The only way the government can attempt to reduce institutionalized racism is by encouraging diversity.
I disagree. Doubly so when racial discrimination is used to create a mathematical diversity. Unless your definition of "institutionalized racism" is radically different than mine. To me, that means racism promoted or enacted by an institution. So when an individual does it (intentionally or not), it's not "institutionalized". When the government does it. It is. AA creates institutionalized racism
And in cases where employers/universities do not diversify willingly, they must enforce diversity in order to reduce racism.
Must they? I disagree.
Any company or university that doesn't willingly diversify is being racist, regardless of whether it's blatant or hidden.
But who gets to decide what is a sufficient amount of "diversity"? Isn't that the problem here? If the lack of diversity is because of racism, you're correct. But if the lack of diversity is not, then you are incorrect.
The problem with AA is that it can only increase diversity in the latter case (where its lack is *not* caused by racism). University racial admissions bonuses for minorities work by giving certain racial groups a bonus to their admissions score. They only have an effect in the cases where the actual score (based on grades, extra curriculars, etc) is not sufficient to allow them to be admitted, but where the adjusted score (adjusted solely by race) does.
But those admission scores are based on actual student ability and history. They are, to the best we can obtain, an objective, non racist measurement of the qualifications of a potential student. So if the resulting student body isn't diverse (enough), then it's not because of racism, but because that's the correct ratio of races in the student body based on the actual objective, non-racial, qualifications.
When we apply AA bonuses in that case, we are not fighting racism at all. We're creating racism.
Diversity, when it occurs naturally is positive. When it's forced in order to make the stats look better, is isn't.
Diversity is always a positive in the melting pot that is America. It's only ever "forced" due to racism, which is always a negative.
False. Absolutely demonstrably false. AA is precisely about "forcing" diversity in cases which have nothing to do with racial discrimination at all (until the AA program comes along and makes it about race, of course). You make these broad assumptive statements, but I don't see you providing any logical reason why you think they're true.
Think about what AA does. Think about the cases in which it has an effect. It is not countering racism. It's countering a lack of diversity, overwhelmingly in cases where racism is not involved at all. Now, if you want to make the argument that diversity by itself is so important that it's worth using racist policies to create it, then that's a valid direction to go. But it's completely wrong to insist that AA is about fighting racism itself. It's not. It's about perpetuating racism.
People choose where they eat, they don't get to choose their co-workers. Sure, HR & management do, but since all HR managers & management staff in this country are encouraged to diversify, your "point" is moot.
No, it's not. If HR and management is hiring based on the best qualified applicants, but you decide that the resulting mix of employees isn't diverse enough, then you are forcing them to hire less qualified applicants purely because of that diversity goal. Unless you have evidence other than the insufficiently diverse outcome to claim that there's racial discrimination in the hiring process, then it's you who are instituting racism into the hiring process, not the other way around.
I happen to agree with you about the benefits of diversity in a society. I just don't believe that enforcing unequal hiring and admissions and contract granting processes via AA is the right way to do it. I happen to think it'll happen naturally on its own if you give it time. And the result by following that path will be much better than if you attempt to force it using AA.
Yet if given a choice, many white people will choose NOT to diversify, which only increases racism.
Why single out white people? Many people of all colors might choose not to diversify. But that's their choice. And that doesn't increase racism. If their choice is based on racism, then all that's happening is a result of racism that already exists. The amount that's there, is the amount that's there. IMO, your mistake is somehow assuming that any time there isn't some ideal mix of races somewhere, that this must be occurring because of racism. But that's not the case.
People often make the mistake of assuming that "random" is the same as "even". A common game statistics teachers will use to illustrate this is to have everyone in the class but one write down a list of random "heads/tails" sequences on a piece of paper (say 50 flips). They're instructed to attempt to duplicate what they think a random distribution of flips would result in. One person in the class is given a coin and told to actually flip it 50 times and write the results in order down on a piece of paper.
At the end of the game, the teacher will take all the papers and can easily find the one generated by the guy who flipped the coin because it'll be the only one with sets of 6-8 heads or tails in a row on it.
Random effects produce uneven outcomes. All the time. Similarly, the outcomes of millions of people taking different courses in their lives, choosing which schools to attend, which classes to take, which fields to enter into, and thousands of other choices (or random effects) will *not* be homogeneous. Ever.
What we're doing with AA is seeing a streak of heads, deciding that this must mean that the coin is biased towards heads, and then deciding to make the outcome what we think it should be and not what it really is. It's wrong when a group of students think that's the right answer, and it's wrong when we do it in the real world. Even with no bias at all, the odds of every racial group having even close to statistically similar outcomes is astonishingly low. But you assume the opposite.
You're wrong. Just like the students who assume that the resulting coin flips should be evenly spread, with only minor deviations are wrong.
We keep going round & round and you keep speculating that somehow without AA, people would diversify willingly.
You're focusing on the wrong half of my argument. Before we can even talk about whether people diversify willingly or not, we need to determine how me should be measuring diversity. You seem to think that anything other than an even spread of racial groups in every business and school is an indication of something wrong. I don't believe that this is the case. So IMO, you're trying to fix the wrong problem, and frankly using the wrong tool to do it too boot.
Again, I am FOR any policy that increases diversity without using race as a requirement & would choose said policies over AA every time (See the OP). However, I'm not for rolling back AA without another program in place that accomplishes the goals of AA (diversity). If you've got an idea on how to do this, go for it.
Again, this is meaningless if we can't decide what our diversity goals are, and determine if those goals are really indicative of a society free(er) of racial discrimination. Edited, Mar 2nd 2012 4:49pm by gbaji