Skip to comments.The Sad Irony of Affirmative Action
Posted on 03/07/2013 12:10:59 PM PST by neverdem
In 2003, the Supreme Court held that the University of Michigan's law school could substantially relax its admissions standards in order to admit a "critical mass" of African-American and Hispanic students. Many observers interpreted that decision Grutter v. Bollinger as an open-ended embrace of affirmative action.
The University of Texas was among the many universities emboldened to ramp up its use of race-preferential admissions policies. In 2003, the university already had in place an admissions policy designed to raise the number of under-represented minority students attending its flagship campus in Austin by admitting the "top 10%" of the graduates of each Texas high school without regard to SAT scores. Soon after the Grutter decision, however, the university announced that it was still dissatisfied with the diversity of the student body at Austin, 21% of which was composed of under-represented minorities (16.9% Hispanic and 4.5% African-American), and that the school would be implementing race preferences to boost that diversity. Under the new policy, the proportion of the student body composed of Hispanics and African-Americans rose to 25%.
The result was a lawsuit. The plaintiff Abigail Fisher is a young woman from Texas whose academic credentials were good, but not quite up to the standards that whites and Asians must meet in order to gain admission. They were, however, above those necessary for African-American and Hispanic students. Fisher, who is white, was rejected, and wound up attending the less prestigious and (for out-of-state students) more expensive Louisiana State University. Her case Fisher v. University of Texas was argued before the Supreme Court in October. It will be decided sometime in the coming months.
The Court may decide Fisher on narrow grounds. There are several dimensions along which the University of Texas's race-preferential admissions policies are more aggressive than those in Grutter...
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalaffairs.com ...
“Affirmative Action” was one of America’s first Marxist wealth redistribution programs. Communism’s camel nose.
One of the first things you discover is that “diversity” means “black”. Only.
For years,and years,and years my first thought when I see a black or female doctor,lawyer,cop,fireman,etc,etc is...”would this person,with the *exact* same qualifications,have been admitted/graduated/hired if he/she was both male and white?”
When I was in law school (top 25 at the time) not a single african american graded onto the law review....in the entire 3 years that I was there....Some were allowed to sit on the law review because the “wrote” onto it.
Later, at my law firm, 3 of the first year associates were black...none made it to partner despite the firm pulling out all of the stops to help them achieve...the firm even hired a writing tutor for a black woman WHO HAD WRITTEN ONTO THE LAW REVIEW. You can’t make this stuff up.
It’s wrong and illegal to classify people by race. Even if there’s a law that requires it, the law is invalid.
That’s the sad part of the whole thing. Undoubtedly, lacking affirmative discrimination, nobody would have cause to doubt the qualifications of any person of whatever color. But now all non-Asian, minority professionals have the stigma of being a possible affirmative-action selection. Their chances of earning respect are severely diminished. That does not mean every underqualified minority will turn out to be a failure at what they do. But affirmative discrimination is no way to go about selecting the most competent people.
I think the important distinction from the studies in this essay is that blacks consistently underperform whites in academic pursuits, but that should not be a reason to modify testing metrics or otherwise set the bar lower for one section of society over another. It's simply a way to say that we should never cater to the lowest common denominator but instead push those underachievers to reach for loftier goals. At one point during this read, I would say that the author was promoting the idea that the lowering of the bar for blacks and Hispanics has actually been to their detriment. They know they don't have to aspire to anything but the line at which the standard exists, and as such, they only do as much work as is necessary to make it there.
The social climate in the black community is a bigger problem, I believe, as it's often the case the black children who are overachievers at a young age are not fostered the same way as white overachievers. The enrollment numbers in gifted programs across the nation are overwhelmingly positive for whites yet lack any true diversity among races. This, I believe, is not an anomaly but a statistical truth, as it's been historically held and understood that whites outperform blacks in school, regardless of social matters. Quite the contrary, in today's social world, it seems that black children are castigated by their social peers for overachieving. They're called "house niggers" or "Uncle Tom's" by people of their own race. Meanwhile, whites who overachieve are lauded and celebrated while average or subachievement is neither cast down or otherwise noted as exceptionally concerning. Perhaps the social stigmas attached to race are such that parents and friends of white underachievers are content knowing that "Little Johnny will get a job somewhere, I just know it."
All of that aside, I think the decision in this case before SCotUS will land firmly abreast the fence, neither rendering a decision considered Earthshaking nor changing anything about the current system. I believe a fact can be proven that blacks have actually been set back in academic and social standards because of cases like Brown v. Board of Education, and I believe the essay's author has proven that beyond any doubt. Blacks should be held to the same standard as whites. Give them something to which they can aspire, and they will. It may take a few generations, but it will happen.
The question: "If it's illegal for me, as a business owner, NOT to hire or promote someone based on the color of their skin. Why then should they be hired or promoted for that very same reason?"
You’ll have to explain what “writing onto the law review” means for the non-legal-minded people like myself.
Law review staff consist of two groups — those who “graded” on (i.e., usually those first-year law students — a certain percentage — who received the highest GPA in their first year courses), and those who “write” on — a second group of first-year students who didn’t make the cut-off point for “grading” on, but who compete in a closed-brief writing assignment that is blind-graded. Those who do best on the writing assignment earn the remaining slots on the law review staff.
I have no idea what “writting onto the law review” means either. But I do know that liberal law schools like Harvard started placing blacks on law review that hadn’t earned it as part of their in-house affirmative action programs. And that ... coincidentially... Barak Obama magically made law review there soon afterwards (the first black to do so).
Thanks for the explanation.
Most spots on the law review (a legal journal published by the school) are given to first year student with the highest GPA...However, the school I attended reserved 2 spots for folks who didn’t have high GPAs but wrote outstanding articles. It was my and several of my friends’ suspicion that the “write on” spots were reserved for minorities.
Wasn’t always the case, but the only african americans to be selected to the law review in the 3 years I was there “wrote on.” They never graded on.
Where’s the irony?
I don’t know if Obama was the first black to be on the law review period. He was the first to be “president” of the law review, which hitherto had gone to the top law student. The time had come, they decided, that they had to have a black president of the law review, and he was the top student among that subset. Apparently as president he didn’t do the work traditionally done by the president but let his underlings do that.
After dealing with this “magic negro”
I have no respect for black folk,
Call it racism or what ever you care to but at this point to hell with em
And prior to obammy I was not this way.
Or in other words, "White Males Need Not Apply"
I heard recently they are now extending the affirmative action system to women and reserving 20+ spots on the review for women, whether they earned it or not.
In a related story, 80% of New York public school graduates can’t read.
In its defense, the NYC Department of Education said it has raised high school graduation rates by 40 percent over the last seven years.
It seems a NYC high school diploma is now just as useless as being on the Harvard Law review!
"Well-meaning", but "ultimately misguided"...the inevitable result of Mother O'Connor trying to apply compassionate motherly principles to conflict resolution -- when her job was to apply the Constitution.
"Meaning well" is not a "compelling national interest".
Judging from your name (Tulane), and reading your comments, we may have attended the same law school, because my experiences were the same.
When I was in law school, I had to take a class in legal writing. The teacher was a black woman who was just hired by the school. She was a graduate from Yale Law School and had worked at the public defender’s office in Richmond, VA before being hired. The teacher had an assistant, who was a current member of the School’s law review.
During the class, we had to write legal briefs, etc. every time I wrote a brief, the teacher gave me a low mark. When I asked the student advisor (writer for the law review) where I was wrong and how I could improve, the student looked at my paper and said there was nothing wrong and she would have given me a much higher mark. Unfortunately, only the teacher’s marks counted.
I ended the course with a mediocre grade and lots of frustration.
BTW, the teacher was let go at the end of the term. The reason - incompetency.
After I graduated, the new Dean, who had been a law clerk for Thurgood Marshall, decided there were not enough blacks in the school (at the time a top 20-25 school) the goal was 20% of the student body. The ones they let in had to take remedial English classes to get them up to speed with the non-black students.
When they graduated a vast majority of these students could not pass the bar exam.
Because of the lowering of the overall passing rate of the graduates, and other factors due to the programs implemented by the Dean, the schools reputation suffered. The school is not considered a “top 50” law school now.
This is their business school, but starting from a false premise makes you a liar in the end:
Clearly, their belief in AA has not only degraded their school, but their morality.
It’s their first thought as well. The most evil, horrible thing about AA is the inference that being black means not being able to do it; you’re a broken toy.
The hidden history is that blacks did better before AA and the welfare state moved in to bail them out. The Democratic Party’s origins in the eugenics and racist movements in America cloud their “help”. Liberal whites don’t believe in black people and they never have.
My friend is an 85 year old architect, now retired. He owns an airplane and has had one since the 70s. He owns several apartment buildings, all paid free and clear. He owns a beautiful vacation home on Hilton Head Island.
His plans and drawings always pass. He knows more than entire building and zoning departments. I’ve never known him to be wrong in a dispute. They end with the bureaucrat apologizing, often in writing. He’s also black.
He never got AA or any breaks. As a matter of fact he grew up in racist Chicago and earned his way up by gumption, grit and hard work. That’s the only way.
I don't believe in coincidence. I'd love to see a donor list in the years around Obama’s attendance.
I personally believe exactly that, but am always hesitant to express such views and be accused of having foil on my head or something.
It’s not likely that the affirmative action regime will be repealed in any serious way. Right now it depends on the weakest of the five conservative justices to vote with the conservative wing and not cower in the face of the media opprobrium that will be unleased on him. If any of the five dies or retires before 2017, Obama will replace him with a hard-line leftist. If a Democrat wins in 2016, it’s almost inevitable that there will be a leftist majority on the court by 2020.
We went to the same place.