Don't know if anyone is interested in this issue, but if you are, there's a podcast, one of the NPR Intelligence Squared jobbies, that's really really good. Like all of these podcasts, it takes the form of a debate, this one on the proposition that affirmative action should be abolished. Some of the debate gets a little repetitious, but the first two speakers set out the issues extremely well, rationally but also with a great deal of passion on both sides. I have my own notions about the whole business, and in particular about the initial argument of the affirmative side, but won't say anything about it. At least the first two speeches are well worth hearing, IMHO.<br><br>linky<br><br>   
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i'll listen to the debate later on tonight, but this issue has come up in Michigan over the past few years (including the big Supreme Court case involving the Univ. of Michigan) so there's been much coffee talk about it here. a few years ago i was in favor of affirmative action and i no longer am in favor of it. <br><br>i gave this issue a lot of thought and it was very hard to change my thinking, but there are numerous reasons i have switched in my thinking. i'll listen first, but i don't think one of my reasons will be mentioned so i'll present it here right now.<br><br>in 2004, we had an issue sweeping the country that had to do with marriage -- that marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman, effectively banning gay marriage. one of the groups that came out in strongest favor of the marriage amendment were African Americans. in fact, the marriage amendment passed easily here in Michigan even with Dems winning every key office. i came away from that episode realizing that a group i was fighting for with regard to affirmative action was turning around and denying gays the same rights that straight people have. how can anyone expect special privileges if they aren't willing to give basic rights to others? this left a very bad taste in my mouth and caused me to reassess my thinking. i have other reasons, but they'll probably come out in the podcast. <br><br>
well, i can certainly see why we did/do it. we made a playing field very unfair for a lot of years. after a while, certain segments of our population are allowed to benefit from holding others back and a cycle is created. using affirmative action helps to break the cycle and force some of the segments of society back into competition, etc. i don't think affirmative action was wrong, per se; rather, i just decided that its time was coming to an end. many people think that it's not quite time -- that discrimination is still affecting a great number of individuals.<br><br>
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