Re: Affirmative Action


"I'd grant, for example, that the justice system is racist from top to bottom"

OK. Defend your off-handed sop to close-minded ivory-tower liberalism... defend it at the top: the supreme court.

Feel free to use as much space as you'd like.


Posted by: Magik Johnson | Link to this comment | 06-18-03 12:33 AM
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Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-18-03 12:37 AM
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"This is the dilemma at the heart of the affirmative action debate: whites are responsible for blacks, but living up to that responsibility diminishes blacks. "

Beyond the superficial weirdness of this statement... a key factor is, who is responsible? I as a white man am responsible? OK, I never owned a slave, none of my known ancestors owned slaves. Whether or not some of them had racist feelings, I have reason to believe none of them had any active had in oppressing blacks.

But even that's not the point! Because more specifically, I have never taken any action to oppress a black. So in what sense do you mean me to be responsible for the state of blacks in society?

This isn't a flat-out argument against affirmative action, which up to a point I can imagine could be a social good. I'm just challenging your specific reasoning.

If you stand behind your original statement, keep it in mind while answering this question: Is a German child born today responsible for the holocaust?


Posted by: Magik Juanhijo | Link to this comment | 06-18-03 12:41 AM
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OK. Link this:

Brown vs. Board of Education.

How many years ahead of social and legislative consensus was this? How unequivocally not racist was this?

[Answers: Way, way ahead. Totally]

You'll need to use more space. I still think it's a simplistic sop to close-minded ivory-tower liberalism. You made the call, dude. I'm just calling you out.

Posted by: Magik Johson, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-18-03 12:44 AM
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My paralegal is back with this:

According to your link, the supreme court ruled in that case that: "plaintiffs can only go to court when they intend to show deliberate discrimination."

So let me get this straight, you are arguing about the moral ambiguity of using resultant racial diversity as a measure of racist intent, and yet you turn around and cite that supreme court decision as your one-line definitive proof that the supreme court is "racist"?

Let's remind you of your own quote here:

"The presence of people of differing racial backgrounds isn't itself some good to be pursued, it's just the most obvious sign that there was likely no discrimination against minority races in whatever process was used to choose students and that the pool of qualified applicants was itself racially diverse."

So the supreme court agrees with you, and therefore they're racist?

All I'm asking for is that you admit you were makin an off-handed sop to your ivory-tower liberal friends. I don't believe you meant it. So you exaggerated. We all make mistakes! Just 'fess up!

-Magica Torquemada

Posted by: Magik Johnson, Esq. | Link to this comment | 06-18-03 12:50 AM
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I confess only that I didn't really read the linked article. Otherwise I affirm that the Supreme Court is perhaps the most racist institution in the history of man.

And we're not doing much to convince Mr. Haynes of our seriousness here.

Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06-18-03 12:54 AM
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I'm deadly serioius. Let's rule out Dred Scott. Let's assume you were actually being reasonable and discussing the supreme court of today and recent years. You just can't defend those statements. (And haven't, I hasten to add.)

I must say, though, after your dismissal of the proposal to offer anyone a right of response in the media, it is awfully generous of you to offer one to Mr. Hayes...


Posted by: Magik Johnson | Link to this comment | 06-18-03 1:06 AM
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Classist affirmative action programs? What ever happened to merit? I'm sorry, but if my parents (father and stepfather) went into the military, during war, to pay for college, so that they could have the education and affluence to put me, their son/stepson, into a good college, why should we suddenly say that their hard work and sacrifice is discriminatory and prejudicial?

The GI Bill does not discriminate. I would like to add that other merit-based avenues to inter-generational, intrafamilial prosperity, such as starting a business or working your way through college, do not discriminate either. The only prejudice or discrimination sought to be countered by class-based affirmative action is the intergenerational effect of a lack of profitable efforts by one's parents. The incentive to do well for one's future children is what class-based affirmative action will eliminate. It will have no effect on whether one's parents are drug addicts, whether they read to their child, whether they encourage the child academically, etc.

The proposed classist affirmative action also determines that the competition for the scarce academic resources shall no longer be mediated by price (profitable effort x time), but instead by lack of ability to pay that price. The poor are enabled to become rich, but their children are then made to be poor.

Posted by: its jake | Link to this comment | 06-20-03 11:15 AM
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On racial-based affirmative action: the principal is not one of responsibility, but of unjust enrichment. White people, due to slavery, segregation, and discrimination, have not had to compete against blacks. This has made blacks less competetive and has given white people some careers, both real and academic, that, in the ideal just world, would have gone to blacks. Those careers, and the inspiration and financial support that they pass on to the children of those who possess them, are an enrichment to the white group in general at the expense of the black groupin general. Since this was due to racial discrimination, we say it is unjust.

Unjust enrichment, as a matter of justice, requires that the wrong be righted, even if no wrong was comitted by any party. That is where affirmative action gets its legitimacy.

Posted by: its jake | Link to this comment | 06-20-03 12:31 PM
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It's been argued, convincingly, that race relations among the poor are exploited by the (by-and-large) white upperclass. IOW, those with capital want to protect their large slice of the pie and it suits them better to have those beneath them scrabbling for a better share of what remains rather than looking at the *whole* pie and demanding a more equitable deal.

Affirmative action based on class, rather than race, is an interesting idea and I wonder what it would do to race relations. Would it allay or exacerbate existing problems, I wonder.

Posted by: renska | Link to this comment | 06-21-03 9:37 PM
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Afirmative action is discrimination against blacks. It says that they cannot get into a good college without having help. AA also hinders the white ethnicity by decreasing the amount of whites entering a school. Admittance to college should be based only upon SAT, ACT and college prerequisits.

Posted by: katie | Link to this comment | 01- 5-04 7:12 AM
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Wow...interesting debate, but I do however agree with affirmative action. First and foremost, I am asian, but I am not your typical Chinese or Japanese. I am Mong, which is a under-representated asian minority group. My parents emigrated from Laos during the Vietnam War. I believe race should be a factor when admitting students into a university because while many do not want to admit it, many white individuals are obtaining resources which are not offered to minority students (i.e. income, parent's educational level, etc...). Also, when one evaluates the externalities the white community receives, one can see all the benefits that the white race is obtaining. For example, in the American culture, the white society dominates in all areas of life whether it be the media or businesses. With this perception of dominance, many white individuals have more of a advantage not only in college, but later on in life also. When admitting students into a university, race should be considered in addition to family income, SAT, high school grades, extracurricular activities, and one's personal statement. (remember that many universities also give advantages to children of alumni and athletes, so if we get rid of race as a factor, shouldn't we get rid of athletes and privileged kids also and if so, what will happen? Chaos, obviously, because there wouldn't be good quality college sports, diversity, and money for the school aka legacies and development (i.e. Duke)).

Posted by: Duh..... | Link to this comment | 01-28-04 3:21 PM
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Racism of any kind should not be tolerated and that includes affirmative action. It is immoral to give any one group special privledges for any reason and that includes the back history of one race being treated less fairly. It is not fair or just to give blacks and people of other races special privledges just because these groups were discriminated against 50 years or so ago. Equal rights for everyone and special privldges for no one! Any exception to this is itself an act of racism!

Posted by: Ben | Link to this comment | 04-21-05 4:18 PM
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