Affirmative Action != Racism

Uber uppercut
Jul 5, 2018 29 Comments

The point of affirmative action is to prevent qualified minorites from being rejected on the basis of race. Without it we are letting (un)conscious bias affect admissions decisions with no accountability. 100% of the push back against the policy is completely misdirected.

"...recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans"

Any admissions employee who is implementing affirmative action in a way that accepts less qualified applicants or defaults to rejecting a specific other group of non protected minority applicants needs to be held accountable as they are not following the actual policy. To blame this policy for the illegal actions of others is like blaming the Olympics when an athlete is caught using steroids. You don't shut down the Olympics, you discipline the cheaters.

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TOP 29 Comments
  • LinkedIn Mesopo
    Affirmative action always translates to accepting less qualified applicants on the basis of race in practice. The solution isnโ€™t for a college to accept students who are less qualified, but to work with high schools and parents to insure all students are getting a good education. Some students are pressured to study hard, while others are pressured to complain about racism.
    Jul 5, 20186
    • OpenTable Meliodas
      Always is a pretty strong word. Only when poorly implemented is more accurate.
      Jul 5, 2018
    • Uber Moo moo
      Is a poor black kid from east Oakland who scores 30 points below a kid from Palo Alto high school less qualified? What if the Palo Alto kid could afford sat prep courses? If the poor black kid from east Oakland has a slightly lower gpa because he/she had a part time job, are they less qualified? Did they study less hard? Did they have more obstacles to overcome by going to a school where there are fewer academically motivated students? How about a school that is less safe? A school with fewer so classes and where teachers need to accommodate less academically gifted students? Who is more qualified really?

      How does one evaluate academic potential in these cases? How does one evaluate leadership ability and potential?

      It just isn't possible to normalize everything to a number. That's why schools like Harvard look at a lot of factors. Harvard understands that they should consider more than the high school equivalent of leetcode.
      Jul 5, 2018
    • OpenTable Meliodas
      The east Oakland candidate sounds more motivated and qualified.
      Jul 5, 2018
    • Uber Moo moo
      They may both be motivated. I just don't think the East Oakland candidate should be measured the exact same way as the Palo Alto candidate. How does one define merit in this example? If your parents hire tutors to help you with your homework and SAT prep courses and college admissions consultants, then how does than impact the merit of you application relative to a candidate who had none of those benefits?
      Jul 5, 2018
    • New jdkaq7;
      Whether the kid is black doesnโ€™t make him more of less qualified. Poor yes, black no. Does a poor Asian kid from Chinatown need to score an extra 450 than the poor black kid from Oakland? That seems to be the problem with AA.
      Jul 5, 2018
    • But why does he have to be black to be from east Oakland ๐Ÿ˜‚
      Jul 5, 2018
  • required reading for everyone getting involved in this thread: https://afro-optimist.blogspot.com/2018/05/explaining-affirmative-action-to-martian.html
    Jul 5, 20184
    • Google dkAb37
      I'm struggling to click that link simply because of your patronizing "required reading" tone
      Jul 5, 2018
    • good point. didn't meant to be patronizing. it's just very well written, and I really want everyone to read it.
      Jul 5, 2018
    • LinkedIn Mesopo
      Fantastic article
      Jul 5, 2018
    • Capital One / EngKNABRIAF
      Liked it until the idiots showed up in the comments. Can't stand politically motivated commenters regardless of affiliation.
      Jul 5, 2018
  • Northrop Grumman / Engfahq
    So is there something wrong with accepting candidates with 200 pts lower SAT scores?
    Jul 5, 20188
    • LinkedIn Mesopo
      Yes, if it means youโ€™re rejecting candidates with 200 pts higher SAT scores
      Jul 5, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Engajjfji
      So?
      Jul 5, 2018
    • if SAT score is your primary/only acceptance criteria
      Jul 5, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Engajjfji
      What's your other acceptance criteria? GPA? Essay? What if their gpa was lower and their SAT was lower, but their essay blew you away and they got accepted over you? Is that okay?
      Jul 5, 2018
    • essay, extracurricular, volunteer work, particular performance on certain subjects, there are a ton of different potential criteria. means-testing (income/assets)
      Jul 5, 2018
    • Northrop Grumman / Engajjfji
      How do they define less qualified?
      Jul 5, 2018
    • I think you replied to the wrong post.
      Jul 5, 2018
    • OpenTable Meliodas
      Less qualified is defined as โ€œany metric where my child exceeds yoursโ€
      Jul 5, 2018
  • New jdkaq7;
    Racism = treating people differently based on race = affirmative action. There, you just learnt the new transitive property!
    Jul 5, 20182
    • Northrop Grumman / Engajjfji
      You forgot the important part, its based on the belief that one's own race is superior.
      Jul 5, 2018
    • ^ absolutely right. this is racial discrimination, not racism.
      Jul 5, 2018
  • Uber DAmZP3
    AA==Racism, period.
    Jul 5, 20181
    • Northrop Grumman / Engajjfji
      Nah
      Jul 5, 2018
  • Jet Hop3
    Iโ€™d take someone scrappy over Ivy League any day.
    Jul 5, 20180
  • LinkedIn eFvz21
    We should practice equal opportunity not equality of outcome.
    Jul 5, 20180
  • U.S. Department of Veterans Affa fUsy32
    where exactly do you work?
    Jul 24, 20180

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