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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Race 3

At the end of Race 2 I listed four things that should be considered about the national anti racism policies of the last half century.   In future posts I will offer my thoughts on each of them.  Today I and II.

From Race 2  I believe that the argument for special treatment because of prior oppression is valid and sufficient, because I see no other way to overcome the results of the prior treatment. However, there are some concomitant questions that ought to be answered.  Such as:
I.  How much?
II.  For how long?
III.   a.  Will there be special interest groups that grow up around the protected classes?      b.  If so, how will you deal with them?
IV  How do you deal with rogues among the protected classes?

I.  How much?
I think affirmative action is fine if the action is:
a)   “Prefer the protected class person if they are at equally (or better) qualified for a job than the white male.” 
Not so fine if the action is:
b)  “Prefer the protected class person for a job if they meet minimum qualifications regardless of their comparison with other applicants.” 
The latter format should be used only if the organization has a proven record of discrimination.
c)  “Prefer the protected class person for admission to universities with restrictive requirements even if they otherwise have qualifications less than other applicants.” 
This doesn’t bother me too much, but there are two issues about it:
            1.  The school should provide assistance to the student if he doesn’t meet their normal standards for admission.
            2.  It seems like there is a risk that the student will be unsuccessful at the higher ranked school even though he might have been very successful at a school for which he could have met the requirements.

II  For how long?  First of all it should have been stated early and frequently that racial preferences are a temporary expedient and will eventually come to an end.
a)  One answer is “As long as slavery lasted.”  I disagree with that because there is really no reason to link the two times together and
b) If it takes more than a couple generations then maybe it is not working.
c) I think it has accomplished a lot and perhaps it is time to say that disparate opportunity is today more likely to be a result of simple poverty than race.  One could grant these preferences (in an effort to “level the playing field”) based on family poverty.  If you did that, then,
1.  as long as the race was a factor in poverty you would still be working on the race aspect,
2.  if race ceases to be a factor in poverty, then what is the rationale for race based preferences?

"The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."  Chief Justice John Roberts, 2007

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