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Author Topic: New, Reasonable AA Proposal  (Read 11440 times)

Lindbergh

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New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« on: August 28, 2007, 05:53:09 AM »

It seems that the primary justification for AA is that some URM's are disadvantaged because of historical (and perhaps current) discrimination, and thus have a harder time achieving academically.

Taking such educational obstacles into account therefore appears justified.  It also, however, appears proper to apply the same analysis to disadvantaged whites, who have to overcome similar obstacles.  Neither would appear to apply to wealthier whites and blacks who do not experience those obstacles. 

I would therefore first propose a system whereby the applicant's educational and economic disadvantages are taken into account when evaluating their application, and their potential for success in law.  Ethnicity, standing alone, would not appear relevant to this analysis.  However, given the theoretical benefits of diversity, and the desire to produce more minority attorneys, ethnicity could be used as a highly limited "tipping" factor when comparing two candidates from similar backgrounds with identical objective criteria.  In other words, when two candidates are truly comparable in other respects, the nod would go to the minority candidate. 

This approach would appear to address the problem of inequality in opportunity, and therefore account for the legacy of slavery and past discrimiation, without unjustly penalizing disadvantaged whites/asians.  It would also give the advantage, at all equivalent levels, to minority candidates in the interests of greater diversity.  It would simply to do in a more limited and equitable manner. 

Given that opportunity would be controlled for, and given the tipping advantage, the only thing holding minorities back under such a system would be their own efforts and abilities.  Such a system would also likely be far more accepted and respected than the current regime, which appears to simply use race as a proxy for educational opportunity without further examination, and therefore creates inequities and resentment, while stigmatizing minority achievement.

This would therefore seem to be a fair, moral, rational and effective way of achieving greater diversity without engaging in unjustified discrimination.  I think it's a system most whites/asians could get behind, and it seems to address the primary arguments in support of AA today.  Finally, to the extent it affects enrollment at all, it will probably just mean that more minority students will end up attending schools in line with their objective criteria -- likely improving their educational experience overall, and increasing their chances of doing well academically and passing the bar (and quite possibly increasing the number of actual minority lawyers overall.) See:  UCLA Sanders Study.

My question:  What objections would AA supporters raise against such a plan, aside from the fact that Harvard, Yale, and Stanford may end up without as many (underrepresented) minority students?  (Those students would presumably move down to CCN, etc.)  Would this really be an excessive price to pay for a system that is more fair and less discriminatory, that removes potential stigma from minority achievements and fosters mutual respect between ethnicities, rather than resentment? 

Fire away. 

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2007, 05:13:15 PM »

Wow, maybe this is something everyone can get behind. ;)

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2007, 10:13:07 PM »

Wow, maybe this is something everyone can get behind. ;)

Yeah!  We've never heard anyone (California Cougar, Segundo) say anything like it!@!!!   ;D

However, you, as they, ignore that economic disadvantage is merely one component of total disadvantage.

(note: I agree that economically disadvantaged whites (and others) should get some special consideration.)


Well, I specified educational advantage.  Once that's controlled for, I'm not sure how other disadvantages are relevant.  People can be mean to you because you're black, or hispanic, or short, or ugly, or dumb, or socially inept.  But ultimately, if you have the educational opportunities, it's up to you to make the most of them.  After all, most people in top graduate programs are geeks who had to overcome all kinds of social disadvantages in life.

It honestly seems to me that the only people who don't get this are privileged whites, who feel guilty and don't realize not all whites are privileged like them, and privileged URM's who mistakenly think the current system helps them more than it hurts. 

PNym

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2007, 10:18:03 AM »

It seems that the primary justification for AA is that some URM's are disadvantaged because of historical (and perhaps current) discrimination, and thus have a harder time achieving academically.

Taking such educational obstacles into account therefore appears justified.  It also, however, appears proper to apply the same analysis to disadvantaged whites, who have to overcome similar obstacles.  Neither would appear to apply to wealthier whites and blacks who do not experience those obstacles. 

I would therefore first propose a system whereby the applicant's educational and economic disadvantages are taken into account when evaluating their application, and their potential for success in law.  Ethnicity, standing alone, would not appear relevant to this analysis.  However, given the theoretical benefits of diversity, and the desire to produce more minority attorneys, ethnicity could be used as a highly limited "tipping" factor when comparing two candidates from similar backgrounds with identical objective criteria.  In other words, when two candidates are truly comparable in other respects, the nod would go to the minority candidate. 

This approach would appear to address the problem of inequality in opportunity, and therefore account for the legacy of slavery and past discrimiation, without unjustly penalizing disadvantaged whites/asians.  It would also give the advantage, at all equivalent levels, to minority candidates in the interests of greater diversity.  It would simply to do in a more limited and equitable manner. 

Given that opportunity would be controlled for, and given the tipping advantage, the only thing holding minorities back under such a system would be their own efforts and abilities.  Such a system would also likely be far more accepted and respected than the current regime, which appears to simply use race as a proxy for educational opportunity without further examination, and therefore creates inequities and resentment, while stigmatizing minority achievement.

This would therefore seem to be a fair, moral, rational and effective way of achieving greater diversity without engaging in unjustified discrimination.  I think it's a system most whites/asians could get behind, and it seems to address the primary arguments in support of AA today.  Finally, to the extent it affects enrollment at all, it will probably just mean that more minority students will end up attending schools in line with their objective criteria -- likely improving their educational experience overall, and increasing their chances of doing well academically and passing the bar (and quite possibly increasing the number of actual minority lawyers overall.) See:  UCLA Sanders Study.

My question:  What objections would AA supporters raise against such a plan, aside from the fact that Harvard, Yale, and Stanford may end up without as many (underrepresented) minority students?  (Those students would presumably move down to CCN, etc.)  Would this really be an excessive price to pay for a system that is more fair and less discriminatory, that removes potential stigma from minority achievements and fosters mutual respect between ethnicities, rather than resentment? 

Fire away. 

I don't have any objections to such an idea in theory form. If two applicants to law school are pretty much exactly identical except that one had to face greater hardships than the other, and I were the adcomm who had to decide between the two, I'd choose the hard-luck-kid.

I just don't think this situation would occur very frequently in reality. No two candidates are going to write the same personal statement, have the same resume, or have the same letters of rec. One candidate will probably top the other in one of these areas.

Furthermore, even though your idea explictly constrains considerations of economic hardship to deciding between exactly identical applicants, I'm willing to bet that diversity-pushing (and probably well-meaning) adcomms will use the mere presence of this consideration to justify their application of it when deciding between non-identical applicants.

Your idea sounds good in theory, but I don't think it'd work in real life. However, I do think the idea is a better alternative than the current AA policies in place; it better aligns with my moral values, and also would reduce ethnic tensions between current URM-favored applicants and non-URM-favored applicants.

H4CS

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2007, 10:46:25 AM »
People can be mean to you because you're black, or hispanic, or short, or ugly, or dumb, or socially inept. 

I get pulled over for driving while ugly all the time.  Also, I grew up in a systemically underfunded neighborhood where my parents paid higher taxes than the suburbs because banks had redlined the suburbs making damn sure that no uggos could move in.

Your proposal is ideal for someone who continues to refuse to see the world as it is and adheres to a bizzaro narrative about how white people got to where they are (hard work) and how the playing field is now level.

You've created this hilarious myth of advantage where only income and schooling exist.  Your world is more limited that a Disney ride and twice as conceptually bankrupt.

UNAS

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2007, 11:29:55 AM »
People can be mean to you because you're black, or hispanic, or short, or ugly, or dumb, or socially inept. 

I get pulled over for driving while ugly all the time.  Also, I grew up in a systemically underfunded neighborhood where my parents paid higher taxes than the suburbs because banks had redlined the suburbs making damn sure that no uggos could move in.

Your proposal is ideal for someone who continues to refuse to see the world as it is and adheres to a bizzaro narrative about how white people got to where they are (hard work) and how the playing field is now level.

You've created this hilarious myth of advantage where only income and schooling exist.  Your world is more limited that a Disney ride and twice as conceptually bankrupt.

I was originally gonna criticize you for wasting neural kilocalories on persons who already have their minds made up, but then I realized in about 5 minutes I am about to do the exact same thing. It is almost boggling to the mind that certain individuals cannot see the world for what it is, particularly the good ole US of A.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2007, 11:51:02 AM »

It seems that the primary justification for AA is that some URM's are disadvantaged because of historical (and perhaps current) discrimination, and thus have a harder time achieving academically.

Taking such educational obstacles into account therefore appears justified.  It also, however, appears proper to apply the same analysis to disadvantaged whites, who have to overcome similar obstacles.  Neither would appear to apply to wealthier whites and blacks who do not experience those obstacles. 

I would therefore first propose a system whereby the applicant's educational and economic disadvantages are taken into account when evaluating their application, and their potential for success in law.  Ethnicity, standing alone, would not appear relevant to this analysis.  However, given the theoretical benefits of diversity, and the desire to produce more minority attorneys, ethnicity could be used as a highly limited "tipping" factor when comparing two candidates from similar backgrounds with identical objective criteria.  In other words, when two candidates are truly comparable in other respects, the nod would go to the minority candidate. 

This approach would appear to address the problem of inequality in opportunity, and therefore account for the legacy of slavery and past discrimiation, without unjustly penalizing disadvantaged whites/asians.  It would also give the advantage, at all equivalent levels, to minority candidates in the interests of greater diversity.  It would simply to do in a more limited and equitable manner. 

Given that opportunity would be controlled for, and given the tipping advantage, the only thing holding minorities back under such a system would be their own efforts and abilities.  Such a system would also likely be far more accepted and respected than the current regime, which appears to simply use race as a proxy for educational opportunity without further examination, and therefore creates inequities and resentment, while stigmatizing minority achievement.

This would therefore seem to be a fair, moral, rational and effective way of achieving greater diversity without engaging in unjustified discrimination.  I think it's a system most whites/asians could get behind, and it seems to address the primary arguments in support of AA today.  Finally, to the extent it affects enrollment at all, it will probably just mean that more minority students will end up attending schools in line with their objective criteria -- likely improving their educational experience overall, and increasing their chances of doing well academically and passing the bar (and quite possibly increasing the number of actual minority lawyers overall.) See:  UCLA Sanders Study.

My question:  What objections would AA supporters raise against such a plan, aside from the fact that Harvard, Yale, and Stanford may end up without as many (underrepresented) minority students?  (Those students would presumably move down to CCN, etc.)  Would this really be an excessive price to pay for a system that is more fair and less discriminatory, that removes potential stigma from minority achievements and fosters mutual respect between ethnicities, rather than resentment? 

Fire away. 

I don't have any objections to such an idea in theory form. If two applicants to law school are pretty much exactly identical except that one had to face greater hardships than the other, and I were the adcomm who had to decide between the two, I'd choose the hard-luck-kid.

I just don't think this situation would occur very frequently in reality. No two candidates are going to write the same personal statement, have the same resume, or have the same letters of rec. One candidate will probably top the other in one of these areas.

Furthermore, even though your idea explictly constrains considerations of economic hardship to deciding between exactly identical applicants, I'm willing to bet that diversity-pushing (and probably well-meaning) adcomms will use the mere presence of this consideration to justify their application of it when deciding between non-identical applicants.

Your idea sounds good in theory, but I don't think it'd work in real life. However, I do think the idea is a better alternative than the current AA policies in place; it better aligns with my moral values, and also would reduce ethnic tensions between current URM-favored applicants and non-URM-favored applicants.


Hey, PN.  To clarify, my approach would focus on educational advantages as much as desired by the schools, and would then use ethnicity as a tipping factor even after those advantages are accounted for. 

I realize that students have nebulous aspects to applications -- when I say identically matched, I'm speaking on a numerical basis.  In other words, when they have the same (or essentially the same) numerical index based on GPA/LSAT, then the minority can still be favored for diversity purposes. It just wouldn't be the differential that exists today.

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2007, 12:25:58 PM »

I get pulled over for driving while ugly all the time. 


Okay, but how does this affect your ability to achieve academically, and compete in admissions?


Also, I grew up in a systemically underfunded neighborhood where my parents paid higher taxes than the suburbs because banks had redlined the suburbs making damn sure that no uggos could move in.

If you did grow up in an underfunded neighborhood, for whatever reason, my system would take this into account in admissions. 


Your proposal is ideal for someone who continues to refuse to see the world as it is and adheres to a bizzaro narrative about how white people got to where they are (hard work) and how the playing field is now level.

Well, most white people I know did get where they are through hard work.  So did most succesful minorities I know. 

However, you seem to ignore the fact that my system takes into account the existing inequalities in the playing field, and compensates for them.  So how am I ignoring anything?


You've created this hilarious myth of advantage where only income and schooling exist. 
Your world is more limited that a Disney ride and twice as conceptually bankrupt.

Well, what I've created is an admissions system that accounts for anyone who is disadvantaged in the educational process, and thus creates a level playing field at that level.  Moreover, my system still actually gives the advantage to minority applicants in admissions when they are equally matched in terms of educational opportunities and qualifications -- it just does so on a more limited, proportional basis.

By doing so, I eliminate the injustice of giving preferences to privileged minorities over underprivileged whites/asians, while ensuring greater opportunity for underprivilleged minorities and underprivileged applicants generally.  And by reducing the level of active racial discrimination that occurs in admissions, this presumably reduces racial resentment, stigmatizes minority achievement far less, and therefore fosters greater mutual respect between ethnicities.  I'm not really sure how that's conceptually bankrupt (as opposed to the current admissions regime, which clearly is).

I'll also note that this system is designed to create greater diversity and equality of opportunity in the educational arena, not resolve every problem known to man.  In that sense, I suppose it's limited, as is any proposal.  Obviously, you'll still need anti-discrimination legislation, and perhaps pressure on companies, firms, etc., to hire minority applicants who are in fact objectively qualified.  However, just looking at law, for example, I don't think employers today actively pass over minority graduates with good grades from good schools simply because they're minorities.  In fact, firms today specifically go to schools like Howard to ensure they have some measure of diversity.

It sounds like you're saying we need massive differential treatment at the admissions level, regardless of educational opportunity, as a way to offset potential future discrimination down the road, or as a way to somehow compensate for existing racism/discrimination in society.  However, this ham-handed approach ignores the fact that such policies:  1) create additional racism among non-urms as they are passed over, especially when they're less advantaged; 2) stigmatizes the achievements of minority applicants, affecting how they are perceived down the road professionally; 3) perpetuates the stereotype of minority inferiority, since the system appears to presume it is impossible for them to compete for admissions slots even when educational opportunities are accounted for, and 4) makes it more difficult for minorities to thrive in educational environments where they're mis-matched, thus leading to worse grades, higher dropout rates, and lower bar passage rates.

In other words, such policies most likely actually increase the amount of racism (and subtle discrimination) in society, without significantly increasing the amount of minority lawyers, and perhaps even decreasing them, according to one study.

I don't deny that there are various components to "advantage" in social success.  Income is probably the single largest factor in terms of educational opportunity, but as noted, intelligence, looks, charm, height, athletic ability, religion, and ethnicity all play a role as well.  What you need to do is explain how any of the above relates (or should relate) to admissions policy, given the above dynamics.  Presumably, we want an admissions (and proefssional) system that is fair, and that, for the most part, evaluates people as individuals.

Finally, I'll note that you, and most AA supporters, have created a "hilarious myth" of disadvantage where only ethnicity exists.  I can only assume this is because you've never experienced any actual economic or other hardships.   

Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2007, 12:38:27 PM »



I was originally gonna criticize you for wasting neural kilocalories on persons who already have their minds made up, but then I realized in about 5 minutes I am about to do the exact same thing.


Well, I'm specifically asking for rational critiques of my proposal, so I'm not sure how you can assume that my mind is "made up."  I'm certainly open to someone explaining what is inadequate about such a system -- I just haven't heard anyone do so yet.  

It does appear, however, that most AA supporters are so closed-minded on this issue that they won't even actually read and evaluate the proposal, and instead simply attack it without any consideration whatsoever. Maybe I'm wasting neural kilocalories on persons who already have their minds made up.  


It is almost boggling to the mind that certain individuals cannot see the world for what it is, particularly the good ole US of A.

How am I not seeing the world for what it is?  My system specifically acknowledges that there are inequalities and differentials in opportunity, and accounts for them.  

(It should perhaps be noted, however, that there are far greater differentials in most countries, and far worse ethnic relations.  People slaughter each other en masse in Africa and Europe over minor ethnic differences.  Minorities also have far more economic opportunity and civil rights here than in most nations.  That's presumably why they keep coming here, despite existing inequalities.)


Lindbergh

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Re: New, Reasonable AA Proposal
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2007, 12:43:36 PM »
Finally, I'll note that you, and most AA supporters, have created a "hilarious myth" of disadvantage where only ethnicity exists.   

You're saying that most AA supporters oppose giving an advantage to poor whites over rich whites in the admissions process?  Because that's the implication of saying that they believe that "only ethnicity exists."  :) 


I almost never hear AA supporters discussing the problem of poor whites, so I guess that's a reasonable conclusion.  Most AA supporters appear to be privileged whites who assume that just because they had a cushy ride, everyone else does also.