Affirmative action for rich white guys with beady eyes!

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
This made me chuckle. It is interesting how someone like Bush would be so against racial "quotas" (leaving aside the fact that UM's policy isn't a quota) but we don't hear a peep from him about the types of affirmative action that benefited him and so many others like him.



Does anyone really believe W. would be anything other than an Assistant Manager at the mall food court right now if it weren't for some serious affirmative action on his behalf?



The problem is that those against affirmative action of the UM type seem to imply that we live in a meritocracy, with the exception of those blacks getting by on something other than merit. "We," the George W.'s imply, "worked hard to get where we are. Others shouldn't have these things just handed to them. It's unfair."



How many of us, like George W., received affirmative action to get to third base, but thought we had hit a triple?



From <a href="http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1101030127-409553,00.html"; target="_blank">this TIme piece</a> by Michael Kinsley:

[quote]George W. Bush, in fact, may be the most spectacular affirmative-action success story of all time. Until 1994, when he was 48 years old and got elected Governor of Texas, his life was almost empty of accomplishments. Yet bloodlines and connections had put him into Andover, Yale and Harvard Business School, and even finally provided him with a fortune after years of business disappointments. Intelligence, hard work and the other qualities associated with the concept of merit had almost nothing to do with Bush's life and success up to that point. And yet seven years later he was President of the U.S.<hr></blockquote>

And <a href="http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20030203&s=trb020303"; target="_blank">this New Republic piece</a> asks this question of those who are against UM's affirmative action policy:

[quote]Have you denounced other identity-based preferences in college admissions? Republicans make a big deal of the fact that under Michigan's numerically based admissions system, black applicants get points just for being black. But students also get points for being from different regions of the country or even different parts of the state. In fact, applicants from Michigan's rural, overwhelmingly white Upper Peninsula get almost as large a preference as blacks--although hailing from a certain region says as little about the content of an applicant's character as does her pigmentation. Geographic preferences may not be as constitutionally vulnerable as racial ones, but surely they are just as unfair. And yet I have never seen a speech by a Republican politician or read a column by a conservative journalist denouncing geographic discrimination.<hr></blockquote>



[ 01-27-2003: Message edited by: BRussell ]</p>
«134

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 80
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    [quote]Originally posted by BRussell:

    <strong>How many of us, like George W., received affirmative action to get to third base, but thought we had hit a triple?</strong><hr></blockquote>



    How many of us have been listening to Riot Act?



    I think it is brilliant irony myself, that GeeDubs couldn't get into my beloved university's law school but got into IvyLand because of his daddy's name. All the more delicious that he bemoans affirmative action today.



    Of course the two situations are very different, but it's stivar eautiful irony. KILL WHITEY!
  • Reply 2 of 80
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    isn't that a form of nepatism, not affirmative action?
  • Reply 3 of 80
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I think the argument being made is that nepotism is a form of affirmative action. Which is a valid argument.



    Semantics, mainly.
  • Reply 4 of 80
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    I was kinda thinking what alcimedes was: more a case of nepotism and "who you know" and the like, as opposed to any government-imposed thing.



    Was there a file anywhere that said "this squinty-eyed fellow...send him to the front because he's kinda short and a bit slow on the uptake".







    I doubt it.



    I think it's just standard, run-of-the-mill "my Daddy was in this fraternity with his Daddy, and his business partner is now the guy who bangs the woman who goes over admission applications, so...".



    Annoying and lame, but not really evil or two-faced or - in my opinion - linked to Affirmative Action in any real way.



    Just good ol' boy networking and string-pulling. Gone on a bazillion years, with or without any official intervention.



  • Reply 5 of 80
    pscatespscates Posts: 5,847member
    Oh, and Michael Kinsley?



    What would you expect him to say about it? He's, well...







    I haven't seen him since the old "Crossfire" days and I STILL want to give his arrogant, smarmy face a good smack.



  • Reply 6 of 80
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    I see a connection between being let in with lower standards because you're someone's kid and being let in with lower standards because you have a lot of dark pigments.



    One is government and one is private, that's the only real difference. On a moral, private citizen level you still have qualified candidates "screwed" out of spots because of an unrelated factor.
  • Reply 7 of 80
    toweltowel Posts: 1,479member
    UMich has legacy points just like they do race points - and probably most other schools have a similarly institutionalized legacy policy. So the two really are related. Of course, getting rid of legacy points wouldn't really help things - Average Joe Alum would see his kids lose a bit of an edge, while you can bet rich/prominent I. M. Alum III will still get his kids in by more informal (and perhaps completely unspoken) processes. I'm not aware of any Harvard Bushes, but HBS gave Dubya an invitation anyway. That sort of affirmative action can never be legislated away.



    Edit: I see Groverat's point about AA being government-mandated while legacy admits are just something every single school does of its own volition. However, the government doesn't actually "mandate" race-preferences in admission, does it? I thought it just says that certain institutions (including universities that receive federal funds) must make efforts have their student and faculty bodies representative of the population at large? And most schools decided that race preferences on admission and hiring were the easiest way to do this.



    [ 01-27-2003: Message edited by: Towel ]</p>
  • Reply 8 of 80
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    [quote]Originally posted by Towel:

    <strong>However, the government doesn't actually "mandate" race-preferences in admission, does it? </strong><hr></blockquote>Exactly. I don't get the private vs. gov't difference being made here. They're both ways that schools (private and state) have chosen to favor certain individuals based on their identity rather than their merit.
  • Reply 9 of 80
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    The difference is that public schools don't practice nepotism. Again, you'll notice that GeeDub couldn't get into UT-Law.



    Another difference is that private school nepotism isn't up for debate. You can't force the private system to take only the most qualified applicants. Public schools, however, can be forced.



    I'm not arguing for or against AA, I'm just pointing out Bush's hypocrisy.
  • Reply 10 of 80
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    [quote]Originally posted by alcimedes:

    <strong>isn't that a form of nepatism, not affirmative action?</strong><hr></blockquote>And how are they different? As goverat said, the point is that legacy admissions is affirmative action for kids of parents who went to the school. You can come up with a different term for it, but aren't they the same? They are both based on factors over which you have no control and are unrelated to merit. They are both used to bias admissions decisions. And while racial affirmative action at least is aimed at correcting current disparities and past discrimination, the legacy affirmative action that benefits the George Bushs of the world does just the opposite. It decreases diversity, increases class disparities, and favors those who need it least.

    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    <strong>How many of us have been listening to Riot Act? </strong><hr></blockquote>I don't get it - explain?

    [quote]The difference is that public schools don't practice nepotism. Again, you'll notice that GeeDub couldn't get into UT-Law.<hr></blockquote>Sure they do. The reason George didn't get into Texas, <a href="http://www.uwire.com/content/topnews032101002.html"; target="_blank">which does favor legacies</a>, is because he wasn't a legacy at Texas. He was at Yale.



    And I don't believe private schools are free to discriminate just because they're private. The test is whether they receive federal funds, which all good private schools, like Yale and Harvard, do. They get tons of money in federal grants. (I think. I could be wrong about that.)
  • Reply 11 of 80
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,454member
    I have to point out a few things about the original quoted articles that bother me and then concure with some others here.



    First of all you likely cannot legislate away nepotism as others here have mentioned. The fact that Tom Hanks is as liberal as they come yet Colin Hanks has already starred in a movie isn't just coincidence. We see this hundreds of times over everyday. Even moreso in institutions like Hollywood where they would have you believe that it isn't who you know when that is exactly what it comes down to.



    In the Kinsley article he really have made his case better if he showed what the acceptance criteria was for acceptance then and how G.W. Bush was somehow below it. His SAT's don't sound terrible considering the timeframe. Likewise Bush did attempt and fail at a couple of businesses but nothing ventured, nothing gained is what I always say. Failure is a part of achieving success. When you weightlift, you lift until the muscles fails because that makes it stronger.



    It could also be due to context, I thought my first real estate purchase was an absolute loser. However 5 years later I felt much better when I sold it for a profit of $15,000 which I used to buy a house that has appreciated $30,000. However if you had asked me about it when there were units in the same building selling for $20,000 less than I owed on my....well I wouldn't have been so happy.



    People aspiring and occasionally failing, I can gladly live with that regardless of color. Nepotism, I don't like but how the heck can you make it go away? Affirmative action based on race should be abolished because race is an antiquated way of looking at people. The sooner we remove it from public policy the sooner people are likely to remove it from their own thinking.



    Nick
  • Reply 12 of 80
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    Why is legacy admissions harder to get rid of than race-based admissions? They would be stopped in exactly the same way.
  • Reply 13 of 80
    [quote]Originally posted by trumptman:

    <strong> Affirmative action based on race should be abolished because race is an antiquated way of looking at people. The sooner we remove it from public policy the sooner people are likely to remove it from their own thinking.

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    "Antiquity" is a crappy reason to abolish something. Right... The sooner we stop trying to redress past discrimination the sooner the white race can take advantage of a situation they helped to create from years of past discrimination. That makes sense...
  • Reply 14 of 80
    scottscott Posts: 7,431member
    I didn't help to create any of that.
  • Reply 15 of 80
    Will we play the semantics game, Scott? It's not like every person in every thread always accuses you of doing so...
  • Reply 16 of 80
    [quote]Originally posted by groverat:

    <strong>



    How many of us have been listening to Riot Act?

    </strong><hr></blockquote>



    Good CD.



    I think, BRussell, that groverat is referring to the song 'Bushleaguer.'
  • Reply 17 of 80
    jrcjrc Posts: 804member
    race and such should never be noted or used in any way to benefit or punish. Period.
  • Reply 18 of 80
    objra10objra10 Posts: 679member
    BRussell,



    For what it's worth, on a practical level - one is easier to eliminate since you can stop asking someone what their race is, but it's awfully hard to not know what family they are from. You can do a blind admission where you don't know the race of any applicants, but you're going to know their names, and with their names comes their families.
  • Reply 19 of 80
    [quote]Originally posted by OBJRA10:

    <strong>BRussell,



    For what it's worth, on a practical level - one is easier to eliminate since you can stop asking someone what their race is, but it's awfully hard to not know what family they are from. You can do a blind admission where you don't know the race of any applicants, but you're going to know their names, and with their names comes their families.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    And you go, "Oh gosh. Old Johnson's son applied to us at Harvard. But he's not qualified enough. No plus points for him!"
  • Reply 20 of 80
    objra10objra10 Posts: 679member
    SPJ



    But we both know that if Ol' Johnson gives $500K a year to the college, his boy is going to get no matter how qualified he is.
Sign In or Register to comment.