Affirmative Smacktion


First things first. I'm out of paper, so I had to use the back of an old strip to draw this week's strip. The black specks you see are the ghosts of I Fought the Law past.

Also, please don't interpret anything in the strip, the blog entry, or anything I ever say to you as a condemnation or endorsement of affirmative action. My opinion on the merits of the program is completely immaterial for our purposes. The point of Kam's rant, which should be clear to the more than casual reader, is that I'm sick to god-damned death of hearing about affirmative action.

I understand that it's a hot issue, and something of deep spiritual significance to many people on both sides. But the sad truth is that there is absolutely nothing new under the sun to be said on either side of the affirmative action debate, and trying to engage in any sort of meaningful dialogue will doubtless end up in so many quavering voices and angry sighs with nothing substantial being accomplised. Unless, of course, you happen to be in a politically homogenous environment where you can just sit around a bitch about the people who don't agree with you while you drink either Peet's or Starbucks, depending on which side you happen to fall. Everyone who's ever going to make up their mind about affirmative action already has, and those who haven't either don't care enough to take a side or are young enough to have their parents decide for them.

And another thing. A lot of people are wringing their hands over the Supreme Court's impending consideration of the University of Michigan affirmative action case, wondering how it's going to turn out and how it's going to affect the racial landscape of Our Nation. Well, I can tell you exactly how it's going to turn out. The Supreme Court is going to come down on one side or another. Then, nothing will happen. If the court is feeling especially frisky they may--oh, they just may--strike down the specific program that Michigan is currently using. But assuming that we live in a fantasy world where the ruling will have any sort of precedential value whatsoever, no other programs will be the least bit affected until years and years (and years) of subsequent litigation. We're not all going to wake up one morning and find that affirmative action is illegal, or that it's legal forever, and no amount of amicus briefs or dubya jokes will change that. The reason they refer to the Supreme Court Justices as "The Supremes" is that these days, to most people, they're about as bold and powerful as a sequin-clad Motown doo-wop band. We can all look forward to a fragmented set of opinions that will settle absolutely nothing about the affirmative action debate, and the band will play more or less on.

In related news, the conservative students at UCLA are infinitely more creative than their Berkeley counterparts.



On the subject of A.A., we spent 90 minutes this morning in my Psychodiagnostic Assessment class going over racial bias in cognitive (IQ) testing. Did you know that in the city of San Francisco it is illegal to give any kind of cognitive test to a child in public schools? So if you suspect a child is delayed or retarded you CAN'T TEST FOR IT!!! You just have to go on guesswork.

*biting my tongue, biting my tongue...*

Perhaps after Bakke v. UC Regents we can discuss other notable Supreme Court decisions like: Madison v. Marbury, Sanford v. Dred Scot, Wade v. Roe, Ferguson v. Plessy, Board of Education v. Brown, Satan v. Religious Nut, and The Civil Rights Cases.


dick a eat.

I think you're downplaying the importance of a supreme court decision a little bit. Let's remember that after affirmative action went away at Berkeley black and hispanic enrollment collapsed the very next year. Any Supreme Court decision against Michigan will open the floodgates for states to attack affirmative action.

yes, but the situation at berkeley was entirely different. the regents decided to not use affirmative action at all, and the voters of california passed a sweeping ban on any kind of affirmative action program. the michigan situation is a supreme court case, a challenge to the specific affirmative action program that the university was using at the time the suit was filed. the most the court will do is strike down the provisions particular program. the court isn't going to say, "michigan can't take race into account at all." they might say, "michigan can't take race into account the way they've been doing it," and then the university will just try a different way and wait to be sued again. my point is that this isn't going to be roe v. wade. it'll be a minor victory for either side, but nothing drastic is going to happen for quite a while, if at all.

I'll also point out that in today's laptop obsessed law school environment you could attend class and watch the porn, all at once.

steve - i should have taken the bet.

And I assume by your new name that your omnipotent greatness was not what prompted the mass E-mail to the law school community in the hopes of finding more gems like yourself.

And where are my flip down shades?

I did some research on UC admissions in the first 3 years following the ban of affirmative action at UC Berkeley. Yes, black and latino applications and enrollment saw a significant drop in the first year... in fact most minority application and enrollment rates went down while "Other" (white) application and enrollment stayed pretty much the same. The odd thing is - and I don't know how this has managed to escape everyone's attention - applications and enrollment for students who placed themselves in the "Decline to State" category went up over 200% that year. So, I ask you... did fewer minorities get into Cal because affirmative action went away, or were they just finally able to get in based on their merits? I know I declined to state so my appication and enrollment didn't show up in the "Filipino" numbers, but I still got my quality (heh) education.

I'm leading a "town meeting" style debate on this topic in a grad class this evening. I'll let you know the outcome. Meanwhile, I'm hoping that the boredom and apathetic reasoning that drones on in this country like one of dubya's radio addresses will end soon. I just hope the ending doesn't begin with a small nuclear device buried in a dumpster next to the Sears Tower.
You dig?


check this shit out. do you think this is really going to settle anything?

"O'Connor, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ., joined, and in which Scalia and Thomas, JJ., joined in part insofar as it is consistent with the views expressed in Part VII of the opinion of Thomas, J. Ginsburg, J., filed a concurring opinion, in which Breyer, J., joined. Scalia, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Thomas, J., joined. Thomas, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part, in which Scalia, J., joined as to Parts I-VII. Rehnquist, C. J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which Scalia, Kennedy, and Thomas, JJ., joined. Kennedy, J., filed a dissenting opinion."

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This page contains a single entry by hb published on February 24, 2003 12:19 AM.

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