Affirmative action redux
lesl at UDEL.EDU
Thu Mar 8 08:24:46 PST 2001
I might buy it if we were talking about a hisotirically black school
state college that was 90% black and the white admits were slightly
below mean or median but not out of line from plenty of blacks
admitted. The arg would be that exposure to diverse point sof view and
people form diverse life experiences is educational for the res t o f
the student body. In other words , I find your point of view as to what
"merits" college admission unjustifiably narrow. On hiring I might
favor the white preference if it were in a majority-black country (say
sub-saharan Africa) with a lenghty tradition of favoring blacks by
ethnicity in govt. jobs. In other words, it all depends.
"Volokh, Eugene" wrote:
> OK, let's say that someone was defending his practice of
> giving a preference to whites in hiring. "I'm disturbed by the
> assumption," he says, "that my employees are appointed EITHER on the
> white preference system OR on merit. Remember, most of the time there
> is no 'best person for the job'; there are several well qualified
> candidates, any one of whom would probably do fine. The other tests
> of qualifications are notoriously unreliable (ask anyone who's hired
> people whether they can confidently predict who can work out and who
> can't); so when I let in someone with marginally lower paper
> credentials because he's white, I'm not really compromising 'merit
> standards', so long as he's absolutely 'well qualified.'"
> I think that most people wouldn't buy this. They'd say:
> (1) The other tests of qualifications, even if they are
> imperfect, are fairly decent predictors, or else you wouldn't be using
> them for anyone.
> (2) Thus, when you depart from these tests in considering the
> applicant's race, you are indeed hiring someone who is less qualified
> -- even if only slightly less qualified -- because of the person's
> (3) You might be able to defend this decision to prefer
> people based on race even though they are somewhat less qualified, but
> you have to defend it on the merits, not by denying that you are
> indeed departing from merit principles and hiring the less qualified
> over the more qualified.
> (4) And if you think the other tests are flawed, you can fix
> them, but you can't keep using these flawed tests and at the same time
> use them as an excuse for race discrimination.
> I'd say the same here.
> Judy Baer writes:
> I'm disturbed by an assumption I find (perhaps wrongly) lurking
> in these
> last posts: that one is appointed EITHER on affirmative action OR
> on merit.
> Remember, personnel experts tell us that of the time there is no
> person for the job;" there are several well qualified candidates,
> any one of
> whom would probably do fine (as well as a pool of minimally
> candidates, and some who are unqualified.) Remember, also, that
> to make aff.
> action and merit mutually exclusive is part of the reason we have
> Judy Baer
> Texas A&M
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
More information about the Conlawprof