Three Professors Set the Record Straight on Affirmative Action for College Admissions | Kulture Kritic
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Three Professors Set the Record Straight on Affirmative Action for College Admissions


Three Professors Set the Record Straight on Affirmative Action for College Admissions


By Profs Alan Aja, William Darity, Darrick Hamilton

In the coming weeks, the U.S. Supreme Court may land the final blow to what’s left of race-based affirmative action in higher education. If the type of questioning raised during case hearings in October are an indicator, the Court may rule that the University of Texas at Austin’s admissions policies violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment, and that the plaintiff, 22-year old Abigail Fisher, was a victim of what affirmative action opponents long have framed as “reverse discrimination.” In practice, this means that public universities, but also private institutions that receive federal monies, may be required to eliminate any “race-based” admissions criteria. Even the smallest race-based factors considered permissible under the Grutter vs. Bollinger (2003) decision — which the court ruled were “narrowly-tailored” enough alongside other admissions criteria given a “compelling interest” for universities to represent the diverse demographic composition of the United States — may be

Since its roots in the Philadelphia Plan, which demanded “goals and timetables” for minority hiring by government contractors, affirmative action policies have been met repeatedly with judicial scrutiny from district to federal levels. While often thought of as specific redistributive policy serving as reparations for slavery and Jim Crow, affirmative action actually is a varied set of positive anti-discrimination measures designed to desegregate elite institutions and preferred positions, including university admissions. A common myth perpetrated by opponents of affirmative action is the narrative that “unqualified minorities” take admissions slots from whites. This argument not only underscores white-entitlement to positions at elite institutions, but also assumes that whites generally are qualified for admission, and by default, blacks and Latinos generally are not. This ignores the historical advantage and protected access whites continue to hold via admissions preferences for legacies and children of donors, among other channels — hidden affirmative action for the privileged group. It also ignores the well-documented evidence from experimental psychology, developed by Claude Steele and Joshua Aronson involving the phenomena of stereotype threat, boost and lift.

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  1. Nixak

    January 12, 2013 at 12:50 am

    IMO if the PRO-UT admission program argue from a point of weakness [that affirmative-action Progs are justified to correct effects of past discrimination] they’ll lose in this so-called ‘post-racial’ [NOT!] age- especially w a SCOTUS featuring Uncle Judge Thomas, Roberts, Alito & co. The fact is that UT’s admission prog is NOT race-based- in fact it might not even be a standard affirmative action prog at-all! UT’s admits students from all of TX’s public hi-schools who graduate in the top 10% of their class- PERIOD. This policy covers all Black, Hispanic & white & integrated hi-schools- & is about as even-handed as it gets in so-called ‘post-racial’ [NOT!] USA.
    Yet it is being deliberately misrepresented as a Race-based policy- because little Miss Abigail Fisher fell just short of getting into her graduating class’ top 10%. Her argument- That her over-all SAT’s were better than most Blacks & Hispanics [first of all how would she know that & why apparently does she spare whites in the same category] who were admitted to UT at that time- even though they were in their graduating class’ top 10% fulfilling the UT admission requirement!

  2. Derrick

    January 12, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Over 80% of the participants in AA were caucasoid females and males; not Afrikans-in-amerikkka. Black men got 3% of the jobs, Black women received 7%, while caucasoid females got 80% of the jobs and males received 10%. Caucasoid females hold 80% of the school jobs!!! THIS IS THE RESULTS OF [AA] FOR caucasoids.

    Even when Blacks worked to get positions under this fake law, they held the LOWEST positions, while the caucasoids were ABOVE them, or told them what to do…they were managers/supervisors/bosses aka slave drivers! In other words, they had the right to fire Black people.

    We need to stop worrying about other races because they don’t give a da*mn about us. Everytime a negroid opens their mouths…it’s always Black and brown people…da*mn brown people; we need to worry about ourselves. They’re the very people, who are taking the jobs!!!


    • Carol

      January 18, 2013 at 11:21 am

      I swear, I have to once again be in total agreement with you Derrick. You are right on the money, in your response, totally TRUE!!!
      I guess Black folks can be considered a test dummy.

  3. Latrice

    January 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm

    And please my people, let us all remember something. White people NEVER wanted us in their higher learning institutions. This is why we have. HBCU’s. Why do we keep running to the other side, begging to be let in? Why do we allow ourselves to be disrespected??? This white girl is taking a case to the Supreme Court to shout she is better than us and smarter and we only beat her out because of AA, not because she just didn’t cut the mustard! This sense of entitlement is astounding. Kids apply to colleges everyday and get denied, you know what you do? Go to the next school on your list, not file a lawsuit!! Let them keep their schools, let’s keep ours and watch them come begging. Hopefully when they come we will tell them to KISS OUR………DEGREES

  4. Makeba

    January 13, 2013 at 9:34 am

    This debate of “school integration” has been smoldering for a long time….as far back as when there were legally segregated schools all over the nation. Since Black folks are expected to pay taxes, stop at red lights, put our children in schools, serve in the military, follow the laws of the land — then we should also have the rights to participate in all levels of society and not be mistreated because of race or heritage.

    People come from other countries and get better treatment at some of these colleges than do Blacks who are U.S. citizens. It is not right.

    Most of the HBCU are in the South…and there are a lot of Black folks that live in other areas. Why can’t we go to any college that is close to us…or that suits our desires for a career goal? We should not be denied education because of race.

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