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Supreme Court Upholds Michigan's Ban On Affirmative Action In College Admissions

Soulskill posted about 5 months ago | from the sensitive-subjects dept.

Education 410

Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "The Supreme Court, by a vote of 6 — 2, has upheld a Michigan law banning the use of racial criteria in college admissions, finding that a lower court did not have the authority to set aside the measure approved in a 2006 referendum supported by 58% of voters. 'This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it,' wrote Justice Anthony Kennedy. 'Michigan voters used the initiative system to bypass public officials who were deemed not responsive to the concerns of a majority of the voters with respect to a policy of granting race-based preferences that raises difficult and delicate issues.' Kennedy's core opinion in the Michigan case seems to exalt referenda as a kind of direct democracy that the courts should be particularly reluctant to disturb. This might be a problem for same-sex marriage opponents if a future Supreme Court challenge involves a state law or constitutional amendment enacted by voters.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor reacted sharply in disagreeing with the decision in a 58 page dissent. 'For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy (PDF) that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government.' The decision was the latest step in a legal and political battle over whether state colleges can use race and gender as a factor in choosing what students to admit. Michigan has said minority enrollment at its flagship university, the University of Michigan, has not gone down since the measure was passed. Civil rights groups dispute those figures and say other states have seen fewer African-American and Hispanic students attending highly competitive schools, especially in graduate level fields like law, medicine, and science."

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Not really needed anymore. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46821863)

We've made enormous strides in racial equality since this was originally needed. Time for it to go away, at least in Michigan. Other states may decide for themselves.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (0, Troll)

BitZtream (692029) | about 5 months ago | (#46821973)

Heh, no you haven't.

Michigan is just as racist as southern Georgia and Alabama.

The only difference is you cover it in a thin vail of political correctness and pretend you're better than those who don't.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822025)

No, we just want the best to get into schools, not racists who can't spell veil. Protip, if you want a minority to get into a school ahead of a white kid even though the white kid worked harder and scored better, you're a racist.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (1, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about 5 months ago | (#46822207)

You seem to have a certain idea of how affirmative action works that is different than mine. It varies, of course, but at its core affirmative action is hard to object to: the foundation is data collection.

You simply collect data to see if you have a racial or other bias. If you do see a bias, you try to find out if it exists due to some variable that you control, or if the variable is out of your control. If the variable is within your control, you try to correct the problem on your end. That is the core of affirmative action, and is all that is required of an "equal opportunity employer".

The controversial part comes when the variable is out of your control. Some advocate implementing something like quotas or other such measures which favor people who fall into "disadvantaged" buckets based on race, gender, or other criteria. I tend to agree with people who want to end this kind of system, but I absolutely support the data collection and active ("affirmative") attempts ("action") to correct organizational bias.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (4, Informative)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 5 months ago | (#46822421)

That's the thing, at least in the case of college admissions anyways, is that this doesn't do what it claims it does.

It's been found that Affirmative Action doesn't hinder white students from gaining admissions. Instead, it mostly just hinders Asian students by replacing them with Black and Latino. Not by a little, but by a LOT. The root cause has to do with the percent of those applying doesn't match the percent of those members of the overall population. So they feel they need to correct it by dumping off a few perfectly qualified Asian students in favor of some potentially less qualified Black or Latino ones.

Somebody speak out if I'm wrong here, but in this age of "white privilege," how is it that Asians are any less disadvantaged than Blacks or Latinos? Historically, Asians have been every bit as downtrodden in western countries, and blacks aren't the only ones who can claim being victims of slavery in western countries either (few people seem to know that Irish slaves were also common in the Americas at one point; in fact during the mid 1600's, Ireland's population dropped by almost half due to slave exports.)

The only explanation I can come up with is that since Asians are culturally very disciplined, they tend to excel academically. Likewise, you see more of them apply, and thus see more of them do well. I think whites are only slightly less disciplined than Asians, so they come at a close second. I'm generalizing of course, but when you look at the kinds of values that black culture has, it does fit the narrative (Bill Cosby once lamented this, how he hears of other blacks who often describe being successful as "acting white," as if it was a bad thing.)

But what do I know, I'm just one of those white guys who deserves to have the word "privileged" written across my face in permanent marker and therefore I can't possibly see racism due to my color.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (4, Insightful)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#46822373)

if you want a minority to get into a school ahead of a white kid even though the white kid worked harder and scored better

Worked harder != scored better. Lots of people work very hard just to get a C, and lots of privileged kids don't work very hard at all and manage an A or at least a B. There's an important debate to be had about whether it's more important for a student to be a hard worker, or a to have higher scores.

What I'm saying is that you need to challenge your implied assumption that just because the white kid had higher scores, he must have worked harder. I'm not saying these minority quotas are a good idea by any means, but definitely the selection process needs to include more than grades, and right now there's no great way to judge if the kid is a hard worker or not.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822635)

Just because someone works harder doesn't mean they deserve to get ahead of someone who is more talented. If you're simply not very intelligent, but work really hard, would we put you in charge of things?

Probably not.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (0)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46822045)

And yet, it's the Justice from the Bronx that writes the blatantly racist dissent.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (0, Flamebait)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 5 months ago | (#46822453)

Honestly I'm really not sure how somebody like her gets appointed there to begin with. When you look at her opinions, she always votes in favor of any action that is about minority empowerment, regardless of whether or not it is fair. If not racism, that is at the very least a pretty clear indication of bias. Her background explains it too, she has the upbringing of a classic feminazi (though admittedly she doesn't act the part most of the time.)

Re:Not really needed anymore. (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822537)

Exactly how is affirmative action not a racist tool ?
I grew up down the street from Justice Sonia Sotomayor but I wasn't in the right type of "disadvantaged" people.
Actually, we grew-up wishing we had at least as much as the "disadvantaged" had.
Our apartment sucked, worse than NYC housing projects, no medical, many days the only thing between hunger and the next paycheck 2 days away was a stick of butter and a few cups of rice or noodles.
We tried to get help, but again, we weren't the right type of "disadvantaged" !
She, being in a "disadvantaged" family, received help to attend school, help with rent (housing projects) and more.
What a set of fucken balls Sonia grew !!
By hard work, 7 days a week, sometimes 2 and 3 jobs I got out of the Bronx mess only to discover that where I moved part of my taxes goes to help towns that are considered "disadvantaged" school areas. They get more money per student and have highest failures. I've been turned down for jobs because I wasn't the right type of "disadvantaged". So, exactly how is this fucken "affirmative" shit supposed to be fair ? Being of family that fled Europe with only the clothes on the back so how made us not "disadvantaged" because of a white background? Fuck you Sonia !

Re:Not really needed anymore. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822681)

AA is not racist per se, but rather a type of politically sanctioned spoils system. Using the poltical process to achieve advantages and rewards you otherwise would not get is a time honored tradition, but it violates core democratic principles. However, the allure and value of the spoils are so great that those in favor will overcome their misgivings and vote for it. This is known as "disinterest failure".

As to your own childhood, perhaps you just needed better parents.

Such a reply.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822165)

Ah, a pot calling the kettle.....
Eye of the beholder? etc>>> Illogical argument.
  Has politics created a false dichotomy for your perceptions?
Did the star help the jewish in germany? Identification of a group, thru gender/ social/ or societal, name, "colour" should be illegal. Too many people have died because of that division. How many more should? What does it take to say all education should be free, as in second world? As if we are the first?
Just as the Supreme's blew this, they failed the Americans again, because of their bias for one party. The party of the rich, this endagered the public access to schooling again. Creating a bigger gap- in those who can gain access to schooling, verses those who can afford schooling with out a problem. This did not help the majority of the public. This did help the Koch's gain access to sycophant's. Creating the next sprial to the distruction of the american way of life. All power to the birchers...

Re:Not really needed anymore. (4, Insightful)

Amtrak (2430376) | about 5 months ago | (#46822219)

Having grown up in Michigan, particularly Detroit, I actually agree with you. Michigan is extremely racist on some issues. For example growing up it was very well known that if a hard working middle class black couple moved from inner city Detroit into your nice white suburb it wouldn't be long before half of the white population moved to the next town over or further away because "OH MY GOD MY NEIGHBORHOOD IS BEING INVADED! THE PROPERTY VALUES ARE GOING TO DROP" creating a self fulfilling prophecy and destroying what used to be good neighborhoods and the hopes of hard working Americans who lifted themselves out of the ghetto.

This "White Flight" destroyed the Suburb I grew up in (Redford Township) and at the beginning for no reason at all. My parents still live there because well they paid their house off and didn't want to move so screw the market values. But I have seen how the area around them has decayed as more and more people left the town for Novi, Canton, and Livonia. To make matters worse, no one seems to learn from this at all either or rather they learn the wrong lesson. Livonia is now going through the same thing that Redford did and even the Grosse Pointes [wikipedia.org] are starting to see it. It's sad and pathetic.

It's not all White Racism in that area either, I have been personally on the receiving end of resentment, hatred and harassment because of the color of my skin. I'm not bitter about it it's just the way things were. Detroit is a city that has never recovered from the race riots of the 60's and it is the real reason it has been falling apart. The seeds of this racism go all the way back to Henry Ford's hiring practices and it will probably be after I'm long dead before this ever improves.

However, the supreme court still made the right decision in that they ruled that the federal government does not have the power to regulate a state's right to implement or outlaw affirmative action. If the people of Michigan want the law changed they shouldn't cry to the feds they should stand up and vote it down. Now if Michigan had made a law that said Asians can't enter the following colleges (Insert list of top universities) then they should have struck that down. But that isn't what affirmative action is.

Affirmative action is giving preferential treatment to a "disadvantaged" group. I have failed to see how this is not a form of racism even if it is well intentioned. Is not classic racism giving the majority preferential treatment because we identify with them more? How is affirmative action different from that just not backwards in reason not result. The Michigan Universities should accept applicants based on merit alone end of story. Now lets get a law removing alumni status passed.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822441)

How is giving preferential treatment to a minority from a terrible neighborhood but not a white male from the same neighborhood not racism? They both are 'disadvantaged' in their background; the system has failed them both but only one gets a boost.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (3, Insightful)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 5 months ago | (#46822715)

Here's a question though: Who would you say is disadvantaged?

I ask because Princeton did a study and found that if they ended Affirmative Action, the number of black and latino students would drop significantly while the white students wouldn't materially increase. They did however estimate that four out of every five black and latino students would be replaced with an Asian student.

Aren't Asian's supposed to be among those disadvantaged? Because presently Affirmative Action seems to disadvantage them even further.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (4, Insightful)

NotDrWho (3543773) | about 5 months ago | (#46822087)

I agree. Normally I disagree with the Court on its obvious conservative bent, but I'm with them on this one. There is no excuse for factoring race into admissions for any university. This was true in 1950, and it's true today.

And, as a practical matter, it only fuels resentment and suspicion on all sides of the equation, and it puts a permanent taint on those who many who have earned their way in, but who are perceived as having only gotten in by virtue of their race or ethnicity.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 months ago | (#46822241)

It also makes teaching university classes very, very difficult -- when some of the students clearly don't have the background to be in university but are there anyway and in my class, how am I supposed to handle them? I could just assume that they have whatever background they really should have had, but I feel like if the university stuck 'em in my class there's some expectation I will do my best to help them. If I do that, though, I'm stuck explaining what a sine wave is to the affirmative action kid while the rest of the class is studying the effect of sample rate on the Nyquist cutoff. (It's a physics of music course.)

Re:Not really needed anymore. (4, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about 5 months ago | (#46822525)

I'm stuck explaining what a sine wave is to the affirmative action kid while the rest of the class is studying the effect of sample rate on the Nyquist cutoff.

Yep.

Affermative action is not necessarily a bad thing: if there is a marked bias (e.g. one segment requires on avreage higher qalifications than another for the same place), affermative action can work by equalising things. Once things are equal then it really is equal opportunity (at that one point) and affermative action really can help to achieve that. If it goes too far, it de-equalises things in the opposite direction and that's unhelpful.

I've been in your position (not as bad). The UK government is always pressuring the better universities to "take more state school pupils". The thing is, most teaching staff would love to take a talented person and bring out the best in them. But they start so far behind it involves considerable resources such as 1 on 1 tuition for a year to get them up to the same level as the rest of the intake. Naturally the government does not provide money to this.

Very often lecturers and professors will put in their own personal time (i.e. uncompensated) to to this. That makes it particularly galling when the government (yet again) complains how universities are biased. Though in fairness to the current bunch, that's a labour complaint, not a conservative one.

Re:Not really needed anymore. (2)

cheesybagel (670288) | about 5 months ago | (#46822337)

What is wrong with giving scholarships to poor students without considering their race. As used to happen and should still happen instead of this politically correct BS.

Old (0)

rossdee (243626) | about 5 months ago | (#46821873)

Wasn't this yesterdays news?

Justice Sotomayor... (3, Insightful)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46821903)

...seems to think it's ok to reject an Asian American applicant to make room for an African or Hispanic American. That is despicable.

Re:Justice Sotomayor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46821947)

Sonya Sotomayor = professional judicial troll.

Re:Justice Sotomayor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822091)

Wait, doesn't banning the use of race as a criteria for admission mean you can't actually reject any applicant based on race? Colour me confused.

Re:Justice Sotomayor... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822189)

Yes. She wants it so people get disqualified because they were born to the wrong parents.

bullshit (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46822215)

No...she doesn't "want" that at all. Any cursory read of her decision, or...basic logic...would indicate to a thinking person that she made a proper legal opinion.

Re:bullshit (2)

Drethon (1445051) | about 5 months ago | (#46822309)

"Short of amending the State Constitution, a Herculean task, racial minorities in Michigan are deprived of even an opportunity to convince Michigan's public colleges and universities to consider race in their admission plans..."

It sounds like what she wants is colleges to consider race during admissions. Please explain to me how race would even factor in unless a higher qualified person of one race is rejected in favor of a lesser qualified person of another race?

I'll admit I'm about as white as they come so according to many who are not white I am unqualified to provide an opinion. However I will say if I was given preferential treatment for anything to my knowledge because of my color and not my qualifications I would be pissed off to the point of declining that treatment.

Re:bullshit (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 5 months ago | (#46822433)

However I will say if I was given preferential treatment for anything to my knowledge because of my color and not my qualifications I would be pissed off to the point of declining that treatment.

And here's where culture comes into play. There are many African American's that feel they are "owed" something whereas someone from Kenya wouldn't have this mindset.

Re:Justice Sotomayor... (1)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 months ago | (#46822255)

It means that if you live in fairyland where universities have an unlimited number of spots. But accepting an unqualified black student often means rejecting a qualified Asian student...

Re:Justice Sotomayor... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822149)

No, the politically-correct crowd doesn't like to talk about Asians. They are very uncomfortable with the fact that one racial group refused to rest on their race and former discriminatory status as a crutch and excuse for the rest of time. The Asian experience in America flies in the face of their "former oppression excuses all shitty behavior today" philosophy and demonstrates that hard work and determination can indeed overcome the ills of the past. It really pisses them off that Asians don't sit around all day on their front porches drinking 40's and bitching about how whitey is holding them back.

wrong & ruining slashdot (-1, Troll)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46822341)

Bartles is a GOP troll, and so is anyone who up-modded his comment.

Sotomayor is as much a "racist" as Bartles is a contributor to productive discussion

Parent comment is not "insightful" and the notion that it would be is *ruining Slashdot*

Re:wrong & ruining slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822375)

Explain.

Re:wrong & ruining slashdot (2, Insightful)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46822419)

I'm not and I never have been a member of the GOP. I am a liberal, through and through. Justice Sotomayor is not a liberal, you are not a liberal. Justice Sotomayor sees every social issue through the lens of race. There is no problem that cannot be solved by looking at a racial solution. After all she is the "Wise Latina", that was elevated to the supreme court. If she had just been a Wise Korean she never would have made it. You should really give up the asterisks. They don't make your arguments any stronger.

Blatant Racism (3, Insightful)

Ignacio (1465) | about 5 months ago | (#46821907)

Justice Sotomayor sounds like a huge racist since she doesn't seem to believe that blacks or hispanics are capable of getting admitted on their own merit.

Re:Blatant Racism (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822135)

Well, the only reason she's a Supreme Court justice is she's a Hispanic woman...

Re:Blatant Racism (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822331)

Arguably. But I certainly think that she is doing a better job than the male members of the Supreme Court.

Re:Blatant Racism (2)

AlphaWolf_HK (692722) | about 5 months ago | (#46822779)

Hmm...So it seems that if she was a white male, she never would have been appointed to SCOTUS because she never would have qualified as the standards are higher for them.

Hey I'm not the one saying this...it's just you know...common knowledge in this Affirmative Action world we live in.

Re:Blatant Racism (1)

Sam36 (1065410) | about 5 months ago | (#46822257)

Agree.

Sotomayor != racist (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46822293)

Anyone who thinks Sotomayor is a "racist" is a total idiot.

Michigan's Law School brought this whole thing on themselves by their Frat Boy interpretation of "affirmative action"

If you read the opinions, all the justices agree this ruling is for a narrow application of the concept of "affirmative action"

The Michigan Law School had a stupid, reductive, over-simplified method...

4.0 in undergrad? +1
clerk for a judge? +1

black.... +1

it's fucking ridiculous...anyone who knows anything about "affirmative action" knows that application by the Michigan Law School would be **bound** for a court challenge

Michigan's Law School practically set this up. It's almost a perfect "test case"....

MI Law School intentions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822513)

Michigan's Law School practically set this up. It's almost a perfect "test case"....

You sure it wasn't designed as a "set up"?

trees wildlife etc. produce more positive energy.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46821913)

when allowed to live out their cycle. exponential increase even though we already have more than enough of everything we need except the truth about us

They should ban legacy admission preferences (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46821931)

Discrimination in college admissions still exists in the form of legacy admission practices, i.e. giving a *very* significant advantage to the children of alumni.

There can be no level playing field as long as that exists.

Re:They should ban legacy admission preferences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822011)

How many legacy students are accepted on average every year? Would these students have been otherwise rejected? Data please.

Re:They should ban legacy admission preferences (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822097)

How many legacy students are accepted on average every year? Would these students have been otherwise rejected? Data please.

Do your own googling. Here's just one article
http://chronicle.com/article/Legacys-Advantage-May-Be/125812/

No doubt these are smart kids. But there are lots of smart kids competing for a few thousand spots.
By definition the non-legacy kids are being discriminated against.

Re:They should ban legacy admission preferences (3, Insightful)

Amtrak (2430376) | about 5 months ago | (#46822279)

I got some data for you that you won't like. I come from a family with 5 kids. All 5 of us went to top high schools in the Detroit area. All 5 of us had over a 3.4 GPA and scored over at least 23 on our ACT's. Both my mother and father are University of Michigan Alumni with Bachelor and Master degrees. All 5 of us applied to U of M. Only one of us got in. Let me repeat that for you. Only one of us got accepted. It wasn't me either, my brother got in because he had the highest grades of all of us with a 3.7 GPA and a 29 on his ACT's. I was only a little behind him 3.6 GPA 26 ACT. Clearly alumni status didn't count that much.

Re:They should ban legacy admission preferences (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822403)

I got some data for you that you won't like. I come from a family with 5 kids. All 5 of us went to top high schools in the Detroit area. All 5 of us had over a 3.4 GPA and scored over at least 23 on our ACT's. Both my mother and father are University of Michigan Alumni with Bachelor and Master degrees. All 5 of us applied to U of M. Only one of us got in. Let me repeat that for you. Only one of us got accepted. It wasn't me either, my brother got in because he had the highest grades of all of us with a 3.7 GPA and a 29 on his ACT's. I was only a little behind him 3.6 GPA 26 ACT. Clearly alumni status didn't count that much.

Sorry you didn't get in but your experience doesn't change the facts.

Think of it this way: Your brother got in with a 3.7 GPA and a 29 on his ACT's, and you did not with a 3.6 GPA 26 ACT. So your brother was a better candidate than you. The legacy factor comes in when there is another candidate that is your brothers' equal in every way except he is not a legacy. The stats show they discriminate in favor of the legacy. Replace the word 'legacy' with 'race', 'sex', or 'ethnicity' and it becomes more apparent.

Re:They should ban legacy admission preferences (1)

Amtrak (2430376) | about 5 months ago | (#46822605)

Don't be sorry. I'm actually quite happy I didn't get in. Not only did my education at Western Michigan University cost me less money (i.e. less debt) but I make more money than my brother now. Also I met my wife at WMU. Getting rejected worked out great! :)

Also, I'm not opposed to them getting rid of legacy status I just know that realistically it probably won't happen since a lot of U of M's donor's are Alumni. Also, as DRJlaw outlined below the effect of legacy is much lower than the affect of race or even grades.

Re:They should ban legacy admission preferences (1)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 5 months ago | (#46822469)

All 5 of us applied to U of M. Only one of us got in. Let me repeat that for you. Only one of us got accepted. It wasn't me either, my brother got in because he had the highest grades of all of us with a 3.7 GPA and a 29 on his ACT's. I was only a little behind him 3.6 GPA 26 ACT. Clearly alumni status didn't count that much.

In the University of Michigan undergraduate school suit (Gratz v. Bollinger [wikipedia.org] ), 'legacy' applicants were awarded 4 points [streetlaw.org] . Racial minorities were awarded 20 points. Perfect SAT scores were worth 12 points.

The effect of 'legacy' admissions policies on the racial profile of matriculating students is pretty low, and the issue essentially a canard to distract from the serious distortions introduced by "racially sensitive admissions policies."

Good grades Skin color. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46821939)

Perform well in school and you'll get into college.

finally a sensible decision (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46821949)

I dont have much else to say. People should be able to get by on their own abilities. Going by skin/ethnicity is simply racism.

Numbers? (1)

shellster_dude (1261444) | about 5 months ago | (#46821971)

"Civil rights groups dispute those figures and say other states have seen fewer African-American and Hispanic students attending highly competitive schools, especially in graduate level fields like law, medicine, and science."

I'm sure that is all about racism, and has absolutely NOTHING to do with whole "minority" thing, and there being less of them as a percentage of the population...

Re:Numbers? (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46822677)

No, what they're talking about is fewer as a function of comparative numbers.

Now, whether this is due to inherent racism in the system, or because some minorities value education and some don't, further deponent sayeth not.

Self Government? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46821985)

From TFA: "For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government."

Newflash. It's not "self-government" if the stormtroopers are sent in to enforce narrow, leftist wet-dreams of so called "social justice" via the barrel of a gun. We have another name for that.

In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46821987)

Consider the enormous advantages that say, President Obama's daughters have over say, an Asian girl from a economically disadvantaged family. Yet the check marks that each would mark on a college application would result in the President's daughters getting racial preference.

This is 2014. The idea that race is the predominant factor, or even a sizable factor, in opportunity is held only by those who wish to use race for their own agendas. The biggest factors now are family structure, and geography. If you grow up in rich suburbia to parents who care, you will have more opportunity than someone who grows up the ghetto to a single parent that is neglectful.

If you want a level playing field, then look for socioeconomic factors, not race.

Re:In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (3)

Scutter (18425) | about 5 months ago | (#46822051)

Consider the enormous advantages that say, President Obama's daughters have over say, an Asian girl from a economically disadvantaged family. Yet the check marks that each would mark on a college application would result in the President's daughters getting racial preference.

Or consider two students from the same socioeconomic background (perhaps even attending the same high school), but one is white and one is black. Under affirmative action, the white student would have to perform at an exponentially higher level to receive the same consideration. As long as race is a consideration AT ALL, then the playing field isn't level.

Re:In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (1)

Bartles (1198017) | about 5 months ago | (#46822075)

The best way to end the social injustices of racism, is to end the social injustices of racism.

Re:In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about 5 months ago | (#46822081)

If you grow up in rich suburbia to parents who care, you will have more opportunity than someone who grows up the ghetto to a single parent that is neglectful.

If you want a level playing field, then look for socioeconomic factors, not race.

Ok . . . so how would that work? A kid applying to college, with parents who care, would get points deducted, because his parents care . . .?

And a kid whose parents don't care would get points added? And plus one for a single parent, minus one for two parents . . . and minus a half point for other relatives living in the house . . . ?

No matter how you try to "level the playing field" . . . it will never be "fair" . . .

Re:In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 5 months ago | (#46822351)

I think ultimately this shows a complete failure of the educational system in this particular aspect. People complain about the educational system taking over the jobs of parents (and I don't particularly like that either) but who is supposed to take the job when the parents aren't bothering to do it? It isn't the child's fault when no one who is responsible for the child are doing anything for that child but how do we fix it?

Maybe saying the educational system failed is putting too much on the educational system but again, how do we give someone opportunities when those responsible are failing to?

Re:In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | about 5 months ago | (#46822571)

Kids with dumb and irresponsible parents will generally have genes making them dumb and irresponsible. Giving these genetic lines "more opportunities" to proliferate is counter-productive.

Re:In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (2)

morgauxo (974071) | about 5 months ago | (#46822381)

On an individual basis it's probably impossible to 'level the playing field'. People and the lives which shape them are too complicated for anyone to evaluate fully on a case by case basis. IF it's even worthwile to try to make things 'fair' at all though there could be better criteria than skin color. How about looking at the high school they went to. Students who went to under-performing high schools could get a little boost. Maybe a kid who gets a mediocre grade in a school where nobody is taking things seriously and half the kids drop out really is showing more dedication, responsibility or even intelligence than one who gets a better grade at a school where everyone is expected to perform?

If people of a certain race truly need affirmative action then percentage-wise they are probably more likely to come from those schools anyway so they will still get mostly the same help. This would also help non-minorities who happen to come from rough neighborhoods (like Marshal Mathers if he never became Eminem) while not giving yet another advantage to already advantaged minorities that don't need it (like president Obama's daughters).

If people pusing for affirmative action really want to help the disadvantage and to break the cycles that cause disadvantage they should be supportive of a more 'fair' criteria. So long as they are basing everythign on race I think they are either looking for a handout themselves or are lacking some critical thinking skills and have been fooled by those who are.

Re:In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822463)

Ok . . . so how would that work? A kid applying to college, with parents who care, would get points deducted, because his parents care . . .?

No, you take the whole "Race" section OFF the admission form, it's none of their Fing business. They need to grade admissions based on academic standards, not race or ability to pay.

Re:In 2014, racial affirmative action is stupid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822105)

The issue at stake is whether you can be discriminated against just because you are part of a group.

I say no. Only individuals are discriminated against. The fact that president Obama has ancestors that were clearly discriminated against does not mean he is discriminated against. It doesn't preclude it either.

But discrimination is not inherited, and it does not spread like osmosis in a group. Discrimination is an act against an individual. I think this decision was a correct one.

Yes but (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822197)

So after years of government propaganda calling blacks animals, and attacking white women, ect ect.. As well as the Souths ignorance. Add to that the fact these schools, corporations, small businesses are overwhelmingly white, and I can guarantee they've never been around anyone black except in maybe passing on the street. I would say Blacks are heavily at a disadvantage even with a Black President which that in it self was a miracle.

I do think its racist to hire or accept someone because of their color. That as insulting [at least it should be to them] as being called a racial slur. Or having some nut job burning a cross on your lawn.

To me the pathetic part of this is allowing voters to override politicians, the voters are completely dipshits [sorry it that is offensive, but that's life] to begin with now your going to allow them to vote on this and then uphold it. If that's the case then I am going to lobby my state to finally legalize marijuana. The idiot Republicans refuse to, and yet I the people think differently.

Michigan's system was stupid from the start (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46822245)

Michigan's Law School used the absolute dumbest interpretation of "Affirmative Action" which precipitated this whole mess.

"Affirmative Action" does not mean your Law School has to use a "point system" where points are awarded for characteristics.

1 point if you were a clerk for a judge

1 point if you are black

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS

Re:Michigan's system was stupid from the start (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | about 5 months ago | (#46822549)

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS

No, it was supposed to be worse. "Our next entering class will be 10% black. We will admit blacks until we get our 10%, no matter how bad they are." That went away when the Supremes ruled that you can't do *that* kind of affirmative action at all.

Re:Michigan's system was stupid from the start (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | about 5 months ago | (#46822711)

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE LIKE THIS

Actually, this is exactly how it was supposed to be - it was meant to address historical racial disparities by giving an extra boost to the historically deprived race(s).

That formula does exactly that.

This is completely absurd! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822017)

Hispanics and Blacks in particular are not as connected, wealthy, or intelligent as Whites and Asians. These ethnic groups *need* a boost in order to have a level playing field that is fair to everyone.

Re:This is completely absurd! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822109)

Hispanics and Blacks in particular are not as connected, wealthy, or intelligent as Whites and Asians. These ethnic groups *need* a boost in order to have a level playing field that is fair to everyone.

Um...

Re:This is completely absurd! (1)

Stumbles (602007) | about 5 months ago | (#46822185)

Bullshit.

Re:This is completely absurd! (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#46822265)

Yes.

I agree with "affirmative action"...Michigan's Law School brought this on themselves by how they chose to enact the policy.

Seriously...blacks and hispanics do suffer a racial bias that still exists...but Michigan's system was made as if it was intended to provoke this kind of decision.

Wisest quote I saw from the pundit class (4, Insightful)

GlobalEcho (26240) | about 5 months ago | (#46822031)

Wisest quote I saw from the pundit class:

“I just keep wishing that the people who spend so much time trying to end racial preferences in higher ed would work to end the racial differences in the education we provide K-12”

      --Kati Haycock, Education Trust

Re:Wisest quote I saw from the pundit class (2)

DRJlaw (946416) | about 5 months ago | (#46822183)

Wisest quote I saw from the pundit class:

âoeI just keep wishing that the people who spend so much time trying to end racial preferences in higher ed would work to end the racial differences in the education we provide K-12â

            --Kati Haycock, Education Trust

I just keep wishing the people who spend so much time trying to implement and preserve racial preferences in admissions would work to end the racial differences in K-12 education instead of taking the easy route of 'fixing' disparate K-12 education after-the-fact by artificially boosting qualifications and/or lowering admission thresholds in the name of 'diversity.'

The sentiment in Haycock's wish works both ways, you see. The dirty little secret that neither Haycock nor Sotommayor want to acknowledge is that "racially sensitive admissions policies" only get the student through the door -- they do nothing to address the significant gap in minority student retention [usnews.com] and graduation. Pulling in more minority students so that 60% can drop out with significant student loan debt but no degree is not doing anyone a favor.

Re:Wisest quote I saw from the pundit class (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822533)

Pulling in more minority students so that 60% can drop out with significant student loan debt but no degree is not doing anyone a favor.

To be honest, it is doing some people favors, but not the minority dropouts.

It benefits the federally-backed loan institutions.
It benefits the food stamp programs ("see, more people need our services, fund us more").
It benefits the racism industry to have such a sample of "capable African American children who were discriminated against in white academia."
It benefits the politicians who make their platform on "aiding the oppressed African Americans" regardless of the fact that minority standards of living have been lowest under the "care" of such politicians.
And it probably benefits a number of equally immoral and notably less law abiding individuals than the four groups above.

Re:Wisest quote I saw from the pundit class (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 5 months ago | (#46822395)

That's a great point. If you're trying to fix the problem when the students enter college, you're probably too late.

Ban Affirmative Action (2)

sanosuke001 (640243) | about 5 months ago | (#46822041)

Why do people need preferential treatment because they're of a specific race? How about banning the admission based on anything other than merit (including sports). If you're smart enough and dedicated enough to get admitted, you should be. If you're not, maybe you don't deserve to be. Not everyone needs to go to the most prestigous schools. Affirmative action seems more anti-white than pro-non-white.

Re:Ban Affirmative Action (2)

Mashiki (184564) | about 5 months ago | (#46822169)

Only gets more fun when you start getting into government organizations that demand "sexual equality" in the work place, and will discriminate against best candidates in order to have their fill of lesbians, trans, bi, and who knows of what other labels people are using these days. Sadly I can remember instances here in Canada, back 15 years ago where police services were actively recruiting anyone but white. And actually had that in their recruitment posters, there was a rather huge shitstorm over it up here.

Re:Ban Affirmative Action (3, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | about 5 months ago | (#46822319)

It's funny: you say "anti-white", but in California at least it is strongly anti-Asian. There was a referendum that turned out much worse for affirmative action out there than expected because Asian voters, who are normally reliably Democratic-leaning, broke ranks with the party because affirmative action winds up screwing them over the worst.

Re:Ban Affirmative Action (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822423)

Yes, this is part of the neomarxist agenda, it needs an enemy to thrive and they've picked white men rather than the jews or bourgeoise this time. Gender based quotas are especially insane, there's never been a more privileged creature than the female of the species.

If for example not enough black people are getting into third level education, given that black people are equally capable, you learn why that is and address the underlying social issues. You don't mandate that a proportional number of black people who may or may not be able to succeed on their own merits for whatever reason get special advantages in education. It may seem like the easy option but just like all neomarxist policies it involves knocking other people (their Emmanuel Goldstein du jour) down in order to lift some up. Better by far to lift up the poor and disadvantaged by understanding why they are so and fixing those problems.

But that would be both difficult and just, so the neomarxists would never go for it. Not enough hate involved.

language of the heart dissolves illusion of hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822067)

fear based nonsense generated by continued nazi zion media deception regarding everything about all billions of us unchosens, the vastest majority ever

Re:language of the heart dissolves illusion of hat (1)

Kokuyo (549451) | about 5 months ago | (#46822125)

I think humanity as a whole just got dumber. You are one powerful motherfucker...

Latino enrollment actually went up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822119)

...after California banned the practice of affirmative racism in UC system, as this AP story (via local station KTVU) reports:

http://www.ktvu.com/ap/ap/california/more-latino-than-white-students-admitted-to-uc/nfctQ/

Re:Latino enrollment actually went up (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822459)

Yes, even the recipients of affirmative action don't want to be made "special". It's a profoundly victimising tactic.

Bad comparison to gay marriage (4, Insightful)

Andover Chick (1859494) | about 5 months ago | (#46822167)

Gay marriage is about gaining the SAME right as the rest of the population. Affirmative action is about granting certain racial groups EXTRA rights over the rest of the population. These are very different considerations. Affirmative action was only seen as a temporary fix to correct historical imbalances, not in perpetuity. Why should the son of a wealthy African American get admitted to a top school just because he is black? Why should someone who is tall w/blue eyes and blonde hair get extra admission consideration just because his name is Gonzalez and he speaks Spanish? This is very different than granting two lesbians who've been together for 40 years the right to marry. The two are a bad comparison.

Re:Bad comparison to gay marriage (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46822689)

Also, how the hell would gay marriage affect anyone (provided they're not gay, in which case it might have a positive effect, unless they're happy that they can NOT marry their loverboy... but I digress)?

Affirmative action may well affect anyone negatively who isn't part of whatever group gets pulled ahead.

Maybe it's a good thing (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 5 months ago | (#46822201)

Affirmative action was a hackish fix for a horribly racist world. Maybe people are less-racist enough to do away with it now? Consider that these days, universities will intentionally seek to make their student body look "diverse" partly to avoid any accusations of racism, even if they have to seek them out in a town full of white folks.

Its money (1)

stewsters (1406737) | about 5 months ago | (#46822229)

Disadvantages in this country are more based on economics rather than race. If you want to equalize the playing field, start with paying poor people more. Choosing who gets in based on race is racist.

Re:Its money (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46822603)

What is your goal? If you want to raise the level of education, paying people more will not solve it. Rather, make education affordable or even free, as it is in most of Europe.

Make the brain the decider who gets what job. Not whether daddy can afford to put him into an Ivy League, no matter what a pea brain rich boy may be.

Affirmative action == discrimination (2)

Captain_Chaos (103843) | about 5 months ago | (#46822239)

The notion that because an individual is a member of a group which has been or is being disadvantaged compared to other groups, that individual deserves to be favoured above members of other groups, is ridiculous. It's dangerous, unfair and unjust nonsense. It's discrimination, pure and simple. There's no such thing as "positive discrimination".

Every individual deserves to have the same chance as everybody else, and should be judged on their merits alone.

Common sense and 6:2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822271)

This is great news to pretty much anyone, as it allows states to pass laws that stop straight up racism from occurring. The fact that such a fight went to the federal level is a shock.

Also a 6:2 decision is amazing. I mean, everything is 5:4 these days. This is an uncontroversial and straightforward decision if three of the justices couldn't even be arsed to come together to cobble out some worthless turd trying to justify why you shouldn't be able to pass a law like this.

The eight justices that normally vote along party lines literally have a job where they try to backrationalize shit decisions, four on each side. This kind of decision means that the liberal ones couldn't even all be arsed to pretend.

Kagan recused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822741)

Kagan recused herself prior to this case being heard because she had worked on the case as the US Solicitor General. Only *two* of the justices "couldn't even be arsed to come together to cobble out some worthless turd"...

Perhaps I'm racist but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822361)

I believe that a person's ability should have SOMETHING to do with going to college, or getting hired for a job, etc. If I need a lawyer or a doctor I want a good one actually qualified for the job, not someone admitted and pushed through college simply because they belong to a protected "special" class of citizenry.

Re:Perhaps I'm racist but... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46822547)

Actually, you're not. You'd be a racist if you said that $group can't get a job otherwise because they aren't bright enough to go to college.

I'm all for a leg-up program to get people into college, btw. I think the decision whether you may have a college degree should not be made by what's in your wallet but what's in your brain. With more people being able to start college, colleges would have a far lower incentive to carry duds through 'cause they need the money.

That's what I love about our universities. My tax money pays for your education here. So we have a LOT of initial students, with most of them dropping out before reaching a degree. Our universities have plenty of "material" to work with, weeding out 95% of the herd is no problem. And that's what most universities in Europe do today. Nobody holds your hand or carries you through, if you know how to organize yourself and get your act together, you might have a chance. If not, well, so be it.

This is the worst decision in decades (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#46822365)

This opens the flood gates for tyranny by the majority, which is exactly the thing our founders were trying to avoid in implementing a representative republic instead of a direct democracy.

Direct democracy is a bad thing, kids.

Re:This is the worst decision in decades (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46822561)

It seems to work allright for the Swiss.

If its "multi-racial" affirmative action in name.. (3, Insightful)

swb (14022) | about 5 months ago | (#46822435)

...why does it always seem to be "African American affirmative action" in practice?

It often strikes me that it really seems to be a program for African Americans and not specifically designed to promote broader racial diversity. It seems like most of the examples talked about in the news reporting on MIchigan refer to African American enrollment at UMich, never to the levels of Hispanic, Asian, Native American or other ethnic group enrollment.

You can get into an epic pissing contest over which of these groups is more historically a victim of prejudice (my vote goes to Native Americans, genocide and ethnic cleansing trumps slavery by a small margin) but there seems to be a subtle bias in these programs towards African Americans. And I'm not saying it's not statistically valid by many measures (especially in Michigan).

But nationally Hispanics outnumber African Americans and all other non-white races combined outnumber African Americans by almost 2:1.

It just strikes me that there's a lot unsaid in this debate and probably some painful and unpleasant facts unspoken.

Something I don't get about affirmative action (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 5 months ago | (#46822487)

If someone grows up in a situation that is disadvantaged doesn't that begin before college? Aren't they being taught less in K-12? So someone decides it's not their fault (perhaps this is true) and lets them in the college anyway. Are they prepared to take the same courses as someone who went to a better school previously? So now what do they do? Do they take a bunch of remedial courses? Why does someone need a prestigious university to do that? Why can't they take those kind of courses at a community college or at least a smaller university. If they are dedicated and intelligent enough to get good grades there then that should be taken into consideration allowing them to transfer to the university from there. Why tie up higher education resources fixing what K-12 broke?

Re:Something I don't get about affirmative action (1)

morgauxo (974071) | about 5 months ago | (#46822521)

>> Why tie up higher education resources fixing what K-12 broke?

After submitting I realized this sounds kind of wrong. I'm not saying giving people a chance at a good education is unimportant. I'm just saying that you don't need UofM to learn something that should have been taught in high school. It isn't going to make someone any smarter to learn these things from some big name school. Get the basics out of the way at a place that focuses on the basics. Then learn the truly advanced stuff at the advanced school.

Affirmative action breeds racism (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#46822495)

Not only is it racist (by definition). Anyone belonging to a group of people who gets pushed ahead with "positive" racism/sexism/whateverism will have to work against the stigma that s/he didn't get that job because of qualification and ability to work but just because of belonging to that group.

Equality has to be the goal. Competition on equal ground is what makes the capitalist system strong and a powerhouse of productivity. Protectionism and favoritism weakens it. Whether that's affirmative action, "too big to fail" or nepotism.

Need to determine learning potential? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 5 months ago | (#46822567)

What it seems like to my vaguely educated opinion is we need to find a way to identify those capable of learning, rather than those who currently have a certain level of knowledge. The existing tests for entering college test what someone already knows, this hints at their ability to learn but does not prove someone has the ability to further their learning. Too often I've seen highly qualified, intelligent people fail miserably at college and barely qualified people find their ability to learn and excel in college.

Seems like if we could identify those who will excel regardless of their background, we could keep the wealthy but unable to learn out of college and get the poorly trained by highly intelligent individuals into college. Probably an impossible task though.

We have/had a black President... (2)

CQDX (2720013) | about 5 months ago | (#46822591)

a black Attorney General, black Supreme Court Justices, black Secretaries of State, and numerous black Senators and Congressmen. Yet there have been few Latinos in the upper echelons of the government and even few Asians. I think affirmative action has already done it's job and is no longer needed.

It's about IQ (0)

concealment (2447304) | about 5 months ago | (#46822775)

Kids from lower socioeconomic backgrounds have lower IQs, and some say that the races and genders differ in intelligence.

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