What are your views on Affirmative Action ?

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King_Omar
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A quick rundown: the UK does not currently have forms of Affirmation Action, since it views it as illegal "positive discrimination". It instead has a policy of "Positive Action", as detailed in the 2010 Equality Act: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/englan...our_rights.htm

The USA however, has had A.A. since the 1960's. http://www.infoplease.com/spot/affir...timeline1.html

I am a huge supporter of A.A, but I'll see how this thread goes before overloading it with just my own reasoning and thoughts.
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matt_g96
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It basically says "your a minority, you need the governments help", which I think is wrong. Being in the United States, the standard is set lower for those minirities, and they have an easier time getting into university, getting jobs, whatever it may be. If you adopt AA, I feel that you are basically telling the minorities that they trash and need help, which like I said before, is wrong
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Lady Comstock
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A short-term medicine which does not address underlying factors which are preventing minorities from attaining an equal level to their majority counterparts.
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River85
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(Original post by King_Omar)
A quick rundown: the UK does not currently have forms of Affirmation Action, since it views it as illegal "positive discrimination". It instead has a policy of "Positive Action", as detailed in the 2010 Equality Act: http://www.adviceguide.org.uk/englan...our_rights.htm
In Employment there is the two ticks scheme, which guarentees those who declare a disability an interview providing they meet the essential criteria , but you are correct that positive discrimination is illegal.

Or are you referring specifically to education, as this is in Educational Debate?
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WeeGuy
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King_Omar
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(Original post by River85)
In Employment there is the two ticks scheme, which guarentees those who declare a disability an interview providing they meet the essential criteria , but you are correct that positive discrimination is illegal.

Or are you referring specifically to education, as this is in Educational Debate?
I was referring to education, but you can also discuss its role in employment if you want to!
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King_Omar
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(Original post by matt_g96)
It basically says "your a minority, you need the governments help", which I think is wrong. Being in the United States, the standard is set lower for those minirities, and they have an easier time getting into university, getting jobs, whatever it may be. If you adopt AA, I feel that you are basically telling the minorities that they trash and need help, which like I said before, is wrong
Nearly 90% of respondents (consisting of employed black men and employed white women, the biggest beneficiaries of AA) participating in a 1995 Gallup Poll said that they did not believe their abilities/skills were put in doubt because of Affirmative Action.

And don't you think that possible psychological effects on some minority individuals' self-esteem are far less harmful to minorities than the horrendous institutionalized racism that they've faced for so long and still have to put up with? And I dispute the notion they have an "easier job" in getting gainful employment/education:

- blacks have twice the unemployment rate of whites (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- women still only earn 77 cents for every male dollar (US Bureau of Census)
- the record-high ~2.3 Million prison population is 40% black (US Bureau of Justice Stastics)
- black youth are 10x more likely to be arrested on drug offences than white youth, even though whites are far more likely to use (TIME)
- Hispanics are incarcerated at 1.8x the rate of whites (sentencingproject.)
- Hispanics and blacks on average face longer prison sentences than whites (U.S. Sentencing Commission)
- This is the most disturbing one for me: 1/3 of black males are either in prison, in jail, on parole, or on probation (U Wisconsin)

I can go on and on but I think you get my point. It is not easier on the whole for minorities (especially black/Latino men and women) to find employment or college acceptances than it is for whites. Especially considering the damaging effects a criminal record has on getting jobs/higher education. E.g: thanks to zero tolerance laws, drug offenders are denied from even receiving government assistance such as public housing, and are denied federal aid to attend college (US Department of Health and Social Services). Thanks a lot, "War on Drugs" !
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matt_g96
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(Original post by King_Omar)
Nearly 90% of respondents (consisting of employed black men and employed white women, the biggest beneficiaries of AA) participating in a 1995 Gallup Poll said that they did not believe their abilities/skills were put in doubt because of Affirmative Action.

And don't you think that possible psychological effects on some minority individuals' self-esteem are far less harmful to minorities than the horrendous institutionalized racism that they've faced for so long and still have to put up with? And I dispute the notion they have an "easier job" in getting gainful employment/education:

- blacks have twice the unemployment rate of whites (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- women still only earn 77 cents for every male dollar (US Bureau of Census)
- the record-high ~2.3 Million prison population is 40% black (US Bureau of Justice Stastics)
- black youth are 10x more likely to be arrested on drug offences than white youth, even though whites are far more likely to use (TIME)
- Hispanics are incarcerated at 1.8x the rate of whites (sentencingproject.)
- Hispanics and blacks on average face longer prison sentences than whites (U.S. Sentencing Commission)
- This is the most disturbing one for me: 1/3 of black males are either in prison, in jail, on parole, or on probation (U Wisconsin)

I can go on and on but I think you get my point. It is not easier on the whole for minorities (especially black/Latino men and women) to find employment or college acceptances than it is for whites. Especially considering the damaging effects a criminal record has on getting jobs/colleges. E.g: thanks to zero tolerance laws, drug offenders are denied from even receiving government assistance such as public housing, and are denied federal aid to attend college (US Department of Health and Social Services).
Affirmative action has nothing to do with criminal convictions. I agree completely that the system is messed up (I'm not sure how familiar you are with it), but the majority of arrests made are petty drug arrests made on young African Americans. It is sad that the discriminatory is still present in the society in which we live, but Affirmative action will not and does not change that.

We live in an "equal" society, according to the law, and all businesses are equal opportunity employers. Now may there be discrimination that goes on, yes, but you can't prove that there is any discrimination that goes on. Affirmative action is placed onto the minorities, but what about the non-minorities that are affected by this.

There will always be discrimination occurring. If you have ever read the book Invisible Man, it takes a look at the US sometime in the 20th century and the discrimination that the African American community goes through. PEOPLE need to change the way they act, not have some law that just hides the TRUE ISSUE of discrimination.

Caucasians will also be the minority soon enough, if they aren't already.
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King_Omar
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(Original post by matt_g96)
It is sad that the discriminatory is still present in the society in which we live, but Affirmative action will not and does not change that.
I know it won't change that, but the argument is that racism is so deeply entrenched in our institutions and establishments that it is impossible to eradicate. The Civil Rights Act was passed 5 decades ago and seemed to herald a new era, then Nixon began an unending unwinnable "War on Drugs" and everything regressed. This includes education; grade schools in predominantly non-white communities are almost always far worse off in terms of funding and quality.

And since minorities are still so terribly hamstrung by society, they really require aid in finding gainful employment + education.
'You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say you are free to compete with all the others, and still just believe that you have been completely fair'- President Johnson. LBJ hoped that when educational and other disparities were gone, then A.A. wouldn't be needed. But that's simply not the case, he'd be horrified at the "progress" that's been made


(Original post by matt_g96)
PEOPLE need to change the way they act, not have some law that just hides the TRUE ISSUE of discrimination.
Society has absolutely failed to address the "true issue" though, that's the thing. That's why the Civil Rights Movement began and that's why JFK decided to begin A.A (by Executive Order, I might add). The debate/discussion hasn't yielded anything that would call for A.A. to become unnecessary. In a perfect world the problem would be solved through dialogue and better education, but sadly society hasn't given the necessary effort (or funding!) to make this a viable option

(Original post by matt_g96)
Affirmative action is placed onto the minorities, but what about the non-minorities that are affected by this.
I hope I'm not being offensive when I say that any disadvantages whites encounter merely due to A.A. are not comparable to all those minorities have suffered for so long. Example: in 2011 according to the US Commerce Department, there were ~114 million employed whites and ~2.6 million unemployed blacks. So if somehow AA let the entire unemployed black population displace whites from their jobs (which wouldn't happen), only 2% of whites would be affected. Plus, the main reasons for job losses amongst the white majority are factory relocations, outsourcing, automation, and corporate downsizing (Ivins 1995, Philadelphia Daily News).
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matt_g96
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(Original post by King_Omar)
I know it won't change that, but the argument is that racism is so deeply entrenched in our institutions and establishments that it is impossible to eradicate. The Civil Rights Act was passed 5 decades ago and seemed to herald a new era, then Nixon began an unending unwinnable "War on Drugs" and everything regressed. This includes education; grade schools in predominantly non-white communities are almost always far worse off in terms of funding and quality.

And since minorities are still so terribly hamstrung by society, they really require aid in finding gainful employment + education.
'You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say you are free to compete with all the others, and still just believe that you have been completely fair'- President Johnson. LBJ hoped that when educational and other disparities were gone, then A.A. wouldn't be needed. But that's simply not the case, he'd be horrified at the "progress" that's been made




Society has absolutely failed to address the "true issue" though, that's the thing. That's why the Civil Rights Movement began and that's why JFK decided to begin A.A (by Executive Order, I might add). The debate/discussion hasn't yielded anything that would call for A.A. to become unnecessary. In a perfect world the problem would be solved through dialogue and better education, but sadly society hasn't given the necessary effort (or funding!) to make this a viable option



I hope I'm not being offensive when I say that any disadvantages whites encounter merely due to A.A. are not comparable to all those minorities have suffered for so long. Example: in 2011 according to the US Commerce Department, there were ~114 million employed whites and ~2.6 million unemployed blacks. So if somehow AA let the entire unemployed black population displace whites from their jobs (which wouldn't happen), only 2% of whites would be affected. Plus, the main reasons for job losses amongst the white majority are factory relocations, outsourcing, automation, and corporate downsizing (Ivins 1995, Philadelphia Daily News).
I agree with everything you are saying, except for the fact that AA has been around for around 50 years almost, and nothing has changed. In fact, it may have even gotten worse. I watched a few episodes of a TV show called "The Wire" and it showed all of the discrimination that occurs in the city. It is very sad to see that in these times that people are going through what they are, but honestly I think the need for the change in public perception needs to change before anything else. You can have AA, but how does that change anything? AA is just something that attempts to justify that the government is trying to deal with race issues, but are really not.
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tory88
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To me, discrimination is discrimination, no matter what the intentions.
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cant_think_of_name
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(Original post by Lady Comstock)
A short-term medicine which does not address underlying factors which are preventing minorities from attaining an equal level to their majority counterparts.
Well put.
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River85
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And as predicted, when we're talking about "minorities" and discrimination, it just seems to be about skin colour and ethnicity.
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King_Omar
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(Original post by River85)
And as predicted, when we're talking about "minorities" and discrimination, it just seems to be about skin colour and ethnicity.
What do you mean?
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King_Omar
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(Original post by matt_g96)
I agree with everything you are saying, except for the fact that AA has been around for around 50 years almost, and nothing has changed. In fact, it may have even gotten worse.
Funnily enough, A.A. has actually had an effect even while the institutions themselves haven't.

> "Several studies have documented important gains in racial and gender equality as a direct result of affirmative action (Bowen & Bok, 1998; Murrell & Jones, 1996). For example, according to a report from the U.S. Labor Department, affirmative action has helped 5 million minority members and 6 million White and minority women move up in the workforce ("Reverse Discrimination," 1995). Likewise, a study sponsored by the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs showed that between 1974 and 1980 federal contractors (who were required to adopt affirmative action goals) added Black and female officials and managers at twice the rate of noncontractors (Citizens' Commission, 1984). There have also been a number of well-publicized cases in which large companies (e.g., AT&T, IBM, Sears Roebuck) increased minority employment as a result of adopting affirmative action policies."
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River85
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(Original post by King_Omar)
What do you mean?
When discussing how "versatile" an area or university is. Or discussing discrimination (including positive discrimination) more broadly, disability is rarely if ever mentioned. The discussion gets so dominated by race and ethnicity.
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Alfissti
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It depends what you mean by A.A.

If it is a quota where admission is based upon certain numbers based upon the proportion of population then I've no issue with it. However if standards has to be lowered across the board just to meet the quota then I'm against it.

If it is where just because you're a woman, LGBT or ***** or Asian and you are admitted upon a lower standard then the rest then I'm very against it and find it morally repugnant such an abhorrence could even be a policy usually by the left.
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PQ
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(Original post by tory88)
To me, discrimination is discrimination, no matter what the intentions.
How do you propose we address unconscious bias then?

(http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/421746.article explains some studies into unconscious bias against women in academia, https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/uk/ lets you test yourself for unconscious bias against/towards certain groups of people)
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NDGAARONDI
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(Original post by King_Omar)
What do you mean?
Some professions are biased against women and the working class. The judiciary is one such example and it is critically important for roles of public office, such as this, actually be representative across the board. For example, white collar crime has been seriously under-prosecuted and the punishments given are usually a pittance for the crimes that took place. Had judges come from a wider variety of backgrounds perhaps they'd be less lenient with white collar offenders? May be there would be a more understanding about crimes that form as a result from associated life issues where the working classes are much more affected, such as the riots that happened in the past (Brixton, Tottenham, Liverpool).

Edit: British academia has been biased against the working class when dealing with criminality so if you ever get the chance to study the subject at university it is there for all to see. It's only recently you get a decent amount of research on the topic despite Edwin Sutherland's work being published on the matter in 1949.
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tory88
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(Original post by PQ)
How do you propose we address unconscious bias then?

(http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/421746.article explains some studies into unconscious bias against women in academia, https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/uk/ lets you test yourself for unconscious bias against/towards certain groups of people)
I don't think we can. No attempt to remedy this could be perfect, as everyone's bias would be different, which means that whatever was used (particularly affirmative action) would be unfair. If a white person gets a job that a black person was more qualified to do, that's wrong. Under affirmative action, a black guy could get a job that a white guy was more qualified for - that's just as wrong.
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