Arguing Affirmative Action - Coggle Diagram
Arguing Affirmative Action
Racial Segregation and Anti-Jewish Quotas
segregation in colleges and universities in admission policy
The best example in this scenario is the case of the university of Texas law school-center of earlier constitutional challenges.
In 1946, when the school was segregated, it denied the admission to Heman Marion Sweatt on the basis that it did not admit blacks.
Sweatt v. Painter (1950)- Sweatt through NAACP assistance sued the university requesting for his enrollment. the supreme court case became a a big blow to segregation in higher education.
"You might argue that the University of Texas Law School, as a public institution, is constrained in its choice of mission to a greater extent than private universities." (pg. 172)
Several state universities were constitutionally challenged due to the issue of segregation as the issue of justice or injustice arose on the basis of race and not its legality.
"anti-Jewish quotas employed, formally or informally, by some Ivy League universities in the 1920s and ’30s.
In 1922, Lawrence Lowell, the Harvard's president proposed 12% limit on Jewish enrollment for the sake of reducing anti-antisemitism.
Lawrence claimed that “The anti-Semitic feeling among students is increasing,” he said, “and it grows in proportion to the increase in the number of Jews.” (pg. 172)
In 1945, the president of Dartmouth justified the limit of Jewish enrollment through invoking the school mission which stated that " Dartmouth is a Christian College founded for the Christianization of its students"
During segregation period, Texas law school utilized race as a badge of inferiority while today racial preferences do not insult or stigmatize.
Segregation-era racial exclusion relied on the despicable idea that one race may inherently more worth than another,"whereas affirmative action involves no such prejudice."
Affirmative Action for Whites?
It test for diversity argument- "Can it sometimes justify racial preferences for whites?" (pg.172)
A good example to consider is the case of
Starrett City vs United States
- the owner of the building relied on rigid racial quotas when selecting tenants.
The quotas were based on a theory of racial tipping points drawn from urban experience and not on the basis of prejudice.
The main aim of the project managers was to avoid the tipping point which could trigger "white fight in the neighborhoods and hence undermine integration.
"By maintaining racial and ethnic balance, they hoped to sustain a stable, racially diverse
community." (pg. 172)
It was successful
- the community was desirable and many families wanted to move in as Starrett made a waiting list.
White families were waiting for 3-4 months for an apartment while african-american waited for more than 2 years.
Quota system was favoring white applicants—based not on racial prejudice but on the goal of sustaining an integrated community.
Some black applicants found the race-conscious policy unfair, and decided to file a discrimination suit.
A settlement was ruled out and it permitted Starrett City to keep its quota system on condition it will expand other project favoring the minority.
Starrett City’s race-conscious form of allocating apartment is considered not unjust when diversity rationale for affirmative action is considered.
"Racial and ethnic diversity play out differently in housing
projects and college classrooms, and the goods at stake are not the same" (pg. 172)
Correcting for the Testing Gap
Is there bias in standardized testing?
Students' family, social, cultural, racial, and educational backgrounds should be considered when evaluating test scores
Do standardized tests accurately predict academic and career success?
Example: Martin Luther King Jr. scored below average on the verbal aptitude test portion of the Graduate Record Exam at the School of Religion at Boston University. However, he "would become one of the greatest orators in American history" (Pg. 169)
"The real affirmative action debate is about two other rationales - the compensatory argument and the diversity argument" (Pg. 169)
Compensating for Past Wrongs
Affirmative action = Remedy for past wrongs
"Minority students should be given preference to make up for a history of discrimination that has placed them at an unfair advantage" (Pg. 170)
Admission is a benefit which compensates for past injustices and the lingering effects those injustices have caused
Criticisms of this argument
Those who receive the benefit of admission are not necessarily those who have suffered and those who provide the compensation are not necessarily those who are responsible for the wrongs
Beneficiary status should be based on class not race, as affluent or middle-class minority students who did not suffer the same injustices as minority students from inner-city areas still receive benefits
Compensation is exacted from people who did not perpetrate the injustice
Do future generations have a moral responsibility to compensate for wrongs committed by previous generations?
This question requires defining the origins of moral responsibility
Diversity argument is not dependent on the concept of "collective responsibility" or that students receiving the benefit of admissions suffered discrimination or disadvantage
This argument rests on the basis of the "common good"
"Equipping disadvantaged minorities to assume positions of leadership in key public and professional roles advances the university's civic purpose and contributes to the common good" (Pg. 171)
A racially diverse student body brings more perspectives, allowing students to learn more from one another than they would if they all shared similar backgrounds
Criticisms of this argument
Are affirmative action policies effective?
Rather than creating a "more pluralistic society or reducing prejudice and inequalities" (Pg. 172) affirmative action damages "the self-esteem of minority students, increases racial consciousness on all sides, heightens racial tensions, and provokes resentment among white ethnic groups who feel they, too, should get a break" (Pg. 172)
Not based on fairness, but focuses on the concept of affirmative action doing more harm than good and not achieving its intended goal
Principle objection "Do Racial Preferences Violate Rights?"
This section of the chapter talks about the application of affirmative action to the college admission process to achieve a "more diverse classroom or a more equal society.". (Chapter 7, Justice, Do racial preferences Violate Rights?)
"the use of affirmative action policies doesn't violate anybody's rights" (Chapter 7, Justice, Do racial preferences Violate Rights?)
The argument against this is the idea where applicants are put at a competitive disadvantage due to factors the applicant can't control such as but not limited to skin color, family income, and legacy applicants.
The reality of this issue is in today's society, getting accepted into college or university requires more than just grade. Many factors are taken into account throughout the entire college admission process. Universities have to meet quotas and racial preferences are taken into account regardless.
Although to meet equal society, "no one has a right to be considered according to any particular set of criteria in the first place." (Chapter 7, Justice, Do racial preferences Violate Rights?) The incentive to create the competitivity of building the "optimal college applications" could possibly take away opportunities for highschoolers and may disregard of how well you did in high school.
1 more item...
How we should approach affirmative action in the admission process is to give all students equal opportunity to allocate seats for the freshman class and pick students based on if they fit the university's mission statement. This way, freshmen receive the merit or virtue throughout the college experience rather than getting accepted the traditional method we us today.
Why Not Auction College Admission?
"Applicants who are not children of alumni but who have wealthy parents able to make a sizeable financial contribution to the school. Many universities admit such students even if their grades and test scores are not as high as would otherwise be required" (Pg. 182).
Disregard any ethnic and racial preferences and consider a financial rationale for college admissions.
Pursuing scholarly excellence
Applicants that come from the poor or middle class are put at a disadvantage. They might possess certain qualities that the university is looking for, but lack the financial resources to fulfill the auction criteria.
Selling education as a consumer good, aka auctioning college admissions to the highest bidder
This argument looks at the ability of a student to contribute financially to a university. If their parents are willing to pay large sums of money for their child's tuition, they have a better chance to admit their child to the school.
Can Justice be detached by Moral desert?
"... it may not be possible, politically or philosophically, to detach arguments about justice from debates about desert." (Chapter 7, Justice, Can Justice Be Detached from Moral Desert?)
Justice - Honorific aspect
"Debates about descriptive justice are about not only why gets what by also what qualities are worthy of honor and reward" (Chapter 7, Justice, Can Justice Be Detached from Moral Desert?)
We can see these examples in rejection or acceptation letters from applicable institutions. This is because, "colleges can't entirely dispense with the idea that their major role is not only to advance certain ends but also to honor and reward certain virtues." (Chapter 7, Justice, Can Justice Be Detached from Moral Desert?)
Merit arise only after institutions define their mission
"the social insitutions that figure most prominently in debates abut justice...are not free to define their mission just any way the please." (Chapter 7, Justice, Can Justice Be Detached from Moral Desert?)
Do racial preferences violate rights? Affirmative action might cause more harm than good, unintentionally.
"Using race or ethnicity as a factor in admissions is unfair... doing so violates the rights of applicants such as Cheryl Hopwood, who , through no fault of their own, are put at a competitive disadvantage" (Pg. 173)
What rights are at stake?
There are no rights being denited
"Most traditional criteria for university admission involve factors beyond one's control" (Pg. 173).
Every school has their own criteria for admitting students and there are certain factors that everyone cannot meet.
Factors include ethnicity, geographical diversity, athletic prowess, and academic promise. These factors contribute to the mission of the university, and no applicant is entitled to admission based on one factor being satisfied.
"The right at stake is the right to be considered according to academic criteria alone" (Pg. 173)
If an applicant meets the academic requirements and possess academic merit, they are entitled to admission