Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Affirmative Action And The Three Fallacies Its Enemies Use To Fight It

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 16, 2007

David A. Love calls the anti-affirmative-action crowd on their bogosities:

In hard economic times in America, people look for someone to blame for their insecurities. And the forces behind these anti-affirmative action initiatives appeal to white Americans by perpetuating a number of fallacies.

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The first fallacy is that, up until the civil rights era, when college campuses began to open up their doors to people of color and women, a system of academic merit had guided university admissions decisions. In reality, colleges gave preferential treatment to children of alumni and to athletes.

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The second is that now that large numbers of unqualified minorities and women are admitted, they are taking spots from more qualified candidates, stealing something they do not deserve. But almost all minorities and women who are accepted have strong qualifications.

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The third fallacy is that a single test is an adequate measure of merit, much less potential. Not true. Standardized tests often put women and blacks and Latinos at a disadvantage. And success in college is not directly proportional to how well you can fill in circles with a No. 2 pencil.

Love also points out that affirmative action’s foes seem to seek out places with 1) depressed economies (Michigan’s economy, with the collapse of the American auto industry, certainly qualifies) and 2) high percentages of white people, especially former auto and steel workers angry about their current plight.

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One Response to “Affirmative Action And The Three Fallacies Its Enemies Use To Fight It”

  1. MEC said

    The specific instigation for Michigan’s new constitutional amendment banning affirmative action was a lawsuit filed against the University of Michigan by Jennifer Gratz, who blamed affirmative action when she was denied admission to UM’s undergraduate program. It has been noted that she did not object to the admissions standards that benefited athletes and the children of alumni, those that benefited members of minority groups. Oh, and Ms. Gratz “graduated from the University of Michigan – Dearborn with a degree in mathematics and worked in the computer software industry”. Doesn’t sound to me like she suffered a major setback by having her initial application rejected.

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