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The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative action?

Discussion in 'U.S. Politics' started by CNHander, Jul 2, 2009.

  1. CNHander

    CNHander New Member

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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.

    Rejected from Stanford and two other top private schools that practice some form of affirmative action. (I'm white.)

    Yet one of my close friends, an African-American, with a somewhat underwhelming record (under 80th percentile gradewise, no outside activities to put on a resume aside from band) got into all three. 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, given the fact that a ~13% admission rate to the power of 3 schools is less than a forth of one percent.

    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 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.
     
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  2. Saxon

    Saxon Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    We really are NOT equal. There is a reason why Whites reigned supreme over the world for so long. The fact there even is an 'affirmative action' proves this to be truth. Do you think China and India suddenly went from basketcases to economic monsters overnight? No, it was the White man who pulled them up from their status as poverty-stricken ****holes, Check their history, and learn who it REALLY was that provided them all with jobs. China was an absolute ****hole until the Jews and Chinese pressured Clinton, who ended up giving China 'most-favoured nation' trading status. Why every American I have ever communicated with does not know this is obvious. Do you people honestly believe that China went from a nation who placed commercials on our televisions BEGGING for money, to an economic superpower overnight on their own? The money China used to help start up their industry came from the Jews, and at high interest rates. The Jews now own BOTH the USA and China.
     
  3. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    maybe there are other reasons you did not get in. in any case I dont realy feel all that bad for the burdens of the white male who just cant get bye....its a white mans nation, if you cant get bye in it, I suspect its for other reasons.
     
  4. Pandora

    Pandora Well-Known Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    That is a sad story. The white male is screwed, I feel bad for you. Can you find some kind of minority in your history you can cling onto? The game sucks, its not fair...so cheat!
     
  5. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    CNHander,

    First... welcome to the forum. Now onto your post:

    Clearly, you sir are a racist. Expect to hear such vile lies fly your direction for daring to complain about (and don't you dare oppose) discriminatory policies that were put in place to... Wait... Are you serious? We fix discrimination based on race by discriminating based on race? That makes no sense... Oh wait... Progressives came up with that idea.

    They call it "Social Justice"... only they could consider those who support policies that discriminate based on skin color to be good and those who oppose policies that discriminate based on skin color as racists.
     
  6. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    3 people apply to a school

    all 3 have 3.1 GPA from same school

    all 3 took same classes.

    a 4rth has a 3.5 and same classes

    . the first 3 get in the last does not,

    the first three where black, hispanic males and a white Female

    the 4rth a white male.

    was this racism?
     
  7. CNHander

    CNHander New Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    :(
    I thought I was on House of Politics, not Infowars.....
    It's true that the dominant culture is predominantly white, but the dominant culture is also greatly influenced by the lures of "racial equality" and such. It's not that I can't get by; didn't you see my admission qualifications at the beginning of my post? :confused: Then again, I'm not sure if I should be taking seriously someone who can't differentiate "bye" from "by." If you really think my non-admission and my friend's admission was for "other reasons," then could you provide some reasoning to back up your suspicion rather than a simple assertion without evidence?
    Yeah, I agree, underlying prejudice against whites or blacks is not the way to go. But neither is reactionary prejudice against progressives (nor any other group with ideas or ideals) the right way to go either.
    Only if all other admissions factors were equal (or in favor of the 4th applicant) :cool:
     
  8. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    You did not choose to be a white male...

    Progressives choose to be Progressives.

    Reactionary prejudice... LOL. Try principled opposition.

    What do you know about Progressives?

     
  9. CNHander

    CNHander New Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    You said "We fix discrimination based on race by discriminating based on race? That makes no sense... Oh wait... Progressives came up with that idea."
    implying that any idea Progressives come up with makes no sense, or that a progressive is incapable of coming up of good ideas, or something of the sort, implying that you close to equate progressives and their ideas with nonsense.

    A less prejudicial approach, I think, would be to approach each issue individually, and say something such as "This idea is nonsense" or something of the sort, rather than thinking that all progressives and their ideas are nonsensical. After all, surely there is ONE progressive with ONE good progressive idea in the world.

    What do I know of progressives? A lot, I suspect, but much depends on how you use the term "progressive," because there are many different parties, people, and organizations advocating for government reform and changes and such. How do you define "progressive"?
     
  10. GenSeneca

    GenSeneca Well-Known Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    Lets hear it... I'm all ears.

    Progressives: The Anti-Liberals

    Progressives came about in the early 1900's. They saw Socialism as too radical because it called for Revolution but the basic premises and goals of Socialism they agreed with entirely, Altruism, Collectivism and Statism. That's where they came up with the name, they wanted Progressive Socialism rather than Socialism through violent revolution.

    Democracy is well suited to bringing about Progressive Socialism, hence the popularity of the Social Democrats in European countries and the Progressives love affair with Democracy - Majority Rule.

    "A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can exist only until the voters discover they can vote themselves largess out of the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidate promising the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that democracy always collapses over a loose fiscal policy, always to be followed by a dictatorship." -- Tyler or De Tocqueville

    Republics, such as ours, were designed to protect the rights of the minority from the majority and prevent our Democracy from becoming a tyranny of the majority... Or at least it was supposed to until the rise of Progressivism in the 1900's and both the Republicans and Democrats were taken over by the Progressive Ideology. Teddy Roosevelt (R), Woodrow Wilson (D), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (D) and even Herbert Hoover (R) were Progressives. These men began our march away from the constitutional foundations of our republic and into the Collectivist Welfare State that we continue to build today.

    Altruist, Collectivist, Statist.
     
  11. pocketfullofshells

    pocketfullofshells Well-Known Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    I dont know what factors lead to the choice....and the fact is you don't as well. You just say race, but you cant back that up can you? There are many many reasons for some to get taken over others...you listed like 2 , so its impossible for anyone, even you to know if there was any racism at all. That was my point. Friend of mine got in over others even though was on a list...because she called every single day talking to them, and they moved her up and she got into the program...because she showed them more drive and that she would be a good fit..more then numbers and gpa's did...some people have a special skill that is unrelated, but the school wants. A friend who could pull some strings? good at a sport they want to promote, what time they applied, just to name a small number of other factors that go into who gets in and who does not.
     
  12. CNHander

    CNHander New Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    A good progressive idea? How about The United States Postal Service? Just think, for less than half the cost of a tiny bag of peanuts you buy at the convenience store, you can have a dude come around your house, every single day (except Sundays), and have him take from you a piece of paper, and have it flown hundreds of miles across the US to some other person, in only a couple of days. And that doesn't even require any tax money; it's all nonprofit and altruistic! Before the internet, that was revolutionary. Or, take for example, public roads. No one would do it themselves (or maybe a couple super rich people might, on very limited area). That was certainly an altruistic or collectivistic idea, and we as a society have certainly benefited greatly from it, even though it required the government robbing private citizens of their hard-earned tax money (to use a fiscal libertarian's phrasing). Or think of money the government has given to scientific research. Some of that money was used well and has benefited us all much more than had the money been kept by citizens and put back into the economy via (likely mostly high end) consumerism. Perhaps the end of slavery, some of which was inspired by altruism, could be called an altruistic act. Many have said that the causes of the current economic crisis were greedy banks, which I think also were counting on getting bailouts were their bets to be off the mark. Were the banks slightly more "progressive," or altruistic, perhaps they wouldn't have made so many risky loans that risked (and made fall) our entire economy. Of course the idiots who agreed to the loans are at fault as well, in my opinion more so, but greedy banks are also at fault.
    Whoever Tyler was, he must have made the quote, because De Tocqueville would most definitely not have made a statement so pessimistic and critical of democracy.

    ...
    My qualifications that I listed in my original post:
    (1) Graduated third in class
    (2) 350 hours of community service (more like 346 but whatever)
    (3) 2280 on SAT
    (4) Eagle Scout
    (5) Senior Patrol Leader
    (6) Many extracurricular activities
    (7) White (I'm kidding, I'm kidding....)

    That's not "like 2." That's more like 6, and it's even more if you count the different extracurricular activities separately, which you should.

    And, I listed my buddy's qualifications, as far as I knew them: he's in band (well, was) and had a GPA somewhere around 75-80th percentile.

    It doesn't take a genius to realize that Stanford's (for instance) self-professed policy of affirmative action in undergraduate admission must have played a role if I was rejected and my African-American friend was accepted. And yes, I applied well in advance of the deadline, and my friend did too. If affirmative action DIDN'T play a role in the decisions at all, as you seem to think is a possibility, then what could possibly account for the huge reverse discrepancy in outcomes, given the huge positive discrepancy in qualifications?

    It's true that there are some other factors that matter in admission, but they could not make up for the difference. No, my friend doesn't have any special connections to the school like alumni or relative professors or anything. And no, he never said he was remotely interested in being on a prominent sports team either.
     
  13. asur

    asur New Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    CN - Your problem is that you are a white male.

    If you were a preferred minority you most likely would be welcomed at Stanford
    given your credentials. I mean how many Eagle scouts are there?

    Big colleges look at race and there are plenty of cases to prove this.
    You know it now, it's common sense, just follow your gut beliefs.

    That being said, just go to another school.
    And by the way you will experience the same affirmative action
    on the job, likely. Ie. those less qualified get the promotions
    based on their skin color in the US.


    STANFORD pratices racism!
    STANFORD University lives and breathes RACISM
     
  14. top gun

    top gun New Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    While I understand your frustration and probably even agree that at some point affirmative action will be phased out there is a very valid, important and explainable reason why it was absolutely necessary.

    To be consice... it was to avoid paying reparations (direct cash payments to individuals for their legitimate damages of being held and forced to work as slaves).


    I understand it's hard especially if you're younger to truly understand the long term detriment that things like slavery and much more recently segregation, institutionalized racism, voter suppression & poverty plays in a groups academic development. It is a hard reality to grasp since except for poverty most hasn't been around in your lifetime. And since I don't think we've talked before I'm not Black I'm a 52 year old White male... so this isn't personal to me.

    There are those that say affirmative action should have never happened or should have ended long ago. I would disagree with both those positions but do believe the time is near and yes I think electing a Black President of the United States helps move that point along.

    I'm truly sorry this has affected you negatively because your grades and total package of accomplishments are truly admirable (I was a coach for many years so I've evaluated students & athletes).

    Try to do this. From a removed position try to look at affirmative action as in this parable.

    If you were in a terrible automobile accident hit by a drunk driver and so seriously injured partially paralyzed and would need intensive rehab to "maybe" someday be back up and able to work and earn a decent living...

    Would it be enough for you to just have the practice of drunk driving stopped?

    Or would you want your car replaced, all of your medical & rehab bills paid now & in the future and some compensation for all of your pain and suffering?

    Slaves were brought to the new world either against their will (kidnapping) or by (fraud) & trickery, broken away from family (crime against children & kidnapping), lost everything they had at home, stripped of any property and valuables (theft), refused the right to return home (kidnapping), refused education (intentionally held down & discriminated against) and were forced to be slaves for years & years & years often beaten, raped & killed (felonious assault, rape & murder).

    So you can see there were things done much, much worse than some legal attempt to give this group a chance to recover and get up to a reasonably close level to where they may have been had none of this been forced upon them.

    Should the slave owners or the government just made cash payments to all former slaves at the start in an attempt tp wipe the slate clean at the original generation? A case could be made for that.

    But they did not and racial inequality continued for many more years & years & years. Affirmative action was an attempt to help right a wrong that had never been addressed.

    Again I'm sure you will still do extremely well in life. You have a lot going for. Best of luck!
     
  15. CNHander

    CNHander New Member

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    Re: The just and the unjust ways to address modern racial inequality: affirmative act

    If you are going to connect this to slavery, then keep in mind that slavery was finished close to 150 years ago. I understand, accept, and am disappointed that unjust discrimination on the basis of race happens in the US today, and that it is one of the causes of poverty among African-Americans. How much of a cause it is for their poverty today I am unsure of, but I'm sure it was very significant cause of their historical poverty, which (through social class permanence) has continued to today for unlucky ones.
    The problem I see with this analogy is that it has been a very long time since slavery happened, and a somewhat shorter time since the civil rights movement; but still, both were multiple decades ago. All that remains of the slaves are their decendants. To make your above analogy more accurate, it would be as if the paralyzed person was my great-grandfather, who did not receive any reparations for the crash. But you can't fix what happened to him now; he's dead. Now, you COULD have the great-grandson of the drunk driver ordered to pay me money, or something of the sort, but how would (1) his great grandson be at fault for anything, or (2) I be justified in taking his money, having suffered very little personally as a result of his great-grandfather's actions?

    The moral abominations of slavery happened in the past, and there is no way to help those who were wronged as a result of it. The wrongs have been crystalized in time, and cannot be rectified, unfortunately. Say the government could simply create money out of thin air and distributed $10,000 to each African-American family, to further equality and to make up partially for what happened 150 years ago. If no one was penalized (had to pay) for that, and $10,000 was not an overestimate of the effects slavery has had on the current generation of African-Americans, that would be great. However, the ability to rectify wrongs becomes dilluted with time. Now, it is true that people were widely discriminated against because of their race just a few decades ago, and this was unjust and unfair, because judging someone to be inferior because of their race is simply wrong. But affirmative action is doing the same thing; because of it, people today are being discriminated against unjustly and unfairly because of their race. A wrong on one side cannot be corrected by a wrong on the other side, however atrocious the wrong on the first side was.

    Again, I would not have a problem with an [["attempt to give this group a chance to recover and get up to a reasonably close level to where they may have been had none of this been forced upon them"]] had it not also necessarily involved unjustly discriminating against another group simply on the basis of the color of their skin (simply on the basis of what other people in the country, who may or may not even be related, did 150 years ago).

    Unfortunately, (1) it tries to help right a wrong by inflicting another wrong, (2) it tries to correct the results (poor job prospects, etc) rather than the causes (poor educational potential), and so is very temporary, and (3) there have been many other attempts to rectify problems caused by slavery, such as persistent inequality, other than affirmative action, and many of the programs have succeeded in their goals.

    (2) is very important. Affirmative action tries to address the effects rather than the causes, 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. 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.
     
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