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Affirmative Action and Meritocracy

DisKamper
Posts: 63
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7/31/2015 6:45:11 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Many people do not find affirmative action meritocratic because it allows people with fewer qualifications (as in grades, scores, work ethic, activities etc.) to essentially take the place of someone with higher qualifications. This doesn't seem fair: Why should someone who is less qualified take my spot because of my skin color? The primary reason is your merit is the qualifications you have relative to the opportunities you have. College admissions is not the private job market where potential employees are typically rated solely on their qualifications.

Asians on average have more qualifications than whites while other minorities on average have fewer qualifications. The reason is some combination of average economic status, typical family values, average quality of neighborhood etc. On average blacks have fewer opportunities than whites. Assuming that blacks on average are about as naturally talented as whites, blacks will on average have fewer qualifications than whites.

A meritocratic college admissions process will take into account the opportunities a person has. This means that in a fair admissions process all races will be proportionately represented, on average. This is unfortunately not what we see in race-blind admissions: here Asians are still disproportionately represented while blacks are underrepresented. This suggests that admissions officers focus too much on qualifications and not enough on merit.

Here's where affirmative action comes in: it attempts to correct the admissions officers biases towards qualifications over merit by giving an extra boost to those who lack opportunities.

Unfortunately the "diversity" red herring has distracted the conversation about affirmative action. Now, instead of giving a boost in the admissions process to those who genuinely were given fewer opportunities, colleges simply use race. That is: an black child with wealthy, hard-working parents in an extremely tolerant, non-discriminatory neighborhood will be given a boost in the admissions process for no real reason.

The bottom line: affirmative action creates a meritocratic system when it is used to favor those given few opportunities.
briantheliberal
Posts: 722
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7/31/2015 8:38:42 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/31/2015 6:45:11 AM, DisKamper wrote:
Many people do not find affirmative action meritocratic because it allows people with fewer qualifications (as in grades, scores, work ethic, activities etc.) to essentially take the place of someone with higher qualifications. This doesn't seem fair: Why should someone who is less qualified take my spot because of my skin color? The primary reason is your merit is the qualifications you have relative to the opportunities you have. College admissions is not the private job market where potential employees are typically rated solely on their qualifications.

Asians on average have more qualifications than whites while other minorities on average have fewer qualifications. The reason is some combination of average economic status, typical family values, average quality of neighborhood etc. On average blacks have fewer opportunities than whites. Assuming that blacks on average are about as naturally talented as whites, blacks will on average have fewer qualifications than whites.

A meritocratic college admissions process will take into account the opportunities a person has. This means that in a fair admissions process all races will be proportionately represented, on average. This is unfortunately not what we see in race-blind admissions: here Asians are still disproportionately represented while blacks are underrepresented. This suggests that admissions officers focus too much on qualifications and not enough on merit.

Here's where affirmative action comes in: it attempts to correct the admissions officers biases towards qualifications over merit by giving an extra boost to those who lack opportunities.

Unfortunately the "diversity" red herring has distracted the conversation about affirmative action. Now, instead of giving a boost in the admissions process to those who genuinely were given fewer opportunities, colleges simply use race. That is: an black child with wealthy, hard-working parents in an extremely tolerant, non-discriminatory neighborhood will be given a boost in the admissions process for no real reason.

The bottom line: affirmative action creates a meritocratic system when it is used to favor those given few opportunities.

Agreed. And there are many more misconceptions about what Affirmative Action is and its purpose in education and employment. Most, if not all, minorities have in some way been marginalized and are still being marginalized in society today. This creates a level of disparity that many white Americans, including poor white Americans, cannot or simply choose not to empathize with, mostly because they benefit from it. That is why they so outwardly oppose affirmative action, but remain silent in regards to the obvious discrimination that those who are not white face in reality. The very discrimination that Affirmative Action is supposed to help dispel. And while I hate to be a pessimist, I without a doubt expect someone to prove my point in future posts.

They don't want to be informed, they want to be right even if that means believing in the propaganda of "reverse discrimination" and ignoring the very issue that allows Affirmative Action to exist in the first place.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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7/31/2015 3:13:03 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 7/31/2015 6:45:11 AM, DisKamper wrote:
Many people do not find affirmative action meritocratic because it allows people with fewer qualifications (as in grades, scores, work ethic, activities etc.) to essentially take the place of someone with higher qualifications. This doesn't seem fair: Why should someone who is less qualified take my spot because of my skin color? The primary reason is your merit is the qualifications you have relative to the opportunities you have. College admissions is not the private job market where potential employees are typically rated solely on their qualifications.

Asians on average have more qualifications than whites while other minorities on average have fewer qualifications. The reason is some combination of average economic status, typical family values, average quality of neighborhood etc. On average blacks have fewer opportunities than whites. Assuming that blacks on average are about as naturally talented as whites, blacks will on average have fewer qualifications than whites.

A meritocratic college admissions process will take into account the opportunities a person has. This means that in a fair admissions process all races will be proportionately represented, on average. This is unfortunately not what we see in race-blind admissions: here Asians are still disproportionately represented while blacks are underrepresented. This suggests that admissions officers focus too much on qualifications and not enough on merit.

Here's where affirmative action comes in: it attempts to correct the admissions officers biases towards qualifications over merit by giving an extra boost to those who lack opportunities.

Unfortunately the "diversity" red herring has distracted the conversation about affirmative action. Now, instead of giving a boost in the admissions process to those who genuinely were given fewer opportunities, colleges simply use race. That is: an black child with wealthy, hard-working parents in an extremely tolerant, non-discriminatory neighborhood will be given a boost in the admissions process for no real reason.

The bottom line: affirmative action creates a meritocratic system when it is used to favor those given few opportunities.

Do you support the notion that a university should have a minimum competency or other qualifications, for example the applicant must have a high school reading ability?
If so, do you, then, accept that there may be some level of disparity? Probably not at the Ivy Leagues, as a "D" student isn't likely to apply at Harvard, but at State Universities. I have heard inner-city schools fail at basic prep, so, it would seem that applicants from inner-city schools would not pass an entrance exam.

While I find this idea laudable, I find it largely impractical. This would be very labor intensive, to background check every single applicant, since there can be no "automatic" or triggering metrics to be used, and accuracy of opportunities must be confirmed. Using race as a metric, while flawed, is some sort of metric that is designed to combat this, but can easily fall short, and is, IMO, racist on its face, but defining merit is clearly subjective and labor intensive.
My work here is, finally, done.