Affirmative Action bakkecrop - Coggle Diagram
Reasons For Affirmative Action
Compensation for Past Wrongs
Minority students are given preference in admissions to compensate for historical wrongs like discrimination and oppression
Raises the moral question of collective or generational responsibility and retribution
Critics claim that "those who benefit are not necessarily those who have suffered, and those who pay for the compensation are seldom those responsible for the wrongs being rectified"
Affirmative action can often benefit middle-class or affluent minority students
Some critics argue that affirmative action ought to be based on class, not race
Many schools argue that their use of affirmative action works toward their goal of promoting diversity, which they argue is valuable to their institution
Providing education to students from different backgrounds advances a university's civic purpose to cultivate good citizens
Having students from different backgrounds, including different races, is valuable for intellectual diversity of thought
Correcting for the Testing Gap
SAT, ACT, and other scholastics tests are questionable measures of academic prowess
Studies show even when normed for economic class minorities do poorer on these exams, MLK had a poor GRE score for verbal aptitude was a strong example
Preface: A school with AA accepts applicants with similar grades and test scores who are minorities first.
Critiques of Affirmative Action
Questions whether focusing on race in affirmative action actually reduces prejudice and inequality in society
"The practical objection does not claim that affirmative action is unjust, but rather that it is unlikely to achieve its aims, and may do more harm than good"
Affirmative action may cause tensions and resentment, as other groups who do not benefit may feel that they deserve the same treatment
Affirmative action could harm the self-esteem of minority students, who may question the merit of their admittance.
Some objectors argue that, while the goal of affirmative action may be noble, using race as a factor of admissions violates rights.
What is the right being violated?
Right to consideration based on academic criteria alone
Ronald Dworkin argues that this right does not exist, as universities have the ability to admit applicants based on whatever criteria they have set for admission
The purpose of university admissions is not inherently to honor or reward academic excellence, but to further the mission of the university, whatever that may be.
Considerations for Affirmative Action
Affirmative Action for White People
Are their constraints on using affirmative action to achieve diversity?
In some situations, affirmative action may be needed for white people in order to achieve diversity
Diversity is still considered a good
Discrimination is not occurring out of hatred
Racial Segregation as University Mission
Questions using a university's mission to justify affirmative action
Is there a distinction between using race to exclude vs. include people?
Dworkin argues that segregation asserts that certain races are inferior or unworthy, but affirmative action does not make such harmful claims
Some universities in the past have engaged in racial segregation as a part of their mission
e.g. racial segregation in the South, anti-Jewish quotas, etc.
Justice and Moral Desert
A Rawlsian perspective views disconnects distributive justice from moral desert
This deemphasis on merit challeneges common notions in society
Justice has often been related to merit and qualities that are socially rewarded
"Justice often has an honorific aspect"
Can the mission of a university be independent from the role of honoring certain virtues?
A university does have an expectation of academic excellence
Auctioning Admission to College
Should admission to college be auctioned off to the highest bidders?
Using this admissions process could be seen as serving the mission of the university; operating the university and fulfilling its mission requires funding
This situation requires colleges to balance pursuit of their mission (which requires money) and their scholarly and civic duties