Friday, May 19, 2006

Re: On affirmative action 

Andrew, in the spirit of vigorous debate, I respond to your criticism of my quick post on affirmative action:

If you mean it's not good to speak the truth, perhaps you're right. It's certainly a dangerous proposition for one that points out unpopular truths. However, what I said was not out of line. I have my examples in mind, and they are not the result of racism. I wish that what I saw wasn't the case--I liked many of the people I have in mind, and am friends with them. However, to wish it away and ignore the facts is just as bad as the policies that created said problems.

I challenge you to point out why my comments was wrong--rather 'rude and somewhat unfounded'. I'll concede that what I said was 'rude', if you're using a meaning of that word that means that pointing out harsh truths is 'rude'. If that's rude, than let more people be rude. Socrates, although I am certainly no Socrates, was very rude.

Also, I should point out that your criticism wasn't directed at what I actually said: I wrote that some of these students were having a hard time at their studies, that perhaps they weren't adequately prepared for the rigours of the UofC. That's not mean at all--not everyone can jump into the UofC's academic environment and succeed; it certainly requires a good amount of previous learning and a certain amount of talent (these attributes are not tied to race by any means, just to make that clear). These students clearly weren't ready for the UofC. Also, I never said I'd judge people in the future that were minorities and question their achievements. I won't need to: if I'm hiring someone, I'll look up their GPA and transcript and see for myself how they did. I'll base my opinion on facts, and not innuendo, just as I did in the small case of what I said in my previous post.

While the policy of afffirmative action is by definition racist, and it is certainly unjust for the reasons you stipulated, my criticism was a simpler one: these students were getting bad grades and were struggling to such an extent that they would have been better served going to another institution. There's nothing wrong with that criticism by any means, especially since I made explicit that I was speaking with a few students in mind.

Like I said before: the facts can be harsh, especially when they go against what is politically correct. However, Andrew, you should know very well that not all commonly held beliefs are right or just. I was merely pointing that out a specific case: that of affirmative action doing a disservice to the students that it places in environments they're not prepared for, and also to those students whom were denied the environment they were suited for and deserved because they weren't of the right race.

It's a simple opinion, and not racist. Again, tell me why my comments aren't appropriate? I certainly wasn't claiming to be providing 'the answer' to the education gap. I was merely providing a small anecdote. Now, if some racist wanted to take what I said and use it as 'evidence' for their incorrect views, I suppose they could twist what I said. Perhaps that's what you object to, my words being abused by someone else? Let me just say this: if one had to always make sure that what one said was unable to be twisted to support incorrect views, one would never speak.

Remember, one must always maintain perspective and reasonable judgement=) If I was claiming to have a big 'answer' and only delivered that, then I deserve to be castigated. However, I don't have the answer. I merely know what I see. And sometimes what I see is not good (and in this case I relayed some unfortunate things I'd seen). However, I'd rather see the unjust rather than blindly gaze at shadow.

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