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Affirmative Action At The High Court

The Supreme Court picks up another hot potato. Affirmative Action is back before the high court. We’ll look at the issue and the stakes.

In this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 photo, students walk through the University of Texas at Austin campus in Austin, Texas. This giant flagship campus – once so slow to integrate – is now awash in color, among the most diverse the country if not the world. (AP)

In this Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012 photo, students walk through the University of Texas at Austin campus in Austin, Texas. This giant flagship campus – once so slow to integrate – is now awash in color, among the most diverse the country if not the world. (AP)

Affirmative action is once again before the US Supreme Court this week. Tomorrow. Racial preferences in college admissions. This time the case is out of Texas. A white high school grad who didn’t make it into UT Austin has sued. She says racial preferences unfairly kept her out.

Nine years ago the high court narrowly ruled that race could be a factor in admissions. But the court has changed. It could end it. Maybe the country’s changed, too. And maybe not.

This hour, On Point: affirmative action across the country, and headed, again, for the Supreme Court.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Joan Biskupic, Supreme Court reporter for Reuters.

Stuart Taylor, Jr., a legal journalist, he’s the author of Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students It’s Intended to Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It. You can find his recent L.A. Times op-ed here.

Randall Kennedy, professor at Harvard Law School. He’s the author of several books, including The Persistence of the Color Line: Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency.

From Tom’s Reading List

Washington Post “Gail Heriot and two other members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights would like the Supreme Court to know that new research indicates that race-preferential admissions to America’s top universities are hurting those they are supposed to help.”

L.A. Times “Affirmative action, long one of America’s most divisive social issues, is about to grab headlines again. On Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in a challenge to a state university’s use of race in selecting students.”

The Root “The blame for the inadequate nature of our conversation about affirmative action must be shared by civil rights organizations and right-wing groups. In the late ’70s and early ’80s, when right-wing groups and the Reagan Justice Department were engaged in a full-frontal attack on affirmative action, civil rights organizations were hard at work fighting the toughest cases in the courts. What civil rights organizations were not doing was fighting the right on the terrain of America’s hearts and minds. Of course, civil rights leaders thought that they had fought that battle already. The civil rights movement was not just a monumental legal and legislative victory over institutionalized racism in the U.S.; it was also — and perhaps more importantly — a moral victory over the idea of white supremacy.”

Excerpt: Mismatch

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  • glc006

    Science faculty’s subtle gender biases favor male students: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/09/14/1211286109#aff-1

  • Michiganjf

    U.S. policies and bigotry have severely hindered African Americans and other groups from amassing wealth and participating in upward mobility until very recently, and even today, discrimination continues to hold the African American population at large (and other groups) to a disadvantage.
     
    The denial of home ownership in areas where property values appreciate rather than depreciate, and the denial of access to capital have especially plagued African Americans and others, as these things have traditionally opened up access to education for caucasian popluations in America.
     
    For this very obvious reason, affirmative action is indeed FAIR AND REASONABLE when it comes to providing educational access to minority groups in the United States.

    However, once access to education is equalized, it’s much more problematic to argue for affirmative action of any kind in the workplace.

    It seems to me, therefore, that we should, as yet, continue to foster and support affirmative action in education, but then let individual drive, success, and abilities determine opportunities in the marketplace.

    The U.S. still owes access to opportunity to some minority groups in America, due to a legacy of discrimination which is still undermining these groups today.

    Someday, hopefully, we can say that we are beyond that legacy, but we are certainly not there yet.

    Still, I won’t expect the conservative Roberts’ court to uphold this extremely sensible and fair-minded view.

    • StilllHere

      and fact-free; any data, peer-reviewed studies to support these views?

      • anamaria23

        It is pretty well documented that plantation owners became wealthy by the free labor of their slaves and were able to pass that wealth along to generations.  African Americans accrued no such
        fortunes for their labor.
         

        • StilllHere

          One link would be great.  I’m looking for a robust multi-generational study relating plantation owners to Ivy league college admission’s policy.  Shouldn’t take you very long, thanks.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            That’s hilarious. Yep. Let’s forget about Drake, Duke, Davidson, Elon and such.

            You say it’s all about the Ivies, which were the doman pretty much of WASPS until the 20th century.

          • StilllHere

            Ok, include your junior colleges and technical schools as well.  Still waiting.

          • Ray in VT

            So, are you arguing that prior to Affirmative Action there was not systematic, race-based discrimination in many institutions of higher education in America?

          • StilllHere

            There were perhaps isolated and coincidental individual occurrences of raced-based discrimination.  However, a systemic bastarization was not necessary.

    • William

      Discrimination policies were largely set in place by government so how is affirmative action address and correct the abuse of power by government?

      • anamaria23

        Discrimination policies were largely undone by government also when the people put into  office those who would end such practices.

        • William

           Where they undone or just used against a different group of people?

      • Michiganjf

        Yes, we can see, across the country, that minority populations have access to the same quality of public schools (primarily determined by property values) as caucasian populations, right?

        The idea that “gub’ment” is somehow the driving force for discrimination in America’s past is moronic, or at the least, willfully ignorant and dense.

        • William

           A good school is not because of property values but rather good students and great parents.
          Slavery was legal and so were Jim Crow Laws. President Wilson pushed for segregation while in office. It is naive to ignore government abuse of power in the long history of discrimination in this country.

          • Don_B1

            The Southern whites who formed KKK and WCCC [?] groups and passed laws that enforced segregation is what the current desegregation efforts are trying to remedy. That there has not yet been enough done is obvious, just from your ignorance demonstrated here.

  • Wm_James_from_Missouri

    Is there a place for the “ Diversity Prediction Theorem, in this discussion ? If so, I would like to see any hard data available. This theorem is quite interesting, as it applies to cognitive diversity. I would also love to hear feedback from the unconvinced.

  • Gregg Smith

    I guess the assumption is blacks are inherently inferior so the bar must be lowered. Affirmative Action cannot work unless one judges by the color of skin. I find it racist and will stick with the content of character.

    • anamaria23

      Is there not preferential treatment given to families of wealth and power?   I know personally of low performing students given admission to fine universities as soon as it was known they could pay full tuition.  Many doors are opened to well connected people.

      • StilllHere

        Data?  I know of many well performing students denied admission to fine universities even though they could pay full tuition, while lower performing students were admitted.  The perception was that there was some subjective goal of diversity deemed superior to ability.

      • Gregg Smith

        Are there no well connected blacks?  I just don’t see how the color of ones skin plays any role in anything.

        • Don_B1

          Sure there are: Vernon Jordan, Henry Louis Gates, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, just for three; but they are the EXCEPTIONS that prove the rule.

          There is hope that when the inner cities provide equal educational opportunities for ALL children, then in a generation there could be the lack of discrimination that would allow for lessening the need for rules that generate diversity.

          Note that major businesses favor the continued emphasis on diversity because they do better in the marketplace with a diverse workforce.

          • Gregg Smith

            …Barrack Obama.

          • Gregg Smith

            So I’ll put you in the same camp with Biden who thinks an articulate, clean black man is the exception. Alrighty then.

      • LinRP

        This will make your head spin. Read this today about how families of great, great wealth–even those outside the country–are out there in force trying to game the system and buy their kids way in. You’re right, to think this doesn’t happen is absurd. This is only the tip of the iceberg I’m sure.

        Yesterday I read that Wesleyan is ending its “need blind” admission policy. You watch and see if that doesn’t catch fire at colleges throughout the country.

        The deck has always been stacked against kids of lesser means and opportunity, with African American children clearly at the bottom of the education totem pole. I don’t have an answer re affirmative action, but ALL our kids are fighting uphill battles against invisible forces we don’t even know exist. Who is going to work to give every kid a fair shake? Is absolutely everything now going o the highest bidder? How can any of us fight against that?

        Quest for Harvard entry ends in $2m tangle

        http://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2012/10/09/chinese-family-lawsuit-former-harvard-professor-promised-admissions-help-took-million/7tfbug9YlmW5LR4EqumIFN/story.html

    • JGC

      That definition of Affirmative Action is too narrow. 

      • Gregg Smith

        How so? Suppose there was no way of knowing the color of skin, could it work?

    • 1Brett1

      The assumption you post isn’t very original; any of the neocon radio hosts/tv personalities say the same presumptuous ideas.  In short, it is a straw man starting with a false foundation. Before Affirmative Action, back when Blacks were always passed over for opportunities, was the content of their character the metric by which they were judged? If there had never been Affirmative Action, would “the market,” as it were, have compensated and simply schooled/hired Blacks based on abilities only? 

      Have there been some problems in how Affirmative Action has been applied over the years? You bet; but, must the whole concept be scrapped because of poor implementation in some circumstances? 

      • Gregg Smith

        I have not heard anyone say affirmative action is judging by the  color of skin. I’m sure someone must have but I have not heard it. I thought it up by my lonesome and the notion has not been refuted. This isn’t 1860 of even 1962.

        • Don_B1

          Affirmative Action is an attempt to get people to look BEYOND the color of a person’s skin, and judge on the person’s character and willingness to work to learn.

          Of course, you knew that, but are having “fun” here tweaking some and trying to sow confusion among those who are ignorant of a lot of the real facts of this issue.

          • Gregg Smith

            Okay, then for all Affirmative Action applications lets make it illegal to ask anything about race. Race should not weigh one iota in any decision.

        • 1Brett1

          Nor did I say such. But I have heard many on the Fox parade attempt to paint the “liberal mystique,” regarding not only Affirmative Action but all Civil Rights legislation,   as an “…assumption is blacks are inherently inferior so the bar must be lowered.” It is a strategy to portray liberal policies as being inherently racist and conservative policies as liberating, and it doesn’t wash… 

          • Gregg Smith

            I makes total sense to me and I have not seen anything to say otherwise. I don’t see how it’s possible to say the bar isn’t lowered for blacks. It is racist IMO. No one wants to answer tom that though. I would have more respect for the notion if you said, “Affirmative Action IS judging by the color of skin but here’s why it’s acceptable…”.

            And I can’t let you get away with casually lumping in all civil rights legislation with Affirmative Action. They are opposites, civil rights laws say don’t judge by the color of skin and Affirmative Action dictates we do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

      No, the assumption is not that blacks are inherently inferior so the bar must be lowered. The assumption is that blacks, after three hundred years of bondage and second-class citizenship, are at a historical and social disadvantage that cannot have been easily erased in the relatively short time since discriminatory laws were struck down (a mere half century). The idea, flawed or not, is to level the playing field so that all may compete to the best of their abilities. I am not necessarily a fan of affirmative action, but I find your comment to be simplistic and embarrassing. White people crying racism on behalf of themselves always is.

      • Gregg Smith

        If Affirmative Action isn’t racist then eggs ain’t poultry, grits ain’t groceries and Mona Lisa was a man.

        • Mike_Card

          Females and hispanic-surnamed people are protected groups under the collection of laws referred to as Affirmative Action.

        • J__o__h__n

          Shouldn’t “eggs ain’t poultry” be part of Ed’s Friday update? 

        • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

          Is it your goal each morning to lower the level of discussion here with sweeping generalities, slogans, slurs, and a rehash of right-wing radio talking points? If so, you are a resounding success.

          • Gregg Smith

            No, my goal here is to make people look beneath their cloak of compassion and confront their own prejudices. I look at a black child and see unlimited potential to pursue excellence with passion. You see a victim purely based on skin color.

          • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

            Where is there anything in what I have written here that would indicate I see blacks as victims on the basis of their skin color? You make a lot of assumptions in your comments here and manufacture a great many sweeping generalizations with precious little evidence to support them. People make carefully crafted comments here, often well-argued, and you respond with slogans and talking points that don’t even make sense in the context of the argument. Is this because you find it impossible to argue rationally?

          • Gregg Smith

            “The assumption is that blacks, after three hundred years of bondage and second-class citizenship, are at a historical and social disadvantage that cannot have been easily erased in the relatively short time since discriminatory laws were struck down (a mere half century).”
            How is that not describing a victim?

          • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

            It describes a victim based on historical circumstances, not skin color, which is what you claimed.

          • StilllHere

            Precious little evidence to support this extraordinary claim.

          • StilllHere

            Pot meet kettle.

          • Gregg Smith

            How can any debate about Affirmative Action be carefully crafted or well argued if we ignore MLK’s dream?

        • NewtonWhale

          Mona Lisa was a man, says expert
          An Italian researcher, Silvano Vinceti, has an opinion about Mona Lisa: she was a he. Vinceti announced today that a male apprentice ofLeonardo da Vinci was the real model for the famous painting. Gian Giacomo Caprotti, known as Salai, studied under Leonardo and he was a longtime companion of his. Vinceti speculates that Caprotti may have also been a lover of Leonardo’s. After all, artists’ lovers are often times their muses.

          http://www.gadling.com/2011/02/02/mona-lisa-was-a-man-says-expert/

      • StilllHere

        Carefully crafted but no data, especially the 300 years of hyperbole.

        • Ray in VT

          Eh?  “300 years of hyperbole”?  What exactly do you mean by that?

    • Yar

      The fact is, the bar isn’t a good measure in the first place.  It isn’t about lowering the bar, it is about having valid standards and balancing those who meet those standards with a representative sample.  The college experience is better for all when diversity is considered. I won’t argue with you on who is racist and who isn’t.
      I will say prejudice is a necessary shortcut our brain uses to process data.  The key is to examine our own prejudice, not to deny that it exists. 

  • NewtonWhale

    Affirmative Action for the Rich addresses the history, sociology, economics, and law related to legacy preferences in college admissions. Almost 85 percent of elite colleges and universities in the United States grant or withhold these preferences based on applicants’ ancestry, i.e., on whether they are the children or grandchildren of the school’s alumni. 

    Today the United States is the only nation in the world whose elite universities discriminate in admissions based on family lineage. Legacy preferences are anomaly within the world community and within our own traditions and law.

    http://www.acslaw.org/acsblog/why-%E2%80%98legacy-preferences%E2%80%99-in-college-admissions-are-constitutionally-suspect

    Family origins matter more in the United States in determining where one ends up in life compared to other wealthy democratic countries.

    A study by Jo Blanden and colleagues at the London School of Economics found that a father’s income was a better predictor of a son’s income in the United States than in seven other countries, including Germany, Canada, and the United Kingdom. And a review article by Miles Corak at the University of Ottawa, based on 50 studies of nine countries, found the United States tied with the United Kingdom as having the least social mobility, trailing not only Norway and Denmark but France, Germany, and Canada.

    In a six-country study of the income of fathers and sons, children who were born into the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution had a lower chance of rising in the United States than in any of the five other countries, including the United Kingdom. Contrary to the Horatio Alger myth, the United States placed dead last in the percent who climbed from the bottom 20 percent to the top 20 percent.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jerome-karabel/grand-illusion-mobility-inequality-and-the-american-dream_b_1933238.html

    The Dunce

    His former Harvard Business School professor recalls George W. Bush not just as a terrible student but as spoiled, loutish and a pathological liar.

    Trading as usual on his father’s connections, Bush entered Harvard in 1973 for a two-year program. He’d just come off what George H.W. Bush had once called his eldest son’s “nomadic years” — partying, drifting from job to job, working on political campaigns in Florida and Alabama and, most famously, apparently not showing up for duty in the Alabama National Guard.

    http://www.salon.com/2004/09/16/tsurumi/

    • Gregg Smith

      Indeed wrong but what does that have to do with race? What should colleges do for rich blacks?

      • NewtonWhale

        As usual, Gregg, you’ve managed to identify the real problem afflicting America: too many black people have too much money.

        • Gregg Smith

          I didn’t say that at all. I love rich blacks… and whites. However you seem to be saying there are no rich well-connected blacks? Why would you assume that? 

          • NewtonWhale

            Some men see things as they are and say why? Others dream things that never were and say why not?

            Then there’s Gregg, who hears things that were never  said and answers to dog whistles that no one ever blew.

          • Gregg Smith

            Why would you assume blacks can’t be rich or well-connected?

          • adks12020

            You must realize how faulty your argument is…right? No one is assuming or saying there are no rich and connected black people.  What people are saying is that even after all time affirmative action has been in place there are still a whole lot more rich and connected white people that are very content to keep it that way.

            If you don’t see that then you don’t pay attention. 

          • Gregg Smith

            So Black=helpless victim. Gotcha’.

          • NewtonWhale

            Why do you keep assuming that people are saying things they aren’t?

            And what does that say about what’s going on in your head?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlsESmVe-hU

          • jefe68

            You are clueless.

          • Gregg Smith

            And you never offer squat. 

          • Steve__T

             Shhh Gregg your sheet is showing

          • Gregg Smith

            The only ones I know who wear sheets is the hideous organization  “The National Association for the Advancement of White People”. I’d hope you would join me in my disdain for that sort of thing. Jerk.

          • Steve__T

             I’ve never heard of such an organization, AND just to let the cat out of the bag I am of mixed race no I don’t look it, and that gives me more insight to people of many races but I look white, and when a white guy tells me a racist joke, then smiles at the next black person or seems to go out of their way for them I really get a good Idea of who and what I’m dealing with so stfu I’ve seen it all.

             I would rather someone tell me I don’t like blacks and mean it. than someone tell me Oh I’m not racist I like black people some of my best friends are black, then tell a racist joke the minute no blacks are around.
             So if there is a NAAWP good for them at least they are being honest.
            Even if they did steal the Idea from the NAACP

          • Steve__T

             My first and second reply’s were deleted I’ll post it again and again till it sticks.
            I have never heard of that organization, no I will not join you in your distain, buy I will let the cat out of the bag I am of mixed race and I look white, and it has given me an inside edge that is unique especially in the working place, and in social functions. When a white guy tells me a racist joke, then smiles at, and is ever so helpful seemingly to go out of his way to help a black person I know who I’m dealing with so spare me.
             I would rather deal with a man who says I don’t like blacks, and mean it at least hes honest instead of the guy that says, Oh I like black people I get along with them just fine one of my good friends is black, then turn around and tell a racist joke or what they call dark humor when there are no dark faces around.
             If there is such an organization as NAAWP good for them at least they are being honest.
            Even if they did steal the idea from the NAACP.

        • LinRP

           Seriously, Gregg is just the biggest troll. He is not doing this for debate, but for a personal laugh. If people just stop responding to the trolling inanity he’ll go away. Or, more likely, pick another pseudonym and we’ll have to ignore him all over again.

          • Gregg Smith

            You could explain how Affirmative Action can work if you don’t judge by the color of skin which is clearly racist. It’s certainly not a laughing matter, it’s sick. Or you can ignore the obvious and call some names.

    • Bruce94

      Thanks for a great unpacking of the income inequality and social mobility problems that are holding down the middle-class and working poor in our country.

      The last part about George W., the Prodigal Son, was relevant for another reason, namely, the GOP choice this time around is not really much different from Bush. Basically, Romney’s Restore the Future meme would recycle the failed Bush policies and restore the conditions that sank our economy in the first place. In this election it seems we have less of a choice than an echo of the fiscally responsible-in-name only budget, tax and deregulation policies that turned out to be such an unmitigated disaster in 2008.

      In addition to the stats you cite above, I would point to a Pew Research study that also reinforces the above findings.  According to Pew, family background in the U.S. exerts a greater influence on income than educational achievement.  Specifically, in the U.S. you are more likely to make your way to the highest-earning one-fifth of the pop. if you are born into the top fifth and do NOT attain a college degree than if you are born into the bottom fifth and do graduate from college.

      If one views a college degree as a proxy for intelligence and hard work, as I happen to, then one might raise the following question:  In the U.S. are you then better off being born rich, dumb and lazy than poor, smart and industrious? 

      I think these findings imply something equally inconvenient for many to consider, namely, that inherited wealth and opportunity have a greater impact on income inequality than most of us raised on the Horatio Alger myth are willing to admit AND that viewing the market as a reliable gauge of social value is misguided.

  • Yar

    Since we haven’t done anything to stop the affirmative action of the privileged, we should counter with some type of affirmative action to the under-privileged.  
    Life is not fair, affirmative action is intended to act as a safety to keep society from becoming more divergent in opportunity. As a roller coaster climbs a hill a ratchet clicks in to prevent the coaster from rolling backwards should the drive train fails.  Affirmative action is like that ratchet, it keeps society from falling back.Implementation is another thing all together.  Malcom Gladwell talks about a mis-match problem, where what is thought as objective data to evaluate qualifications actually doesn’t work at all.  First step is to find qualified candidates, the second step is to balance opportunity. You can’t do the second step first. Failure is in implementation not in the idea of balancing opportunity.I contend there is a woman in every state that can preform the duties of senator as well as a man.  What if the law was changed to elect one woman and one man as senator in each state, a form of affirmative action, it would change the institution of Senate.  Would it make the senate better or worse?  This is why we attempt to impose laws to re-balance the natural order of systems, we see an issue and try to improve it. We use logic and hope for the best. We may still miss the mark, but the effort is worthwhile.http://www.newyorker.com/online/video/conference/2008/gladwell

    • Gregg Smith

      I’m with you unless by “underprivileged” you mean black. The terms are not synonymous. It’s a non-sequitur.

  • 1Brett1

    “I love rich blacks..” Sorry, this seems a tad too much like “loving” Big Bird…

    • Gregg Smith

      I love Big Bird.

      • Yar

        Tastes like chicken?
        What do you mean by love?

        • 1Brett1

          Perhaps either “southern-fried,” “oven-roasted,” or “pan-seared”? …We joke, Yar, and perhaps give Mr. “Smith” a bit of a jostling, but he “loves rich blacks.” I’m sure he even has rich blacks as friends.

          • Gregg Smith

            Yes, as a matter of fact I do. Even a hall of famer.

      • Gregg Smith

        Big bird just sent Obama a cease and desist order, I love him even more.

      • StilllHere

        You should love Elmo even more, he’s a rich black man.

  • Gregg Smith

    I expect liberals would expect more from Obama if he were 100% white but his black half makes him a poor victim.

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

      I expect conservatives would attack Obama less if he were 100% white, but his black half makes him a good target–at least in whipping up the right-wing base.

      • Gregg Smith

        That’s sick.

      • RevPobanz

        Quoting Leonard Bast,  “I expect conservatives would attack Obama less if he were 100% white”

        You have no clue what it means to be conservative. As a conservative, I don’t care about skin color, rather about policy, and integrity and morality. Anyone whose policies and morality matches Obama’s deserves criticism. 

    • anamaria23

      A classic cheap shot from a pro.  A horrible comment.

      • Gregg Smith

        I stand by the comment.

    • ebonyy

      WOW Gregg,

      I can see there is no convincing you now….carry on :)

      • Gregg Smith

        True, you will not convince me being black in and of itself is an excuse for bupkis.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    How about a novel idea:  Every position, whether it’s a job or a seat in a school or whatever, is given to the person who is best qualified–genuinely qualified, not by some artificial and irrelevant standard–for the job.  No more legacy positions for the children of alumni, no more consideration of race or sex when those aren’t a part of the job (acting, being an exception), nothing that isn’t directly related to performing the job in question.

    • OnPointComments

      There would probably be a lawsuit filed, as is noted in this article.

      The NAACP has filed a complained with the U.S. Department of Education claiming that the two-and-half-hour multiple choice exams for two of New York City’s academically elite schools violates the 1964 Civil Rights Act since blacks and Hispanics are admitted far below their proportion in the city (two-thirds of the admitted students are Asian).
       
      Stuyvesant and Bronx High School of Science admit students solely on tests measuring verbal and mathematical skills.  The NAACP argues that these tests are racially discriminatory.
       
      http://www.americanthinker.com/2012/10/naacp_tries_to_kill_the_golden_goose.html

    • http://www.facebook.com/leonard.bast.90 Leonard Bast

      And no more consideration of family connections (many are hired on this basis), friendships (just as many), physical attractiveness (we all know this is a factor), weight (fat people are rarely hired over thin), accent (people with southern accents are often judged as ignorant), etc., etc., etc. Your idea is not novel, but it is simplistic. I agree with you that hiring someone for a job or admitting someone to college should be based on purely objective criteria. That would be a wonderful world, indeed. Unfortunately, it is not and never has been. We humans have proven not to be rational actors in this regard. We are almost always swayed by the subjective. Our rational ideals of meritocracy are almost always subverted by our emotional immaturity.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

        Having a set of objective standards makes what you’re talking about harder to get away with.  I just want those standards to be relevant to the position.

      • StilllHere

        Carefully crafted but no data.

    • TomK_in_Boston

      Lotsa luck. The fact is that the elite will always have a huge advantage. The ultimate case of “affirmative action” was my ‘ol party animal buddy W rising to wealth and the presidency. If he’d been born middle class or poor, middle management would have been a stretch.

      So, the only solution is gvt “affirmative action” to level the playing field. Obviously, since the righty agenda is to promote the oligarchy, they hate it. 

      • William

         Would JFK made it without his wealth and connections? What about Ted? He got the boot from Harvard and used his wealth and connections to get back into Harvard.
         Since government has a long history of discrimination how can it be trusted to treat everyone fairly?

        • TomK_in_Boston

          I said elites, so your knee-jerk “liberals do it too” response is irrelevant. The only way to counter the built-in advantage of the elites is gvt action. 

          The “history of discrimination” of gvt is miniscule compared to the record of slave holding southern aristocrats etc. It was gvt and the national guard that integrated the schools. I trust gvt a hell of a lot more than I trust oligarchs and corporations.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            It’s William, TomK. You are prepared for false equivalencies and such, right?

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Right, what was I thinking, arguing with a script.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             It’s always a false equivalency when you don’t like what it says.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Really? You’re going to the mat for someone whose examples of “something wrong” are always a kneejerk pointing towards the left?

            William is a predictable bore on that account. You have more interesting points to make.

            How many years would we have to wait for William to mention, instead, a Dan Quayle or George W. Bush as a failure of connected white guy affirmative action the legacy system? Williams’ track record says more about him than makes points about his subject.

          • William

            You can’t hide from the truth. It is nice to see you always agree with others that think like you. It makes your world nice and safe.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            For some reason, your bubble-protected opinions don’t sway me.

          • William

             Slavery, Jim Crow Laws, segregation of school kids were all government policies for years and not just in the South. I still remember the busing riots in Boston in the 1970′s.
             Sure, ignore government’s hand in discrimination and look what happens. We have a whole new group of people that are being discriminated against based on race for something they had no involvement with.

      • StilllHere

        There you go again, blaming others for your sorry, pathetic state in life.  It’s really tiresome.  Don’t blame the system for you being a loser, you get full credit.

        • Ray in VT

          Are you familiar with the psychological concept of projection?  I think that you might be suffering from it, because it often seems like you come here right after taking a huge bite out of the turd sandwich that is your life.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          There you go as usual, regurgitating the script that says anyone with traditional American values is a loser like you. You’d run the same script if Buffett or Gates were on the forum. 

          The only real question here, to use the baseball analogy, is whether gvt should do something to give those born in the dugout a little help in competing with those born on 3′rd base, like Lord R, or on 2′nd base, like me. I’ve worked hard for my success but I’ve never lost sight of how my advantages from birth have contributed. Those who do lose sight of what a head start they had and claim they did it all themselves make me wanna puke.

          • StilllHere

            I don’t believe you.
            You don’t seem to know what success is and do not seem qualified to judge how much effort was required to achieve it.  
            My guess is you tried to bunt and missed.

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Hahaha, that’s your envy talking. You could live for a year on the daily noise in my portfolio. 

          • StilllHere

            It’s no coincidence you bring up envy, your prime motivator. 

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Tom, at least StillHere didn’t lower Da Boom, The Ultimate Insult, The Trump Card, The Grand Slam, the SureFire CrowdPleaser:

            He didn’t accuse you of working in the public sector.

            You got off easy!

          • TomK_in_Boston

            That’s true, I think the script is something about “your public sector job”. StillHere is a fine example of how the 47% support cutting their own benefits.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Diversity, by itself, doesn’t mean much.  Now, wanting a diverse group of excellent students makes some sense,  diversity without qualifications just means mixing lesser ability into the student population.

  • ToyYoda

    What about Asians being discriminated against because they would overwhelm the student body and threaten the diverse demograph that university’s desire?

    What about Malcolm Gladwell’s observation in his book Outliers that after a certain threshold, scholastic achievement is not the major factor for determining success? He concludes then that for our top schools after a certain level of academics has been met, it should be a lottery system.

    Please talk about these things. Thanks.

    • MrNutso

      A lottery will not be satisfactory, because some will still argue that if they met the requirements for admission, they must get in.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    What we need is to make all our schools work.  But putting someone whose qualification is skin color into a school doesn’t mean that the person will succeed.

  • BHA_in_Vermont

    Can we get those stats on the student in question?
    SAT, GPA and what school was she applying to? How selective is that school? What school did she end up attending?

    I remember the SAT at 1,100. I sure hope that was a 1,600 SAT because it is pathetic if it was a 2,400 SAT. Heck, 1,100 isn’t exactly a strong performance on a 1,600 SAT.

    I agree that race shouldn’t decide who gets in and who does not. If there is only 1 slot left and multiple students seen as equally qualified and a “good fit”, flip a coin, don’t look at race, family, etc.

  • ToyYoda

    The US government projects that whites will be a minority by 2042. Will we need affirmative action once they become a minority? And long before that the demographic percentages will be close enough that using “minority” as policy for affirmative action is comical.

    I think the problem isn’t race but generational poverty. Could we not change affirmative action for this?

  • Shag_Wevera

    Great intellectual arguments can be supporting affirmative action.  My gut reaction has always been that two wrongs don’t make a right.  This has always been the weakness of affirmative action.  It seems to go against the things we are taught as children like color shouldn’t matter.

    Maybe liberal egalitarian eggs would be better served being placed in another basket, like the wealth gap or the social safety net.  Maybe universal healthcare could use the “mojo” instead.

    • Gregg Smith

      Not that you should care but I respect that position.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    What a college degree means today is much less than years ago.  We’ve decided that everyone has to have one to get a “good” job, so we’ve dumbed down college to make it something that everyone can handle.

    The better solution is to recognize the importance of blue collar jobs and to have a lot of trade schools in addition to colleges.  College should be for academic and research careers.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Germany does a great job recognizing these distinctions.

  • Shag_Wevera

    I attended a culturally diverse university (UW Milwaukee).  Diversity was just a buzz-word though.  The reality was that most of us hung out with folks that looked and spoke like we did.  The assumption that cultural diversity is good does not seem to have achieved popular acceptance.

  • MrNutso

    But Stuart, how is that affirmative actions fault in a general sense.  If university’s are admitting students who should not be admitted, that’s the fault of the university, not affirmative action.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      But the policy is to take a characteristic that isn’t relevant and use it to boost the “qualification” of the applicant.  That is the fault of the program, not the university.

      • MrNutso

        That’s not what he was saying.  He said that the university’s weren’t giving sufficient information for the candidate to decide if they really wanted to attend.  If they university should be saying that they don’t think the candidate can handle the program.

  • Sieh Samura

    Everything being equal, then there would of course be no need for affirmative action policies; but we all admit that all has not been equal, and continues not to be.

    When two similarly qualified candidates for a school or job are presented, our prejudices kick in… Not in every case, but often enough to continue the history of discrimination in this country. Certain populations (black Americans)have suffered from institutionalized discrimination for many many years. This is fact folks. Discrimination and historic disadvantage are a reality in our country and until we are comfortably beyond it, we must continue to try to reverse it.

    We have to address our prejudices and our history of discrimination, until we do, affirmative action must continue. A society where discrimination is allowed to tip the scales is self destructive. Affirmative action tries to bring the scales back into balance. We must continue to improve it.

    We must not forget that Affirmative action has been somewhat succesful at creating diversity in our culture. To deny the need for affirmative action is to deny that discrimination effects large parts of our society.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       How about not putting a picture on the application and blanking out the applicant’s name?  Ability and achievement should be the only considerations.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    I missed the discussion about why Clarence Thomas Elana Kagan needs to be recused.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       She worked in the Obama administration on this case.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        (I heard that. And this isn’t really aimed at you.)

        So?

        Clarence Thomas and every Republican appointee don’t know the meaning of the word “recused”.

        I guess it’s another case of IOKIYAR.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           English, please.  IOKIYAR?  Kagan worked on this very case.  That requires her to recuse herself.  Stating a philosophical position isn’t the same level of involvement.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            “It’s Okay If You’re A Republican.”

            Thomas’ wife has a six-figure income from a healthcare concern heavily invested in the decision about the ACA. That “philosophical position” never worried him. It never worried the mainstream media.

            “Requires to recuse” is a phrase that has a very loose definition when a Republican is involved.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    If affirmative action is reduced or eliminated, we just need to be careful that it’s not done in such a way that it just presents an opportunity for others to impose their own racism.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Lorraine in Nashville, you don’t have to go to Vanderbilt to be an attorney.  The top-rank schools should have only the top-rank students.

  • Maxine Blank

    What about the idea of affirmative action based on economic circumstance, rather than race?

  • Kalaimugilan

    I was a math tutor to college students who were athletes whom had been admitted into the university under Affirmative Action, but were there only to be abused by the school sports program.  Perhaps this is where the abuse takes place.  And schools are refusing to admit to it because of the money the students generate fro the school.

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

      One semester, a quarter of my literature class got Fs for cheating.  Nearly every one of the cheaters was an athlete.

      • Ray in VT

        That’s sad, but perhaps not terribly surprising (at least given the athlete stereotype).  There’s a decent number of guys who get a pretty sweet ride in college based upon what they do on the field and not the classroom.  Of course, college sports is big money for some schools, and they’re competing to field a good team, bring in the media and alumni bucks, as well as maybe get something from that potential pro athlete down the road.

        Given the athlete stereotypes that are out there, I do really like to hear it when some pro football player or something comes out with some really thoughtful and well reasoned public statements.  I recall an anecdote from years ago when it was said that Steve Young and his center spoke Latin on the field, because they both had law degrees and they were sure that no one else would understand them.

        • Gregg Smith

          How do you like Tim Tebow?

          • Ray in VT

            Sitting on the bench!  Bam!  Just kidding.

            I think that he was great in college, but some guys game just doesn’t translate to the pro level, like Eric Crouch from Nebraska.  He’s got some great intangibles, and seems to be a great leader and team player, but the consensus is that he doesn’t have the arm and accuracy for the NFL.

            As a person, he seems like a great guy.  He seems genuinely nice and likeable.  His teammates love him.  As a character guy, he’s certainly well above a lot of NFL guys, take Adam Jones for instance, but that doesn’t count for much of anything on any given Sunday (at least on the football field, maybe in the pews).

  • http://www.facebook.com/rebecca.abbott.311 Rebecca Abbott

    Can you please talk about the other form of “affirmative action” — which allows colleges and universities to give special preference to the children of alumni, some of whom may not be  as qualified for admission as others?  If schools can do this, which they often do for financial reasons (to increase donations from those families), why can’t they give special preference for other reasons?

    • http://www.profischnell.com/ prosch

      Will the whites still be protesting racial preferences then?
      By the
      way, I am the mother of a 4.6 gpa, high SAT-score 21 year old white
      daughter, who was denied entrance to three out of the five colleges she
      applied to. http://www.profi-fachuebersetzungen.com If schools can do this, which they often do for financial reasons (to
      increase donations from those families), why can’t they give special
      preference for other reasons?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1810599160 Lisa Hemphill

    What will happen when the Hispanic minority become the majority?  Will the whites still be protesting racial preferences then?
    By the way, I am the mother of a 4.6 gpa, high SAT-score 21 year old white daughter, who was denied entrance to three out of the five colleges she applied to.  It happens.  When Harvard has to turn down thousands of students with perfect SAT scores, applicants need to realize that the college entrance process is not objective and can’t be.

    • http://twitter.com/areallycc Margaret

       2 out of 3 colleges accepted your daughter. W/O diversity and affirmative action Veterans, Disabled, Older Students, women and race which include Black, Native American, Hispanic, would have not been allowed in any of her 5 choices. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Taylor’s point is valid here.  Admission doesn’t equal graduation.  Lots of students drop out in the middle because they can’t cut it.  That’s across all groups, but when admission is based on relevant standards, the failure rate will go down.

    • hennorama

      Students drop out for a variety of reasons, not just because they “can’t cut it”:
       
      Financial concernsLack of support system to counteract “separation anxiety”Unprepared for rigors of college workPersonal/family issuesPoorly matched to particular school
       
      There are other reasons as well, many of which cut across all groups.  It seems the commonality among many reasons for dropping out is lack of preparation, whether it is academic preparation, mismatched expectations, lack of knowledge of the school, etc.
       
      However, financial concerns are linked primarily to the groups with the fewest resources, which unfortunately do have a racial correlation.
       
      It would seem that “relevant standards” should include academic preparedness, preparation for/knowledge of differences between high school and college, alignment of expectations, and financial preparation.
       
      In other words, standards for student preparedness in all areas, not just in academics.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         You said that students drop out for reasons other than not being able to cut it, but you then gave me lots of examples of students who can’t cut it.

        • hennorama

          Thank you for your response.

          My apologies. I presumed your use of “can’t cut it” implied the word “academically.” Sorry if that was not the case. My post took into account your earlier comments, as well as the fact that the plaintiff in this case was touting her SAT score and GPA as evidence of her qualifications. Therefore I left out the word “academically.”

          I’m confident that you would agree that even qualified students leave school for reasons other than their ability to do the work, as I said.

          Thank you again for your response.

          • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

             Academics are one important reason.  I see lots of students who aren’t capable of performing at the level that a college ought to expect.  The lack of determination to stick through to the end is another reason.  Too many are there because their parents told them to go or because they think that a diploma is all that is needed, no matter what actual learning came with it.  And yes, many have circumstances that are beyond their control.  The latter is also beyond the control of the school.

  • http://twitter.com/mj50613 EmmaJane Reed

    Why does a supreme court case have an advertisement?

    • MrNutso

      Just another step in politicizing the judiciary.  Look into the retention elections of Florida and Iowa state supreme court justices.

  • WBC_in_MA

    Get rid of ALL race based, gender based, and ethnic based, affirmative action NOW!.  Start looking at the economics of the family that the applicant is coming from, and some of the specific experiences that he has had.  And of course the most important factor should be the academic performance of the applicant.

  • J__o__h__n

    “Abolitionist school” — That statement makes me doubt the claims Taylor is making.

  • http://twitter.com/areallycc Margaret

    Stuart  Taylor used the secret language of racism “those People”.

    • StilllHere

      Shhh, don’t let out the secret. Plus “secret language” is code for racist short-cutting

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_Y6CO5C2HE4WM2OYGCDVWGPRXXM oldman

    The funny part is that if they made it just about test scores and grades, I expect many opposing affirmative action would not like the outcome.

  • WBC_in_MA

    Children of alumni shouldn’t be given any preferences.  Unlike other forms of affirmative action, this will be hard to stop, because there is a financial incentive to continue this practice.   But this is no excuse for other forms of discrimination.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Aah, but children of Alumni touches the most important trait…  MONEY!

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      I hope you aren’t suggesting government control of private schools.

       

  • Roman Narovlansky

    Why focus on College? Fix the income and race segregated schools where rich folks go to nice schools and, at the botton, poor minorities and whites go to disaster schools. Equalize that opportunity, then College admissions will take care of themselves. College is not a right and not absolutely necessary to succeed in this economy and in other Western economies. Create training programs so that underqualified people get real tools cheap instead of saddling them with unfulfilled goals and student debt – to Taylor’s point.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    In the past racists used the government and the power of the law to enforce racism and discrimination. In the present racists used the government and the power of the law to enforce racism and discrimination; except, now we call it affirmative action.
    For Harvard Law Professor, Randall Kennedy to defend INequality under the law is frightening.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GFD5YE5GK6KD2PBIXQYE3IXCO4 J

    To Tom Ashbrook and On Point, re Affirmative Action:
    I have thought that affirmative action, should, and often can, support students and individuals who, despite being in the minority, show the drive and spirit needed, to overcome the scornt stress, economic and social hurdles of discrimination.   
    I.e., it’s not just where they have gotten academically, but how minority students must come farther, through stark and other subtle obstacles, to reach the parity with white applicants, for college admission.

    These minority children, and their families, by overcoming, have shown grit, determination, strong work ethics, and a desire to learn, and often poverty, at a much higher level, than most white students at their level have had to, or will need to, show.

    My point being that affirmative action should reward the strength and achievement black students show*, in reaching an equal academic footing with white students.

    Discrimination is still prevalent:  In Texas, black men still get dragged to death behind vehicles. Not often - but the last one was just 4 years ago: Brandon McClelland, age 24.  The NYFD is much less integrated than NYC.  Boston is still discriminatory in many subtle ways: housing, job opp’y, connections, and a palpable lack of welcome in many bars and restaurants in Southie, Dorchester, Charlestown, and MANY suburbs and towns out to the Berkshires.

    Not too many years ago, Andrew Hacker’s experiment, indicated that white students would ask for $1M a year, if hypothetically they were to become black, and what would be fair compensation. In 2007 at Ohio State, found that white students said that they ask  $1M total,

    If black applicants are reach parity with white applicants, they have* showed strength and grit beyond that required of *whites.

    *The asterisks are  to indicate “on average”, or “mainly” – obviously there are exceptions, white and black, to my general statements.   And discernment of exceptions, like affirmative action, requires skill, focus, and communication, if it is not to be misused or mocked.

  • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

    The uncomfortable answer to the question that Stuart and his co-author ask is, I think embedded in the question: if there are too many blacks and other minorities who are getting thrust into an academic situation that is too difficult for them — then we have already failed them, and that means we need more “affirmative action” earlier in the education process and in all parts of our society — and not less.

    The reason I say this is the case is: why are they failing?  Surely Stuart and his co-author are not saying that they are less intelligent.  The actual reason that they are failing (if Stuart’s hypothesis is correct that they are) it is because they lack in preparation and underlying education that they need to succeed.

    The pink elephant in the room is the “other” answer to the way these “failing” students are being hurt is that they are forever tainted by the assumption that they are only there because they had a low bar — they are automatically less good than all those students who got admitted “only” by their “actual” merit.

    This answer too points to the fact that we as a society have already failed these students, and that means that we still must have “affirmative action” at all levels of education; not less.

    Neil

    • Gregg Smith

      Affirmative Action is the self-fulfilling pink elephant. How about we stop lowering the bar based on race. How about we expect young blacks to get straight A’s in school and go on to become President instead of saying their SAT’s are high enough for a black person but not a white person?

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

         Gregg,

        You seem to have missed the very point I was making.

        The reason that “young blacks” are not succeeding without affirmative action is that they are coming from inferior schools and they face many other societal obstacles — they are disadvantaged because of residual racism.  They are not less intelligent or more lazy — and so we have to work as a society to right the long term wrongs, left over from slavery.

        Neil

        • Gregg Smith

          I disagree. For one I don’t buy the premise that young blacks are not succeeding without affirmative action. Nor do I think they are disadvantaged by residual racism. I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist, I’m saying it’s not a barrier or an excuse. When we legislate that excuse we help no one and in fact we perpetuate the downward spiral. 

          • ebonyy

            Gregg,

            People who make these statements tend to live in a bubble. You should probably get more information before you decide what is and isn’t an obstacle. Especially when concerning an experience you will never have to face.  

          • Gregg Smith

            You have no idea the obstacles I’ve faced. Blacks do not need whites to make excuses for them, no one does. 

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

             Well, I think you need to “walk a mile in their shoes.”  They are not making up the racism; it clearly exists.  Many schools that are mostly mostly minority are way below par.

            What are the causes as you see them?

            Neil

          • Gregg Smith

            Again, I’m not saying racism doesn’t exist. It does. 

            I feel compelled to point out Democrats vehemently oppose school vouchers which black parents overwhelmingly want. There is no reason for children to be trapped in sub par schools. 

            If black kids are disadvantaged the main reason, IMHO, is the breakdown of the two parent family. The stats show the rate to be historically higher for blacks but now it’s crazy. From 1890 to 1960 30% of blacks were raised in a single parent home. Today it is 70%. Let that sink in. Even if you go back to the days of slavery, blacks were more likely to be reared by a two parent family. 

            Culture is also huge. Highly successful blacks like Colon Powell, Condoleeza Rice, Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas (to name a very few) are subjected to the most vile racism from the left. Vile. They should be held up as role models but we get Snoop Dog instead. It’s not cool to be smart. It’s shameful, pimpin’ is cool. Our President actually granted an audience to a black called “Pimp with a limp”. What does that say to young black not to mention women in general? That is the message from the culture.

            Diversity of thought from blacks is not tolerated by the left. The current example are the tweets received by actress Stacey Dash after she endorsed Romney. I won’t post it but look it up. It’s hideous. 

            Then there is the fanning of the flames of resentment by race baiters like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton. The President is just as bad and I’m happy to give example after example upon request but I’m trying to wrap up.

            GWB coined a brilliantly illustrative phrase: “The soft bigotry of low expectations”. Black parents should not accept anything less from their kids than Asians (or any other race) expects from theirs. It is very rare for someone to realize their potential on their own. Personally, I can point to several life changing events where I was pushed far beyond what I thought was possible. That has served me well in life. Affirmative action says, “we don’t expect much because you are a victim of racism”. Most blacks are not victims of racism in this day. Those who are shouldn’t use it as an excuse for failure. Life isn’t fair, so what?

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Racism is not fair, and we simply *must* address it head on.

            How would you address the myriad effects of racism?  Why are so many fathers in prison?  Could it be a racist society and justice system?

            Neil

          • Gregg Smith

            I do not know of  any recent beatings or murders of blacks by whites for purely racist reasons. I’m sure it must have happened. I have heard of more than one recent event where whites were beaten by blacks for racist reasons. See the Wisconsin State Fair last year. It was rampant.

            The first thing I would do is treat all crime equally without regard to race. AG Holder didn’t help by dropping voter intimidation charges for this guy.

            I would also make it illegal for the government to ask anyone their race on any official document including the census. I would stop telling blacks they can’t succeed on their own. 

            I would get rid of hate crime laws because they are stupid.

            There’s a myriad of steps but Affirmative Action is not a solution and has divided us further.

  • LUV2SKICO

    Race based affirmative action presumes that the privately schooled daughters of our one-percenter president need special preferences and set asides in college admissions. These preferences would not be available to a similarly skilled, high aptitude, Appalachian “coal miner’s daughter” who overcame poverty and a substandard, underfunded school system to get into the admissions process – provided that she were white.

    No one denies that a needs based admission policy would skew heavily towards minorities from the inner city and rural deep south.  By its nature it would target disadvantaged youth whatever the root cause of their plight. On the other hand, race based admissions policies presume to compensate for prior discriminatory treatment where there actually may have been none. Their advocates seem to be pushing an agenda that is more about revenge than compensation. Think of the divisive message this sends to poor whites. And we wonder why America can’t realize Dr. King’s dream nearly 50 years later.

  • twenty_niner

    I think my alma mater, UIUC, had the approach to admissions just about right: no essay, no interview, they just took your high-school transcript and your ACT score, combined them and ranked you accordingly. Then they admitted about 50% more freshmen than they could handle in the upper-level courses. This was the college of engineering.

    During your first two years, you had weed-out courses (math, chem, physics, etc.), graded on curves (the grade usually consisted of a mid-term and a final) that eliminated about half the student body. The computer made the cuts, objectively, with no exceptions. In fact, I had missed my chemistry lab exam freshman year, with a good excuse, and the professor told me, “welcome to the real world”, as I was informed that I couldn’t retake the exam, which forced me to study fairly hard for the final.

    Admitting such an over-sized freshman class gives a lot of borderline students a chance to compete on a level playing field, and seems to be a fair way of providing benefit of the doubt. The MIT admissions process was the polar opposite of this. They spent a lot of effort on admissions, but once you were in, they tried to keep you there. In fact, as a freshman, you didn’t even receive grades. I’m not sure what the current policy is.

  • Junetenth

    So if I worked hard to get my kid into good school and better neighborhood whereas another parent slacked off and was downright irresponsible, ended having his family lives in undesired place.  Assuming my kid and his kid work equally hard, but his kid will get in because of his “background” over my kid.  Can I say society is penalizing good parenting?

    • ebonyy

      If you prepared your child, are you not confident that your child can succeed no matter what the circumstances? The aim of the program is to protect those who without the program, would have no other options. Would you rather that child continued the lives that their parents began for them? This is the problem with our society today: Me first. You have obviously prepared your child so that society has a chance to prepare anothers. Thank you for doing your part. Please don’t slam the door shut  behind you.

  • turnerwarehouse

    Since when are scores a good (and only) measure towards accepting a student to college? How can the plaintiff claim that it was unreasonable for schools to accept minority students with lower scores over her, when she does not know the full reasons behind the schools’ decision?

  • ebonyy

    I would like to point out the terrible logic of your panalist who suggested that we should scrap the affirmitive action program because minority students who get in to college end up at the bottom of the class. Firstly it is more likely that these students are as smart as the “geniuses” he described, however these students are coming from environnments where they haven’t learned proper study habbits. Also just because someone gets into college doesn’t mean they suddenly find themselves in the mainstream of culture and information. Minority students (especially women) are often ostracized and don’t get the help that they need. So instead of saying well we gave them a chance and they just can’t seem to succeed; Perhaps look at putting programs into place after the student is in college as well. This secures the investment that not just society, but the students themselves have made.

    • Gregg Smith

      What is it about blacks that prevents them from being taught proper study habits? I don’t believe there is a reason on earth. It doesn’t cost a dime to teach your kids proper study habits. 

      • ebonyy

        We are not just talking about blacks here Gregg. The panalist was talking about minority students, which could include latinos and indians to name a couple more. Proper study habbits are free, and should be taught to all but are not. In low income areas where many minority students come from, the schools are not as good as the one you attended. Hence proper study habbits are not taught. They are not supplemented or enforced in the home because guess what, they were not taught to the parent who went to school in a low income area. This is one of the issues that affirmative action seeks to rectify.

        • Gregg Smith

          Study habits are not taught in school they are taught at home. It’s the same with discipline, patience, integrity and work ethic. Kids should get in trouble for not doing their homework. If they fail a test they didn’t study for they need to be punished. It has nothing to do with race.

          • ebonyy

            To be clear, you brougt up race. I agree with you, these are values that are taught in the home. What you seem to willfully ignore is the circumstances these families find themsleves in. If you listented to the program one caller spoke directly to that. Many parents expressing the work ethic you seem to be accusing them of not teaching. They are working jobs that barely keep up with their bills. And suppose the parents just did not teach them, (Shame on that parent) However it takes an incredible amount of courage and desire to succeed for a child from that background to aspire to college. Now that they are there it would be nice to offer them the skills they were denied growing up. I guarantee you they will teach them to their children. In that respect the affirmative action problem just may take care of itself.

          • Gregg Smith

            I don’t get the program for another 45 minutes here in NC so I have not heard the show yet. We largely agree I just don’t think race has any place in any decision. Affirmative action is about race so I didn’t just happen to bring it up, it’s the topic. However, I did say black. Guilty. I believe Affirmative Action is targeted at blacks and the word “minorities” is a cover. Maybe I’m wrong but I don’t think so. For instance look at the picture at the top of the page, who do you suppose On Point is trying to imply got to college by Affirmative Action? Would it be the black woman in the middle, the Asian to her right or the older woman to her left?

          • Steve__T

             How about all of them

  • Gregg Smith

    Let me tell you about by friend Freddie. He’s a bass player I’ve worked with on and off for 30 years. One time we played to a packed house (about 650) in a redneck bar in King, NC called “The Country Corral”. Freddie was literally the only black guy there. During one song that Freddie sang, some idiot came to the front of the stage and started waving a confederate flag bandana in his face while he was singing. Freddie didn’t get mad, he wasn’t afraid (he knew any of the rest of us would take a bullet for him, we had his back), he snatched the bandana from the redneck and tied it on his head… and kept singing. Then he jumped off the stage and went around putting the mike in cowboy’s faces and getting them to sing along. They loved it. The crowd turned on the redneck who left. 

    My point is Freddie just decided not to go there. He controlled the situation the way he wanted to. We all have that power. 

    And if you are wondering I have also played in bands where I was literally the only white guy in the room. I was as comfortable as I would be in my mother’s arms.

    Can’t we get past this race thing? It’s 2012, just let it go.

    • JGC

      That is one great story (or maybe it is two stories).  Thanks for your personal perspective, Gregg.

      • Gregg Smith

        You are welcome JGC. Now please tell me you forgot to put a stamp on that absentee ballot you sent.

        • JGC

          Not only did I put a stamp on it; I spent an extra $14 to send it by registered mail.  

          • Gregg Smith

            Ouch.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Don’t say that out loud, or some Teabagger lawmaker will write some “voter security” crap requiring poor people to vote absentee with registered mail.

  • TinaWrites

    We need Affirmative Action until there are no more pockets of minority poverty in our inner cities and in our rural areas.  (Pockets is too “sweet” a word, but it will have to do for me today.)

    If American racism had not screwed up Reconstruction when African-Americans were filled with the joy of getting to learn and getting to express their citizenship, and when White Americans could have learned deep lessons about their own racism and its consequences so that they never practiced racism on any group ever again, we would not have needed Affirmative Action, but that didn’t happen.  The second option would have been Reparations to African-Americans, but, again, that didn’t happen, either.  

  • Call_Me_Missouri

    I think the court is going to gut Affirmative Action, myself.  This is an Activist Court (Citizens United) and I think Scolia is chomping at the bit to remove all traces of AA from the books.

    What’s funny about Affirmative Action is that the University of Texas (because it likely gets Federal $$) probably has to have an Affirmative Action Plan and be able to demonstrate that it is hiring acceptable numbers of applicants from all races.  The same policies are explicitly disallowed with students.

  • Sy2502

    I think most of the posts here seem to agree the problem is kids that grow up in disadvantaged neighborhoods or life situations need to be given a chance to succeed. Great! So instead of bringing race into this, let’s make it an economic issue instead. There are plenty of disadvantaged kids in all races. What’s wrong, you don’t want to help the poor WHITE kids? They aren’t important enough for you? 

  • TinaWrites

    The guest who said to caller Lorraine that there would be more Black lawyers if Affirmative Action is allowed to continue is not using all the information we have from the past.  In Philadelphia, after the Civil War, Blacks started getting law degrees, but several things happened to prevent their professional success:  black community members, on the whole, did not earn enough to hire them; Whites would not hire them; the blacks who were more successful financially were very small in number, and they, too, hired White lawyers.  Most of the Black Philadelphia lawyers during these 4-5 decades   had to have second forms of income in areas such as barbering, being a landlord, etc.  

    • JGC

      That is very interesting information; sometimes we don’t do/can’t envision the chess moves to see all the implications.

    • Gregg Smith

      That seemed like a stretch to me too but who knows?

  • twenty_niner

    The idea that a purely objective admissions process would leave kids of lesser means out of elite institutions is utter nonsense. Many countries use objective tests as the ONLY means of admission to their elite technical institutions: Russia, India, and China immediately come to mind.

    IIT in India is a world-ranked technical school, which happens to base its admissions on one test taken nationally. The highest scores get in, period, and once you’re in, IIT pays the way. There are plenty of Indians who excel on this test who come from very meager beginnings. Indians see IIT and other technical universities as a way out of poverty and strive very hard to score well, and those who are accepted become celebrities in their local villages.

    • JGC

      I would not recommend everyone use Wikipedia as a sole source of information, but that being said, when I looked up ITT there, it strikes me like a land grant college system in the U.S., meaning many campuses under one system, but accessible locally. I get that, as a person who graduated from a land grant college, myself, rather than as being admitted to one stand alone institution like, for example, Yale or Harvard or Slippery Rock University.   But there was one more description, which was “ITTs have an affirmative action policy on caste-based reserved quotas. 15% of the admitted students must be of Scheduled Castes (SC), and 7.5% of seats are reserved for Scheduled Tribes (ST).  The Other Backward classes have been provided with 27% reservation in effect from 2008 with the consent of the Supreme Court of India.  Based on the results of the ITT-JEE but using relaxed admissions criteria, SC and ST candidates are offered admission.”  

      So actually, it does seem like there is some sort of racial or economic or caste based system for admittance to ITT in place.  It is not just a simple meritocracy. Maybe everyone coming up out of extremely impoverished circumstances needs an extra helping hand just to get their foot in the door.

      • JGC

        P.S. And just try suggesting to Mitt Romney (Harvard M.B.A., J.D. 1975) within hearing range of Congress that the U.S. should base their educational admissions access on countries like Russia, India and China…Wait a minute, I think I’ll e-mail that suggestion to him as debate preparation policy for next week… 

      • twenty_niner

        I’m aware that in recent years they added quotas for the very lowest castes, but there are mid-level castes for which there are no quotas where living conditions are very austere.

  • sam liu

    don’t think Dr Randall Kennedy is an example of the negative effects of affirmative actions.

    Dr Kennedy you are a winner!

  • Kira Lesser

    I am really appreciating the complexity of this conversation.  Both guests recognize the area in between, and if they were the decision makers, I could see them finding some real common ground and accomplishing great solutions.  Thank you Tom, for this great conversation.

  • elizabethfrances

    I have really enjoyed this and your other recent shows on the topics of children in poverty and upward mobility.  A couple of years ago, I attended a presentation by representatives from the National Center for Children in Poverty (www.nccp.org) about their Family Resource Simulator.  Taken from their website, the Family Resource Simulator “illustrates the impact of “work supports”—such as earned income tax credits and
    child care assistance—on the budget of a hypothetical family.”  As a social worker, I have worked with families who received a quarter an hour raise and ended up losing thousands of dollars because they lost their food stamp or child care benefits.  With all of the political discussion lately about “the 47%”, I think people need to understand that our current systems don’t help people climb the ladder or pull themselves up by their bootstraps.  If we truly want to help people to rise out of poverty and not be reliant on public assistance, we would gradually lessen benefits instead of creating the “benefit cliffs” that are present in the current systems.

  • Steve__T

    In reply to Gregg Smith

      My first and second and third reply’s were deleted I’ll post it again and again till it sticks.

    I have never heard of that organization, no I will not join you in your
    distain, buy I will let the cat out of the bag I am of mixed race and I
    look white, and it has given me an inside edge that is unique especially
    in the working place, and in social functions. When a white guy tells
    me a racist joke, then smiles at, and is ever so helpful seemingly to go
    out of his way to help a black person I know who I’m dealing with so
    spare me.
     I would rather deal with a man who says I don’t like
    blacks, and mean it at least hes honest instead of the guy that says, Oh
    I like black people I get along with them just fine one of my good
    friends is black, then turn around and tell a racist joke or what they
    call dark humor when there are no dark faces around.
     If there is such an organization as NAAWP good for them at least they are being honest.
    Even if they did steal the idea from the NAACP.

    • Gregg Smith

      I’ll confess I was being snarkey. I don’t take to being called a racist kindly. There is no organization called the NAAWP. They are the KKK. I have no idea why the NAACP isn’t looked at in the same light. 

      • Ray in VT

        Probably because one was founded by disgruntled Confederate racists intent upon keeping the Freedmen in their subservient place in southern society (and one might as well hate Jews and Catholics while one is at it) by any means necessary, including murder and bombings, and the other is a group of historically discriminated  against minorities which has struggled to help it’s members attain some measure of equality in society.

        • Gregg Smith

          The NAACP was founded by rich white Republicans but their time has passed. Now they are the racist arm of the Democrat party.

          • Ray in VT

            Sure they are, except that the racist arm of the Democratic Party largely bolted the back in the 1960s.

            I think that you’re way too base on this one, and I think that they still have a place and role in society so long as there is inequality and discrimination for them to fight against.

          • Gregg Smith

            In an effort to clarify, I’ll leave you with this. I believe in this liberal bubble many take my comments as wildly off base. IMHO that is not because I am off base, it’s because so much liberal dogma is accepted. NPR listeners tend not to seek out opposing viewpoints so I stick out like a sore thumb. I do not believe that to be true of most right wing radio listeners. We come to places like this. We listen to NPR. We watch MSNBC and CNN. We listen to the BBC.

            When I say things like the NAACP is racist, Rush is more fair than NPR or the war in Iraq was noble and unavoidable, I realize it riles folks. I realize I set myself up to be called a mind-numbed Foxbot Rush brainwashed racist. I think it’s incredibly shallow because the case can definitely be made and the refutations are knee-jerk, personal and un thought out. But that’s here, in the real world the Town Hall meetings, Tea Party rallies, Chick-fil-a, the 2010 midterms and the fall of establishment Republicans like Lugar and others tell me I am not alone and we are winning.

            Speaking generally (I’ll let you decide if this applies to you), I think the left would do well to drop all the vitriol and deal with reality. 

            Romney is not a murderer or felon. Republicans don’t want to throw grandma over a cliff. We don’t want dirty air or water. We don’t go around thinking of ways to prevent blacks from voting. We don’t want autistic children to suffer so the rich can get a tax cut. We don’t take oil from Iraq. We do not want to take over the world with military might. We have problems that need an adult conversation. Concerning racism, there can be no adult conversation if we don’t recognize racism on both sides.

          • Ray in VT

            I don’t think that this is a liberal bubble (of course you may think that I live in a liberal bubble, then).  I think that honest and open discussion is a good thing and that people do need to have broad sources and to challenge their assumptions.  That having been said, I do think that you are sometimes way off base, such as with comparing the Klan to the NAACP.  I don’t think that that analogy works in any sort of meaningful way.  I like to stick, as much as possible, to facts and data.  I’ll often research a quote before posting it, because I don’t want to post something that is objectively false and I don’t want to get slammed for doing it.  I had to not use one recently because it couldn’t be verified, although the sentiment was great.

            I like varied sources.  The BBC often has a very interesting perspective on American politics, and they do some nice work regarding coverage of areas that the U.S. media doesn’t cover, such as in Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa.  Based upon my experience, conservative talk radio isn’t worth listening to, and the same goes for news shows on pretty much any channel that are headed by partisan talking heads.  Here I am thinking specifically of people like Hannity.  O’Reilly isn’t too bad in my opinion, and I watch Jennifer Granholm sometimes because it’s a little quirky and there is a comedian on there whom my wife and I both like who does these weird little bits.

            The thing that I like about NPR is that they give voice to a fairly good segment of perspectives.  I recognize that you may take issue with that statement.  I like some of the conservatives voices that I hear on NPR, but I don’t think that they give a whole lot of play to the nuts wing of American conservatism, which, these days, from my perspective, is most of it.  If one is out there arguing that the polls are doctored, or that the BLS figures have been tampered with, or other things along those lines, which I consider to be fringe conspiracy theories that are feeding much of the GOP and the Tea Party at present, then I pretty much put that person in the box marked “loon”.  I do try to be skeptical about things, but I think that there is a lot of paranoid stuff that gets aired on this page.

            One issue that I have is with some historical stuff that gets stated here.  I don’t know everything to be sure, but I have my areas of strengths, and I see some stuff posted that is just flat out historically wrong.  It worries me that people like David Barton gets the play that he does in GOP circles (I believe that Michele Bachmann said that he is her favorite historian, but I may be wrong about that), and some of the anti-science stances of some GOP Congressmen really scares the hell out of me.

            I’m not sure that the Tea Party has much long term legs.  I think that some of their positions are out there, and some of the state groups haven’t done the movement any sort of favors by pushing some extreme stuff.  You mentioned ousting Lugar, but he was probably a shoe in for re-election, and the race there is presently tight.  Christine O’Donnell cost the GOP a good shot the Delaware seat, and Walsh seems to be very vulnerable.  If the party wants to go right and drive out moderates, like former Senator James Jeffords, then I think that the GOP will be at a disadvantage electorally.  Don’t get me wrong, they’ll win some races, but they’ll cost the GOP others.

            You say that the left needs to drop the vitriol, well they’ve only been following the right’s lead.  The hate the I see spewing from talk radio and some elements of the right is disturbing.  I think that sometimes the Democrats have, quite frankly, been too nice.

            You made a number of claims about what the right does or doesn’t want, and I disagree on some of those.  Did not Allen West call for dropping some missiles on people recently?  Did not Rand Paul push to get rid of environmental regulations which even other members of the GOP in the Senate wanted?  Did not Michele Bachmann call for getting rid of the FDA (at least until a salmonella outbreak kill a bunch of people).

            Now, do I think that those are necessarily illustrative of the overall direction of the party, well maybe.  It certainly scares me, like when you have a candidate for a party’s presidential nominee calling contraception dangerous.  Stuff like that freaks me out.  In general I do not feel that the GOP or the Tea Party has anything to offer me, and if they don’t broaden their appeal beyond their present constituencies, then they’re in trouble.  We do need to have an adult conversation, but I don’t think that many of those recently elected to Congress are up to that task.

            As to the racism bit, I think that we do need to recognize our prejudices and the racism that does exist, but I do think that one side has a pretty good majority of it, and I’m not talking about the Democrats or liberals.  If you think that the NAACP is racist, then you probably do see a fairly equal balance, but I don’t see it in that way, so I don’t see it that way.

          • Gregg Smith

            i don’t have the time to go through your long reply right now but two things jump at me. I was very careful not to say you were in a bubble. All I can say is my views are not uncommon nor all that radical. the other point is I am talking about vitriol from Obama, Reid and Democrat leaders. You seem to be talking about Savage. You can’t be talking about Rush as there is no hate there. If we want to talk about the Ed Shultzes, Rachel Maddows or Bill Mahers then I would say their vitriol is unmatched.

          • Ray in VT

            … and I thank you for not specifically saying that about me.

            I don’t watch any of the people that you mentioned.  Maddow I’ve seen clips of, and Maher can be funny, although at times offensive and vulgar, but let us not forget Rush calling Sandra Fluke a slut.  You may not see hate behind some of the comments coming out of Rush, but many do.

            As to whether or not your views are radical or uncommon, well that’s going to vary by place and definition.  A Vermont moderate is likely to be a southern flaming liberal.

            A lot of the libertarian streak that I see in the Tea Party I think is radical, as I see parts of it as attempting to undo parts of the New Deal.  I have no faith in the free hand of the market taking care of things, as seems to be envisioned in the type of Ayn Rand capitalist ideal that gets a lot of play these days.

          • Gregg Smith

            The Fluke thingwasa fluke and not at all representative. He apoologized.

          • Ray in VT

            Maybe it’s comments like this that lead some here to allege various things about your views on race.  The NAACP is racist, but white southerners judge people by their character and not their color?  Do you really expect people not to jump all over stuff like that?

          • Gregg Smith

            I really don’t care what people think about my comments. I don’t write what I don’t believe. I have written that people in the South can have pre-conceived notions but content of character can trump them. That is why many racist voted for Obama. That sounds crazy to those who equate racist with murdering stalkers as they did with George Zimmerman. It’s a quick leap for liberals. I had a man once tell me he never would have believed blacks like Colon Powell and Condi Rice were capable of such intelligence. He was a racist who had his worldview rocked. The content of character trumped. I have NEVER written that racism doesn’t exist or that no one judges by the color of skin. I was making an entirely different point.

            But it’s apples and oranges to begin with. People are people, warts and all. The NAACP is a tax exempt “Non-partisan” highly influential organization. They don’t care a wit about blacks, they care about Democrats. They want as many blacks dependent on government as possible to maintain their power. They lost me for good with the James Byrd ad. I think they have done unmeasurable damage to blacks over the last decade. I stand by my comment. If some wants to criticize me then that’s fine but I can make the case. 

            Do you think it fair to call the KKK the National Association for the Advancement of White People? I do. And I don’t look at the NAACP any differently. As Walter E. Williams puts it, they are “the klan with a tan”.

          • Ray in VT

            Well, if you don’t care what people think of your comments, then don’t give them the satisfaction of getting all worked up about it.  Do you think that I care what some have said here about me on occasion?  Granted, no one has called me a racist, but I’m not one, so I wouldn’t care if someone did call me that.  I really don’t consider this page to be a part of the “real” world in terms of my everyday life.

            I’m aware that there is racism and prejudice everywhere.  It’s not as bad as it once was, but it’s still there.  Some people’s minds can be changed, or at least somewhat altered by experiences, but it has often been my experience that people will take a good experience with someone from a group that they don’t like and turn around and consider that person to be an exception.

            I don’t think that many real racists voted for Obama, any more than they would vote for West or Cain.  Prejudiced people might, but not those whom I would consider to be real racists.

            I think that liberals see race at play in places, because it still is.  One of my friends is part of an inter-racial couple, and not less than a decade ago did they get some push back against their marriage from within their church.  There’s a couple of state reps out in Arkansas who don’t seem to think that slavery was such a bad thing.  That sort of thinking is still around, and it does seem to me that you downplay it.

            I disagree with your take on the NAACP.  Perhaps they don’t like the GOP because that group took in many of the old Dixiecrats and their cries of states rights.  I mean, for people who lived through the Civil Rights Era, how do you think that they feel when they hear someone taking a “principled” stand against the Voting Rights Act?

            I don’t agree quite with your suggestion for the alternate name of the Klan.  I think that Largely Regional Association for the Supremacy of Some White People would be more apt.

            I had no idea who Walter E. Williams was, but considering that he’s a guest host for Rush who follows guys like Hayek and Rand, then I’m not surprised that he would make an outrageous statement like that.

            Tell me, when did the NAACP do things like this:

            http://charris.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/16th_street_baptist_church_bombing.jpg

          • Gregg Smith

            Walter E. Williams is worth looking up. He’s a Libertarian economist from George Mason University. When he’s in for Rush he usually has his friend Thomas Sowell on. It’s always fascinating and highly enlightening. They are both very smart.

            http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/wew/

            Lots of people have subbed for Rush including liberals like Bill Handel and Chris Matthews.

          • Gregg Smith

            BTW, I don’t recognize the photo and don’t understand your reference. 

          • Ray in VT

            I did look him up to see who he was.  Sowell I’m somewhat familiar with, but Williams I was not.  The picture is from the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.  The point is that I don’t think that there is any sort of comparision when looking at the violence that the Klan was willing to employ versus the tactics of the NAACP.  There’s also the additional point that one is seeking domination and supremacy, while the other is not.

  • JGC

    It is shocking to me that it hasn’t even been 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Loving vs. Virginia, the case that had an interracial couple (she of mixed black/Rappahannock parentage and he of white)  in the criminal crosshairs of Virginia for their “illegal” miscegenation marriage. I mean, really, isn’t it shocking, to think that was a crime just a generation or two ago? But we do feel a long way from that sort of “pure laine” mentality, and maybe that is why certain aspects of affirmative action seem so out of date. To just base it on race doesn’t feel right.  (BTW, affirmative action policy has also evolved to include gender, creed and disability issues, too, hasn’t it? Who have I forgotten?)  Maybe a more simplified needs-based/poverty level formula needs to be instituted.  

    I liked the idea of someone earlier who mentioned the real help is needed at the younger ages.  There was that follow-up story recently about the Kalamazoo Promise, where everyone who graduates from high school in Kalamazoo, MI is guaranteed a public college education; however they are finding that trying to address educational deficits at grade 9 is probably 12 years too late.    

  • Pingback: Affirmative Action At The High Court

  • Dee

    Tom, It was too bad someone from the University of Texas wasn’t on your show yesterday as I think this is the point of reference where this case should return to and examine U.
    Texas’ policy in light of their 2008 applicants. 

    I was very impressed by Nina Totenberg’s report this morn-
    ing on Morning Edition in which the University of Texas offi-
    cials went over their criteria for admisions for their 2008 
    applicants and said Abigail Turner’s scores just didn’t add up 
    to her peers as she claims… 
    http://www.npr.org/2012/10/10/162567137/justices-return-to-affirmative-action-in-higher-ed#commentBlock

    Indeed, if the goal of Affirmative action is fairness of opport-
    unity than I see this kind of review essential. Otherwise, the 
    justices will only continue to be unjust & discredit themselves
    and the institution they represent (as the GOP has done today obstructing Obama’s policies to help the American people)and will one day be told to “GO NOW” as Mubarak in Egypt… 

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