Affirmative, Captain

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Ten years ago, as you will hear again and again, John McCain opposed an Arizona anti-affirmative action initiative that never made it on the ballot.

Today, one of Ward Connerly's initiatives makes the Arizona ballot, and McCain is for it.

"I do not believe in quotas," McCain said on ABC's This Week With George Stephanopoulos. "But I have not seen the details of some of these proposals. But I've always opposed quotas."

When the Arizona Legislature considered a similar plan 10 years ago, McCain told a Hispanic group that "rather than engage in divisive ballot initiatives, we must have a dialogue and cooperation and mutual efforts together to provide for every child in America to fulfill their expectations." McCain also said he opposed race-based hiring quotas.

Obama has attacked McCain for supporting something so "divisive," and Roger Clegg takes him to task:

Obama's criticism is wrongheaded for at least three reasons: (1) it is obviously preferential policies that are divisive, not their abolition; (2) the "big problem" of helping people from disadvantaged backgrounds can be addressed by helping people of all colors who are disadvantaged, rather than crudely and unfairly using race as a proxy for disadvantage; and (3) Obama himself has recognized as much, albeit fitfully and inconsistently, in his own statements—for instance, acknowledging the divisiveness of preferential treatment (in his Philadelphia speech), and the fact that his own daughters, for starters, come from privileged backgrounds and thus are "probably" not deserving of preferential treatment.

Indeed, it's a bad issue for Obama to grapple with: If Arizona's half as conservative as, say, Michigan, the initiative will pass easily. Obama's answer to a question about affirmative action at this weekend's Unity convention (the question was wether Obama's election would end a need for AA) was more coherent.

I've also said that affirmative action is not going to be the long-term solution to the problems of race in American because, frankly, if you've got 50 percent of African-American or Latino kids dropping out of high school, it doesn't really matter what you do in terms of affirmative action. Those kids are not getting into college….There have been times where affirmative action has been viewed as a shortcut to solving some of these broader, long-term, structural problems.

I know Mickey Kaus has been clamoring for Obama to swing right on affirmative action and therby assuage white doubts; I think that's the right strategy, especially if (when he's not scoring points against McCain) he believes it. What McCain has to gain from the issue, I'm less sure.

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  1. “Obama himself has recognized as much, albeit fitfully and inconsistently, in his own statements-for instance, acknowledging the divisiveness of preferential treatment (in his Philadelphia speech), and the fact that his own daughters, for starters, come from privileged backgrounds and thus are “probably” not deserving of preferential treatment.”

    To think the Philly speech had anything to do with policy would be absurd. I thought the speech was excellent from a rhetorical standpoint, since he kissed everyone’s ass but he isn’t going to bite the hand that feeds him, he is still a cosmopolitan globalist and the platform is pretty clear. He is just a very good politician and has some smart people behind him, I wish I knew who was the true brain power behind the product placement. Anybody who thinks that Obama is going to give us anything other than the norm is just viewing through the clouded lense that eight years of Machiavelli’s fool has created. Obama is just the Dem version of George HW Bush from an ideological standpoint, but a much better politician.

  2. The Instapundit claims that Obama supports this initiative also. True?

  3. What does McCain have to gain on the issue? He’s going after the white would-be college student who denied access to a good higher education college.

  4. it is obviously preferential policies that are divisive, not their abolitionK

    Oh, obviously. That must explain why race relations are so much worse now than in 1970.

    I suspect that a heavily-segregated society and economy breeds quite a bit of resentment…but probably not the sort that Roger Clegg finds terribly compelling.

  5. it is obviously preferential policies that are divisive, not their abolitionK

    Oh, obviously. That must explain why race relations are so much worse now than in 1970.

    That’s not even a particularly good red herring. No one’s saying that racism is awesome, or that disproportionate highschool graduation rates, etc, are not a problem. It’s just that restrictive quotas and arbitrary policies of favortism are not the solution, and are almost as bad as what they set out to address.

  6. Dagny T.,

    Nothing you wrote addresses my point. Nor does my point address “racism is awesome.”

    It’s not red, it’s not a herring, it’s not even a fish.

  7. (1) it is obviously preferential policies that are divisive, not their abolition;

    why can’t both be divisive?

  8. Oh, obviously. That must explain why race relations are so much worse now than in 1970.

    joe, for only one thousand dollars, you too can own one of my tiger-repelling rocks!

  9. TAO,

    I didn’t make an argument about causality; I refuted one. Clegg asserted that affirmative action causes racial resentment, and I pointed out the lack of evidence.

    Why do I have to constantly write this? This is not difficult to understand.

  10. Supporters of the racial/religious/sex preference forms of affirmative action believe the way to end discrimination is to replace it with different discrimination.

    No, they do not see a problem with their reasoning. No, you can’t explain it to them as they stick their fingers in their ears and say, I can’t hear you. I can’t hear you.

    A defensible case can be made for economic affirmative action. Obviously, the implementation of it would be riddled with errors. Whether the benefits of that sort of policy would outweigh the inevitable screwups in bureaucratic management is worthy of discussion.

    Giving a person preference due to the shade of their skin, where their ancestors originated or the number of X chromosomes possessed is morally unacceptable.*

    Both major party candidates are positioning themselves because of perceived leectoral advantage, not because of principle.

    *I despise legacy appointments/preferences just as much if not more. So don’t even bother bringing it up.

  11. Supporters of fighting the Nazis believed that the proper way to end the invasion of European countries is to replace with a different form of invasion of European countries.

    There, fixed that for you.

  12. didn’t make an argument about causality; I refuted one. Clegg asserted that affirmative action causes racial resentment, and I pointed out the lack of evidence.

    Just because things are better than in the 1970s, joe, it doesn’t necessarily follow that AA isn’t hindering further lessening of racial tensions.

    I know that the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but I know a lot of whites who really are resentful of AA, regardless of whether said resentment is valid.

  13. joe –
    Certainly race based affirmative action causes some resentment. You may contend that the alleged benefits of divesity (more racial tolerance) outweigh the resentment. You’d be a fool to contend that the resentment of preferred groups by those who aren’t members of the said groups doesn’t exist.

  14. Affirmative Action should be reversed so that the Conservatives can stop complaining already.

    Perhaps we should stop admitting blacks/latinos into colleges and deny government contract bids so that we can reverse the years of attrocities committed to White males.

  15. A defensible case can be made for economic affirmative action.

    People who support economic-based affirmative action believe that the best way to end discrimination is to replace it with a different form of discrimination.

    What about the middle class kid who get fifty more points on his SATS, but his spot goes to some poor kid? Oh my heavens, the resentment!

  16. I understand that President Obama’s overseas visit will be finished soon. He seems to have been well-received in Europe.

  17. Just because things are better than in the 1970s, joe, it doesn’t necessarily follow that AA isn’t hindering further lessening of racial tensions.

    No, it doesn’t necessarily follow. There just isn’t any good reason to believe that what you describe is happening.

    I know that the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but I know a lot of whites who really are resentful of AA, regardless of whether said resentment is valid. The fact that you know a lot more white people than black people isn’t terribly compelling evidence of anything.

    And why are the emotions of white people the proper measure of the world, anyway? I’ll guarantee you that the resentment of black people over de facto segregation and unequal opportunity created thereby circa 1968 was a whole lot more universal than resentment among white people over affirmative action in 2008.

  18. Wow, already Godwin’d. Epic fail.

  19. The fact that you know a lot more white people than black people isn’t terribly compelling evidence of anything.

    I didn’t say any such thing. Stop making things up.

    And why are the emotions of white people the proper measure of the world, anyway?

    Never said they were. you’re just making more stuff up. Do you never cease making disingenous arguments and putting words in people’s mouths?

    of course, there is no proof that would be good enough joe; you’re essentially making a utilitarian argument that completely misses the moral argument: discrimination is discrimination. No, we cannot measure resentment, but no one can state whether AA has caused general resentment to stay steady, rise or decline.

    however, AA policies are racially divisive. That’s a fact. Whether that division is worth it is a whole separate issue.

  20. Perhaps we should stop admitting blacks/latinos into colleges and deny government contract bids so that we can reverse the years of attrocities committed to White males.

    Mostly by other white males for not believing in the right kind of Jesus.

    Perhaps we should end race-based affirmative action programs because substituting forms of discrimination is no way to end discrimination.

    Seriously, though, what bothers me most about race-based affirmative action is not that ZOMG BLACK KIDS get into college. What would bother me is if an African-American kid with low grades and a poor disciplinary record got into a good school over a white kid with good grades and a good disciplinary record. I, personally, have never heard of that happening, though opponents of affirmative action assure me that it does.

  21. OK, J sub, append “to any meaningful degree” to my above statements.

    But, then, we have to remember that there is a contingent among white people who would be resentful about “they trk r jrbs/slrts” anyway, and there always has been. It is, in fact, much smaller now than it was before affirmative action.

    This idea of Clegg’s that we should vastly reduce black college admissions and hiring (ie, end affirmative action programs intended to desegregage acadamia and business) in order to protect black people against “resentment” is moronic. There may be good reasons to oppose affirmative action but “black people will be better off with less opportunity, because at least they’ll be resented less” is not among them.

    One thing that just about everybody can agree on is that the racial disparities that exist in this country are much more the result of PAST racism and PAST hostility resulting in modern-day disparities in opportunity, than of modern-day racial hostility and overt prejudice.

    So it seems a bit odd to claim that doing away with a program that addresses the bigger problem, in order to address the smaller problem (and oh by the way, it would also benefit white people) is a good-faith effort to advance the interests of black people.

  22. Jeebus, are you already stoned?

    I didn’t say any such thing. Stop making things up…Never said they were.

    Let’s go to the tape: I know that the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but I know a lot of whites who really are resentful of AA

    Your words. Your mouth. Stop whining at me.

    Stop being a worm, and stand by your argument. You’re claiming affirmative action is a bad thing because it casues white people to feel resentful. If you want to take that argument back, do it, but quite pretending you aren’t making that argument just because it’s easy to refute.

    And stop whining at me. Cripes, ever comment you write is about how unfair it is that I argue back.

    you’re essentially making a utilitarian argument that completely misses the moral argument: discrimination is discrimination. I’m not missing it. I’m rebutting it.

  23. But, then, we have to remember that there is a contingent among white people who would be resentful about “they trk r jrbs/slrts” anyway, and there always has been. It is, in fact, much smaller now than it was before affirmative action.

    There is a contingent among blacks who would be resentful about “the man keeping them down” anyway. Your point?

    So it seems a bit odd to claim that doing away with a program that addresses the bigger problem, in order to address the smaller problem (and oh by the way, it would also benefit white people) is a good-faith effort to advance the interests of black people.

    Economic affirmative action would still address the “bigger problem”, since blacks are disproportionately poor.

  24. joe,

    This idea of Clegg’s that we should vastly reduce black college admissions and hiring (ie, end affirmative action programs intended to desegregage acadamia and business)…

    So black people only get into college or get hired because of affirmative action?

    If the figure goes down when affirmative action is ended, doesn’t that just mean the figure was artificially inflated by affirmative action in the first place? Unless you want to insist that, were race-based affirmative action ended, African-Americans would be hired or accepted into university in numbers vastly lower than their representation in the population would indicate- which I assume (though I could be wrong) you would attribute to all the racism that was being curtailed by affirmative action.

    That’s plausible, I suppose. Kind of. But really?

    *Don’t have time to stay on the thread, will check back later.

  25. Stop funding schools with the public purse.

  26. Jordan,

    There is a contingent among blacks who would be resentful about “the man keeping them down” anyway. Your point? My point: all of this hand-waving about feelings is getting us nowhere. Analyses of affirmative action and other desegregation programs should focus on the concrete, material effects on people.

    Economic affirmative action would still address the “bigger problem”, since blacks are disproportionately poor. I agree with you. It isn’t 1970 anymore. We should be, and are, transitioning in that direction, as the correlation between race and “poor, segregated, and little opportunity” is breaking down. At the same time, this progress is uneven, and there are still places where the correlation is still strong. Helping poor white kids does a lot of good, but what it doesn’t do is promote desegregation and draw isolated black communities into the mainstream.

  27. Let’s go to the tape: I know that the plural of anecdote isn’t data, but I know a lot of whites who really are resentful of AA

    That’s a statement of fact. I DO know a lot of whites who are resentful of AA. However, your made-up lies like these:

    The fact that you know a lot more white people than black people isn’t terribly compelling evidence of anything.

    And why are the emotions of white people the proper measure of the world, anyway?

    don’t properly follow from that lone stated fact. You just extrapolated some “assumptions” about me from one thing I said. I never said what the proper measure was, and I never said what race of people I know more of than others races.

    You’re claiming affirmative action is a bad thing because it casues white people to feel resentful.

    No, I’m not. I’m telling you that Clegg’s assertion, that AA does cause racial divisiveness, is true. you’re the one throwing fits and making things up I didn’t say.

  28. Jim Bob,

    So black people only get into college or get hired because of affirmative action?

    Amazing what you can do by dropping words like “all” “none” or “only” into somebody’s argument, isn’t it?

    Of course they aren’t “only” admitted or hired because of affirmative action. That’s why I used the word “reduce” rather than “eliminate.”

    If the figure goes down when affirmative action is ended, doesn’t that just mean the figure was artificially inflated by affirmative action in the first place? Taking out the word “artifically,” which adds nothing except emotional content: yup. Affirmative action increasing the hiring and admission rates of under-represented minorities. That’s how it works.

    which I assume (though I could be wrong) you would attribute to all the racism that was being curtailed by affirmative action.

    If you’re talking about overt prejudice among people doing hiring and admissions, no, that’s not my argument. It’s not 1965, and the racial disparity of opportunity in this country is, to an overwhelming degree, a consequence of structural issues produced by historic discrimination, not modern-day prejudice or white supremacist ideology.

  29. Mission Accomplished.

    I chased The Angry Optimist away from his argument against affirmative action.

    He is now renouncing the position that white resentment of affirmative action is a good reason to end it.

  30. He is now renouncing the position that white resentment of affirmative action is a good reason to end it.

    Feel free to quote where that was my argument. I pointed out a fact, and you tea-leaved and divined your way into my mind so you can beat up on a Strawman of a position I didn’t say.

  31. I agree with you.

    Damn, you’re full of surprises. I guess I didn’t read you clearly enough.

    Helping poor white kids does a lot of good, but what it doesn’t do is promote desegregation and draw isolated black communities into the mainstream.

    Not quite sure what you’re getting at here. Economic affirmative action would still provide greater help to minorities and thus would increase the racial diversity of college campuses (i.e. reduce segregation), even while helping poor whites simultaneously.

    As for these isolated communities, if these advantages aren’t enough to ease their resentment, then so be it. No goal is worth violating the civil rights of others.

  32. Really affirmative action, whether by race or economics just lets the lesser intellect or one with lesser ability get ahead of somebody else. I don’t agree with mediocrity. Plain and simple, if you want me to feel bad because some poor kid got a chip on his shoulder, tough shit, because this poor kid didn’t start being successful until I got rid of the chip on mine. Poor people want to blame everybody else for their ignorant parents and their own inability to break that chain of generational ignorance, and yes there are other factors, but there was a lot of exploitation going on in the past and successful people learn to pass over that societal garbage. Get over it.

    And that is why racial preferences make things so screwed up. It makes stereotypes manifest. Whites listen to those bums that up the volume on their rightous indignation whenever an African American is discussed. Blacks listen to those leaders who are always crying about foreign forces acting upon their race when their biggest problems are at home. Latinos are really in flux and it will be hard to really define them because they are really less monolithic than any other group. And of course Asians don’t count when talking about preferences because they are too successful and have low out of wedlock birthrates.

    If we want to whine and piss and moan about the past lets just give the southwest back to Mexico, the rest back to the Native Americans, all join together, drink some poisonous kool aid, and be done with our existential guilt. Shall we?

  33. OK, J sub, append “to any meaningful degree” to my above statements.

    The success of ballot proposals that outlaw affirmative action in many states, even some “blue” ones, indicates that there is at least “a meaningful degree” of resentment.

    Since I haven’t gotten all of the bugs worked out of my Resentometer?, speculation will just have to do for now.

  34. Jordan,

    Economic affirmative action would still provide greater help to minorities and thus would increase the racial diversity of college campuses (i.e. reduce segregation), even while helping poor whites simultaneously.

    This may be true, but the desegregation of the campuses and businesses isn’t the only kind that matters. It’s also important that those isolated, dead-end black neighborhoods experience desegregation, in terms of there being a critical mass of successful people coming out of there, and going back, that the neighborhood itself becomes part of the economic mainstream.

    The other observation is that it takes a certain critical mass of minorities for a place to be actually desegregated, and not just to be an overwhelmingly white school with a couple of black kids. Cambridge, MA, has changed its school assignment plan to make economic status the primarily consideration of its affirmative action program, and to only consider race as a secondary consideration, if the economic-based efforts aren’t enough to produce that critical mass.

    I don’t know how much they’ve had to lean on the Plan B consideration. I also don’t know how much resentment there is among the Cantabridgian wealthy over poorer white kids having a wider choice of schools.

  35. Also, Jordan:

    Damn, you’re full of surprises. I guess I didn’t read you clearly enough.

    I think Sandra Day O’Connor got it just about right.

    In 25 years, this is all going to be moot. Affirmative action, and other desegregation efforts of all sorts (libertarian-approved and not-) have worked, and are working.

  36. Affirmative action, and other desegregation efforts of all sorts (libertarian-approved and not-) have worked, and are working.

    You want to talk about folks slinging about unverifiable assertions? mote, meet beam. beam, this is mote.

  37. “I say
    segregation 2-day
    segregatuib 2-morrow
    segregation 4-ever”

    Anti-Affirmitive Action movement can be summarized by the above. Although no policy will exist explicit excluding latinos/black. The net affect will be a significant drop in enrollment by these people…it’s the american way.

  38. Uh, yeah, nothing has changed in race relations and levels of opportunity for black people in America in the past forty years.

    Why, that’s just crazy-talk! There’s no evidence that desegregation has changed anything in America. Black neighborhoods in 2008 are indistinguishable from those of 1958.

    Why do you have to make stuff up, joe? Why?

    *rolls eyes*

  39. Uh, yeah, nothing has changed in race relations and levels of opportunity for black people in America in the past forty years.

    more false cause argumentation. I knew you’d get there eventually. You’re asserting this happened because of, rather than in spite of, AA.

    So, about that thousand bucks, joe…my rock is guaranteed.

    And I note that you’re being sarcastic about the demonstrable fact that you pulled my argument out of thin air, rather than based on anything I said. Be disingenous all you want, but stand by it instead of mocking me with your dishonesty.

  40. Alice, you’re wrong.

    Most people who oppose affirmative action aren’t pro-segregation. They’re just anti-anti-segregation. They’d love to do something about engrained and self-replicating patterns of inequality, but…sigh…there’s all these reasons they just can’t.

    It’s a mistake to assume that your opponent’s beliefs are the Bizarro-world version of your own. The anti-affirmative action people have their own logic, much of which is actually quite similar to that of people who support affirmative action.

  41. Exactly Joe,

    US does NOT have an explicit segregation policy. But the net affect of rent/home values with respect to good/bad schools and good/bad neighborhoods is the same.

  42. If you aren’t going to do anything but whine that I’ve rephrased your arguments in a way you don’t like, I’m going to ignore you.

    I’m making actual points, Optimist, though you don’t seem to recognize that fact. Please either address them or go away.

  43. There’s a reason why (middle-to-upper-middle class) whites buy in expensive neighborhoods with higher taxes…to keep the riff-raff out…specifically blacks/latinos.

    Plus, very strict school district zonings are put in place to keep even well behaved blacks/latinos out.

    Now, if a black/latino family can afford the neighborhood…most whites wouldn’t mind.

    In america, a black man is welcomed in the front of the bus…as long as he can pass for white in some way,shape, or form.

  44. Advancement in educational placement or jobs has never been purely merit based on this planet. It has always been helpful to have special connections to get ahead. Belonging to the favored social class has always been one of those connections.
    I think that achievement should count for more than it does now, and you can consider this an argument against affirmative action. However, I live in a world where the elite Ivy League universities save around 30% of their admissions for legacies and country clubs do not base membership solely on golfing ability. Letting a few token minorities into Harvard does not bother me very much in the larger picture.
    Does anybody think that Bush got into Yale or McCain into the Naval Academy on the basis of personal achievement?
    We have always had affirmative action. It worked to affirm the position of the powerful by advantaging their children.

  45. Alice,

    I compare it to a hill where, for a couple of centuries, carts full of goods were steered down a particular path.

    At this point, there are ruts worn in that path, such that if you let a cart go and don’t steer at all, it will stay in those ruts.

    Some people (not many, but some) want the carts to stay in the ruts. Others are really, really opposed to them being in the ruts. Still others don’t really care, or even see the wisdom of the carts leaving the ruts, but gosh darn it, steering carts out the ruts and steering them into the ruts both involved steering! And they HATE steering!

  46. “I say
    segregation 2-day
    segregatuib 2-morrow
    segregation 4-ever”

    Anti-Affirmitive Action movement can be summarized by the above.

    Actually, many of those opposed to affirmative action base their views on this quote:

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character…

  47. If you aren’t going to do anything but whine that I’ve rephrased your arguments in a way you don’t like, I’m going to ignore you.

    no, you haven’t rephrased anything. I pointed out a fact and you (falsely) extrapolated the rest. That makes you a dishonest sack.

    I’m making actual points, Optimist, though you don’t seem to recognize that fact. Please either address them or go away.

    yes, your “point” was that AA is A) a desegregation effort, which it clearly isn’t and B) it’s somehow helped racial relations by failing to be color-blind.

    it makes so much sense, no wonder I didn’t see it before! your arguments suck so bad that you have to make up stuff I didn’t say just so you can knock over easy strawmen.

  48. Does anybody think that Bush got into Yale or McCain into the Naval Academy on the basis of personal achievement?
    We have always had affirmative action. It worked to affirm the position of the powerful by advantaging their children.

    Ah, so 2 wrongs make a right. Gotcha. Nobody could possibly oppose legacy admissions and affirmative action.

  49. Joe,

    There is a widespread perception that blacks are intellectually inferior. AA ensures that most white kids first widespread contact with blacks is in a setting where they are by definition intellectually inferior. When I was in law school I can’t describe to you how pathetic some of the black students were. I don’t look at a black college graduate the same way I do a white college graduate. A black professional degree means less to me than a white or Asian professional degree. This isn’t because I’m racist or ignorant. It is a rational, informed response to the situation AA has created. The crime of AA is twofold. First, the direct racial discrimination it inflicts upon whites and Asians (your plea for “evidence” that state sponsored racial discrimination breeds resentment makes me wonder about your sanity). But it also serves as a Scarlett Letter on the achievements of intellectually superior blacks.

  50. And they HATE steering!

    Yes, how silly one must be to oppose state sanctioned racism in all forms.

  51. Well, “Angry” certainly is appropriate.

    Buh bye, son. You want some cheese with that whine?

  52. “In america, a black man is welcomed in the front of the bus…as long as he can pass for white in some way,shape, or form.”

    What does “pass for white” mean? What actions does it entail. That is a very condensed term, perhaps you can dilute it for me.

  53. Well, “Angry” certainly is appropriate.

    Buh bye, son. You want some cheese with that whine?

    No surprise…I addressed your points and have proven beyond all doubt that you lied about my position…and you go into “angry, non-responsive and caustic joe mode”.

  54. FatDrunkandStupid,

    That’s your problem that you feel that way.

    I’ve managed to get through the same life as you without believing black people to be intellectually inferior.

    When I met an obviously less-qualified black student in grad school, it lead me to draw absolutely no conclusions about black people in general.

  55. Jordan,

    Throwing around emotionally-charged words like “racism” in this discussion is the opposite of fairly approaching the topic.

    You should say a prayer of thanks that you are in a position that it’s possible for you to misunderstand the difference between the actual definition of racism and the way you are using it.

  56. You’re right, Optimist, I’m just not worthy of you.

    You should just ignore what I write and stop responding, because I obviously can’t keep up with you.

    Yeah, I think that would be for the best. Totally. You should, like, do that.

  57. I addressed your points

    Uh, yeah, you said “nuh-uh” twice.

    Ohnoes, I paraphrased him instead of quoting!

    BAD JOE! BAD JOE! You are a poopy-head who uses ad homenims, and that’s how everyone can tell your arguments are wrong!

  58. You should say a prayer of thanks that you are in a position that it’s possible for you to misunderstand the difference between the actual definition of racism and the way you are using it.

    I’m not going to redefine words to suit your feelings.

  59. Ohnoes, I paraphrased him instead of quoting!

    I want you to take the summation of my posts on here and SHOW me how you’re really just “paraphrasing” me.

    You claimed my argument was that white resentment was a good reason to end AA. I never said nor implied any such thing. You also claimed that my one fact about knowing some resentful whites meant you can divine that I know “more white people”.

    joe, you invented that argument. I never said nor even implied a single word of it.

    You’re lying by attribtuing that argument to me. Just own up.

  60. Alice Bowie, your arguments are directly contradicted by the facts. Black enrollment throughout the University of California system increased greatly after racial preferences were outlawed, as did black graduation rates – the true measure of success. What changed? Black admissions at UCLA and UCSD declined, because all race preferences had accomplished was to mismatch students of low academic performance to more academically rigorous universities. Of course, before race preferences were dropped, the black graduation rate was less than half of the white graduation rate; not surprisingly, this didn’t faze the race preferences advocates in the least. The overall result was better outcomes for all parties involved WITHOUT discrimination. So take your warmed-over victim rhetoric and go somewhere else.

  61. Jordan,

    I’m not going to redefine words to suit your feelings.

    No, just your ideology. You’re going to redefine “racism” in a manner that includes desegregation, because it requires us to recognize people’s race in order to do something about segregation.

    Do you actually think that when Martin Luther King organized an affirmative action campaign to get the Memphis DPW to hire black sanitation workers, he was advocating racism?

  62. joe,

    I may have phrased my argument poorly. I simply mean that, if one is to assume that the hiring of minorities would be “drastically reduced” by the elimination of affirmative action, that there must be a reason for that reduction.

    I suggest that that reason is because minorities would begin to be hired in numbers relative to their representation in the general population, whereas as you seem to be suggesting that a reduction in the number of minorities hired and accepted into universities owing to the end of affirmative action would be because of a resurgence of institutional racism (I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, I’m just trying to understand your point) that has heretofore only been curbed by race-based affirmative action policies.

    I oppose affirmative action, but I do at least question my opposition- is it a knee-jerk reaction to perceived government meddling? A loathing of social engineering? Or am I just disgusted when one person gets special privileges because of his skin color, whether that person is white, black, or other?

    I am willing to acknowledge, at least, that there was a valid reason affirmative action was implemented in the first place, and that, for a time, it may have even served the useful function of preventing employers from executing racist hiring policies. (OTOH, I do hold the not very popular libertarian position that private employers should be allowed to discriminate all they want- they’re free to go out of business when nobody will patronize their racist asses). However, the pendulum has swung too far the other way. Government-mandated discrimination smells like poop.

  63. If you’re talking about overt prejudice among people doing hiring and admissions, no, that’s not my argument. It’s not 1965, and the racial disparity of opportunity in this country is, to an overwhelming degree, a consequence of structural issues produced by historic discrimination, not modern-day prejudice or white supremacist ideology.

    Institutional racism is still the product of individuals, carried out by individuals, and the responsibility of the individuals who perpetrate it.

  64. Gee Matt,

    I guess i’m just wrong.

    Eliminating affirmative action so that blacks don’t get into UCLA and UCSD really proves how dumb niggers really are. Net even the most brightest Blacks from upper middle class were able to get in.

    Good thing that they can go to schools like Brown University and the Al Sharpton institute for Black Militants.

    As i said earlier … The sentiment of Segregation is heard strong in ur message.

  65. Don’t bother, Jim Bob…joe will just invent an argument for you out of whole cloth so he can win against that. It doesn’t even have to be based on anything you said; he can read your mind.

  66. Jim Bob,

    I suggest that that reason is because minorities would begin to be hired in numbers relative to their representation in the general population Actually, they’d be hired in numbers well below their representation in the general population. Affirmative Action generally works to boost numbers all the way up to where they roughly reflect the general population.

    because of a resurgence of institutional racism (I’m not trying to put words in your mouth, I’m just trying to understand your point) that has heretofore only been curbed by race-based affirmative action policies.

    Not “resurgence.” There can’t really be a “resurgence” in something that isn’t being actively grown. It’s more like, without knee pads, there would be more skinned knees – not because of a resurgence in asphalt, but because of the absence of a mitigating factor. Except this doesn’t work either, because wearing knee pads doesn’t actually reduce the amount of asphalt, whereas desegregation actually does reduce the among of institutional racism.

    I’m not worried about HR managers who would, but for affirmative action, hang a “No Blacks” sign on the door. I’m worried about black people never getting a job interview, because they don’t have any ins at the company, nobody they know works there, nobody in their neighborhood works in that industry, etc.

    The Brown vs. Board decision goes into great detail about how different, racially-exclusive social and professional networks replicate themselves and keep black people from having equal opportunity. That is what affirmation action is aimed at – desegregating those networks.

  67. The Angry Optimist | July 28, 2008, 2:39pm | #

    Don’t bother, Jim Bob…joe will just invent an argument for you out of whole cloth so he can win against that. It doesn’t even have to be based on anything you said; he can read your mind.

    Uh, yeah, that’s what I just did. Not.

  68. Jim Bob,

    Institutional racism is still the product of individuals, carried out by individuals, and the responsibility of the individuals who perpetrate it.

    Institutional racism is not “racial discrimination carried out by people in institutions.” See my comments about Brown vs. Board and professional networks.

  69. U want some form of Affirmative Action in Universities. perhaps 8% (and that’s lower than the % of blacks in america). And, I’m not saying stick the dumbest black person in these slots…pick the best.

    But u need it…it’s a good thing

  70. Do you actually think that when Martin Luther King organized an affirmative action campaign to get the Memphis DPW to hire black sanitation workers, he was advocating racism?

    I can’t find any mention of such an incident. I do know that he campaigned for equal pay/treatment for the black workers of the Memphis DPW and an end to discriminatory hiring practices.

    Regardless, racial discrimination, unless race has a direct bearing on the position being applied for, is racism whether the intentions behind it are good or not.

  71. I love the furrowed brows the racist affirmative action supporters get whenever we get thrown into the mix.

    Merit or racism, you decide which is better.

  72. Whould anyone be up to doing the following?

    1. Eliminating Affirmative Action all together. That is, eliminate race, sex, age, etc, as a factor for admission.

    2. Anonymize the admission process. That is, eliminating the personal interview process, exclude names and addresses from admission applications.

    What do u think ?

    Would this make everyone a little happier?

  73. I agree “Overachieving Asian Community”.

    That’s why i’d like to have an anonymous adminission policy where the admitters will not know the applicant’s name, address, or prior school. They will only have test scores and possibly essays.

    Not only would u see black enrollment go down…u’d see white enrollment go down.

  74. Alice, I would absolutely support those policies.

  75. Jordan,

    They didn’t just march for an end to discriminatory hiring practices, but insisted on a number of slots being made available specifically for black applicants.

    Google “Martin Luther King Affirmative Action.” If you are like a lot of people, it will blow your mind.

  76. Uh, yeah, that’s what I just did. Not.

    Then why not answer me? Tell me again how you supposedly “paraphrased” my argument, when I said nothing about that argument at all.

    Stop lying, joe.

  77. But the net affect of rent/home values with respect to good/bad schools and good/bad neighborhoods is the same.

    Bullshit. There are non-white communities (like ours) that are wealthier and better-educated than white communities.

    Why is this rarer for black communities? Because they tend not to belong to cultures that breed success. That has nothing to do with racial genetics or whites discriminating against them, and everything to do with glorifying being “gangsta” while disdaining hard work and studiousness.

  78. Overachieving Asian Community | July 28, 2008, 2:51pm | #

    I love the furrowed brows the racist affirmative action supporters get whenever we get thrown into the mix.

    I love people who’ve never actually argued with someone who advocates a position, who think that there aren’t actually any rebuttals to an argument like this, because the people who already agree with them have assured them that the argument is unanswerable.

    We don’t have a problem with segregation and the exclusion of Asians from the social and professional networks described so well in Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, KS in this country (outside of localized situations involving refugee communities). They are thoroughly integrated into mainstream America.

    If the only thing you know about affirmative action is that it’s opponents like to describe it as bean-counting for the sake of bean-counting, and haven’t ever contended with the idea that affirmative action is an effort to desegregate the economy and society by desegregating social and professional networks, the fact that Asians aren’t as over-represented as their SATs would recommend might strike you as a very compelling argument.

    That’s why its not a good idea to limit your reading to people you already agree with, and then go forth to do battle.

  79. Why is this rarer for black communities? Because they tend not to belong to cultures that breed success. That has nothing to do with racial genetics or whites discriminating against them, and everything to do with glorifying being “gangsta” while disdaining hard work and studiousness.

    Well yes “Overachieving Asian Community “… you’re absolutely right about the comment above. In fact, many black people like, Obama and Bill Cosby would agree with you.

    This also holds true to my prior comment:
    Black people are allowed in the front of the bus ONLY if they can pass for WHITE.

    Unfortunately for the ghetto raised black/latino youth…many feel that they’ve been robbed of their culture and are told that they will NOT BE ALLOWED IN AMERICAN SOCIETY unless they give up their savagary of being what many whites (and some asians) would call a Jigaboo.

    You see, the racist message (get rid of those n-gger naps) gets mixed in with the inviting message (study, work hard, and be successful).

    Plus, much black/latino youth see their parents (if they have any and not living with grandma) working hard and goin nowhere. They have no faith.

  80. As i said earlier … The sentiment of Segregation is heard strong in ur message.

    Alice, you’re not even attempting to argue in good faith. You’re just mud slinging. If you had actually READ my comment, you would have picked up on the fact that the overall number of black college graduates INCREASED after the abolition of race preferences. If you can explain how that isn’t an improvement for all parties involved, please do. Until then, take your trolling back to somewhere where it suits what passes for intelligent discourse.

  81. TAO,

    Then why not answer me?

    1. Because you’re being a whiny asshole.

    2. Because there is no intellectual content to anything you’ve written, substantive enough to be worth responding to.

    3. Did I mention you’re a whiny asshole?

  82. I believe that by ancient internet tradition, joe lost this discussion @ 12:38 pm.

    I must say, there are certainly a lot of facts being thrown around about affirmative action and its beneficial/negative effects, without a single supporting link.

    I can think of one reason why blacks would be under-represented in employment without some kind of affirmative action. A rational manager does not want to hire a lawsuit, and knows that by hiring a white male, she is not hiring someone who will slap her with a summons if he is passed over for promotion or fired.

    Easy to fire, easy to hire. Hard to fire, hard to hire.

  83. That has nothing to do with racial genetics or whites discriminating against them, and everything to do with glorifying being “gangsta” while disdaining hard work and studiousness.

    Uh, yeah, remember before gangsta rap, when there wasn’t any racial disparity in wealth and opportunity?

    I wonder why all of those middle class black kids decided to start rapping about crime and poverty anyway?

  84. It never ceases to amaze me how creative people can be when seeking to deny that there are differences in opportunity that correlate to race in this country.

    No no, it’s the lawsuits. No, wait, it’s the rap music.

  85. Institutional racism is not “racial discrimination carried out by people in institutions.” See my comments about Brown vs. Board and professional networks.

    Okay, that’s a fair point, but now I’m not sure “institutional racism” really exists. 😉

    Did I ever tell you how much my sociology professors hated me?

  86. I actually don’t believe that whites today are like the Bull Conner’s and George Wallice of yester-year.

    No one is hanging “Whites-only” signs.

    But it still really looks that way everywhere you go in this country with few exceptions.

    And nothing has worked.

    And, with today’s crappy economy, outsourcing, and black president coming…white rage will grow.

  87. Oh, come on, Alice.

    Things have changed a lot.

    Also, I think you misunderstand the opposition to affirmative action. Most of the people you see arguing against it, particularly on a site like this, are actually opposed to racism. They’re just a bit misguided about how to get from A to B.

  88. joe manufactures an argument I didn’t make and then has the audacity to call me names?

    that’s rich joe. Any other lies or wholly-invented arguments you want to tell today? Or do ya think you’ve reached your BS quota?

  89. Go tell to your mommy. The grown-ups are trying to talk.

  90. Asians do better in all areas traditionally associated with “white privilege” — higher education, income, law school admissions, country club membership. A century ago, there were still Anti-Chinese Leagues and all the same barriers other nonwhites faced.

    So, either you have to believe that racist whites somehow want Asians to succeed but not blacks, or differences in racial achievement are almost entirely a function of cultural behavior and have little to do with racism.

  91. Pay Attention to Me!

    Over Here!

    Over Here!

    I’ve been wronged.

    Pay attention to me! Pay attention to meeeeeee!!!!

    Uh, what were we talking about?

  92. I’m not worried about HR managers who would, but for affirmative action, hang a “No Blacks” sign on the door. I’m worried about black people never getting a job interview, because they don’t have any ins at the company, nobody they know works there, nobody in their neighborhood works in that industry, etc.

    The Brown vs. Board decision goes into great detail about how different, racially-exclusive social and professional networks replicate themselves and keep black people from having equal opportunity. That is what affirmation action is aimed at – desegregating those networks.

    I agree that the issue is more complex than “hiring minorities instead of white people is also racism.” Now that I see your point more clearly, I think the biggest mistake I made reading it was that I thought you were insisting upon individual malfeasance. I can understand your larger point about institutional racism, which seems to be faceless, that whole “banality of evil” thing, and not even perpetrated consciously by individuals (if I’m reading your point correctly now).

    AA programs still leave a bad taste in my mouth, though. What of the effect upon individuals? If there are, in fact, cases when a supremely qualified person of one color is passed over for a less-qualified person of a different color in the interest of racial equality***, how many is too many?

    ***It’s a what-if, I’m not saying that actually happens every day.

    TAO,

    I’ve argued and bantered with joe on this site for a while now, and I’ve taken my share of cheap shots at him. The guy takes a lot of abuse because 1) He’s good at debating (or sophistry, depending on your point of view), and 2) He never backs down. Admirable qualities, though he has off-days where he’s pissy and has shouting matches.

    Anyway, if he pisses you off, by all means say whatever you want to say to the guy. It’s just going to roll off his back, though, so don’t expect to get a rise out of him (remember the physics thread, joe? 😉 )

  93. I wonder why all of those middle class black kids decided to start rapping about crime and poverty anyway?

    Same reason all those children of penniless Asian immigrants studied hard and became doctors and lawyers: culture.

    You can whine, or you can work hard. Guess which succeeds?

  94. So, either you have to believe that racist whites somehow want Asians to succeed but not blacks, or differences in racial achievement are almost entirely a function of cultural behavior and have little to do with racism.

    False dichotomy. What if I want to believe that the Flying Spaghetti Monster hates black people?

  95. all the same barriers other nonwhites faced. No, not really. And here’s the problem with the thinking of the lily-white guy who thinks he’s so clever: you can’t just switch out the experiences of one minority group for a different one. The Jewish experience in America is not the same as the black experience, which is not the same as the Japanese experience, which is not the same as the Cambodian experience. Slavery is not the same thing as being hired for a job. Establishing your own communities is not the same thing as spending several generations on someone else’s plantation.

    So, either you have to believe that racist whites somehow want Asians to succeed but not blacks, or differences in racial achievement are almost entirely a function of cultural behavior and have little to do with racism.

  96. Jim Bob,

    I can understand your larger point about institutional racism, which seems to be faceless, that whole “banality of evil” thing, and not even perpetrated consciously by individuals (if I’m reading your point correctly now).

    I wouldn’t even go that far. I don’t think that there is very much discrimination between black and white applicants at all, even subconscious. I’m talking about people who never hear about jobs. I’m talking about people who decide to get a job out of high school instead of college, because no one they know went to college.

    Racist individuals who hide behind ethnic screen names like to talk about “black culture,” in order to make their “black folks just aren’t as good” argument seem more palatable in a society where overt biology-based racism is frowned upon, but the real issue is poor culture vs. middle class culture.

    People who are segregated into communities where there aren’t any middle class, college-attending people aren’t going to get the same pressure to go to college from their parents, and they’re not going to see most of the peope around them going to college, and they’re not going to see that their neighbors and acquaintances all went to college, so they’re a lot less likely to make that decision and follow through.

    They’re also a lot less likely, when they get out of college, to have people around them who’ve shown what you do next, or who can give them leads on good-paying jobs where they can apply their degrees.

  97. yeah, well, joe is a dishonest sack of crap, and I really don’t think once someone has proven himself a liar that he’s worth talking to anymore.

  98. “Overachieving Asian Community”

    Yes…i have to agree with you.

    But, the ‘overachiving asians’ of today are not the Railroad coolies chinese of yester-year. Many are educated in Asia.

    The ‘underachieving negros’ of today are direct ancestor of a big big sensitive issue that went on in america for a while.

    I know u have no sympathy towards the Jigaboos…but you should at least call a spade a spade.

  99. I’ve been wronged.

    joe, generally speaking, when adults realize they lied about somebody else, they own up, admit it and apologize.

    I expect that out of you the day I expect you to stop being a partisan hack. That is, never.

    FWIW, I’ve been here a loooong time, and I’ve watched joe’s long, slow descent into immature madness for a while. I just didn’t know he’d take it so far as to just make stuff up. Like, invent it…right in front of god and everybody.

  100. I really don’t think once someone has proven himself a liar that he’s worth talking to anymore.

    Totally. Not worth talking to. You should totally not argue with me, or respond to my comments, anymore.

    Really, I think that’s for best. All around. You keep saying this, and I agree. Stick to it, man!

  101. it is quite a sight to see joe, full-grown adult that he supposedly is, act like a difficult little teenager.

  102. Being relentlessly wrong and an attention-craving twerp doesn’t make someone good at debating. It just makes you joe.

  103. “acknowledging the divisiveness of preferential treatment (in his Philadelphia speech), and the fact that his own daughters, for starters, come from privileged backgrounds and thus are ‘probably’ not deserving of preferential treatment.”

    There’s another problem with Sen. Obama’s daughters. You see, the Senator is half-black and half-white. If we assume that Mrs. O is all-black, that would mean that the daughters are only three-fourths black, and one-fourth Honky Oppressor.

    This is not an uncommon situation. Many Americans have mixed black and white ancestry. The same goes for other protected classes under affirmative action (Aleuts, Pacific Islanders, etc.), with the possible exception of women. But even in the case of women, *Reason* will tell you that some people are part-woman and part-man.

    So how to deal with this reality?

    One way is that, if a person of part-black ancestry is admitted to college based on affirmative action, allow them to attend classes only in the same proportion that their black blood bears to their white blood. Thus, Obama’s daughters would attend class three days out of every four class days, and remain away from college on the fourth day, in penance for their tainted Caucasian blood. Or maybe the fourth day could be a half-day in deference to the fact that they’re female.

    If that proves impracticable, why not set up a system of Affirmative Action Points for colleges and HR offices to use? For every one-eighth protected class in your ancestry, give the person ten points. So if a man is one-fourth Black, one-fourth nonwhite Latino, and half (non-Latino) white, give that person forty points (twenty points for being 2/8 black, 20 points for being 2/8 Latino). A pure-blooded black person, in contrast, or someone who’s half black and half Latino, would get forty points, making that person more valuable because he compltetely lacks contaminated caucasian blood.

    Women, regardless of race or ethnicity, should get twenty extra points.

    So, a female who is one-eighth Pacific Islander, one-eighth Latina, One-eighth black, one-eighth Asian, and the rest white, should get 10+10+10+10+20=60 points (assuming you count Asians as a protected class for AA purposes). A pure-blooded black man would get 10X8=80 points. He skipped out on the extra 20 points because of his unfortunate testosterone poisoning, but he still came out ahead of the woman because she had too much filthy white oppressor blood in her.

    I know you’re going to ask, how to administer this system so as to prevent fraud? What’s to stop some white dude from using fake documents to make it look like they have a remote Native American ancestor, for instance? In that case, we need to have testers to see if a person has signs of non-minority blood. The comb test will see if the hair is sufficiently nappy to qualify the person as black. Likewise the bwown-paper-bag test to see if his or her skin is dark enough to back up their claim to all those black ancestors.

    With good will, I’m sure the system can be made to work. Anyway, that’s my modest proposal.

  104. correction: the pure-blooded black or Latino would get eighty points, not forty as I said in my sixth paragraph.

  105. One more twist on my plan:

    Black people are supposed to be the prime beneficiaries of affirmative action – if you go by the debates on the subject, yet we have the appalling spectable of Latinos, Pacific Islanders, and even white woman invoking protected affirmative-action status because they’re historically-oppressed groups. Yes, they’re oppressed, but not as much as black people, and my point system should have reflected that.

    So I would still give a person ten points for every one-eights black ancestry, but only, say, five points for being a Latino. Why should a Latino’s historical oppression entitle him or her to get the same number of points as a black man? Latinos have had racism and such to deal with, but at least they were spared the Middle Passage. So only five points for them.

    I would only give Jews and Asians three points for each eighth ancestry. Sure, they had restrictive immigration laws and exclusive country clubs and universities in their respective oppressive American pasts, but how does that compare to the pain black people endured with slavery, Jim Crow and Vanilla Ice? Plus, if Jews and Asians were so oppressed, how come they still get such good grades, huh? You’d think a legacy of oppression would have manifested itself in poor grades as well as other social indicators. So only three points for them for each one-eights of Jewish or Asian ancestry.

    So it’s quite simple. Say you have a woman of 1/8 white ancestry, 1/4 Latin ancestry, 1/4 Chinese ancestry and 3/8 black ancestry. My simple algorithm yields:

    No points at all for the white 1/8
    20 points for being a woman
    2X5=10 points for her hot Latina blood
    2X3=6 points for her Chinese blood
    3X10=30 points for the black blood

    TOTAL: 66 Affirmative Action Points

    Still not as good as a pure-blooded black man (80 points) or a pure-blooded black woman (100 points), but better than Senator Obama’s 40 points. It’s not as good as either of Sen. Obama’s daughters, who only get 60 points for their partial black ancestry, but who make up for it with the 20 woman points.

  106. I just realized that being one of Obama’s mixed-blood daughters has the same point value (80) as being a pure-blooded black man. I hadn’t even planned it that way, but it just came out right.

  107. Oh, obviously. That must explain why race relations are so much worse now than in 1970.

    Only if you’re over 40.

  108. When are they gonna institute Affirmative Action in the NBA? White people are underrepresented and black people are vastly overrepresented. Clearly this is the result of racism!

  109. “…All men are created equal…”

    – Source: Declaration of Independence (1776)

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain

    unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

    – Complete quote: Source: Declaration of Independence (1776)

    These words were written by ‘white aristocrats’ that owned ‘black slaves’

    …They knew full well that they never fully intended to meet the obligations of the contractual agreement that they had

    entered into as they later signed the Constitution, a ‘contractual agreement’ defining obligations between individuals and

    the state.

    IMHO, After 220 years of institutionalized racism, its nice to see that we as a nation are doing something, anything, to pay

    reparations to the very people we once treated as property.

  110. “Affirmative Action should be reversed so that the Conservatives can stop complaining already.

    Perhaps we should stop admitting blacks/latinos into colleges and deny government contract bids so that we can reverse the years of atrocities committed to White males.”

    Were you being sarcastic? I can’t tell.

    The statement you made almost makes sense. However, I would not support any form of discrimination; especially not reverse-reverse discrimination which would probably be followed by reverse-reverse-reverse discrimination.

    THAT SAID, a recognition of the wrongs that affirmative action has inflicted on otherwise bright, talent, and hardworking young men needs to be made. A white guy who scores in the 99th percentile on the SAT isn’t “only book smart” as many liberals would claim. They are actually smart, in the conventional sense of the word. To suggest that they will be happy taking only an above-average income so that they may give up their spot for a more politically correct shade is an offensive position that many liberals have. The fact is, it’s a painful experience for a young man to give up their spot–and it only gets worse as you get older.

    It doesn’t compare to Jim Crow (60 years ago) or to slavery (150 years ago.) But Affirmative Action, in it’s present form, is the worst form of discrimination that exists in America today. And watching minorities delight in both the policy and its victims–and watching them continually ask for its expansion–is sad sight that many bright young white men have to endure.

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