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View Poll Results: Are you for or against affirmative action?
Yes. I think it is a great thing and exactly what this America needs. 1 7.14%
Don't care/doesn't affect me 2 14.29%
Hell no! 11 78.57%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 04-19-2004   #1
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Affirmative Action

What are you guys' thoughts on this subject?

I think that affirmative action is a hypocritical abomination. Stripped down, it is nothing but institutionalized racism. I've got more, but i have to go to class.
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Old 04-19-2004   #2
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Re: Affirmative Action

I say no way. Incredibly biased. A black person in the ghetto gets better treatment than a white person in the same position. Not fair at all, no siree.
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Old 04-19-2004   #3
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Re: Affirmative Action

its bs being racist is being racist even if your black

yeah i said it, WHAT?! ;-)
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Old 04-19-2004   #4
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Re: Affirmative Action

the whatnow?
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Old 04-19-2004   #5
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Re: Affirmative Action

Affirmative action. Laws made in America in the attempt to end preferential treatment of whites by giving it to minority races.

For example, some states passed laws requiring employers presented with the choice between hiring a white person or a minority person of the same qualifications to choose the minority person (i think most of these have been repealed, but i'm not sure)

Colleges get more funding from the federal government if their demographics are the same as the national demographic, meaning that since the population is 13% black, the student body at the college should be 13% black (number is hypothetical). So, in order to get more federal money, selective colleges lower their entrance requirements for minorities, and offer them incentives like minority-only scholarships.
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Old 04-19-2004   #6
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Re: Affirmative Action

wow. government-endorsed segregation. sad.
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Old 04-19-2004   #7
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Re: Affirmative Action

Quote:
Originally Said by Yugoloth
Affirmative action. Laws made in America in the attempt to end preferential treatment of whites by giving it to minority races.

For example, some states passed laws requiring employers presented with the choice between hiring a white person or a minority person of the same qualifications to choose the minority person (i think most of these have been repealed, but i'm not sure)

Colleges get more funding from the federal government if their demographics are the same as the national demographic, meaning that since the population is 13% black, the student body at the college should be 13% black (number is hypothetical). So, in order to get more federal money, selective colleges lower their entrance requirements for minorities, and offer them incentives like minority-only scholarships.
I think it's sad that we still need affirmative action, but I firmly believe that we do need it. The hope of a "color-blind" system working out these issues based on goodwill strikes me as naive.

Distribution of wealth, quality of education--these are still stacked against particular minorities...particularly blacks. If we did opt for a color-blind system, college campuses that went by raw test scores would be less diverse (and raw test scores predict very little about a student's ability beyond the first year). If businesses were left to their own hiring devices, it seems to me that the white majority would only be reinforced.

And I wouldn't paint college campuses as just going for the money. There's a benefit in promotion of diversity, even if the university heads don't give a damn about it. (Having worked closely with interdisciplinary/faculty committees at two universities now, I can say that most of them seemed to give a damn about it).
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Old 04-19-2004   #8
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Re: Affirmative Action

While some manner of program is neccessary, affirmative action is not be the answer. Just giving stuff like college admission and scholarships to someone because of the way he was born probably creates a "Why should I work for this if they'll give it to me already?" I realize this is stemming somewhat from my personal experiences, but the two black guys at my high school who were worth anything academically were pretty lazy, and they still managed to get admitted to good colleges and get scholarships. By lazy I mean slipping by with a 3.0 GPA, while an hour of homework a day could have gotten them a four, not counting AP weight. I found that rather irksome. One of them made it into the National Merit Scholarship program with a lower score on the PSAT than I had, which I found really irksome.

As for diversity in schools, the chief differences between a selective school and a less selective school is that the selective one has higher caliber students. The academic devotion of the students around you makes a big difference, and one professor teaching calculus usually teaches you the same calculus at a state U as he does at an Ivy. My friends at high class private colleges like Rhodes and Birmingham Southern tell me that they have shitty professors there, too. So, inviting a class of students to be admitted without having to meet the same selection criteria as the rest of them kind of undermines that principle. Perhaps there is some research promoting diversity that I've never heard about.

I do think that some kinds of programs to level the playing field are in order, but affirmative action is definitly not the kind that I'd endorse.
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Old 04-19-2004   #9
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Re: Affirmative Action

I don't like affirmative action for the fact that at my workplace, the boss has to meet a certain 'quota' of minorities. So let's say someone who was really good at doing what they do came in, and they happened to be white, then a person of a different color came in and had a history of being late, lazy, and such, my boss would have to hire the minority over the one most qualified because of a 'quota.'

I do think that racism is still a problem, but affirmative action isn't necessarily the right answer in many situations these days.
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Old 04-20-2004   #10
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Re: Affirmative Action

I sympathize with the personal stories of "Well, my boss hired these really lazy..." and "I know some real lazy minorities who got free rides while I had to bust my ass"....Well, actually, that's not true. I don't really sympathize with such stories. I'm trying, but I just can't right now. I know none is intended, but they smack of a very subtle kind of racism--the lazy minority gets noticed because the government says the minority needs to fill a quota. I've worked with plenty of lazy white people who didn't deserve their jobs. I've been to college with plenty of lazy white students who were there because of their well-to-do parents or because they benefitted from going to a high school in a wealthy area, gaining the educational know-how to score really well on exams without knowing shit (while blacks--and I specify blacks because of the statistical low socio-economic status--are more likely to be in schools with outdated textbooks and hardly anything remotely approaching modern computing). I think that to see the occasional "lazy minority" story as the cause of outrage is to be viewing this from the wrong end.

And I find such stories about as convincing as grocery store cashiers who say, "I don't like our welfare system. I always see people who use food stamps and then drive off in a really nice car."

I understand why they influence your views, but such personal stories seem to ignore the good done by affirmative action.

Such personal stories seem to condemn not only the institution of affirmative action but also the people who benefit from it. And such personal stories ignore the ever-present reality of educational and economic differences between whites and blacks.

Clearly some sort of desire for "some kind of program" is called for, just not affirmative action, and I can't help but wonder if it's just from these personal stories and the general bad press given to the subject.
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Old 04-20-2004   #11
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Re: Affirmative Action

Quote:
Originally Said by cstoll
I sympathize with the personal stories of "Well, my boss hired these really lazy..." and "I know some real lazy minorities who got free rides while I had to bust my ass"....Well, actually, that's not true. I don't really sympathize with such stories. I'm trying, but I just can't right now. I know none is intended, but they smack of a very subtle kind of racism--the lazy minority gets noticed because the government says the minority needs to fill a quota. I've worked with plenty of lazy white people who didn't deserve their jobs. I've been to college with plenty of lazy white students who were there because of their well-to-do parents or because they benefitted from going to a high school in a wealthy area, gaining the educational know-how to score really well on exams without knowing shit (while blacks--and I specify blacks because of the statistical low socio-economic status--are more likely to be in schools with outdated textbooks and hardly anything remotely approaching modern computing). I think that to see the occasional "lazy minority" story as the cause of outrage is to be viewing this from the wrong end.

And I find such stories about as convincing as grocery store cashiers who say, "I don't like our welfare system. I always see people who use food stamps and then drive off in a really nice car."

I understand why they influence your views, but such personal stories seem to ignore the good done by affirmative action.

Such personal stories seem to condemn not only the institution of affirmative action but also the people who benefit from it. And such personal stories ignore the ever-present reality of educational and economic differences between whites and blacks.

Clearly some sort of desire for "some kind of program" is called for, just not affirmative action, and I can't help but wonder if it's just from these personal stories and the general bad press given to the subject.
So am I a racist for resenting the unequal treatment afforded to me by affirmative action? If being white and wanting equal treatment under the law makes me a racist, then you're damn right i'm racist.

Plus, you don't need a wealthy school with up-to-date textbooks, computers or courses on taking standardized tests to perform well on them. Only three of the four core academic courses are represented on the big standardized tests (math, science, and english - history is left out), and in the last thirty years the only changes in these fields have been in the graduate student levels. And a textbook can be made to last for a very, very long time if you do these two things: don't treat it like a soccer ball (which the vast majority of high school students do), and use freakin duct tape. To me, unless you're talking about textbooks old enough to vote, outdated textbooks aren't a good excuse. I think the biggest problem with education in the lower class is lack of parental participation, which won't be cured by affirmative action.

And I'm not exactly ignoring the good of affirmative action. I just don't know what it has done, besides lower academic standards in universities.

Although I don't remember whether it supports me or not, here is an interesting opinion on blacks and education: http://www.fredoneverything.net/FOE_Frame_Magazine.htm
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Old 04-20-2004   #12
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Re: Affirmative Action

I don't think it's racism when I want to be treated equally as the next person. No matter the color of the skin, the most qualified person should be given a job. Color of the skin doesn't matter, but when someone chooses someone because of the color of the skin over someone more qualified, that IS racism and I think it's wrong.

I like the welfare system, but I do think it's too easily abused. A lot of people around my area come to expect handouts and work as little as possible for it. I can name about 6 of my acquaintances who do just that. One even told me 'why should I work when the government is giving me money?' she EXPECTS those handouts just because she is who she is. I think that's wrong.
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Old 04-20-2004   #13
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Re: Affirmative Action

Regents of the University of California v. Bakke was a big case on affirmative action in 1978. If was the first Supreme Court case on the subject. This college was actually letting minorities with lower qualifications than whites in to "meet their quota."

I don't agree with it. I think it should be equal qualifications, not equal portions of races.
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Old 04-20-2004   #14
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Re: Affirmative Action

I am against affirmative action based on skin color. If anything needs to be done, I believe it would have to be based upon economic standing (though its a lot easier to cheat that then skin color).

I understand that for most minorities, it is a vicious cycle. If some do not get this affirmative action they will be stuck in a hole. Some are stuck in the hole because of neighborhood schools that aren't teaching them as well as other places and thus leads to a lower standard of work/knowledge/etc.
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Old 04-21-2004   #15
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Re: Affirmative Action

Good lord. My third attempt at responding to this. Two articulate, well-crafted arguments got shot to hell when my connection was lost.

Yugoloth, of course you're not a racist. Got massive respect for you--you're often a very careful, articulate thinker in these threads. This time, though, I think personal background has gotten in your way when viewing this issue.

I catch whiffs of racism because of who is getting focused on. Looking at the stories of some "lazy minorities" getting jobs and scholarships ignores the much more grand narrative about the many lazy whites who get jobs and college acceptances--not based on quotas, but on regular preferential treatment. Discrimination in housing, in hiring is still common (and pretty well-documented). So, the idea that the outrage should be at the lazy quotas seems outrageous to me.

(If you're really serious about this topic, I think you should read Joe Feagin's "The Black Middle-Class Experience" and "The Agony of Education: Black Students in White Colleges and Universities.")

I understand the idea of family involvement in education. However, I think it's a total confluence of factors at work: residential living area, education, family involvement, still-common discrimination. I hope that common sense would reveal that families that are more likely to encourage education are families that have had positive experiences with education. If your parents went to college, you're more likely to go to college. If your parents did well with education, they're more likely to be able to help you with yours.

And I realize that this isn't a total black/white issue. People with a low economic status are less likely to go to college. However, since blacks are more likely to have that status, I think my claims stand.

If you're turned down for housing because of your race, that's already going to put your kids at a disadvantage because schools in economically depressed areas get less funding. And since many teachers in high school and college are white, minorities tend to get less encouragement (and minorities are less likely to seek mentorship; and, wouldn't you be, if the situation were reversed?).

I'm not trying to simplify the issue with any of the above. I know plenty of people have risen above their economic status, their family problems, etc. If anything, I'm trying to get across the many factors at work against minorities being able to receive a quality education, to be able to get better jobs, to be able to afford better housing, to be more likely to promote education to their kids...and so on. And the statistics show that all of this is still a problem. A problem that has been alleviated somewhat by affirmative action.

Yugoloth also said:
Plus, you don't need a wealthy school with up-to-date textbooks, computers or courses on taking standardized tests to perform well on them. Only three of the four core academic courses are represented on the big standardized tests (math, science, and english - history is left out), and in the last thirty years the only changes in these fields have been in the graduate student levels.

Me: This is abso-fucking-lutely not true. Some of the content in math and science texts may not be changing, but the presentation of the material changes a great deal at the high school, college, and graduate level every few years. The presentation promotes better teaching and better self-learning. In terms of English--something I know a lot about, having a degree in it, and having edited a textbook--the material is absolutely changing. Choice of authors and the kind of interpretations change often because of new theories of interpretation and new ideas about what counts as literature. And since the writing portion of tests is becoming increasingly important (the SATs recently included an essay section), the up-to-date theories on how students can write better make a huge difference. You simply don't have any idea here.

Yugoloth also said:
And I'm not exactly ignoring the good of affirmative action. I just don't know what it has done, besides lower academic standards in universities.

Me: And I'm not convinced that this has lowered academic standards in universities. It seems to me that complaints of educational standards dropping go all the way back to Ivy-league schools in the early 1900s.

And this also bothers me--the focus on "test scores," which are not a reliable indicator of success in college beyond the first year.
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Old 04-21-2004   #16
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Re: Affirmative Action

I think affirmative action is like a hate crime - and thus, bullshit.

Many of you know that I'm gay. But I don't advocate hate crimes.

What you may not know, though, is that I'm also American Indian. And thus, you'd think I'd be all for affirmative action. Not so.

I think that the two are the same. They don't mean anything. They're just an excuse for someone to get their jollies by hurting someone else. And that works on both sides.

It gives people more incentive to hurt others because of their (dis)honour or whatever, but it also gives the victims more incentive to hurt back with the legal system.

Quote:
Originally Said by 3brand
I understand that for most minorities, it is a vicious cycle. If some do not get this affirmative action they will be stuck in a hole. Some are stuck in the hole because of neighborhood schools that aren't teaching them as well as other places and thus leads to a lower standard of work/knowledge/etc.
Actually, this is in part due to the politicians cutting education spending in many areas. City and state officials would rather not deal with areas like inner cities and slums and try to help out the people on welfare, because they stand to gain politically by keeping others down.

Quote:
Originally Said by kittydragon105
I like the welfare system, but I do think it's too easily abused. A lot of people around my area come to expect handouts and work as little as possible for it. I can name about 6 of my acquaintances who do just that. One even told me 'why should I work when the government is giving me money?' she EXPECTS those handouts just because she is who she is. I think that's wrong.
That is wrong. However, if I remember my statistics correctly, 4 out of 5 people get off welfare completely at some point. I may be wrong, though, as it's been three years since I took economics in high school..

Quote:
Originally Said by cstoll
And I wouldn't paint college campuses as just going for the money. There's a benefit in promotion of diversity, even if the university heads don't give a damn about it. (Having worked closely with interdisciplinary/faculty committees at two universities now, I can say that most of them seemed to give a damn about it).
That's true, and one of the (few) benefits that are left from affirmative action. You'd be surprised by what people know what at university, even without the test scores. And furthermore, you can learn so much from the diversity; people have different ways of thinking and it can open up many, many possibilities in the way you see the world as you know it now - and that could be interacting in a class that had nothing to do with multiracial or multicultural studies.
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Old 04-21-2004   #17
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Re: Affirmative Action

Verilon, you're absolutely right about welfare--most of the people who get on it, get off of it. The notion of the "welfare leech sucking the system while driving a brand new car" is largely a myth, but it's one that gets supported by all these personal stories--"well, I know some people down the street on welfare and they just milk the hell out of that government teat..."

And, Yugoloth, brand-new computers in schools may not be important in terms of helping students to pass exams (although more and more exams are becoming computerized), but computers in schools (and in the workplace) are becoming increasingly important (I shudder at the obviousness of this line).

In education, computers continue to be distributed differentially among the related axes of race and socioeconomic status and this distribution contributes to the ongoing patterns of racism and to the continuation of poverty.

Facts:
students of color have less access to computers and to less sophisticated computer equipment than schools primarily serving to more affluent white students.
Black and Hispanic employees are much less likely to use a range of computer applications in the workplace.
Black and Hispanic Americans are much less likely to own and use computers.

Why am I harping on computers? The poorer you are and less educated you are--conditions both correlated with race--the less likely you are to have the knowledge, the familiarity, the access to computers and to high-paying, high-tech jobs.

Many new jobs of the informational economy require educations that are still primarily opportunities for whites. New manufacturing and an increasing amount of service jobs are becoming suburbanized, which means less access for inner-city residents.
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Old 04-21-2004   #18
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Re: Affirmative Action

Another quick tidbit of information - 7 out of every 11 immigrants to the United States give back more than they've taken away from the economy.
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Old 04-22-2004   #19
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Re: Affirmative Action

not sure if this has been talked about or not but here it goes and I mean nothing by it, just stating something... Blacks and Whites are equal correct? Yes it even says so in laws and such. Then why can a black man say he needs help from the government because he is black. The black man asking for help cause he is black is making himself UNEQUAL. He's being a hypocrite to his own beliefs. Or how.. as previously posted I do believe.. A white man and a black man both live in the ghetto.. who gets more support from the people and the government? The black guy because he is black. Its unfair to have laws that say we are equal but then have the ones is supposedly makes equal request for help because they arent equal. I hope you people could understand that. THats all for now. THanks
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Old 04-22-2004   #20
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Re: Affirmative Action

The factoring of race into hiring or college admissions cannot be justified. Any problem it would solve is less of a problem than the fact that it's being done. Diversity is a good thing, but it can't be engineered. Either it happens or it doesn't. Give everyone a fair shake. If that means factoring in their school having lousy textbooks, then do that. But you can do that without saying "you're black, therefore..." Nothing affecting the course of a person's life should start with "you're a certain color, therefore..."
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