nin137

Nick's Journal
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2006-10-04 20:22:07 (UTC)

Affirmative Action

on a personal note i don't give a shit about affirmative
action. i don't view it as a detriment to myself in any way
and i couldn't care less that it exists. however, from a
theoretical standpoint i think it is one of the most
illogical, idiotic, and downright ridiculous concepts ever
thought of.
as is the case with many illogical, idiotic and downright
ridiculous concepts it is the product of guilt. as far as i
can tell there are two many arguments for affirmative action.
1.) we (as a people i suppose or more correctly as
individual organizations/companies/schools) benefit from
diversity. more specifically there is some ethereal
'necessity' for a group/company/school to have a certain
quota of a certain race.
2.) seeing as how this certain race is disadvantaged
(through past disadvantages which apparently will extend to
an indefinite moment into the future) it is the job of
legislature (through some form of 'rules') to "help" them
along (i.e. balance their disdvantagous past with a more
fortuituous advantage in the present).
in other words, we owe it to ourselves according to premise
1 and to the disdvantaged race in premise 2. combined
everyone benefits!
now first and foremost i'm still not convinced on the whole
gimmick that diversity is a benefit. and let's say for
arguments sake that it is. why does a governmental rule get
to decide that it is good for YOU? or YOUR company? what
if you wholeheartedly don't want diversity? what if it's a
detriment? instilling just a bit of realism into this whole
ideological argument of 'the melting pot' take a look at
your local school, etc. as far as i have seen through any
and all aspects of life, blacks hang out with blacks,
latinos with latinos, asians with asians. now this is not
to say that there aren't friendships across the boundaries,
but just to show that pushing people together doesn't
necessarily imply that they will mix.
on the second point, this is outright racism. i hate the
term 'reverse racism' what a horrible and stupid term what
does that even mean? it's racism in every sense of the
word. you are discriminating towards another in terms of
race and solely based on race. race is the only deciding
factor. anyhow to move into my analogy.
shouldn't the most elite schools (harvard, yale, etc.) take
in the most academically disdvantaged students (purely in
terms of academic standing, all else is being held equal)?
think about it. these are by far the ones who need the
"best of the best" teachers and need the most 'resources'
(i.e. money) to further their goals. why should we not
afford them the opportunity of rectifying a disadvantaged
past (possible genetic pre-disposition to learning
disabilities) by giving them the present helping hand of
excellent higher education?
those who now go to harvard and yale are more than likely
intelligent enough as is and probably don't need the extra
help (or rather, would need it a lot less than the
academically disadvantaged). so wouldn't the net outcome
for society be greater?
all else being equal i couldn't see why not. the smarties
will still be smart and the dumbasses at least have a
fighting chance to become smarter, by being aided by the
best of minds.
ah, what a joyous and wonderful world it would be!
but get real, that could and would never happen. first off
there would be a disincentive for showing that you were
smart and secondly, the teachers of the elite schools would
eventually gravitate towards the "worse" schools and the
balance would shift and it would just be a rose by another
name.
so if such a scenario seems implausible on something that
seems to on its face create a better net societal outcome,
then why in the world would we hold on to something as
purely illogical as giving someone an advantage that is
wholly unrelated to their ability to succeed. at least
one's academic prowress is something that is quantifiable
and at least more directly linked towards success than
someone's skin color.
the beauty of a doctrine such as affirmative action is that
it is able to "lie in the shadows" it is never large scale
enough to cause an uproar (such as reparations would) but
just enough to point to and say that we are making up for
our past.
still that doesn't make up for how completely illogical and
frustratingly dogmatic it is. i mean there are many
injustices (such as the god damned 'legacy' admissions in
the ivy leagues), why add one more?
the way i see it. affirmative action is like putting
cologne on when you wreak. you're just covering up
something because you don't want to undertake the arduous
underlying task of showering. shit the problem is that our
society always wants everything now, now, now! instead of
combating the underlying prejudices that have existed (and
continue to fester) in our society by punishing
discriminatory practices we give these people exactly what
they want! a rule that says, "you know what, you are
treating so and so unfairly, here we have now decided that
to make up for you treating them not like you would someone
that is more similar to you, we will single them out and
privilege them above and beyond those that you most identify
yourself with!" hey what a great idea. concede to people's
excuse-ridden whining that they are treated unjustly and at
the same time uphold the oppressors belief that there really
is a good reason to look down about the oppressed! i mean
only because they're obviously worse than you do they need
someone to step in and "correct" society for them to their
benefit.
affirmative action relies on the ends justify the means
principle. we can show you that there are now 20% more
minorities in a given area where they were previously
underrepresented (which in my opinion is a stupidly
indefinite term...underrepresented in accordance to what?
present population? how is that in anyway relevant to a
persons qualifications to a job?) we can say that the wound
has been healed.
i would rather go through the process of punishing actual
discriminatory practices rather than not engaging in a
practice which is inherently flawed. it may seem like more
work and it certainly won't create the 'feel-good right now'
analysis we all love, but at least we'd be cleansing ourself
of a wrong rather than covering it up.


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