affirmative action

Stephen Gottlieb: I’m An Affirmative Action Baby

Sep 19, 2017

I went out for an early walk recently. One of the things I like about taking a walk is the way it clears the mind. This morning, the fog lifted and I realized with great clarity that I was an affirmative action baby. About a decade before I applied, Princeton had made the decision, not just to eliminate the quota that limited the number of Jews admitted, but to actively encourage Jews to come.

Robin Christenson: Affirmative Action

Aug 8, 2017

Recent information leaked from the Department of Justice suggests that changes are afoot that would undermine affirmative action in college admissions processes, potentially punishing colleges that undertake policies to promote a diverse student body.

In Strangers in Their Own Land, sociologist Arlie Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into Louisiana bayou country—a stronghold of the conservative right. As she gets to know people who strongly oppose many of the ideas she famously champions, Hochschild nevertheless finds common ground and quickly warms to the people she meets people whose concerns are actually ones that all Americans share: the desire for community, the embrace of family, and hopes for their children.

Strangers in Their Own Land goes beyond the commonplace liberal idea that these are people who have been duped into voting against their own interests. Instead, Hochschild finds lives ripped apart by stagnant wages, a loss of home, an elusive American dream—and political choices and views that make sense in the context of their lives. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in “red” America.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Pittsfield is moving closer to enacting an ordinance designed to implement the city’s recently adopted affirmative action policy.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

The Pittsfield City Council formally adopted an updated affirmative action policy and accepted a state grant to continue funding a downtown streetscape project. One city councilor is considering strengthening the affirmative action policy.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A local investigation into a discrimination complaint against the city of Pittsfield and Mayor Dan Bianchi is on hold awaiting the findings from state and federal governments regarding the same issue.

Race-based affirmative action had been declining as a factor in university admissions even before the recent spate of related cases arrived at the Supreme Court. Since Ward Connerly kickstarted a state-by-state political mobilization against affirmative action in the mid-1990s, the percentage of four-year public colleges that consider racial or ethnic status in admissions has fallen from 60 percent to 35 percent. Only 45 percent of private colleges still explicitly consider race, with elite schools more likely to do so, although they too have retreated.

For law professor and civil rights activist Sheryll Cashin, this isn’t entirely bad news, because as she argues, affirmative action as currently practiced does little to help disadvantaged people. In Place, Not Race, Cashin reimagines affirmative action and champions place-based policies, arguing that college applicants who have thrived despite exposure to neighborhood or school poverty are deserving of special consideration.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A black woman is charging Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi with racism and discrimination. The matter was brought to the city’s human rights commission, less than one month after it was formed.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

A black woman is charging Pittsfield Mayor Dan Bianchi with racism and discrimination. The matter was brought to the city’s human rights commission, less than one month after it was formed. The woman has expressed interest in relocating a business to Pittsfield and being employed by the city.

4/23/14 Panel

Apr 23, 2014

  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, WAMC Newsman Ray Graf and Daily Gazette Editor, Judy Patrick.

Topics include:
Affirmative Action
Aereo
Pujols
Sherpa Strike
NYPD Twitter
Political Demographics

City of Pittsfield Addresses Affirmative Action

Aug 26, 2013

Now, a warning to our listeners that next story contains language that some people might find offensive.

An affirmative action forum in Pittsfield is taking place during a week of civil rights remembrance nationally.

“He said ‘I’d expect that from a nigger, but not from a boy like you.”

Herbert London: Equality And The Court

Jul 3, 2013

The word “equality” is woven into the fabric of the nation. Despite the clause in the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s continual efforts to preserve it, most people assume we are born with different endowments, have different temperaments, behave in different ways and, most assuredly, are unequal. In fact, the more we as a nation emphasize individuality, the more likely inequality will result.

  The Supreme Court will rule on some major cases this year. In today’s Congressional Corner, Union College political science professor Brad Hays tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that affirmative action and same-sex marriage are on the docket.

In a recent book entitled Mismatch: How Affirmative Action Hurts Students Its Intended To Help, and Why Universities Won’t Admit It by Richard Sander and Stuart Taylor, the authors identify reforms that could make a difference in dealing with this ticklish racial issue, reforms, as I see it, that are eminently sensible.