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1990 at Harvard Law School -- Barack Obama says he benefited from affirmative action
Harvard Law School Record ^ | November 16, 1990 | Barack Hussein Obama

Posted on 11/20/2008 1:05:51 AM PST by dennisw

 

 

I'd also like to add one personal note, in response to the letter from Mr. Jim Chen which was published in the October 26 issue of the RECORD, and which articulated broad objections to the Review's general affirmative action policy. I respect Mr. Chen's personal concern over the possible stigmatizing effects of affirmative action, and do not question the depth or sincerity of his feelings. I must say, however, that as someone who has undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career, and as someone who may have benefited from the Law Review's affirmative action policy when I was selected to join the Review last year, I have not personally felt stigmatized either within the broader law school community or as a staff member of the Review. Indeed, my election last year as President of the Review would seem to indicate that at least among Review staff, and hopefully for the majority of professors at Harvard, affirmative action in no way tarnishes the accomplishments of those who are members of historically underrepresented groups.

I would therefore agree with the suggestion that in the future, our concern in this area ia [sic] most appropriately directed at any employer who would even insinuate that someone with Mr. Chen's extraordinary record of academic success might be somehow unqualified for work in a corporate law firm, or that such success might be somehow undeserved. Such attributes speak less to the merits or problems of affirmative action policies, and more to the tragically deep-rooted ignorance and bias that exists in the legal community and our society at large.

Barack Obama
President, Harvard Law Review
Published November 16, 1990

__________________________
__________________________

 

 

Entire article follows--->>>

 

Record Retrospective: Obama on affirmative action

Issue date: 10/30/08 Section: Election 2008
Barack Obama in 1990
Barack Obama in 1990
[Click to enlarge]

In five days, Senator Barack Obama '91 could become the the first African-American and the second Harvard Law School graduate (after Rutherford B. Hayes, Class of 1845) to be elected President of the United States.

If Obama is elected next Tuesday, it will not be his first historic election. Obama was the first African-American to be elected President of the Harvard Law Review in 1990. Obama's tenure as Law Review President was not without controversy. Indeed, an unusually low number of women were selected to be Review editors from the class of 1992, leading to considerable debate about the Law Review's selection policies and the importance of its affirmative action program, which at the time, was limited to consideration of race and physical handicap.

Obama personally responded to the controversy by writing a lengthy letter explaining both the Review's selection policy and his personal experience with affirmative action. The letter was published in Volume 91, Number 7 (November 16, 1990) of the Harvard Law Record. It is reprinted below in its entirety.

A.K.

Review President Explains Affirmative Action Policy

To the Editor:

Since the merits of the Law Review's selection policy has been the subject of commentary for the last three issues, I'd like to take the time to clarify exactly how our selection process works.

As our Treasurer, Lisa Hay, explained in your first article on our selection policy (October 12th), all students who wish to become editors of the Law Review participate in a writing competition at the end of their first year. The entire writing competition is conducted on a double-blind basis, to ensure absolute anonymity. Each submission is graded by at least three different Review editors to help decrease the effects that any particular editor's subjective opinions may have on the final scores.

Once all the writing competition submissions have been graded, these scores, as well as the law school transcripts of all those who have chosen to release the, are submitted to a Selection Committee made up of the President ad two other Review editors who have been elected by their fellow editors.

The Selection Committee first identifies the group of candidates whose excellent performance, either in the classroom or on the writing competition, sets them apart. (Approximately half of this first batch is chosen solely on their performance on the writing competition; the other half are selected on a weighted formula of 70 percent grades and 30 percent writing competition.) The Selection Committee must then choose the remaining editors from a pool of qualified candidates whose grades or writing competition scores do not significantly differ. It is at this stage that the Law Review as for several years instituted an affirmative action policy for historically underrepresented groups: out of this pool, the Selection Committee may take race or physical handicap into account in making their final decision, if the Selection Committee believes that such affirmative action will enhance the representativeness of the incoming class. On the other hand, the Selection Committee may find that given the make-up of the first batch of candidates, such considerations are unnecessary. In no event is the Selection Committee required to meet any set quotas.

Once final selections are made, all writing competition material is destroyed. No editors on the Review will ever know whether any given editor was selected on the basis of grades, writing competition, or affirmative action, and no editors who were selected with affirmative action in mind.

The Review as a body feels that the success of the program speaks for itself. The vigor of debate and the wide range of perspectives that results from our current selection process have not been purchased at the price of any "lower standard" of editorial excellence; in fact, our program argues for the proposition that diversity can and should be the companion of quality legal scholarship.

This isn't to say that our selection procedures are ideal. No matter how anonymous the process, we are in the difficult and unusual position of evaluating our peers; indeed, the absolute necessity of anonymity prevents us from making the nuanced evaluations that a law school admissions office might make. As a result, the design of the selection process - including not only affirmative action but also the use of the writing competition or the use of grades - has been an important subject of discussion for each volume of the Review. As I stated in the first Record article, we decided last year as a body that based on the percentage of women in the Law School and our previous success of attracting a large number of women to editorial and leadership posts at the Review, an affirmative action program for women was unnecessary. Because of the drop-off of women editors this year, that policy is subject to change if the majority of Review editors think it's appropriate. In the meantime, we've been in contact with members of the WLA [Women's Law Association] to ensure that we effectively recruit women to participate in this year's competition.

Let me end by emphasizing that the Review is committed to including the widest range of viewpoints on its editorial staff, and strongly encourages 1L women and men of all backgrounds and ideological stripes to participate in this year's writing competition.

I'd also like to add one personal note, in response to the letter from Mr. Jim Chen which was published in the October 26 issue of the RECORD, and which articulated broad objections to the Review's general affirmative action policy. I respect Mr. Chen's personal concern over the possible stigmatizing effects of affirmative action, and do not question the depth or sincerity of his feelings. I must say, however, that as someone who has undoubtedly benefited from affirmative action programs during my academic career, and as someone who may have benefited from the Law Review's affirmative action policy when I was selected to join the Review last year, I have not personally felt stigmatized either within the broader law school community or as a staff member of the Review. Indeed, my election last year as President of the Review would seem to indicate that at least among Review staff, and hopefully for the majority of professors at Harvard, affirmative action in no way tarnishes the accomplishments of those who are members of historically underrepresented groups.

I would therefore agree with the suggestion that in the future, our concern in this area ia [sic] most appropriately directed at any employer who would even insinuate that someone with Mr. Chen's extraordinary record of academic success might be somehow unqualified for work in a corporate law firm, or that such success might be somehow undeserved. Such attributes speak less to the merits or problems of affirmative action policies, and more to the tragically deep-rooted ignorance and bias that exists in the legal community and our society at large.

Barack Obama
President, Harvard Law Review
Published November 16, 1990

 



TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: affirmativeaction; bho2008; lawschool; obama; obamatransitionfile; preferences

1 posted on 11/20/2008 1:05:51 AM PST by dennisw
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To: dennisw

BHO an affirmative action baby???
Isn’t that special!


2 posted on 11/20/2008 1:07:13 AM PST by dennisw (Never bet on Islam! ::::: Never bet on a false prophet!)
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To: dennisw
BHO an affirmative action baby???

I should think that was obvious.

3 posted on 11/20/2008 1:23:56 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (We are SO screwed.)
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To: dennisw

More specifically, an affirmative-action president.


4 posted on 11/20/2008 1:25:06 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (We are SO screwed.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

Hussein resigned as US Senator

Wouldn’t it be an 7.0 earthquake if the Supreme Court ruled him ineligible to be president (not natural born) and he joins the ranks of the jobless

**** I can dream can’t I?


5 posted on 11/20/2008 1:32:44 AM PST by dennisw (Never bet on Islam! ::::: Never bet on a false prophet!)
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To: dennisw

So Obama knows he doens’t qualify on the basis of his merits. First in college, then for Harvard Law Review. Now he’s the first affirmative action president. He has No experience.


6 posted on 11/20/2008 1:39:21 AM PST by Seeing More Clearly Now
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To: dennisw

Affirmative action is racist. It should end.

If you read the whole article, at the beginning they say that they never reveal if somebody was selected through grades, or writing competition, or affirmative action.

But then Obama shows no doubt that he was selected because of affirmative action! That means that his grades were bad and his writing too.

And he crearly says that he got admitted to college and probably Harvard too thanks to affirmative action.
I wonder why he never mentionned that during the campaign.

As always, no word of this will be in the media.


7 posted on 11/20/2008 1:40:40 AM PST by syl799
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To: dennisw

This affirms the obvious.

B.Hussein Obama cannot tell the truth.

The guy is a compulsive liar.


8 posted on 11/20/2008 1:52:15 AM PST by ChiMark
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To: Slings and Arrows
"More specifically, an affirmative-action president."

Exactly. He was "elected" as a token affirmative action president.

The editors, the subject of Osama's letter, are "selected" by a review of their writing submissions by a group of peer editors. Hussein was not an editor. He did not participate in the selection process. He only describes how others do the selecting

His writing wasn't submitted for review.

In his letter, Hussein talks about recruiting law students to participate in the editorial process. Why didn't he participate himself?

yitbos

9 posted on 11/20/2008 2:02:15 AM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds.")
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To: dennisw

That would be a joke worthy of Eris Herself.


10 posted on 11/20/2008 2:10:51 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (We are SO screwed.)
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To: bruinbirdman

Think of Obama as Wile E. Coyote: He’s finally caught the roadrunner, and has no idea what to do with it.


11 posted on 11/20/2008 2:25:43 AM PST by Slings and Arrows (We are SO screwed.)
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To: dennisw

Having read the Affirmative Action President’s list of actual accomplishments, I had no doubt that he had benefitted from Affirmative Action. Where’s the story here?


12 posted on 11/20/2008 2:40:18 AM PST by MathDoc (War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Obama is Good.)
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To: Seeing More Clearly Now

He probably does has attention deficit too, years of being medicated(Ritalin?) is too embarrassing for a 47 year old, seemingly healthy man, to release his medical records


13 posted on 11/20/2008 2:41:33 AM PST by Son House (Mr. Ă˜bama, Your Tax Increases Are Decreasing Job Opportunities)
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To: Son House
"years of being medicated(Ritalin?) . . ."

Self admitted coke head from his high school days.

yitbos

14 posted on 11/20/2008 2:53:45 AM PST by bruinbirdman ("Those who control language control minds.")
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To: dennisw
Barack Obama says he benefited from affirmative action

Since by definition "affirmative action" gives someone something that they should not have received by taking from someone who should have received it solely on the basis of race, I'd like to see the inverse of this article where someone who was screwed by the obomination's preferential treatment discussing the evils of the system. (McCain?) I guess it isn't the "content of their character" that we're working on these days but the "color of their skin"

15 posted on 11/20/2008 3:13:09 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
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To: MathDoc
Barack Obama says he benefited from affirmative action

OK, where did you find a list of his actual accomplishments? I've been looking and have yet to find such. I suspected that there isn't any such list.

16 posted on 11/20/2008 3:14:51 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
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To: All

Barack Obama says he benefited from affirmative action
NO SH*T really ????????????????


17 posted on 11/20/2008 3:18:15 AM PST by sonic109
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To: ChiMark
The guy is a compulsive liar.

He is a successful Democratic politician from Chicago. By definition if you have what it takes to float to the top of the cesspool of corruption that is Chicago politics you probably regard things like moral principles, truth and justice simply as inconvient outmoded notions that you have to occasionally give lip service to.

18 posted on 11/20/2008 3:20:25 AM PST by from occupied ga (Your most dangerous enemy is your own government,)
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To: dennisw

Why oh why do they destroy the evidence used in selection??
‘The (Harvard Law Review) Selection Committee first identifies the group of candidates whose excellent performance, either in the classroom or on the writing competition, sets them apart. (Approximately half of this first batch is chosen solely on their performance on the writing competition; the other half are selected on a weighted formula of 70 percent grades and 30 percent writing competition)’


19 posted on 11/20/2008 3:34:23 AM PST by iopscusa (El Vaquero. (SC Lowcountry Cowboy))
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To: iopscusa

Gee, I hope this news gets out to the voting public before the election...


20 posted on 11/20/2008 4:11:59 AM PST by jackofhearts
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tag


21 posted on 11/20/2008 4:13:50 AM PST by WaterBoard (Somewhere a Village is Missing it's Socialist.)
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To: dennisw

I don’t like affirmative action PERIOD, but whereas I can at least understand it for disadvantaged groups in terms of scholarship levels (and I repeat, I think it stinks), I cannot understand it on a simple and purely moral level.

If you ask me an Italian, to name all 50 American states and I only name 42, I shouldn’t score higher than an American who names 48. However if because of my background I am given a handicap advantage - well at least that’s understandable. Wrong but understandable. But if I am caught cheating - i.e. wearing a tiny earphone to get the answers relayed to me, then that’s a UNIVERSAL sin and nothing about my background should make a difference.

From an already wrong-minded affirmative action based on backgrounds, we have slipped into MORAL relativity. It’s no longer “He’s Italian so it’s only fair he knows fewer states.” It is now: “He’s Italian so he can cheat!”

advantage


22 posted on 11/20/2008 4:17:47 AM PST by Mancolicani
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To: dennisw

So I am not wrong if I claim the “magic Negro” is a quota boy?


23 posted on 11/20/2008 4:31:25 AM PST by Joe Boucher (An enemy of Islam)
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To: dennisw

I counted at least three other errors in BHO’s letter in addition to the one identified in the last paragraph. These errors say it all.


24 posted on 11/20/2008 4:38:22 AM PST by koraz
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To: dennisw

So does the HLR always publish first drafts without editing? This thing was crawling with typos and other, more serious, errors.


25 posted on 11/20/2008 4:53:08 AM PST by aruanan
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To: from occupied ga
OK, where did you find a list of his actual accomplishments? I've been looking and have yet to find such. I suspected that there isn't any such list.

Sure there is:

1. Published two books about his accomplishments for which he is listed as the author.
2. Ran a political campaign promising more of what he had already proven he could do.
3. Won the 2008 presidential election.

There it is - complete and up to date.

26 posted on 11/20/2008 6:19:13 AM PST by MathDoc (War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength. Obama is Good.)
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To: Mancolicani
If you ask me an Italian, to name all 50 American states and I only name 42, I shouldn’t score higher than an American who names 48.

but if you can name all 57 states, you get extra credit.

27 posted on 11/20/2008 9:44:14 AM PST by erman
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To: dennisw

He still is

(benefitting from affirmative action, that is. Would a white guy with his qualifications have been elected - of course not)


28 posted on 11/20/2008 9:47:41 AM PST by KosmicKitty (WARNING: Hormonally crazed woman ahead!!)
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To: MathDoc
You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do

http://www.google.com/search?q=%22You+can%27t+build+a+reputation%22&sourceid=navclient-ff&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1B3GGGL_enUS293US294

That's what Henry Ford said but Obama proved you can do this today

29 posted on 11/20/2008 10:38:51 AM PST by dennisw (Never bet on Islam! ::::: Never bet on a false prophet!)
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