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How can affirmative action even be justified?

clonez
Posts: 16
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10/14/2012 3:28:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
Essentially its just legalized racism. Racism is defined as: Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race. Affirmative action spuriously judges an entire race based on historical ability/characteristics, not only against whites but also against model minorities. Common justification is that the learning environment is biased towards whites. I do agree that it may be somewhat biased against whites, but their solution is to introduce even more bias? Two wrongs don't make a right. The fact that a Stanford psychologist uses this argument shows the mentality of elite universities especially. Also another justification is that it is to right past wrongs, however again the fact that it makes distinctions between different minorities shows the fault in that argument. For example asians have been a previously disadvantaged minority, and yet they are given a disadvantage in affirmative action that is even greater than whites. It seems that this is not a matter of wanting to be "fair" but about wanting to be "equal", or "diverse". Diversity is not an excuse for racism. It's funny that in a democratic government we are encouraging equality of outcome based on racial prejudices.
CrazyPerson
Posts: 1,114
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10/14/2012 3:34:04 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
At 10/14/2012 3:28:04 PM, clonez wrote:
Essentially its just legalized racism. Racism is defined as: Prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that all members of each race possess characteristics or abilities specific to that race. Affirmative action spuriously judges an entire race based on historical ability/characteristics, not only against whites but also against model minorities. Common justification is that the learning environment is biased towards whites. I do agree that it may be somewhat biased against whites, but their solution is to introduce even more bias? Two wrongs don't make a right. The fact that a Stanford psychologist uses this argument shows the mentality of elite universities especially. Also another justification is that it is to right past wrongs, however again the fact that it makes distinctions between different minorities shows the fault in that argument. For example asians have been a previously disadvantaged minority, and yet they are given a disadvantage in affirmative action that is even greater than whites. It seems that this is not a matter of wanting to be "fair" but about wanting to be "equal", or "diverse". Diversity is not an excuse for racism. It's funny that in a democratic government we are encouraging equality of outcome based on racial prejudices.

The majority of DDO will agree with your overall view of Affirmative Action being racist, and wrong.
But we try to pretend, you see, that the external world exists altogether independently of us.
- - - Watts
The moralist is the person who tells people that they ought to be unselfish, when they still feel like egos, and his efforts are always and invariably futile.
- - - Watts
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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10/14/2012 3:35:24 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
I'll note a few things:

1. Affirmative action is the policy of individual colleges. The government is not forcing them to use affirmative action, and you don't have a right to be accepted into any college. Affirmative action also exists for the wealthy via legacy admissions and for sports players through scholarships, but nobody ever complains about those because they think that the colleges are justified in admitting whomever they please. I don't see why this is not the case for affirmative action.

2. Affirmative action has been adopted in many nations because it is a politically expedient solution to social and educational problems. Overhauling education systems in order to ensure that everyone receives a fair and equitable education is a time-consuming process that requires vasts amounts of efforts and that will not return any benefits for at least ten years after the reforms are made. Politicians want to ensure that they retain office, so they adopt affirmative action in order to ensure that portions of their bases remain happy. In other words, it makes them look good since some people are getting a slightly better shot at improving their lot in life (see Bowen and Bok's The Shape of the River for statistical data regarding this claim) without forcing them to expend effort. Then, since they've implemented affirmative action and kept their voter bases happy, they have no incentive to do actual reforms.

In some places, the manner in which schools are being inequitably funded is unlawful. In Ohio, for example, the current funding system was ruled unconstitutional by the state's Supreme Court. Altering the funding system is vastly unpopular, however, so neither Democrats nor Republicans have bothered to fix it.
royalpaladin
Posts: 22,357
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10/14/2012 3:36:23 PM
Posted: 4 years ago
The alternative to affirmative action is nothing, so in a sense I am fine with it because I know that at least some people are trickling upwards. In reality, however, I am opposed to it.