by having it address the serious issue
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The problem with Affirmative Action programs that give preferences according to race is that the programs assume that merely being a member of a designated “race” means you NEED Affirmative Action when competing against other candidates for jobs or school admissions against other people who are similarly situated. The whole concept of “race” is ambiguous because (1) it does not match the reality of the very different abilities and life experiences of people placed in a single “race” category by the people dispensing the privilege, and (2) human reality is much more diverse than the categories of “white”, “black” and “Hispanic” that are most typically used to administer preferences. Over an over again, the entire panoply of “Asian” people is declassified and ignored as a “race” in these processes, not only at places like UC Berkeley, where Asians tend to be more likely than whites to have outstanding qualifications, but also at land-locked University of Michigan, where Asians are indisputably a minority, but don’t get any credit for bneing so in the university admissions selection process. This kind of variability in the definition of “race” has no rational basis, and is therefore suspect under the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment.
There is also a deadly irony at the very heart of Affirmative Action programs. The people who are making the secret evaluation of applicants and giving extra credit to people in certain selected “races” are doing so because of the worry that without an affirmative preference, in an open competition the “minority race” persons would be discriminated against–by the very same people who are giving them the preference! Since the immediate problem is prejudice against certain minority races, why can’t the people at universities, etc. that make these decisions simply pledge to an open, public selection process that will ensure that any discrimination they engage in against a minority student will be immediately obvious to everyone, both their peers and all the other applicants. Since selection of student A means that student B is deprived, why not put the objective information–SAT scores, previous GPA, academic achievements–out on a public web page so every applicant can see how he or she stacks up against everyone else? The idenitity of each applicant could be concealed by a code number, but the overall profile of all the applicants could be seen by everyone and any negative disadvantage assigned to someone purely on the basis of race could be seen by everyone. That would be a guarantee against harming a minority applicant because of his or her race, so that giving him or her a preference over white students would not be necessary.
The notion that what the acceptance process is doing is NOT simoply accepting people into a scjhool or job, but the main way in which certain minorities will be increased in certain professions, is one of the places where the process goes off the rails. If it is so darned important to increase the number of minority lawyers, for instance, then why stop at admissions, why nmot require they get preferences in all their class grades, as well as on the state bar exam? That would increase the number of minority lawyers, right? Except that it would destroy the value of the education and of passing the bar exam in the eyes of people who make the decision to hire the new lawyer. All grades and other achievements would be discounted for all miniority law school graduates. Plus, the other students would not stand for being discriminated against in class on the basis of race, especially when the beneficiary of the discrimination, who is moved ahead of them in class rankings and in placement onto the Law Review staff, is right there where they can be the target of other students’ anger. No professor wants to see the academic reputation of his or her college or grad school impaired by a general perception that their grades don;t mean anything, that their “brand” does not stand for being the smartest lawyers, etc. So you have to have realistic grading, which places the students who have been admitted at the bottom of their class in a permanent position of being at the bottom. They will forever be labeled as being #120 out of 140 graduates. If they had gone to a less competitive school, they could have naturally stood out from their peers. But being the “beneficiaries” of Affirmative Action guarantees they will look bad compared to their peers.
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