Economist: Time to scrap affirmative action

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    Apr 27, 2013 7:56 PM GMT
    http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21576662-governments-should-be-colour-blind-time-scrap-affirmative-action
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Apr 27, 2013 10:40 PM GMT
    In my opinion and experience, it's a bit more complicated than simply saying government should be color blind. While that would be ideal, abandoning any commitment to diversity ow would have serious adverse consequences.

    If I just look at education, I believe it is important for a public university to have a diverse student body. Mingling with people from different backgrounds than yourself is important to broaden your horizon, and opening your mind is an important objective of a college education. And that kind of experience is indispensable as preparation for many professions where you interact with diverse groups. Imagine, for instance, the aspiring physician who met his entire life until residency only white, upper middle class peers, and then is thrown into an inner-city emergency room. He will be in over his head, not because of a lack of medical knowledge, but because of a lack of social skills and understanding. I think we owe ourselves the richness of life experience that can be gained in a diverse environment. Unfortunately, if we just left, for instance, college admissions up to GPA and SAT scores, we would in many instances not be able to provide such environments. Until that changes, some considerations of diversity are needed in the public sphere.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Apr 27, 2013 10:54 PM GMT
    I recently read Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography, and was surprised to learn that it was affirmative action that got her accepted at Princeton. It struck me that we, very likely, would never have seen her on the high court if not for affirmative action.

    I have always had mixed feelings about affirmative action. My only exposure to it, as far as I knew, was in the workplace, where I saw countless completely unqualified minorities in every type of position, up and down the ladder. The shear numbers told me that there were quotas, not real affirmative action, as it was originally intended to be.

    One time, when I was looking for work, I was told that they didn't have anything, unless I could speak Vietnamese.

    I'm 100% in favor of diversity. But, I would like to be assured that affirmative action brought in equally qualified minorities, not a quota of lesser qualified minorities.
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    Apr 27, 2013 11:08 PM GMT
    Affirmative action is stooopid in 2013. It aint 1955 anymore.
  • ahab

    Posts: 8

    Apr 27, 2013 11:22 PM GMT
    I totally agree with the last poster it is not the 1950's any more honer the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther and judge people not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. People should be hired by their abilities and talents period!
    Mike
  • He_Man

    Posts: 906

    Apr 27, 2013 11:24 PM GMT
    CharleyChase90232 saidAffirmative action is stooopid in 2013. It aint 1955 anymore.


    Okay, SB, your portrayal of black men is just downright offensive and racist. Couldn't you have chosen any other white guy to mimic. Your attempts at using "black vernacular" is quiet clearly something only an old, white racist man would use, thinking that's how black guys talk. Your Ebonics is off and aren't quite consistent with each topic. At least make it believable! icon_rolleyes.gif
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    Apr 27, 2013 11:34 PM GMT
    In the south the "perversion" of affirmative action is feverish. The idea that a minority individual is "owed" something has become ingrained in parts of our society to the point of obscenity. And it isn't just limited to employment (although its HORRIFYING in that respect also). If you drive through the low-income neighborhoods in the city you look left and right and what do you see? crummy, run-down houses and developments/estates with brand-new lexus sedans parked out front on 32" rims and a like-equipped pickup truck right next to it. Not uncommon to be in line at the grocery behind a woman with a grocery cart full of food who pays with an EBT card (food stamps) and then see her loading it into a Jaguar or a Mercedes. I have encountered people who are brought up to EXPECT handouts from the government and will criticize you for taking time off from work because you should "be at work paying for their groceries".

    Just an FYI...I QUALIFY FOR FOODSTAMPS

    but i don't NEED them. So I've never applied. Yes, it would give a nice little cushion to my financial situation, maybe let me put some money away. But I'm not going to STARVE tomorrow without foodstamps. That is money that I would be TAKING FROM THE GOVERNMENT for no reason other than greed or laziness.
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    Apr 27, 2013 11:53 PM GMT
    But if you get rid of Affirmative Action, what will replace it? Personally i think Affirmative Action should never have been developed..as it sends the message that yes..indeed minorities were not equal in no way nor form to the white majority and thus needed a handicap clause so that they could be on an equal footing. That to me is purely insulting but i can't say anything as this is a country built on bigotry. That message alone made it somewhat legit for bigotry to prevail whereby it was masked by future quota hirings. If Affirmative Action is erased (removed legislatively), how will the job market operate towards minorities. We already have employers hiring solely by racial preferences. We already have job listing websites going out their way to separate white applicants from black. ( if you don't believe me..make two profiles on monster, one with a white applicant and another with a black applicant with the same educational credentials, please don't be shocked to see who the employers choose for an interview.) This is why most job applications ask for your ethnicity on applications first and foremost. Furthermore i read a comment someone made. They suggested that Affirmative Action made it possible for minorities to be in jobs that they were def not qualified for. I find that very offensive as you are a white male. And as a white male you're sole claim to success is being white and having "white privilege". Being a minority i have to work twice as hard as a white individual just so that i can stand out and be noticed. Those minority individuals that you saw in high level positions, did not get there because of Affirmative action. They actually worked hard to get there. Its bigots like you that always implicate the idea that minorities never can amount to the same amount of success as a white man or woman. Affirmative Action did more harm than good and it cannot be removed from American society because its already ingrained in social economical business practices. You cannot get rid of it until there is a universal end to racism and bigotry on a whole.
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    Apr 27, 2013 11:56 PM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 saidIn the south the "perversion" of affirmative action is feverish. The idea that a minority individual is "owed" something has become ingrained in parts of our society to the point of obscenity. And it isn't just limited to employment (although its HORRIFYING in that respect also). If you drive through the low-income neighborhoods in the city you look left and right and what do you see? crummy, run-down houses and developments/estates with brand-new lexus sedans parked out front on 32" rims and a like-equipped pickup truck right next to it. Not uncommon to be in line at the grocery behind a woman with a grocery cart full of food who pays with an EBT card (food stamps) and then see her loading it into a Jaguar or a Mercedes. I have encountered people who are brought up to EXPECT handouts from the government and will criticize you for taking time off from work because you should "be at work paying for their groceries".

    Just an FYI...I QUALIFY FOR FOODSTAMPS

    but i don't NEED them. So I've never applied. Yes, it would give a nice little cushion to my financial situation, maybe let me put some money away. But I'm not going to STARVE tomorrow without foodstamps. That is money that I would be TAKING FROM THE GOVERNMENT for no reason other than greed or laziness.


    This pretty much sums it up. We are doing no favors by continuing a dated program. If discrimination is an issue, then there are plenty of civil rights lawsuits that can be filed on those grounds.
  • He_Man

    Posts: 906

    Apr 28, 2013 12:00 AM GMT

    Why does everyone automatically turn "affirmative action" into a racial topic. Do you know who benefited/benefits the most from affirmative action? Blacks? Latinos? Rednecks? NO... Women (white women) have benefited the most from affirmative action, not anyone of color or any member of a racial group, so let's not turn this into a black/white issue because it's not.

    "According to the United States Labor Department, the primary beneficiaries of affirmative action are white women. The Department of Labor estimated that 6 million women workers are in higher occupational classifications today than they would have been without affirmative action policies."

    http://www.ncsu.edu/project/oeo-training/aa/beneficiaries.htm
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    Apr 28, 2013 12:06 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said If you drive through the low-income neighborhoods in the city you look left and right and what do you see? crummy, run-down houses and developments/estates with brand-new lexus sedans parked out front on 32" rims and a like-equipped pickup truck right next to it.



    there are crummy run down houses because the govt and banks behave in a predatory manner whereby they issue loans that they know low income and middle class minorities cant repay....whereby white within the same pay grade or low income families will be given better payment rates and longer time to repay their loans..you are soo blind..but then again you will forever be as it doesn't affect you. How can low income neighborhoods develop within itself if banks never give loans to minority business owners? Ever heard of gentrification? You know how thats possible.? Because banks only give loans to whites...Please read the article below. this is what took place in detroit and new orleans...pretty much every metropolitan city in the united states at one point of another. The system sadly is structured to keep minorities down and i found this out as soon as i moved to this country.

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2012/10/did-big-banks-subprime-mortgage-crisis-violate-civil-rights-law/3598/
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    Apr 28, 2013 12:07 AM GMT
    I think affirmative action's real place is in the education system.

    When you are placing people in those kinds of programs, it is very important to get those who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences so that they can share them with others. If you base it on GPA and SAT scores, then white students have the upper advantage because of their high school experience.

    Just my thought though.
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    Apr 28, 2013 12:09 AM GMT
    tereseus1 said
    RoadsterRacer87 said If you drive through the low-income neighborhoods in the city you look left and right and what do you see? crummy, run-down houses and developments/estates with brand-new lexus sedans parked out front on 32" rims and a like-equipped pickup truck right next to it.



    there are crummy run down houses because the govt and banks behave in a predatory manner whereby they issue loans that they know low income and middle class minorities cant repay....whereby white within the same pay grade or low income families will be given better payment rates and longer time to repay their loans..you are soo blind..but then again you will forever be as it doesn't affect you. How can low income neighborhoods develop within itself if banks never give loans to minority business owners? Ever heard of gentrification? You know how thats possible.? Because banks only give loans to whites...Please read the article below. this is what took place in detroit and new orleans...pretty much every metropolitan city in the united states at one point of another. The system sadly is structured to keep minorities down and i found this out as soon as i moved to this country.

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2012/10/did-big-banks-subprime-mortgage-crisis-violate-civil-rights-law/3598/


    One bank in Detroit and suddently it is a country wide conspiracy?

    Pah-lease.
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    Apr 28, 2013 12:49 AM GMT
    tereseus1 saidBut if you get rid of Affirmative Action, what will replace it? Personally i think Affirmative Action should never have been developed..as it sends the message that yes..indeed minorities were not equal in no way nor form to the white majority and thus needed a handicap clause so that they could be on an equal footing. That to me is purely insulting but i can't say anything as this is a country built on bigotry. That message alone made it somewhat legit for bigotry to prevail whereby it was masked by future quota hirings. If Affirmative Action is erased (removed legislatively), how will the job market operate towards minorities. We already have employers hiring solely by racial preferences. We already have job listing websites going out their way to separate white applicants from black. ( if you don't believe me..make two profiles on monster, one with a white applicant and another with a black applicant with the same educational credentials, please don't be shocked to see who the employers choose for an interview.) This is why most job applications ask for your ethnicity on applications first and foremost. Furthermore i read a comment someone made. They suggested that Affirmative Action made it possible for minorities to be in jobs that they were def not qualified for. I find that very offensive as you are a white male. And as a white male you're sole claim to success is being white and having "white privilege". Being a minority i have to work twice as hard as a white individual just so that i can stand out and be noticed. Those minority individuals that you saw in high level positions, did not get there because of Affirmative action. They actually worked hard to get there. Its bigots like you that always implicate the idea that minorities never can amount to the same amount of success as a white man or woman. Affirmative Action did more harm than good and it cannot be removed from American society because its already ingrained in social economical business practices. You cannot get rid of it until there is a universal end to racism and bigotry on a whole.


    Okay, first of all, it CAN. You are either lucky and have not experienced it yet or are incompetent and don't realize it (see, i'm good at insulting people to their faces too). The idea that a company MUST hire a certain number of minority workers in order to avoid the appearance of racist hiring practices is what we are talking about. No offense, but you live in New York, one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the United States (Contemporarily AND historically-speaking). I am talking about the South, where the Civil War happened and there are still people running around coming up with crazy reasons why black people (and gay people, hebrews, Latinos and just about anything/one that isn't white/christian) shouldn't have equal rights.
    That so-called "white privilege" is a fallacy. There is only privilege in this world. There are incredibly rich people of every different color in this country and indeed this world. YOU choose to throw your hands up in the air and cry foul because you LIVE IN ONE OF THE HARDEST CITIES IN THE COUNTRY!!

    Come down here. No really! Come down. I will show you people living in publicly-subsidized HOUSING PROJECTS that spend more on their cars than they will EVER willingly spend on educating their own damn CHILDREN! Children who will, by the way, be much more likely to grow up to be people just like their parents because, guess what? All of their FRIENDS are like that too! and their PARENTS AS WELL! This isn't a black/white thing. This goes beyond skin color (the idea of "race" is vulgar. its just skin pigmentation). Down here it is a matter of wanting to better yourself. But why bother? If you can work a shift at McDonalds, pay subsidized rent and get food stamps for you and your two kids and STILL buy a Mercedes...why not?
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    Apr 28, 2013 1:03 AM GMT
    tereseus1 said
    RoadsterRacer87 said If you drive through the low-income neighborhoods in the city you look left and right and what do you see? crummy, run-down houses and developments/estates with brand-new lexus sedans parked out front on 32" rims and a like-equipped pickup truck right next to it.



    there are crummy run down houses because the govt and banks behave in a predatory manner whereby they issue loans that they know low income and middle class minorities cant repay....whereby white within the same pay grade or low income families will be given better payment rates and longer time to repay their loans..you are soo blind..but then again you will forever be as it doesn't affect you. How can low income neighborhoods develop within itself if banks never give loans to minority business owners? Ever heard of gentrification? You know how thats possible.? Because banks only give loans to whites...Please read the article below. this is what took place in detroit and new orleans...pretty much every metropolitan city in the united states at one point of another. The system sadly is structured to keep minorities down and i found this out as soon as i moved to this country.

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/housing/2012/10/did-big-banks-subprime-mortgage-crisis-violate-civil-rights-law/3598/


    I have become very Darwinian in my mid-twenties as I've had my eyes opened by some very well-educated people. If you walk into a bank and get a loan, the person behind that counter is going to tell you how much you have to pay per month. If you can pay it, pay your bills, buy food, etc and still be able to maybe slip a few bills in the ole' savings account (or the kids' college fund) after all that, then great. If you're sweating every single dollar you spend on milk just so you can pay the note on that nicer car or that nicer house, then that's on YOU. Black, white, red, purple, or yellow with pink polka-dots. When you sign a contract you take responsibility for that! Imagine, buying a car at a ford dealership and then going to the other ford dealership and, for some reason, getting a quote on an identical car but for $2000 less. Do you go back to the first dealership and demand they return your $2000 because the other dealership quoted you less? NO! This isn't f*cking Wal-Mart!. You should've gotten quotes from ALL the dealerships in the area and then gone with the best offer BEFORE you made the purchase!
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    Apr 28, 2013 1:18 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 saidIn the south the "perversion" of affirmative action is feverish. The idea that a minority individual is "owed" something has become ingrained in parts of our society to the point of obscenity. And it isn't just limited to employment (although its HORRIFYING in that respect also). If you drive through the low-income neighborhoods in the city you look left and right and what do you see? crummy, run-down houses and developments/estates with brand-new lexus sedans parked out front on 32" rims and a like-equipped pickup truck right next to it. Not uncommon to be in line at the grocery behind a woman with a grocery cart full of food who pays with an EBT card (food stamps) and then see her loading it into a Jaguar or a Mercedes. I have encountered people who are brought up to EXPECT handouts from the government and will criticize you for taking time off from work because you should "be at work paying for their groceries".

    Just an FYI...I QUALIFY FOR FOODSTAMPS

    but i don't NEED them. So I've never applied. Yes, it would give a nice little cushion to my financial situation, maybe let me put some money away. But I'm not going to STARVE tomorrow without foodstamps. That is money that I would be TAKING FROM THE GOVERNMENT for no reason other than greed or laziness.


    In my neighborhood asians in black Mercedes drop off elderly parents to wait in line at the food bank.
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    Apr 28, 2013 1:21 AM GMT
    Alpha13 said
    RoadsterRacer87 saidIn the south the "perversion" of affirmative action is feverish. The idea that a minority individual is "owed" something has become ingrained in parts of our society to the point of obscenity. And it isn't just limited to employment (although its HORRIFYING in that respect also). If you drive through the low-income neighborhoods in the city you look left and right and what do you see? crummy, run-down houses and developments/estates with brand-new lexus sedans parked out front on 32" rims and a like-equipped pickup truck right next to it. Not uncommon to be in line at the grocery behind a woman with a grocery cart full of food who pays with an EBT card (food stamps) and then see her loading it into a Jaguar or a Mercedes. I have encountered people who are brought up to EXPECT handouts from the government and will criticize you for taking time off from work because you should "be at work paying for their groceries".

    Just an FYI...I QUALIFY FOR FOODSTAMPS

    but i don't NEED them. So I've never applied. Yes, it would give a nice little cushion to my financial situation, maybe let me put some money away. But I'm not going to STARVE tomorrow without foodstamps. That is money that I would be TAKING FROM THE GOVERNMENT for no reason other than greed or laziness.


    In my neighborhood asians in black Mercedes drop off elderly parents to wait in line at the food bank.


    exactly!! i think a few peeps in this thread are missing the point that "affirmative action" and everything else that is being discussed is not a "blacks only" thing.


    Also, i forgot to mention in my previous posts, about that "white privelege" thing? Yeah, I may have gone to a fancy high school but aside from that i got ZERO help getting a job from my parents. In fact they tried to hold me down because of my Aspergers, gave me lists of jobs that "people like me" were good at. FUCK THAT! I'll be whatever I want to be thank you very much! The place i work for I started at the VERY BOTTOM and i worked my ass off to get where I am now and I'm STILL working my ass off because i want to go higher! There are kids out there who get everything handed to them on a silver platter and never have to truly work hard, but its hardly a "whites only" club.
  • Whipmagic

    Posts: 1481

    Apr 28, 2013 1:31 AM GMT
    This tread brings out the basest instincts in some of our members. Sad to see.
  • He_Man

    Posts: 906

    Apr 28, 2013 1:38 AM GMT
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    tereseus1 said
    RoadsterRacer87 said





    "I have become very Darwinian in my mid-twenties as I've had my eyes opened by some very well-educated people..."


    Setting aside politics for a minute, and because I am a huge fan of Charles Darwin and a student of both evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, I have a slight problem with the word "Darwinian" used in the context of Social Darwinism.

    Social Darwinism was not, as many people believe, founded by Charles Darwin but by the works of Herbert Spencer, Thomas Malthus and Francis Galton, the fathers of eugenics. Darwin, himself, was not a fan of his greatest idea being used to justify eugenics and being applied to sociology and politics.

    The term "fittest" in Charles Darwin's reference to "the survival of the fittest," doesn't imply that only those that are smarter or physically fit are better off but, rather, those that have the most offspring are the "fittest," therefore, you can say that impoverished, low-income, poorly-educated people (no matter the color of skin) who have an abundance of offspring are more "fit" than highly educated and financially stable people.

    Social Darwinism commits the naturalistic fallacy. You can't justify politics by applying Darwin's theory of Natural Selection to cultural selection theories or social change.

    Sorry, it's just a matter of semantics, but I always like to clarify terms central to evolutionary biology, especially when Darwin is made to look like an advocate of eugenics and Social Darwinism, which is something Christians love to accuse him of.
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    Apr 28, 2013 1:42 AM GMT
    Isn't it amazing that the call to abolish affirmative action usually comes from those that desperately want to discriminate?

    I recall the one time I hired a transgender (MTF) systems administrator. She had all the credentials, the qualification, the attitude, and the skills. It was an extremely easy hire. When I called her up and told her we were extending an offer, she cried.

    Turns out nobody wanted to hire her.

    I heard similar stories from the old days about gay school teachers. Their career ended after they were outed.

    Affirmative action is a blunt instrument to address a very real and very painful problem. You may want to find a better instrument, but you can't simply say the problem isn't there anymore.
  • O5vx

    Posts: 3154

    Apr 28, 2013 1:55 AM GMT
    As a part of my English 30-1 diploma exam, I had to write an essay addressing this particular question.

    When we look at it in the context of a Canadian experience, yes affirmative action is definite needed in order to stamp out discriminatory practices that often occur due to the color of skin. I personally have experienced it first hand what it means to be discriminated against; what it means to be view with contempt simply because you look different from the rest of society. You have no idea how many interview I have went on and I have not gotten a call back. My assumption is that because as a society, we are not yet at a level where we can judge people solely on their qualification for a position, affirmative action is imperative to ensuring that a level playing field is provided to qualified applicants. We need to be more sensitize about the implication removing it completely.

    As a person with disability, I can tell you that my area of profession as broaden my understand on the extent that society as marginalized people who have disability based on the fact that they look different from the norm.....so I think when we are talking about the implication of affirmative action on ensuring that those who are disadvantage in society get an equal chance, it is essential that we understand the impact of the program on the advancement of those disadvantage group in society.
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    Apr 28, 2013 1:55 AM GMT
    themachine saidIsn't it amazing that the call to abolish affirmative action usually comes from those that desperately want to discriminate?

    I recall the one time I hired a transgender (MTF) systems administrator. She had all the credentials, the qualification, the attitude, and the skills. It was an extremely easy hire. When I called her up and told her we were extending an offer, she cried.

    Turns out nobody wanted to hire her.

    I heard similar stories from the old days about gay school teachers. Their career ended after they were outed.

    Affirmative action is a blunt instrument to address a very real and very painful problem. You may want to find a better instrument, but you can't simply say the problem isn't there anymore.


    Any proof of that? It seems like a pretty broad brush to stroke on a large part of the population based upon your one personal experience.

    I think affirmative action should be eliminated and I do not discriminate against people (I come from a very diverse family). However, I believe we should increase funding for schools and job training in disadvantaged areas. Affirmative action is a bandage on a problem, it is not the solution. If the barriers to equality are eliminated, so is the need for affirmative action.
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    Apr 28, 2013 2:03 AM GMT
    themachine saidIsn't it amazing that the call to abolish affirmative action usually comes from those that desperately want to discriminate?

    I recall the one time I hired a transgender (MTF) systems administrator. She had all the credentials, the qualification, the attitude, and the skills. It was an extremely easy hire. When I called her up and told her we were extending an offer, she cried.

    Turns out nobody wanted to hire her.

    I heard similar stories from the old days about gay school teachers. Their career ended after they were outed.

    Affirmative action is a blunt instrument to address a very real and very painful problem. You may want to find a better instrument, but you can't simply say the problem isn't there anymore.


    That's just absurd - and an excuse for a continued sense of victimization. Let's look at the article here:
    Awarding university places to black students with lower test scores than whites sounds reasonable, given the legacy of segregation. But a study found that at some American universities, black applicants who scored 450 points (out of 1,600) worse than Asians on entrance tests were equally likely to win a place. That is neither fair on Asians, nor an incentive to blacks to study in high school. In their book “Mismatch”, Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor produce evidence that suggests affirmative action reduces the number of blacks who qualify as lawyers by placing black students in law schools for which they are ill-prepared, causing many to drop out. Had they attended less demanding schools, they might have graduated.

    Although the groups covered by affirmative action tend to be poorer than their neighbours, the individuals who benefit are often not. One American federal-contracting programme favours businesses owned by “socially and economically disadvantaged” people. Such people can be 87 times richer than the average American family and still be deemed “disadvantaged” if their skin is the right colour. One beneficiary of South Africa’s programme of “Black Economic Empowerment” is worth an estimated $675m; he is also the deputy president of the ruling party. Letting members of certain groups charge more and still win public contracts is nice for the few who own construction firms; less so for the many who rely on public services. The same goes for civil-service quotas. When jobs are dished out for reasons other than competence, the state grows less competent, as anyone who has wrestled with Indian or Nigerian officialdom can attest. Moreover, rules favouring businesses owned by members of particular groups are easy to game. Malaysians talk of “Ali-Baba” firms, where Ali (an ethnic Malay) lends his name, for a fee, to Baba (a Chinese businessman) to win a government contract.

    Forcing firms to employ someone doesn't mean the discrimination will go away. Worse, the soft bigotry of low expectations means that it may make it take longer for it to go away. The sustainable antidote to discrimination is publicity and competition.
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    Apr 28, 2013 2:05 AM GMT
    He_Man said
    RoadsterRacer87 said
    tereseus1 said
    RoadsterRacer87 said





    "I have become very Darwinian in my mid-twenties as I've had my eyes opened by some very well-educated people..."


    Setting aside politics for a minute, and because I am a huge fan of Charles Darwin and a student of both evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology, I have a slight problem with the word "Darwinian" used in the context of Social Darwinism.

    Social Darwinism was not, as many people believe, founded by Charles Darwin but by the works of Herbert Spencer, Thomas Malthus and Francis Galton, the fathers of eugenics. Darwin, himself, was not a fan of his greatest idea being used to justify eugenics and being applied to sociology and politics.

    The term "fittest" in Charles Darwin's reference to "the survival of the fittest," doesn't imply that only those that are smarter or physically fit are better off but, rather, those that have the most offspring are the "fittest," therefore, you can say that impoverished, low-income, poorly-educated people (no matter the color of skin) who have an abundance of offspring are more "fit" than highly educated and financially stable people.

    Social Darwinism commits the naturalistic fallacy. You can't justify politics by applying Darwin's theory of Natural Selection to cultural selection theories or social change.

    Sorry, it's just a matter of semantics, but I always like to clarify terms central to evolutionary biology, especially when Darwin is made to look like an advocate of eugenics and Social Darwinism, which is something Christians love to accuse him of.


    I'm sorry, the Darwin reference isn't a direct reference. Its more of a local joke. And i agree, applied eugenics is a horrible thing. But the process of natural selection CAN be in a way thought of as Nature's own little Eugenics project (albeit a very long-term one). What I mean is that if you make bad decisions don't get your panties in a bunch when you have to deal with the consequences.
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    Apr 28, 2013 2:16 AM GMT
    themachine saidIsn't it amazing that the call to abolish affirmative action usually comes from those that desperately want to discriminate?

    I recall the one time I hired a transgender (MTF) systems administrator. She had all the credentials, the qualification, the attitude, and the skills. It was an extremely easy hire. When I called her up and told her we were extending an offer, she cried.

    Turns out nobody wanted to hire her.

    I heard similar stories from the old days about gay school teachers. Their career ended after they were outed.

    Affirmative action is a blunt instrument to address a very real and very painful problem. You may want to find a better instrument, but you can't simply say the problem isn't there anymore.


    This, this, this. 1,000 times this. As well as what a few others said.

    I agree with Whipmagic that it is important to promote diversity in education. I don't know that affirmative action is the right way to do it, but, as tereseus1 wonders, what will you replace it with? Universities will not become all white, as Chainers suggested, without affirmative action. They will almost certainly become all Asian. Is it fair to punish Asians for being more qualified, on average, than other races? Of course not. Is it fair to punish poor people for being less qualified due to lack of opportunity? Of course not. I think the best answer is equal, better access to education for everyone, so that the most qualified -- regardless of their race or economic circumstances or gender -- will rise to the top. But we are a long way from achieving that -- especially considering we haven't really started.

    As tereseus1 and O5vx pointed out, another goal of affirmative action is to redress systematic wrongs that have kept minorities down. I would agree with the article author's viewpoint that it is those who are actually suffering from economic disadvantage who deserve help. As RoadsterRacer mentions, government assistance has been perverted to support people who simply don't want to work -- in addition to the truly needy. But again, improving the schools is the way I would choose to address that, phasing out affirmative action when the schools are producing well-educated students.

    I have had similar experiences as themachine, hiring well-qualified people who were shocked that I offered them the job. They had never been given an opportunity to prove themselves before -- and they did prove themselves.

    I had another interesting experience. When I wanted to attend graduate school, many fine business schools invited me to interview. One of them, which shall remain nameless, was an elite private institution in the Northeast. I asked the admissions officer, "Please don't be offended by this question, but why are you the only black person I've seen on this campus? Does this school really have a commitment to diversity?" She replied, "We believe in diversity of ideas." Well played, very politically correct, but you have to ask yourself. Can an all-white student body really reflect the vast diversity of ideas in this world?

    Finally, as He_Man points out, Social Darwinism is just a crock of shit.