Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The other AA

Affirmative Action is being brought before the Supreme Court this year in regards to college enrollment. The story goes that a white student was not offered a place at a Texas college because the college reserves a certain number of spots in each class for students of a minority race. The white student then sued the school, and it's been bouncing around in courts for a while and will now be heard by the SCOTUS. The student is set to graduate this year from a different college.

Personally, I think that AA can be overdone, but serves a vital purpose nonetheless. Without it, there is no mandate that prevents discrimination, only laws to respond to it if it's already happened. The quarrel over AA has been a question of whether a person being considered for a professional or educational position can be seen without the context of race, or whether their race is a defining characteristic that sways the eventual decision. The AA standards have been put in place so that a person's minority status is not necessarily a hindrance to getting a job. It is a pre-emptive measure against racism in the work place and in schools.

AA has been controversial, though, as many people believe it is giving special treatment to minorities. In fact, some even go so far as to say that it is reverse racism, targeting whites. The people who make these arguments will point to things like the story linked above and say that that student could have had a spot in their first choice school if it weren't for affirmative action. Defenders of AA look at it as one person being denied a spot because it is filled by someone of equal value of a different race. And thus, the debate continues.

I happened to find this story linked on Fox News as well. I point this out, not because it is a more succinct or better-written summary, but because the comments connected to it drew my attention. Here are a few choice examples:

- "one thing about education neighbers is: The more that learn to read, the less learn how to make a living. thats one thing about a little education, it spoils you for actual work. The more you know, the more you think somebody owes you a living."

- "Lets hope they get it right this time and actually make these losernorities work for a spot in college instead of being given preference just because they are not as intelligent. Then go after the jobs and get rid of racial preference and quotas companies have to meet. Maybe if the most qualified gets in college and gets that job America can return to greatness."

- Lets face it they are the race with the Lowest ave IQ now thats a seldom spoken fact the education boards from yrs past Knew and are not allowed to mention why do ya think we have some of the lowest scores in the world in High Schools AA and the N[******] that they test PURE AND SIMPLE FACT"

- "Anyone who supports affirmative action is a racist."

Very refreshing to see people speaking their minds, isn't it? This kind of diatribe is so abysmally appalling, that I'm thankful I only tread on over the Fox News on the rare occasion. It's things like this that solidify me as a pro-AA kind of guy. While it can be overdone, it is still an important piece of legislation. These are people with no decision-making responsibility in government, yet they vote for representatives that share their positions. Imagine if a public figure said any of those things. They'd be burned at the stake of public opinion. It really upsets me that ignorance like this persists, is so obvious with just a few clicks on the computer, and yet we are debating whether something like AA is even relevent or useful.

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