TSR Great Debate (Affirmative Action)

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TSR George
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We are currently running a trial for the revival of the TSR Great Debate series. The idea behind this thread (and the remainder of the series) is a that we can present you with a topic in a specific thread that garners a higher than usual quality of debate. For the Great Debate series, the ‘highest’ (which I take to mean adjudged as best) poster will win an Amazon gift voucher. MrDystopia will be along shortly to ensure that the thread is correct and monitored.

There will be one debate in each section that will continue for a period of reasonable time, with new topics introduced daily in the different subcategories of the “Debate and Current Affairs” forum.

As the intention of the series is to elicit quality debate and choose a winner, there are some basic “ground rules”. (1) please do at least some research on the topic, as this will be essential to the quality of debate; (2) provide constructive and logical argument; (3) no ad hominem arguments attacking other posters — keep it all respectful.

With all of that said, I bring you the topic for the Educational Debate Forum:

Students for Fair Admission, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard University et al

At issue in the legal case is whether or not (a) Harvard is discriminating against Asian applicants; or (b) whether or not affirmative action is permissible.

To provide you all with some background information regarding the case, I have provided the following links:

News Article #1

News Article #2

News Article #3

Docket History

A number of legal experts expect the case to go all the way to the US Supreme Court — and now, with Gorsuch and Kavanaugh on the bench, it’s unclear if the previous legal doctine set out in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke will survive.

Now, for the specific questions which are for you to debate!

(1) Should quota affirmative action be allowed or banned? (Currently, under US Constitutional law, following Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, cited and linked above, hard quotas are unconstitutional.)

(2) Should soft affirmative action be allowed or banned? (Currently, universities use soft affirmative action — the relevant aspect here is that Universities rely on the argument that there is no objective way to define ‘merit.’)

Please keep the debate confined to these specific questions, (1) and (2) above. This is NOT a thread about the legal arguments, per se. Rather, the legal arguments are provided as background to help inform the debate and give you a starting point to think about the debate.
Last edited by RK; 8 months ago
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999tigger
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Just to make clear we dont have the same affirmative action in the UK. This debate come up a lot.
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Notoriety
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This is a good idea.

I think the topic is a bit niche and the only "valuable" contribution can be a legal one. Which is fine, but most of us are not American lawyers.

And the controversy is an American one, which again limits our A interest and B ability to contribute.
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Notoriety
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But it's not as much of an issue here, partly because the politics of race is less prominent.

It's an interesting idea, to have substantive debate rather than take shots at each other, and hope this will thread will take off. Personally the legal side more appeals to me, so maybe that coloured my impression (if you excuse the pun).
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username4344212
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I love this idea!! Good quality debate threads like this will be great! I'm going to have a read before I wade in...
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chazwomaq
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Just to make clear we dont have the same affirmative action in the UK. This debate come up a lot.
Not based on race, but some universities do discriminate based on social class of student, or type of school they went to, which is another sort of affirmative action.
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LostAccount
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(Original post by chazwomaq)
Not based on race, but some universities do discriminate based on social class of student, or type of school they went to, which is another sort of affirmative action.
Several workplaces discriminate based on race, such as insight events only for BAME people.
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muthalganesan18
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In the UK, we already see a sort of uncodified affirmative action for the Muslim community (mostly comprised of Pakistanis and Bangladeshis), whereas Non-Muslim South Asians mostly had to work their way up and live in strict conservative households; most of the media are also aggressively supporting the Muslim community and ignoring the wishes of the Indian communities.

I mostly disagree with this issue. It's almost like the following question, 'how would you feel if you grew up under Thatcher and New Labour, only to be taxed and hated on by Corbyn?'

The fact remains that the majority of British-born Muslims and Non-Muslims in the UK hate each other and that British South Asians adhere to ethnoreligious groups. Eventhough the Muslims have far more socioeconomic issues that any other South Asian group, a lot of those other groups have had to deal with far worse social issues (caste, gender, sexuality) that would be too great to deal with through affirmative action. Furthermore, a lot of Non-Muslim South Asians aren't supportive of immigration and prefer to support the development of India - this would not be possible through affirmative action policies.
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