Affirmative Action under duress

Races for the Senate, U.S. House, etc. and other issues of national importance.
Huckleby
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Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Huckleby » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:41 am

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ ... story.html

The Supreme Court is allowing state voters to ban race-based affirmative action in university admissions. It's about time.

AA based on race should not be a permanent condition. It is like chemotherapy, a harmful medicine to deal with an emergency. It is time to transition to AA based on economic status. That too will tend to level the field for minorities, albeit less effectively. There is no justification today to offer preferences for middle class or wealthy minority applicants over poor kids.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Sandi » Tue Apr 22, 2014 2:21 pm

Affirmative Action is discriminatory in it's self.

It is giving preferential treatment on consideration of race, sex or whatever.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby gargantua » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:13 pm

My first reaction to this news was negative. But upon reflection, I have to say that I think the SC got this one right. People of all races and creeds have a constitutional right not to be discriminated against. That is not the same thing as a constitutional right to an affirmative action program. That's more of a legal/policy issue than a constitutional issue.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby gargantua » Tue Apr 22, 2014 9:17 pm

OK, I posted and then noticed I'd failed to read Sandi's post. So I need to clarify that I agree with the SC on constitutional grounds. Sandi's post goes beyond that on to policy, which is not the same, and I don't agree with her on that.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby peripat » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:00 pm

Well actually it is giving preferential treatment in a somewhat futile attempt to make up for years of claiming people at the bottom of the ditch should be able to get to the top of the mountain just as fast as the people who were already sitting on the top of the mountain- and of course that was based on race, gender and so on. And it has never been as prevalent as every white male who was ever turned down for anything claims.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby snoqueen » Tue Apr 22, 2014 11:36 pm

gargantua wrote:My first reaction to this news was negative. But upon reflection, I have to say that I think the SC got this one right. People of all races and creeds have a constitutional right not to be discriminated against. That is not the same thing as a constitutional right to an affirmative action program. That's more of a legal/policy issue than a constitutional issue.


Sonia Sotomayor was talking directly to your point here in her dissent. In her autobiography she credits affirmative action with opening a door for her. She made the most of it and is in a position to hold a strong opinion on the law.

Here's an article that goes more deeply into her opinion and its background.

http://abcnews.go.com/politics/t/blogEn ... kgo.com%2F

Instead of snipping and posting the parts that speak to gargantua's concern I urge you to read the whole thing, which is not lengthy.

The country has an interest in protecting the ability of minorities to make a full contribution to the greatest extent of their ability. If we don't use all our resources we are disadvantaging ourselves against places that do. President Obama and Sotomayor have both said they were helped by AA in starting their careers. We are going to lose a lot of talent if we shut people like them out in years to come.

I do get the equal protection thing, but Sotomayor's words appealing to other aspects of our national interest carry weight. If we are not to fall into the same fundamentalist self-dealing we see with the second amendment defenders, we need to give some thought to her dissent.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Huckleby » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:40 pm

snoqueen wrote:The country has an interest in protecting the ability of minorities to make a full contribution to the greatest extent of their ability. If we don't use all our resources

AA has been a success. I think AA has justified its downside, which is considerable. But surely as time goes on, more minorities enter the middle class and racism moderates, an adjustment has to be made. You can't forever use race as the criteria, when the source of most disadvantage today is poverty.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Detritus » Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:57 pm

Huckleby wrote:There is no justification today to offer preferences for middle class or wealthy minority applicants over poor [white?] kids.

What makes you think this is what affirmative action does?

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Huckleby » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:07 pm

Detritus wrote:
Huckleby wrote:There is no justification today to offer preferences for middle class or wealthy minority applicants over poor [white?] kids.

What makes you think this is what affirmative action does?


Preference is granted based on race. Poor kids get no such preference under AA. It's self-evident.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Detritus » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:24 pm

Huckleby wrote:
Detritus wrote:
Huckleby wrote:There is no justification today to offer preferences for middle class or wealthy minority applicants over poor [white?] kids.

What makes you think this is what affirmative action does?


Preference is granted based on race. Poor kids get no such preference under AA. It's self-evident.

How do you know income level isn't one of the admission considerations? What makes you think race is the over-riding admissions consideration? Do you work in university admissions?

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Huckleby » Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:59 pm

Detritus wrote:How do you know income level isn't one of the admission considerations? What makes you think race is the over-riding admissions consideration? Do you work in university admissions?

If you have facts to add to the discussion, bring them. I'm not your gopher.

A very disingenuous argument has been made in favor of race-based AA: "It is only one of many factors considered." Well, in highly competitive admissions for better universities, a score boosted by race can be determinative. There are LOTS of highly qualified candidates, an edge matters a great deal.

There was a big story a couple weeks ago about a kid who managed to gain admittance to every Ivy League School, apparently this is unprecedented and unthinkable. Turns out he is a black kid from an upper middle class family. Not to make too big deal out of this, maybe the kid is Albert Einstein, but it does raise an eyebrow.

Affirmative Action should be based on income, not race. A black kid from a wealthy family probably had lots of books in the house, lots of academic encouragement and opportunity. The poor Hmong or white kid who is not eligible for AA needs the break more. Going after poverty will help minorities sufficiently, in my view.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:10 pm

Huckleby wrote:If you have facts to add to the discussion, bring them. I'm not your gopher.


I've not seen you show any facts to back up your assertions.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Detritus » Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:19 pm

Huckleby wrote:A very disingenuous argument has been made in favor of race-based AA: "It is only one of many factors considered." Well, in highly competitive admissions for better universities, a score boosted by race can be determinative. There are LOTS of highly qualified candidates, an edge matters a great deal.

This is an assertion for which you should gopher up some evidence. You are assuming that "all other factors being equal, racial identity is determinative." All other factors are never equal--admission is not based on a handful of objective numeric scores plus the applicant's race. Holistic admission requires essays, high school grades, letters of recommendation, and for some schools a personal interview as well.
Huckleby wrote:Affirmative Action should be based on income, not race. A black kid from a wealthy family probably had lots of books in the house, lots of academic encouragement and opportunity. The poor Hmong or white kid who is not eligible for AA needs the break more. Going after poverty will help minorities sufficiently, in my view.

That has not proven to be the case in either Michigan or Texas. Minority enrollments have dropped since race-based AA was banned.
Since the voters banned racial preferences in 2006, the percentage of black and Hispanic first-year students at the University of Michigan has dropped from 12.15 percent to 9.54 percent. That’s a 25 percent decline, and it occurred even as the total number of college-aged blacks and Hispanics rose in the state.

Both of your assertions still rest on the idea that AA brings in academically underqualified but financially overqualified minorities, shutting out academically qualified but financially disadvantaged [white?] people. Again I ask you to support that statement--it is not "self-evident." And no, I am not your gopher, either.

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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Francis Di Domizio » Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:28 pm

Detritus wrote:This is an assertion for which you should gopher up some evidence. You are assuming that "all other factors being equal, racial identity is determinative." All other factors are never equal--admission is not based on a handful of objective numeric scores plus the applicant's race. Holistic admission requires essays, high school grades, letters of recommendation, and for some schools a personal interview as well.


All of those factors are determinative though. The question remains: should race be one of those determinative values?

Detritus wrote:
Huckleby wrote:Affirmative Action should be based on income, not race
...
Going after poverty will help minorities sufficiently, in my view.

That has not proven to be the case in either Michigan or Texas. Minority enrollments have dropped since race-based AA was banned.

Have either of those states adopted income based affirmative action enrolment? Reduced minority enrollment due to the removal of AA programs would be an expected result of removing race based AA, but doesn't disprove that an AA program based on income could work.


Both of your assertions still rest on the idea that AA brings in academically underqualified but financially overqualified minorities, shutting out academically qualified but financially disadvantaged [white?] people.


Ignoring the whole financial issue for the moment, the whole point of AA in the enrollment process is to give minorities a boost in their chance to be accepted into an academic institution. Given that there are a limited number of openings into those institutions, increasing the enrollment of minority students will absolutely have the effect of reducing the enrollment of white students.

Huckleby
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Re: Affirmative Action under duress

Postby Huckleby » Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:00 pm

Detritus wrote:
Huckleby wrote: Going after poverty will help minorities sufficiently, in my view.

That has not proven to be the case in either Michigan or Texas. Minority enrollments have dropped since race-based AA was banned.

Sure, I conceded from the start that poverty-based AA will be less of a boost for minorities. What's more, we don't yet have income-based AA. There is no perfect system, we're looking for the best balance of trade-offs. I think income-based AA is less unfair than race-based AA, and it helps people who need it most.

BTW, you raised the question of whether income-based AA already exists. I am no expert on this field, but the notion of replacing raced-based AA with income-based AA is an active national debate. What's more, supporters of the current system argue that income-based AA might not materialize. For the sake of discussion, I think it is safe to assume that income-based AA is not widely practiced to the extent and impact of race-based AA. (in fact, income is not a part of AA per se)


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