A good argument for affirmative action

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  • thett3
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    I’ve been following the DOJs lawsuit against Harvard fairly closely. The DOJ is alleging that Harvard unlawfully discriminated against Asian-American applicants (which is probably true) 

    a lot of documents have come out of this and I think I’ve discovered the argument that Harvard uses internally (on the DL) to justify affirmative action. While I don’t agree with it, it’s actually a pretty good argument. 

    The value of an educatipn at a place like Harvard or Yale is not the things you learn there. There is a subset of the student population at these schools who come from extraordinarily wealthy and powerful families who buy them a spot. The true utility of an Ivy Leauge education is the ability to network with these families, and affirmative action is about making sure every group gets a taste. 

    Thoughts? I don’t agree with it, but that’s the best argument for affirmative action that I could come up with 
  • Tejretics
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    I'm not sure I 100% follow: is the argument just every group should have the right to be able to network with people who're likely to be useful for their lives? Seems like a standard offsets-discrimination argument -- one of the benefits minority groups are denied, per the standard argument for affirmative action, is networking, in addition to education, jobs, etc. Doesn't seem different/unique. 

  • Greyparrot
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    Sounds like Harvard wants to promote an aristocracy based on diverse genes instead of merit. We all know how it usually goes when the idiot son inherits the father's business.
  • dylancatlow
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    "affirmative action is about making sure every group gets a taste"

    So the idea is that blacks need a group of articulate and well-connected "racial spokesmen" to advocate for their interests, and non-blacks cannot be counted on to perform this role, either because they are not sufficiently motivated or because they are not personally familiar with the problems facing the black community. Blacks with Harvard diplomas will find it easier to rise to positions of power and influence than those without them, and hence affirmative action will result in a larger number of effective black advocates.


    This raises the following questions: specifically, what problems besetting blacks can be be attributed to their lack of influence at the upper levels of society? And are there any examples of black Harvard graduates who went on to make necessary changes that non-blacks didn't think of making before? What percent of black Harvard graduates fall into this category? Would it be justified to arbitrarily admit 1000 blacks knowing that only 1 would even try to advocate for black interests? Have black students at Harvard been made aware of the role Harvard wishes them to pursue once they graduate - that of a "black advocate"?
  • Casual_Leftist
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    --> @dylancatlow
    One's ignorance on a subject does not constitute a valid position. It's like when Dinesh D'Souza ignorantly asked about what the colony of Puerto Rico provided to the US - as if his ignorance of PR constituted a refutation of the claims of colonization. https://i.redditmedia.com/yT1V2E11FQcWlKrzK2_fh68XxspLSQfXtcC7Yx33Oso.jpg?w=320&s=1f2c7a631a947481e30e7170647f90c2

    Q1: what problems besetting blacks can be be attributed to their lack of influence at the upper levels of society?

    Literally not having a say in laws being passed that effect them. Lack of access to greater financial institutions like banks for home/car loans. Being secluded from power also means that claims of abuse of authority go ignored. It is a structural denial to blacks that has been in place for centuries, and only now in the new millennia have we had a non-white president, and even then a large segment of the population still believes he was born in Kenya. Although blacks are not the only group to be discriminated against, they are the metaphorical whipping boy of society. Thir struggle is emblematic, and thus appropriated by almost every American claim to social justice. Even conservatives will quote MLK while playing the victim of supposed anti-Christian bigotry.

    Q2: are there any examples of black Harvard graduates who went on to make necessary changes that non-blacks didn't think of making before?

    What are "necessary changes"? And why is Harvard important? If you mean pass legislation that helps black people, historically speaking after the Civil War there was a number of black politicians elected, but after Reconstruction cam Jim Crow and racial gerrymandering that persists to this day that has limited the voting power of black and other minorities. Imagine if blacks had a seat at the table, do you think republicans would have such an easy time carving out a district in their own favor?


    Q3: What percent of black Harvard graduates fall into this category?

    Irrelevant question that just goes to show that it must be important to judge black intellectuals w/o ever wonder what percent of white Harvard grads go on to make "necessary changes".

    Q4: Would it be justified to arbitrarily admit 1000 blacks knowing that only 1 would even try to advocate for black interests?

    That's an admission that you believe in such an assertion, not an admission to the validity of said assertion. And again you make such a claim w/o any control to compare it to. So not only is it not justified, it makes me question why you want to justify it in the first place.

    Q5: Have black students at Harvard been made aware of the role Harvard wishes them to pursue once they graduate - that of a "black advocate"?

    This is a loaded question on par with an Alex Jones conspiracy, so 'll pass.
  • spacetime
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    --> @Casual_Leftist
    Literally not having a say in laws being passed that effect them. Lack of access to greater financial institutions like banks for home/car loans. Being secluded from power also means that claims of abuse of authority go ignored. It is a structural denial to blacks that has been in place for centuries,
    There's no reason to believe that this structural denial remains in place today. I challenge you to offer any convincing evidence that present-day discrimination is primarily responsible for the socioeconomic disparities between blacks and whites.


    and only now in the new millennia have we had a non-white president, and even then a large segment of the population still believes he was born in Kenya. 
    That's not a product of racism. It's a product of hyper-partisanship. Due to the rise in political polarization over the past several years, literally every politician in existence has had to deal with vile lies being made up about them -- the "birther" conspiracy is just another example of such a lie. There's no rational reason to assume the involvement of racism. This is a textbook example of the leftist obsession with blindly attributing racist motives to everything. It's factually inaccurate, socially corrosive, and morally repulsive.
  • Casual_Leftist
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    There's no reason to believe that this structural denial remains in place today. I challenge you to offer any convincing evidence that present-day discrimination is primarily responsible for the socioeconomic disparities between blacks and whites.
    Excellent use of wiggle words. Yea, no reason to believe if you don't pay attention - just like Dinesh D'Souza. I never claimed modern racism was "primarily" the cause of today's disparities, but it is a measurable thing. Racism still clearly exists in society when you have alt-right goons with tiki torches shouting "the jews will not replace" - or running people over with cars - oh wait we can't attribute this behavior to antisemitism or white supremacy can we? Anyway, not only can we measure things better today - if we assume society were more racist in the past that means we have to take into account the compounding aspect of disparity. The denial of generational wealth in a capitalist society. Even if those social restrictions a generation ago - that's just 1 generation. Whites have been passing down thier wealth since the Founding, who do you think runs this country? old rich families.

    Here ya go, just a taste of the reality outside of your bubble:


    There's no rational reason to assume the involvement of racism. This is a textbook example of the leftist obsession with blindly attributing racist motives to everything. It's factually inaccurate, socially corrosive, and morally repulsive.
    I think you're the factually inaccurate, socially corrosive, and morally repulsive one around here.
  • spacetime
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    Racism still clearly exists in society when you have alt-right goons with tiki torches shouting "the jews will not replace" - or running people over with cars - oh wait we can't attribute this behavior to antisemitism or white supremacy can we? 
    I never said racism doesn't exist. All I said was that it's no longer a widespread or significant problem in modern American society.

    The denial of generational wealth in a capitalist society.Even if those social restrictions a generation ago - that's just 1 generation.Whites have been passing down thier wealth since the Founding, who do you think runs this country? old rich families.
    There's a reason why I drew a distinction between "present-day discrimination" and "historical discrimination." I don't deny that slavery and segregation have had an enormous negative effect on the current state of the African American community.

    Here ya go, just a taste of the reality outside of your bubble:
    I'm already familiar with most of the studies you cited. That's precisely why I'm so confident in my beliefs on this matter. It's got nothing to do with living in a bubble. The fact is that none of those studies come anywhere close to proving what they're intended to prove. They all conveniently fail to account for crucial external variables, defaulting to "racism" while ignoring far more obvious explanations. There isn't any attempt at honestly exploring why the racial disparities in question exist. Your mortgage loan study is a perfect example -- it didn't control for credit score or debt-to-income ratio, i.e. the two main factors that banks use when deciding whether or not to grant a loan. Let's try taking that information into consideration:

    "A recent $1.3 million dollar study undertaken by Freddie Mac has revealed some surprising differences in credit scores between African-Americans and Caucasians. The study compared the credit scores of members of each ethnic group, leading to data that shows Caucasians earning less than $25,000 per year were likely to have better credit scores than African-Americans earning between $65,000 and $75,000 per year. Overall, the study found 27 percent of all credit reports belonging to Caucasians were poor, compared to 48 percent of those belonging to African-Americans. Only 28 percent of Hispanics were found to have bad credit. The study involved 80,000 individuals. Researchers assigned a rating of “bad” to anyone who had two bills past due by more than 30 days in the past two years, a single bill past due by 90 days or more, a judgment against them, a lien against them or a bankruptcy."

    Black people, for a variety of cultural and historical (and arguably biological) reasons, tend to be much less financially responsible than white people. This would appear to be a much more plausible explanation for the mortgage loan disparity than racism.

    I don't have the time to walk you through the flaws in each of your studies, but I urge you to re-examine them yourself. They all fall into this same trap of prematurely jumping to the conclusion of racism. If you honestly and thoroughly analyze the empirical evidence, you'll realize that virtually all socioeconomic disparities are primarily caused by behavioral differences between the groups in question. 

  • Casual_Leftist
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    --> @spacetime
    I never said racism doesn't exist. All I said was that it's no longer a widespread or significant problem in modern American society.
    And who are you to judge that?

    I don't deny that slavery and segregation have had an enormous negative effect on the current state of the African American community.
    And yet you fail to seem to acknowledge it. The remainder of your post shows only seems reasonable if you ignore that negative effect. Like some alt right goon you try to reference a biological explanation for black people financial troubles? And you conveniently don't mention that cultural factor includes racism from the majority popultion.

    The fact is that none of those studies come anywhere close to proving what they're intended to prove. They all conveniently fail to account for crucial external variables, defaulting to "racism" while ignoring far more obvious explanations.
    Uh huh .. so for job applications when the only difference is the name on the application - what is the most obvious reason for less call backs?


  • spacetime
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    And who are you to judge that?
    Someone whose reading comprehension skills are vastly superior to yours.


    Uh huh .. so for job applications when the only difference is the name on the application - what is the most obvious reason for less call backs?
    The structure of that study was ridiculous to begin with. What were those employers supposed to do? Flip a coin? Obviously when everything else is equal, they'll prefer a name they're more familiar with. That isn't evidence of racism. If the study showed that employers prefer white names to ethnic names despite the ethnic names having higher qualifications, then maybe your claim would be validated. But I haven't seen any evidence of that.
  • Casual_Leftist
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    --> @spacetime
    Someone whose reading comprehension skills are vastly superior to yours.
    Yousa read good thata maka you big brain boss. Much impress, much wow. Real Trump best words!

    So you don't really have an obvious answer that isn't racism. You'll say racism exists but I'm very curious what your metric takes into account.

    What were those employers supposed to do? Flip a coin?
    They clearly didn't otherwise results would have been even.

    Obviously when everything else is equal, they'll prefer a name they're more familiar with. That isn't evidence of racism.
    It's evidence of ethnocentrism  -  which is functionally identical to racism. And when you combine that piece with study after study (as I provided, there's way more) it becomes a mountain of evidence that points to the existence of a population that indeed consciously racist. They are aware, perhaps trained, enough to pick up on the dog whistles sent out by spin doctors like you. https://www.thenation.com/article/exclusive-lee-atwaters-infamous-1981-interview-southern-strategy/
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @Casual_Leftist
    It's evidence of ethnocentrism  -  which is functionally identical to racism. 
    What a joke. It's whacked out Orwellian reconstruction of words like this that classifies Muslims and Mexicans as "races" in the zeitgeist bubble of regressive thinking.

  • spacetime
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    --> @Greyparrot
    He's clearly not interested in having a substantive discussion. Leave him alone!
  • Greyparrot
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    --> @spacetime
    I think it's so funny that Trump had the fringe left screaming "fascist" and "1984".....only to discover Antifa are the real fascist brownshirts, and Trump is straight out of the mold of Orwell's character, Goldstein with the left having the so-called monopoly on terms like bigot, and racist, and dogwhistle. It's fun watching the regressive left blow themselves up like children playing with explosives.
  • Casual_Leftist
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    --> @Greyparrot
    Sounds more like ad hom and strawman rather than dealing with what's being said. And given post #14 you've already set up your own narrative. Another boring type like spacetime.
  • Greyparrot
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    I'm sorry if you think ethnicity is race. What a miserable person you must be now, and for the next 6 years.
  • Casual_Leftist
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    --> @spacetime
    He's clearly not interested in having a substantive discussion. Leave him alone!
    Lul substantive - you didn't debunk any of the sources or claims, you just said that you could or just asserted it. Lee Atwater explaining what a dogwhistle is not 'new speak'. Is "Fake News" new speak? Neo-something?

    Edit to include response to greyparrot: Again you use a straw man. Boring.
  • spacetime
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    you didn't debunk any of the sources or claims
    You clearly didn't read a single word of what I wrote.
  • Casual_Leftist
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    --> @spacetime
    "You clearly didn't read a single word of what I wrote."

    You clearly didn't read to the 2nd paragraph of the article about home loans.

    "This modern-day redlining persisted in 61 metro areas even when controlling for applicants’ income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to millions of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act records analyzed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting."
  • spacetime
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    "This modern-day redlining persisted in 61 metro areas even when controlling for applicants’ income, loan amount and neighborhood, according to millions of Home Mortgage Disclosure Act records analyzed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting."
    Holy fuck, dude. I explicitly addressed that. "Income, loan amount, and neighborhood" aren't the most important variables to control for. The researchers explicitly admitted that credit score and debt-to-income ratio are far more relevant, and that they were unable to access that data. Furthermore, I cited an extensive study showing that high-income blacks actually tend to have *worse* credit scores than low-income whites, which would explain why we see such prominent racial disparities in mortgage lending. It's got nothing to do with racism.

    Please stop making me repeat myself.
  • spacetime
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    --> @Casual_Leftist
    Forgot to tag you in the previous post.
  • Casual_Leftist
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    --> @spacetime
    It's a bit of a work around but if you have the income, and the loan (debt) you can see there's a perception of income to debt. As for the importance of credit score there is plenty of research on that which goes to show correlate effect that is clearly a reverberation of the past system of loans which favored whites [2]. Even today PoC with good credit scores are saddled with higher rates compared to whites [3].

    As for the importance of credit it seems to be a non factor. And even if you argue that we should abandon any notions of racism and look at this through a purely economic lens you're just playing into what Mr. Atwater was saying, to take the issues into the abstract knowing ultimately policy crafted in such a way will hurt minorities more than whites. You claim to acknowledge the past yet you don't seem to appreciate the economic board was set by white hands with inevitable socio economic consequences.

    which would explain why we see such prominent racial disparities in mortgage lending. It's got nothing to do with racism.
    You seem too eager to dismiss race as a factor despite its prominence in recent history. Trump didn't make race a polarizing issue, he capitalized on a pre-existing, one could say historical, disdain. Millions of Americans chose to believe Trump's conspiracies from birtherism "millions of illegals voting" and "Muslims celebrating 9/11" not because it was true but because it's the racist BS they've been feeling should be said aloud.

  • Vortex86
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    "illegals" and "muslims" are not races. Even the touted "birtherism" premise is not racist in nature. It's more ignorance or partisanship than racism. There was a similar argument made against Ted Cruz and John McCain. 


  • spacetime
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    It's a bit of a work around but if you have the income, and the loan (debt) you can see there's a perception of income to debt.
    That's not how debt-to-income ratio works. It involves *pre-existing* debt -- debt the loan applicant already had prior to applying for the loan.


    As for the importance of credit score there is plenty of research on that which goes to show correlate effect that is clearly a reverberation of the past system of loans which favored whites [2]. 
    The study I cited used the following metric to evaluate credit score: "Researchers assigned a rating of “bad” to anyone who had two bills past due by more than 30 days in the past two years, a single bill past due by 90 days or more, a judgment against them, a lien against them or a bankruptcy." There's nothing racially biased about that metric. It's an accurate reflection of how financially responsible a person is, and the reality is that Blacks tend to be less financially responsible than Whites -- regardless of income level.


    Even today PoC with good credit scores are saddled with higher rates compared to whites [3]. 
    Read the study, man. It's blatantly flawed. Any credit score between 660 and 800 may be officially classified as a "good," but variation within that range makes a huge difference. Look at the data on average credit scores by race. Even though they're all above 660, there are massive disparities between races. Black and Latino credit scores tend to be 30-60 points lower than White credit scores, which explains why they face higher interest rates.




    And even if you argue that we should abandon any notions of racism and look at this through a purely economic lens you're just playing into what Mr. Atwater was saying, to take the issues into the abstract knowing ultimately policy crafted in such a way will hurt minorities more than whites.
    I haven't said anything about what we ought to do in the realm of policy. That's a separate discussion. Right now we're debating the purely factual question of whether or not racial discrimination is a significant force in modern American society.


    You claim to acknowledge the past yet you don't seem to appreciate the economic board was set by white hands with inevitable socio economic consequences.
    I do acknowledge the immensely negative effect the slavery and segregation have had on the socioeconomic stature of the African American community. But that doesn't have any bearing on whether or not present-day racial discrimination is widespread.


    You seem too eager to dismiss race as a factor despite its prominence in recent history.
    I'll admit that I'm heavily biased against the "racism is everywhere" narrative, but that bias is rooted in the empirical evidence:

    "One of the most substantial changes in white racial attitudes has been the movement from very substantial opposition to the principle of racial equality to one of almost universal support. For example, in 1942, just 32 percent of whites agreed that whites and blacks should attend the same schools; in 1995, when the question was last asked, 96 percent of whites agreed. In 1944, only 45 percent of whites agreed that blacks should have “as good a chance as white people to get any kind of job,” but by 1972 almost all whites agreed with this statement on equal opportunity (97 percent). Finally, in a question that taps whites’ feelings about a black person holding the highest office in the U.S., Gallup found that in 1958, only 37 percent of whites said they would vote for a black candidate for president; by 1997 that figure was up to 95 percent."

    Racist attitudes are confined to a tiny, marginalized segment of the population. That's why we should always look for alternative explanations first before invoking the phantom of "implicit racism." And as I've repeatedly demonstrated throughout this exchange, there's no shortage of those alternatives.




    Trump didn't make race a polarizing issue, he capitalized on a pre-existing, one could say historical, disdain. Millions of Americans chose to believe Trump's conspiracies from birtherism "millions of illegals voting" and "Muslims celebrating 9/11" not because it was true but because it's the racist BS they've been feeling should be said aloud.
    Perfect example of what I was just talking about. Partisanship fully explains all of those conspiracy theories (along with most of what's wrong with modern politics). Why assume that some sort of secret underlying racism is also involved?
  • Casual_Leftist
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    --> @Vortex86
    "illegals" and "muslims" are not races.
    And? Is there any confusion on what an 'ethnicity' is and why discriminating based on ethnicity is morally equivalent to discrimination based on race?

    Even the touted "birtherism" premise is not racist in nature. It's more ignorance or partisanship than racism. There was a similar argument made against Ted Cruz and John McCain. 
    Not in nature but in modern usage it's most notably used/believed against Obama, so it's functionally racist. Kinda like how a gun isn't inherently racist, but when it's used by a cop to kill an unarmed black man maybe the guy holding the gun might be racist.

    I'm glad you brought up McCain and Cruz. Yes we have 3 recent examples, but in terms of investigation and widespread care let alone belief about the legitimacy of McCain or Cruz was more a meme than an impediment to their campaign. Trump gained political notoriety bashing Obama and claiming he had proof from a private investigator (never released). They made him President. They didn't want McCain who snatched the microphone away from a woman calling Obama "an arab". And Senor Rafael Cruz anglicized (white washed) his name to Ted, and being light skinned seem to have helped compared to Obama's pigment. The 2 white guys get a pass but the black one from Hawaii who's mother is a citizen (thus the child is a citizen even if born in Kenya) must be the anti-Christ secret Muslim aided by foreign terrorists. Do you not see why one would suspect racism? Trump claims Obama/Hillary literally created ISIS, and that Obama was spying on him and his base just eats it up. There is significant population that is under is spell, and racism is just one of many tool to use to keep conservatives afraid of a "socially" Marxist takeover a la Fox News/infowars/breitbart.

    As a side note Cruz is a slime ball. He had the nerve to criticize O'Rouke for using the Hispanic nickname 'Beto' despite him doing the same. The GOP is riddled with this kind of projection. Trump is the epitome of it backed by Russian propagandists.