Thursday, January 19, 2012

I Don't Support Racial Discrimination

That makes me a bad guy in some circles, because it means I don't support affirmative action:
The San Francisco Chronicle noted Tuesday that Gov. Jerry Brown had joined a challenge to the portion of 1996′s Proposition 209 that prevented state universities from using race in college admission decisions, with his lawyers telling the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that the provision of state law “imposes unique political burdens on minorities” and violates the constitutional guarantee of equal protection. But what the media almost never point out, and the Chronicle doesn’t, is that the UC admissions status quo before 1996 indisputably punished a minority. This is particularly insane when one realizes that affirmative action is meant to atone for white racism. In California, who paid the price for this historical sin? Asian-American students. Says who? Says The New York Times, quoting UC documents. link
Combine that story with this one (my previous post) and one has to wonder what's going on in higher ed.


Anonymous said...

I'm feeling snarky today, so ... what the heck!

What exactly is *wrong* with atoning for white racial discrimination against blacks by making it harder for Asians to get into Cal? It makes the correct people feel better about themselves and they (mostly) don't have to worry about their own kids not getting into Cal. Sounds like a fine plan to me!

-Mark Roulo

Anna A said...


Shouldn't we atone for our behavior when we brought the Chinese over here for near slave labor on the railroad, and stringent laws on them as well. (My source: On Gold Mountain by Lisa See.)

allen (in Michigan) said...

Mark, despite your claim, you're not being snarky. Just ignoring the unvoiced demand that the underlying motivation of supporters of affirmative action must'nt be stated and that the contorted and morally bankrupt excuse given must be accepted.

Anonymous said...

Affirmative action should be based only on economic status and be absolutely colorblind. The problem is that some people think real racism still exists. It does not exist! Look how hard pundits are going to call something "racist" e.g. referring to the President as the food stamp president (despite fact food stamps go to folks of all colors, calling Repubs racist because Herman Cain was running for President (a al nutcase Garofolo.) If racism really existed, they wouldn't have to be bending logic like a pretzel to find something. "Racism" exists today because people's livelihood depends on it existing (e.g. diversity deans in colleges, Al Sharpton, etc etc.)

Anonymous said...

Anna: "Shouldn't we atone for our behavior when we brought the Chinese over here for near slave labor on the railroad, and stringent laws on them as well."

I think you missed my snark. The idea is for upper middle class white people to feel good about themselves by "doing something", but not actually run the risk of themselves (or their kids) losing out. Making it easier for Chinese kids to get into UC Berkeley would take a *lot* of slots away from the kids of these white middle class parents. So, no, "we" shouldn't do anything of the sort.

A bit more seriously, I'll also note that "we" didn't bring Chinese labor over here. I wasn't alive, so I didn't do it. I doubt that you were either. The general argument is more that "we" benefit from the past discrimination and that the recipients of AA are handicapped by past discrimination so AA evens things out a bit. But we shouldn't lose track of the fact that all the participants in the original activity are dead. Random white people are *NOT* interchangeable just like random black people aren't (and random hispanics, and random ...).

-Mark Roulo

Matt Mangels said...

I think if we're going to get rid of affirmative action then GET RID OF IT. All of it. Including all legacy admissions. Either you end both legacy admissions and racial quotas, or you end neither of them.

Darren said...

That's a nice red herring but I don't buy it. Legacy admissions are entirely different--you aren't *born* going to such and such school as you are born with your skin color.

On the other hand, if legacy (or athletic, for that matter) admissions allow for *lower standards*, as does AA, then yes, get rid of them.

I want to get rid of lower standards, whatever the cause.