The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

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The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby athelas » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:09 pm UTC

Here. Of course we all know that private colleges operagte on a hush-hush quota system to boost their enrollment of non-Asian minorities. This article is eye-opening for two reasons:

1. This is a military academy, which means it's both taxpayer supported and charged with producing men who will defend the country; producing quality graduates here is more important than at your average diploma mill.

2. The author is a professor at said academy, and starkly lays out both the huge extent of racial preferences and the long-term lower performance of admittees under this system.
Midshipmen are admitted by two tracks. White applicants out of high school who are not also athletic recruits typically need grades of A and B and minimum SAT scores of 600 on each part for the Board to vote them "qualified." Athletics and leadership also count.

A vote of "qualified" for a white applicant doesn't mean s/he's coming, only that he or she can compete to win the "slate" of up to 10 nominations that (most typically) a Congress(wo)man draws up. That means that nine "qualified" white applicants are rejected. SAT scores below 600 or C grades almost always produce a vote of "not qualified" for white applicants.

Not so for an applicant who self-identifies as one of the minorities who are our "number one priority." For them, another set of rules apply. Their cases are briefed separately to the board, and SAT scores to the mid-500s with quite a few Cs in classes (and no visible athletics or leadership) typically produce a vote of "qualified" for them, with direct admission to Annapolis. They're in, and are given a pro forma nomination to make it legit.

Minority applicants with scores and grades down to the 300s with Cs and Ds (and no particular leadership or athletics) also come, though after a remedial year at our taxpayer-supported remedial school, the Naval Academy Preparatory School.

By using NAPS as a feeder, we've virtually eliminated all competition for "diverse" candidates: in theory they have to get a C average at NAPS to come to USNA, but this is regularly re-negotiated....

Once at Annapolis, "diverse" midshipmen are over-represented in our pre-college classes, in lower-track courses, in mandatory tutoring programs and less challenging majors. Many struggle to master basic concepts. (I teach some of these courses.)

Of course, some minority students are stellar, but they're the exception. Despite being dragged toward the finish line, minorities graduate at about a 10 percent lower rate than the whole class, which of course includes them (so the real split is greater).

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Velict » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:47 pm UTC

This is pretty much a basic truth of affirmative action. Students accepted under affirmative action, are, by its very nature, in the bottom half of the academic distribution at any given school. At this rate, I'm not sure what affirmative action is accomplishing. It's supposed to reduce racial inequalities and foster equal opportunity, but all it seems to be doing is disadvantaging qualified whites and asians while allowing minorities who may or may not be qualified easier entrance.

The question, I suppose, is whether or not these differences in levels of qualification result from environmental forces. If the differences are environmental in nature, it is theoretically possible to resolve them (although it's not clear that affirmative action is the best means to do so). If they aren't quite as strongly tied to the environment, the mutability of these differences is called into question, as are their treatment.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 18, 2009 4:54 pm UTC

The question, I suppose, is whether or not these differences in levels of qualification result from environmental forces. If the differences are environmental in nature, it is theoretically possible to resolve them (although it's not clear that affirmative action is the best means to do so). If they aren't quite as strongly tied to the environment, the mutability of these differences is called into question, as are their treatment.


Say what you're actually saying.

"Is the difference environmental, or are blacks, hispanics, and native americans just inferior?"
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Durandal » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:48 pm UTC

It does not really matter whether the factors are environmental or inherent.

The question is in regards to graduating from Annapolis, which is very specific. It is entirely possible that some races are inferior in this aim for whatever reason, as is evidenced by the statistics. The answer to this question does not have repercussions affecting the superiority/inferiority of races as a whole.

Additionally, perhaps people should consider before immediately jumping to the PC high ground.

Edit: hmmm. I appear to have edited my post whilst Belial was replying to the unedited version.
Last edited by Durandal on Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:59 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:55 pm UTC

The question posited was not whether the given racial groups had lower qualifying scores. The question raised by velict was whether the given racial groups had lower qualifying scores because of environmental (aka, societal) reasons.

Which raises the question "if not environmental reasons, then what?"

And sorry, but there's really no answer to that question that doesn't come out to "they're inherently inferior". It's just that we've all heard that question so often that we've developed a blind spot to what it is we're actually implying.

Incidentally, I'm no longer intimidated and shamed by accusations of being "PC", since I realized it was basically a cudgel for enforcing privilege on those who dare to question or oppose it. Just figured I'd let you know before you go too much further down that road.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Lucrece » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:57 pm UTC

I'm personally more concerned with the outcome.

Yes, the people who come in may be worse compared to their privileged white counterparts.

But what is the difference actually in those who end up graduating from Annapolis and being submitted to the program? Do those racial minorities who enter at a lower level catch up in the end?

If it is the case that they do catch up, then what's the harm? Not only that, but difference in perspective and culture will always bear advantage to a homogeneous body.
Last edited by Lucrece on Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:58 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Texas_Ben » Thu Jun 18, 2009 5:58 pm UTC

Velict wrote:The question, I suppose, is whether or not these differences in levels of qualification result from environmental forces. If the differences are environmental in nature, it is theoretically possible to resolve them (although it's not clear that affirmative action is the best means to do so). If they aren't quite as strongly tied to the environment, the mutability of these differences is called into question, as are their treatment.


Well obviously we got to ship all dem darkies back to africa.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:08 pm UTC

I think this is one of those areas where you'd have to look at the pool of applicants. Can we make an assumption that a minority who is equally qualified when compared to a white person would be equally willing to apply to a military academy? Even going with the assumption that the number of qualified minorities exist in the same proportion as qualified whites, the pool is going to be, by definition, much smaller, especially when you consider that the top minority students are going to have advantages at other schools that similar white students would not have, both in terms of admissions and finances. With the majority students they have the pick of the litter since for every one spot available, there's 10 guys vying for it. Not the case with minorities for any number of reasons. Certainly from some states, they might be lucky to get one minority applicant.

Ignoring all that, the lower graduation rate and scores is a natural consequence of people coming in with lower scores, so I'm not sure how much that particular statistic really shows, except that people tend to maintain their abilities in relation to others.

Not that any of that makes this right.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Malice » Thu Jun 18, 2009 6:56 pm UTC

Velict wrote:This is pretty much a basic truth of affirmative action. Students accepted under affirmative action, are, by its very nature, in the bottom half of the academic distribution at any given school. At this rate, I'm not sure what affirmative action is accomplishing. It's supposed to reduce racial inequalities and foster equal opportunity, but all it seems to be doing is disadvantaging qualified whites and asians while allowing minorities who may or may not be qualified easier entrance.


This isn't really the way affirmative action is supposed to be run. From my understanding, affirmative action is the policy that when two people of equal qualifications are applying, you give the spot to minority. Among other things, this counteracts the "traditional" unwritten policy of giving the spot to the white person.

Affirmative action should not be based on quotas, precisely to avoid this situation here. Yes, a discrepancy in the accepted population between whites and minorities CAN indicate unfair enrollment systems; but, as in this case, it can also indicate an applicant pool which does not statistically match all of society in its makeup.
Basically, the point at which you say, "Gee, to get 10% blacks we have to relax our standards" is the point at which you should realize "Maybe there are too few blacks applying here in the first place". And THAT is the problem you should be looking to solve.

The question, I suppose, is whether or not these differences in levels of qualification result from environmental forces.


To be utterly clear, the differences are neither directly related to race nor environment; it's an indirect result of a skewed applicant pool. (*Which may, of course, be itself related to race or environment, but unless this one school can be generalized to many others I think the problem lies elsewhere.)
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:20 pm UTC

This isn't really the way affirmative action is supposed to be run. From my understanding, affirmative action is the policy that when two people of equal qualifications are applying, you give the spot to minority. Among other things, this counteracts the "traditional" unwritten policy of giving the spot to the white person.


You're confusing job AA with school AA.

The latter has a broader pass to be openly discriminatory because the entire purpose of a school is to be an opportunity, whereas a job is both an opportunity and a job that needs doing. In a job, it's important that you get the most qualified applicants, in a school, only that you get the most deserving.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby ivnja » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You're confusing job AA with school AA.

The latter has a broader pass to be openly discriminatory because the entire purpose of a school is to be an opportunity, whereas a job is both an opportunity and a job that needs doing. In a job, it's important that you get the most qualified applicants, in a school, only that you get the most deserving.


I don't disagree, but I do wonder in this case if the school AA should have a little less leeway than normal to be discriminatory. This is a school, yes, but it's also directly tied to the job in a way that most schools are not.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Endless Mike » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:43 pm UTC

Belial wrote:You're confusing job AA with school AA.

The latter has a broader pass to be openly discriminatory because the entire purpose of a school is to be an opportunity, whereas a job is both an opportunity and a job that needs doing. In a job, it's important that you get the most qualified applicants, in a school, only that you get the most deserving.

Maybe, but in this specific case, it's closer to the job AA, since following graduation, the person becomes an officer in the US military. You want the most qualified in that instance. Arguably, there's four years to turn the most deserving into the most qualified, but it's certainly better to start with the most qualified.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Indon » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:47 pm UTC

It's happened to women too.

I guess women must be inherently inferior to men, right? LAWL REVERSE RACISM SEXISM.

It's certainly not because a system composed of white men systemically discriminates against non-white men, increasing their attrition rate. Clearly it's because non-white men just plain aren't as awesome as white men are.

What makes me sad is how many people buy into this stuff in the first place. You people should know to be able to accurately identify a claim of 'reverse discrimination' and objectively evaluate the factual basis for such a claim, rather than just buying into the conservative white-males-are-better line.

Edit: Oh, did I say 'happened' in past tense? I was wrong!
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Heisenberg » Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:59 pm UTC

Belial wrote: the entire purpose of a school is to be an opportunity

While that may be true for schools in general, that is not the case here. The purpose of this school is to produce the best possible officers in order to improve the quality and capabilities of the United States Navy.

Given that Annapolis' admission staff are discriminating, an important question to ask is "why?" If it's because they like black people better or because they value their image over the efficacy of their officers, I would argue that that is bad. However, they could have a legitimate reason. Perhaps an over-representation of minorities is required in the academy in order to ensure that they'll graduate some minority officers, and the Navy finds it runs better with some minority officers. This would not surprise me, considering that minorities tend to be over-represented in the enlisted armed services.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Vaniver » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:07 pm UTC

Lucrece wrote:But what is the difference actually in those who end up graduating from Annapolis and being submitted to the program? Do those racial minorities who enter at a lower level catch up in the end?

If it is the case that they do catch up, then what's the harm? Not only that, but difference in perspective and culture will always bear advantage to a homogeneous body.
Generally, the studies that I've looked at suggest that catching up doesn't happen on a wide scale. Your entry scores roughly determine your chance of completion- so you can finish despite being underqualified. But your class rank will, almost all of the time, represent your initial qualifications to a fairly large degree.

The major harm to consider here is that the primary effect of affirmative action is shifting. Students that get into Harvard on affirmative action would have gotten into another school through their regular admission- and for those schools, the students they get through affirmative action would have gone to the lower tier, down to the students that wouldn't have gotten into college but go to a lowest-tier college. But now all of those students are in over their head- and if the graduation rate is 10% less for blacks than whites at Harvard, those are 10% of blacks that would have a college degree (and probably a more valuable one) if they had gone to a school they could get into through regular admission. Instead, they flunked out of school- with the corresponding effect on their morale and future.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby athelas » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:45 pm UTC

Belial wrote:Say what you're actually saying.

"Is the difference environmental, or are blacks, hispanics, and native americans just inferior?"
No, the question is "Is the difference environmental, or do non-Asian minorities have steady-state poorer educational outcomes that fifty years of (reverse) racism have not eliminated? And I think that this a valid question - when does the discrimination stop??

Affirmative action was originally supposed to be a catch-up program, that would expire once non-Asian minorities have had a generation of opportunities to reach as high as they can. Instead it has mutated into a persistent discriminatory setup that has reached a steady-state of differential achievement, with extremely predictable and replicable racial gaps that are remedied by predictable and replicable racial fudge factors.

This is harmful for society as a whole, as less qualified people are enrolled in schools and hired as firefighters, but it's also bad for those actually qualified minorities who have to endure a (rational) stigma of "affirmative action babies," and those who waste several expensive years in colleges and military academies only to not graduate.

Belial; I'm all for calling a square a square, but let's not be deliberately inflammatory. Argue your points, but do not impute positions to the opposition. And let's be honest here, going "Oh me yarm you are teh racist" is both cheap and immature. And this is Serious Discussions.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby The Reaper » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:51 pm UTC

athelas wrote:And this is Serious Discussions.
Actually, this is News & Articles. :3

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby athelas » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:53 pm UTC

Yes, but it's Serious :) . To elaborate on a previous point: it's a widespread canard that educational AA allows preferred minorities to catch up, the theory being that they are poorly served earlier and therefore their test scores underrepresent their abilities. Does this actually occur? Evidence suggests no, or at least not enough
Still, certain facts are indisputable. Data from one selective California law school from 2005 show that students who received large preferences were 10 times as likely to fail the California bar as students who received no preference. After the passage of Proposition 209, which limited the use of racial preferences at California's public universities, in-state bar passage rates for blacks and Latinos went up relative to out-of-state bar passage rates. To the extent that students of color moved from UC schools to less elite ones (as seems likely), the post-209 experience is consistent with the mismatch theory.

In general, research shows that 50% of black law students end up in the bottom 10th of their class, and that they are more than twice as likely to drop out as white students. Only one in three black students who start law school graduate and pass the bar on their first attempt; most never become lawyers. How much of this might be attributable to the mismatch effect of affirmative action is still a matter of debate, but the problem cries out for attention.
Note that this is graduate education, which means that these applicants have already benefited from one round of preferences and have had opportunities to catch up in their undergraduate education. Now, we could go on and say the bar exam is biased, or whatever, but then this exercise becomes rather silly; the "pervasive racism" argument is unfalsifiable. To an extent, of course, this argument is at the crux of Belial's school vs. job discrimination distinction.

And again, this is a huge burden on those who do not graduate or do not pass the bar, having sunk tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars on an education only to become a paralegal. These students would be better served if they were enrolled in a program commensurate with their abilities, which would lead to both a more lucrative profession and less burdensome educational debt.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Belial » Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:58 pm UTC

No, the question is "Is the difference environmental, or do non-Asian minorities have steady-state poorer educational outcomes that fifty years of (reverse) racism have not eliminated?


And that would imply what precisely? Everything comes to nature or nurture. "Environmental" covers nurture. So all that's left is nature. I'm not being inflammatory, I'm pointing out that it basically has to be environmental or else you're implying that another race is inferior by nature.

It has to be one or the other.

Now, you could posit that maybe the affirmative action program isn't working right, or that it's making the problem worse, or that it isn't doing enough, or that it's just a johnny-come-lately patch on generations of social and economic segregation and oppression and it's going to take more than one generation to fix everything and move us into a post-racial fucking utopia. And those would all be environmental, sociological causes. Nurture.

Or you could posit that non-asian-male minorities are inferior because of something in their genes. And catch all the fallout that it incurs because it is a pretty racist sentiment, aside from having basically no basis.

But when you stand and say "are these people disproportionately underqualified because of something environmental, or is it something else", it's important to acknowledge what that "something else" would have to be.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Indon » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:27 pm UTC

athelas wrote:Affirmative action was originally supposed to be a catch-up program, that would expire once non-Asian minorities have had a generation of opportunities to reach as high as they can.

Uh, what?

You appear to be of the impression that Affirmative Action is some magical program which de-advantagizes society totally within one generation. That's extremely wrong, for multiple reasons, not the least of which being that oh, hey, the discrimination's still obviously there, albeit not quite as powerful.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby athelas » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:32 pm UTC

Is disparate outcomes de facto evidence of discrimination, or could it be due to disparate preferences or ability? That seems to be the vital question here. If yes, then, hey, pile up the quotas till the cows come home. If not, then we need to reexamine our assumptions about racial preferences without end.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby setzer777 » Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:51 pm UTC

athelas wrote:Is disparate outcomes de facto evidence of discrimination, or could it be due to disparate preferences or ability? That seems to be the vital question here. If yes, then, hey, pile up the quotas till the cows come home. If not, then we need to reexamine our assumptions about racial preferences without end.


What do you mean by "disparate ability"? I mean obviously in the immediate sense there is disparate ability of a certain subset of a certain local sub-group (people applying to the Naval Academy) to circle the correct bubble on the test (or whatever), otherwise the different standards would not exist. Now there are several possible causes of this (only the lower performing members of sub-group are likely to apply to that specific school, differing educational opportunities of subgroup, etc.)

I think the point Belial is making is that the only cause of differing ability that would warrant eliminating affirmative action would be genetic differences in ability (which, let's face it, by common definition is called inferiority in that area of ability), and if that is what you are suggesting you should just state it straight out.

The problem with using "something else" is that it's too vague. To justify eliminating AA you need to specify what the "something else" is, and argue that that "something else" does not justify affirmative action to counteract its negative effects on the sub-group.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Indon » Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:08 pm UTC

athelas wrote:Is disparate outcomes de facto evidence of discrimination, or could it be due to disparate preferences or ability?

Research on the subject shows that disparate outcomes tend to be evidence of discrimination, yes. One notable example I could cite for you is a study in which men perform better in classes taught by a man, and women perform better in classes taught by a woman - a study, fascinatingly enough, focusing on another military academy.

Would you like the citation?
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Vaniver » Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:55 am UTC

Indon wrote:Uh, what?

You appear to be of the impression that Affirmative Action is some magical program which de-advantagizes society totally within one generation. That's extremely wrong, for multiple reasons, not the least of which being that oh, hey, the discrimination's still obviously there, albeit not quite as powerful.
Do you honestly think that AA was sold as a continuing program? No. If people had said "yeah, we expect AA to still be around in thirty years," it would have been dead on arrival- as it should have been.

Experience in other countries (like India) shows that the longer AA sticks around, the harder it is to remove- and it never gets measurable results.

setzer777 wrote:I think the point Belial is making is that the only cause of differing ability that would warrant eliminating affirmative action would be genetic differences in ability (which, let's face it, by common definition is called inferiority in that area of ability), and if that is what you are suggesting you should just state it straight out.
To me, the claim "hey, we could get rid of this inequality, so we should" is a ridiculous claim. What are the benefits of doing that, and what are the costs?

Imagine, for a moment, that growing up in a Jewish household makes you a better jeweler. You don't have to be ethnically Jewish- adopted children get the benefit too. But, as a result, when there's free competition among jewelers, most of them end up being Jewish (or, at least, grew up Jewish).

How should society respond? Say, "hey, cool, we have better jewelers!"? Say, "wait a minute, racial equality in all things! We're going to raise up worse jewelers and toss down better jewelers so that minority isn't overrepresented!" Say, "we need to give everyone a Jewish upbringing, so they can all be better jewelers!"?

It should be clear which one my preference is for- the one that's racially blind, efficient, and costless.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:04 am UTC

Except we're not talking about jewelers. We're talking about pretty much everything that isn't manual labor or the lower echelons of the service industry.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby aleflamedyud » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:28 am UTC

Belial wrote:
The question, I suppose, is whether or not these differences in levels of qualification result from environmental forces. If the differences are environmental in nature, it is theoretically possible to resolve them (although it's not clear that affirmative action is the best means to do so). If they aren't quite as strongly tied to the environment, the mutability of these differences is called into question, as are their treatment.


Say what you're actually saying.

"Is the difference environmental, or are blacks, hispanics, and native americans just inferior?"

You're both wrong. It's not the college environment, racism in secondary school, or that minorities are innately inferior. It's that minorities disproportionately come from poor school districts, which suck balls and produce students with ball-sucking grades. I don't know why people can't see that and prefer to argue over affirmative action. Stop the quotas, go back, and solve the real problem by fixing secondary schools in low-income districts.

EDIT: By "minorities", I mean Native Americans, blacks, Hispanics, etc. Basically, all minorities that don't have a culturally-ingrained study-ethic.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Bubbles McCoy » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:54 am UTC

...

Vaniver's point is that if boosting one group over another ultimately costs quality, it is not worth doing; how the fuck does using only one generic profession as an example invalidate the entire argument?

note - this is at Marzipan, not aleflamedyud

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Jahoclave » Fri Jun 19, 2009 3:59 am UTC

aleflamedyud wrote:Stop the quotas, go back, and solve the real problem by fixing secondary schools in low-income districts.

Fix real problems, who the fuck do you think you're talking about, Europe?

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby TheGrammarBolshevik » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:02 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:how the fuck does using only one generic profession as an example invalidate the entire argument?


Because, generalized to all of society, we don't have "Cool — better jewelers!" We have "shit — pervasive racism!"

aleflamedyud wrote:You're both wrong. It's not the college environment, racism in secondary school, or that minorities are innately inferior. It's that minorities disproportionately come from poor school districts, which suck balls and produce students with ball-sucking grades. I don't know why people can't see that and prefer to argue over affirmative action. Stop the quotas, go back, and solve the real problem by fixing secondary schools in low-income districts.


I'm pretty sure that they were actually talking about the pre-college environment — i.e. the same thing you're talking about fixing.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Jun 19, 2009 4:30 am UTC

Bubbles McCoy wrote:...

Vaniver's point is that if boosting one group over another ultimately costs quality, it is not worth doing; how the fuck does using only one generic profession as an example invalidate the entire argument?

note - this is at Marzipan, not aleflamedyud

Because we're not TALKING about a single profession in the real world. We're talking about ALL of the ones that aren't basically menial labor. Affirmative Action doesn't exist because Asians want to be jewelers and Jews won't let them.

An oppressed minority may have a decent work ethic and drive to succeed, but along comes some white dude who's more qualified without having had to try simply due to the luck of having been born white. That guy beats the minority out of the first job he wants. Then another one edges him out a second. Then it happens a third time. It keeps happening. Until some shithole pizza delivery job opens up that'll hire him and it's not what he wants and he knows he could do better given a chance but he never fucking gets one.

Reducing it to a bunch of people happening to be exceedingly good at a single profession is incredibly disingenuous. Nobody was ever unable to rise above the class they were born into just because they couldn't be a jeweler.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby aleflamedyud » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:24 am UTC

TheGrammarBolshevik wrote:
aleflamedyud wrote:You're both wrong. It's not the college environment, racism in secondary school, or that minorities are innately inferior. It's that minorities disproportionately come from poor school districts, which suck balls and produce students with ball-sucking grades. I don't know why people can't see that and prefer to argue over affirmative action. Stop the quotas, go back, and solve the real problem by fixing secondary schools in low-income districts.


I'm pretty sure that they were actually talking about the pre-college environment — i.e. the same thing you're talking about fixing.

Really? Then why are we talking about affirmative action? Everyone goes to high school if they want to.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby setzer777 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:27 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:How should society respond? Say, "hey, cool, we have better jewelers!"? Say, "wait a minute, racial equality in all things! We're going to raise up worse jewelers and toss down better jewelers so that minority isn't overrepresented!" Say, "we need to give everyone a Jewish upbringing, so they can all be better jewelers!"?

It should be clear which one my preference is for- the one that's racially blind, efficient, and costless.


As others have mentioned, the problems arise when the first statement becomes: "hey, cool, we have better [almost every single profession except menial labor]!"
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby The Reaper » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:32 am UTC

setzer777 wrote: As others have mentioned, the problems arise when the first statement becomes: "hey, cool, we have better [almost every single profession except menial labor]!"
Plenty of minorities already in it. I would hope affirmative action would force a non-minority into a position that a minority was qualified for, but I know that'll never happen.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby setzer777 » Fri Jun 19, 2009 5:51 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:
setzer777 wrote: As others have mentioned, the problems arise when the first statement becomes: "hey, cool, we have better [almost every single profession except menial labor]!"
Plenty of minorities already in it. I would hope affirmative action would force a non-minority into a position that a minority was qualified for, but I know that'll never happen.


Why would you hope that would happen?
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Princess Marzipan » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:04 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:
setzer777 wrote: As others have mentioned, the problems arise when the first statement becomes: "hey, cool, we have better [almost every single profession except menial labor]!"
Plenty of minorities already in it. I would hope affirmative action would force a non-minority into a position that a minority was qualified for, but I know that'll never happen.

It happens by default.

That's the point of the whole thing.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Lord Aurora » Fri Jun 19, 2009 6:10 am UTC

Affirmative action was a simple fix to a complex problem, and as such, it failed pretty miserably. The problem with it is that it assumes that the difference in educational background and success due to socio-economic class is one that affects only those who are in the racial minority. This is not true. While it may well be true that lower socio-economic classes are made up of more minorities than white/Asian males, the fact that affirmative action ONLY LOOKS AT RACE completely fucks up the entire process.
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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Delass » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:04 am UTC

Princess Marzipan wrote:
Bubbles McCoy wrote:...

Vaniver's point is that if boosting one group over another ultimately costs quality, it is not worth doing; how the fuck does using only one generic profession as an example invalidate the entire argument?

note - this is at Marzipan, not aleflamedyud

Because we're not TALKING about a single profession in the real world. We're talking about ALL of the ones that aren't basically menial labor. Affirmative Action doesn't exist because Asians want to be jewelers and Jews won't let them.

An oppressed minority may have a decent work ethic and drive to succeed, but along comes some white dude who's more qualified without having had to try simply due to the luck of having been born white. That guy beats the minority out of the first job he wants. Then another one edges him out a second. Then it happens a third time. It keeps happening. Until some shithole pizza delivery job opens up that'll hire him and it's not what he wants and he knows he could do better given a chance but he never fucking gets one.

Reducing it to a bunch of people happening to be exceedingly good at a single profession is incredibly disingenuous. Nobody was ever unable to rise above the class they were born into just because they couldn't be a jeweler.

Um, being born white doesn't make you more qualified. The problem with affirmative action is that the person unlucky enough to be born white who worked hard, studied, played sports, played an instrument, etc gets screwed when someone else who didn't work as hard (and of course im NOT talking about someone who got the spot because he worked harder, and happened to be a minority) got the spot simply because he was lucky enough to be a minority.

Should we have the opposite, and give unqualified whites jobs over qualified minorities? Of course not. Thats not what Im saying.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Zamfir » Fri Jun 19, 2009 8:20 am UTC

Delass wrote:The problem with affirmative action is that the person unlucky enough to be born white who worked hard, studied, played sports, played an instrument, etc gets screwed when someone else who didn't work as hard


And of course, this happens a lot. Hard working kids from advantaged backgrounds have such a problem getting a decent job. Even investment banking doesn't pay what it used to pay, so now they all have to work for McKinsey when they can't get in the army.

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby Delass » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:50 am UTC

I know, because every white kid has two trust funds. Oh, wait, not quite? I was planning to go to college through a similar military program, didn't get it, and now Im fucked and cant afford college. Its so lovely getting to wonder if it was legit or because of bullshit racism (and yes, affirmative action as described in the OP is racism, just as much as ignoring the merit of a minority).

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Re: The price of affirmative action at Annapolis

Postby eternal luna » Fri Jun 19, 2009 10:59 am UTC

Delass wrote:lucky enough to be a minority.
Um.
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