Chicago Police May Scrap Entrance Exam. Why? Not enough minorities pass.

Discussion in 'Ethics, Morality, & Justice' started by madanthonywayne, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member


    Which is also what I said.


    Those are not examples of "culturally fair" tests, but rather intentional counter-examples of biased tests, intended for illustratory (and humor) purposes. The cultural bias is pretty obvious when it isn't your own, no?

    Given that that material was designed and presented to highlight the racist nature of biased tests, I have no problem with it.
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  3. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    So now you're saying it's racist to hire based on effort or ability?:jawdrop: Unbelievable.

    Oppression in the past doesn't excuse lack of effort now and for you to say it does is condescending and the worst kind of racism. The subtle, liberal kind that teaches every minority that they are inherently inferior and will forever be dependent upon big hearted folks such as yourself to put your thumb on the scale to ensure that they are never forced to excel.
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
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  5. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    Holy crap.
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  7. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    We were talking about why Asian-Americans do better on American IQ tests than white Americans, and how this relates to the cultural bias on the American IQ tests. What Asians in other countries do has no bearing on this, since they do not take American IQ tests (and would do very poorly on them on average if they did, owing to the lack of general English proficiency and other cultural biases).

    Or rather, the good match between our immigration system as it applies to Asians, and the cultural biases in the IQ tests.

    How would we know? The only data in evidence is American IQ tests, administered in America. Unless you have something else you'd like to bring up.

    It's also hard to do in the US, where the actual Asians that took the actual tests in question reside.

    And, yes, to judge from the vanishingly small proportion of the Asian population that we allow to immigrate here and so take IQ tests, it appears to be exceedingly difficult. Only Asians from the higher socioeconomic classes that recieve intensive Western-style schooling, including heavy instruction in English, seem able to accomplish the feat.
  8. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    You call that culture?

    I'd like to see some examples of realistic questions you'd see on a test that have "white bias." I want to know what you consider bias.
  9. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Nope. Are you seriously unable to compose a single response devoid of a blatant strawman attack?
  10. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Do I detect a whiff of condescension?

    They were provided on the link I already sent. As I've already mentioned, it's difficult for people who match the cultural bias of a test to percieve the bias. Just like most forms of privilege. Hence the humorous counter-examples.
  11. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    Are you capable of composing a response devoid of condescension? Did you or did you not say:
    it is indeed racist to presume that differences in effort or ability are not themselves products of cultural bias in the first place
    You claim that even the effort an individual puts forth is due not to his individual character, but due to cultural bias. You claim that this also applies to his ability. You go further and say that to assume that differences in effort or ability are not due to cultural bias is racist. Now, if I am to believe that you consider it racist to attribute the effort a person puts forth to his own initiative, how is it a straw man to then say they you'd consider it racist to act upon differences in effort by using them as the basis for hiring?
  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Yes. But as they say, if the shoe fits...

    You want a respectful response? Try advancing a respectful prompt. You get what you pay for.

    I made no claims about any individuals at all. We were discussing population-level variations.

    The key word there being "assume" (I actually said "presume," which has a different connotation). If you make some substantial effort to eliminate cultural bias as a factor, then the attribution of differences in effort or ability to innate factors becomes reasonable. But you don't do that; in fact you go to great lengths to avoid doing that, and instead substitute counter-factual assertions. It's the presumption that contains the racism, not the ultimate attribution of cause.

    Only in cases where there is a clear presumption of bias (such as, say, black people in the United States), and insubstantial effort to address it in the attribution.

    And, again, not "a person," but a group of people, collectively. It should go without saying that there is going to be substantial individual variation within that group, greater than the between-group variations in question (this is exactly the case with IQ, for example).

    Because attribution of effort at the individual level is a very different matter from attribution of effort at the group level. The variations in individual effort are far greater than the variations in average effort between groups, and so it is reasonable to attribute individual effort primarily to innate factors.

    Getting back on track: this is entirely speculative in the first place. You have yet to present any argument or evidence suggesting that differences in test performance between racial groups reflect different levels of "effort" or "ability" in the first place, let alone get to the point of working out where such differences arise from. You're still stuck on the primary issue of test bias, which you show no signs of addressing substantially. I'm just pointing out that, even if you attempted that and succeeded in showing that the tests are unbiased - neither of which is going to happen - you'd still be left with a host of external cultural factors to account for before you'd arrive at a reasoned, factual basis for your racism.

    Moreover, I'm noting the over-emphasis on individual-level reasoning in your thinking, to the point where you seem to have real trouble relating it to - or even distinguishing it from - population-level reasoning. And this is something I've noticed a lot from people with libertarian/Randian bents, over the years. Which in turn causes me to note the hyperindividualist bent of libertarian/Randian thought: the deification of individual autonomy, the vilificaton of the masses/society, the basic presumption that a complete sociopolitical philosophy can be encapsulated in purely individual terms like "do what you like, so long as you harm no other," and the associated incomprehension of any reasoning that works in explicitly collective terms - often to the point of spurious insistance on its falsity. It's beginning to look as if these sorts of philosophies (which, I suppose, would also include LaVeyan Satanism) are really viral memes that prey upon a certain narcissistic pathology.
  13. madanthonywayne Morning in America Registered Senior Member

    No wonder we're talking in circles. I'm always talking about individuals, some of whom happen to have an ancestry that places them in the minority.
    Of course.
    Neither did you. You simply assume any variation is due to bias. I assume the opposite. I don't see how one assumption is superior to the other. If a test is biased, show me how. Furthermore, the difference in performance between the races shows up too often to be simply dismissed as due to bias without some evidence.
    Yes, I am only concerned with the effects of policy on individuals, not "populations" which are really nothing but somewhat random groupings of individuals.

    As you yourself have pointed out, individual variation is going to outweigh the variation between these racial groups anyway; so what's the point? Is race an important factor in human endeavers, or not?

    Our Declaration of Independence boldly declares that all men are created equal. Not that every race is equal, but rather every man. We are to be treated as individuals and judged according to our accomplishments, not our ancestry. Racism is wrong because it ignores this fundamental equality and ascribes certain traits and certain rights as stemming from our ancestry rather than from our very humanity.

    Any policy that treats individuals differently based upon their ancestry is wrong and a violation of our fundamental human rights. It doesn't matter what the motivation of such a policy is, it is equally wrong. Either judging people and allocating benefits based upon race is wrong, or it's not. You can't have it both ways.
    So those who disagree with you or have a different philosophical viewpoint are suffering from some form of pathology. Such an arrogant sense of superiority, makes me wonder who's the narcissist around here....
  14. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    No. You are the only one making assumptions about bias, and yours are in defiance of the known facts.

    We are not assuming the test is biased - we are just calling for a rejection of the assumption that it isn't. We have data support, for reasonable doubt of that assumption.
    Exactly. So a police recruit exam administered by a government entity with a famous history of racial bias that exhibits signs of possible racial bias should be set aside until investigated, not trusted. Right?
  15. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    You are hopping back and forth between statements about individuals and statements about entire races, apparently for cheap rhetorical advantage. Your various invocations of statistical performance "rates" on various standardized tests, graduation numbers, etc. are all statements about minorities as groups.

    I have not made any assertion about what portion of a given disparate outcome is due to test bias, anywhere in this thread. Have I?

    Where I have pointed to bias as a relevant factor, I have provided various supporting facts for such a presumption (suspicious underrepresentation in the upper echelons, history of blatant discrimination, expert appraisal of IQ tests, etc.).

    BTW, equivocation is a weak response even when you don't have to tell blatant lies to accomplish it.

    The assumption that the test is unbiased is not supported by anything, and is contradicted by the facts which support the presumption of bias: the suspiciously disparate outcomes, the history of overt racism, etc. By law and with good reason, the burden is on advocates of any such test producing disparate outcomes to justify its business utility, or scrap it as discriminatory.

    Tried that with the IQ test, to no avail. So, too late. I've already written you off as a bigot, and so reject the implied standard of debate.

    In the first place, most of the instances of disparate outcomes you cite (IQ, SAT, etc.) are well-known examples of culturally biased tests to begin with.

    There's nothing "random" about it, unless you are going to argue that races do not exist.

    For individuals to be treated fairly, and not discriminated against because of their race. If individual variation truly outweighs interracial variation, then an unbiased test will produce an outcome that is only mildly disparate. To get a strongly disparate outcome, you have to use a biased test that will dampen the individual variations and exaggerate the racial component. Thus, when strongly disparate outcomes are observed, the presumption is that the test was biased.

    To observe a strongly disparate outcome, and also insist that the test was unbiased, is to assert that individual variations are dominated by group variations. You can't have it both ways.

    The relevant thing here is that racism is an important factor in human endeavors, which makes race an important consideration regardless of what the actual, innate variations in ability or whatever might be.

    And the Constitution goes on to define a certain race as unequal, and our nation proceeds to treat individuals from that race on that basis for generations. Even after the Constitution is fixed in this respect, overt, systematic racial oppression is applied to these races for many more generations. This is what actually occurred.

    For example, an employment test that is biased in favor of takers from a particular ancestry? That would be wrong and a violation of fundamental human rights, no?

    And since you've invoked the founding documents and legal principles, I'll remind you that the law states that the burden is on defenders of tests which produce disparate outcomes to justify their business utility. In accordance with these lofty principles, you are required to demonstrate exactly why this test can't be scrapped or replaced with a test that does not produce disparate outcomes.

    No, just those who become bigots for a particular inanity.

    Although I'd say that most people who post here, as well as a good portion of the mods, are suffering from various social pathologies.

    Here's a hint: it's the ones who are blithely indifferent to oppression of others - and overtly supportive of it when it benefits them - and that advance ridiculous fictions in vain attempts at appearing high-minded.
  16. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Valued Senior Member

    Don't fix the problem, don't address the effect. How convenient.

    Over the summer, when discussing the Ricci outcome, I posed a scenario for String's consideration; please see #2296745/57. I described the problems facing one who intends to fix the things you claim are the problem. And in that thread, you eventually argued against fixing the problem at that level.

    You oppose addressing the problem at its source; you oppose addressing the effects of the problem. Is it any wonder why I classify your argument as saying that the only solution to injustice is to perpetuate it?

    I would only reiterate:

    That hatred only seems to occur among those who advocate that the only equality is to preserve standing inequality in society.​

    While omitting a major consideration of that theory without indicating that text has been removed.

    In addition to manipulating your own source, you countered your "It has been suggested" caveat by making claims based on the source as if the mismatch theory was fact:

    "So what we have here is a lose-lose proposition that hurts almost everyone involved while perpetuating injustice and racial hatred."​

    This is what we call intellectual dishonesty.

    I wish I could say the same of you. But racism isn't funny.
  17. Bells Staff Member

    Which is at the very crux of this whole debate.

    Where one's ancestry and prior racist hiring practices allows the bias to continue, then the whole system needs to be looked at and an overhaul needs to happen.
  18. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    When do you suppose, Bells, that we ca stop making excuses for people's inabilities or lack of education or...., whatever? In 6345 AD, will we still be making excuses for non-white workers not being able to pass the same tests as the white workers?

    It's self-perpetuating as far as I can see. The ideals of Star Trek and the silly notions of integration will never come to pass ...we just keep making excuses for those who can't cut the mustard.

    And, Bells, I'm betting that your response to my comments will be just more of the same self-perpetuating excuses. If so, tell me ....when will it ever end?

    Baron Max
  19. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Probably shortly after such a time as said "excuses" cease to be valid descriptions of real oppression, discrimination and other external factors.

    If we keep administering the same biased tests, then presumably yes.

    Get rid of the biased tests today, and we can stop worrying about this particular issue in fairly short order. Alternatively, keep insisting that the tests are fair, in opposition to reality, and you'll keep being presented with contrary argumentation. Your choice.

    The discrimination in question in this thread is perpetuated by the continuing efforts of racists and the naively privileged.

    But yeah, sure, oppression is a self-perpetuating phenomenon in general. This means that eradicating oppression requires addressing the hangover effects of previous oppression. Only once you've done that can you claim to have "ended" the oppression in question, and so demand that it be excluded from considerations like this one.
  20. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    More and more excuses .....and they just keep coming, don't they? See what I mean ....those excuses are self-perpetuating. The non-whites don't need to do anything to better themselves, y'all will just keep makin' excuses for their poor behavior and test results. And 1,000 years from now, it'll be just more of the same.

    No one should ever have to take responsibility for their own actions.

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    Baron Max
  21. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    Nobody has asserted that.

    The issue here is that the white people need to stop doing things to make it harder for everyone else to advance themselves.

    It's the racists who are manufacturing the "excuses;" I just point them out. End the discrimination, and you'll have your way on these rhetorical issues. Or don't, and accept the continued criticism. Again, you're choice; now how about act like an adult and own it?

    The only people here trying to avoid responsibility for their actions (or, more to the point, positions and actions they support) are racism apologists like yourself and madanth.
  22. Baron Max Registered Senior Member

    So non-whites can't advance on their own? Whites have to somehow help them to advance? You're saying some pretty confusing things for someone who obviously feels that whites and non-whites are "equal".

    So the non-whites don't have any excuses for not passing the tests? And so they shouldn't be police officers, right? Is that what you're saying? I mean, the white people passed the tests, right? So if the non-whites have no excuses, then they, too, should have passed the tests. But they didn't, did they?

    Now what? More excuses about "why" they didn't pass the tests? And they'll blame it on the whites? It's all the white mans fault? And thus it goes for millions of years! Failure at something, anything, and the non-whites blame the whites!

    Baron Max

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