||Lou Reed - There Is No Time
I just watched a segment of the Supreme Court proceedings on Channel 13 tonight, and I'm hoping to her some responses to the ongoing controversy. I realize that in light of Iraq, affirmative action may appear insignificant, as it did to me until just now, but it's still an interesting and relevant topic and I've been endlessly discussing and deliberating Iraq, so it seems like a change would be nice. Anyhow...
As of now, I just thought I'd start with my personal opinion. Strangely enough, I am ANTI affirmative action (I say strangely enough b/c I am generally very much with the liberal POV). However, I feel that I can justify my position well. I believe in having college admissions be directly (and only) concerned with academic merit. I realize, though, that at this point this would be unfair given the differences in opportunity high school students have across this country - i.e. it's ridiculous to pit a student from an elite school against one from an inner city public high school. There is no such thing as equality of opportunity, at least not yet. That much I think must be taken as a given.
Consequently, admissions officers must somehow take into account these differences. BUT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION IS NOT THE ANSWER, as it only breeds more racism. If admissions were to be race-blind, I believe, diversity could be achieved through compensation that is applied through SOCIO-ECONOMIC statistics. At this point in our history, I do not believe that we can point to race and qualitatively state that certain races need to be rewarded over others. This only breeds more resentment. Furthermore, if we continue to follow that line of reasoning, couldn't we endlessly be giving people benefits for things that may or may not actually affect them. If a student's race is a measure of the difficulties they faced, what about hair color, or weight, or shoe size? That's absurd.
All right, so my last point was a bit of an exaggeration. Nevertheless, if we can't quantitatively assess the affects of racism, we can't start compensating people randomly, so to speak, as this will only spark race issues where they may not exist. I don't think racism in schools is really such a problem anymore. But here is where I have some doubts, and would like to hear other opinions. Is racism still a major problem in educational institutions? I won't deny that America still has major problems with race, but I don't think they carry over to schools that much. For that reason, I think compensation should be based on socio-economic status (which most likely would correlate to benefitting minorities as well, but that way it could be a sure, numerical thing), as it seems more constitutional to me that way. Our society has to move on into the future, and while I don't think we should ignore racism WHERE IT TRULY EXISTS, I believe that overly compensating and drawing attention to race is going to promulgate the problem instead of solving it.
All right. That's just my personal POV as of now. I look forward to hearing other opinions, because on this issue I am not completely decided, and could be swayed if someone were to make a compelling case showing the problems minorities face in schools. If there is still a tremendous problem, then I guess we should compensate, but again, I am wary of the whole idea of doing it by race, as it seems (ironically) discriminatory - which it technically is. Then again, as far as admissions, there are a whole bunch of other huge problems that I think need to be correctly, like the whole issue with sports, legacy, and so on. If we tackle affirmative action and make THAT fair, we better fix the other issues as well!
As for Iraq...actually, never mind...I really don't feel like going into it...it's all on my Blurty.
All I'll say is:
"War is, at first, the hope that one will be better off; next, the expectation that the other fellow will be worse off; then, the satisfaction that he isn't any better off; and, finally, the surprise at everyone's being worse off." - Karl Kraus