As I recall, I have never found it necessary to disagree with Rosborne on any topic, but at last I do, particularly her statement that:
(note: I'm a he)
"By supporting AA, you are essentially saying that government should compensate selected groups for past indescretions and current cultural imbalances." This is not simply about "past indescretions" and "current cultural imbalences." It is about past brutalities and imbalences in the distribution of economic and political justice.
Hi JL, you have altered my statement quantitatively, but not qualitatively. If this is all that you object to, then it seems that we may be in agreement, except to a matter of degree.
You continue by confirming that AA is a process of reverse unfairness, a definition of which I agree.
Nevertheless, let me answer the question of the thread--is affirmative action REALLY fair? Of course at one level it is unfair; it is a process of reverse unfairness (usually attacked as "reverse discrimination"). At another level, it is a form of reparative unfairness, which is,in the larger picture, ultimately, if painfully, FAIR.
But I would argue that the reversal is one of historic and cultural unfairness, not a reversal of any official systems which are in place now. As such, given that there are no official system in place which induce an imbalance of opportunity, the only thing you can be compensating for is either historic, or ingrained cultural biases. Historic references aside, if all you are doing is countering cultural biases, then you are simply trying to selectively legislate a forced change in culture. And this is not what government is charged to do (in this country).