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Affirmative Action versus "diversity"

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posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 04:16 PM
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I just wrapped up a paper for my composition class, and I think since I spent all the time on it and suspect a strong chance that the political views herein will earn me a speedy markdown from the prof, I may as well share the paper with a more diverse crowd and see what everyone thinks.

Just a quick disclaimer- I was limited by the requirements of the paper to a relatively brief defense of a given article, and therefore you will not see my usual character in this one. I had to stand by the article I was defending and attack the other side, even in a context which I didn't particularly care for. So let's try not to call me a partisan race baiter- I still hate republicans too. So here it is:


On February 2, 2003, as America awaited the ruling of the US Supreme Court in the cases of Grutter v. Bollinger (case no. 02-0241) and Gratz v. Bollinger (no. 02-0516), “The New York Times Magazine” published James Traub’s essay “Forget Diversity”. The frequent “New York Times” contributor struck more than a few raw nerves in the black community with his controversially titled argument, which set up comparisons between affirmative action and “diversity”, exposing the true nature of the recent fetish for diversity in institutions of higher learning.

Traub’s argument in “Forget Diversity”, to summarize, is that the unquestioned assumption in American politics that diversity must be a great thing is illogical, and in fact dishonest. Affirmative action saw advantage to some as necessarily disadvantageous to others and implied by its very purpose that all advantage would be eliminated once minorities had received equality of opportunity. Proponents of diversity, on the other hand, claim that diversity of race ensures diversity of character, that such diversity is equally beneficial to all, and that consequently advantages should be extended to minorities in perpetuity. In truth, “diversity” does a disservice to minorities and whites as well by discriminating against the latter to conceal the failure of public schools to prepare the former for the most selective universities. (Pages 129-131)

Traub hit the proverbial nail on the head in his comparison between affirmative action and “diversity”. He does not pursue it far, preferring to let the absurdity demonstrated by contrast speak for itself, but he lays the groundwork for an exercise of deductive logic whereby we see that creating diversity does not contribute to racial equality. If affirmative action is the final step we must take to bring about equality, as suggested by President Johnson’s “To Fulfill These Rights” speech, given to Harvard University’s graduating class of 1965, and building diversity is diametrically opposed to affirmative action’s implication that all advantage should end once there is equal opportunity, then creating diversity at this point must not be conducive to racial equality,.

As Johnson put it, minorities have been “brought to the starting line of the race”, by their liberation. What they need now is an answer to the remaining problems; the “complex and subtle” burdens to their equal standing in society which remain, especially poverty. (Johnson) A bonus in consideration for college admission based solely on the color of a person’s skin, and granted forever as if that person’s race could never compete on an equal footing, does not relieve those burdens. It only masks them and perpetuates the burden of separate (and therefore inherently unequal) classification and standards. Such a double standard is analogous to calling black students “a credit to their race”. Such a double standard is incompatible with the revolution which President Johnson spoke of and the dream which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shared with America, and therefore it is immoral. This immoral double standard allows the rich white male elitists who once oppressed minorities in order to draw support from the white working and middle class to now employ those same divisive and exploitative mechanisms in the opposite direction for their further benefit.

The separate and unequal standards imposed in the name of diversity classify a person and characterize what he can contribute to the school he attends based on his race. This comes from the same supposedly progressive political party which claims that racial profiling is wrong. Progress indeed! If the point of view and cultural contributions of African Americans or any other minority can be determined simply by their color, can a university reject them out of hand, or penalize them in the admission process because the school already has too much minority contribution? Obviously not; the diversity crowd knows that its claims are irrational, and therefore would never follow them to their logical conclusion in any respect which did not allow them to give handouts to minority voters for their own political gain.

Let’s continue to follow these lies to their logical conclusions. The equivocators claim that discriminating against non-minority students is good for everyone. They claim that diversity brings advantages such as interracial understanding. Perhaps there is understanding in diversity, but could we justify past discrimination by such petty advantages? Surely there was solidarity in communities which knew no diversity. Surely they must concede then that discriminating against minorities was equally justifiable.

The above hypocrisy is an abomination to be sure, but the supreme irony and tragedy of diversity’s hijacking of affirmative action is not in what it means to whites, but what it means to minorities. To paraphrase Traub’s description: Diversity distracts us from a simple but painful truth, which is that persistent black failure (and Hispanic failure, to a lesser extent) has made it impossible for the most selective schools to become substantially integrated using their own traditional criteria of merit. The need is not to get white students in contact with minorities, but to enable minorities to earn their way into elite schools. If the only way to meet that need is through race-based bonuses, then perhaps we would be more comfortable just lying to ourselves about the “mutual benefits of diversity”. More realistically however, perhaps we should actually address the educational failures which make the bonuses necessary for integration. (Page 131) Why would those who champion the rights of minorities seek to whitewash a glaring failure of the public school system to prepare economically disadvantaged minorities for the university educations which are vital to their upward mobility? Knowledge is power, is it not? Why should minorities accept a bonus towards college admission in lieu of power?

The interests of minorities and the righteous cause of racial equality have been sold out in favor of another entitlement program by the liberal political activists who so dearly care for minorities once every four years. With friends like that, who needs enemies?





Traub, James. “Forget Diversity.” From The New York Times, 2 February 2003. Rpt. In Current Issues and Enduring Questions: A Guide to Critical Thinking and Argument, with Readings, Seventh Edition. Eds. Sylvan Barnet, Hugo Bedau. New York: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2005. Pages 129-131.

Johnson, Lyndon. “To Fulfill These Rights.” Harvard University. Boston. 4 June 1965. Rpt. Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965. Volume II. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office, 1966. Pages 635-640.




posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 05:37 PM
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I'm replying because your thoughts are disconnected from the actual history/experience of black people in this country. It is understandable that you don't understand therefore...I'm not pissed off if it appears that way once the ranting begins.

Your essay struck a very tender cord with me. Not too long ago a coworker accused me of being promoted because of affirmative action. His only reasoning was that the man I replaced was black. He didn't consider that fact that in six years I'd never been late and the few days I missed were covered under sick/vacations days, or that I always completed my job task/assignments on time (unlike him).

When I got home I told my people, you know how you do when someone really pisses you off at work and everyone was like so what? Even if you are on the "token black chick" you have to work ten times harder to be that token--you have to be the exception to the white man's perception of the rule. I couldn't accept that because I worked damn hard I don't want anyone thinking I was "handed" anything for any reason.

It made me look around the office and count the minorities. I grew up from ghetto to middle class, I blend well and to be honest race, though important in knowing someone, isn't always at the fore front of my mind. Two black women, a few asians, a couple hispanics in a office of about 200 plus people mostly white men. So yeah, maybe I was handed that job.

If you are looking at cold hard logical facts in an article, yes, I'd have to agree that discrimination on any basis is wrong. But, life isn't that simple. We are talking about real human lives, and the reality of our educational system is that in poor communities the resources are limited which limits the opportunity for being prepared for secondary education. I had to personally make appointment after appointment with my high school counselor and she tried to direct me toward a trade school! I was in AP. She didn't even know it, just looked at me, and said. Where are you looking to go IVYTECH.

If I leave anything here for you to remember let that be--the exception to the white man's perception. Because those are the miniority kids that get the Affirmative Action nod, only the truly exceptional--not some under-educated moron that applied on a whim.



posted on Sep, 20 2005 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by Saphronia
I'm replying because your thoughts are disconnected from the actual history/experience of black people in this country.


From minority experience, perhaps my thoughts are disconnected, as our experiences, are afterall, a matter of perception and reaction and not only objective fact. I am less certain that my point of view is disconnected from the implications of any relevant history. Are there any historical facts or trends which belie my crucial points?

Did Justice Lewis Powell not state in 1978 that universities could offer "a plus factor" to minorities for purposes other than overcoming the legacy of historical injustice, specifically ensure diversity of point of view?

Was this not in contrast to the objectives clearly outlined by President Lyndon Johnson when he spoke on the affirmative action aspects of the Great Society programs?

In the wake of this shift in focus from correcting past wrongs to simply giving bonuses, has progress in improving inner city schools not been woefully inadequate?



Your essay struck a very tender cord with me. Not too long ago a coworker accused me of being promoted because of affirmative action.


It bears mentioning that the article I defended was specifically in regards to university admissions, and therefore that it is less applicable to your situation. At the same time, it is relevant in that forcing the issue of public school failure and actually preparing minorities to enter universities on merit and consequently to enjoy even greater success there, will result in a larger number of better qualified minority citizens entering the professional world at a rate not limited by relative value of the awarded bonus versus the higher scores possible to a properly prepared student. This in turn can not fail to force acknowledgement of reality over stereotype and eventually eliminate such uncomfortable or even hostile situations as the one you shared.


If you are looking at cold hard logical facts in an article, yes, I'd have to agree that discrimination on any basis is wrong. But, life isn't that simple.


I beg to differ. Life exists in a physical universe, governed by logical, empirical principles. Every concievable situation in this universe is as simple as the facts, if all of the facts are known. Nothing "just happens". Even the fickle decision making processes and perceptions of humans can generally be explained if all of the contributing factors are taken into account. Please understand that I do not intend this as nitpicking or a tangent, but as a preface to my next paragraph.


We are talking about real human lives, and the reality of our educational system is that in poor communities the resources are limited which limits the opportunity for being prepared for secondary education.


We are in full agreement on this point. Although the context of the article only gave me so much latitude, I believed that my intent was clear in the second to last paragraph when I pointed out that bonuses for college acceptance given to minorities are merely whitewashing failures which need to be addressed. The waters are somewhat muddied however by your statement that "life is not that simple. We are talking about real human lives." This is where my previous paragraph comes into play. I believe that the objective facts of the state of our education system represent the very heart of the problem, and that taking appropriate corrective action against that specific problem will eventually negate any need for a "diversity" bonus. Real human lives and "not that simple" don't come into play. Empirical problem, logical answer, emperical results.


Because those are the miniority kids that get the Affirmative Action nod, only the truly exceptional


In the context that I wrote on that is not true. At certain universities minorities get a bonus percentage added to their score in consideration for admission. I remember when this came up in California back when I was in highschool- they gave a percentage bonus on SAT scores called "striver scoring", which even by its name implied that a minority student was reaching beyond their true capabilities just to score competitively on the SAT! Everyone gets it, and to whatever degree that overcomes the advantage held by properly educated students, the percentage of minorities in universities is raised. Not only is this unfair, it's insufficient. Getting rid of those bonuses and forcing the issue of equal primary education will put minorities on an even footing where they can infact succeed at an equal raite (per capita), not just to whatever degree their token bonus masks the failure of the government to provide them with equal access to the educational foundation necessary to attend a university.

Believe it or not I'm basically on your side. I feel perhaps you did not understand my position, quite possibly because the scope of the assignment did not allow me to focus as heavily as I might like on aspects not immediately touching on Traub's article. To the best of my ability within those bounds however, I tried to explain that a smokescreen bonus is not an acceptible replacement for a good education, that minorities deserve better, and that the true motives of those who would advocate such a smokescreen policy are highly suspect.



posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 09:03 AM
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History: Bond and free, black people weren't allowed to be taught to read or write English in the US. Even after the abolition of slavery laws were put on the books that made educating blacks difficult. To present day, the public education system is funded by property taxes which in poor communities, populated in large numbers by black people, are insufficient in providing the necessary resources. And they never will.

The history I think you are disconnected from is the overall conspiracy to keep poor people (of all races) on or below the poverty line. Without free labor there has to be a labor class for capitalism to work properly. Under funding schools is necessary--packing classrooms, 32 to a teacher, also necessary.

The best and brightest of the poor are forced to learn among the crackbabies and the socially retarded. Somehow they find their way to the door of the dean of admissions looking for an opportunity in the right setting to excell. In a perfect world they would have perfect scores and perfect gpa's...this world is flawed as evidenced by the laws used to hold black people back for centuries.

Cold hard facts: Logic and even fact are open to interpretation. Nothing is ever simply a fact. Your facts are limited to your judgement as are mine. But, to your larger point, it doesn't matter that we agree that schools are under funded and should be revamped because this will never be done. We are not the first or the last people to come to this conclusion. AA is a bandage on a larger problem, for sure. But, the problem is deemed necessary by the powers that be...it is after all a problem the government created. AA is necessary to give people an opportunity to "keep hope alive" as Jesse would say without it there was damn near a revolution. Crumbs from the elite's table always satisfy the masses just enough to shut the # up and go to work.

While, what you are proposing is great I believe its unrealistic without a total overhaul of the system. There are some very bright people driving truck and dumping fries at your local Mc Donalds as well as selling drugs or doing 25 to life in America's billion dollar prison industry. Even if AA is replaced it will only be a pacifier for white people who feel they are being discriminated against. I believe Dubya has a think-tank working on that as we speak.

You're dope though...I like you.






[edit on 21-9-2005 by Saphronia]



posted on Sep, 21 2005 @ 03:45 PM
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Originally posted by Saphronia
Even after the abolition of slavery laws were put on the books that made educating blacks difficult.
(quote shortened)
The history I think you are disconnected from is the overall conspiracy to keep poor people (of all races) on or below the poverty line. Without free labor there has to be a labor class for capitalism to work properly.


Far from being oblivious to this, I consider it the crux of my agreement with Traub. Although it is virtually undeniable that a functioning capitalist system requires a "mud sill" class of workers, not necessarily in poverty, but who take a significantly lesser cut from the fruits of their labor so that those who control the capital will have sufficient incentive to invest, this class need not be defined by race or birth. There will in fact be such a class in virtually any conceivable evolution of American society, but it is entirely possible, if education were properly reorganized and reformed, that this class would consist not of the disadvantaged but chiefly of those who by their own lack of ambition or aptitude were unable to better their lot despite having been given an opportunity.

This is precisely why I do not believe in giving a bonus for college admission on the basis of race. I believe that this distracts us from what those who have been traditionally disadvantaged, often by design, truly need, which is fair access to a sound education which will make them competitive and offer them the chance to make or break their future based on their own personal ambition and skill, not where their parents lived or what color they were.


The best and brightest of the poor are forced to learn among the crackbabies and the socially retarded. Somehow they find their way to the door of the dean of admissions looking for an opportunity in the right setting to excell. In a perfect world they would have perfect scores and perfect gpa's...this world is flawed as evidenced by the laws used to hold black people back for centuries.


You're telling me. I can't even express how difficult it was for me to get anything out of my public school education. How in the heck is someone on my level supposed to continue advancing and reach ivy-league standards when even the honors class at my school was full of english-second language students who could scarcely command the language in some situations? I come from the gutter too- trust me, parts of the area I'm from, including areas where I have lived at times, are virtually indistinguishable from the areas of Mexico which I have seen; the streets are in awful shape, homes are in grevious disrepair, and the schools consequently the schools are woefully underfunded- and on top of that what funding exists is mismanaged. They revamp the bathrooms just so the vandals and gangsters can tag them up again and kick the doors off the stalls- meanwhile the newest history book I was able to lay hands on didn't contain anything more current than the Gulf War, and only the bottom of the barrel teachers would choose to teach at my school. I didn't learn anything valuable in public school. I got my education online and at the local library, by myself, or in some cases from talking with my grandpa about his work (he worked in agriculture- lots of math and science in those conversations).

This again is exactly why we need to reform our education system. We need evenly distributed funding, we need higher teacher standards and incentives for going where they are needed; "combat pay" if you will. We need performance based student assignment- those who exert an effort- who don't miss school, who turn in their work, etc should be going to the best schools with the best teachers, the most current books, and more technological resources. Those who have made the choice to screw around and stay in the working class can be treated accordingly and stay in our current "daycare" schools.

You can get so much of a bonus for being black maybe, but quotas were stricken down in the Bollinger case, so if the rich kids are getting too much of an advantage, your bonus won't be enough. Not to mention that your white neighbors are staying behind just because of their skin color. We ought to have a better sense of fairness than that. We need to go with answers that give maximum preparation to those who have the personal character to pursue it and make use of it, with not one of those people overlooked.


But, to your larger point, it doesn't matter that we agree that schools are under funded and should be revamped because this will never be done.

Can't is a 4 letter word. It can be accomplished. For Christ's sake this is America. We specialize in the impossible. Sometimes we have to kill somebody to accomplish it, and fine by me. Somebody may have to drag a few politicians out into town square and lynch them before anything changes (hopefully not) but oh well if that's what it takes, and there's no reason that shouldn't be done if it's necessary.
My approach to things, for what it's worth, is that you identify the problem, you come up with a workable sollution, you start advancing that idea, and you continue right on up your list of options until you've tried EVERYTHING within the law- then you make a moral decision about whether or not it's worth going beyond the law.

I've got to get off this computer now, but I'll add more later.


Edit to Add:

I contend that bonuses in the name of "diversity" (which I distinguish from affirmative action in that AA is intended to overcome the disadvantages created by past wrongdoing whereas "diversity" is not intended to overcome past wrongs necessarily according to Justice Powell) is not even a bandage, but a laughable excuse from the powers that be to derive political and economic benefits for themselves by retargeting discrimination from minorities to "majorities" (and keep in mind that this will be a misnomer soon, and infact already is in many localities, including mine.).

I believe that to happily embrace that reality, and in the process give an implied affirmation to the "justification" of past discrimination, rather than attacking the larger, more direct problem, simply because that problem is "too big" runs contrary to virtually every value of America and probably even democracy itself.
Once we start down that slippery slope we find ourselves eyeballing other expedient but immoral and ineffective psuedo-sollutions for problems which would be difficult to correct in a fair and direct manner; For example let's stop arresting gang members who push drugs to children or commit acts of violence, because a disproportionate number of them are minorities and it would be way too difficult to change the circumstances which draw economically disadvantaged minorities into gangs at such a disproportionate rate.


without it there was damn near a revolution. Crumbs from the elite's table always satisfy the masses just enough to shut the # up and go to work.


Perhaps the disconnect between our points of view is that I think that if needbe there SHOULD be a revolution. I believe that the common people of whatever race should not be placated by insubstantial pacifiers. I'm not advocating that we jump straight to blood in the streets obviously though. I'm advocating a political revolution accomplished by shrewd bargaining by independents and third parties, as well as coordination of various PACs and lobbies, and above all, ballot initiatives, because I am convinced that a relatively small cadre of intelligent and charismatic people can galvanize the population and bring about radical change.

I believe in this not only as a possible sollution, but as a stepping stone to revolution if that awful necessity should arise, which it could if things get any worse. Look at America's separation from Britain. We tried to do it right. We got together, made our grievances known, offered proposals to the king, undertook a campaign of (semi) civil disobedience, and then, when the population had seen that the government would not respect them, only then was it time to fight, but it was indeed time to fight, and fight is exactly what the people chose to do.

Also keep in mind that revolution is a RIGHT which the founding fathers valued dearly as the last desperate line of defense for all individual rights, and is arguably protected by the spirit of the law, especially if other documents of America's founding are taken into consideration as indicators of original intent, including the articles of confederation and the Declaration of Independence. Especially the Declaration, which was essentially the causus belli of our declaration of war against Britain, which was later acknowledged by France and Spain, and therefore under international law may set certain precedents for the legitimacy of revolutionary governments whether implemented through revolution, civil war, or simple disregarding and replacement of the existing government without armed conflict (as is exactly what the framers did to the articles when they penned the constitution).



You're dope though...I like you.

Likewise

I hope this didn't go on too much of a tangent or become too militant- I put a little less effort into this edit, I just took a few minutes to wrap up what I cut short earlier with a little elaboration.

[edit on 21-9-2005 by The Vagabond]



posted on Sep, 22 2005 @ 05:45 PM
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You are preaching to the choir for the most part, cousin. Believe it or not, in different regions in different skin, we share most of the same experiences with public education. Those experiences are why I believe AA is important. My grandparents started a legacy that will lead to true wealth in my family if I have anything to say about it. My children will be able to say their great-great-grandfather was a sharecropper and they are doctors, lawyers, scientist--whatever they choose to be. That type of legacy was impossible for black folk before AA. We live in a better America because of it.

It isn't the best we can do, and whatever replaces it won't be the best either. I don't say that to say we shouldn't demand the reforms that truly "leaves no child behind". But, this is a country of compromise and some ideas are sacrificed on the alter of keeping us whole. I can't lie...I love my country, and I believe in democracy. I don't think I could support giving up, and trading in ideology, thought, and words for bullets. I don't wanna see revolution in the streets of Indianapolis-blood on my block. If that means kids like you and me gotta tug and tug until they get where they are going, I say so be it. That's why this is the greatest country in the world. And, after all, struggle creates wisdom, and we need so much wisdom in this country that it isn't even funny anymore.

All I hope is that my children can have a better life than I did, and their children better than them, and so on and on. That's the reason my grandfather left Mississippi, to have a better life than his father. His children did better than him and I believe I've done better than them. To me that's the American dream.

I'm just a pacifist. I don't believe it will take true revolution--violence is never the answer.



posted on Sep, 22 2005 @ 09:32 PM
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That's a fair answer, but there are a few questions still open then.

First, for the sake of the subtle but important distinction I draw between affirmative action and diversity, I have to ask when (in terms of criteria if you prefer, not necessarily a date), if ever, AA can be said to have levelled the playing field and no longer be necessary, and at that point can and will the entitlement-culture lie that diversity is good for everyone perpetuate discrimination at the admissions office?

Also, at some point, whatever sollution we are to find acceptible must be one that result in an equal start for anyone, regardless of race. If the gap is never bridged, it is a twofold disservice to minorities in that not only have they not been elevated to an equal standing but also in that they are held as the political hostages of whatever party will protect these ineffective but presumably necessary handouts.
I don't feel that this is appropriate. As an independent, I believe that people should have the maximum amount of choice possible in an election and should go with the candidate who best represents them. That's not what minorities have right now though. For example, I live around a great many Mexican-Americans. A significant number of them have socially conservative leanings, especially those who are devout catholics. Some from that group would like to oppose abortion, encourage faith-based initiatives, and impose tougher sentences on criminals, but may find it difficult to do so and maintain any self respect, because to do so means A. to support a party which uses immigrants as boogie-men and constantly rattles the saber about closing the border and B. to oppose the only party that's going to give them a leg up towards social and economic mobility.
In short, I think that in addition to the fact that perpetual AA implies failure to reach the goal of quality, it would also perpetuate a limitation of options for minority voters which keeps their party of choice from having to take meaningful action in their name in order to retain their support.

Finally, a little out in left field but not entirely implausible, we have to consider the possibility of blowback. If the underlying problem is not solved, and to the best of my understanding it does not seem that "diversity" has much chance of solving the problem, and affirmative action fares only little better, and consequently we have unequal standards in perpetuity, we run the risk of those standards growing further apart as the gap between rich and poor widens and the advantage of the affluent over the poor in education grows. This could concievably lead to violence in the opposite direction. We don't want minorities spilling the blood of the powers that be really, but we CERTAINLY don't want angry whites who have been sold out in the name of political patronage to start spilling minority blood.

What this all comes around to is basically one question: while I agree with you that Affirmative Action is better than nothing for treating the symptoms, does it have the ability to actually cure the disease, which as I suggest above may very well grow worse if it is not checked?



posted on Sep, 22 2005 @ 09:57 PM
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I was totaly with you until I read this part, and I had to re read it to make sure I was reading it correctly.

When I got home I told my people, you know how you do when someone really pisses you off at work and everyone was like so what?

YOUR PEOPLE??? I don't care what your race, creed or even sexual orientation. BUT BY GOD WE ARE AMERICANS IN THIS COUNTRY AND UNTIL THAT IS REALISED THAT WE ARE ONE NATION................................NO NEED TO EVEN CONTINUE. Unite..........do not divide.



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 12:30 AM
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I'm fairly sure this is a slang thing. "Your people" are your friends, family, the people you hang out with, live with, etc- I think, I actually don't have a cutting-edge dictionary.
It's not like she got home and contacted every member of her race to "talk to her people". I think it's just a miscommunication.



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 12:50 AM
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I do understand that. My only point was that 'my people' divides. If racial equality is the goal, then eliminate 'my people'. Otherwise there will always be a racial rift...........and it not just because 'the white man' held me back. My best man was black, gay, and now an officer in the Navy. I am a veteran and I have seen the best and worse in people. When I got back from Iraq, my best man was there waiting for me. To bad my ex wife could not have hung in there. She tried though. I broke my ankle getting out of a Suburban in the Green Zone.

All I am saying is that you should treat others how you would like to be treated. Diversity has turned out to be a PC BS way out. True diversity is color, creed, race, religion.........BLIND



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 09:18 AM
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Just_a_pilot: I've been on ats for some time and it's well documented that I don't even refer to black people as African-Americans. We are Americans. You are preaching to the choir as well. Vagabond is right, "my people" = family, friends and so on. A quick search of my post will prove this if you are still in doubt.



True diversity is color, creed, race, religion.........BLIND


Here...I don't agree because knowing that I'm tragically Christian and a black woman raised in middle America are important in understanding who I am as a person. True diversity doesn't mean you are blind to race...it means that you can see it and it doesn't matter because in your heart and mind you know we are all the same.

Vagabond:

No, AA isn't the cure, and I wouldn't even sit here and pretend that it is. I see a lot wrong with the two party system. The choices seem rigged and neither side is capable of really tending to the needs of working people. Still, I take offense when someone believes I'm liberal because I'm black or that I think black people need welfare and handouts. I'm liberal because I believe in the Great Society. That's what I want my country to look like. I want my country to take care of the least of us and to provide for the elderly/sick/challenged. If government can't do that then we don't need them. Black people don't just vote liberal because of handouts. That is so condescending. A lot of older black folk are moderate liberals and they vote liberal because they grew up in the 60's and remember which side voted for the civil rights act and which side didn't. They will never vote for a Republican doesn't matter if the liberals come marching down their streets and neighborhoods performing gay marriages...still better than the republicans. If these black folk were given a canidate like John McCain opposed to abortion and gay marriage outside of the Republican party he'd probably get their vote.

I also believe the racial fear is part of the problem, and its done in politics by both sides. Its up to the people to decided if they wanna truly get rid of the two party system. Diversity in candidates is something that will truly have to be fought for in this country because neither side wants to give up their power and control.




if ever, AA can be said to have levelled the playing field and no longer be necessary, and at that point can and will the entitlement-culture lie that diversity is good for everyone perpetuate discrimination at the admissions office?


if the playing field is levelled then there will be diversity and thus no need to keep programs that "discrimininate" against anyone...but...the playing field will not be levelled by AA. It is only designed to open the doors that were once locked and chained. Black folk still have to get to the door and so many of us don't make it there because of the flaws in the education system that we talk about earlier. In it's current form...AA will aways be needed.

(edit: my sis was begging me to check her email so I had to come back to finish my thought) PEACE.

[edit on 23-9-2005 by Saphronia]



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by Saphronia
I see a lot wrong with the two party system. The choices seem rigged and neither side is capable of really tending to the needs of working people.


My thoughts exactly. I'm a poli sci major- just started college after a very long "break" from schooling after highschool. I figure that if there's ever somebody who can get the ball rolling on opening up the ballot to independents and third parties that the current oligopoly will be destroyed and the elephants and jackasses (both outstanding symbols for their respective parties) will have to become responsive to people's needs.


Still, I take offense when someone believes I'm liberal because I'm black or that I think black people need welfare and handouts.


I don't assume that you're liberal or that you need handouts on the basis of your skin color. I have been fairly careful about not trying to label you or make assumptions about your views. I have however classified diversity quotas, and affirmative action to a lesser extent (and contingent on certain assumptions as to its effectiveness) as liberal programs designed not to bring about racial equality, but as political patronage designed to sustain the favor which Democrats find with minorities. I believe that this is a fair and accurate assesment. If it's not solving the problems, but it is helping the party curry favor with a voting block which traditionally leans left, and the the party which benefits is not willing to adapt their approach to something more effective, then it stands to reason that it's just a patronage program to keep voters loyal in certain demographics.


I'm liberal because I believe in the Great Society. That's what I want my country to look like.


While I do have different feelings on that matter, I respect your reasons and have no bone to pick with you over that. As a fiscal conservative I believe that the unique circumstances which individuals face are best addressed by educating them and leaving as much of their money in their hands as humanly possible so that they can make wise use of it for their specific situation. Note that this is contingent on education though. In that I believe in strong funding, monitoring, and organization of vital infrastructure, including education and medical services, I could be called a liberal in certain respects. Fiscally though, I believe that the citizen can use his money for himself more efficiently than the government can, I am against outright income redistribution (notwithstanding collective investment in public goods, even when the taxpayer doesn't think he directly shares in that good, because oftentimes public goods have subtle secondary and tertiary benefits which extend to virtually the entire population, but I digress). At any rate, we have our respective views and there's no sense bickering over them.


Black people don't just vote liberal because of handouts. That is so condescending.

As a generalization your statement is true by default, because not all black people, and possibly not even an appreciable majority of black people, vote liberal/Democrat just because of the handouts. Nevertheless, the handouts do exist, but they are not characterized as handouts, and therefore when a conservative becomes painted as anti-civil rights or anti-minorities for opposing diversity programs which are essentially handouts, (remember how Bush had to cover his rear with a speech praising diversity even while he was supporting the plaintiffs in the Bollinger cases?) minority distrust of conservatives is reinforced, and while they it is not DIRECTLY about the handouts, the handouts play a crucial role.
Both parties are incredibly condescending towards minorities, there is no doubt there. It is baffling to a reasonable person, unless of course he takes into account the corrupt motives of the parties. Democrats treat them like them like cripples during election years then ignore them for 2 and a half years until campaign time comes back around. Republicans spend most of their time denying the evils of their fathers and calling themselves the Party of Lincoln, which of course they are only in name when you consider the reversal of roles which has taken place.
Honestly if I were black I don't believe I could vote for either party and still look at myself in the mirror. I'd look high and low for a responsible pro-minority third party which shared by views, and if I couldn't find one I'd start one.




In it's current form...AA will aways be needed.


Then you and I are in agreement to a great extent. It sure aint going to be easy, but something new has to be done.



posted on Sep, 23 2005 @ 06:34 PM
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Honestly if I were black I don't believe I could vote for either party and still look at myself in the mirror. I'd look high and low for a responsible pro-minority third party which shared by views, and if I couldn't find one I'd start one.


I have to start with this. I read it like three or four times. I think for many black people the right to vote is one of our most precious rights because so many people had to die just for us to be able to vote. We are talking about the United States of America. There are only two parties that count. If you vote 3rd party you are basically throwing your vote into the wind. I care too much about voting to do that.

Plus...I'ma liberal. I'ma democrat. I like big government (if it works). They are going to take our money anyway at the very least they should give it back to build better communities. I'm pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, anti-ten commandments, anti-school prayer, anti-death penalty, anti-war/violence of any kind (pro-gun ownership but i'm american--shoot at me and--well be prepared).

I've voted for republican prosecutors in the last three elections but that's just because republicans should be prosecutors --they have the mentality for it. I'm just saying, that I take voting very seriously. And, I miss Clinton so much and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Gawd, I'm a democrat there is no mistaking that at all.

I would love to see a third or fouth party in this country, but when you think about it that means no one would be elected by a true majority of the people. There could be more people voting for someone else than voted for the guy that gets in office. Isn't that why G-dub is our president? Frickin Nader headz throwing their vote away. A person can vote for whomever they wish but at the end of the day there is going to be a donkey or an elephant in the office...I will vote donkey every time.

You are so idealistic. Tis painful to try to explain some of your ideas away. I'd vote for you. Hurry up with that poli sci thinga-majig.



posted on Sep, 24 2005 @ 02:53 AM
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Originally posted by Saphronia
There are only two parties that count. If you vote 3rd party you are basically throwing your vote into the wind. I care too much about voting to do that.


That is a self fulfilling prophecy. Ross Perot was the first non "republicrat" to make every ballot in American in about a century, and according to exit polls, he would have won if America had believed that he could win and voted its conscience. Also keep in mind that we aren't only talking about presidential elections. There are socialist mayors out there. Not liberal democrats- real live socialists. Where is it written that with the proper organization and the right candidate that you can't help put somebody in the state assembly or even congress who actually represents you?


I would love to see a third or fouth party in this country, but when you think about it that means no one would be elected by a true majority of the people. There could be more people voting for someone else than voted for the guy that gets in office. Isn't that why G-dub is our president?


Clinton didn't get a majority in his first term either. It's relatively safe to say that Bill Clinton would be a little-known former governor and nothing else if there hadn't been 3 candidates on every ballot in America in November 1991. When the vote is split among multiple candidates, an office holder must be extremely responsive to the needs of his constituents. Suppose that in the next election there was going to be a socialist candidate on the ballot alongside the democrat, and the incumbent is a democrat. Well that democrat had dang well better give his constituents what they want, or he'll lose 5-10% of the vote to the socialist, and the republican will win. That works both ways of course, being a Republican wouldn't ensure victory in Texas if there was a well-established neo-conservative party competing with the Republicans- they'd have to serve well, or lose.

Then there's congress to consider. Suppose that the balance in the senate was 45 Republicans, 42 Democrats, 13 Independents/3rd parties. No longer would one party be able to dominate- the introduction of an appreciable number of swing votes to our legislative branch, especially in the senate, would force a more moderate, responsive, compromise-oriented government. No more of this "we've got more and we're just gonna walk over you and drop the nuclear option if you try to fillibuster" crap.


You are so idealistic. Tis painful to try to explain some of your ideas away. I'd vote for you. Hurry up with that poli sci thinga-majig.


What can I say, I'm a sucker for a lost cause- because I'm not entirely sure that there's any such thing. Food for thought- Hitler was just some washed up failed artist who couldn't even merit a promotion to sergeant in the German army, and yet he somehow went from rabble-rousing in pubs to ruling a nation. If a petty, evil man can sieze the imagination of the public and turn the political status quo on its head for his own twisted ends, why couldn't a good man do the same for righteous end?




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