The Cases For & Against Affirmative Action

If you've been following some of my comments, then you know that I'm against Affirmative Action. I've gotten both criticisms and praises for my stance. I don't mind the criticisms but I am frustrated by the fact that almost all of the criticisms are hinged on points completely irrelevant to my argument: They say because I'm Asian, I must be just pissed off; that I'm white-washed; or that I'm just a racist asshole who doesn't want racial inequality. How awful and untrue things to say. Even if they were true, which they are not, they do not invalidate any of my points because they have absolutely nothing to do with my arguments. As a matter of fact, many of my points against AA are extensions of points made by an African-American man by the name of Thomas Sowell.

Improving education and equal access to education has always been something I feel passionate about. So, I'd like to have an honest and constructive discussion on the topic of Affirmative Action. I'll be making the case both FOR and AGAINST AA below. I'll also add some potential counter-arguments for each of the points. Feel free to add on and have civil discourse.

  • The Case for Affirmative Action:

1) Affirmative Action allows people to interact with diverse group of people, which teaches you perspectives: Learning more about other people and expanding our perspectives can never be bad. We grow more empathetic and learn variety of crucial soft skills by interacting with different people.

-> Counter-argument: This would be true only if we actually got to interact with diverse group of people. People are cliquey. Race-based admission only aggravates this cliquey-ness.

2) Affirmative Action improves social mobility:

-> Counter-argument: Social mobility has stronger causal relationships with the abilities of the individual, than where he/she went to college. There also are a lot of evidence that AA has been detrimental for social mobility.

3) While we work on improving our education, only way to allow more access to education for underprivileged people, in the meantime, is through AA

-> Counter-argument: This is what financial aid and merit-based scholarships are good for. Why can't we figure out ways to expand those programs? Being underprivileged is not a race specific thing. While quotas in general are not a good idea, a quota or quota-adjacent programs based on socio-economic standing would be far better than a race based one.

4) AA helps achieve racial makeup of colleges closer to that of the national demographics

-> Counter-argument: This is the weakest of them all. Racial makeup should represent the demographics of the applicants not the nation. We should be focusing more on having more qualified applicants from underprivileged backgrounds.

  • The Case Against Affirmative Action:

1) Affirmative Action is a discriminatory and racist practice that disadvantages non-Black and non-Hispanic racial groups: By definition, this is true. Because of AA, acceptance rates for Black and Hispanic applicants are far higher than that of other racial groups. This is not a matter of opinion. This is a cold-hearted fact according to the very definition of discrimination.

2) Affirmative Action is ineffective at its intended purposes: There is good amount of evidence that AA is actually hurting "underprivileged minority groups" because many who would have succeeded at a slightly lower tier institution ends up falling through the cracks, which in turn impacts their career outlooks.

-> Counter-argument: Perhaps such cases are on the individuals themselves. Or perhaps such cases are only a small fraction.

3) Affirmative Action is economically sub-optimal: This is what quotas do. You are more likely to get less qualified students than you would have without AA.

-> Counter-argument: This sub-optimality is trivial and/or highly subjective.

4) Affirmative Action increases racial tensions & prejudice: We all have this biased perception that "a Black kid from Harvard is not as smart as a Jewish kid from Harvard" or the likes. Many people view the world through this lens even when it's not always true. If race wasn't a factor considered in admissions, this prejudice wouldn't exist in the first place. Moreover, there definitely is some race-based resentment on Black and Hispanic people from some Asian, Indian, and white Americans.

-> Counter-argument: If you live with more diverse group of people, then you get to understand them better and gain perspectives. This is the same as point 1 in the Case For AA.

5) Affirmative Action attempts to treat the symptoms while ignoring the disease: AA is viewed as some cure-all that will somehow magically get rid of inequality in education levels across different races. The truth is that it hasn't for decades. Why? Because we never bothered actually improving education and resource availability for "underprivileged" racial groups.

-> Counter-argument: I cannot think of one. Feel free to fill in the gaps.

Comments (62)

Most Helpful
Jul 30, 2020

All I will say is that they should really go off income instead of skin color if they really cared about disadvantaged people but they don't.

I've first hand seen messages go back and forth between a campus recruiter and HR saying to look our for colored students for the reason being they needed to "get their yearly numbers up."

That was more than enough for me to be against AA.

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Jul 30, 2020
Pump and Dump:

All I will say is that they should really go off income instead of skin color if they really cared about disadvantaged people but they don't.

It baffles me why this is so difficult for many people to accept or even grasp it. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Financial Data Science

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Funniest
  • Prospect in Other
Jul 30, 2020

you guys have this tired ass conversation literally every week on here.

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Jul 30, 2020

Hopefully this ends it all. So people don't post biased and poorly backed opinions.

Financial Data Science

  • Intern in HF - Other
Jul 30, 2020

Let's be honest about who benefits from affirmative action for a second. How many inner city kids do you see get into HPY's with scholarships, and what has the general impact on black and brown communities been? Now ask yourself how many kids of college educated black and brown families, who've been through a similar upbringing as white and asian kids get into all 8 ivies and more with above average grades and decent-at-best accomplishments.

Fact of the matter is: AA is not income based because equality is not its actual intended purpose. Its a piece of racist legislation that leverages the greater political representation of larger racial groups to advantage their own privileged sub-communities at the expense of smaller racial minorities with fewer political representatives. All the while exploiting the trauma and oppression of poor black and brown communities by using them as "poster children" and disguising their self-serving ambitions under a facade of racial equity which conveniently and automatically invalidates counter opinions as racist.

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Jul 30, 2020

Amen.

More racial inequality in the name of ending racial inequality. Ironic and quite frankly disgusting.

Financial Data Science

  • Intern in IB - Gen
Jul 30, 2020

Not everything is about getting into HYP. Affirmative action also helps smart URM kids from middle-class, lower income backgrounds go to a top 50 college vs one outside the top 100.

Jul 30, 2020

This is by itself a problem. If they aren't qualified to go to top 50, then why don't they attend top 100?

There are overwhelming evidence that lot of students who "benefit" from AA fall through the cracks with their career prospects damaged, because they simply can't succeed in colleges they end up at.

If you actually read the OP, you might have caught that.

Financial Data Science

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Jul 30, 2020

What is this site's obsession with affirmative action? Jesus Christ. I didn't even read your post because I've seen it here a hundred times before. Find something more important to worry about in your life.

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Jul 30, 2020

This post is intended to end all the shitty takes, by actually providing sensible arguments from both sides.

Or maybe I'm just trying to destroy some "libtards".

Financial Data Science

Jul 30, 2020

All you're doing is adding fuel to the fire of a low quality discussion topic that's riddled with prejudices, biases and ad hominem attacks, and that ultimately achieves nothing. Threads like this one lower the quality of the forum.

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Jul 31, 2020

This is basically a risk free post. Most WSO participants are opposed to affirmative because they think that less qualified people are getting hired over them or accepted into schools over them. If you create a topic that is anti affirmative action, you will get lots of SBs

Jul 30, 2020

Don't be mad at diversity quotas
Just learn your shit, add value to wherever you work, and pray that next time you get reincarnated as a black female at Philips Exeter

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Jul 30, 2020
Lloyd Blankfein:

pray that next time you get reincarnated as a black female at Philips Exeter

LOL.

Funny thing is that when I was applying to colleges, I was an international. International students have their own pool they need to compete with, so AA didn't even hurt me.

Actually, competition is worse for internationals.

Financial Data Science

Jul 30, 2020

Wait wait wait...
It's almost like a guaranteed way to be unhappy...
is obsessing over situations that you can't control...

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Jul 30, 2020

But I love having conversations like this. It's a drug that I can't quit, it's part of my life. It's like doing blow but it's actually good for my brain.

Surely good old Lloyd can relate

Financial Data Science

Jul 30, 2020

go get laid or something my friend

  • Intern in HF - Other
Jul 30, 2020

Let's be honest about who is really benefiting off AA. How many inner city kids do you see going to HYP's with scholarships and appropriate aid packages? What has been the actual impact on underprivileged black and brown communities as a whole? Now ask yourself how many children of college educated black and brown parents - kids who've been raised and brought up in a similar environment and socio-economic background as upper middle class white and Asian kids - get into all 8 ivies and more with above average grades and decent-at-best accomplishments?

The truth of the matter is that AA ignores income inequality and focuses on race because equality is not the intended purpose. AA is a piece of legislation that leverages the greater voting power and political representation of larger racial groups to advance their own privileged sub-communities at the expense of smaller racial minorities with fewer political representatives. All the while exploiting the trauma and oppression of poor black and brown communities by using them as poster children to justify their own ambitions and labeling diverging opinions as racist.

I'm not salty tho.

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Jul 30, 2020

Personally think AA should be more of a holistic approach taking into account both socio-economic standing and historical connections to systematic oppression. That way, if you're white but poor, you still get AA "points". But if you're poor and come from a historically opressed background you might get a few more points.

A truly diverse class should have legitmately wealthy, upper middle class, middle class and poor contingents of all racial backgrounds (including those from either historically oppressed or non-historically oppressed backgrounds). It shouldn't just be a bunch of upper middle class or legitmately wealthy kids that went to the same wealthy schools and grew up in the same wealthy areas with professional (or independently wealthy) parents with the only difference separating them being their level of melanin content or skin-deep facial features.

Something like ~70% of the affirmative action admits at top schools come from upper middle class backgrounds - how is that "diverse" in any way? It doesn't achieve anything except make it easier for kids who otherwise will be successful in life anyway to reap the rewards of affirmative action (even ithough they've experienced little to no adverse prejudice).

Array

  • Analyst 1 in 
Jul 30, 2020

Source on the ~70% number?

Jul 30, 2020

I was being tongue-in-cheek by saying AA admits and admittedly it's only from the Harvard lawsuit (but realistically the same should be true at most elite schools) but it's actually: "71 percent of African American and Latino students at Harvard come from wealthy backgrounds" - if the percentage is that high it should follow that the Affirmative Action (i.e. lower than average stats for the school) contingent of that group is roughly a similar make-up.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/06/harvar...

Array

Jul 30, 2020
princepieman:

That way, if you're white but poor, you still get AA "points". But if you're poor and come from a historically opressed background you might get a few more points.

This would be a compromise. Personally, I don't think that coming from a historically oppressed background should win you any points. Why should the sufferings of people from the past get you more points? We should acknowledge that oppression and make sure to never repeat them. But why should we pay reparations? Education and income levels are both in the present.

A poor white kid and a poor black kid both face the exact same disparities. They have similar crime rates, actually some studies conclude that crime rates in poor white communities are higher. We no longer have any deliberately racist practices protected under the eyes of law.

Getting additional points for things that happened to your ancestors just doesn't make sense to me.

Financial Data Science

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  • Intern in HF - Other
Jul 30, 2020

I don't agree that a poor black kid and a poor white kid face the same struggles in life. It's too generalizing to put it either way, but chances are a poor black kid has his own set of issues independent of the set of problems that affect poor white people.

Having said that, AA that serves a socio-economically underprivileged populous would help them both in all the ways that are meaningful and relevant. The fact that it focuses on race makes it racist. It's just racism that serves the large minority groups - so it's not a conversation people are ready to have.

Jul 30, 2020

We should acknowledge that oppression

Sure, by overcorrecting the damage and loss of opportunity caused by that very same oppression to get back to some steady state of parity.

You don't just "magically" forget about 400 years worth of oppression (not even oppression, full on outright subjugation - think being born and immediately knowing that your children, grand children and great grandchildren are destined to be slaves). We aren't even that far removed from Jim Crow era policies. The ~60 years or so of "true" freedom these oppresed groups have had pales in comparison to the lingering wider systematic biases and prejudices that still play out today.

If you want to help course correct things, you have to give a bit of slack here and there to afford people the opportunity to start succeeding and setting a point to future generations that they can do the same. It's completely unfathomable that kids growing up in non-historically oppressed communities (including black recent immigrants like Nigerian Americans or Ghanaian Americans) have the same opportunity set as those from historically oppressed communities - they don't, and they won't for a long time.

Kids who grow up in these communities dream of being rappers or basketball players because that's the only success that people they see people like them have achieved. That alone is a deeply saddening reality and one that will have to change in order for there to be any progress. Affirmative action (alongside better education policies and a real grassroots effort to build these communities ambitions' up) is the least the american public could do to help give these communities a kickstart.

Array

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Jul 31, 2020

Not sure about the 70% number but hiring minorities from the upper middle class still enhances diversity. Hiring managers usually prefer to hire people who are very similar to themselves and their clients, which is one of the reasons black people have been shut out of jobs in finance. It sounds nice to say no one gives a shit about one's skin color but that is not the real world. Would diversity be further enhanced if the minority was also poor? Yes it would.

  • Trader in VC
Jul 30, 2020

A problem with affirmative action is that in a way it is discrediting to people from underrepresented communities who really worked hard to be able to succeed. Being able to survive life in a rough neighborhood and doing well enough in an inner-city school to be able to go to college is no simple feat. The fact that someone faced all those obstacles and succeeded is significant and should factor in. If companies hired based on who the person is and what they've overcome rather than school prestige and nonsense like that it would help solve the diversity problems that companies try to fix with affirmative action that ends up benefiting white, privileged women the most.

  • Prospect in RE - Comm
Jul 31, 2020

I feel obligated to tell my story on here as affirmative action essentially got me to where I am today.

I graduated from a decent public high school with a 3.3 unweighted GPA and a 920 out 2400 SAT. I went to a top liberal arts college that was SAT optional with a full ride (financial need) and I graduated with a 2.7 GPA in political science. I am now a 22-year-old Latino working at a top real estate private equity firm in a major market making 70k.

Why am I in favor of affirmative action? The world we live in is all about money and connections, both of what black and Latino communities do not have much of. Affirmative action helps black and Latino students that do not have money or connections and helps them to improve their social mobility. The only reason why I have gotten so far in life is because I found the right people that we're able to give me the resources and chance to succeed.

It is not fair that white people can pay for private boarding schools, SAT tutors, college counselors, go every year to summer camp, have private lessons in their sport and so much more than go up against a candidate that is from the hood that has never had any luxuries like that. They have to level out the playing field.

Before going to college, I never knew anyone who was "successsful". All the people that I knew were low wage workers. None of my parents went to college, neither my friend's parents and none of my older friends went to 4-year colleges. See college is not hard and its a great way to achieve social mobility but getting into a good college as a minority, paying for college, and feeling comfortable in an institution is. Same goes with real estate private equity or IB, it is not difficult to learn but getting in as a minority and feeling comfortable is.

It is hard to succeed in places, where people do not have a similar background and interest as you. By getting more Black and Latino students in college or the real estate private equity industry or whatever, it will increase the likelihood of other black and Latino people to enter.

Mainly, affirmative action helps combats structural racism and racial inequality that has been in the United States for many years. OP should pick up a history book, there many reasons why black and Latino people have the lowest college graduation rates and earn less. They have been screw by white people for many years.

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Jul 31, 2020

Definitely an unpopular opinion on here, but I agree with you. Discrimination is very rampant against latinos and black people, and affirmative action was to alleviate that. People forget that segregation was not long ago, and racial bias held by people is in no way gone. Clennon King, a black man, applied to the University of Mississippi for graduate school and was sent to a state asylum because people thought it was that insane a black man would apply. He died in 2000.

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Jul 31, 2020

I agree with you but of you but the battle here is an uphill one.

  • Business School in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020
Prospect in RE - Comm:

I feel obligated to tell my story on here as affirmative action essentially got me to where I am today.

I graduated from a decent public high school with a 3.3 unweighted GPA and a 920 out 2400 SAT. I went to a top liberal arts college that was SAT optional with a full ride (financial need) and I graduated with a 2.7 GPA in political science. I am now a 22-year-old Latino working at a top real estate private equity firm in a major market making 70k.

Why am I in favor of affirmative action? The world we live in is all about money and connections, both of what black and Latino communities do not have much of. Affirmative action helps black and Latino students that do not have money or connections and helps them to improve their social mobility. The only reason why I have gotten so far in life is because I found the right people that we're able to give me the resources and chance to succeed.

It is not fair that white people can pay for private boarding schools, SAT tutors, college counselors, go every year to summer camp, have private lessons in their sport and so much more than go up against a candidate that is from the hood that has never had any luxuries like that. They have to level out the playing field.

Before going to college, I never knew anyone who was "successsful". All the people that I knew were low wage workers. None of my parents went to college, neither my friend's parents and none of my older friends went to 4-year colleges. See college is not hard and its a great way to achieve social mobility but getting into a good college as a minority, paying for college, and feeling comfortable in an institution is. Same goes with real estate private equity or IB, it is not difficult to learn but getting in as a minority and feeling comfortable is.

It is hard to succeed in places, where people do not have a similar background and interest as you. By getting more Black and Latino students in college or the real estate private equity industry or whatever, it will increase the likelihood of other black and Latino people to enter.

Mainly, affirmative action helps combats structural racism and racial inequality that has been in the United States for many years. OP should pick up a history book, there many reasons why black and Latino people have the lowest college graduation rates and earn less. They have been screw by white people for many years.

Sorry and not trying to be insensitive, but you commented on college being not hard, and only hard to get into / to pay for, but you graduated with a 2.7? Am I missing something. I'm always torn in these discussions because on the face of it I think AA policies are great and necessary, but I also struggle to understand when does it stop?

And maybe that's the wrong way of looking at it, and happy to be challenged there. But let's say I am a minority who grew up in a tough neighborhood without money / opportunity and obviously facing discrimination in social / societal contexts. So I go to a worse high school and because I'm busy working alongside to support my family, I don't do very well on my SAT and my gpa isn't great at all either. I then get into an Ivy League school benefitting from AA and given full aid. This up to here for me makes perfect sense. I then get to said Ivy league school and get a 2.9 GPA, but because of a diversity program, I get an internship at Goldman Sachs. I then get to Goldman Sachs and I'm the worst analyst in my class, but I get through a diversity round of hiring and join KKR. I'm at KKR now and I move to HBS, even though my GMAT was a 670. You get the gist. I guess my question is, at what point along the path is race, which is meant to be used as a proxy for upbringing and opportunity, no longer relevant. Again, I'm aware that this individual would be facing discrimination every step of the way, even small things we mostly miss on, but it's hard to make the argument that they haven't been given opportunity.

I do think that income should be taken into account, though along with race. I think anyone who says that a black guy at Exeter is facing the same opportunity as a white guy, even at the same income level, is crazy. Even higher income / more privileged individuals from minority groups face huge amounts of discrimination, probably on a daily basis. It just isn't as loud and in your face as it is for those of lower income backgrounds, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

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Jul 31, 2020
Business School in PE - LBOs:

And maybe that's the wrong way of looking at it, and happy to be challenged there. But let's say I am a minority who grew up in a tough neighborhood without money / opportunity and obviously facing discrimination in social / societal contexts. So I go to a worse high school and because I'm busy working alongside to support my family, I don't do very well on my SAT and my gpa isn't great at all either. I then get into an Ivy League school benefitting from AA and given full aid. This up to here for me makes perfect sense. I then get to said Ivy league school and get a 2.9 GPA, but because of a diversity program, I get an internship at Goldman Sachs. I then get to Goldman Sachs and I'm the worst analyst in my class, but I get through a diversity round of hiring and join KKR. I'm at KKR now and I move to HBS, even though my GMAT was a 670. You get the gist.

This pattern has real consequences.

1) It actually increases racial prejudice and tension. Because we see people like this who get unfair advantage by "abusing the system", an entire race/s get a bad rep. The minorities who are actually smart and hard-working go unseen. Meanwhile, enough poor White and poor Asian people feel "resentful" that it causes a real and damaging divide.

2) It's economically unwell. Why should a person be able to breeze all the way through KKR on the basis of his/her race? If you're already at Goldman Sachs or at an Ivy League, shouldn't you be judged solely on the basis of your talent and skills? Before diversity programs became mainstream, AA hurt job outlooks of many minorities. Now, with rampant diversity programs, that's starting to change.

But that comes at the expense of our economy. Corporate productivity goes down and reverse-discrimination goes up in the name of reducing racial inequality. Is that worth it? Sooner or later, if this pattern becomes more prevalent, there wouldn't be much spots to open up for diversity candidates. That'd actually increase inequality.

Business School in PE - LBOs:

I think anyone who says that a black guy at Exeter is facing the same opportunity as a white guy, even at the same income level, is crazy. Even higher income / more privileged individuals from minority groups face huge amounts of discrimination, probably on a daily basis. It just isn't as loud and in your face as it is for those of lower income backgrounds, but that doesn't mean it isn't there.

I don't agree with this, such discrimination is at a personal level. But I think whether it's true or not is trivial when it comes to reducing racial inequality.

Why don't people focus on giving everyone the ability to start at the same point? Instead we rely on "leveling the fields" by crippling one group for the benefit of other. History shows that's never a good idea.

History shows that the best way of empowering minorities and reducing inequality is by giving them resources that helps them succeed. Good social safety net doesn't make people rely on SSN. It provides people with ample resources so they may get back on their feet, but through their own will and their hard work. We should only be helping those who help themselves.

Financial Data Science

Jul 31, 2020
Business School in PE - LBOs:

And maybe that's the wrong way of looking at it, and happy to be challenged there. But let's say I am a minority who grew up in a tough neighborhood without money / opportunity and obviously facing discrimination in social / societal contexts. So I go to a worse high school and because I'm busy working alongside to support my family, I don't do very well on my SAT and my gpa isn't great at all either. I then get into an Ivy League school benefitting from AA and given full aid. This up to here for me makes perfect sense. I then get to said Ivy league school and get a 2.9 GPA, but because of a diversity program, I get an internship at Goldman Sachs. I then get to Goldman Sachs and I'm the worst analyst in my class, but I get through a diversity round of hiring and join KKR. I'm at KKR now and I move to HBS, even though my GMAT was a 670. You get the gist. I guess my question is, at what point along the path is race, which is meant to be used as a proxy for upbringing and opportunity, no longer relevant. Again, I'm aware that this individual would be facing discrimination every step of the way, even small things we mostly miss on, but it's hard to make the argument that they haven't been given opportunity.

I am far from an expert on AA but I do not think that most of the diversity hires are poor less educated minorities. The people who are poor and who did not do well in school are probably not looking to go to an IVY and the IVYs are less interested in recruiting them. AA should not be used to admit or hire a totally unqualified person. This does not benefit the student, the school, the worker or the company.

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Jul 31, 2020

I'm glad we are hearing from the other side.

Prospect in RE - Comm:

I graduated from a decent public high school with a 3.3 unweighted GPA and a 920 out 2400 SAT. I went to a top liberal arts college that was SAT optional with a full ride (financial need) and I graduated with a 2.7 GPA in political science. I am now a 22-year-old Latino working at a top real estate private equity firm in a major market making 70k.

As far as I know, you are just a single outlier when it comes to the effectiveness of AA. Have you considered the fact that most students who get in to good schools because of AA just fall through the cracks? There is significant evidence that it happens quite often, which in turn increases inequality.

I get that AA benefited you so you're biased towards it. Nothing wrong with that. But I encourage you to read through some papers like this one.

https://production-tcf.imgix.net/app/uploads/2016/...

Prospect in RE - Comm:

Why am I in favor of affirmative action? The world we live in is all about money and connections, both of what black and Latino communities do not have much of.

If you were to boil down an entire racial group into a simple statistics yes. But AA is a highly ineffective system that is abused by many wealthy Black and Hispanic people. In fact, majority of Black and Hispanic people in top colleges are from affluent backgrounds. Hence, I think a race-based program is a bad idea. Rather, we should have socio-economic status based one, which would actually help everyone in need, instead of giving unfair advantages to people who don't need help.

Prospect in RE - Comm:

Affirmative action helps black and Latino students that do not have money or connections and helps them to improve their social mobility. The only reason why I have gotten so far in life is because I found the right people that we're able to give me the resources and chance to succeed.

Again, you're most likely an outlier. There is good amount of evidence that it actually doesn't improve social mobility for variety of reasons - 1) most benefactors are already from affluent backgrounds, 2) many students fall through the cracks because they were placed at the wrong schools, 3) many are incentivized to pursue careers that are not lucrative.

http://www.seaphe.org/pdf/arcidiacono-social.pdf
https://www.law.du.edu/documents/denver-university...
http://public.econ.duke.edu/~psarcidi/grades_4.0.pdf
http://www.seaphe.org/pdf/williamsseptember.pdf

Prospect in RE - Comm:

It is not fair that white people can pay for private boarding schools, SAT tutors, college counselors, go every year to summer camp, have private lessons in their sport and so much more than go up against a candidate that is from the hood that has never had any luxuries like that. They have to level out the playing field.

This is an extremely general statement based on your own racial biases. Most minorities who benefit from AA are already going to private boarding schools. I know many such people, because I went to one of those boarding schools.

https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/poverty-...
If you take a look at the table in the link, you'll see that many people of all races live below the poverty line. Admittedly, there are more Black and Hispanic people but the number of people living below the poverty line in other racial groups are not negligible. 20% of people living below the poverty line in the US are white or Asian. 24% native Americans.

Again, I'd like to ask "Why does AA only help Hispanic and Black people? Why doesn't it help everyone who needs help?" Is it not racist to help one racial group but completely ignore the other? Is it not wrong to help people based on race but most who are helped are already rich to begin with? What does that say about the effectiveness of AA?

Prospect in RE - Comm:

Before going to college, I never knew anyone who was "successsful". All the people that I knew were low wage workers. None of my parents went to college, neither my friend's parents and none of my older friends went to 4-year colleges. See college is not hard and its a great way to achieve social mobility but getting into a good college as a minority, paying for college, and feeling comfortable in an institution is. Same goes with real estate private equity or IB, it is not difficult to learn but getting in as a minority and feeling comfortable is.

This is a tragedy for many people of all races. I'd just like to point that out. There are poor white kids from Appalachia feeling the exact same thing, "My parents and grandparents never went to college", "My family never had a dime to spare", "I felt completely out of place around bunch of these rich kids". There are poor Hmong kids from Detroit feeling the same. There are poor Bangladeshi kids from somewhere in New Jersey feeling the same.

Poverty has never, in the history of the world, been a race specific thing.

Again I'd like to ask, Why don't we help everyone in need, regardless of their race? Is that not the American promise? That you will be equal under the eyes of law?

Prospect in RE - Comm:

It is hard to succeed in places, where people do not have a similar background and interest as you. By getting more Black and Latino students in college or the real estate private equity industry or whatever, it will increase the likelihood of other black and Latino people to enter.

I don't argue with that if there are more people in the industry, then you open up a path. But I'd like to remind you to read through what I said above.

Prospect in RE - Comm:

Mainly, affirmative action helps combats structural racism and racial inequality that has been in the United States for many years.

I'd like to point out that this is a myth. It was a promise that was made when AA went into place. But the promise has been broken. Why? Because no fundamental change was made to our education system that actually helps students from underprivileged backgrounds by providing them better schooling and better resources. AA has - 1) Increased racial prejudice, 2) Heavily abused by affluent minorities, 3)to some extent actually increased racial inequality.

This is the result of programs that go for "equality of outcome", it simply does not work. Why is it so unthinkable to go for "equality of opportunity". History proves that equality of opportunity is a far better objective that actually results in equality of outcome.

Prospect in RE - Comm:

OP should pick up a history book, there many reasons why black and Latino people have the lowest college graduation rates and earn less. They have been screw by white people for many years.

I am very well versed in history so I'd like to give you a summary of what actually caused racial inequality in the post-Segregation era. What is surprising is that history proves that it was the "so-called" progressives that caused racial inequality we now see today.

Do you know where all the ghettos are? Compton, Camden, Harlem, parts of St. Louis, etc...

Do you know why? Housing segregation.

Do you know what caused housing segregation? Public housing programs and laws "designed" to help out the African-Americans.

The government promised a "city on a hill" for these people. There were hopes of better education, better living standards, and true equality of opportunity. What actually happened is that the policies became completely screwed up thanks to bunch of racist interest groups that disguised themselves as benevolent people who "wanted to help out".

Houses built were in terrible conditions, money for education didn't come through, all the while African-Americans could not move to other neighborhoods.

So yes, Black and Hispanic people have been screwed by white people for years. But it's the same white people who advocate for things like Affirmative Action and defunding the police.

Financial Data Science

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  • Analyst 2 in IB-M&A
Jul 31, 2020

There is literally nothing I love more than seeing people on a website made for young hardos in the least diverse, most nepotistic and historically discriminative industry in the world try to share their takes on why AA and diversity events are "unfair."

The irony is almost crippling

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  • Associate 2 in PE - LBOs
Jul 31, 2020

Don't worry, there's still AA for white people, too. It's called Legacy admits, donor admits, and the privilege of not have recent generations of their family blatantly blocked out from these opportunities

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Jul 31, 2020

You are 100% correct. If you donate a lot of money to a school, there is probably a better chance of getting into that school. Money talks and bullshit walks.

Jul 31, 2020

You're a fool for saying this.

Diversity is good. AA is not a good way to achieve it.

1) AA actually increased racial prejudice.

http://www.seaphe.org/pdf/arcidiacono-social.pdf
2) AA actually increases racial inequality or at least hasn't done anything to resolve it.

https://production-tcf.imgix.net/app/uploads/2016/...
This is exactly what I cautioned against, an emotional rant that tries to de-legitimize actually good arguments by attacking the "morality" of the people who make such arguments.

If you're not willing to have a constructive discussion, then get outta here/

Financial Data Science

Jul 31, 2020

Yeah, it would be difficult for most people on this site to appreciate AA. Many people here are probably a little bitter if they did not get into their preferred target school.

Jul 31, 2020

I agree that AA discriminates against whites and Asians.

The system is not perfect and we can't eliminate all issues that may disadvantage certain groups of people. For example, we can't eliminate cheating in high school or colleges. I think this is especially a problem for international applicants. If I wanted to, which I do not, I could provide many sources. If you think this view is racist, I am willing to listen and perhaps think about about this issue differently. To some extent, we are all jaded by our past experiences, which tend to influence our views. Contrary to what some people think, "liberals" are willing to listen the other side and reevaluate positions.

I would like to hear the views of WSO regarding their experiences regarding cheating in school. It is possible that wealthy whites cheat more than anyone else due to pressures at home to get into the best schools. It is also possible that people with from disadvantaged backgrounds cheat more to compensate for their lack of access to quality education in lower grades.

Until yesterday, I assumed the cheating issue mostly applied to non us born people partly because that was my experience in grad school. The following is only one example but here goes: in grad school, I was the leader of a group project which included 2 white guys and four non US born students. I was responsible for assembling a paper. The non US born students' efforts were mostly plagiarized. I had to re-write each part that was turned into me or risk being expelled from school.

Yesterday, I chatted with a relative of mine who went to a well regarded science oriented high school, whose student body was comprised mostly of Asian and Indian students with a sprinkling of white people. I am sure most of the students went on to go to target schools. He mentioned that there was widespread cheating at the school. I asked him if the cheaters were mostly non US born, and he said, he did not think so.

The cheating probably inflated the GPAs of these students and gave them an advantage when applying to colleges. I know this is an isolated, anecdotal incident and the school is at fault but I am pretty sure this is an issue, especially for non US born applicants. The issue might be as simple as: some students feel the need to compensate for a language issue.

I am not in favor of hiring totally unqualified people or admitted unqualified students but when candidates are close in qualifications, schools and companies should go with the minority if the institution has a lack of diversity.

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Jul 31, 2020
financeabc:

The system is not perfect and we can't eliminate all issues that may disadvantage certain groups of people.

System is never perfect, but there are clearly better options besides AA.

You could literally have the exact same system as AA but based on socio-economic status. It wouldn't be perfect, but at least it'll be better than AA.

As for your point on cheating, there most likely is an actual pattern that can be studied. But I don't think it should be attributed to a specific group of people. It should be attributed to a specific person or a specific school. Colleges already collect database on high schools, whether the grading system is harsh or not, whether the students do cheat a lot or not, etc... For the most part, colleges already can tell whether your GPA is inflated or not.

Moreover, cheating occurs everywhere. It's not a racial thing, it's not a socio-economic thing, it's very much likely a personality & cultural thing somehow propagates.

Financial Data Science

Jul 31, 2020
Milton Friedchickenman:

Moreover, cheating occurs everywhere. It's not a racial thing, it's not a socio-economic thing, it's very much likely a personality & cultural thing somehow propagates.

Cheating in not unique to any particular race or ethnicity. However, describing it cavalierly by saying is very much likely personality & cultural thing diminishes it relevance. While I did not specifically identify one particular group in my examples, when I asked my relative to identify the cheaters, he said, "most cheaters were people with tiger parents/very stressed out. The slackers usually don't cheat." In my grad school class, all of the cheaters were non US people with parents from tiger countries. There are lots of articles and forum posts about this issue. I know the culture in Asian families can be intense when it comes to excelling academically. With that said, if it is a cultural thing, the fact that it exists puts everyone else at a disadvantage. Are schools actually admitting the most qualified student if some people cheated. I am pretty sure my family member (the other guy's brother) who was top 10 in his class with super high SATs was not admitted to a target school because both AA people and cheaters were admitted over him.

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Jul 31, 2020

Important conversation. Thanks for this. Hopefully this ends it all. Interested & Following.

Array

  • Intern in PropTrad
Jul 31, 2020

lol the EU free movement of workers was the UK's version of AA.

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Jul 31, 2020

No, it's not.

AA sets a quota that restricts the freedom of the education market.

Free movement of workers gets rid of labor restrictions and makes the labor market freer.

Financial Data Science

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  • Intern in PropTrad
Jul 31, 2020

Yes, it is.
Your point makes no sense.
Take the plight of a Romanian Gypsy for eg and read below

"In the United Kingdom, hiring someone simply because of their protected group status, without regard to their performance, is illegal.However, the law in the United Kingdom does allow for membership in a protected and disadvantaged group to be considered in hiring and promotion when the group is under-represented in a given area and if the candidates are of equal merit. The controlling logic is that the person must not be chosen simply because of their group membership, but rather that the relevant authorities are allowed to use disadvantaged group status as a "tie-breaker" between two candidates of otherwise equal merit.This is functionally the same as the practice known as "affirmative action" in the United States."

Jul 31, 2020

Good to see you picked up Sowell.

Jul 31, 2020

For me, one of the worst and most disingenuous parts of the anti affirmative action view is how they sometimes throw in how the poor whites are disadvantaged by AA. Very few people here give a shit about the poor whites. Give me a break. Most people who go to target schools are not hanging out with the poor whites

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Jul 31, 2020

you are certainly not among them

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Jul 31, 2020
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Jul 31, 2020
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Financial Data Science

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Jul 31, 2020