Affirmative Action and the CCRI

William Thurber thurber at FMGMT.MGMT.UTORONTO.CA
Mon Jul 29 20:10:27 MDT 1996

On Mon, 29 Jul 1996, Dennis Putnam wrote:

> > For this to be true you must accept the proposition that black and white
> > populations are unequally qualified.  (If I there is another option
> > please let me know, but I will continue with this assumption).  Then we
> > must ask the question why do the populations have unequal
> > qualifications.  I can only come to two solutions to this problem: 1)
> > blacks are not born with the requisite skills; or 2) the educational
> > system is failing the black population.  Those who choose #1 are racists
> > in my book, if you choose #2 then AA is a method that will force systems
> > to become more responsive through the pressure of the market place.
> That is liberal think. I don't have to accept that proposition at all. The
> proposition I do and will accept is that all individuals are not equally
> qualified.

Dennis, you are making a levels of analysis mistake here.  Individuals
can differ within populations of equal ability.  I remind you again that
the two classes I taught last year had equal average grades, but not all
students received the same grade.

> > I have put this idea to you before (therefore am communicating directly
> > with you, to save boring the rest of the group), I would appreciate your
> > reaction and direct attempt to counter my argument.
> I haven't changed my position. Descrimination is flat out wrong and
> unconsitutional regardless of which way it goes. Peroid. End of sentence.
> End of paragraph. End of discussion.

I didn't ask you to change your position, I asked you to explain why or
where my logic failed.  If you wish to end this discussion without doing
so, what can I conclude but that you cannot.  I challenge the group to
do what Dennis cannot or will not -- show how or why quotas are wrong if
you accept the premise that the races are equal.


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