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Author Topic: [Some] minorities [agree]....Class based AA.  (Read 26890 times)

Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #90 on: September 10, 2007, 06:18:06 PM »
You know for a Kappa you are not so bad.
06

I was actually going to address what you(burning sands) brought up in another thread, but no big deal.

I find it puzzling the energy devoted to race based AA. Take this into consideration. Of the top 14 law schools, better yet make it top 20, URM make up on average 10-15%. Blacks specifically make up on avg 5-9% and Hispanics typically make up half that. All these schools publish their median LSAT and GPA ranges 25-75%. Lets assume each and every URM is in under the 25% threshold statistically in terms of LSAT and GPA. This still leaves at least 10% of the student body admitted with numbers below the median. The question I raise to those who hold a position opposing AA is who makes up this magical 10%.

Hint: It sure as hell isn't Asians.

The situation above relies on the ridiculous assumption that no URM is qualified, yet 10% of the student body has numbers below the median. Consider that. I don't think it would be far-fetched to assume this 10% might come from very priveledged and well connect backgrounds, but what do I know.

Please resume contemplating your navel

No sh*t.

Look, the point is that most schools would like to have as many minority students as they can get. Too often that number settles around 10-20%; less so for black students.

If the top schools admitted strictly by numbers, minority (and especially black) representation would probably be down to 5-10%, again with even fewer blacks.

So to meet the desired goal of minority students top law schools have to pull from the best of the minority applicant pool - this means reaching down further into the pool (by the numbers).

It's not a hard concept, and frankly I don't see what's so controversial.

What should be controversial is not that schools reach further down into a minority applicant pool, but WHY are minorities scoring worse on these standardized tests.

It seems to me there are three scenarios:

1) Minorities are just less intelligent: this seems to be the position that many of those in this (and other) threads are hinting at, but are too female private part to come out and say.

2) There is something inherently racist in these exams which cause minorities to score less

3) There is a deeper cultural/environmental problem that is by and large affecting minority races far more so than white and asian students - this is something that more than likely begins at birth and continues throughout a person's educational experiences.



Now, I think most sane people would lean towards #3. Which means we have deep systematic problems that are generations away from noticing any progress. We need to work on this, for sure, but WE NEED RESULTS NOW. We can't let entire generations of otherwise qualified students keep slipping through the cracks.

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


How can the students be "qualified", though, when they aren't meeting the objective standards for a given school?  Wouldn't it make more sense to have those students attending schools that they actually are qualified to attend?

Calling AA a "band-aid" is misleading, because it ignores the fact that AA actually reinforces and perpetuates the problems creating differential performance in the first place.  Namely, racism, stereotyping, and lowered expectations for certain minority groups.

Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #91 on: September 10, 2007, 06:23:17 PM »
Did you know that the way you reply to people is supremely annoying?

Lighten up, Francis.

I actually thought B. Sands response was pretty thoughtful.  Is there a reason you considered it annoying?

Actually, Dashrashi was referring to the way that you respond to people's posts when you reply in separate pieces to each point but I think you two addressed that already.


As far as legacy AA is concerned, far more students are admitted into schools where they are less qualified than the median applicants in schools that use Legacy Based AA than there are minorities admitted in schools that use Race Based AA - even if we only consider the undergrad institutions which, in turn, directly feed the law school institutions. 

This is part of the reason why the AA debate, in and of itself, is a controversial yet puzzling debate to begin with from the minority perspective because when you consider how very few black admits there are in law school admissions (approx 5-6% of all admits) compared to the overall number of law school admits (over 43,000 each year) you begin to ask yourself, why is such strict scrutiny placed on that 5-6%??  Does 5-6% really warrant such passionate cries of injustice and heated debates?  Surely not.   

If not, then we're left with the only reasonable explanation - which is that the small % of AA admits is not the issue (because clearly it is a de minimis amount), but rather, the issue is that a policy exists that might potentially allow a student to gain admissions at a school where that student could be less qualified than his/her peers.  Pursuant to this rationale, even a single student who is admitted to a school where they are less qualified than their peers would be unacceptable and in direct violation of this notion of merit only

So according to this rule of merit, students can only get into schools in which they are qualified to enter based upon their merit alone.  OK.  Sounds reasonable.  But when we apply that rule to the facts of our society, we can easily see that there are many students in violation of this merit rule, not just blacks or other minority groups.  Namely, some of the largest violators of this rule are legacies and the children of donors:

    * At Notre Dame, more than twenty percent of the entering class are "legacies" - children of alumni.
    * Legacy admits often have SAT scores 100 points below the school's median.  When the number of legacy admits is large, the average applicant may need an SAT score 50 points higher than the published-but-inaccurate median.   
    * Harvard University accepts 1/3 of alumni children that apply, nearly four times its overall admission rate.  Legacies constitute 13% of the undergraduate student body.   

- The Price of Admission:  How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges -- and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates, by Daniel Golden, Crown Publishers, (Random House), New York 2006.

Thus, begging the question, why are we placing so much focus on race based AA, which only effects a very minute number of applicants at any given school, while simultaneously placing no focus on legacy or donor based AA, which effects significantly more applicants?  It's just confusing to me why we're up in arms about the 7 or 8 black law students who may have been admitted under race based AA at any given law school, but we couldn't care less about the 30 legacies/donors who were admitted with the same or lesser stats.

 ???

If we're going to apply this rule, we have to apply it equally to all students, lest we admit that our only concern with regards to who violates this rule turns on the race of the violator.


I'm mad you had to explain this.

If anything, he should be mad that you weren't able to explain why legacy admissions are somehow comparable to AA, or somehow justify it, and he was forced to attempt to do so.

However, for the reasons noted, legacy preferences really aren't comparable to AA.  The fact urms can (and do) also benefit from them is one reason why.  The fact that legacy bumps are usually significantly less than AA bumps is another. 

However, again, I have no problem removing legacy/donor preferences.  I'll even retain the athletic prefererences that are far larger than any legacy/donor preference, and disproportionately benefit urms.  All I want is simple fairness in admissions.

Lindbergh

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #92 on: September 10, 2007, 06:25:07 PM »


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




TITCR

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.

Freak

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #93 on: September 10, 2007, 06:46:22 PM »
Point, but it's also a culture. The dealers then spend their money on drugs, clothes and cars instead of appreciating assets. Shoot, if one of those high school dealers cleaned his money and invested it. He could get out in one year.

It's not just dealers who spend their money that way. How many cars do you see with $5k rims in the ghetto. That's enough to get out. Why don't they leave the environment?

Edit: So how does one fix it? After all, gangs are a culture.

Well, I did a lot of work with gangs in DC and I tend to see gang culture as a unfortunate transformation of militant civil rights groups. This is not only true of the Black gangs in DC, but in the south side of Chicago, LA, Louisiana and elsewhere. The problem started with welfare and the incentive given for Black men to leave their families.

I define culture as learned behavior. And in a sense the gang problem in its most simplistic sense is a cultural problem. It is a problem of young men without fathers learning how to be "men" from other young men without fathers. Unfortunately, what results is a perversion of what it means to "be a man." Outward expressions of ultra machismo and aggression are seen as masculine.

I didn't realize welfare gave black men an incentive to leave their families; if true, that should change. I also didn't realize gangs have roots in the civil rights movement. How sadly ironic.

Quote
In an economic sense, gangs are not the worst problem. For all our talk about education and higher education, the reality is that many inner city Blacks (or poor whites, Asians or Hispanics for that matter) aren't going to ever have the doors of higher education open to them. The reason I single out Blacks in particular is that a white former felon is more desirable as an employee than a never incarcerated Black male all other things being equal. When we pitch to young African Americans that drugs aren't the answer, we don't take into account the fact that there is a significant amount of lender discrimination making it difficult for entrepreneurship, affordable home interest rates, etc.

I really don't think higher education is the way out, at least not initially. First, comes entrepreneurship and as well as some of these drug gangs run, they certainly have the skills to become entrepreneurs. Instead, they focus on illegal activities which admittedly provide greater income. But then again, entrepreneurship requires ~70-90/hr work weeks which basically precludes a decent family life. Once these men figure out that they could become entrepreneurs they nearly all have a child or two. So even if they became entrepreneurs they would neglect their children - and child neglect/abandonment by black fathers is a real problem - even a cultural problem. Actually, fathers abandoning their kids is a nation -wide problem white & black. Asians and Hispanic fathers seem to abandon their children less for some reason. Asians do well here, but Hispanics don't; I suspect because of their often illegal status. Legal Hispanics do much much better. Really, I would guess that the lack of strong marriages or marriages at all causes more problems than any other. Gangs do contribute because the gang culture doesn't support marriages, unlike the mob.

Quote
So the situation is pretty bleak. You have a good portion of Black Males aged 18-32 incarcerated. The poor Black men that have never been incarcerated are the 2nd least desirable employees behind illegal immigrants and practice and custom make it difficult for economic development that benefit poor residents.

I agree and by the time we release former felons they have children to support, no education and no chance. They must have incentives to make right choices early and the inner city provides little incentive to do so.

Quote
In one sense, we could ask gang members to invest illegal money in the market and then laugh at them in April when they get indicted. Or we can recognize that the problem is actually symptomatic of pretty deep rooted environmental, economic and social factors beyond the control of the individual. Thus, the solution has to be systematic imo. Sure, there are problems with the "culture," but then again those that are playing by the rules aren't exactly getting ahead either as your example illustrates.

I mostly agree with you, but once an individual recognizes the problem they do have control. They just have to recognize that they must stay daily involved with their kids and not have them before having the time and resources to support them. My example illustrates how recognizing a mistake too late does little good. It's not higher education  inner city men need, it's early education by their fathers.
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Kirk Lazarus

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #94 on: September 10, 2007, 07:30:35 PM »





Lindbergh:

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

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?

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. 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.

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

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.Furthermore, race, like socio-economic status on poor whites, has a pretty big impact upon members of minority groups. Notwithstanding that fact, elimination of racial preferences presents another dilemma. Elimination of racial preferences would require practically the elimination of "checking the box." 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. 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?

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

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?"

What I do know is that eliminating AA and then replacing it with socio-economic AA is simplifying the issue 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. I'm worried that elimination of AA will create a virtual racial monopoly    on the slots to our nation's best colleges and universities.

 

YLS c/o 2009

Freak

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #95 on: September 10, 2007, 08:18:03 PM »


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




TITCR

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.
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Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #96 on: September 10, 2007, 08:24:32 PM »

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).


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bluepeter

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #97 on: September 10, 2007, 08:26:02 PM »


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.


You know for a Kappa you are not so bad.
06


Thank you my Black and Gold brother from another mother. Not to shabby yourself....for an Alpha.  ;D



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.

Kirk Lazarus

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #98 on: September 10, 2007, 08:30:42 PM »


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.


You know for a Kappa you are not so bad.
06


Thank you my Black and Gold brother from another mother. Not to shabby yourself....for an Alpha.  ;D



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.
YLS c/o 2009

Burning Sands, Esq.

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Re: The smart minorities get it....Class based AA.
« Reply #99 on: September 10, 2007, 08:48:03 PM »

Well, again, the concern is that this particular preferences is per se a form of racial discrimination, which at least technically violates Equal Protection, unless you buy into the new version of "separate but equal" in terms of admissions standards.  (And urms, of course, are also eligible for legacy preferences.) 

However, I have no problem eliminating legacy admissions if that's what it takes to create more racial justice in admissions generally. 


The rest of your argument makes some good points, however I couldn't let this statement slide because it is legally incorrect. 

AA programs administered by the states are one of the few exceptions where state action involving race actually does not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment.  This is true largely because (putting aside our personal feelings for a second) race based AA, when used correctly, is a benign form of state action that is supposed to be used in a very narrowly tailored manner and designed to remedy past discrimination, which is a compelling government interest.  AA programs which pass this strict Constitutional scrutiny do not violate Equal Protection.

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