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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:11 am
 


Although this is written by a staff reporter, some may consider it 'opinion', so I'll not post in 'news'.

Full title which will not fit is:

Ethnic politics, public opinion forcing a second look at U.S. affirmative action

$1:
Two recent Supreme Court decisions throw the ball to state legislatures
By Neil Macdonald, CBC News Posted: Apr 29, 2014 5:00 AM ET Last Updated: Apr 29, 2014 7:52 AM ET

Affirmative action was a feel-good term concocted to sell remedial social engineering in the civil rights era; today, it's dying, precisely because of what the euphemism was meant to obscure.

Put bluntly, the original idea of affirmative action was to correct two centuries of institutional discrimination against blacks by temporarily imposing some reverse discrimination against whites.

Given the black-and-white reality of this nation 50 years ago, there was probably no other practical solution.

But in modern America, the affirmative action of the '60s has led to some uncomfortable distortions, favouring a well-to-do minority student over a poor white, for example. Or setting one minority group over another.

That is what's happening right now in California, where there is a nasty racial fight going on that has nothing to do with racist white ranchers or vile old white basketball tycoons.
In fact, it doesn't have much to do with white voters at all. Because whites are no longer the majority in California. Hispanics are, albeit by a slight margin.

Hispanics are also sadly under-represented in the state's prestigious public university system (UCLA, UC Berkeley, etc.) As are black Californians.

That is often because they attend high schools in poorer neighbourhoods, where academic scores are lower.

The single largest ethnic group in the state university system, meanwhile, is Asian-Americans, particularly students of Chinese descent who are vastly over-represented in the university system there, given their tiny share of California's population.

The reason is awkward — it's most unfashionable to attribute any general characteristic to any ethnic group. But it's not even debatable: Asians achieve higher marks in school these days than any other ethnic group in America.

And California is one of the few states that has repudiated affirmative action — its voters prohibited consideration of race in state university admissions 18 years ago.

When the ban went into effect, Hispanic and black enrolment dropped sharply. Asian enrolment soared.
. . .
As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in 2007: "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
. . .

http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/ethnic-pol ... -1.2625043


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:17 am
 


It's not opinion - he's reporting on the situation, not advocating for one side or the other.

Yes, read a similar piece. What it brought up is affirmative action based on economic status, rather than race, which is what I've always thought it should be. A middle class black student doesn't need the hand up a poor white student does. It's the same deal in Canada with our programs targeted at FN's. They should target people of any race in need, not based on race. Such an approach would still favor a struggling minority, but it would be much more fair.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:19 am
 


The Supreme Court didn't strike down affirmative action. The Supreme Court ruled the states have the power to set the admission guidelines for their own universities.

And because the column mentions California; California won't bring back affirmative action to public universities for many years, if ever. The Asian-American lobby is too strong.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:21 am
 


You have to wonder about the constitutionality of singling out any ethnic group for any kind of special treatment. It may appear to be "fair to do so at one level but it may also be grossly unfair on others. Singling out people for promotion based on their skin colour is wrong in any situation.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:37 am
 


Jabberwalker Jabberwalker:
You have to wonder about the constitutionality of singling out any ethnic group for any kind of special treatment. It may appear to be "fair to do so at one level but it may also be grossly unfair on others. Singling out people for promotion based on their skin colour is wrong in any situation.


Or because they are women. I keep hearing 'we need more women in the boardroom/politics/government'. Well, what if they don't want to be? Should we force them?

I think if everyone is equal, we shouldn't force the issue of gender, race, or anything else. If politics is overwhelmingly white males, perhaps it's only white males that want to do that job. We shouldn't exclude white males from that occupation because we feel the need that the profession needs to be 'more diverse'.

Equal opportunity is all that's needed, not inequal opportunity.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:39 am
 


There's a difference between affirmative action that mandates quotas, the way the NDP in BC has instituted, and recognizing that your organization may not be as diverse as it could be and instituting changes that attract the people you are deficient in.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:49 am
 


andyt andyt:
There's a difference between affirmative action that mandates quotas, the way the NDP in BC has instituted, and recognizing that your organization may not be as diverse as it could be and instituting changes that attract the people you are deficient in.


But you have to "pay competitive industry wages to attract the best people". Isn't that enough? Who cares what they look like, if they are the best people?


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:51 am
 


There's more involved in a job than pay. Working conditions that might attract under represented groups. And best people? You know yourself often applicants are equally qualified on paper and it's hard to know which one to choose. That's the time to consider choosing a candidate from an under represented group, or at least look at why you're not. Just as unis look at more than just grades. Maybe consider life experience in a disadvantage situation as a plus for what that student brings to the uni.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 9:53 am
 


The upside of ending Affirmative Action is that it will force the improvement of urban schools.

Until now the failures of urban school districts have been papered over by forcing colleges and universities to admit kids from these schools, if only to see them drop out later on.

Now the real problems of why Mexican and black kids fail will have to be addressed and that conversation can't happen without talking about ending the power of the teacher's unions as we know it. Teachers are going to have to perform and not just fill a seat for 30 years and then retire. The failures are going to have to be fired and the best teachers are going to have to be recognized and emulated.

And there's also some very sensitive (taboo would be the better word) cultural issues that will finally have to be acknowledged and overcome if these kids are going to compete against Asian kids whose culture is clearly superior when it comes to producing academically dominant children.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 10:20 am
 


andyt andyt:
There's more involved in a job than pay.


Agreed. But skin colour and socioeconomic background aren't part of a job description. "The successful candidate will be a homie from the 'hood' and prefer gansta rap"

andyt andyt:
Working conditions that might attract under represented groups.


Like . . .? Smudge rooms? Corn bread and gravy in the cafeteria? Fair pay for Fair work?

andyt andyt:
And best people? You know yourself often applicants are equally qualified on paper and it's hard to know which one to choose. That's the time to consider choosing a candidate from an under represented group, or at least look at why you're not.


So we should hire a First Nations person over a more qualified black person because First Nations are underrepresented in the department? Or perhaps why we are underrepresented in the First Nations department is because none ever apply? Perhaps the reason none ever apply or are considered is because none bother to get the education or experience needed to be considered for the job. Funnily enough, the last FN guy we had went home for Christmas to Yellowknife, and just never came back. Emailed us in March to let us know he quit.

andyt andyt:
Just as unis look at more than just grades. Maybe consider life experience in a disadvantage situation as a plus for what that student brings to the uni.


My team of 7 includes 1 Asian female*, 1 Asian male*, 1 South American male*, 1 Fijian male*, 1 Arab male and 2 'Canadian' males. Should we hire a couple more white males because they are underrepresented? (* all are 'Canadian')

Or perhaps we should just look at the accomplishments of the applicant and hire new people based on what they bring to the team, regardless of how they look or where they grew up.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:05 pm
 


BartSimpson BartSimpson:
The upside of ending Affirmative Action is that it will force the improvement of urban schools.

Until now the failures of urban school districts have been papered over by forcing colleges and universities to admit kids from these schools, if only to see them drop out later on.

Now the real problems of why Mexican and black kids fail will have to be addressed and that conversation can't happen without talking about ending the power of the teacher's unions as we know it. Teachers are going to have to perform and not just fill a seat for 30 years and then retire. The failures are going to have to be fired and the best teachers are going to have to be recognized and emulated.



Nice if it were true, I seriously doubt it. Teachers aren't responsible for the poverty of the students, nor the underfunding of poor district schools. You want to have black and Latino kids do better, do something about poverty.

And yes, Asian culture is superior at supporting kids to do well at school. Better than white culture too. Just blaming blacks and Latinos for their culture isn't going to change it, gotta offer more than that.


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2014 5:23 pm
 


Like the article states, AA was once necessary. I think society has mostly moved beyond that necessity, but certainly improvements need to continue to be pursued. Since Inner City conditions are a large part of the current problem, it seems obvious that is a good place to start.

Some of those improvements probably have to do with improving Schools themselves, but it also seems that there are a lot of improvements to be needed outside the Schools and in the Communities at large.


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