A reader in favor of affirmative action, Adrian Gallegos, introduces a new factor to our debate:
Just as a generalization, most minorities don’t have the social capital to take or gain advantages from nepotism as non-minorities do, either consciously or unconsciously. The new word for that is called networking. Networks take time to be established.
A reader who can attest to the power of networking is “an African American who attended a string of elite schools on scholarship from before college through grad school”:
Notwithstanding Justice Roberts’s comments about the benefits of diversity in physics class, the plaintiff herself in Fisher noted that what she was most upset about was the lost alumni connections regarding UT. This is why Justice Scalia’s comments were most disturbing to me, because even if minorities excel academically in “slower” schools, everyone knows the biggest benefits of college are enjoyed after graduation. Good schools will give you a degree and great schools will get you the degree and some connections. Minorities will never be able to affect institutional change within a bubble of such segregation.
Yes, students shouldn’t be pushed to attend schools they can’t graduate from, but I refuse to have others try to make me feel bad for my “lacking” academic performance in comparison to those who benefited from all kinds of tutors, special testing arrangements, medications, etc. And, of course, we can get really deep and talk about the discriminatory history of the GI bill/ benefits, redlining, and other forms of institutional racism that existed well into the mid of the 20th century.