Re: Affirmative Action?
Any form of discrimination is wrong even if it is positive. Affirmative action won't stop someone being angry or upset they didn't get into their first choice university or a particular job they applied for, which just breeds resentment, even if everybody knows why it happens.
Found quite a good example of why its unfair on the net.
The plan is to continue to discriminate on the basis of acquired characteristics, like race or gender, but with a positive purpose -- namely, establishing greater fairness or justice. The strategy is to select people using the same acquired characteristics that originally brought disadvantage and, by giving them special consideration, turn that acquired characteristic into a compensatory advantage. It is, in effect, using racism to combat racism, sexism to contest sexism. After all, acquired characteristics, such as race, are still the basis for judgment. But what this approach overlooks is that the individuals who suffered the injustice are often not the individuals gaining the compensatory advantage. Nor are those who enjoyed the benefits of past discrimination necessarily the same individuals who pay the costs of compensatory reparation. It is a simple-minded mentality that believes that past injustices are somehow undone by present remedies. Just as easily we end up with two wrongs that don't make a right.
Consider a hypothetical "positive discrimination" college admission policy that assigns preferences based on gender, race and ethnic heritage -- all acquired characteristics. There are more candidates than places at this college, and two candidates are tied with identical cumulative averages and admission test scores for the last opening.
One of these candidates is a Hispanic female, let's call her Juanita. She is Cuban - American from an affluent neighborhood in West Palm Beach, Florida. Her father is an extraordinarily wealthy Florida cigar manufacturer, her mother a physician. Juanita was raised in luxury, traveled the world with her parents on extraordinary vacations, had private dance and music lessons, lived in a home filled with books, magazines, newspapers and original art, enjoyed a circle of friends from similarly sophisticated backgrounds, and so forth. Juanita, however, was unmotivated in school and did not utilize the advantages afforded by her background. In fact, her indifference to school work led to her failing out of two exclusive private schools before her parents angrily placed her in West Palm Beach's very well-funded public high school (the tax base in the district is vast) from which she barely graduated.
The other candidate for the college's last available space is a white male, let's call him Sam. Sam is from Panther Hollow, West Virginia. Sam's father, a laid-off coal miner, died of black lung when Sam was twelve. (It so happens that Juanita's family owns stock in the coal company Sam's dad worked for. It was an attractive investment because of its unusually profitability which the company maintained by dodging coal dust suppression regulations and laying off middle-aged miners.) Sam's home is a battered trailer more filled with overdue bills than books. Sam has never been more than 100 miles away from home. His friends are as poor and unsophisticated as he is. Sam's mother, who had to drop out of school to support her widowed mother, has worked as a waitress in the local diner since her husband died. To help his family while in high school Sam worked 8 hours a day at minimum wages in the same diner busing tables and washing dishes. Despite this burden, Sam did the best he could in his badly underfunded public school (the tax base for Panther Valley School District is meager) and, with great effort studying between bursts of business at the diner, ended up, like Juanita, barely graduating from high school and with an average score on the college's admission test.
Guess who gets into the college's last available space, and figure out how that sets aright some past injustice.
The next big thing: Voegele
Last edited by Bezz; May 18th, 2007 at 05:56 AM.