Affirmative Action Ruling Contest: Race vs. Class

Justin Pope, Hughes Net, June 17, 2013

In post-Great Recession America, which is the bigger barrier to opportunity—race or class?

A decade ago, the U.S. Supreme Court kept the focus on race as a barrier, upholding the right of colleges to make limited use of racial preferences to ensure a diverse student body. But in a ruling due this month, the court is widely expected to roll back that decision. Such an outcome would shift attention more toward a less constitutionally controversial practice: giving a boost to socio-economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race.

If that happens, it would reflect more than just a more conservative makeup of the justices. Over the last decade, clogged social mobility and rising economic inequality have shifted the conversation on campuses and in the country as a whole.

As a barrier to opportunity, class is getting more attention, while race is fading.

{snip}

Polling on affirmative action varies widely depending on how questions are phrased, but an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday showed strong feelings about using race in college admissions: Just 22 percent of Americans support letting universities consider applicants’ race as a factor, and 76 percent oppose the practice. The proportions supporting racial preferences were similar for blacks (19 percent) and Hispanics (29 percent) as for whites (20 percent).

You can read it in the tone of recent opinion pieces penned even by left-leaning academics and columnists, whose support for racial preferences has eroded under a mountain of evidence that quality higher education is tilting further toward the already-wealthy.

You can hear it, too—in conversations on elite college campuses, where the dearth of low-income students is replacing race as a topic of debate. And in the words of the first black president, who has said there’s no good reason his own daughters should benefit from racial preferences when they apply to college.

The shifting debate has painted supporters of race-based affirmative action into a difficult corner. Most agree the barriers to low-income students are a serious problem that should be addressed, and of course, many minority students are also low-income.

But they acknowledge widening income inequality has made it harder to make their case that special attention to race remains justified.

“This is the first time you have whites thinking they face more discrimination than blacks do,” said Camille Charles, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies class and race. “You have people who have come to believe the system is set up to benefit black people at the expense of white people.” Such beliefs, she said, reflect ignorance about the persistence of discrimination, about how much harder minorities were hit by the Great Recession, and about how affirmative action actually works (many incorrectly conflate “affirmative action” with “racial quotas,” which the Supreme Court long ago ruled unconstitutional).

In his 2010 book “The Moral Consequences of Economic Growth,” Harvard economic historian Benjamin Friedman charted how during periods of prosperity, societies throughout history have expanded opportunities to disadvantaged groups and become more open and inclusive. During economic struggle, by contrast, they typically close ranks.

The Great Recession was no exception, he said, persuading more Americans that efforts to ensure minorities are represented among the scarce slots at top universities are “a luxury they cannot afford,” Friedman said by telephone.

{snip}

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  • Most people who do the actual hiring are over 40, and know all about hiring quotas because they are forced to follow them. Most of them know that the name of a school isn’t as important anymore if that school practice rampant Affirmative Action.
    Quit worrying about getting into the Ivy League. Many of us in the workforce are seeing an Ivy League degree more as a liability instead of a prestigious achievement.
    A white dude who graduated from Generic State U. tends to score higher on entrance exams than the typical Ivy League diversity quota.

    • The__Bobster

      Many of us in the workforce are seeing an Ivy League degree more as a liability instead of a prestigious achievement.
      ___________

      I hope so, as White Christians have a poor chance of getting into one.

      • How many high schools in America are nearly as old as these colleges? In my city, we have some pretty ancient schools here, but they are all disaster areas now because whites no longer attend them.

        I can very easily picture this description of Yale in 100 years from now,” It is hard to believe, but this old school was once a respected institution where presidents attended. Now, homeless vagrants have set up camp in what used to be the Science Center…”

    • OhWow

      I know a black girl I went to high school with. Fairly bright, but was nothing special in our class…never a big deal with any major accomplishments or awards or anything. Anyway, she got into John’s Hopkins. I also know other minorities that got into Ivy League schools with 3.0 GPA’s. I think it’s still impressive when a white person gets into a great school, but when a minority does my first thought is either A) must be on the basketball team or B) affirmative action entrance.

      • dd121

        This has been going on since the 60s and is not a big news flash. Whites have been taught to be self-hating and don’t seem to mind too much. To me this proves the power of leftist propaganda that has gone on for decades. The whole system is just about ready to flip to a new state.

        • evilsandmich

          As stated above though, the “elite” colleges are trading one “evil” (fake discrimination from only allowing qualified candidates) for another (becoming big name liberal diversity mills). For instance, Michelle O. got her masters from Princeton, so I would think that place an others like it are just community colleges that are coasting on their past.

        • AllSeeingEyeSpy

          “This has been going on since the 60s and is not a big news flash. Whites have been taught to be self-hating and don’t seem to mind too much. To me this proves the power of leftist propaganda that has gone on for decades. The whole system is just about ready to flip to a new state”.

          To me, this is the best comment. What do you mean, though, by saying the system is ready to flip to a new state?

          • dd121

            That’s the 64 dollar question and cannot presently be answered. Now that we’ve gone to one-party governance I think the leftists will become more open about using the machinery of government to suppress and control the true Americans. When that happens either we can be led quietly to the gulags or resist. That’s of course why they want our guns. Believe me, they don’t give a damn about a few schoolchildren in Connecticut. All of this could happen faster than most people think if the Dollar falls (which is where it’s headed) and darkness descends on our orderly way of life. And no, I don’t think I’m being too paranoid.

          • Jotun Hunter

            it will be extremely gradual (or will it?) – either way, the vast majority will STILL go along with the gulag zeitgiest as long as there is even a modicum of comfort to be had, they will adjust to avoid violence, loss of life, etc. Here the perniciousness of what we face lays bare, for it’s not the same as going to fight in other countries, to have your own nation slowly perverted and it’s minds eased into squalor. I would love to see an independant ‘eurocentric’ school pop up, a private franchise to give conservative whites an option, to save their own brainwashed kids. No gender theory, no hippies – Aristotle for breakfast and Wagner for lunch. It would require capital but I could see it being quite popular.

  • The__Bobster

    “This is the first time you have whites thinking they face more discrimination than blacks do,” said Camille Charles, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania who studies class and race. “You have people who have come to believe the system is set up to benefit black people at the expense of white people.” Such beliefs, she said, reflect ignorance about the persistence of discrimination, about how much harder minorities were hit by the Great Recession, and about how affirmative action actually works (many incorrectly conflate “affirmative action” with “racial quotas,” which the Supreme Court long ago ruled unconstitutional).
    __________

    Let’s place “guess the color”. Can you guess what color Camille is? You only get three guesses and the first two don’t count.

    Conflate “affirmative action” with “racial quotas”? Really? When did AA not result in quotas? Oh yeah, when you don’t actually call them that. Just call them “goals”. And when the “goals” aren’t met, here come the quotas.

    • Honestly, it IS a tough one. She could very easily be a white skank saying whatever is needed to justify her position.

    • Sick of it

      The quotas are real and people who make hiring decisions have shared that with me, much to my chagrin.

  • BAAARRRRFFF!!!
    I looked up the not-so-lovely Camille Charles, and this is what I found:
    University of Pennsylvania School of Arts and Sciences Establishes Africana Studies Department
    In its inaugural year, the department will be chaired by Camille Z. Charles, Edmund J. and Louise W. Kahn Term Professor in the Social Sciences. The department will be housed in 3401A Walnut St., adjacent to the Center for Africana Studies.

    • bigone4u

      She has an endowed chair, mostly likely money from white or Jewish libtards.

    • itdoesnotmatter

      Just exactly what does an “Africana Studies” course outline include?

      • bigone4u

        Maya Anglou and clitorectomies?

      • Alexandra1973

        A ghetto safari into the inner cities…?

        (Hopefully in a bullet-proof bus.)

      • IstvanIN

        Africana is the feminine form of African.

        • itdoesnotmatter

          Istvan, from years of Latin, I know that an ‘a’ ending designates feminine, [except in the first declension].
          What I would love to see is the “Africana Studies” course outline. Seriously.
          Sounds as if it’s another one of those hopelessly useless majors for the Grievance Industry low IQers among us.

          • IstvanIN

            Africana Studies follows the triumphs and contributions the black woman has made to the world. Where would civilization be without her?

          • Sherman_McCoy

            An average 15 points of IQ higher?

          • deep_enough

            Well, as you surely know, it was Bantu women who invented Latin, and Greek too, not to mention the concept of an alphabet. And they did all that without ever needing to develop any written language. They did it back when they could fly, before they built the Pyramids without needing the idea of a straight line never mind a triangle. I stand in awe; we owe it all to the smartest FLOTUS ever, or at least to her ancestors. Wow.

      • OlderWoman

        “How to Stick It To Whitey”

      • evilsandmich

        Pretending to work.

    • Wethepeople

      I’m baffled how the words ‘Arts’ or ‘Social’ can be combined with ‘Science’. Leave it to the libtards.. Have an IQ of 72 and can’t obtain a degree in biology, chemistry or physics? Not a problem, now study the results of your ghetto society on your ghetto kids and we’ll call it a ‘social’ science for you!!!

  • bigone4u

    Don’t know about the rest of the US, but Texas is on a massive university building program so that more minority students can be accepted and get degrees. We profs were under enormous pressure to engage in social promotion (lower standards) even a decade ago. The fat cat construction companies make hundreds of millions of dollars putting up new classrooms. They are mostly white owned, so whites (the elites only) benefit from AA. The tens of thousands of unqualified minorities mostly do not finish and get their degree, even with very low standards. But they take out student loans and thus permanently enmesh themselves in debt. The white banksters benefit from that. The minority degree holders can’t easily find private sector jobs so they too are ripped off by having to repay those loans. Of course, government then creates unneed jobs so the AA grads don’t riot. The whole system is a giant scam, with the white wealthy elites sticking it to working class whites and minorites. Online education is going to rip the current corrupt system to shreds, but the taxpayers will be paying for this nonsense for the next hundred years.

  • APaige

    Liberals and administrators in academia KNOW that using a class-based system will mean more poor/middle-class Whites and Asians. In 2009 the average combined verbal and math
    score on the SAT for whites from the poorest level ($20,000 per year income)was 972. That was 117 points higher than the average of all blacks. It was also 12 points higher than blacks whose family made $200,000. (Fallon’s brilliant book The Affirmative Action Hoax)

  • brengunn

    As long as there is no affirmative action for the working classes I don’t mind. If people succeed I’d rather they succeed on a levelish playing field. If it comes to the choice between two students with the same SAT scores, one has been to private school and the other to a bog standard public school then I would choose the public school student over the private as they’ve obviously had more barriers to achieving that result. But I’d hate to get a situation where better quality minds are overlooked because of some kind of social justice program. Let’s just keep it fair.

  • A Freespeechzone

    Make no mistake that this shift in thinking is setting the stage to validate preference of the tens of millions of illegals who will be given amnesty and citizenship over those with “White Privilege”, regardless of their economic status.

    This is just another excuse to exclude the most qualified college applicants in the interest of ‘fairness’ and secure tens of millions of democrat/liberal voters.

  • White Mom in WDC

    As whacked as things are, I believe that a big correction will and is taking place. I say let the stupid groids and beaners in to colleges. What has happened is that the college degree is not worth the paper it is written on. Poor white boys are figuring out its better to learn a trade. Good for them.

    Other avenues in place of college are being created. Google the ‘e school.’

    I despise minorities and their enablers.

    • bigone4u

      More than once in my un-PC way I suggested that my student’s diplomas be printed on toilet paper to enhance their usefulness. This did not endear me to some of my more sensitive colleagus. But MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) and various other online initiatives will make life unpleasant for many university administrators in the coming years. If only some companies knew how standards at many univerities are lowered when the blacks and browns are brought on board in large numbers.

      • Sick of it

        I agree with your assessment of the value of said diplomas.

  • evilsandmich

    A Ph.D. in Sociology from UCLA, nice. I wonder if she got a free single serve ice cream cone with that.

  • Romulus

    Smells like bull to me. Instead of quotas being race based, it will be class. The article spells it out. So now that America is a commie hellhole, the underclassess will just shift the argument against “evil” rich people.

  • AllSeeingEyeSpy

    “giving a boost to socio-economically disadvantaged students, regardless of race”.

    Where this is practiced it’s done, not to help the economically disadvantaged but to help people of color, usually blacks, and to find a way to help them, by, targeting certain neighborhoods, for example, that can be defending by lying and saying it’s ‘race neutral’

  • And in the words of the first black president, who has said there’s no good reason his own daughters should benefit from racial preferences when they apply to college.

    His daughters won’t get racial preference.

    1) They are the “daughters” of a former POTUS.
    2) They are the daughters of Ivy legacies.
    Therefore:
    They could be f’n retards and get into any school they wanted to go to.

  • High yeller …. And Jewish?

  • Jefferson

    Harvard is only 8 percent Black and that’s with affirmative action in place. I imagine the percentage of Blacks at Harvard would would be no more than 1 percent at the most, if affirmative action was completely banned there.

  • pcmustgo

    It isn’t just employment “discrimination”. For me that’s hardly the issue. It’s the racial hostility, put-downs, attitudes, rage, glares, stares, dirty looks, “getting revenge on whites” rhetoric and behavior seemingly everywhere you go in public and at cultural events, etc. It’s pure racial hatred.

  • Funruffian

    You have taken advantage of a statute that doesn’t factor in skills or qualifications, but only your race.

  • Guest

    University admissions should be only done by grades and test scores. Simple as that. I have no problem with the idea of a non-white person, or a woman, going to a university. But if so, they must be admitted by the excellent grades and test scores, NOT by their race or gender. Why can’t people comprehend this simple idea?