Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Rethinking Affirmative Action

Owen, whom I agree with almost all the time (and not because we share an alma mater -- though it helps) has a doubleplusgood article up about Affirmative Action.

Affirmative action policies are part of an entire culture in America that seeks to divide people by their ethnicity. They enforce the idea that if you are a member of a particular ethnic group, then you were wronged by the rest of society and deserve special treatment - even when you might have never actually been wronged. On the flip side, if you are a member of a particular ethnic group, then you have wronged other ethnic groups and deserve to be punished - even if you have never personally wronged anyone.
Read it all here.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The reason Owen is wrong is because he makes a number of false assumptions. A false premise invariably leads to a false conclusion.

First false premise: "They enforce the idea that if you are a member of a particular ethnic group, then you were wronged by the rest of society and deserve special treatment - even when you might have never actually been wronged."

First, group compensation is simply more efficient. How would we, as a society, evaluate the degree to which every individual may have been wronged?

Second, all minorities, at some point, are stigmatized by their race. Minorities have to overcome these disadvantages just to get an equal start. Thus, if members suffer disadvantages simply by belonging to a group, then the group itself should be compensated.

Third, while discrimination has taken place for hundreds of years, folks like Owen have been the beneficiaries of advantages they earned solely by being white.

--Jadegold

k2aggie07 said...

That makes perfect sense. Since group compensation is more efficient, next time a black person murders a white person, taxes paid by all blacks will be increased by 1% while taxes paid by all whites will be decreased 1%.

Furthermore, for every illegal that crosses the border who is hispanic, all hispanics in the country will need to pay a $0.25 fee.

I love that idea.

While discrimination has taken place for hundreds of years, folks like Owen have been the beneficiaries of advantages they earned solely by being white.
Such as...? All those "white only" scholarships that exist? Or how about the immunity from hate crime legislation that blacks enjoy?

Sarcasm aside, you didn't even show that anything he said was a false premise. You just said that it was more efficient to do things the way they're being done. If anything, you reinforced his point.


Don't belittle all white people by saying that the only reason they enjoy success is that they're white. By the same token, don't belittle minorities by implying that they need compensation in order to be competitive. That has to be the most infuriating thing I have ever encountered.

I never understood it until my sister slapped me once for saying that the only reason she got a particular scholarship was because she was a girl. By saying that, I was unknowingly implying that had she not been female she would not have received the scholarship. At that point, you've just described someone as some kind of minority prostitute. It takes away from the weight of their accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

next time a black person murders a white person, taxes paid by all blacks will be increased by 1% while taxes paid by all whites will be decreased 1%.

Despite a lame attempt at sarcasm, you've inadvertently discovered a truth. When blacks murder whites, they invariably receive harsher penalties than for black on black or white on black homicides. Just another way a predominantly white justice system does mete out group penalties.

Don't belittle all white people by saying that the only reason they enjoy success is that they're white.

Why not? It happens to be true. Consider this fact--most whites have families going back several generations in this country. For a large period of that time, those families befitted because they didn't have to compete in the larger pool of society--because blacks and other minorities were barred access.

And it wasn't just jobs. It was schools, organizations, access to medical care, housing, services, etc.

The advantages gained by Owen's parents, grandparents, etc. have been made available to him.

These are facts.


Another problem with AA opponents is they tend to see AA as an outcome. It isn't; it's merely an opportunity. Just because you get into a college doesn't guarantee you a diploma. Getting a job doesn't mean you'll be a captain of industry.

--Jadegold

k2aggie07 said...

Blacks do not get harsher penalties for murder; you apparently didn't read the link so I'll quote it for you.

Blacks are also the overwhelming majority of victims of attacks recorded by the FBI as hate crimes. In 2005, blacks were the victims in 68 percent of nearly 5,000 hate-crime incidents nationwide, while whites were the victims in 20 percent of the cases. Whites accounted for60 percent of known hate-crime offenders, while blacks accounted for 20 percent.

But on the other hand, when overall cross-racial violent crimes are tabulated—including incidents not formally classified as racially motivated hate crimes—Justice Department statistics show that blacks attack whites far more often than whites attack blacks.

In 2005, there were more than 645,000 victims of cross-racial violent crimes between blacks and whites in the U.S. In 90 percent of those crimes, black offenders attacked white victims.


Summary - blacks don't get the effect of hate crime legislation as a group. Another side effect of affirmative action, perhaps?


The advantages gained by Owen's parents, grandparents, etc. have been made available to him.

If what you were saying were "fact" no Andrew Carnegie's would exist. Poor immigrant children don't have the "advantages" of multi-generational families, and yet somehow they manage to survive and even succeed.

Your elitist attitude belittles all the people in this country who don't have old money, who come from poor families and who manage to make something of themselves "in spite" of it. Race has absolutely nothing to do with it.

The biggest thing you're missing is this - getting a job does not mean you'll be a captain of industry, getting into college doesn't guarantee a diploma, yes. But every time a minority kid gets into a school over a white kid or a minority guy gets a job over a white guy for no other reason than their race you've guaranteed that someone will not get a diploma, will not become a captain of industry.

In effect, you're doing the exact same thing to whites that the whites did to blacks -- only now its not bad. Now its not racist. Now its affirmative action, and its OK.

Affirmative actions mantra is "when in doubt, fight racism with hypocrisy".

k2aggie07 said...

Don't belittle all white people by saying that the only reason they enjoy success is that they're white.

Why not? It happens to be true.


Its not true. Success is not binary. Success in life is defined by many parameters and there are many people, white, black, brown or otherwise who are not successful. Those who are successful in America are successful based on the weight of their own aspirations, talents, abilities and personal courage.

I'm going to tell every successful white person that the only reason they're successful is because they're white, because to do so is an insult of the worst form.

Incidentally, you still didn't describe what false premises Owen made.

Anonymous said...

Its not true. Success is not binary. Success in life is defined by many parameters and there are many people, white, black, brown or otherwise who are not successful. Those who are successful in America are successful based on the weight of their own aspirations, talents, abilities and personal courage.

Baloney. It is actually quite rare for a person raised in poverty or near-poverty to escape and become successful. It happens, but it is extremely rare and certainly not the norm.

One is far more likely to be successful if one comes from a background of success or privilege. A textbook example is found in your leader, Young Master Bush. Bush had the advantages of the best education money could buy; despite this, every business he touched, he ran into the ground. Yet, instead of being saddled with debt and failure, he was rewarded with more money by his daddy's benefactors. Neal Bush had a similar upbringing--yet he lands on both feet after losing $1.2Billion of other people's money.

Yes, there are those who achieve success through hard work--but that is half the equation, Chances are good these people had the benefit of a family who helped pay for college or gave them a start in business.

--Jadegold