In the news...a strike against affirmative action


This isn’t a strike against affirmative action as much as it is a strike against the misapplication of affirmative action. According to affirmative action, if two equally qualified candidates applied for a job, one a minority and one not, then the minority should get the job. The Supreme Court’s ruling clarified a point that was already implied: if there is a candidate (or, in this case, several candidates) that are more qualified than the minority, then the most qualified candidate should fill the position. It is the responsability of an employer to fill its ranks with people that can do their job, regardless of race.

A more contemporary issue, actually, is that it overturns another Sotomayor decision. While she will still be confirmed, there’s now the issue that she has been overturned quite a bit, from what I’ve read, by the Supreme Court.

New Haven’s argument was simply unreal. Because more whites passed the test than blacks and Hispanics, the argument goes, the test must be discriminatory insofar as it had a “disparate impact” and the results could be thrown out.

Let’s remind ourselves that U.S. blacks and Hispanics score lower on virtually every standardized test in existence, no matter who writes it, and no matter how “culturally sensitive” the authors try to make it. Let’s remind ourselves that just last year, the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action quotas in most contexts. In that case, Parents Involved in Community Schools, the Supreme Court said explicitly that the Equal Protection clause of the Constitution prevents “disparate treatment,” not “disparate impact.”

For New Haven to void the results of its tests until it achieved the desired racial balance would have been absurd and unfair, and totally out of line with modern precedent. I’m glad the Court recognized that.

From what I understand, New Haven was afraid of being sued for not having any minorities pass the test. (I even heard rumors they were getting threatened with being sued by an African American affirmative action group.) Whether that is true or not, I don’t know, but if it was, then their approach ended up blowing up on their faces anyway.

Goddamn minorities, why don’t they jsut get a job

If they didn’t have jobs this wouldn’t be a problem…?

I actually just finished reading a paper by Glen Loury on affirmative action and negative stereotypes. It’s quite relevant to this situation, as it is in this sort of situation when using affirmative action goes against the goal of removing negative stereotypes, and would actually enforce them. In general, any time a standard is lowered, negative stereotypes are enforced. Regardless of how the tests come out, the standard should not be lowered, then, from just about any angle of view. While it may be beneficial to the specific workers who failed the test, it will affect minority workers negatively, on the whole, by contributing to negative stereotypes about them as the workers promoted despite their poor test scores will most likely perform poorly, which could then reflect poorly on other workers from the same group.

While some negative implications are obvious, namely putting people who performed worse in a job and discriminating against those did better because of their race, I think it’s interesting to note that there are negative implications for the group getting the promotions, on the whole. In a lot of respects, I think attention for this will come out as “Affirmative Action is bad for white men,” meaning it won’t get altogether that much sympathy, when, really, it’s worth noting that, in some ways, it’s bad for everyone involved, if used incorrectly.

Is it really news that affirmative action gives a boost to minorities rather than trying to make everyone equal?

There are a lot of things like this in the world. I don’t think we’ll ever get to a point where we can just ignore race entirely. People are built to be prejudiced towards their own race- these affirmative action rules are just trying to make things more fair, but many of them are prejudiced against white people.

There are a million things I can think of that are prejudiced against whites, or males, or intact families in the world. Anyone who is in a position that is perceived to be the ‘good’ one- being a white male, for example, is going to be prejudiced against. Since they obviously have it sooo easy.

I’m pretty sure people aren’t really built that way at all. Also, there being “a million things” (which there aren’t) doesn’t really matter, since it’s the magnitude that counts. It’s easier to be financially successful being a white male growing up in the suburbs than a Native American woman growing up on a reservation.

I think, viewing history, yeah, people are built to be prejudiced towards themselves.

Did you know that being Native American gets you free money monthly?
My sister in law gets over $2000 for her and her kids. Yes, just for being born brown.
I wouldn’t argue that just being native american and on a reservation makes your life harder. Perhaps, the greater rates of drug abuse and alcoholism are related to a lesser standard of living overall on reservations.

There is a difference between one’s self, one’s relations, and one’s race. Race is a meaningless social construct which has nothing to do with how humans are built and changes in meaning around the world. Preference for one’s self is present, and possibly present for one’s relations.

Actually, no, one does not receive payment simply for having Native American blood. You can look it up from the United States Government or any number of websites for Native American organizations. She’s probably being paid for mineral rights or natural resources, or any money her tribe has elected to divide per capita. In any case, the government isn’t paying her for being Native American.

I won’t get any further into the Native American issue, since it’s one I feel I’ve discussed here enough before that I neither need nor want to again. You also seem dead set on knowing what you’re talking about when you really don’t, and I have neither the time nor will to convince you on the matter. It was an example chosen because it is an area I am comfortable enough in my knowledge to know that it was a good example.

I can’t imagine affirmative action not being discriminatory… Can someone let me know why someone would want that in the first place?

It’s like arguing about tiers in fighting games, no one is going to be absolutely equal in terms of eligibility to work a job/get a scholarship etc