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Barriers to equal opportunity in education


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1 hour ago, MigL said:
  1. You and Zap had better grab onto something; that's a pretty slippery slope you're on.

You need to quit focusing on race. They are just fixing a problem they caused with a group of people. Could have been blacks, women, left handed people, or those whose first name begins with "M".

Let's say your parents had four children, two boys and two girls, and only gave an allowance to the boys even though all did their chores. If the parents finally realized the error of their ways and decided to only give allowance to the girls until they are all caught up, would you call that sexism?

You are forcing the situation into the definition of "racism" even though there is no discrimination, prejudice or antagonism directed at white people. Doing things based on race is not automatically racist.

If you give a white person money one week, and a black person the next week, have you been a white racist and black racist on alternating weeks?

Your argument is similar to the kid who kills his parents then demands pity because he is an orphan. You are setting up a situation where no one can ever be compensated for wrongs done to them because someone will always be hurt by the remedy. For example, let's say I own stock in Pfizer and Pfizer is sued because they don't properly test a drug and people die. By your argument, those victims should not be compensated because that compensation will depress the value of my stock holdings.

It is you who are on a slippery slope.

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What are some of the barriers to providing equal opportunity to every one, within academia? Seeing a lot of ignorant and entitled posting lately, which doesn't even make a point to address this.

Oh absolutely I'd agree with that. I experienced it myself, except it was my mother that left. I was 5 and she walked out on us and was gone for awhile. That being said; she was still a lot more prese

! Moderator Note Vague generalizations disguised as slurs towards a group of people are against our rules. This sort of thinking has been debunked MANY times over, much like crea

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I think it boils down to the issue that many people do not distinguish between institutional (or systemic) vs individual racism sufficiently nor is the context acknowledged. It ignores for example, that systemic racism can arise from measures that do not explicitly acknowledge race. Often it is phrased in the context of innocent mistakes, though they can also be part of a specific strategy. Atwater, a Republican strategist outlined the Souther strategy more explicitly:

 

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You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can’t say “nigger”—that hurts you, backfires. So you say stuff like, uh, forced busing, states’ rights, and all that stuff, and you’re getting so abstract. Now, you’re talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you’re talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is, blacks get hurt worse than whites.… “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, uh, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.

By using the broadest brush one could find one then becomes possible to equate measures that try to specifically balance out inequalities borne from such policies, with the unfair practice themselves and leverage such false dichotomies to undermine efforts to create a fairer playing field. In fact, some might even argue that because practices as mentioned in the quote do not explicitly mention race, they are somewhat less racist, which seems delusional to me at best and malicious at worst.

Another issue is that many folks are so used to the unfair and faulty system, that they assume that this is natural or the the norm, whilst not realizing that all the rules are constructed, often with unfairness in mind. Of course it would be better to eradicate all unfair elements of the system (which extend far beyond things like education) but as we can see, there is a pushback even with those small measures, nevermind eradicating large, complicated  systemic ones. This is in part where privileges plays a role. From a position of privilege, equality looks like a loss. Again, the reason why there are cases where race, gender or other attributes might need to be addressed specifically, is because there is a system that knowingly or not knowingly has created unfair disparity along those lines and either still creates it and/or have created such deep historic damages that the repercussions are still there and need to be addressed in order to overcome them (i.e. folks cannot boostrap themselves if someone stole their boots first).

 

19 hours ago, zapatos said:

So "In what world, then, does it make sense, that in the case of two equally qualified individuals the tie-breaker is determined by 'features' of whatever group is needed to fill a quota ?"

Answer: In a world that screwed up society by favoring the "white" feature, and are trying to make amends by favoring the "black" feature for a while until things are the way they should have been without our interference way back when.

I should also add that this is a common misconception, racial quotas are explicitly forbidden in the US, but one can have efforts to increase diversity. I am not sure about the legal landscape in Canada in that regards but I believe that targets can be set internally to measure progress in creating diversity, which seems to be structurally similar. 

 

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I find people to be selective in what they find to be racist (or sexist for that matter). For a long time health studies were done predominately on white men which was really unfair to blacks and women as the lack of equal study put them at a disadvantage. But no one complains that it is racist or sexist to now spend limited research dollars on health studies on blacks or women which excludes white men. They recognize that we've caused a disparity and need to make adjustments. But if what you are proposing is going to impact my relative position of power, then it must racist!

I wished that folks in sciences would be that rational. It is true that especially in medical sciences there is this huge knowledge gap and it is also true that most researchers are aware and would agree with that issue. However, for a long time it actually has been difficult to add diversity as a subject matter to a research proposal. Reviewers could, for example penalize studies that have very large cohorts if they try to address sex differences in their studies (as most at that time would simply create a male cohort). Funding agencies somewhat recently started addressing this issue by requiring researchers to at least address why they do not consider sex in their studies, but there is still a huge disparity in the type of research. A part is also due to lack of representation of high level female researchers.

Minority research is even trickier to get funding (despite what some people might claim). It is again fairly recent that there are at least a few researchers who would look at such studies favourably. I personally had grants rejected at least partially because my proposed study cohort was not sufficiently representative of the broader population (i.e. had too many minorities ).

Again, those are systemic issues, with having researchers/reviewers being not sufficiently diverse and propagating a certain assumption of normalcy that has massively hurt many aspects of our biological understanding.

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3 hours ago, zapatos said:

Doing things based on race is not automatically racist.

I wonder if 00 years ago people didn't feel the same way about slavery, in the American south.

Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way, Zap.
If you claim that is not the definition of 'racism'. maybe I should be asking for your definition, so that we can be on the same page and have a mutually beneficial discussion.

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4 minutes ago, MigL said:

Maybe I'm going about this the wrong way, Zap.
If you claim that is not the definition of 'racism'. maybe I should be asking for your definition, so that we can be on the same page and have a mutually beneficial discussion.

Same as yours: prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against a person or people on the basis of their membership in a particular racial or ethnic group, typically one that is a minority or marginalized.

I've asked you about several situations and whether you consider them sexist or racist so as to understand your reasoning. It is unclear to me how AA fits into that definition and you have not responded.

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Fair enough.
But prejudice, discrimination and antagonism are 'perceived' actions.
Any action that distresses, offends or makes a person feel bad, can be classified as prejudice/discrimination/antagonism.
It follows, then, that any action simply based on race, is racist.

I don't have an example to refer to regarding racism, but perhaps one about sexism can be substituted.
We've had discussions on this very forum, as to whether the words "that woman" is sexist.
I was arguing on the other side that time ( hey, someone's gotta present an opposing viewpoint ), but the consensus was that, if the words are perceived as offensive then they are sexist. IOW, actions or words based on gender can be ( and often are ) perceived as sexist, even though they are simply a statement of gender.

edit
Almost forgot to answer the question.
As AA is ultimately ( all else being equal ) based on race, it is inherently racist.

Edited by MigL
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1 hour ago, MigL said:

As AA is ultimately ( all else being equal ) based on race, it is inherently racist.

And it would follow then that all other things ultimately based on race are inherently racist.

Medical studies of heart disease in black men. The internship my wife created for young women of color in distressed school systems. The Congressional Black Caucus. Blacks in Technology. The Executive Leadership Council. National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering. The Underground Railroad. NAACP. United Negro College Fund. The Emancipation Proclamation. The Canadian Council of Refugees. Diversity Management Program in Canada. Missionary programs to eliminate slavery and mutilation in the Congo.

I'm afraid your definition of racism makes it useless to represent what most people think of as racism.

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7 hours ago, zapatos said:

You need to quit focusing on race. They are just fixing a problem they caused with a group of people. Could have been blacks, women, left handed people, or those whose first name begins with "M".

Can I take offense to that? I'm in that last demographic. I don't feel offended at all really, but reductio ad absurdum is fun.

That's exactly the sort of thing I'd expect to hear from one of you Z people, he said in mock offense. 

3 hours ago, MigL said:

Fair enough.
But prejudice, discrimination and antagonism are 'perceived' actions.
Any action that distresses, offends or makes a person feel bad, can be classified as prejudice/discrimination/antagonism.
It follows, then, that any action simply based on race, is racist.

Yet actions are also based on morality.

I'm glad you brought up antagonism.

Let's say the killing of George Floyd was an antagonistic act, which it probably was whether racist intent comes into play or not. 

Were the protests and at times riots that happened afterward also antagonistic or were they reactionary to a prior antagonism?

I actually much prefer talking about class but then maybe that is because talking about race makes us all feel uncomfortable.

I think we can all acknowledge here that racism does in fact exist and it is a major problem and can be a barrier to education, for everyone. As it can be a barrier to financial security. 

When we are talking about discrimination, there are two kinds worth mentioning. Implicit and explicit. When we discuss racism, we are discussing racial in-group biases specifically. This I feel, is where a lot of misunderstanding and poor use of language on both sides can make things a lot worse. We as a species have a habit of forming a dynamic multiplicity of in-group biases, implicitly and explicitly. 

What this means in legal terms, is that bias is a cause of the act of discrimination. It can be implicit or explicit, direct or indirect. To me, this means that not all who are guilty of racial discrimination or any other form of discrimination, are guilty of malicious prejudice or racism. Every human has biases to overcome and it is no easy thing, as it means admitting that you are flawed. Some people would rather die than face the truth that they or someone they idolise, can in fact be flawed. 

The best way to think about affirmative action, is to consider the social model of disability, wherein people are viewed as disabled by external environment. This means that with reasonable adjustments, a disabled person can be made just as able as everyone else. Affirmative action is just recognising the disparities between social mobility between different groups and building a ramp to those that need a ramp instead of making them walk upstairs. 

At least that is what affirmative action should be like, the ramp comparison isn't meant to call anyone disabled because of their colour and is just a metaphor. 

Now, one concept that is often discussed within education is the idea of universally inclusive and beneficial, structural changes to the learning experience and environment. Universal enrichment. 

An example of this can be anything from a ramp, to an app that teaches kids facial expressions, originally designed for autistic children but found to also be a useful tool for teaching their peers about body language in universally inclusive classrooms. 

One of the current barriers where class is concerned, is internet access. Due to covid, online learning is completely inaccessible to the poorest households. 

So maybe we should move on from race and discuss the financial and logistical barriers that does not currently allow for their to be a good quality education for everyone who wants one. 

I think we can probably all agree, that a world where there is a good quality education, available to everyone who wants one, is something that would eliminate the need for affirmative action in the first place. 

Even where higher education is subsidised or "free" like in Scotland, there are only so many places on every course offered by colleges and universities. Of those courses, not all of them are universally inclusive in setting, format, method, philosophy or individual staffing choices. 

At this point I'm probably rambling but this is something that really matters to me. It's extremely important to have discussions like these where we state an ideal, and ask how we can achieve it. What does the ideal school system look like and how do we get closer to that ideal?

 

 

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28 minutes ago, MSC said:

The best way to think about affirmative action, is to consider the social model of disability, wherein people are viewed as disabled by external environment. This means that with reasonable adjustments, a disabled person can be made just as able as everyone else. Affirmative action is just recognising the disparities between social mobility between different groups and building a ramp to those that need a ramp instead of making them walk upstairs. 

At least that is what affirmative action should be like, the ramp comparison isn't meant to call anyone disabled because of their colour and is just a metaphor. 

Nice analogy

28 minutes ago, MSC said:

At this point I'm probably rambling

The rambling actually began much much sooner than at this point, but it was a good post overall, so no worries  👍

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26 minutes ago, iNow said:

The rambling actually began much much sooner than at this point, but it was a good post overall, so no worries

The day I first started commenting here was probably when it started! Thank you though. You don't give out compliments often, so I do appreciate it quite a bit. :)

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12 hours ago, MSC said:

I think we can all acknowledge here that racism does in fact exist and it is a major problem and can be a barrier to education, for everyone.

We most certainly can.
As a matter of fact, education ( for all) would go a long way towards ridding the world of racism, but will not eliminate it completely.
( please keep in mind that I've said the cause is noble, and justified, but, I also like to explore other viewpoints, so as to have a discussion )

 

12 hours ago, MSC said:

Were the protests and at times riots that happened afterward also antagonistic or were they reactionary to a prior antagonism?

The two choices you give are not satisfactory.
Yes, to an innocent bystander who got hurt during the protests, or to a store-owner who was looted, they most certainly were antagonistic.
Arrest of the 4 cops involved, and protesting their police department ( who enables and protects those kinds of cops ) would be reactionary.
If, on the other hand, you want to stretch the 'enabling' part to all of society ( including blacks who enable their own oppression ? ) then yor question might be valid.

 

12 hours ago, MSC said:

The best way to think about affirmative action, is to consider the social model of disability

But there are many models of Affirmative Action.
I have claimed, that all other qualifiers being equal, basing the final decision on race ( whatever that means; should be distinguishing characteristics of a group ) is inherently racist. That IS the meaning of the word.

 

16 hours ago, zapatos said:

I'm afraid your definition of racism makes it useless to represent what most people think of as racism.

You are probably right.
But I would say that the people who most often use the word ( if I had to label them it would be progressives, but I dislike labels ) have twisted it to imply only the bad aspects of 'discriminating', or sorting, by race.

In a perfect world where there is no racism ( HaHa, impossible since it can be argued that it is an evolutionary trait ), all the programs and institutions that you mentioned ( except for medical studies on black men, which recognises that some of these group traits have health consequences ), Zap, would be racist, as they use race as the sole criteria.

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33 minutes ago, MigL said:

You are probably right.
But I would say that the people who most often use the word ( if I had to label them it would be progressives, but I dislike labels ) have twisted it to imply only the bad aspects of 'discriminating', or sorting, by race.

In a perfect world where there is no racism ( HaHa, impossible since it can be argued that it is an evolutionary trait ), all the programs and institutions that you mentioned ( except for medical studies on black men, which recognises that some of these group traits have health consequences ), Zap, would be racist, as they use race as the sole criteria.

So if I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying that racism isn't necessarily good or bad, it just indicates whether something used race as a selector. Is that right?

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

So if I understand you correctly, you seem to be saying that racism isn't necessarily good or bad, it just indicates whether something used race as a selector. Is that right?

If I may add to that as a question to MigL, is it also independent on the outcome? I.e. if the outcome results in racial disparity it is as racist as a measure that results in equity.

If so, I think one potential barrier in the discussion is that different definitions of racism are at play here.

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Not quite, CharonY.
I'm trying to explain ( to the best of my ability ), that even for a just cause, sorting/selecting according to racial traits is using 'racism'.
The fact that we are willing to use 'race' to discriminate between people, when we consider the cause just, means we will discriminate using 'race' when another cause comes along that we consider just.

Just, is simply a moral justification for doing/saying something.
As their livelihood depended on slavery, I'm sure the Confederate States though discriminating according to 'race' was just.

I'm saying sorting/discriminating according to 'race' is a bad thing, Zap.
For one thing, there is only one race, so you are actually sorting/discriminating according to group traits.

The fact that this bad thing can be used to do even worse things like subjugate, enslave or even commit genocide, seems like a good reason not to use it at all.

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

I'm saying sorting/discriminating according to 'race' is a bad thing, Zap.

Can you please explain the bad things about the Emancipation Proclamation and the Underground Railroad from my list?

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2 hours ago, MigL said:

Just, is simply a moral justification for doing/saying something.

I am not looking at the justification, but at the outcome. So just to clarify, you think that using certain measures are inherently negative, regardless of the outcome? Should we then or should we not for example investigate why certain outcomes such as health or education appear to correlate to certain degrees with things like associated race?

 

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1 hour ago, zapatos said:

Can you please explain the bad things about the Emancipation Proclamation and the Underground Railroad from my list?

 IIRC, A Lincoln's words identified slaves, not black people, to be freed, while there were many whites who participated in the underground railroad to bring slaves to freedom.

The act of targeting a group was wrong when slavery was established, and can be argued to be wrong when those same methods are used to correct the original wrong.
Do we murder murderers ?
Do we take possessions away from thieves ?
When is 'an eye for an eye' ever a good policy ?

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56 minutes ago, MigL said:

 IIRC, A Lincoln's words identified slaves, not black people, to be freed, while there were many whites who participated in the underground railroad to bring slaves to freedom.

 

You said the Emancipation Proclamation and the Underground Railroad were racist, and you said racism was a bad thing. Now I don't know what you are saying about them, but you certainly  aren't saying they are bad.

 

1 hour ago, MigL said:

The act of targeting a group was wrong when slavery was established, and can be argued to be wrong when those same methods are used to correct the original wrong.

What same methods? We are not enslaving white people. No one is "targeting" white people.

How can you make amends for something bad you did if you cannot identify and help the group you wronged?

As far as I can tell you are telling black people they were screwed but tough shit, because it  would be wrong to correct the problem.

I really don't understand where you are coming from. 

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7 hours ago, MigL said:

In a perfect world where there is no racism ( HaHa, impossible since it can be argued that it is an evolutionary trait ), all the programs and institutions that you mentioned ( except for medical studies on black men, which recognises that some of these group traits have health consequences ), Zap, would be racist, as they use race as the sole criteria.

Even an evolutionary trait can turn out to be maladaptive or it can become that way due to other changes. Evolution is random, it's not the case that every evolution must in some way be or always be beneficial to the lifeform that evolves thar trait. 

You're also portraying the objective identification of biological differences as racism. Which it isn't. As an example, it wouldn't be racist of me to point out that black people are more at risk of developing sickle cell anaemia than white people, this is true. The racism would come into it if I then claimed this propensity to have an increased risk for one medical problem makes black people genetically inferior to white people. It doesn't. 

I also disagree with your characterisation that race is the primary deciding factor of whether or not someone is given a place in college. Sometimes it may come down to deciding on race, but that isn't racism in and of itself and is being considered relevant for the purposes of fighting the history of intolerance black people have been subjected to. As I side earlier, the reason that we even have to pick and choose who gets a place in higher education is a logistical problem that would need to be overcome in order to not have to do that. As it is, if the student body demographies do not approach percentages more in line with the actual demographic makeups of the locations the schools are based, that is a but of a tell-tale sign that things are not equal.

7 hours ago, MigL said:

We most certainly can.
As a matter of fact, education ( for all) would go a long way towards ridding the world of racism.
( please keep in mind that I've said the cause is noble, and justified, but, I also like to explore other viewpoints, so as to have a discussion )

It really would and I do appreciate your advocacy for other viewpoints and perspectives. :)

7 hours ago, MigL said:

The two choices you give are not satisfactory.
Yes, to an innocent bystander who got hurt during the protests, or to a store-owner who was looted, they most certainly were antagonistic.
Arrest of the 4 cops involved, and protesting their police department ( who enables and protects those kinds of cops ) would be reactionary.
If, on the other hand, you want to stretch the 'enabling' part to all of society ( including blacks who enable their own oppression ? ) then yor question might be valid.

It should be clear that I disagree with the looting and protesting, I think it's not helpful to the plight of black people and it made a lot of people have negative feelings toward BLM. That being said, it happened and I cannot change that. When we ask the question; how can we avoid it happening again? I get the feeling that cracking down on the black community harder and the efforts made by the administration to demonise, attack and generalise peaceful protesters as radical anarchist rioters probably isn't the best strategy to use when actually trying to de-escalate.

1 hour ago, MigL said:

The act of targeting a group was wrong when slavery was established, and can be argued to be wrong when those same methods are used to correct the original wrong.
Do we murder murderers ?
Do we take possessions away from thieves ?
When is 'an eye for an eye' ever a good policy ?

So targeted reparations are racist? Acting in a way to seek forgiveness by acknowledging past wrongs, is wrong? Maybe we should all just be colour blind and pretend that we don't see any differences between one another at all? It is how we act, when faced with difference that defines whether or not we are acting in a good way. Pretending not to see the difference is just apathy. 

Yes, we do execute murderers. It's called Capital punishment. That's becoming rarer now and mostly we just lock them up. Stealing time from them for stealing all the time of another. 

We take away freedom and time from caught thieves, money too. 

The eye for an eye line refers to revenge, justice is not about revenge. It's about deterrence, punishment and reformation. Making the punishment, fit the crime.

I'm a little confused at to what conclusions you are making about affirmative action, racism and race. If we were to go with what appears to be your definition, then we've all been very racist in the conversation ourselves. Is that what you're trying to say?

 

 

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On 11/29/2020 at 1:56 AM, zapatos said:

And I think it is either willful ignorance or naiveté to the extreme to suggest this never happens.

Perhaps you should read up on Operation Varsity Blues.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_college_admissions_bribery_scandal

Of course it does. But its not inherently true that it will.

On 11/29/2020 at 4:05 PM, zapatos said:

No you didn't. Otherwise I would have responded differently. It completely changes the meaning what you actually said.

If you take something from me and I take it back, I have solved the deficit. I don't need to let you keep it and figure out how to get another one for myself.

That would be fine, but as an analogy its based on a lot of assumption.

Racism to me would be  attributing value to race based on its diversity.

I believe it was wrong the 1st time and is wrong anytime.

It has and continues to have a damaging impact on the whole of humanity. I just don't  believe that damage can be nullified by repeating same the formula  in reverse.

It doesn't work.

How do you measure 'equality' in a whole without dividing it?

5 hours ago, CharonY said:

 So just to clarify, you think that using certain measures are inherently negative, regardless of the outcome?

I now was not directed at me, but yes. But not regardless of outcome.The out come is inherently negative.

Quote

Should we then or should we not for example investigate why certain outcomes such as health or education appear to correlate to certain degrees with things like associated race?

 

By all means investigate.but if laws recognise equality, it is relative. not causative.

On 11/29/2020 at 1:14 AM, iNow said:

 

Your stance ignores the fact that too often people who are equally or even more qualified also regularly don’t get those jobs and functions. The evidence on this subject is abundant and consistent, and you should seriously consider revising your stance which today doesn’t seem to be in any way tethered to reality. 

I  believe it allows for that.

On 10/14/2020 at 1:09 PM, zapatos said:

My wife started an internship at work where they would have a highly motivated girl of color in one of the inner city high schools get exposure to nursing for a summer. One of the girls selected wanted to pursue nursing after high school. She literally had no idea how to apply, where to apply, how to fill out applications, and could get no help from those in her family as they were just as clueless. My wife basically held her hand through the process. Then it turned out she needed remedial math and some other skills as the high schools didn't really make sure their kids were qualified to move on to the next grade in school. Schools in low income areas cannot afford tutors, resource teachers, computers or in some cases text books like they can in high income areas.

My wife had little hope this girl would be successful. It is not that she was not motivated but that she was completely clueless as to how to go about doing it. She was never taught to study, never taught to deal with bureaucracy, buy school supplies, get around barriers to education, didn't know who to contact or what to say to them when she did.

Why is it that when removing barriers to education is suggested, it is always the individual and their lack of personal responsibility that is at fault?

What part does society play in this?

 

Kudos to your wife. Not just for the work, but for her recognition that Colour was relative, but the causes were separate. If this girl could change her colour the problems would remain. 

Removing barriers is good and society does and has played a huge part. Some times the barriers are gone, its what was left behind them that needs repair. My argument is that you can't throw out the problem part of a machine or refuse to allow its wrong movement without  creating more problems. You are trying to achieve a better result with less value over all.

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Sorry Zap, I hadn't seen the Emancipation Proclamation, or the Underground Railroad in your original list, or I would have separated them, like I did with the testing for medical conditions in black folks, for the reasons given above.

I am exploring an argument here, not advocating for one way or another, of doing things.
But I don't seem able to effectively communicate that argument, and perhaps, that is confusing you.

I will try one last time ...

Say your car pulls to the right as you're driving down the road.
The advocated solution seems to be steering to the left, so as to keep going straight.
( thank Phi for all for the 'steering the ship in the opposite direction' analogy )
I'm suggesting that is just as bad, and will lead to even more problems with your tires/bearings/steering linkage.
The best solution is to take care of the problem by getting an alignment done.
Not trying to counteract the problem.

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I guess we view Affirmative Action differently. In my mind, AA IS the alignment.

That is, the society is out of alignment (whites are in a preferential position to gain education/power, etc.) and we are doing a societal alignment through AA by making sure blacks are in an equal position to gain education/power, etc.

What does your best solution alignment to take care of the problem consist of, if not AA?

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More specifically, the tires are already worn asymmetrically on one side. A simple alignment won’t remove the laterally biased wear. They’ll still be more worn more on one side even after the alignment gets done.

To rebalance the wear on the tire, you need to overcorrect for a while and intentionally over-wear the other side for a bit... all with the knowledge that this overcorrection is only temporary until the wear is again balanced across the entire tire.

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On 10/14/2020 at 4:30 AM, MigL said:

Why is it always barriers imposed by, or the fault of society, when someone fails ?
What part does personal responsibility play in this ?

Markus Hanke taught himself GR ( and many other aspects of Physical Science ).
It was not provided for him, but he wanted it and he got it.
Barriers did not hinder him.

You, yourself, have displayed a questioning attitude.
One of the best ways to learn about things you know little about.
Yet others come here with the attitude that what little knowledge they have , is all there is.
They ask no questions, but make conjectures and proclaim results which more learned members quickly dismiss.
And yet their attitude, not barriers, allows them to double down and insist they are right ( until they are banned ).

A good attitude, and a willingness to learn, go a long way in these days of internet access and on-line courses.

Yes.

But if a persons short comings  are so obvious, the evidence shows a dis-ability,  Its better for a science forum to accept that at face value.

Not assume less value to science until we explore what a tune up might do.

See what we each can give to make it better.  I would think that the responsibility of a public science forum, to science.

Expanding its reach. The recipient has the responsibility of accepting that with out opposition. They have  sought out familiarity, and made the  1st move.

Ability is only partly inherent. The rest is learned.

 

The opposition often displayed here to obvious disabilities,  without any effort to understand them, is not a good look for science in the broader environment. It doesn't make the field of science more attractive to the broader environment.

Thats a negative value to science- from the environment.

A demand to meet the expectations of science when  basics are lacking is unrealistic. The environment does not meet your demands. 

It accepts or rejects in various degrees, and according to the properties of its content. Alter the properties of its content. Not the diversity of its content.

 

Apologies   @MigL   The above is not a criticism of your post,  used for relevance to the point I'm struggling to make of how it works in actuality, according to biological laws..

1 hour ago, iNow said:

More specifically, the tires are already worn asymmetrically on one side. A simple alignment won’t remove the laterally biased wear. They’ll still be more worn more on one side even after the alignment. ...........

 all with the knowledge that this overcorrection is only temporary until the wear is again balanced across the entire tire.

And a net loss in performance, or value to its purpose.

You can't  qualify either diversity or equality with the other. 

They cancel each other out. 

Edited by naitche
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4 hours ago, naitche said:

now was not directed at me, but yes. But not regardless of outcome.The out come is inherently negative.

So you are saying denying a group of people opportunities is inherently the same as trying to provide them with the same opportunity as everyone else?

Having a system that results in lower life expectancy in some folks is inherently as bad as one that tries to improve the outcome for vulnerable folks? Sorry I fail to follow that argument.

As to MigL i would like to echo Zapatos'argument that AA are correction mechanism, especially as other more fundamental issues may never be resolved. And again we cannot just assume symmetry when it does not exist.

Assume, for example a system of apartheid, but with equal distribution of power. Folks may behave badly to each other but inherently there is no reason to assume that one group wouldbe suppressed. If folks were racist in a system with equal power distribution, the outcome wouldn't require AA or similar measures. People would be dicks but again likely no systematic disenfranchisement. It is only when we add historic elements and power imbalance where we create an inherently unfair system, which we need to address.

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4 hours ago, MigL said:

Say your car pulls to the right as you're driving down the road.
The advocated solution seems to be steering to the left, so as to keep going straight.
( thank Phi for all for the 'steering the ship in the opposite direction' analogy )
I'm suggesting that is just as bad, and will lead to even more problems with your tires/bearings/steering linkage.
The best solution is to take care of the problem by getting an alignment done.
Not trying to counteract the problem.

I do understand what you are saying, although while you are driving, the best solution to drive straight, is to compensate to the left. You can't realign the vehicle while it is moving. 

It's important to understand though that ultimately affirmative action is a policy that competitive schools have to utilise in some form in order to be operating within thr confines of the US constitution. The history of affirmative action is not static and neither is the form of the policy. Since the affirmative action executive order was enacted by the Kennedy administration, in regards to the workplace, it has evolved to cover medical care access and access to education. 

If we are equating schools to a vehicle out of alignment, then you'll probably be pleased to hear that when the vehicle is not moving (when the school is closed during holidays) policies are being revised and altered, staff are getting more training and guidance, unsuitable staff are removed and replaced. This includes affirmative action policies. 

Another key thing to learn, is that of the 4000 higher education institutions in the US, only a few hundred of those are highly competitive for places. 

If you want to argue that some schools don't need affirmative action, they agree with you, as evidenced by the fact that not all schools make use of such policies. 

The reverse racism argument was used in the Fisher vs University of Texas case. Fisher sued, arguing they had been refused admission because she was white, the real reason it turned out, was that at the time, Texas had a rule that the top 10% of their graduating class would be given automatic admission. Fisher was 82nd out of 674 students in her graduating class. She wasn't rejected from her first choice college because she was white, her grades were the problem. 

As for the scenario wherein two students, once compared and all things being equal besides race, that would require similar financial background, same age, same gender, same grades, both clinically able, both presenting themselves the same way with the same aptitudes and writing the same essay as each other, saying the same things in their interview, evoking the same feelings in staff and faculty who meet them, both not legacy students... What do you think the statistical likelihood is that such a thing can actually happen? That two applicants can mirror each other so completely that the only difference between them is their race? I very much doubt there is only one difference between two students, even if those students were twins. I've even heard of siblings getting extremely angry and vindictive toward each other because one got into the dream school and the other didn't. Affirmative action did not come into play in the case of siblings, perceived ability and presentation did. 

Now I'm not one to ignore evidence, but so far I've seen none that convinces me that affirmative action is just reverse racism. On the contrary, there have been plenty of legal challenges made to affirmative action, so far none have stuck, not even in the Supreme court. One thing that becomes quickly apparent when you read the case law, is that all the claims by applicants saying their chances for getting into their highly competitive dream school, destroyed by affirmative action, have all been rejected because they were simply not prepared or the competition was really fierce. They didn't get in because someone "stole their place" they never won a place to have it stolen by anyone in the first place.

To be clear though, it's already been agreed by most of us here that there should be an available education for everyone that wants one. I do not doubt that people of all races, genders, ages, classes and creeds have been rejected from schools, when they do deserve an education. This goes back to the problem I identified earlier, logistics and resources. There are not enough teachers, staff, classrooms, labs, workshops or materials to go around so that everyone has equal access to education. 

Now, I think online education is addressing some of the problems, but you can only get so far without personal human mentorship. 

Another potential way of addressing problems with equal access to education, is reducing how long people spend in education before achieving certification and qualification. If undergrad was taken down to 2 years, you can have double the courses running, meaning twice the amount of places available over a 4 year period. With the technological advancements at our disposal, why should we not discuss how certain parts of education can be streamlined and delivered more quickly?

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