Affirmative Action: Thoughts?

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Lady Sabine, May 8, 2014.

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  1. In light of the recent SCOTUS ruling ( I thought I'd pose this question to Iwaku and see what people's thoughts are on the matter.

    Put simply, Affirmative Action is any form of race-based aid or preference given a minority group to compensate for aid or opportunity that has historically been denied. This particular issue deals with race-based admissions to colleges & universities and whether or not it is ethical or legal.
    The Supreme Court has ruled that, while such policies are mandatory, they are constitutional so long as race is not the only or primary factor.

    What do you think, Iwaku? Do you support AA, reject it, believe it could use improvements...?

    Please, keep in mind:
    • No -ist comments. This includes but is not limited to racist and sexist.
    • Be respectful towards your fellow board members.
    • This is a discussion, not a debate. Feel free to share your opinions or ask others for clarification but please do not attempt to make converts.
    • While other countries do have similar policies, for fear of this board becoming too broad please try to limit this to AA in the USA and specifically in an academic setting.


    Protect Fairness and Equality (2008 PDF): In the United States, access to the American Dream is often framed as a race in which the swiftest runners win. Critics of affirmative action say that such policies give some runners an unfair head start in an otherwise fair race. At the same time, many supporters of affirmative action say we need these policies to assist “disabled” runners. In their focus on the runners rather than the track, both of these perspectives miss the point. Affirmative action isn’t about advancing “disabled” runners, but about repairing damaged lanes and removing the barriers that block the pathways to opportunity that only some runners face. Policies that promote inclusion, such as affirmative action, are designed to equalize the conditions of an otherwise unfair race and give everyone a fair chance to compete.

    For as many times he gets shit fucked up, does fucked up shit... he manages.
    TIDBIT: Finally, discrimination against people of color, historically, has had the real social impact of creating profound imbalances, inequities and disparities in life chances between whites and people of color. In other words, the consequences of that history have been visible: it has led to wealth gaps of more than 10:1 between whites and blacks, for instance (and 8:1 between whites and Latinos). It has led to major disparities in occupational status, educational attainment, poverty rates, earnings ratios, and rates of home ownership. Affirmative action has barely made a dent in these structural inequities, in large part because the programs and policies have been so weakly enforced, scattershot, and pared back over the past twenty years. So despite affirmative action, whites continue (as I document in my books,Colorblind, and Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White) to receive over 90 percent of government contracts, to hold over 90 percent of tenured faculty positions, to hold over 85 percent of management level jobs in the private sector workforce, to be half as likely as blacks to be unemployed (even when only comparing whites and blacks with college degrees), and to get into their college of first choice at higher rates than African Americans or Latinos.

    Part of the reluctance, Poon reasons, is that acknowledging racism also requires that people who’ve been shielded from it recognize their corresponding racial privilege. That conflicts with the most enduring of American narratives—that the U.S. functions as a meritocracy, where rewards are the product of individual achievement, and achievement is the outcome of one’s own effort. “It’s a nice notion but it’s just false. How have any of us been able to, out of the womb, up and advance on our own?” Poon asks.

    This tension puts affirmative action and meritocratic ideals in opposition with each other, even though the most selective, elite colleges have never functioned as pure meritocracies. Elite private schools like Harvard, Yale and Princeton traditionally favored graduates of private prep schools, as well as the children of alumni and wealthy donors, setting aside their academic standards to welcome students they thought served their larger educational missions—which for much of their history has meant protecting the aristocracy.

    An example of HOW this shit starts right at the first line of an application, the name field.

    Tahani Tompkins was struggling to get callbacks for job interviews in the Chicago area this year when a friend made a suggestion: Change your name. Instead of Tahani, a distinctively African-American-sounding name, she began going by T. S. Tompkins in applications.
    via The New York Times

    Even the National Bureau of Economic Research wet their feet in this puddle

    Fuck, that's JUST starting in on the name portion of an application and fuck it, while I'm on names in the first place

    Hell, this somma shit too

    "Neither Black Nor White: Asian Americans and Affirmative Action" by Frank. H. Wu

    Harvard Targeted in U.S. Asian-American Discrimination Probe from

    The Retreat from Race: Asian-American Admissions and Racial Politics
    by Dana Y. Takagi


    woop woop
    #2 Kooriryu, May 8, 2014
    Last edited: May 8, 2014
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  3. If there's a college titled "Minnesota College for Hispanics/Caucasians/Asians/African Americans then one would expect that type of race to go to that college and I don't know why that'd be a problem. It's like a hospital for women, why not have a college for a group of people who share the same background and culture?

    But if it's just your normal universal admission college, no, don't think that should be right at all. Let's take a look at John Hopkins


    These are the student demographics as of 2008. As you can see, the majority of students were white and asian. John Hopkins is considered the most prestigious medical school in the country- these are the people that are going to be giving you heart bypasses and helping your child fight for their life with cancer. Would you prefer that a stereotyped white or asian John Hopkins grad who was the top of his or her class to be your doctor, or would you rather have a less certified and less able hispanic, indian or black individual perform on you simply because they were not white or asian and therefore got admitted into that school?

    I'm not saying that hispanics, blacks or indians are less able people. I'm only saying that according to these demographics, those are the races that would be admitted with more leniency, and less attention to how well they are actually doing in this field if AA becomes a thing.

    It doesn't matter what the fuck you look like. Just because african people are better at track in the Olympics doesn't mean we need to switch them all out with asians since there aren't a lot of those there. Everyone has their own individual aptitudes, their own strengths. We should be assessed based upon that, not based upon a time period in which we weren't even born. A black, hispanic or indian can become the best in their class at John Hopkins on their own because they got themselves that far. Giving minority races a free pass is not going to help that.
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  4. IMHO, we're trying to treat issues that are no longer racial by applying a racial cure. Being black (or brown, or any other color) does not automatically equal need, nor does it mean there is a history of suppression against your minority.
    First and foremost:
    Recent African immigrants are, comparatively, over-educated. While this is not the sole result of affirmative action, there's no truth in saying that it doesn't play a factor. But why should it? Being African-American is not the same as being a descendant of a slave. Furthermore, many descendants of slaves are now perfectly capable of making it into college (and paying for college) without outside aid, the same as your stereotypical (but not every) white person.
    Long story short, being black/etc. isn't specific enough. A direct family tree containing slaves/involuntary servants/suppressed peoples in the USA that can be shown to contribute to a poorer education/worse financial situation is one thing. But this could also be applied to an American of Japanese descent, if reasonable cause could be shown that putting one of their grandparents in an internment camp is the cause of their current financial/educational distress. In fact, a good argument could be made from anyone descended from a woman, but let's not get into that.

    Although, as far as I'm concerned, the answer isn't giving less-qualified people admittance or money. The answer really should be removing the qualification gap. Improve inner-city schools. Clean up neighborhoods. Boost employment rates. I'm not going to college because I'm white, I got in because I met the qualifications- a task that my community has made much easier.
    I do somewhat resent race-based admissions. I'm very well qualified; in a capitalist, merit-based system that should be enough. What I don't resent is offering free SAT-prep camps to disadvantaged areas. I would be glad to volunteer with scholarship hunting or AP/Honors programs or seminars. I have no problem competing with minorities, but AA isn't competitive. We could just as easily say that going to college is a Western European cultural tradition, and in the interest of preserving our ethnic roots we deserve an admittance bias.
    AA isn't fixing the underlying problem, it's putting a band-aid on top and calling it a day.
  5. [​IMG]

    The authors also speak about the sometimes tenuous relationship between African Americans and non American blacks in the U.S. According to Adichie, the relationship is this way because each group is somewhat ignorant about the history of the other. Someone in the audience asked if Adichie has been able to speak about race in America as she has in Americanah because she is a non-American black like her character Ifemelu. To this she says, “If I were American I will not have been able to write this book.”


    On the relationship between Africans and African Americans and African immigrants:

    “I think that there is a lot of ignorance about Africa and it’s history because I think many African Americans were made to feel that Africa was a place that there were supposed to feel shame for. I think there are many Africans that come here and buy into all the stupid stereotypes about African Americans that America propagates so there is often a disconnect. I also think many Africans finds themselves playing the role of the good black (like I talked about earlier). It’s very complicated. But I sometimes feel like I want to send a brief and concise history of African Americans to all the Nigerian immigrants who come here to read and send a brief and concise history about some African countries to African Americans.”

    “I don’t understand, after having read the history, how a people can come out of it (slavery) with such grace.” – Chimamanda Adichie

    “I think that there is a narrative that America likes to tell itself, that is that all immigrants should be terribly grateful to have come and should therefore shut up and not complain.” – Chimamanda Adichie

    “I tell people that if you ever get to interview a black woman, please don’t make any decisions based on her hair.” – Chimamanda Adichie

    Conflating Blacks with fresh-ass immigrants fresh fuckin' from Africa who weren't here for the last 300 years is some divisive-ass "See, if they can do it why can't you? (Because I really wanna go on about this life and ignore historical context in all senses of the word, ignore modern constraints built out of that context and how those could possibly impact lives today because my understanding of residual effects from large scale events is minimal and also: it's really just not that important for me to understand it in the first place since it doesn't affect me personally soooo can we, like, move on now?)" bullshit.

    Adichie sees through that divisive shit too for the tl;dr crowd.

    And because I've earned such a wide goddamn precedence for linkstorming up in shit here we go

    Asian Americans and Affirmative Action: From
    Yellow Peril to Model Minority and Back Again

    “Race matters. Race matters in part because of the long history of racial minorities’ being denied access to the political process.

    Race matters to a young man’s view of society when he spends his teenage years watching others tense up as he passes, no matter what neighborhood he grew up. Race matters to a young woman’s sense of self when she states her hometown, and then is pressed, ‘No, where are you really from?’

    The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.
    - Justice Sonia Sotomayor

    And particularly dear to my ashen raisin-wrinkled heart, demolishing the façade that shit has gotten better and no bad shit is happening still:

    "The study, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, aimed at figuring out the extent to which black children were likely to be treated differently than their white peers solely based on race. More specifically, the authors wanted to figure out the extent to which black kids were dehumanized. "Children in most societies are considered to be in a distinct group with characteristics such as innocence and the need for protection," author Phillip Atiba Goff of UCLA told the American Psychological Association. "Our research found that black boys can be seen as responsible for their actions at an age when white boys still benefit from the assumption that children are essentially innocent." via

    Unraveling the 'Model Minority' Stereotype: Listening to Asian American Youth

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