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  1. riz123
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    riz123 New Member

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    Affirmative Action

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by riz123, Jul 16, 2009.

    On every college and job application, medical form, aptitude test, whatever, I hate answering the race question. The computer or document provides a half dozen choices of what you are allowed to be, leaves the rest as a generic, “Other,” and then returns to its questions about real, significant information or qualifications. It is not that I dislike discussing race; I am absolutely fascinated by culture, ethnicity, tradition, heritage, and the like. The world’s variety completely intrigues me, and I also take great pride in the bit that I add to America as well. I would love to discuss race with my future employer or physician or college board president, but I would love to be ultimately judged by other qualities.
    I don’t even mind being judged. Judge me by my attitude, my outlook, my regard toward my neighbors, my weaknesses, my ability, my character. Judge me by what I can control because that’s just fine. That’s just fair. Do not judge me on a trait that I never chose, that I never earned, that I kind of just fell into and claimed as my own.
    I want you to judge me on what’s inside because I think that’s good enough by itself. I am worthy enough without you “affirming” me because of my grandparents’ journey from a country that I have never even seen. One doesn’t often read about affirmative action, the “leveling of the playing field,” from this perspective, but I’m saying it: keep your money. Don’t you dare act like you’re doing me a favor. If I get into graduate school, I don’t want to have to reserve my heritage as a fallback if my skills alone aren’t good enough. If I get a job, I don’t want to question whether it’s because of my accomplishments or because of my skin color. If I want to be treated as an equal, I have to prove that I am equal.
    I understand that certain minorities have been wronged, that certain people have been hurt so unbelievably, but I don’t understand how money could make up for this. I don’t think that society has the ability to buy forgiveness. I simply don’t believe that affirmative action is anything but a handicap, gradually and increasingly paining already wounded groups. America: have faith. Give your “minorities” some credit. We can make it, and we can do this, and we appreciate the effort, but we don’t want any affirmation, and we don’t need any “action.” Our hair or skin or eyes might look different, but our blood is the same, along with our belief, our conviction, our dream that “all men are created equal.”
     
  2. Dr. Doctor
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    Dr. Doctor Contributing Member

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    Speaking as a white male going into college soon here, keep this in mind.

    It's not like giving money to the minorities who attend college helps the ones who really NEED help a lot of the time either, and it's not like there aren't white people being disadvantaged more than some colored ones, especially so when they don't get the bonus money for it that some of the minorities do. I agree wholeheartedly with you.

    I've always found the whole concept of Affirmative Action stupid. Like for jobs, in addition to what you said, why should the decisions be helped along by factors that don't matter, like race or sex? Are you going to pick the colored guy who has only one previous job over the white girl who has three previous ones, just on the basis of skin color? It's ridiculous. The only thing that should be a factor there is any kind of out-of-control financial need, that kind of thing; nothing else.
     
  3. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I'm pretty sure the race question is purely administrative...for example at the university I go to, if you answer the ethnicity question as Maori/Pacific Island, the university will automatically send you information about specific programs for those groups of people (study groups, extra-curricular groups, that sort of thing). Also, it enables the school administration to see, at a glance, the ethnicities that make up the student population which in turn allows them to make sure that all the significantly large groups are being properly catered for, if there's a new area that may need attention (for example, if they find that numbers of Asian students are increasing on average, they may decide to expand their Asian studies department). Maybe its different in America, but I've never heard of anyone being rejected for school or work based on race (assuming that they had a sufficient grasp of english and were capable of dealing with customers, and things, which is different to a racial distinction...)
     
  4. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    Let me play devil's advocate here. There is still discrimination today, not only in terms of race/ethnicity but also in terms of funding. Schools in low income neighborhoods receive about half as much funding for their schools than do schools in medium-high income neighborhoods. Given this fact, there is almost no chance of advancement for minorities, most of whom tend to come from low income families.

    Also, by using affirmative action, minorities are going into different fields. For example, you don't see many Native American doctors. Having affirmative action builds diversity in the work environment.

    And as for the belief that all men are created equal, that is only true in theory. Society does not view all people as equal. If everyone viewed everyone else as equal, then there would be no need for affirmative action at all.

    For the OP: it would be nice if you could split the post into paragraphs. That makes it much easier to read.
     
  5. riz123
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    riz123 New Member

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    Addressing thirdwind's argument:
    1.) If people in wealthier income neighborhoods pay more taxes to their schools, as in they live in a wealthy suburb with a different school district, why shouldn't they receive more in return? I'm not saying poor income neighborhoods should have awful schools; there should obviously be a minimum. But if a certain district is paying /extra,/ I do believe they deserve /extra./

    2.) If you are about to go under the knife for a major surgery, who would you rather have operating? A minority who got into medical school to add diversity, or a more qualified candidate?
    The way I see it, ever minority individual's abilities come into question by patients who cannot trust the doctor's credentials. Did they get by on color or ability?

    3.) Ah, but are we not created equally? You go where you want in life, but America is America because you have the opportunity to at least start off with a level playing field...and /then/ separate yourself to either go further or remain average, remain equal. Yes we take "your tired, your poor, your hungry," but recall that they must be "/yearning to breathe free./" What you do -- the struggle, the yearning -- is up to you.
     
  6. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    If you truly believe that all people are created equal, then shouldn't everyone have the same opportunities as well? If you believe that those who pay more should receive more benefits, then that goes against your belief of equality. Also see my response for 3).

    A minority doctor would have first applied to medical school. Schools don't just randomly choose minorities to become doctors or whatever. If they have an interest in it, then they apply. Besides, doctors require a lot of school and training, so I would be comfortable having a minority doctor assuming he or she passed the necessary requirements. It doesn't matter if they got where they are due to affirmative action.

    This is based on sociological facts and studies: the poor will remain poor and the rich will remain rich. Most children have the same socioeconomic status as their parents did. So the stories you hear about poor children growing up and becoming rich are extremely rare. Just take a look at top executives today. Most, if not all, went to good universities and came from rich backgrounds. The playing field is not level at all.
     
  7. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    I find the belief that the quality of education a child receives be based on the wealth of their parents/neighborhood not merely repulsive, but abominable. Indeed, it is this mind set which makes Affirmative Action painful but necessary.

    You do realise that 'ever minority individual' who becomes a doctor.... actually has to earn their degree? They have to go through the same rigorous training as any other candidate. Hospitals and clinics do not just hand jobs to unqualified individuals because they are a minority. Frankly, I find this point not only ignorant, but racist. For the record, my doctor is a Muslim gentleman of mixed Hispanic and middle-eastern origins and I trust him more than any other doctor.

    From your own previous argument, we are created equal but some should have an easier road- better education, built in wealth etc. because of who their parents are? Affirmative Action exists to balance off pre-existing obstacles- to bring groups of people, who have throughout history been exploited, on equal footing.
     
  8. riz123
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    riz123 New Member

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    Don't insult my intelligence by bringing in worthless comments like, "schools don't just randomly choose minorities to become doctors or whatever." Useless foolishness.

    Do you not see the point of my argument though, regardless of whether you can poke holes in the less eloquently phrased parts of it? We are /created/ equally, but what we do after that is up to us. I do not believe in handicapping people who have succeeded in order to "equalize." If you succeed, don't you deserve appropriate credit?

    And do try imagining things from the perspective of that minority student, please. Would you want others to question your success? Would you want to question your own success?

    Perhaps I am a trifle old-fashioned, but I like to work hard and earn whatever I receive.
     
  9. Agreen
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    Agreen Faceless Man Contributor

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    Let's just insult the intelligence of minority doctors instead.
     
  10. riz123
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    riz123 New Member

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    Ooh mas mas. Okay. To Agreen.

    1.) I may have misled you with the way I phrased my argument, and I apologize. I know the way it works in my area, and I am basing my opinion off of that. The state provides a certain amount of funding per student in every public high school. The district each student is in also provides a certain amount. If a district is full of people willing to contribute more money than some other districts...why shouldn't they? If I want to pay extra to give my kid more, why not? And if others want to move to my district or receive School of Choice to get in my school, /nothing is stopping them./
    It works similarly in college. If you pay for Princeton, are you expecting a community college education?
    Note, my state and city statistically have some of the worst public schools in America. I completely agree they should be improved to give our kids the same opportunity as kids from other schools. So if some districts can provide that, I say all the power to them.

    2.) Would you not want the /very/ best though? Yes I UNDERSTAND that one cannot get by on race alone, but I would rather have quality alone rather than fairly qualified+race.
    And do not think I am saying there are no qualified doctors of non-white color. You /know/ that is not my argument, so don't bother.

    3.) White people can be poor too! If you want to level the playing field by providing aid to those living below the poverty line, that is a completely different issue than providing it to certain nationalities. Race does not say enough about personal experience on its own.
     
  11. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    Here is my take, as a 26 year old white male in an area where I am a minority:

    Affirmative action, much like labor unions, was a great thing when it was implemented. Sadly, it has outlived it usefulness and now serves to hold back advancement.

    Affirmative action IS legalized racism.
    Selecting anyone for awards, bonuses, punishment, ANYTHING based purely upon race, is racism.

    How often have you seen a person who is a total burnout blame their race?
    All the time.

    How many successful blacks, hispanics, asians, native americans, etc have you seen?
    Tons.

    The truth is, in this modern world, while classic-racism DOES exist, its not the end of the world. It won't hold you back.

    I live in an area where 80% or more of the population is hispanic. Hispanic people still get extra scholarships, seats on boards, assistance in school. There is a hispanic chamber of commerce, LULAC, and a host of other things that assist the regional majority.

    I qualify for basically no assistance for school; I am white, male and middle class. Did I whine? No. I took out loans and applied myself. Anyone can do this.

    Race doesn't matter. Stop bitching. Stop treating each other differently. Go outside, and live in harmony.
     
  12. riz123
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    riz123 New Member

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    Ugh so wrong. I'm saying, as a minority, I do not want anyone to have any excuse to question my abilities. LET ME GET BY ON INTELLIGENCE.
    Or, let me fail.

    If green-eyed people had the same opportunity to use their green eyes over blue-eyed folks, we would have the same problem! Some green-eyed people would get in over more qualified blue-eyed people. If all males had the option, some would take it; if all whites had the option it would happen too. It doesn't matter which group you use as an example. If a group is getting benefits solely on an inherited trait that they have absolutely no control over, I do not see the fairness.
     
  13. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    riz123, why do you keep using slashes like /this/?

    Please stop, its wierding me out...
     
  14. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    That is because its not designed to be fair. Its not called 'Affirmative fairness' for a reason. The program was designed to allow minorities who had been persecuted and were exiting a perod of oppression, to have the chance to advance themselves.

    This situation no longer exists, so the program only works to excuse laziness and create racial tension through a perceived system of reverse discrimination.

    Did you know that the University of Northern Iowa offers a full 4 year scholarship to anyone who is non-white? I had three friends take them up on it. I was not eligible.

    For the record, you seem like a troll (of the internet variety), who is trying to stir up a volatile topic. Shall we discuss abortion next?
     
  15. riz123
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    riz123 New Member

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    :\ Dude I'm just some teen chick trying to figure out the way the world works and why. Relax. I promise I wasn't intending to offend or personally attack a soul. I want dialogue.

    But yeah those little troll dolls were before my time, though I feel like the comparison was still a bit harsh and bigtime unmerited.
     
  16. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    You misunderstood me.

    I say this because all of your posts are in this one thread, and your first post read like a preformed rant, rather than a request for dialog.

    If I am mistaken, I appologize. What exactly are you wondering? I'm full of useful information.
     
  17. riz123
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    riz123 New Member

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    You are correct in that the "rant" was preformed...I became very frustrated with applications in general asking about race, and so I wrote to solidify my opinions on the matter. I figured someone on a writing forum would understand; I write what is on my mind.
    Then, I searched on Google for a forum. Pretty basic. "Writing forums." Alas, here I am.
    I thought I would find either critique for my writing, strengthening for my position, or holes enough in my argument to change my mind. I just want to be informed.
    So enlighten me.
     
  18. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    I think people are taking this very personally....this whole "affirmative action" thing is purely administrative....its not trying to define any cultures in any negative ways, it just looks at a problem, looks at the data and finds a way to solve it. (Without any negative connotations at all,) Let's consider Black (African American) people. Statistically speaking (and, like many similar programs, statistics is what it comes down to), Black people lag behind White people in terms of attainment of education and, perhaps as a result, are consistently over-represented in poverty figures and earn, on average, less than their White counterparts. This information tells us nothing about them as people, or as a culture, and this data shouldn't be used to make any conclusions about those kinds of things. As far as the government, and the introduction of Affirmative Action, this imbalance is a problem that needs to be addressed. So, what else do we know about education, employment and wealth? We know that people with college degrees earn more, so we should try to get more Black people attending universities. We know that people in the service sector often earn less, so we should try to diversify the employment opportunities available to Black people.
    This isn't about racism or supremacy, its about raising the quality of people's lives to a uniform level. Don't you think we should try to put everyone on an equal playing field, even if it does mean that White majority people don't get to advance as easily as they'd like to?
    And once everyone is on a level playing field, then by all means these benefits and things should be removed, but we're not there yet and in the mean time, that's what the focus should be.
     
  19. Rosetta Stoned
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    Rosetta Stoned Member

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    *generic placement of blame on Unions*

    Also, lulz at the idea of trolling on this forum.
     
  20. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    The problem with this is that its an idea formed on too little data. Affirmative action programs have existed for fourty years and still have accomplised little. Poor people, of all races, are still poor. Rich people, of all races, are still rich.


    If you want critiques on your writing, this is not the place for it. We have review workshop forums for just that reason. However, they are full participation workshops, and you will need to critique others before posting your own material.

    For more information on affirmative action and it affects, try these sites (found by googling 'affirmative action effects'):

    http://www.puaf.umd.edu/IPPP/1QQ.HTM
    The above is a good study. It covers real world figures, and tracks employment rates over various periods of blacks and hispanics in the workplace.

    http://www.studyworld.com/moral_issues/affirmative_action/affirmative_action_and_its_effects.htm
    This is much more of an editorial, but still offers some good information.


    Unions are greedy and paracitic these days. Come to the USA and work with them. I worked for FedEx as a driver and handler for 2-3 years, my twin brother works for UPS. UPS is unioned and the crap that goes on as a result is astounding. I can only imagine what the United Auto Workers and various Teacher's unions are like. They were vital when they were implimented, but governmental regulation is MUCH better now, so they have no real use.
     
  21. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    I am a majority in the sense that I occupy more space than most humans ;)
     
  22. riz123
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    riz123 New Member

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    I do appreciate all of your words, LordKyleOfEarth, and I mean that sincerely. I will definitely consider everything said.

    But then...in what sense is this a "writing forum?"
     
  23. Ragnar
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    Ragnar Contributing Member

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    The Review Room - Non Fiction - If you truly want feedback on your rant instead of spreading mayhem into the ranks of writers that reside in this forum.
     
  24. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    You fat people make me sick. Eat less, you raise my tuition rates. Your excessive body heat forces a higher electric bill for the school.
     
  25. LordKyleOfEarth
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    LordKyleOfEarth Contributing Member Contributor

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    This forum offers much to aspiring writers. There are forums on looking for publishers, there are forums to develop skills. We run weekly poetry and short story contests which allow writers to gauge their works against their peers. There is a lot to offer here, it all depends on what you put into it and what you want to get out of it.
     
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