Affirmative Action Myths

Expect plenty of disagreement. Just keep it civil.
User avatar
Grant
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2003 1:53 pm
Location: Arizona

Postby Grant » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:05 pm

Dob wrote:


When I think about what these kids and what my own brother went through, it's hard for me to muster up much sympathy for the difficulties of overcoming "subtle" prejudice.


Ahh, but it's the subtle prejudice that is the most insidious! It's kept hidden for a reason.


Similarly, my college educated parents, who spoke english but never lost their heavy accent, often complained to me about being treated as stupid because of that accent.


Well, that's wrong too, and is nothing more than ignorance. This isn's a case of my pain is worse than your pain. It's ALL bad. Hatred happens all around. And, I get quite annoyed by some of these blacks that say that they can't be racist.

Dob
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 2:14 pm
Location: Detroit

Postby Dob » Sun Sep 12, 2004 10:35 pm

Grant wrote:This isn's a case of my pain is worse than your pain. It's ALL bad. Hatred happens all around.

It wasn't my intention to start a pissing match. I just wanted to highlight the fact that some people, because of their handicaps, their (perceived or actual) sexual orientation, their politics, or their religion, sometimes get worse treatment than the people that were born with the "wrong" skin color or the "wrong" gender.

Many of us that aren't officially considered a minority have also experienced the bitterness of prejudice...I think that minorities sometimes don't appreciate that.
Dob
-------------------
"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance" -- HL Mencken

User avatar
Grant
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2003 1:53 pm
Location: Arizona

Postby Grant » Mon Sep 13, 2004 7:51 pm

Yeh, Dob, but the only pain we can know is our own.

The only real solution is to close ranks and fight all of it. We all must help each other. Just because i'm black doesn't mesan that racism is all I care about. There are tons of things I care about. It's just that I don't shy away from the issue of race when it comes up because some white person will think i'm a racist.

BTW, WHITE WOMEN are the biggest benificiaries of affirmative action, but no one ever talks about that!

BobSmarmy
Posts: 106
Joined: Fri Nov 28, 2003 11:51 pm

Postby BobSmarmy » Mon Sep 13, 2004 8:57 pm

While I don't know if Grant's claim about white women is correct, I do know for a fact that it is fairly common in my state for a man to have his wife own the business in order to receive preferential treatment for government contracts under affirmative action guidelines.

I will also note that what constitutes a "minority" is subject to political considerations. In certain counties in my state, Portugese are considered a minority because they had the political clout to get this written into the regulations.
If you take Dave's observation out of the equation, a consensus was achieved. - Andreas

User avatar
Grant
Posts: 486
Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2003 1:53 pm
Location: Arizona

Postby Grant » Mon Sep 13, 2004 9:47 pm

BobSmarmy wrote:

I will also note that what constitutes a "minority" is subject to political considerations. In certain counties in my state, Portugese are considered a minority because they had the political clout to get this written into the regulations.


And in California, there is no majority! There may me a minority, but it's not white, hispanic, or black!

Dob
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 2:14 pm
Location: Detroit

Postby Dob » Mon Oct 18, 2004 12:47 pm

From the Detroit News. Edited for brevity by me.

ANN ARBOR -- The number of black freshmen at the University of Michigan fell 14.6 percent this year, the first class admitted after a U.S. Supreme Court decision forced a reform of the school's affirmative action admissions policy.

U-M President Mary Sue Coleman said that while a 25 percent decline in black applicants led to the decline, school officials aren't certain why fewer applied.

Coleman said the university hopes to boost black applicants through an outreach and education campaign. The school is beefing up contacts with high schools with large minority populations. "We want people to know that they can find a diverse environment that's welcoming and get a great education at the University of Michigan," Coleman said. "I'm very optimistic about the future." She credited similar outreach programs with boosting the number of Hispanic and Native American students, which increased slightly this year.

"The university must improve the environment for minority students on campus to make them feel more welcome," said Andre Brown, speaker of the Black Student Union, which advocates for minority rights at the university. "It's unfortunate," said Brown, a 21-year-old senior from Flint. "It's still very hard being an African-American student at the University of Michigan. The university is going to have to do something about it."

Brown said that despite the university's efforts to diversify the student body, he often finds himself the only African-American in any given classroom and he feels pressure to represent his entire race rather than be treated as an individual.

The incoming freshman class is 5.8 percent black and the entire student body, including graduate students, is 7.8 percent black. African-Americans make up 14 percent of Michigan's population. Hispanics make up 5 percent of the student body, Asians make up 13.2 percent and Native Americans make up 1 percent.

Last year, the Supreme Court struck down the university's undergraduate admissions program, which gave additional admission points to underrepresented minority students.

"But the school still has work to do on its admissions policy," said Terry Pell, president of the Center for Individual Rights, which filed the lawsuit that ended the undergraduate policy. He noted that black applicants fell 25 percent but admissions fell 14 percent, which could indicate the university is being more generous to black students. "Racial preferences are a clumsy, awkward way to increase minority enrollment," Pell said. "It may be time for the University of Michigan to consider race-neutral approaches."

Texas and other states have boosted minority enrollments by guaranteeing admission to the top 10 percent of high school graduates, Pell said.
Dob

-------------------

"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance" -- HL Mencken

Dob
Posts: 903
Joined: Sun Aug 01, 2004 2:14 pm
Location: Detroit

Postby Dob » Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:24 am

From The Detroit News 12/01/04, edited for brevity by me.

Racial preference fight far from over
by Thomas Bray

Just when the racial preference crowd thought it could rest easy, the grassroots effort to subject race-based admissions and employment practices to a referendum in Michigan is about to lurch back into view.

That's a long way from gaining voter approval of such a measure. The University of Michigan, which won a partial victory upholding the goal of diversity on campus, along with much of the corporate establishment, civil rights groups and virtually the entire media, can be counted on to mount another furious campaign to persuade voters of the immorality of the anti-preference measure.

Feminist activists are complaining that such a measure would somehow harm the aspirations of women -- never mind that admissions rates for women at most schools are above those for males.

Though the University of Michigan claimed victory in last year's Supreme Court case, it was forced to revamp its undergraduate admissions system with a new, holistic approach, including written essays. But applications from minorities for this fall's freshman class were down 25 percent. (Actual admissions were down 15 percent.)

Some U-M officials have speculated that the decline is a result of minority applicants being scared off by a hostile environment created by the Supreme Court ruckus. It could just as easily be said, however, that more minorities are opting to apply to schools where their degrees won't carry such a taint of racial favoritism.

Now comes an explosive article in the establishment Stanford Law Review by a UCLA law professor, Richard H. Sander, a self-identified progressive, that affirmative action has lowered the success rate for aspiring black lawyers. He theorizes that affirmative action, while well-intentioned, tempts some minorities to apply to highly competitive schools where they're not fully qualified to handle the academic pressure. In a different environment, says Sander, they might have turned out fine, but the bruising experience of failure turns them off to law as a profession.

The question is one of fundamental principle. Should all Americans be considered equal before the law, or are some -- in writer George Orwell's famous phrase -- more equal than others?
Dob

-------------------

"Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance" -- HL Mencken

crunt
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:37 pm

Food for thought

Postby crunt » Fri Jan 07, 2005 11:46 am

Diversity Is Overrated
by John Bloom

NEW YORK, February 10 (UPI) -- Let's imagine what would happen if all the "diversity" goals were reached by every university, government agency, multinational corporation and corner frappuccino shop in the nation.

Utopia has been achieved. Each corporate entity is precisely balanced to reflect the exact percentages of every race, ethnic group, gender and sexual orientation in every statistical category, including lesbian Eskimos and displaced Slovenian Muslims.

Would diversity policies wither away, like Lenin's hope for the state itself?

Of course not. There would be diversity problems within the balanced diversity package. A corporation would have enough French-speaking natives of the Ivory Coast to satisfy its African and multilingual requirements, but only 2 percent of them would be in management positions, compared to the 38 percent of transgendered Argentinian-Americans and 29 percent of gay Lithuanian Job Corps graduates.

You would need a brand new diversity policy to ensure there was balance among all the various diversities. You would have to write policies evening out degrees of reward, title, compensation and position, so that no one was left out and no one group was favored over another. You would, in fact, need a bureaucracy to constantly monitor the shifts in human fortune and the ever- present danger of some sub-department of a regional office falling out of diversity balance.

They already tried this in the Soviet Union. It didn't work. Among other things, it wasted millions of man-years in productivity. Today the Russians are glad to be rid of it. Why do we insist on having it?

One of the more remarkable diversity articles in recent years appeared on the front page of The New York Times. A Times reporter sat in on a session of the seven-member admissions committee at Rice University. Rice feels compelled to honor the 1996 appeals court ruling against the University of Texas Law School, striking down race considerations as illegal--but they don't like it.

So what they do now, to protect themselves legally, is to avoid using the words black, African-American, Latino, Hispanic or minority, but replace them with--wink wink nudge nudge-- reviewing essays on the applicant's "cultural traditions," or discussing teacher recommendations that refer to "his Hispanic heritage," or inventing new nouns like "overcome," as in "He's an overcome," indicating the student has had to overcome a background of cultural handicaps. If any of these code words are used, the admissions committee might accept a drastically lower SAT score in order to admit the student.

In other words, they defy the intention of the court, which said: Do not consider race. It's unfair.

A minority freshman entering Rice University this fall was probably born in 1985. So the assumption made by the Rice admissions commmittee is that any education he received between 1991 and 2003 was so tainted by discrimination that he couldn't possibly be expected to perform as well as a white student. Are we so certain that this is true, living as we do in an age of super-sensitivity toward minority education of all types?

There's also an assumption that a dysfunctional home would have handicapped the potential Rice freshman--but only if he's a minority. The upper-class white daughter of an abusive alcoholic gets no extra credit for having a handicap to overcome. (Nor should she.)

It's called social engineering, and its purpose is to create campuses and workplaces that look like a United Nations chef's salad of skin color. The idea, I suppose--I'm guessing here--is that if a white student sits in a desk flanked by a black and a Hispanic, all three students will somehow be transformed.

Unless, of course, they don't like one another.

Of course, that would be unacceptable. Somewhere in the course of this thirty-year effort to force people to mingle, the major institutions of the country have adopted as an article of faith the idea that we need to all like one another. Big Brother here assumes the form of a particularly naive yet shrewish soccer mom, who's constantly shaking her finger at the youngsters who refuse to share their toys. The result is that the child--or, in this case, the Rice student--makes an outward show of sharing the toys while waiting for the moment when they can be snatched and hidden away. Even if he "gets it," he resents it.

When President Bush announced his opposition to the University of Michigan's affirmative action plan--in a brief to be argued before the Supreme Court--he was careful to say that he was attacking quotas, not diversity. In other words, even the Justice Department believes that there's some innate value to be derived from this vague but holy concept.

And yet consider the sheer paternalism of it:

1) It makes the assumption that being a minority is a handicap.

2) It makes the assumption that minorities are less capable of hard work and academic achievement.

3) It makes the assumption that all whites, given a choice, will wield power in such a way as to hold minorities back.

4) It assumes that diversifying skin color in a student body has an academic purpose.

5) When faced with evidence to the contrary--for example, the dominance of Asian students in mathematical and scientific testing--it ignores the evidence. Big Mother knows best.

There are excellent universities--in Europe, in Asia, in Africa--that still use the examination system. The applicant takes a strenuous examination that's the sole basis of admission. If he fails, he can take it a second time. If he fails the second time, he can't attend that university.

They don't ask about his background, his skin color, his home life, or what ethnic student association he was president of. They simply say, "This is the basic minimum knowledge you need to have mastered in order to thrive here."

Nevertheless, their student bodies are diverse. They're diverse because people are diverse--already, without social engineering. What we call diversity is a shallow fake version of diversity--diversity of the outer, instead of the inner, person. We don't know what diversity is