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Author Topic: [Some] minorities [agree]....Class based AA.  (Read 25333 times)

Freak

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #160 on: September 13, 2007, 07:48:12 PM »
Ok, you tell me which of you began working for $2/hr at age ll, saved enough to pay for your first car and all its expenses by 15 and worked every summer thereafter. From factories to wharehouses, to telemarketing, to corn fields with illegal immigrants - I've done it. I quite a job when I discovered that an adult, I'd trained was paid 2x what they paid me for the same position, with two years experience.

When I got in trouble with the law, I paid thousands of dollars in fines, showed up for every probation appointment and never repeated my mistake. I paid private college tuition w/o loans. I've been attacked in the street by thugs. Privileged? The only privilege I've ever had is two loving parents. But they had little money while I grew-up, I still remember shopping at the second hand store for school clothes. I didn't have a pair of name brand tennis shoes till I turned 14.

And if you read my posts, you'd see that I have at least 5 URM friends - very good friends.

Hopefully, you'll are no longer sheltered.

Although it raises an eyebrow to see that one counts (or can count) their minority friends on one hand, this is a great personal testimony of overcoming adversity in America.

Are you offering it to compare to the adversity overcome by minority students or to show that you, personally, do not feel privileged?


Well since I grew up in predominantly white towns, it should raise no eyebrows. Further, I only counted close friends. I have about 20-25 total friends I consider close. That's b/t 20-25% percent minority friends & given the overall minority population...

And yes, I personally do not feel privileged. Now if you'll would like to share your stories, maybe I would feel differently.


long story short, grew up in the ghetto, basically raised self and brothers and sisters, approached by gangs but declined - as a result got shot twice when I was 14 and 15, dropped out of high school at 16 to work in order to support the family, was talked into going back to school by my close HS friends who I'm still close with to this day, family couldn't afford college, got a job, got another job, paid my way through it sometimes working 2 jobs while going to class - as a result took 6 years to complete undergrad (engineering), worked as an engineer for a while, helped the family out financially, decided to finally go to law school, buckled down, got in, struggled through it financially (no private loans), made Law Review, graduated, took the bar, starting for Biglaw in NYC next month.


Wow, I didn't think I'd be able to compress that down to a paragraph but there it is.  Comparable, yes?

Yes, except I have two excellent parents (Today's their 32 anniversary) and dealt very little with gangs - they simply did not exist in the schools where I grew up. I receive my BAR results next month, but started work 8/20. I never pursued Big Law, I did get the first position I interviewed for. (small firm I never even sent a big firm a resume - no offense, but yuck). I'm now 10min from work and my folks.

Perhaps a boost for children raised without one or both parents would provide a better way to determine who should receive preference. In that sense, I do see a privilege - sad that I consider having two dedicated parents a privilege.

One question, why did the gangs shoot you for declining? The closet I ever came was when my baby brother tried to shoot me. Fortunately he didn't know how to load the gun nor the ammo's location.
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H4CS

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #161 on: September 13, 2007, 09:51:35 PM »
This doesn't surprise me.  White people love to find ways to convince themselves that they too are underprivileged while discounting their own advantages.  Freak, you've got a compelling story there, but as it has been pointed out, you do benefit from white privilege and from male privilege, which you seem to ignore.  Anyone can convince themselves that they've had it tough and some indeed have.  Ignoring your own privilege and denying the right of those who are disadvantaged to fight for equality is indefensible.  It's not hard to deny group membership and focus on what you think makes you unique (the ability to do so is frequently denied to minorities).

As I've said before:



OperaAttorney

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #162 on: September 13, 2007, 10:49:01 PM »
This doesn't surprise me.  White people love to find ways to convince themselves that they too are underprivileged while discounting their own advantages.  Freak, you've got a compelling story there, but as it has been pointed out, you do benefit from white privilege and from male privilege, which you seem to ignore.  Anyone can convince themselves that they've had it tough and some indeed have.  Ignoring your own privilege and denying the right of those who are disadvantaged to fight for equality is indefensible.  It's not hard to deny group membership and focus on what you think makes you unique (the ability to do so is frequently denied to minorities).

As I've said before:




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Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #163 on: September 14, 2007, 04:29:01 AM »
This doesn't surprise me.  White people love to find ways to convince themselves that they too are underprivileged while discounting their own advantages.  Freak, you've got a compelling story there, but as it has been pointed out, you do benefit from white privilege and from male privilege, which you seem to ignore.  Anyone can convince themselves that they've had it tough and some indeed have.  Ignoring your own privilege and denying the right of those who are disadvantaged to fight for equality is indefensible. 


Presumably, this is also indefensible for URM's?



Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #164 on: September 14, 2007, 04:29:36 AM »
This doesn't surprise me.  White people love to find ways to convince themselves that they too are underprivileged while discounting their own advantages.  Freak, you've got a compelling story there, but as it has been pointed out, you do benefit from white privilege and from male privilege, which you seem to ignore.  Anyone can convince themselves that they've had it tough and some indeed have.  Ignoring your own privilege and denying the right of those who are disadvantaged to fight for equality is indefensible.  It's not hard to deny group membership and focus on what you think makes you unique (the ability to do so is frequently denied to minorities).

As I've said before:




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Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #165 on: September 14, 2007, 05:18:35 AM »
Lindbergh:

where is your link for this "relatively few legacy preferences?"

People are claiming legacy preferences are a comparable issue.  I haven't seen any evidence of significant legacy preferences, and we all know how numbers-driven LS admissions are, so the burden is presumably on those posters to produce that evidence if they wish to raise it as a relevant issue.


Your position seems to be dangerously resource related in the wrong way. Legacies are OK (not as bad as AA) because 1)fewer of the slots are given to legacy students, and 2)because it isn't explicit race discrimination. Is that a fair interpretation of your thoughts?

I haven't said that legacies are okay.  I do think they're less offensive than naked ethnic preferences because the boosts are generally smaller, and it's not a form of racial discrimination.  However, as noted, I don't have a problem eliminating legacy preferences either.



Unfortunately that analysis ignores the fact that for a large portion of the nation's history, Blacks were denied admission to most of the law schools. Thus, the pool of prospective legacies far and away benefits whites. Of course you note that now Blacks can benefit from legacy admission as well, but you must concede that in practice this is highly unlikely.

Why highly unlikely?  Blacks have been allowed into colleges / law schools for many generations now, and have been receiving preferences in admissions for at least 2 generations.  Less likely, perhaps.


Surely you would think that giving a huge preference to students from HBCUs in law school admissions would be indirect racial discrimination even though whites are perfectly free to attend (and do) those institutions.  

Arguably.  The difference being that HBCU's are explicitly black-oriented schools, unlike other universities over the past 60-100 years.



You continually rely on a rigid formulation of the definition of "racial discrimination," but seem painfully indifferent to admissions boosts that primarily benefit whites - boosts for economic status, geography and legacy.

These don't disproportionately benefit whites, though, aside from the legacy preferences.  Athletic preferences, on the other hand, overwhelmingly benefit urms.  The reason this isn't problematic is because there is no racially discriminatory intent -- urms simply happen to excel in this area, and we should presumably reward excellence wherever we find it, regardless of skin color.


If the problem with affirmative action is a problem of merit, then why support socio-economic AA?

Because one can certainly argue that overcoming educational disadvantages to achieve comparable grades/scores itself constitutes merit.  Arguing that simply having darker skin is a form of merit is far more questionable, especially when this is not extended to arabs, asians or indians, but is extended to white hispanics.


Or is it that you don't want there to be "racial discrimination" in definition, but in effect have a system that reserves even more slots for whites?

I want to have a system where people are judged as individuals, pure and simple, and not as members of groups that are simply assumed to be incapable of comparable achievement.  I could care less if whites decrease under such a system, and this is in fact what happened in California after AA was removed, as Asians were allowed in numbers that reflected their actual capabilities, not someone else's idea of proper representation.  (Keep in mind that I'm not technically white under the governing nazi classification system used by AA.)


The problem with the merit argument is that the vast majority of whites are admitted to schools based in part on subjective evaluations of their "merits" - Undergraduate institution, geography, essays, letters of recommendations, character, familial history and any number of other factors. Few white applicants are admitted on the basis of their objective and quantifiable data alone.

This is one reason I prefer law school admissions to undergraduate admissions -- it's more numerically based, and less subjective.  That said, subjective assessments of other criteria are presumably less offensive than preferences based solely on race or ethnicity.


Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #166 on: September 14, 2007, 05:18:59 AM »

Furthermore, race, like socio-economic status on poor whites, has a pretty big impact upon members of minority groups.

Arguably.  It doesn't prevent 1/3 of african-americans from earning more than most whites, however, which invariably makes one question how significant that impact is today -- at least for those urms who are more economically/educationally advantaged than their white counterparts.


Notwithstanding that fact, elimination of racial preferences presents another dilemma. Elimination of racial preferences would require practically the elimination of "checking the box."

Yes, that's the whole point.  People would be judged as individuals, not as members of segregated ethnic groups.  Government racial classifications could finally disappear.



Just by the sheer number of white applicants who outnumber black applicants, elimination of self identification would require African Americans to be near the 75% in order to have a reasonable shot to gain admission.

???.  This doesn't make any sense.  However, I will note that I would support the maintenance of a marginal "tipping-point" preference for minorities, all else being equal.  This would mean that any URM at the median should gain admission.


While the elimination of AA might remove an unfair advantage from your point of view, wouldn't it also make it much more difficult for QUALIFIED African Americans to gain admittance to a particular school?

Not under the system I envision, no.  This would be especially true if they were actually disadvantaged, and not generally privileged.



If the problem is merit, then why not advocate for a simple numerical application.

Don't really have a problem with that, although, again, merit could also include examinations of educational opportunity, work during school, etc.  It just probably shouldn't include racial litmus tests, standing alone.


Why not advocate for a minimum GPA/LSAT index before one could apply to each school? That way we could be sure that each applicant would be presumptively qualified. Then schools could use race/legacy/geography/and any number of other factors to put together a reasonably diverse class.

It would depend on the minimum.  (We presumably don't want to sacrifice the clear values of excellence for the more arguable benefits of "diversity".)  However, this still doesn't explain why race should be used at all beyond a marginal tipping factor.


If the problem is "racial discrimination" in a classical sense, then why not just change the standard. Instead of applying a boost for "checking the box," why not give preferences to those who have overcome "Racial adversity?"

You'll have to explain what that means.  If you're going to start discriminating on the basis or face, which is of course technically unconstitutional, you need to justify that with hard evidence of how simply having a certain skin tone truly constitutes an educational disadvantage the way poverty does.  (And why asians, arabs and east indians don't deserve similar boosts.)  Simply assuming life is automatically harder for blacks, hispanics, NA's, etc., even though many are larger, stronger, smarter, more attractive, etc., doesn't really make much sense.

Otherwise, of course, it's just semantics.


What I do know is that eliminating AA and then replacing it with socio-economic AA is simplifying the issue

Or, perhaps, clarifying it.


and doesn't do anything to resolve the philosophical problem that most of you claim is the issue - namely, ensuring that scarce resources go to the most deserving individuals.

Of course it does, by focusing it on those who actually need/deserve special consideration.


I'm worried that elimination of AA will create a virtual racial monopoly on the slots to our nation's best colleges and universities.

To who, Asians?  Their numbers would clearly increase with an elimination of proportional-representation AA.  Jews?  They're not going to disappear with the elimination of AA, and they'll remain well-overrepresented.  Non-jewish whites?  Their numbers will likely decline, as they did in California, and they're already probably underrepresented at most top schools. 

 



Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #167 on: September 14, 2007, 05:22:04 AM »


As it has been stated many times before, AA is simply a band-aid until the larger problem is fixed.




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Actually, to be more accurate:  AA is a way for rich whites to pretend they're doing something about a problem, instead of actually doing something about the problem (fixing crappy schools, etc.).  Never mind the fact that it is counterproductive, unfairly penalizes poor whites and asians, and ultimately harms the very people it's supposed to help.

Actually, I think the best way whites could help is with their time - spending time with troubled kids.

I have no problem with wealthy, privileged whites spending time with troubled kids instead of screwing over working-class whites, arabs and asians to salve their own conscience.

Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #168 on: September 14, 2007, 05:27:45 AM »

If you don't think the legacy system doesn't have a discriminatory effect, then I don't know what to tell you? Or maybe you only think it is discrimination if one can prove discriminatory intent. In that case, you belong on the 4th Circuit and hey, you probably got your appointment through the good ole boy system...but that's not discrimination either is it?

Last time I checked "disparate impact" doesn't constitute racial discrimination.  Unless you believe that the athletic standards of professional sports constitute a form of racial discrimination.  After all, there's plenty of disparate impact there as well.

Discrimination is in fact about intent, not affects.  The fact asians and jews do better on the SAT doesn't mean it's a form of racial discrimination. 


ACTUALLY...this is not exactly correct, legally speaking.

Disparate impact is very much part of the prima facie elements needed to legally prove discrimination, and you don't necessarily have to show any direct evidence of intent in order to successfully prove discrimination in a court of law. 

If you are saying disparate impact alone, without more,cannot constitute racial discrimination then yes that is correct.  However, as you have it stated here (coupled with the other bolded statement below), this is not legally accurate because discrimination CAN (and often is) inferred from affects, and not from direct evidence of intent.  See Washington v. Davis, 426 U.S. 229, 242 (1976).

Davis actually goes contrary to the point you're claiming, holding that disparate impacts alone cannot be held discriminatory. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Washington_v._Davis

To the extent that any court improperly "infers" discrimination solely from disparate impact, I hope we can agree this is wrong.  Discrimination, of course, is all about intent, not about outcomes.  Unless, again, we're going to argue that the SAT was designed to unfairly benefit asians, and the NFL/NBA/MBL were designed to unfairly benefit URMs.

Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #169 on: September 14, 2007, 05:32:33 AM »


I agree with Obama, we need AA based on circumstance, not race.


I think you meant to say "not solely based on race," since AA based on circumstance would, of course, have to be inclusive of race because race can be a part of one's overall circumstances.


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I didn't misspeak.  AA based on circumstance wouldn't factor in race.  If it did, then Mr.Obama's kids would get some points for being black.  Racism exists, but how did that affect Obama's kids' education?  It didn't, correct?  No, being black or hispanic would be irrelevant, the only relevant thing would be your circumstances...Class based AA for want of a better term.

I think there is a huge assumption worth discussing that higher economic status makes racial discrimination disappear.

I don't think anyone's assuming that.  What they are concluding (like Obama himself) is that higher econ status, coupled with greater educational opportunities, appears to give someone a fair (or better) shot at academic achievement, negating the need for admissions preferences. 

If the goal is to make racial discrimination disappear (which I hope we can all agree should be the goal, two points should be noted):

1.  Race-based AA is itself a form of govt-sponsored racial discrimination, pure and simple.  The only question is whether it is somehow justified. 

2.  Race-based AA, when extended to wealthy minorities, probably increase racism far more than it decreases it.