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 Affirmative Action 
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The article we read for tomorrow's class mentioned affirmative action and it is such an interesting and difficult topic that I figured it would be a good way to start some discussion. Affirmative action is a challenging topic. It is something that I can't quite seem to make up my mind on how I really feel about it. Some people argue that it is unnecessary in our society now. But when there are still clear inequalities between minority groups(including females) and the rest of our country, is it appropriate for us to eradicate affirmative action? Should we make some alterations to it?

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Emily Suzanne White


Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:35 pm
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Good question- I've struggled with this myself. In some ways I think that it is okay but in others it isn't fair. Obviously, it isn't fair for people to be denied because of something they can't help- ethnicity, being female, etc. But there is also something to be said for merit.

For instance, the Regents of the University of Cali @ Davis vs. Bakke supreme court case. Bakke(a white kid) was denied admission to med school although students of color with significantly lower scores(the scores being composed of MCAT scores, GPA, extracurriculars, letters of recommendation, etc) were admitted because of a quota. I think everyone should have an equal opportunity, but that wasn't equal. Of course one could argue the MCAT may have biases or perhaps because the students who were not white had less opportunities and therefore couldn't help having a lower score, but ultimately they were not held to the same standard. Because of this court case, there is no longer a quota, but should race still be a factor regarding admission?

This seems to me like more of a disservice than a help to those students who were admitted that did not actually meet the standards. If they didn't meet the standards, are they really prepared? Or perhaps, the standards are higher than they need to be, to make it easier to weed people out.

Again, this is just one example and I am torn on the issue. But I still think if merit is the criteria for a position, it should be the primary consideration.

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Emily Mackie


Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:10 am
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I’m also not sure how I feel on the issue. It can definitely be a good thing in some cases. Racism and prejudice still exist in our society today, and I think it is good to have measures in place to make sure people of different faiths, ethnicities, or sex get equal opportunities or benefits. I think that everyone who is qualified should have an equal opportunity for getting into college, getting a scholarship, or being employed.

Like Emily mentioned, I do think it can be unfair in some cases. I think merit and qualifications should still play the largest role for any kind of decision making for jobs, schooling, and scholarships, but I do think we should have some sort of safeguards in place to make sure everyone who is qualified is given an equal opportunity.

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Kerry Crosby Smith


Fri Oct 24, 2008 4:05 pm
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I am one of those who believe that affirmative action is not needed in a merit based society. But I also do not think that we live in a totally merit based society. Affirmative action does have its place in the nation that we live in. But at the same time, I do not think that it should be used in the way that it has been in the past. Race or sex should not be the soul motivator behind any societal action. I believe that job interviews (or any similar process; scholarship interviews) should be carried without either party having physically met the other. Merit should influence any career related hiring and firing and quotas on providing "equal opportunity" are absurd. The decision reached in Regents of the Univ. of CA v Bakke basically outlines what I believe. Affirmative action, as in the case of Allan Bakke, can breed reverse discrimination. Affirmative action should be used very, very carefully with lots of discretion and yes there need to be major alterations in the policy.

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Corey J. Tucker


Mon Oct 27, 2008 1:08 pm
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I am basically against affirmative action as it is for the same reasons that ya'll have brought up. We have talked alot about cultural capital in our class recently, and I think this is the place where we should take a look at it. If what we, as a society, consider merit does not descriminate against people of different cultures, then I don't see a reason for affirmative action at all.


Mon Oct 27, 2008 6:49 pm
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I absolutely don't agree with affirmative action. and no, I am Not racist, I just think the color of your skin should have nothing to do with getting into a college, etc. The whole purpose of affirmative action is to stop prejudice right? Well by being prejudice against "the majority" instead of "the minority" is just as bad. ( as in the case that Emily stated) and kind of hypocritical in my opinion. I believe everyone, no matter the color of their skin, should be treated completely equal in all aspects of life. This is true fairness.

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Jessica Placke


Tue Nov 04, 2008 6:03 pm
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Here is a question for you. If northerners do better on a given test, and southerners are constantly left out of jobs or colleges as a result, is this because the southerner is less well qualified?

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Gayle Turner


Wed Nov 05, 2008 2:20 pm
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If the northerner has a larger knowledge base for a particular job than a southerner -it is likely the northerner is more qualified for the job. If you had a doctor- would you rather have one who has mastered more knowledge on diseases and solutions or the doctor who was exposed to less material?

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Jessica Placke


Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:59 pm
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