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 Affirmative Action

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PostSubject: Affirmative Action   Sat 21 Oct - 17:08

In English class, recently, we got off onto the topic of reparations for slavery, primarily because our book is old enough to contain a series of essays on it as a "recent issue." In any case, the discussion veered off more into minority, political issues as a whole, and this one, affirmative action, seemed to be more talked about than any of the others. I suspect this is because affirmative action is a bit less polarizing than a lot of other issues - it's not in the news that often, and, as such, there's no constant "Good Democrats believe X" or "Good Republicans believe X" line always being forced. On the other hand, it's an interesting topic, and I figured I'd bring it up here.

To be honest, I'm not so sure where I stand on it. As far as the idea behind it goes, I think it's a bad one, but, as far as the pragmatic effects of it go, I'm much more open to it. Giving a job or a spot in a college or the like to someone because of their race or gender or whatever else have you is just as bad as refusing someone a spot because of it; it still makes the person's minority status what's important, rather than the individual's abilities and effort and the like. As long as we do these kind of things, we effectively propagate the idea that race and gender and all the like are important for these decisions, as long as they don't disfavor minorities.

On the other hand, it's nigh-impossible to deny that quite a few minorities have a bigger percentage of members in need of aid than the majority groups. If I walked down to the projects by my old middle school, chances are the vast majority of the residents I'd see would be black. Likewise if I went to any of the nearby, after-school tutoring programs for "inner city children." Given that African-Americans...or Mexican-Americans or any other group...are often in much worse economic conditions than, say, the majority Caucasian population, it makes sense to give them a leg up and to thereby help them out of that position, right? It may ignore the dangers of reverse discrimination in the abstract, but, if it works, we'll be able to drop such programs in later years.

In the end, though, it always occurs to me that one could avoid the problem entirely by just helping those in need of help in general; give "affirmative action" benefits to the poor or to those afforded poorer education or fewer opportunities but don't predicate it on race or gender or the like. If the problems are disproportionately in certain groups, those groups will disproportionately receive aid, anyway. That would also get rid of the danger of benefits going unnecessarily towards those who don't need them.

For example, I recently read an article about colleges considering adopting a program of giving the same sort of recognition in admissions to gay, bisexual, and transgender students that they currently do to race and the like, because such students often face increased difficulties when it comes to preparing and paying for college. But, even though I'm gay, I certainly shouldn't be given any preferential treatment because of it...my parents aren't kicking me out on the street or refusing to help pay for college or the like because I like guys. *chuckles* It would seem like it would just make more sense to identify "this person is in a situation that has given him or her a much more limited opportunity than this person" rather than "this person is black/female/Hispanic/queer/etc."

But that runs into the inevitable problem of certainty. I can look at just about any person and identify their race; excepting the transgender issue, I can look at just about anybody and identify their biological gender. I can't look at you and tell whether you're poor or were forced to go to a crappily funded school or whether when you go home at night your parents are yelling and beating you.

That sort of aid would require us to address issue on a personal, human basis...which would, on a cynical note, go against the general clime of today's politics and society, and, on a not-so-cynical (but equally depressing note) probably be a practical nightmare to implement.

So...I dunno. What about you guys?
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ChrisWolfe

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PostSubject: Re: Affirmative Action   Sun 22 Oct - 11:32

I'm not sure about afirmative action, I really split on the issue.

I kind of like what Chris Rock said on the subject though, "I don't want a job over a white man if he's more qualified than me....but if it's a tie? FUCK 'UM!"
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Azlan
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PostSubject: Re: Affirmative Action   Sun 22 Oct - 13:29

Funny thing, affirmative action. Nice use of doublespeak.

Affirmative Action vs. Racial Discrimination: Both mean preferential treatment of once race over another. However, one is illegal and one is mandated by law.

What do you think?

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Wedge

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PostSubject: Re: Affirmative Action   Sun 22 Oct - 16:36

I can understand the reasoning behind it, but that was when descrimination based on someone's skin was allowed by law. Now, I think that people should get into college and stuff based on their skill and how smart they are, not because of something like Affirmative Action.

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ChrisWolfe

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PostSubject: Re: Affirmative Action   Sun 22 Oct - 19:26

Azlan wrote:
Funny thing, affirmative action. Nice use of doublespeak.

Affirmative Action vs. Racial Discrimination: Both mean preferential treatment of once race over another. However, one is illegal and one is mandated by law.

What do you think?

Well the diffrence, is that one is saying, "These people shuldn't be allowed in the same places as us, because they're black they're less than us."

And affirmitive action is, "These people have been discrimanted against in the past, and because of this they deserve certain privelages, as what have done to them has hindered their abilty to sucede."

I'm not saying I agree with afirmitive action, but that's just the reasoning behinde it. No one's saying white people can't go to black college, and as far as I know no white people are getting sprayed with fire hoses for saying that affirmative action is wrong. So, yes there is a big diffrence between racial discrimnation and affirmative action.
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Mugiwara
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PostSubject: Re: Affirmative Action   Mon 23 Oct - 15:56

what
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Alorn
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PostSubject: Re: Affirmative Action   Sat 11 Nov - 10:20

Creed said it best

"Affirmative may be justified take from one give to another
The goal is to be unified take my hand be my brother
The payment silenced the masses sanctified by oppression
Unity took a back seat sliding further into regression

Chorus:

One oh One the only way is One
One oh One the only way is One
I feel angry I feel helpless, wanna change the world yeah..
I feel violent I feel alone, don't try and change my mind no..

Society blind by color why hold down one to raise another
Discrimination now on both sides seeds of hate blossom further
The world is headed for mutiny, when all we want is unity
We may rise and fall, but in the end we meet our fate together

Chorus:

One oh One the only way is One
One oh One the only way is One
I feel angry I feel helpless, wanna change the world yeah..
I feel violent I feel alone, don't try and change my mind no..
I feel angry I feel helpless, wanna change the world yeah..
I feel violent I feel alone, don't try and change my mind no..

I feel angry I feel helpless, wanna change the world yeah..
I feel violent I feel alone, don't try and change my mind no..
I feel angry I feel helpless, wanna change the world yeah..
I feel violent I feel alone, don't try and change my mind
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