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#102 Nov 21 2011 at 6:36 PM Rating: Good
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Nilatai wrote:

In 2008 the American Humanist Association published an article which argued that if emancipated slaves had been allowed to possess and retain the profits of their labor, their descendants might now control a much larger share of American social and monetary wealth.[11] Not only did the freedmen and -women not receive a share of these profits, but they were stripped of the small amounts of compensation paid to some of them during Reconstruction. The wealth of the United States, they say, was greatly enhanced by the exploitation of Black slave labor.[21] According to this view, reparations would be valuable primarily as a way of correcting modern economic imbalance. The US Department of Commerce has calculated that in modern US dollars calculated for inflation and interest, slavery generated trillions of dollars for the US economy.[22]


Their rationale makes sense to me. Does it make sense to you?


Nope. And not because of some strawman you're trying to build here, but because the rationale grossly overestimates the value of slave labor to the economy as a whole, and plays games with the concepts of national wealth versus personal wealth.


Quote:
Cue gbaji's 25 paragraph post about how the actions of past generations are irrelevant today.


That's the strawman. It's not that they are irrelevant, but they become less significant factors the farther back in time you go.
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#103 Nov 21 2011 at 6:47 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:


That's the strawman. It's not that they are irrelevant, but they become less significant factors the farther back in time you go.
Not if the actions of the past are cause of societal strife.

Sure, it was generations ago that we enslaved blacks - we need to get over what can't be undone. But, there's good reason to believe that their lag in accumulated wealth continues to present barriers to equality - even today.
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#104 Nov 21 2011 at 6:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
That's the strawman. It's not that they are irrelevant, but they become less significant factors the farther back in time you go.
Not if the actions of the past are cause of societal strife.


But it's not. Demonstrably not, in fact. If that were true, then only those blacks who are direct descendants of slaves would be in the group performing statistically poorly. But the same poor performance is present among blacks who have no US slaves in their ancestry.

Clearly some more recent socio-economic factors are involved which have a much stronger role in this than whether someone was a slave back in the 19th century.

Quote:
Sure, it was generations ago that we enslaved blacks - we need to get over what can't be undone. But, there's good reason to believe that their lag in accumulated wealth continues to present barriers to equality - even today.


And there are much stronger reasons to argue that more recent social factors are far more significant in terms of socio-economic outcomes of African Americans today than just wealth loss resulting from unpaid slave labor.
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#105 Nov 21 2011 at 6:59 PM Rating: Decent
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gbaji wrote:
Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
That's the strawman. It's not that they are irrelevant, but they become less significant factors the farther back in time you go.
Not if the actions of the past are cause of societal strife.


But it's not. Demonstrably not, in fact. If that were true, then only those blacks who are direct descendants of slaves would be in the group performing statistically poorly. But the same poor performance is present among blacks who have no US slaves in their ancestry.

Clearly some more recent socio-economic factors are involved which have a much stronger role in this than whether someone was a slave back in the 19th century.

No shit sherlock. It's called bigotry. You still think you're better than a black man.



Edited, Nov 22nd 2011 2:00am by Elinda
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#106 Nov 21 2011 at 7:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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Elinda wrote:
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This would be an awesome new admin tool

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People would probably be cranky if I just reset everyone back to 3.00 though.
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#107 Nov 21 2011 at 7:14 PM Rating: Good
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Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
Elinda wrote:
gbaji wrote:
That's the strawman. It's not that they are irrelevant, but they become less significant factors the farther back in time you go.
Not if the actions of the past are cause of societal strife.


But it's not. Demonstrably not, in fact. If that were true, then only those blacks who are direct descendants of slaves would be in the group performing statistically poorly. But the same poor performance is present among blacks who have no US slaves in their ancestry.

Clearly some more recent socio-economic factors are involved which have a much stronger role in this than whether someone was a slave back in the 19th century.

No shit sherlock. It's called bigotry.


Bigotry causing negative effects on black people since the end of slavery. So, now we're getting somewhere! We agree that the economic cost of slavery isn't the major cause of economic problems for black people today. Hurray! There's hope for us yet.

Quote:
You still think you're better than a black man.


Really? I'm trying to get you to see that it's been racism and bigotry since the end of slavery and *not* just lost wages during slavery that is the problem and you throw this at me? Could you at least try to be civil?

Edited, Nov 21st 2011 5:16pm by gbaji
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#108 Nov 21 2011 at 10:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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Nilatai wrote:
In 2008 the American Humanist Association published an article which argued that if emancipated slaves had been allowed to possess and retain the profits of their labor, their descendants might now control a much larger share of American social and monetary wealth.[11] Not only did the freedmen and -women not receive a share of these profits, but they were stripped of the small amounts of compensation paid to some of them during Reconstruction. The wealth of the United States, they say, was greatly enhanced by the exploitation of Black slave labor.[21] According to this view, reparations would be valuable primarily as a way of correcting modern economic imbalance. The US Department of Commerce has calculated that in modern US dollars calculated for inflation and interest, slavery generated trillions of dollars for the US economy.[22]


Their rationale makes sense to me. Does it make sense to you?


It makes sense, except that (and this really is nitpicking, but whatever) the source they cite for "In 2008 the American Humanist Association published an article which argued that if emancipated slaves had been allowed to possess and retain the profits of their labor, their descendants might now control a much larger share of American social and monetary wealth" isn't the article they're talking about.

Instead of an article proving their claim, it's this. It's an article in the school newspaper of the University of Washington talking about Congress issuing a formal apology for slavery in August 2008. The closest the article mentions is "The argument for reparations is really quite simple. If emancipated slaves had been allowed to retain the profits of their labor, their descendants might now control a much larger share of U.S. social and monetary wealth."

It talks about the logic behind the argument, but again provides no evidence. I realize this thing is hard to measure, but I can't find any actual statistics showing that slavery directly correlates to the current economic state of affairs for the average black citizen.

Like I said, it's nitpicking, but I feel like that's kind of important, and school has hardwired me to be dubious of everything that doesn't cite a proper source. Dammit. Smiley: glare

Edited, Nov 21st 2011 11:28pm by IDrownFish
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#109 Nov 22 2011 at 12:29 AM Rating: Good
Gbaji wrote:
But it's not. Demonstrably not, in fact. If that were true, then only those blacks who are direct descendants of slaves would be in the group performing statistically poorly. But the same poor performance is present among blacks who have no US slaves in their ancestry.


I'm only talking about African Americans (descendants of slaves). If you'd like to lump all black people together, have at it. I'd love to see a cite though.

Gbaji wrote:
Clearly some more recent socio-economic factors are involved which have a much stronger role in this than whether someone was a slave back in the 19th century.


It's certainly a combination of factors; but the fact is the biggest factor in how much money someone is going to make over their lifetime is whom their parents are (& how much wealth they have). The fact is, the descendants of slaves have always been at a disadvantage when compared to the descendants of slave owners & very little has ever been done to try & close that gap. Further more, most white people are fairly ignorant when it comes to just HOW bad African Americans have it.

Here's a link to a study from Ohio state. In it, they ask the very simple question: "How much would you need to be paid to live the rest of your life as black?"

Most answered at or under $10K.

In contrast, they said they'd need to be paid about $1 million to give up TV fo rthe rest of their lives.

In reality, "white households average about $150,000 more wealth than the typical black family. Overall, total wealth for white families is about five times greater than that of black families, a gap that has persisted for years."

In regards to reparations, "data suggest that such resistance [to reparations]is not because white Americans are mean and uncaring, morally bankrupt, or ethically flawed,” Banaji said.

“White Americans suffer from a glaring ignorance about what it means to live as a black American.”

THEN, when you remove the black-white connotations, and people are instead given a choice of being born in a fictional country as a minority, they'd want $500k - $1million to be born that minority. This further supports that whites are pretty blind towards the inequalities that African Americans face in the USA.

Once again, I don't think AA or Reparations are the best solutions. However, I don't think the former solves the problem that being born the descendant of an African American is a disadvantage. And the latter is a fantasy, but would address that issue.

I'm fine if any & all of you disagree with me, but what would you do to fix the problem?
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#110 Nov 22 2011 at 8:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
Could you at least try to be civil?
That's so adorable.
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#111 Nov 22 2011 at 8:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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Reparations strike me sort of like "Deport all the illegals" arguments. A shallow solution that sounds good for a half second before realizing that it's logistically impossible and time would be better spent on addressing the issue from a more systemic standpoint.
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#112 Nov 22 2011 at 5:15 PM Rating: Good
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Omegavegeta wrote:
Gbaji wrote:
But it's not. Demonstrably not, in fact. If that were true, then only those blacks who are direct descendants of slaves would be in the group performing statistically poorly. But the same poor performance is present among blacks who have no US slaves in their ancestry.


I'm only talking about African Americans (descendants of slaves). If you'd like to lump all black people together, have at it. I'd love to see a cite though.


Given that it's hard to even statistically determine what percentage of blacks are descendants of US slaves, much less which ones specifically, its hard for me to believe that the volumes of studies showing discrepancies between black and white in this country magically take that into account. What do you want me to cite for this? I'm not even sure what you're asking me to do here. The US census does not distinguish based on slavery in someones ancestry. Where do you think most of our socio-economic data comes from?

Do you really need me to link to some one else on the interwebs pointing this out?

Quote:
Gbaji wrote:
Clearly some more recent socio-economic factors are involved which have a much stronger role in this than whether someone was a slave back in the 19th century.


It's certainly a combination of factors; but the fact is the biggest factor in how much money someone is going to make over their lifetime is whom their parents are (& how much wealth they have).


Absolutely. But less significant is their grandparents, or their great grandparents, and so on. There's a point at which the current fortunes of each individual today are influenced very little by the specific conditions of their ancestors over 130 years ago. Even group statistics should have been normalized over that period of time if all we were looking at was economic conditions.


Quote:
The fact is, the descendants of slaves have always been at a disadvantage when compared to the descendants of slave owners & very little has ever been done to try & close that gap. Further more, most white people are fairly ignorant when it comes to just HOW bad African Americans have it.


Or we can say that some scholars fail to see what that gap really means. I think that most people don't see money as being the problem, and that's what's reflected in that studies results.

Quote:
In reality, "white households average about $150,000 more wealth than the typical black family. Overall, total wealth for white families is about five times greater than that of black families, a gap that has persisted for years."


I'd really need to know how they calculated wealth there. And again, wealth has less to do with how much you start with and more to do with what you do with what you have. While Trading Places is an hilarious film, it's not indicative of the likely result. Whether someone accumulates or loses wealth is mostly determined by their own actions, and that is most influenced by their own learned habits. I suspect that much of the gap this study focuses on is white people assuming that if *they* were black, their outcomes would not be affected much.

Obviously, this is going to depend on how much you view black success/failure as being influenced by what they are taught at home growing up and their own expectations and actions and habits. I think it's reasonable to expect that a white person magically transformed into a black person but otherwise possessing the same memory, personality, skills, habits, etc would perform better economically than someone who has been black all his life.

Quote:
In regards to reparations, "data suggest that such resistance [to reparations]is not because white Americans are mean and uncaring, morally bankrupt, or ethically flawed,” Banaji said.

“White Americans suffer from a glaring ignorance about what it means to live as a black American.”


Again, I disagree. I think that white americans understand better than the typical sociology professor that being raised in a black (American) household has a greater negative effect than simply "being black". But it's a factor that most race studies folks don't want to look at because it shifts the blame for the results from external racism to internal factors within the black community as a whole.

Quote:
THEN, when you remove the black-white connotations, and people are instead given a choice of being born in a fictional country as a minority, they'd want $500k - $1million to be born that minority. This further supports that whites are pretty blind towards the inequalities that African Americans face in the USA.


Or they don't agree with those conducting the study that being a minority in the US is really as much of a hardship. I think that most white americans really do believe that each individual can succeed no matter what their skin color. Again, this comes down to how much you see the group outcomes deriving from actions/habits within that group, or some sort of external racism expressed towards that group.

Quote:
Once again, I don't think AA or Reparations are the best solutions. However, I don't think the former solves the problem that being born the descendant of an African American is a disadvantage. And the latter is a fantasy, but would address that issue.


I don't think either solves anything. It's a topic that is brought up mostly as an attempt to paint those who disagree as racists or bigots, and not a whole lot more.

Quote:
I'm fine if any & all of you disagree with me, but what would you do to fix the problem?


I think we should first identify what the problem actually is, what is causing it, and *then* look at solutions. But I think that most of those pushing for a solution today don't want to do this because they wouldn't like what they might find.
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#113 Nov 22 2011 at 7:01 PM Rating: Decent
Gbaji wrote:
Or they don't agree with those conducting the study that being a minority in the US is really as much of a hardship. I think that most white americans really do believe that each individual can succeed no matter what their skin color.


Life's good when you're the slavemaster.

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#114 Nov 22 2011 at 7:19 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
I think we should first identify what the problem actually is, what is causing it, and *then* look at solutions. But I think that most of those pushing for a solution today don't want to do this because they wouldn't like what they might find.


Well, golly, gbaji, please go ahead and tell us what the problem is instead of dancing around the question?
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#115 Nov 22 2011 at 7:20 PM Rating: Excellent
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Liberals.

The answer is always liberals.
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#116 Nov 22 2011 at 8:58 PM Rating: Decent
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Friar Bijou wrote:
gbaji wrote:
I think we should first identify what the problem actually is, what is causing it, and *then* look at solutions. But I think that most of those pushing for a solution today don't want to do this because they wouldn't like what they might find.


Well, golly, gbaji, please go ahead and tell us what the problem is instead of dancing around the question?


I thought I was pretty clear:

gbaji wrote:
Whether someone accumulates or loses wealth is mostly determined by their own actions, and that is most influenced by their own learned habits.


Quote:
Obviously, this is going to depend on how much you view black success/failure as being influenced by what they are taught at home growing up and their own expectations and actions and habits.


Quote:
Again, I disagree. I think that white americans understand better than the typical sociology professor that being raised in a black (American) household has a greater negative effect than simply "being black". But it's a factor that most race studies folks don't want to look at because it shifts the blame for the results from external racism to internal factors within the black community as a whole.


Quote:
Again, this comes down to how much you see the group outcomes deriving from actions/habits within that group, or some sort of external racism expressed towards that group.



The largest factor affecting statistical outcomes of blacks in America is the actions and learned habits of blacks in America *today*. While we can certainly attribute those to historical patterns, I think it's absurd to blame economic losses during slavery for this, or even economic disadvantage during the period of segregation. It's been nearly 50 years since the Civil Rights Act was passed, and we've done a pretty good job of stamping out real institutional racism which might hinder a black persons success. Yet during the last 50 years, not only have blacks not roared into success (when measured as a group), but in many socio-economic indicators are actually performing worse in both real and relative terms.


We can speculate as to a host of possible causes which may be to varying degrees to blame, but if I were asked to say what I believe is the largest factor (and I have), I would argue that the organization of blacks into a political block, while extremely useful in the period leading up to and during the Civil Rights movement, has since been used to effectively neuter black success in this country. It has been hijacked and transformed into some sort of social experiment testing the effectiveness of group advocation as a means to advancement. In the pursuit of this, black Americans have been encouraged (strongly) to move from rural communities and into inner cities in order to strengthen their political power, but in doing so lost much of their ability to individually affect their own outcomes. They have been taught more than any other group in our country that they cannot succeed on their own, and thus must work as part of a larger community to succeed. And they've been taught that the route to success lies not in pursuing better jobs and lives for themselves, but via political action to force the creation of and funding of government programs to make their lives better.


This is why there's such a disconnect. A person raised in a (white) home and taught that he can succeed through hard work and personal accomplishment will tend to believe he can do this no matter what his skin color (and statistics for black children raised in "white" homes tends to bear this out). But someone raised in a home where he is taught constantly to accept as assumed truth that he cannot succeed on his own, that the deck is stacked against him, and that no one will treat him fairly purely because of his skin color, will be more likely to blame any failure he encounters on racism, and be more likely to give up when faced with any sort of failure. So bad grades in school, failing to get that first job, boss telling him he needs to work harder, cops pulling him over, all end out being interpreted within the lens of racism he's been taught to see everywhere. How can we not expect this to affect his outlook on the world around him and ultimately his own outcomes?


So yeah, in short: Liberals. Smiley: grin


The solution is to not do this. But unfortunately, at this point, this would require such a massive change in entrenched political organizations which have tied themselves to the perpetuation of these very assumptions and methodologies that it seems unlikely. When a black person who succeeds without being a part of that larger organized structure is labeled an Uncle Tom, it's hard to imagine that those doing the labeling are likely to change their approach any time soon. There's too much political power and cultural influence at stake, and frankly the poor statistical state of Black America benefits those who's political fortunes rest on that condition continuing. It's a gross marriage of a socialist movement which desires people to support big government and social activists more than willing to sell their own group into poverty to be used as tools for that movement in return for immediate political power for themselves.


I know it's unpopular, but I really do believe that the biggest cause of poverty and suffering by blacks in America is not white racism, but the actions of black leaders who seem to care more about using black suffering for their own benefit (and political ideology) than to actually do anything about that suffering. The cause is more important than the people in it. And that's why the people suffer.


How's that for not dancing around the question?
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#117 Nov 22 2011 at 10:11 PM Rating: Good
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#118 Nov 23 2011 at 8:57 AM Rating: Excellent
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Omegavegeta wrote:
Once again, I don't think AA or Reparations are the best solutions. However, I don't think the former solves the problem that being born the descendant of an African American is a disadvantage. And the latter is a fantasy, but would address that issue.

I'm fine if any & all of you disagree with me, but what would you do to fix the problem?

Affirmative Action is sort of like the argument for pumping money into education.

Most people would agree that the largest barrier to a good education is disengaged parents. If the parents don't care, don't bother to reward good grades or take action when there's bad grade, the student probably just isn't going to do well. Unfortunately, the school is trapped in a situation where they have an obligation to provide the best education possible and they can't mandate that the parents give a shit so the best they can do is try to essentially "buy" enough education to make up for the parents.

Likewise, as much as Gbaji would like to pretend that institutional racism is a thing of the past, the fact remains that race is still a barrier in our society. For lack of the ability to mandate "Don't be racist", the government instead tries to legislate fairness in their obligation to protect the supposed equality of men. It's not perfect, sometimes it might not even be "good" but the tools they have are limited and the alternative is to pretend the problem doesn't exist.
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#119 Nov 23 2011 at 12:25 PM Rating: Excellent
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Racism exists still and it won't be going away anytime soon. The biggest reason I dislike where I live is the fact racism runs rampant, but I don't feel throwing money at the problem will ever solve anything like this. In fact I really don't feel there is any way to solve the problem that slavery caused. What has been done cannot be changed, nothing you can do will ever change that fact.

My mother and her family came over to the states from Germany in 1962 so for my Opa to find a job it was **** near impossible with all the preconceived notions about Germans. My great uncle was a GI in the war and resented my Opa because of his nationality. I'm no stranger to this one-sided thinking but the last thing my Opa ever would have wanted was a hand out because he had it harder than someone else. My point in all of this is yes, slavery probably did push back the progress of blacks but the fact remains that if you want to better your life you can. You want to sit on your *** and collect welfare don't expect to be living in some huge mansion. It doesn't matter what color your skin is, handouts don't help anything. They stagnate people's work ethics and are a catalyst to laziness.

You want to go to college and further your life, strive to get scholarships, work on your grades, prove to the administration you're worth an academic scholarship. Student loans exist for a reason IE: Stafford Loans, Pell Grants and consolidated low interest loans. If you're going to abuse a flawed system to half *** it through school then you do not deserve it.
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#120 Nov 23 2011 at 12:40 PM Rating: Good
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The only thing that will end racism as we know it on Earth is the impending invasion of the Zorgons in 2215.

As Terry Pratchett put it, "racism isn't nearly as much fun as speciesism. Black, white, red, and yellow can all gang up together on green."
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#121 Nov 23 2011 at 1:06 PM Rating: Excellent
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Any day of the week in 1962 I'd have rather been a German immigrant than a native born black American.

Edited, Nov 23rd 2011 1:06pm by Jophiel
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#122 Nov 23 2011 at 1:23 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Any day of the week in 1962 I'd have rather been a German immigrant than a native born black American.

Edited, Nov 23rd 2011 1:06pm by Jophiel


What if you were a black german immigrant...
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#123 Nov 23 2011 at 1:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Oooooh, chicken and beer as far as the eye can see.

Edited, Nov 23rd 2011 2:33pm by lolgaxe
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#124 Nov 23 2011 at 1:36 PM Rating: Excellent
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Can I be a black German Jewish immigrant?
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#125 Nov 23 2011 at 2:53 PM Rating: Decent
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The largest factor affecting statistical outcomes of blacks in America is the actions and learned habits of blacks in America *today*


They were totally asking for it wearing those DaiShikis. Also, society didn't leave any marks, so, you know....
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#126 Nov 23 2011 at 5:46 PM Rating: Good
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Jophiel wrote:
Affirmative Action is sort of like the argument for pumping money into education.


Except for the whole "We're going to target the money based on people's skin color" part, sure. Oh wait. They really aren't anything at all alike.

Quote:
Most people would agree that the largest barrier to a good education is disengaged parents.


No. The largest barrier is the lack of time or money to obtain it. That's why we fund education, so that those who could not otherwise afford an education can receive at least enough to be contributing members of the work force. Having already decided to fund education, the next biggest barrier might be disengaged parents, but that has nothing to do with the decision to fund education in the first place.

Quote:
If the parents don't care, don't bother to reward good grades or take action when there's bad grade, the student probably just isn't going to do well. Unfortunately, the school is trapped in a situation where they have an obligation to provide the best education possible and they can't mandate that the parents give a shit so the best they can do is try to essentially "buy" enough education to make up for the parents.


I think you're getting the motivation completely wrong, but that's really beside the point. Even to the degree that a school may attempt to counteract the effect of disengaged parents, we target that based on the situation for each individual student. Teachers know which kids have engaged parents and which don't, and may work harder with the "at risk" kids to try to get them interested in their education, but they don't look at statistics for at risk kids based on race and decide to dedicate X number of additional hours of instruction/interaction with kids based on their race. That would be insane, right? You help the kids who need help. You don't provide additional help to all kids of one racial group and less to kids of another simply because of some broad social statistics.


So, no. Nothing like Affirmative Action.


Quote:
Likewise, as much as Gbaji would like to pretend that institutional racism is a thing of the past, the fact remains that race is still a barrier in our society.


Bait and switch. Is "racism" the primary problem? You're looking at statistical outcomes based on race and then leaping to an assumption about the cause. I think that's a poor methodology.

Quote:
For lack of the ability to mandate "Don't be racist", the government instead tries to legislate fairness in their obligation to protect the supposed equality of men. It's not perfect, sometimes it might not even be "good" but the tools they have are limited and the alternative is to pretend the problem doesn't exist.



Whether what you're doing is pretending the problem doesn't exist really kinda depends on what the problem *is* though. If you're wrong about the cause of outcome differences based on race, then launching into a program designed to counter the assumed cause at the very least ignores the real problem, and may in fact make things worse. AA perpetuates and institutionalizes the assumption that those outcome differences are caused by racism against the targeted group. By merely adopting such programs you reinforce that assumption. But if the real problem is the group itself failing to perform because it believes that the deck is stacked against them, you're absolutely making things worse.


Edited, Nov 23rd 2011 3:47pm by gbaji
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