continue mention are just that, negligible. Furthermore, instances where privileged minorities are, as you all seem to think, taking advantage of the system are few and far between.
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.

PNym

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Re: No more AA at Michigan Law?
« Reply #75 on: August 29, 2007, 07:43:32 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.