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Forum Post: Affirmatitive Action Alert

Posted 3 years ago on May 3, 2014, 8 a.m. EST by DouglasAdams (208)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Just when a more perfect Union was within reach, as Justice was about to be established, with domestic Tranquility assured, and the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity secured, the Supreme Court of the United States stepped on Affirmative Action. Did this cause a slight tremor or a tectonic shift sending shockwaves throughout the delicate mechanism that has evolved to level the playing field of social and economic equality in the United States for half a century?

The Supreme Court upheld a Michigan law banning the use of racial criteria in college admissions, a key decision in an unfolding legal and political battle nationally over Affirmative Action.

It bars publicly funded colleges from granting "preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin."

Justice Sonia Sotomayor reacted sharply in disagreeing with the decision. "For members of historically marginalized groups, which rely on the federal courts to protect their constitutional rights, the decision can hardly bolster hope for a vision of democracy that preserves for all the right to participate meaningfully and equally in self-government," Sotomayor wrote.

But three justices in the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito. concluded that the lower court did not have the authority to set aside the law.

"This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it," Kennedy wrote. "Michigan voters used the initiative system to bypass public officials who were deemed not responsive to the concerns of a majority of the voters with respect to a policy of granting race-based preferences that raises difficult and delicate issues," he added.

Justices Antonin Scalia, Stephen Breyer and Clarence Thomas voted in the majority as part of concurring opinions.

Sotomayor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented, and Justice Elena Kagan took no part in the case.

The court's first Latina justice, Sotomayor, took the unusual step of reading part of her powerful dissent from the bench, taking more than 15 minutes to express her concern about the ruling's impact.

"This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination," she said.

"As members of the judiciary tasked with intervening to carry out the guarantee of equal protection, we ought not sit back and wish away, rather than confront, the racial inequality that exists in our society," she added.


"With today's opinion, the court has placed responsibility for affirmative action squarely in the hands of the states. State universities can choose to adopt affirmative action admissions programs, and state voters can choose to discontinue them," said Jennifer Mason McAward, a law professor at the University of Notre Dame.

The question arises, “Are the state voters qualified to vote on such matters?” Can voters be trusted to make the right decisions? An artfully crafted media blitz replaces scientific arguments. Often political outcomes are influenced by emotional appeals instead of cold analysis of hard facts. Political Action Committees are capable of saying anything to win an election. Even the spectre of hacked voting machines from past elections would be a caveat to take this power out of the hands of the voters. The underhanded political tools that were used to snatch both Al Gore’s and John Kerry’s defeats from the jaws of victory still remain unregulated.



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[-] 6 points by nazihunter (215) 3 years ago

One thing I can say for sure; Artfully-crafted media blitzes by corporate-backed repugs have done away with scientific arguments concerning man-made climate change. It's interesting how truth can be distorted when economic incentives are induced. Did I say interesting? I meant sad.Other than that, spit it out-Are you for Affirmative Action or against it?

[-] 1 points by DouglasAdams (208) 3 years ago

I really admire Jack Kennedy. Most Americans today don't know Jack. JFK started affirmative action in 1963. JFK was really an advanced thinker. Kennedy issued an Executive Order to help poor Americans, not necessarily black Americans.

Today we see 1% of the population controlling 25% of the wealth. The middle class crushed back into poverty. Immigration reform will need to follow affirmative action. People don't know they need it until it is yanked out from under them. Look at what Bloomberg did to New York City. They had elected a Godzilla for mayor.

Kennedy Inauguration 1961


[-] 1 points by nazihunter (215) 3 years ago

Agreed, and there's no doubt it helped. On the other hand, Nixon stoked a lotta resentment between the races that lasts to this day. It turned into a racial preference system and I'm not sure that's what Kennedy was aiming for. I contend that all things being equal, there would be a lot less racism..So, the bottom line is the question: A white manager has to decide between a better qualified black candidate and a lower-qualified white person....Will he choose based on race? I say no. Of course, I have no idea whether I'm right. But, I contend the majority of white people would not base their choice on race, as this is not the sixties. There's always a few bad apples on both sides. You see, to say that it is still definitely needed is to imply that we're all still racists. Again, that may be case and you would probably know better than I. You can still sue based on discrimination without the quotas and tax incentives. I myself would rather have the better qualified, especially if I'm customer. As far as the disproportionate wages and incomes, I'm in total agreement there. No doubt we all are in lockstep on that one.

[-] 1 points by DouglasAdams (208) 3 years ago

What's wrong with a quota system? Assuming that public education works and everyone is educated and competent. It would be the same as drafting employees from the population to fill guaranteed slots in industry by complying with the head count. Is that better for Americans than H1-Visa sponsorship for foreign nationals?

Nixon and the Republicans formed an un-Holy alliance with Southern-Democrats that dismantled Johnson's Great Society, and undermined Roosevelt's New Deal. In American politics, the Southern strategy refers to a Republican Party strategy of gaining political support for certain candidates in the Southern United States by appealing to racism against African Americans.

Nixon turned the Republican party on its head in his lust for power. The Republican Party was a creation of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Grant, Hayes, Garfield: Union Officers who served in the Civil War.

The Republicans have been dysfunctional ever since the Southern Strategy, even though they have won more Presidential Elections since Johnson. These were Pyrrhic victories that unfolded and collapsed after the effects of creating Al Qaeda, supporting Saddam Hussein in 1980s, supporting both sides of Iraq Iranian war, Iran Contra, Savings and Loan Scandal, Kenneth Starr investigations, repeal of Glass-Steagall, and the terrorist attacks on 9-11-2001.

We certainly don't have the most qualified, caring or capable workers holding positions in the current workplace. Look at McDonald's.

[-] 0 points by nazihunter (215) 3 years ago

Well I can't argue against what you state about the H1-visas. At least we know what constitutes the quota system. There has been nothing in the mainstream quantifying or qualifying there ever more growing numbers of foreign nationals-guaranteed to raise the costs of security that we all pay. There may be a who, what, why and where hiding somewhere, but right now I have no idea why I see more and more foreign nationals. Back to the quotas; to the extent that it's representative of the population and the selected are competent, you have no argument from me. But, being as institutionalized as it is, it's ripe for abuse and the disenfranchised. That means it will create the exact effect it's trying to remedy. On the other hand, if it were stopped for a period of time so it could be seen that it is still needed? I don't think that would hurt. It was put in place to correct some ills. But, just leaving it there is like saying there is no self-healing. Being a progressive means I have to be shown that is true or there's no moving on. I agree with your other stuff. It was a nice, brief synopsis. I'm not sure about the last statement. Maybe 'caring' is the most operative word there. The politicians along with their benefactors contend that these are the undesirable jobs that we all rise out of and, no one has questioned that. Given that, there can't be a whole lot of people caring about doing that kind of work either. I worked minimum wage when it really sucked and it was stated you didn't rise up if you didn't show that you care about your work no matter the pay or the position. Remember Lee Iaccoca? Minimum wage was another disgusting victory of the Republicans. People doing these jobs are made to feel like low-lifes and that is wrong. The companies who offer these jobs have a responsibility to give these people dignity in what they're doing and relay that to the general public.


[-] -1 points by DouglasAdams (208) 3 years ago

This post on Affrimative Action has been mistook for a Heritage Foundation policy statement. To the contrary. Founded in 1973, The Heritage Foundation is a New Right think tank. Its stated mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of "free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense." It is widely considered one of the world's most influential public policy research institutes.

All things being equal, assuming that the voters of Michigan are so intimately enamored with the whole of academic curricula offered by all of the state’s institutions of higher learning that they could put the entire course catalogs for every state college or university up for a vote, as well as proposals for construction of new and maintenance of existing facilities, instead of leaving it to the experts, who have devoted years to study and evaluation of college administration and admissions policies hoping to graduate educated leaders capable of meeting future challenges.

No. The case is about Michigan voters making the decision on whether Affirmative Action may be used as a determining factor in publicly funded colleges and universities. Now, how many Michigan graduates are now sitting on the SCOTUS? It’s a safe bet that Michigan voters couldn’t care less about everything else that goes on at a Michigan campus, except football and basketball scores.

Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, New York City and is of Puerto Rican descent. Her father died when she was nine, and she was subsequently raised by her mother. Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1976 and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979.

Chief Justice John Roberts grew up in northern Indiana and was educated in a private school before attending Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Kennedy was born and raised in Sacramento, California. He was an undergraduate student at Stanford University from 1954–58, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science, after spending his senior year at the London School of Economics. He earned an LL.B from Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude in 1961.

Samuel Anthony Alito, Jr. Raised in Hamilton Township, New Jersey and educated at Princeton University and Yale Law School, Alito served as U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey and a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit prior to joining the Supreme Court.

Scalia was born in Trenton, New Jersey, and attended public grade school and Catholic high school in New York City, where his family had moved. He attended Georgetown University as an undergraduate and obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree from Harvard Law School.

Stephen Breyer was born in San Francisco. Breyer received a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Stanford University, a Bachelor of Arts from Magdalen College at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar, and a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Harvard Law School.

Clarence Thomas grew up in Savannah, Georgia, and was educated at the College of the Holy Cross and at Yale Law School.

Born in Brooklyn, New York City, New York, Ruth Joan Bader She graduated from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in government on June 23, 1954. In fall 1956, she enrolled at Harvard Law School, where she was one of nine women in a class of about 500. When her husband took a job in New York City, she transferred to Columbia Law School and became the first woman to be on two major law reviews, the Harvard Law Review and the Columbia Law Review. In 1959 she earned her Bachelor of Laws at Columbia and tied for first in her class.

Elena Kagan born April 28, 1960) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Kagan was born and raised in New York City. After attending Princeton, Oxford, and Harvard Law School, she completed federal Court of Appeals and Supreme Court clerkships. She began her career as a professor at the University of Chicago Law School, leaving to serve as Associate White House Counsel.

It is believed that one of the goals of Affirmative Action is to achieve diversity. The composition of the United States Supreme Court appears to the casual observer to have remarkable diversity. Yet there is not a Justice with a law degree from a state university among them. They all are from the Ivy League. The Ivy League are private institutions and are not publicly funded by the voters of their state.

The diversity objective is one of the myths about the purpose of Affirmative Action. The term "affirmative action" was first used in the United States in Executive Order 10925 and was signed by President John F. Kennedy on March 6, 1961. It was used to promote actions that achieve non-discrimination. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 which required government employers to take "affirmative action" to "hire without regard to race, religion and national origin". In 1967, sex was added to the anti-discrimination list.

Affirmative action is intended to promote the opportunities of defined minority groups within a society to give them equal access to that of the privileged majority population. Diversity programs by employers or academic institutions are not equivalent to or interchangeable or synonymous with affirmative action.

It is often instituted for government and educational settings to ensure that certain designated "minority groups" within a society are included "in all programs". The stated justification for affirmative action by its proponents is that it helps to compensate for past discrimination, persecution or exploitation by the ruling class of a culture, and to address existing discrimination.

Affirmative action or positive discrimination (known as employment equity in Canada, reservation in India, and positive action in the UK) is the policy of providing special opportunities for, and favoring members of, a disadvantaged group who suffer from discrimination.

The nature of positive discrimination policies varies from region to region. Some countries, such as India, use a quota system, whereby a certain percentage of jobs or school vacancies must be set aside for members of a certain group. In some other regions, specific quotas do not exist; instead, members of minorities are given preference in selection processes.

With immigration reform approaching the horizon towards a society still entangled by affirmative action Americans are not prepared, Congress is not competent to pass legislation, the Judiciary is indecisive, by default leaving the responsibility to the Chief Executive.

Obviously, if affirmative action initiatives for American citizens are suspended, how can the nation justify immigration reform for illegal aliens?


[-] -1 points by DouglasAdams (208) 3 years ago

More clarity was needed. It is a larger subject than first realized. JFK created the affirmative action concept in an executive order. The purpose of affirmative action was to provide designated minority groups with access equal to that of the privileged majority population.

What SCOTUS has done is to turn the decision over to the voters. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy:"Michigan voters used the initiative system to bypass public officials who were deemed not responsive to the concerns of a majority of the voters with respect to a policy of granting race-based preferences..."

Can it be possible the majority of the Supreme Court Justices did not understand why affirmative action exists? Without reading further it seems the majority of justices have erred. They have put the foxes in charge of guarding the hen house. The have put hogs in charge of guarding the garden.

For fifty years the voters had been unable to tamper with the self-correcting social mechanism embodied by affirmative action. Now the Supreme Court is setting up an end run around an Executive Order.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 3 years ago

at least racism does not address property ownership

those factory works just have to have other races work the fields

[-] 0 points by DouglasAdams (208) 3 years ago

How are you going to keep them down on the farm after they have seen a John Deere in operation?





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