Affirmative Action Right or Wrong?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Dmac77, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. Dmac77 macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #1
    So lately I've been thinking, isn't it just another form of discrimination? How is it fair that a black person gets preferential treatment when applying for college just because they are black? If a white student has better grades, and more extra curricular then a black student, is it fair that that black student is more likely to get into college then the white student?

    Note: This isn't just restricted to black students getting preferential treatment, it also relates to other races getting preferential treatment over Caucasians.

    Personally I think that affirmative action is just discrimination against Caucasians, and males. What is your opinion?

    Don
     
  2. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #2
    I agree. Discrimination of any type is wrong, I'm all for not allowing employers asking what someones age, race and sex are in application forms. All employers should be concerned with is academic ability and the candidates suitability for a particular job.

    Edit : The absolute worst is that in the UK employers MUST employ a certain percentage of people from ethnic minorities regardless of their suitability for the job, meaning that people who might be a better match for the job do not even get a chance to go for the job. It is disgusting.
     
  3. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #3
    dear god it's not possible... we agree on something:eek:!

    Don
     
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #4
    I'm as surprised as you are :).
     
  5. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

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    #5
    I'm with you guys. As soon as you start considering a person's physical characteristics as part of your decision to hire them / accept them to your school / whatever, then you are now discriminating against people.
     
  6. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    And when ever someone tries to defend affirmative action they always say that white people wronged minorities years ago. And I just don't get that, why do some people think that it is ok to fix one wrong with another?

    Don
     
  7. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    Because they are foolish. They argue on one hand that discrimination is wrong and try and combat it by introducing measures which discriminate against people.

    Absolute idiocy if you ask me.
     
  8. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #8
    True. The president of the University of Michigan has publicly stated that Caucasians "owe" minorities because we enslaved them in the past. I am flabbergasted by this sort of statement.

    Don
     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

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    #9
    I think people from the Caucasus should get equal treatment with everybody else.
     
  10. j26 macrumors 65832

    j26

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    #10
    The one thing to think about is that we live in societies that favour white males, and have done for a long time. It is very difficult to change mindsets in short period of time, so that even if discrimination is illegal, people will still discriminate (even unconsciously). As an example, during the Troubles in Northern Ireland, religious discrimination was banned, and the North had more anti-discrimination legislation than any other country, but it was still rife. Another example is that the female population of Irish universities exceeds the male population and has done for some time now, but the "leaders of industry" are still primarily male.

    Affirmative action is a convenient way to ensure that every group gets a fair shot and these discriminated groups get a shot to prove themselves. In the longer term the group has to stand on its own feet, but in the short term it MAY be necessary in certain circumstances.

    However, it is something that will go nowhere unless there is a concerted effort in society to embrace diversity through education etc.
     
  11. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #11
    I'm not as quick to dismiss it as completely wrong. For example I see the provision of medical school places (and scholarships) for aboriginal and torres straight islanders as very positive. It makes university an affordable and a more attractive prospect for a minority that usually would not consider/pursue that career path due to extrinsic barriers. This in turn allows better provision of medical services as these physicians can relate/understand the issues to a specific population which overcomes enormous hurdles in equity and access to healthcare.
     
  12. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

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    #12
    Even if that were a legitimate argument, it no longer holds true. The last legal discrimination laws were taken off the book over 40 years ago now (and the vast majority of them gone for much longer), and we've now had a couple of generations of black people who've gotten a huge competitive advantage through affirmative action, so at this point you can no longer validly argue that the playing field hasn't been roughly leveled in terms of making up for previous institutional discrimination. Black people may still be suffering from people's personal prejudices, but that is not something that the government has anything to do with.

    Even more importantly, even if black people did deserve an advantage to make up for past discrimination, it's completely unjust to give them that advantage by stealing it from an innocent person. Even if you could argue that white grandkids of grandparents that benefitted from discrimination are unduly advantaged today, and thus you are justified in hurting them to give an advantage to a black person, even if that argument was valid, it would still only be valid in that specific instance. Meaning black people who immigrated here after the last discrimination laws were removed should not be eligible for affirmative action, and the only white people who you could legitimately remove advantages from are those who descended from white ancestors who benefitted from the institutional discrimination. If you're white and your family immigrated here 40 years ago then your family did not benefit from institutional discrimination, so it would be completely unjust to steal advantages from you and give it to a black person.

    But this is never considered in affirmative action programs, so even if legitimate arguments could be made for affirmative action, the way they are implemented has only created more injustice instead of balancing the scales. And if at some earlier point the pro-affirmative arguments were valid, they no longer are valid today.
     
  13. thebassoonist macrumors 6502a

    thebassoonist

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    #13
    I support affirmative action. Diversity is good in education. An African American student may bring a new paradigm to say, a graduate program and therefore future research, than a European American student. It is also important to remember that...

    -GPAs and, especially, test scores are fairly poor at predicting how someone will do in college (to a certain extent -- I received an average score on the SAT and ACT and I am graduating with honors).
    -Exams like the SAT and ACT are written by a certain group of people (i.e. white, middle class, and probably mostly male) and may assume particular cultural information is "inherently" known by all test takers. The essay sections are also graded by a particular group.
    -If one must work while one goes to high school, it is very difficult to do extracurricular activities and keep grades up. Many poorer high school students may not be able to afford things like National Honor Society fees, a car to get to extracurriculars, or have a stay at home parent able to drive them. I must add that minorities are more likely to be in the lower or working class socioeconomic statuses.
    -And, we've had affirmative action in the US for a long time. The admitted are called "legacies."

    Is the affirmative action program perfect? No. But neither are admission committees.

    I'd also like to add that no men in my family have been hurt by affirmative action (all of them have gone to whatever graduate programs they wanted to), and numerous women (including my mother, an attorney) have been helped.

    Just my $0.02.
     
  14. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #14
    I agree that racial diversity is a good thing. I do NOT agree with positive discrimination. You can have racial diversity but you do not need to discriminate against people to get it.

    Edit : As far as the rest of your post goes, they are social problems that should be tackled individually rather than just using positive discrimination to bludgeon the problem until it goes away.
     
  15. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #15
    Smart Ass:D:p

    How is it fair that someone with poor grades gets preferential treatment to someone who gets good grades? Your logic makes no sense. People who are "smarter" should have abetter chance of getting into college then someone who is "stupider" (for lack better word). How would it be fair if I worked my ass off for 4 years taking AP classes and graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA, only to get denied entrance into college because someone who isn't as smart as me is a minority gets preferential treatment?

    I would have no problem if someone who is as smart as me but is poor got a scholarship instead of me, but I do have an issue with some who isn't as smart as me getting that scholarship because of their gender or skin color.

    Agreed.

    Don
     
  16. motulist macrumors 68040

    motulist

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    #16
    But the government has no authority to govern people's subconscious biases! Afaik, the argument that got affirmative action laws passed was that white people were unfairly given an advantage by stealing that advantage due to INSTITUTIONAL discrimination. Meaning for example when a company, as a policy, did not hire black people. But I've never heard anyone in power argue that there should be affirmative action to make up for people's subconscious biases! Do you really think the government should have the authority to try to counteract against thoughts that you have in your head? That's like the worst orwellian nightmare come true! You cant persecute people for thought crimes!

    And even more than that, it is very clearly shown that good looking people have always gotten better jobs, got paid more, had more power and prestige, etc, for at least the last couple of centuries. Does that mean that the government has a right to institute affirmative action for ugly people?
     
  17. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #17
    I'm sorry, but that is BS! I'm all for diversity, but if a white European student is smarter, and has worked harder to get into college then a black student from the ghetto the white European student should be the one going to college or getting a scholarship.
     
  18. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #18
    Why is your hypothetical black student assumed to be from the ghetto?

    I think that statement/slip of the tongue is quite revealing.

    Also, I don't think you would be considered "European" if you aren't from Europe.
     
  19. .Andy macrumors 68030

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    #19
    But in my example it has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with attracting the best students (in this case those from a minority) that ultimately will be able to provide a better service to a population which is currently facing inequality to service, and therefore suffering.

    Academic grades have very little correlation with real world performance.
     
  20. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #20
    No, I don't think that it is revealing in any way, unless you being enlightened by the statement that most underachieving black students are from ghettos. No I'm not European in the sense that I' from Europe, but the term is commonly used in place of caucasian ( I prefer not to give skunk anything else to feed on).
    Don

    PS

    Do you enjoy trolling and trying to provoke me?

    EDIT: @.Andy- I was being hypothetical, I should have said white student.
     
  21. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #21
    Where do most underachieving white students comes from?

    edit;
    Then I'm not sure my point was as clear as I intended. In some instances affirmative action is successful as it provides a net benefit for the community. In the case of offering limited medical student places to minorities it improves the health outcomes for the whole of society, as it redresses inequality at the provision of service.
     
  22. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #22
    My primary beef w/affirmative action is that it's based on race and not socio-economic status even though it's goal is supposed to give people who grew up low on the socio-economic ladder a chance they otherwise wouldn't have gotten. Not every poor person from a broken home is black and not every middle-class suburbanite is white.


    Lethal
     
  23. it5five macrumors 65816

    it5five

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    #23
    I commented on it because I find it curious you would compare two completely different types of people for your example. You used yourself, presumably a relatively affluent white kid compared to an underachieving black kid from the ghetto.

    If there are two kids, one black and one white, with similar GPAs and similar socio-economic backgrounds, both apply to the same university, but only one can be accepted, who do you think should get the spot?

    Not to mention you are failing to address why there are more poorly performing minority students in the poorer areas of town.
     
  24. .Andy macrumors 68030

    .Andy

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    #24
    Isn't it both? At all the universities I've been to there has been scholarships based on financial need in addition to scholarships (and reduced academic barriers to entry) based on ethnicity and/or geographical location (i.e. rural students).
     
  25. Dmac77 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Dmac77

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    #25
    Those would be the lazy @sses that live off of daddy's money, and attend private schools just to flunk out. No I am not a member of this group.

    Agreed.
    Affirmative action is just like communism (and with the utterance of that word pseudorbit will enter). It looks good on paper, but fails miserably when it is implemented.

    Don
     

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