Values File

Kant sees good intentions as the only measure of

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Unformatted text preview: rities Charles Lawrence III and Mari Matsuda, authors on affirmative action and CRT, We Won't Go Back: Making the Case for Affirmative Action, 1997, p. 94 We must take stock, first, of the real world, the one in which status and wealth too often determine outcomes. In this nation we purport to follow standards of merit when in fact we rely on practices of privilege. This is because the stated standards, whether for jobs, education, bank loans, or political appointments, are often not those applied in practice. Even when standards are applied uniformly, the stated ones often favor maintaining status rather than opening new opportunities to the talents of many The myth of merit is used to obscure the lingering sway of nobility that our 1776 Revolution was intended to dismantle. By stating again and again that this is a nation of equal opportunity~ we send a message that the existing distribution of wealth is fair. People deserve what they have because they amass wealth based on merit. Those who don't have don't deserve, the corollary goes. Meritocracy is a myth which masks privilege and non-merit rewards Charles Lawrence III and Mari Matsuda, authors on affirmative action and CRT, We Won't Go Back: Making the Case for Affirmative Action, 1997, p. 98-99 The myth of merit masks privilege, in part through the belief that we can identify and reward the best without ambiguity. An agent who represents jazz musicians once said, "It's great to be white in America," referring to the runaway success of a good white singer. A good singer, ON MERITOCRACY [ 99 but by his own acknowledgment no better than the hundreds of talented African American jazz singers who could never get a recording contract. In a foot race, crossing the finish line is what counts. In other endeavors, the qualities marking the best are subject to debate. Merit by its very nature demands subjectivity, undercutting one of its "great" characteristics Charles Lawrence III and Mari Matsuda, authors on affirmative action and CRT, We Won't Go Back: Making the Case for Affirmative Action, 1997, p. 100 A notion of merit that asks us to Iine people up in order of ability assumes it is possible to determine the best with exactitude. Among...
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This document was uploaded on 11/20/2013.

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