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How to address modern racial inequality: affirmative action?

CNHander

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So I graduated third in my graduating class of 800, I've logged over 350 hours of community service, scored a 2280 on the SAT, I'm an Eagle Scout (and Senior Patrol Leader of a troop of over 100), and did a ton of extracurricular activities to boot.

However, I was rejected from Stanford. The rejection alone was not a surprise at all, because there are many other very well qualified applicants like myself. Yet one of my close friends, an African-American, with a somewhat underwhelming record (under 85th percentile gradewise, no outside activities to put on a resume aside from band) was admitted. (I'm white.) Stanford proudly proclaims that it practice some form of affirmative action. What the heck is this? Do we, as a culture, really need to have equality of outcome for all races, rather than simply equality of opportunity? Should universities (and employers and other organizations) really be so pressured to appear politically correct that they slip into reverse discrimination?

I may be inferring too much from too little information, but I don't that's likely; what factor, other than race, could have admitted him and rejected me?

Racism, sexism, homophobia, etc. are all very serious problems in America (see the Presidential election..), but how is affirmative action or anything like it ethical or just? Both racism and affirmative action (intentional or not) influence someone's judgment on the basis of prejudice, that minorities should be given extreme abnormal disdain or privilege. Instead of fighting prejudice with prejudice, wouldn't it be better to address the root causes of the problem? That is, address harmful internet sites, inadequate education leading people to mis-infer that correlation implies causation, certain environments and subcultures that encourage children growing up to become racist (certain small Southern towns), and of course ensuring equality of opportunity for as many people as possible.

But enforcing racial diversity for diversity's sake behind force of law, institutional ruling, or simply underlying prejudice is wrong, for the same reason that enforcing a single "pure race" behind the KKK or a Hitler is wrong; diversity or non-diversity are not underlying principles that should be appealed to. Rather, justice, and individual merits, skills, accomplishments, and talents are what should be taken into consideration.

Otherwise, if we as a culture continue to judge people based just on what group they can be classified into, we will just become ever more divided, which will further unjust prejudice, to the detriment of the nation.


Oh, and to presuppose an objection, I'm not looking for sympathy. I got into a good school anyway, and besides, my own personal circumstances mean very little in the broad scheme of things. Rather, I'm looking for someone to give a good logical defense of why affirmative action may be a just policy.
 
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CNHander

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Some may think of criticizing me for not explaining how hundreds of years of slavery, systematic discrimination, and racism can be addressed, so here are some positive suggestions. The way I see it, affirmative action tries to address the effects (lower income levels, higher unemployment) rather than the causes (generally lower educational potential due to systematic inequality/racism), and so is only as permanent as long as the African-American manages to hold onto his or her job, which may be short, especially given the current economic situation. Since AA doesn't treat the causes, it would have to be practiced forever to retain its effectiveness, because as soon as it stops, we're very close to the original situation again.

The solution is not to say or make people act as if a particular African-American's qualifications are greater than they actually are. The solution is to make it so that African-Americans' qualifications (on average) ARE the same as others. I suggest that, rather than treating the symptom through affirmative action, we treat the disease itself. For instance, in my state, funds for local schools come from taxing the surrounding properties. If one lives in a poor, primarily African-American neighborhood, your school will also be quite poor. This is obviously an idiotic policy, which serves only to further inequality among students and schools. In addition, I have heard that some African-American culture, greatly influenced by popular rappers, is somewhat self-depreciating and does not carry all that much respect for the most important thing, education, nor so much for getting a job and working. I don't know how correct these rumors about some subsets of AA culture is, but if there may be a little bit of truth to them. I don't know. Or, there exists in my neighborhood an organization which seeks to pair up poor, typically unmotivated minorities from unprivileged neighborhoods with a more well-to-do mentor, who helps them with schoolwork, encourages them and gives them advice, and most importantly, helps them to become motivated to fully attend college. We need more programs like that, which help future families to fervently seek success on their own, without any outside help necessary.

Better to correct and encourage those, which help to permanently treat the causes of inequality, than affirmative action, which is temporary, unjust, and shortsighted.


To make an analogy, A and B are twin brothers and have to take a test tomorrow. Imagine that B was assigned a lot of homework for other classes and so didn't study much for the test, and got a B. Brother A has more time to study and gets an A. Brother B doesn't know the material very well, so does not deserve an A. However, that happened because he was denied equal opportunity; he had little time to study for the test. Would the just thing be to give him an A regardless, even though he doesn't know the material well? Of course not. The just thing would be to make sure he doesn't get much homework from other classes on test days. Same for AA; if one is less qualified one shouldn't be as likely to get a job. The solution is not to give them the job; the solution is to provide for equal opportunity so that the subject would be equally qualified.


I also forgot to mention this in my original post: other important components of an application are recommendations and the "creative essays." Some of it might be explained by my not doing that well on those. It's hard to make something "creative" when there isn't really a concrete topic or known concrete expectations... at least, that's how it is for me. That's why I like forums or regular assignments much better. But my personal experience doesn't matter; my point is that affirmative action is not right.
 

chanel

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Ideally affirmative action would offer the placement to the minority candidate if ALL OTHER factors were equal. If two teachers are competing for the same job and their resumes are comparable I say give it to the minority But egragious cases like this and the New Haven firefighters show that AA has become justification for reverse racism. I believe it is a form of slave reparations.

And as far as improving ed for minorities more money will not improve achievement It has been tried and failed miserably in NJ The only way to improve school drop out rates and minority rep in college is to force parents to get involved And that won't happen as long as big daddy gubmint is the sole care giver.
 
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CNHander

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Ideally affirmative action would offer the placement to the minority candidate if ALL OTHER factors were equal.
I would definitely be more likely to support something like that.
And as far as improving ed for minorities more money will not improve achievement It has been tried and failed miserably in NJ
You sure about that? My post was referring to school funds being mis-allocated. If an African-American lives in a poor area, predominantly AA, the school will be poor (and likely pretty bad) as well. Stopping policies like those would go a long way towards enabling equality of opportunity across races, wouldn't you agree?
 

Fatality

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if you feel youve been treated illegaly then file a lawsuit if not then man up and go about your business
 

Ravi

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Maybe they wanted a black guy instead of you...or maybe your writing style had them gagging and committing suicide in the teacher's lounge? I can only judge on what you've written, and my eyes were rolling back in my head with boredom after the first paragraph.

Oh wait, I see you mentioned that at the end, that it could have been your essay. I think you've nailed it.
 
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Big Black Dog

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ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Wake me up when we start beating this dead horse some more...
 

Ravi

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Truthfully, I didn't get into my first choice either but I never thought to blame blackie. I figured it was my own fault for screwing around in tenth grade. Maybe I can sue for years of damages. :eusa_eh:
 

Anguille

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In addition, I have heard that some African-American culture, greatly influenced by popular rappers, is somewhat self-depreciating and does not carry all that much respect for the most important thing, education, nor so much for getting a job and working. I don't know how correct these rumors about some subsets of AA culture is, but if there may be a little bit of truth to them. I don't know.
Lack of respect for education is certainly not limited to subsets of African-American culture.
I also forgot to mention this in my original post: other important components of an application are recommendations and the "creative essays." Some of it might be explained by my not doing that well on those.
Thanks for being honest about that. Till I read that I was not entirely sure you were recounting something that really happened. That could well be the reason, that he had better recommendations and wrote better essays or maybe did better in an interview. Also, your friend's mother or father could be a Stanford alumni. That's how Dubya got into Yale. Still, I don't don't doubt that mistakes are made and injustices happen during the college application process.

As chanel said,"Ideally affirmative action would offer the placement to the minority candidate if ALL OTHER factors were equal." and I agree with that method of promoting equality in out society and I think it has worked well so far, though I look forward to the day when affirmative action is no longer needed. It's a badly understood policy and certainly not a perfect one.
I'm glad you still got into a good school
 

AllieBaba

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It's not badly understood. It had its place and time, and now it's over.
 

William Joyce

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I suggest that, rather than treating the symptom through affirmative action, we treat the disease itself. For instance, in my state, funds for local schools come from taxing the surrounding properties. If one lives in a poor, primarily African-American neighborhood, your school will also be quite poor. This is obviously an idiotic policy, which serves only to further inequality among students and schools.[/u]

Well, disappointed Cardinal, if you're under the impression that it's lack of equal funding that makes blacks the underperformers they are, I'm going to be sluggish in ginning up to feel sorry for you.

Blacks are less intelligent than whites largely because they inherited lower intelligence from ol' mom and dad, who are... usually black.

But I'm sure that whatever "good" school you did get into would promptly kick you out if you starting investigating that topic. But hey -- now that you've been served up one of the tastier shit sandwiches of multiracial America, think you'll get mad enough to start questioning things?

They aren't talking about it down at the student union, but here are the facts:

1. Races are real biological entities that differ in intelligence and behavior.

2. Whites are one of those races.

3. They created the West, including America (and Stanford).

4. Non-whites could not have created the West.

5. Affirmative action isn't just some innocently misguided attempt to "equalize" blacks, Hispanics and whites, it's part of an active campaign to destroy whites as a people -- PHYSICALLY DESTROY THEM.

Free tidbit:

David Starr Jordan of Stanford was a white advocate:

http://www.natall.com/national-vanguard/121/index.html
 
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get_involved

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"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." - United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts
 

elvis

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affirmative action IS racism.
 

editec

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I almost got into Yale until somebody finally realized that a person with my last name couldn't possibly be an female Inuit (native American) and a wounded Viet Nam Vet, too.

So instead of going to the Ivy League, I ended up with a degree from a school in the Poison Ivy league
 
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CNHander

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Fatality said:
if you feel youve been treated illegaly then file a lawsuit if not then man up and go about your business
Hey, they're a private institution, they're completely allowed to admit people the way they feel like. The Supreme Court even ruled that slight forms of affirmative action are constitutional even in state schools.

But my personal experience is irrelevant, and bears no relevance at all to the larger issue of whether affirmative action is a just policy or not. I'm here to talk about the policy; care to share your views on it?
Ravi said:
Maybe they wanted a black guy instead of you...or maybe your writing style had them gagging and committing suicide in the teacher's lounge? I can only judge on what you've written, and my eyes were rolling back in my head with boredom after the first paragraph.
If a single starting sentence of an important political argument is too "boring" for you, perhaps you would be more suited to stay in less substantive threads such as "40th anniversary of Mary Jo Kopechne’s drowning," "Socialism at work," and "Anti-lifers...". I'm not here to entertain you; I'm here to discuss ideas that many Americans would find immensely boring or irrelevant. Affirmative action is definitely not the most exciting topic there is, but it's still useful to debate it, especially since we're on a political forum.

If you don't like my writing style, please, please, PLEASE make a post about it or send me a PM or something so you can vent and so I can understand. If there are any rules against personal attacks feel free to ignore them. (But no, my creative essays were nothing like my posts here; here all I'm focused on is debating pros and cons of affirmative action and related subjects, and in the essays I was focused more on entertaining and describing situations, personal reflections, etc)

But again, my personal situation is irrelevant to the larger question of whether affirmative action is a just policy or not.
Big Black Dog said:
ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ Wake me up when we start beating this dead horse some more...
Want to at least share what your views are on affirmative action, rather than just complaining?
Ravi said:
Truthfully, I didn't get into my first choice either but I never thought to blame blackie. I figured it was my own fault for screwing around in tenth grade. Maybe I can sue for years of damages.
Let's get this straight. I am not blaming affirmative action for my not getting in. As you can see in the second paragraph of my original post, I am not surprised at all (nor would I contest) my rejection, because there are so many well qualified applicants. My friend might have "taken my spot" or something, but I doubt it; it would be much more likely that AA just resulted in him being admitted (and kept my rejection the way it was). Reason being, I think that for a top university, AA would be responsible for only a very small minority of the admitted.

Please don't think me as (or portray me as) a stereotypical conservative racist; I'm not. I lean much more towards the left than the right. If you disagree with my views on AA then please say so, rather than making personal attacks and sarcasm.
Anguille said:
Lack of respect for education is certainly not limited to subsets of African-American culture.
That's for sure. I would be inclined to believe that there is a certain influential subset of the white population which is much more persistently and more consciensously anti-intellectual. I'm not at all saying that the problem is limited to African-Americans, I'm just saying that the problem of inequality could be partially solved if the disrespect of education in some parts of African-American culture was lessened.
Anguille said:
That could well be the reason, that he had better recommendations and wrote better essays or maybe did better in an interview. Also, your friend's mother or father could be a Stanford alumni. That's how Dubya got into Yale. Still, I don't don't doubt that mistakes are made and injustices happen during the college application process.
Yeah, I think that legacy admissions (which almost exclusively benefit whites) are even more unjust and shortsighted than affirmative action. Why judge an applicant on anything other than their educational credentials, and how much they are likely to benefit from a university?
William Joyce said:
Well, disappointed Cardinal, if you're under the impression that it's lack of equal funding that makes blacks the underperformers they are, I'm going to be sluggish in ginning up to feel sorry for you.
I don't want sympathy, nor would I care if anyone had any. I will repeat it again: my personal situation is irrelevant to the larger issue of whether AA is a just policy or not.
William Joyce said:
Blacks are less intelligent than whites largely because they inherited lower intelligence from ol' mom and dad, who are... usually black.

1. Races are real biological entities that differ in intelligence and behavior.
2. Whites are one of those races.
3. They created the West, including America (and Stanford).
4. Non-whites could not have created the West.
If you are taking intelligence as a minimum standard needed to create modern 1st-world society, I would be inclined to believe that there are certain Asian areas of above-average intelligence sufficient, though their culture is different. After all, it is widely documented how well Asian students and businessmen are doing, even compared to whites.

If you got much of this information from The Bell Curve (book), which I've read, I can only say that I think education and surrounding culture can play a large role in developing a person's structural beliefs and way of seeing the world, which in turn can partially affect intelligence. There's probably a lot of BS floating around about how race relates to intelligence, given the politically-correct crowd and the non-politically-correct crowd. I have no experience in the field so I can't sift through it reliably. Sorry :( For the sake of civilized and on-topic discussion I'm going to have to stick with the assumption that nurture has more influence on intelligence than nature.
William Joyce said:
5. Affirmative action isn't just some innocently misguided attempt to "equalize" blacks, Hispanics and whites, it's part of an active campaign to destroy whites as a people -- PHYSICALLY DESTROY THEM.
Ok, I'll bite. If you actually believe this, and aren't trolling, could you explain a little further? I personally find it hard to believe that there is an active genocidal-themed campaign going on in America.
 
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CNHander

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Surely there are SOME other liberals on here. Doesn't anyone want to defend affirmative action?
 

Maple

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And everyone thought that by electing a black president this would all end.
 

Maple

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There is no excuse for affirmative action you have been discriminated against.
 

William Joyce

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5. Affirmative action isn't just some innocently misguided attempt to "equalize" blacks, Hispanics and whites, it's part of an active campaign to destroy whites as a people -- PHYSICALLY DESTROY THEM.

Ok, I'll bite. If you actually believe this, and aren't trolling, could you explain a little further? I personally find it hard to believe that there is an active genocidal-themed campaign going on in America.

If a Jew during the time before Hitler said, "Hey, everyone, I think this guy's going to try to off us all," they would have said he was totally crazy.

There's not really a short answer to your question, but over the past 10 years I have developed the belief that whites are uniquely targeted for displacement, dispossession and destruction. Look at our immigration "policy", affirmative action, the culture, the ads, the music, our politics, the media, the "diversity" brainwashing in schools, the laws, "civil rights", welfare, attacks on free speech, you name it. Our society is shot through with the notion that "diversity" is wonderful, whites are bad people, and all of history revolves around white evil... therefore, whites need to be eliminated. Susan Sontag, a Jewish leftist, once declared that "whites are the cancer of human history." That wasn't a compliment. And many, many people, including some whites like Bill Ayers, not only believe this but are intent on finding the "cure."

Whites were once nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population. Through a combination of factors, most malevolent, they are on a course to be minorities by 2042. In other words, whites are disappearing. Some are killed by black violence. Some are outplaced by Hispanic immigration. Some are sent to die in wars that benefit Israel. Some are simply never born because whites today either claim homosexuality or never marry because the media tells them that's uncool. Or they marry have no kids, instead focusing on material wealth like expensive homes, etc. You'll notice, however, that these messages don't reach blacks and Hispanics, who procreate apace, and often get white tax dollar support for their project.

You need not be a hyperactive pro-white like me to see all this... just ask, whatever the government, media or other entity is doing, whether that would be GOOD for whites, or BAD for whites. Mostly the answer is "bad."

Mostly, the enemy is a combination of Jewish activists, minority activists and liberal whites. But even most "conservative" whites don't get it. Sure, Bill Clinton loves to talk about the coming white minority and how great it will be, but so does Mike Huckabee! And they give him a TV show.

Have you ever noticed that your average white male conservative is totally TERRIFIED of being called a "racist"? Who created that setting, anyway? Nobody's worried about Sonia Sotomayor's clear "racism", i.e., partisanship for her race. Or Barack Obama's naked advocacy for blacks as a lawyer and now, the president. But a white man makes the wrong NOISE, and he's viciously attacked. It's like the new "red scare", only it's the "white scare." Racial McCarthyism.

We basically are at a point where white people are afraid to even think to themselves about any right they have to group self-determination, as a people. That's not a free and strong people. That's a cowed, caged people.

Look at the existence of affirmative action. If you break it down mechanically and describe what's actually going on, it's pretty amazing that whites didn't scream bloody murder right off the bat and kill it dead. What people accepts being blocked from all kinds of positions in the society THEY BUILT? Yet we actually "debate" whether affirmative action is a good idea. This is the behavior of a people who have been CONQUERED, mentally and physically, by their enemies.

Or illegal immigration. Non-whites essentially BREAK IN to the country and start demanding this and that. And we whites are mostly concerned about whether it will look "racist" if we object! Is this a race that has completely lost its backbone or what?

My mission on Earth is to rally whites to break out of this cage.
 
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