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Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

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Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Old 02-18-10, 09:37 PM
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Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

http://www.insidebayarea.com/california/ci_14412311

Students sue to restore affirmative action at UC
By Josh Richman
Oakland Tribune
Posted: 02/16/2010 03:32:23 PM PST
Updated: 02/17/2010 06:50:40 AM PST

Students represented by a civil-rights group filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday to overturn California's ban on affirmative action in public university admissions.

The complaint, filed in San Francisco, argues that Proposition 209 violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause by turning certain students away from the University of California's most selective campuses.

"Proposition 209 has created a racial caste system in which the state's most prestigious schools train mostly white students and students from some Asian backgrounds while admitting Latina/o, black and Native American students at only a third of their presence among the high school graduates of the state," the lawsuit argues. "As demonstrated by the UC's own figures, the proportion of Latina/o, black and Native American students is falling further and further behind the proportion of those students among high-school graduates."

The suit says the small proportion of those minority groups at UC Berkeley "is matched only at the flagship universities of the Deep South states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina."
The suit's plaintiffs are the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Immigrant Rights and Integration and to Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary, or BAMN — a group founded in 1995 in response to Prop. 209 — and several dozen minority students. The defendants are Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the UC Board of Regents and UC

Nearly 55 percent of voters in November 1996 approved Prop. 209, amending the state constitution to prohibit public institutions from considering race, sex, or ethnicity; the U.S. Supreme Court rejected a challenge in 1997. The new suit calls the constitutional amendment "an imposition of power by an electorate that was still in its majority white in a state where the population was rapidly changing" despite "the overwhelming opposition of the Latina/o, black, Native American and Asian voters."

UC spokesman Steve Montiel had no comment on the suit's merits. "If this opens up another discussion, that's well and good, but, as long as Proposition 209 is the law, we're obliged to follow it," he said, adding that UC strives to help underrepresented minority students meet admission requirements, compete for admission and have the widest possible access.
Additional coverage:

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/...pIrpgD9DTJSM81
Old 02-19-10, 12:33 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Isnt the whole idea of affirmative action based solely on the fact of race? Dosent that make it racist in and of itself?
Old 02-19-10, 12:37 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

So equal protection is violated if we judge people not on the color of their skin but the content of their character. It seemed like only a matter of time before the hippies reached that conclusion.
Old 02-19-10, 12:42 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Content of someones character isnt important! Their demographic isnt being represented properly! /sarcasm
Old 02-19-10, 01:04 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

How exactly does Affirmative Action work in the college scene? And how exactly are the colleges discriminate on other ethnicities?
Old 02-19-10, 04:38 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Sort of ironic...I just read an article alleging that Harvard, Yale, & other Ivy League schools are engaging in reverse discrimination against Asian students (who make up a much larger percentage of their enrollment compared to their statistical representation in society).

The article stated that some of the universities require Asian students to score about 140 points higher on their SATs in order to gain admission in order to try to achieve more 'diversity'.
Old 02-19-10, 04:42 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by burnside986 View Post
Content of someones character isnt important! Their demographic isnt being represented properly! /sarcasm
The groups bringing the suit obviously blame that racist nutjob Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

They should vigorously protest every MLK Day to object to the country's honoring such a bigot who advocated that ridiculous idea.

"Content of one's character", indeed. Everybody knows that it's the color of your skin who makes you who you are.
Old 02-19-10, 04:44 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Isn't it optional to put your race down on your college application?
Old 02-19-10, 06:43 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
The groups bringing the suit obviously blame that racist nutjob Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

They should vigorously protest every MLK Day to object to the country's honoring such a bigot who advocated that ridiculous idea.

"Content of one's character", indeed. Everybody knows that it's the color of your skin who makes you who you are.
Denying OR approving someones admission to anything be it a job or school based solely on ones race/ethnicity/background is inherenly wrong. Say you belong to a majority group and have a GPA of 3.8. Now, someone of a minority background with a GPA with 2.9 applies to the same college you applied to. They get accepted and you get denied based solely on the fact that that said minority was underrepresented in said college, even though you put in the extra work and were the better candidate. I dont think thats what MLK was preaching about or dreaming about.
Old 02-19-10, 06:45 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
Sort of ironic...I just read an article alleging that Harvard, Yale, & other Ivy League schools are engaging in reverse discrimination against Asian students (who make up a much larger percentage of their enrollment compared to their statistical representation in society).

The article stated that some of the universities require Asian students to score about 140 points higher on their SATs in order to gain admission in order to try to achieve more 'diversity'.
I've heard of this as well. Whenever I go to school conferences and attend "diversity" seminars, it is always presented as Black and White. Nothing is said about American Indians doing worse than Blacks or Asians and Indians doing better than Whites. None of this is about equality at its core. I find it incredibly distasteful.
Old 02-19-10, 07:00 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by brayzie View Post
How exactly does Affirmative Action work in the college scene? And how exactly are the colleges discriminate on other ethnicities?
The argument boils down to:
Minorities are stupid. Only letting in smart students is discriminatory. Set a quota for stupid people.

It must be noted that Asians generally perform better on the entrance tests than whites and are disproportionately admitted. One would also think the basic idea would be extremely insulting to the minorities affected; however, they can apparently live with it if it gets them admitted.

The proper solution is for parents to push both their kids and the school system, so their kids are the smart kids and get admitted to the prestigious schools.
Old 02-19-10, 09:11 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

So is the lesson for Asians to change their last name prior to submitting college apps?

Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action, Immigrant Rights and Integration and to Fight for Equality by Any Means Necessary, or BAMN
You might want to get a shorter name. Although the acronym (shortened though it may be) is kind of cool.
Old 02-19-10, 09:17 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by OldDude View Post
The argument boils down to:
Minorities are stupid. Only letting in smart students is discriminatory. Set a quota for stupid people.
Yeah, that's what the argument boils down to. Good job.
Old 02-19-10, 09:22 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Affirmative Action is idiotic. That is all.
Old 02-19-10, 09:30 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by dork View Post
Yeah, that's what the argument boils down to. Good job.
And here is how it works:
Originally Posted by burnside986 View Post
Say you belong to a majority group and have a GPA of 3.8. Now, someone of a minority background with a GPA with 2.9 applies to the same college you applied to. They get accepted and you get denied based solely on the fact that that said minority was underrepresented in said college, even though you put in the extra work and were the better candidate.
Old 02-19-10, 11:18 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

I used to work in college admissions, so I'll share the info to which I was privy.

Keep in mind that times change. The population of college-bound high school graduates swells and shrinks as we go through the population cycle initiated by the Baby Boomers. So, for a while, seats in colleges/universities are hard to come by, and the for a while, there are more seats than students.
Anyway...

In Admissions offices, there is always a "Yes" pile, "a "No" pile, and a "Maybe" pile. The "Maybe" pile gets cycled through a few times, depending on how many seats the school is trying to fill and projections of acceptances of offers of admission.

If someone is in a particular population (be they a person who has selected an intended major with low enrollment numbers, someone with particular musical/athletic/other skills, etc.), then they may be shifted higher into that "Maybe" pile. Affirmative Action as used by schools in admission policies just allowed the "a member of an underrepresented minority" demographic to factor into that possibility of being shifted slightly upward. Excluding abuse of the system, it did not mean that wholesale admission of blacks occurred at the expense of whites.

However, it does leads to different problems during different parts of the cycle.

In years where the seats are in greater demand, more Whites/Asians are, in fact, passed over in favor of blacks/Hispanics/Native Americans. This, as others have said already in this thread is a kind of racism, and runs contrary to the goals of the I-have-a-dream side of the Civil Rights movement (although it doesn't quite contradict the 40-acres-and-a-mule side).

In the other years, years where there are more seats than students, the schools wind up lowering their standards to generate admission offers to less academically qualified students. Of course they don't say that they "lower the standards." What they really do is start looking for ANY justification for why a student may actually perform better than his/her grades and standardized test scores predict. And they look much harder at the underrepresented minorities than the other people in the "Maybe" pile. ("The SAT is racist." "He was just so well-spoken in the interview." "She has great recommendation letters.")

This change in standards allows schools to offer admission to more students in the "Maybe" pile and inflates the rolls at the schools for a year or two, and increases revenue. That is, even if these students are given scholarships from the school--i.e., tuition discounts--the school would have had empty seats, anyway, so they might as well take the Title IV money and other aid the student may bring in (lots of minority scholarships out there) as income to more than cover the incremental marginal costs.

Invariably, though, this leads to many of those same students failing out after one or two years, since they shouldn't have been admitted in the first place, since, you know, they weren't actually qualified. As you might imagine, this affects the very "underrepresented minority" populations the school was trying to help in the first place. Basically, the end result is that the school helped them into getting a year or two of a sub-2.0 GPA, and some student loan debt that they will now have trouble paying back.

As with most things that people call a racial issue, it is really a financial issue. Poor white people do just as badly as poor black people in college. And rich ones do just as well.
Old 02-19-10, 11:29 AM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

^ ^ ^

Cheato, in listing your stacks of admission applications, I think you forgot about the "My Daddy or Mumsy is a Legacy & Has Given a Ton of Money to This University" pile...

which is the pile many of our esteemed leaders came from.

Last edited by creekdipper; 02-19-10 at 11:33 AM.
Old 02-19-10, 12:37 PM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Cheato has over 50 Japanese DVDs in his collection, so I suggest you listen to him.
Old 02-19-10, 12:45 PM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Old 02-19-10, 12:52 PM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
Cheato has over 50 Japanese DVDs in his collection, so I suggest you listen to him.
Or, just possibly, he has greater insight into the way things work than other people here.

Of course, dogma trumps knowledge in almost every instance.
Old 02-19-10, 12:55 PM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by wendersfan View Post
Or, just possibly, he has greater insight into the way things work than other people here.

Of course, dogma trumps knowledge in almost every instance.
It's an inside joke Wenders, that you didn't get.

Take a gander at Cheato's sig area if you will.
Old 02-19-10, 01:31 PM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by creekdipper View Post
^ ^ ^

Cheato, in listing your stacks of admission applications, I think you forgot about the "My Daddy or Mumsy is a Legacy & Has Given a Ton of Money to This University" pile...

which is the pile many of our esteemed leaders came from.
Obviously already accounted for in the yes pile.
Old 02-19-10, 02:16 PM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
It's an inside joke Wenders, that you didn't get.
If someone doesn't laugh, it doesn't mean they didn't get your joke.
If someone thinks you are misinterpreting something, it doesn't mean they didn't read your post correctly.

On topic:

I did a project in high school focusing on affirmative action, primarily affirmative action in the military. The results of the interviews were not as I expected, with those questioned (including an Admiral in the Navy) heavily in favor of it, and grateful for the results in the time it was used. Mind you, those questioned were not those who benefited from a.a. through promotion.

I now think there is a time and place for such action. Going into the interviews, I was rather opposed to affirmative action as a whole. I'm not sure this is the time or place, however. It does little to address the core issues.

Sometimes we have to look past our core assumptions are realize there are alternative methods to reaching a good conclusion.

Last edited by Th0r S1mpson; 02-19-10 at 02:23 PM.
Old 02-19-10, 02:34 PM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

It may be a financial issue, but I thought that was part of the reasoning behind affirmative action, that some minorities didn't have the same resources and so couldn't get the best pre-college education in order to score as high. I'm not defending it, mind you.

I'm curious about Thor's study, though... why did they think affirmative action was beneficial, at that time?
Old 02-19-10, 06:46 PM
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Re: Students suing to overturn California Proposition 209 (Affirmative Action)

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
I'm curious about Thor's study, though... why did they think affirmative action was beneficial, at that time?
It's been about 15 years and the paper is in a box somewhere, or possibly a landfill. But here's my best recollection:

Essentially, following desegregation, racism was still rampant. The people of the Armed Forces were certainly no exception. To expect people in the ranks to promote minorities out of the goodness of their hearts was not a reasonable expectation, nor was treating them equally. "Fair" isn't something you can order someone to be, and fairness isn't always an objective in the military either.

The military is very different from a college campus, and qualifications to excel and move up the ranks are not so much based on your education or experiences leading up to it as what you do while you are there. You can do very well in the military bringing very little in... but you can also be held in check easily should you have a superior officer with a beef.

If you look at the entire pool of military personnel and keep minorities at the lower ranks, it has a lot of ramifications. While it may keep some folks happier at the top, you are not necessarily getting the best men in those positions. With no ability to excel, this also greatly impacts performance. Relationships among members also clearly suffer as racist feelings not only continue to be thrown around, but have a physical presence in their command. Minorities were not only viewed as inferior, they were inferior by rank and promise of promotion as well.

So in comes this affirmative action idea. What it meant was that some white boys who may have been perfectly qualified, might not be promoted at times in favor of a minority. But this didn't mean you were bringing up under-qualified individuals. What it did rather was force people at times to pick the best of each group, with race as a consideration. The result would be a certain number of minority officers moving up the ranks. This was also a great incentive for these men to try to excel.

People who were previously held back not by qualification but by race were allowed to move up the ranks. In the end, those effects likely trumped the effects of holding back a white officer who might have edged out the minority in a side by side comparison. You not only unleashed a whole new group of strong individuals who could now move more freely up the ranks, but you increased the morale among that group and gave increased incentive for all of them to try to achieve. Obviously, recruiting in these groups would see a boost from this as well.

Would there be hard feelings? Of course. Would there be issues of white men not being okay with a colored superior officer? Of course. But in the military, there is an order to things, and following orders trumps "feelings." Surely there was disciplinary action. Surely morale took a hit in a lot of ways and there were tensions early on. Surely some people felt "ripped off" if they were not promoted. But there is no way to know if they would have been superseded anyway in a truly unbiased system.

The end result was a diversified system that allowed many of the most qualified people to excel by putting a burden on those in charge of promotion. People who experienced this were not only forced to become stronger humans through a mixed-race environment, but the military as a whole became stronger as a result by allowing previously hampered strong individuals to excel, and offering greater incentive to achieve to those who previously felt unable.

As I said before, the military is very different from a university. The lessons learned from affirmative action in the military probably lend themselves less towards affirmative action in schools and more towards the more recent issue of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. There are big differences there, since nobody is talking about promoting gays, rather allowing them to serve openly. But surely there are some commonalities in the social concerns.

In schools, when you are talking about the lives and promise of a future with children, that is a very different issue than the promise of promotion in the military. That's not to say that promotion is not an important goal for someone in the Armed Forces. But building an army is very different than building a society, and sacrifices are made for that end goal every day.

It may very well be unfair to deny one student admission to a college in favor of another on racial terms. But we also have to look at the end objective and determine if the potential societal gains outweigh those of the individual. That is how proponents see the issue. Would society as a whole benefit from this by allowing those who are held down racially to join the ranks of the more privileged? Or are we moving beyond racial privilege and in a day and age where financial privilege is a more fair standard? Or is this simply another attempt to level not only the playing field, but the level of play? Should an individual ever be held back in favor of society, or would that in itself bring society down?

When it comes to schools in this day and age, I unfortunately disagree to a large extent that racially based affirmative action is the solution. It's not a problem that should go unaddressed, but I think that it's a change that needs to stream from lower education up, with attention to opportunities for those presently hindered by economic circumstance.

Still, I think that examples of successful affirmative action are worth looking at, if not only to realize that our preconceptions about the issue are not always universal.

Last edited by Th0r S1mpson; 02-19-10 at 07:10 PM.

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