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Is affirmative action REALLY fair?

 
 
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 10:05 am
I have recently been thinkin about colleges and universities and I have been somewhat put off by the fact that affirmative action is almost reverse discrimination. I am a white male and for me to get a full ride scholarship into the University of Michigan would be nearly impossible. Yet, I know of an african american girl who had no higher than a 3.2 GPA. Her SAT score was also no higher than 26. How can this be fair? Shouldn't the the points system be equal for EVERYONE? Giving minorities a leg up over a white man just because of their race is somewhat encouraging discrimination. I believe the person with the highest scores should be accepted and such, regardless of race, sex, or sexual preference.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 2 • Views: 20,672 • Replies: 449
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rufio
 
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Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 10:12 am
SAT? 26? Do you mean ACT?

I don't like AA, but as long as the University is private it can probably accept whoever it wants, based on whatever criteria it wants. Having minority students makes it look "cultured" and so they accept more of them - just like they accept more people from other parts of the country because they add "diversity" or something. I probably had a leg up applying to schools in the Midwest simply because I was from Arizona.
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Jon205587
 
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Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 10:29 am
meant ACT of 26
correction: ACT, not SAT of 26
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 11:25 am
Re: Is affirmative action REALLY fair?
CarbonSystem wrote:
I am a white male and for me to get a full ride scholarship into the University of Michigan would be nearly impossible.

Why should you get a full-ride scholarship?
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 11:25 am
CarbonSystem, does it temper your animosity toward Affirmative Action to recall that America has practiced an implicit AA in favor of white higher class men throughout its history?
My objection to AA is that it overlooks the traditional disadvantages suffered by lower class and rural throughout our history. AA should be as much class-based as it is ethnic or "race" based.
I will probably agree with your position when the day comes that AA is no longer necessary, when discrimination and its effects are no longer realities. But we are far from that condition now. Remove AA in schools and in terms of gov't contracts for businesses and you'll see a very quick return to earlier times, not because of alleged "natural" advantages of white males over women and minorities, but because of gender and ethnic favoritism.
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joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 11:56 am
JLNobody wrote:
I will probably agree with your position when the day comes that AA is no longer necessary, when discrimination and its effects are no longer realities. But we are far from that condition now. Remove AA in schools and in terms of gov't contracts for businesses and you'll see a very quick return to earlier times, not because of alleged "natural" advantages of white males over women and minorities, but because of gender and ethnic favoritism.

JLN, it is not often that I agree with you, but I wholeheartedly agree with you here.
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stuh505
 
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Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 11:56 am
I can't speak for the rest of the world, but I go to UVM in Vermont. There are a lot of black kids at my school and I have never seen any of them discriminated in any way, and I'm friends with many of them. I also have noticed that many of the black students are much less academically skilled and highly doubt they would have been accepted had they been white. So my opinion is that AA is not necessary, and is just white racism.
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Portal Star
 
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Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 01:20 pm
joefromchicago wrote:
JLNobody wrote:
I will probably agree with your position when the day comes that AA is no longer necessary, when discrimination and its effects are no longer realities. But we are far from that condition now. Remove AA in schools and in terms of gov't contracts for businesses and you'll see a very quick return to earlier times, not because of alleged "natural" advantages of white males over women and minorities, but because of gender and ethnic favoritism.

JLN, it is not often that I agree with you, but I wholeheartedly agree with you here.



I completely disagree. Affirmative action makes it seem like people with different skin color have special needs. They do not, they are equally capable of job attainment of their own merit. A person's race does not dictate their income or intelligence levels. By the government instating affirmative action, it is saying these people are uncapable of acheivement on everyone else's terms.

By making the assumption businesses would be rascist without these laws, the government is punishing the criminal before the crime. By all means, individuals should sue and the attourney general has instructions to sue on the behalf of people who are discriminated against. But this doesn't mean that the government should itself become discriminatory in an attempt to end this system. The government should be "blind" and apply the law equally to all of its citizens, giving them equal protection and equal benefits. People are not equal, but it is the government's job to apply law equally.
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JLNobody
 
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Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 01:47 pm
Joe, you and I disagree profoundly on the philosophical topic of epistemological dualism, but I'm sure we agree very often on topics within the context of our relativisitic/dualistic lives.
Portal Star, I agree with you almost always in matters of art, but on this topic I can only say "shove it." Laughing

By the way, I just flinished a bowl of french (liberty) fries with Hienz Ketchup. It was inspiringly delicious.
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JustanObserver
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 02:30 pm
Your damn right, Carbon.

I mean, its not like 300+ years of slavery actually had any lasting effect on this country, right? Or that women were considered as property for who knows how long, or that hundreds of years of ingrained belief of how minorities/women are somehow "less than" whites exists in any form today, eh? Or that the fact that blacks and women on the whole are not paid the same as their white counterparts, right?

/Please note, the preceeding was absolutely dripping with sarcasm. I just didn't want to use the "rolling eyes" smiley

In any case, remember that Blacks only started getting rights in the past hundred years, and each one was fought tooth and nail. Women are in the same boat. You say we don't need it. I say something is wrong when you look at how many minority/women CEO's we have. Or how many presidents of this country were not white men (Last time I counted, it was zero). And NO, I'm not saying use AA to get a nonwhite/male person as president. I think you should be able to get my point.

In all honesty, AA is at best a band aid that's trying to tend to a wound that goes deeper than what anyone can heal. But its at least something. I say keep AA going for another 280 years, and then maybe start talking about getting rid of it.

In any case, move the thread to the "political" forum. I'm sure it'll get a lot more milage there.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 02:32 pm
Is discrimination fair?
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najmelliw
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 02:46 pm
Favoritism in any way is unfair I think.

Yes, of course there were suppressed minorities in the history of America, and perhaps on a larger scale (since I'm dutch) in the history of the Western Civilizations. Of course, the issue of discriminated must be used carefully here, since I believe that any minority is only discriminated if it feels that it is discriminated. If these people accept their treatment as a natural way of life, and the oppressors feel the same way, can we talk, within the framework of said society, of discrimination? But, for the sake of the argument, let's not go there.

However, by now favoring people who used to be slighted, are we in any way repairing the wrongs committed? Really? I'd say what it does is
a. create resentment in those who miss chances where others receive them due to affirmative actions,
b. still makes these minorities feel special in a negative way.

b. Because, when I try to look at this from the point of view of a member of a minority group, when I was to receive special treatment without deserving it by my actions, I'd feel like people don't respect me because of my qualities but because of the group I happened to be born in. I'd resent this. If people give me something (a job, a scholarship) it should be because I have shown I possess the proper qualifications.

Naj.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 03:13 pm
It should not be a matter of favoring people who have been slighted in the past. If we go by the criteria that all people that have been slighted should be given favoritism, that includes almost all cultures and nationalities. Some hvve been harmed more than others. I don't think it's necessary to repeat them here. Most (fair-minded)people only demand and expect is a level playing field; no less, no more. We still have a situation in the US where women make less than men for the same job, and blacks are unemployed at twice the rate of whites. We still have problems in discrimination.
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rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 03:26 pm
JLNobody wrote:
Joe, you and I disagree profoundly on the philosophical topic of epistemological dualism, but I'm sure we agree very often on topics within the context of our relativisitic/dualistic lives.
Portal Star, I agree with you almost always in matters of art, but on this topic I can only say "shove it." Laughing

By the way, I just flinished a bowl of french (liberty) fries with Hienz Ketchup. It was inspiringly delicious.


Ha, very interesting. I agree with Portal Star on this. To me, AA just perpetuates discrimination because it is by its very definition, descrimination. I believe wholeheartedly that there should be equal rights for everyone, but to me, AA violates the notion of equality.

How can you hope to eliminate discrimination if you engage in discrimination?

By supporting AA, you are essentially saying that government should compensate selected groups for past indescretions and current cultural imbalances. Is this really a viable way to go about equalizing things?
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au1929
 
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Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 05:00 pm
AA was instituted to give those who have in the past been discriminated against a leg up. However, inorder to do so a system of reverse discrimination was created. Basically, punishing the children for the sins of their fathers. IMO after 50 years if the playing field has not yet been leveled it is not the cause of discrimination but desire. It is time for ability rather than race and ethnicity to be the deciding factor.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 05:12 pm
au, I agree that ability should be the deciding factor, but it still isn't as I've described above. To assume that women are less skilled then men is discrimination - pure and simple. That blacks are less qualified by fifty percent compared to whites is also discrimination. I'm not sure what the solutions are, but we must make the opportunities for jobs and pay more equitable.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 05:54 pm
Blacks on average are less qualified not because of the skin color but for the reasons spelled out by Bill Cosby.
I would also note that in the figures related to blacks are included millions of newly arrived minimally educated blacks. Those that have no history of discrimination or slavery in the US. Do we own them the benefits of AA? In addition why should all people with Hispanic surnames be under the umbrella of AA. The entire system was poorly defined. It should have, if the idea was to make up for the abuses of slavery and it's aftermath only included those whose history called for it.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 05:59 pm
au, I've not advocated for AA on this forum. As for blacks not being 'qualified,' I think there are dynamics that may account for that problem. I'm sure the problems identified in California are similar to problems elsewhere in the US; schools are not separate but equal. As for those millions of newly arrived "minimally educated blacks," where are they coming from? I didn't know that black immigration to the US was that high.
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au1929
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 06:06 pm
C.I.
Blacks have been flooding in from the islands in the Caribbean for years.
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cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Tue 27 Jul, 2004 06:45 pm
au, Making a blank statement that blacks have been flooding into the US for years is not helpful to this discussion. As far as I can remember, blacks have represented about 12 percent of the US population for many decades, and as far as I know, that number has not changed. Where do you get your information? Can you provide some support for your statement?
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