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#26 EMP

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 09:07 PM

It does. First people are not diverse, you can have a group of people from diverse backgrounds, but no one is a diverse person. I suspect you mean it would draw more visible minorities (who are no more or less diverse than any other group).

Second, and more importantly, you forget, visible minorities may make up 50% of Toronto's population, but they make up ~20% of Ontario/Canada's population (including Toronto). Since the diverse universe of people who want to live and work in a diverse city includes many of the white people who make up 80% ofthe Canadian population, UofT's student body is going to look like much more like the Canadian/Ontario population as a whole. Indeed, the UofT profile bears this out, 1/3rd of the class is drawn from people who are from outside of Ontario (and of thr 2/3rds from Ontario, one suspects a good number are from outside the GTA).

Every time I see a post like this, I wonder just what the Op think UofT's demographics should look like in a country/province that is 80% white? Is it that the Op has never left the Toronto bubble? I mean, lordy, if minority groups other than "asians" are only represented in single figures, could it possibly be that they account for a tiny portion of the Canadian population? (Hint: yes).

 

Well, black Canadians account for 2.9% of the Canadian population and 4.3% of the population of Ontario (see: https://en.wikipedia...Black_Canadians for figures sourced from the 2011 National Household Survey). They account for 1% of the class at U of T. That is manifestly non-representative.


Edited by EMP, 19 November 2016 - 09:07 PM.

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#27 superherojustice

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 10:09 PM

so. many. white. tears.

 

 

 

:(



#28 Diplock

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Posted 19 November 2016 - 10:32 PM

so. many. white. tears.

 

 

 

:(

 

You know what. I was going to ignore this. But if you want to respond to a real discussion with a throw away line, answer one question. Just give an actual answer to a direct question, and then you have my full license to troll away. It's the same question I already asked.

 

This entire discussion started with the premise that it's somehow a problem that U of T's class is 62% white in a country that's close to 80% white. The concern raised is that U of T's class is insufficiently diverse and should, in fact, be less white still. I rebutted that assertion, and if I were to stretch your "contribution" to this discussion to its limit, and to try to extract real content from your post, I gather you believe that's somehow majoritarian whining. And believe me, I'm well aware of how no one ever likes to hear anything approaching concern for the majoritarian identity.

 

So, answer the question. What percentage would satisfy you? And here's the bonus question. At which point do we appreciate that there's a concern? How much over-representation is enough? How much is too much?

 

It's easy to say "shut up, you're privileged, and you're defending privilege." But if that's all you have to say, you're part of the problem. Not because you're on the wrong side. This isn't about "right" and "wrong" sides. It's a horribly complex discussion. You're part of the problem because you've allied yourself with stupidity, and simplicity, and with throwaway jabs and one-liners as opposed to real engagement. You're the opposite side of Trump. Equally stupid and simplistic, only in another cause.

 

When I was at U of T, the class was skewing close to 60% female, was over 60% in some years, and had been on that trajectory for years. Honest administrators were ready and willing to suggest that at some point we'd have a problem on our hands. For years there were campaigns aimed at encouraging girls to apply. Now we'd reached the point where it was necessary, even obvious, to ask "where are the boys going?" None of the administrators were so stupid or shallow as to suggest we could never have an under-representation of men.


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#29 DarKnight

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 12:08 AM

It's called the oppression Olympics
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#30 Yogurt Baron

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 12:34 AM

so. many. white. tears.

 

 

:(

 

 

I'm as intense an SJW as there is here, give or take artsydork and whereverjustice. (Where is ol' dork, anyway? I miss that fella. :( ) So absolutely: every institution in Canada is affected by racism, sexism, ableism, and clasissm, as I define those terms. And I'm all about calling that shit out. If I saw a single "white tear" on this thread, I'd eviscerate whomever was shedding it, and I'd get thirty Likes, even from people who disagreed with me.

 

So, okay. There are huge systemic barriers that make law school admission easier for the normative. It's easier for the able-bodied (both of the core criteria for admission, GPA and LSAT, are strongly affected by physical ability), easier for the native-English-speaking and white (both the LSAT and most academic programs rely heavily on quasi-colloquial English idioms and norms that you're going to grasp more readily if English is your first language), easier for men (I don't have stats on gender performance in undergrad and on the LSAT, but more on this later), and easier for rich people (two people of identical ability, one of them has "tutors" to write their papers for them through undergrad and focuses full-time on "studying for the LSAT", one of them has to work sixty hours a week and can't crack a book at any time in their undergrad, who's going to put up better stats?). More broadly speaking, life is easier for the able-bodied, white, male, and wealthy. I know there are those here who sneer at the concept of microaggressions, but fuck that---they're real, and they affect performance. Three people of equal ability and equal sensitivity apply for a job. The average person walks in, the boss looks at them like, "Okay, let's give this person a shot and treat them like a 7/10 human being." The guy who looks like a Matt Czuchry character (any Matt Czuchry character) walks in, the boss goes, "Wow! This person reminds me of my old frat buddies! I'd better bro out with them and kiss their ass and treat them like an 11/10 human being!" The woman with the accent and the facial deformity walks in, the boss goes, "Ugh, this person is yucky. I'd better treat them like a -1,000,000/10 human being." This happensconstantly, to everyone from every marginalized group, and if you don't see it, it's probably because you're too privileged to see it. And it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Get shat on all the time, you're going to start to feel like shit, and it's going to reflect in your behaviour and your performance. Get treated like a god, you're going to perform like...an average schmoe, and have your mediocre performance received like the performance of a god. "No, but this isn't true, because look at Barack Obama!" Some people being unusually good at overcoming oppression doesn't mean that the oppression isn't there.

 

And, sorry, I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that all of this is exactly how the world works, and that if you disagree, you're too ignorant to be worth arguing with---not necessarily stupid (though probably stupid), but, at the very least, completely unaware of the lived experience of anyone different from you. If you're from an oppressed group, you're facing "you don't belong here" vibes from everybody, constantly, that people from the majority groups don't have to deal with. That means that life is significantly harder for oppressed people, and that if they can overcome all of these systemic barriers and perform reasonably well at a rigged game, they deserve a shot (though, really, it's just a shot to compete in another, even-more-rigged game). If you and Usain Bolt are about to run a race against each other, and three minutes before the race, someone shoots Usain Bolt in both kneecaps, and he still almost outruns you, there's a chance that he's a better runner than you, right? Systemic oppression exists, and its victims deserve accommodation.

But---and here's where I come back down to earth---what does this accommodation look like in real terms? A no-whites-allowed policy in law school for the next eighty years? An affirmative action policy with drastically lower standards? How do you quantify those standards? I'm totally comfortable saying that an able-bodied person who speaks English as their first language who marginally outperforms a dyslexic blind immigrant on the LSAT is actually, probably, dumber in practice than the person they outperformed. But what does that look like? Does that look like "B's 155 is better than A's 156"? I think most of us would agree to that, and that's why we have access categories. Does that look like "B's 120 is better than A's 180"? As asinine as that sounds, there are circumstances in which I think it's actually plausible (say, if A stared blankly at the test in horror, was too dumb to understand a word, and then guessed right on all the questions, and B knew the answers to all the questions but was physically incapable of filling in the bubbles)---but for fuck's sake, make an argument. Looking at stats and saying they're disadvantageous to B, without a sense of what would be fair to B, is a cheap cop-out.

 

I went to library school when Doug Ford was having his fight with Margaret Atwood. I made significant waves by, mostly, agreeing with Doug Ford in that fight, which was heresy. Doug Ford was saying, "There should be as many libraries as people use." Margaret Atwood was saying, "There should be, I don't know how many libraries, but libraries are good and nice, so definitely lots." The former is how you make public policy. The latter is drivel. And my classmates would say, "Don't you agree there should be lots of libraries because they are good and nice?" And I would say, "No. I agree we should promote library usage to the point where we need lots of libraries, and then there should be lots of libraries because there's a need for them." And they would say, "But there are 98 library branches in Toronto and Doug Ford wants to cut to the point where there's only 96! Or, gasp, 94! There shouldn't be fewer libraries! There should be more!" And I'd say, "Okay. How many more? Three million? If Toronto had 1.1 libraries, each the size of the Toronto Reference Library, for each resident, would that be enough? And assuming that that's what you want, if there were were three million and one TRL-sized libraries, would you be okay with shutting one down?" And they'd say I was being an asshole, and I was being an asshole. Advocating for social justice is awesome and necessary, and I'll bow to no one in the ferocity of my values. But figuring out how to actually make things right is a lot harder than writing four words and an emoticon about how, you know, "I have no earthly idea how things ought to be or what would lead to fair outcomes, but certainly they ought to be somehow amorphously 'better' than they are now."

Thanks to the unique niche I fill here, I know a fair number of lawyers with disabilities and from marginalized communities. It wouldn't surprise anyone to know that they find it harder, on the whole, to find jobs than normative lawyers do. So let's say we never let another able-bodied white man attend law school in Canada. What happens then? Those people who are "not racist" but just seem to believe, when confronted with an individual white man and an individual black woman, that the white man is more competent one hundred times out of one hundred...what do they do? Do they hire the black woman as their lawyer? Or do they hire someone who graduated from law school before 2020? Clearly, they do the latter. There's no institutional solution we could impose on law school admissions, no matter how radical, that's going to stop the kyriarchy from doing its thing. So what can we do that's constructive? I'm no more sure than anyone here, but fuck, as much as they're (slightly and significantly, respectively) to my right on this issue, Diplock and MB are out there trying to build a more equitable world. What does a four-word potshot at a strawman accomplish?


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#31 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 04:53 AM

Well, black Canadians account for 2.9% of the Canadian population and 4.3% of the population of Ontario (see: https://en.wikipedia...Black_Canadians for figures sourced from the 2011 National Household Survey). They account for 1% of the class at U of T. That is manifestly non-representative.


So, UofT is lacking diversity because one ethnic group in one year is "possibly" underrepresented relative to the population as a whole. Seriously? Particularly when you're talking about a small group, where you're talking about a difference between 2-3 students instead of 5-6. What is the variance from year to year? In 2016 1% of UofT's student body was from aboriginal origin (down from 3%, roughly proportionate to the Canadian population, in 2015). Is that a sign that UofT became more racist in 2016 than 2015, or is that just a random fluctuation in who applied, was admitted, and chose UofT?

And do you know that black students are underrepresented based on that survey? Are there any students among the "mixed race" set (7% ofthe student body) who might be considered black for the purposes of statscan? What about the non-respondents?

And, if you've really got a hard-on about UofT population looking like Canada, great, did we mention that 65% of UofTs student body is white in a country that is 80% white?

Seriously people. Diplock is right, there are certainly quibble about UofT, but a lack of racial/ethnic/gender/sexual orientation diversity is not one of them.

I come back to my question, if you think UofT should be "more diverse", just what do you think it SHOULD look like? Let's see your preferred racial profile of UofT. This is only a rhetoric question if the premise of the original complaint is assnine.
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#32 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:09 AM

The difference is actually not marginal. I wasn't making up random numbers when I said there are at least 3x as many visible minorities at Osgoode from various backgrounds than at U of T law.


Can we can an acknowldgement, in light of the actual demographics of both schools, that you were, in fact, making random numbers up whn you said that there are at least 3x as many visibile minorities at Osgoode versus UofT, since the actual ratio is closer to 1.4 (50-35).

Edited by maximumbob, 20 November 2016 - 05:14 AM.

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#33 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:13 AM

so. many. white. tears.
 
 
 
:(


Deep. No really, it's thoughtful, fact based, comments like that which really raise the calibre of discussion here. I thank you, sir/maam, for showing me the error of my ways.
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#34 Diplock

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:44 AM

I saw no point in picking on Deadpool. But if 38% of the class at U of T identifies as visible minority, you'd need 114% of the class at Osgoode to do so in order to validate your 3x claim. Let's just agree that's unlikely, and move on.
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#35 Twoodsguy69

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 08:58 AM

This has been all too entertaining folks....  :D



#36 Esper

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 09:11 AM

So, UofT is lacking diversity because one ethnic group in one year is "possibly" underrepresented relative to the population as a whole. Seriously? Particularly when you're talking about a small group, where you're talking about a difference between 2-3 students instead of 5-6. What is the variance from year to year? In 2016 1% of UofT's student body was from aboriginal origin (down from 3%, roughly proportionate to the Canadian population, in 2015). Is that a sign that UofT became more racist in 2016 than 2015, or is that just a random fluctuation in who applied, was admitted, and chose UofT?

And do you know that black students are underrepresented based on that survey? Are there any students among the "mixed race" set (7% ofthe student body) who might be considered black for the purposes of statscan? What about the non-respondents?

And, if you've really got a hard-on about UofT population looking like Canada, great, did we mention that 65% of UofTs student body is white in a country that is 80% white?

Seriously people. Diplock is right, there are certainly quibble about UofT, but a lack of racial/ethnic/gender/sexual orientation diversity is not one of them.

I come back to my question, if you think UofT should be "more diverse", just what do you think it SHOULD look like? Let's see your preferred racial profile of UofT. This is only a rhetoric question if the premise of the original complaint is assnine.

 

I don't really care about the debate in this thread, and I don't seek to dispute your point per se.

 

But I take issue with this kind of throw-away statistic. It is weak and misleading. Do you mean to suggest that this 80% is being handicapped in favour of non-whites? Do you mean to suggest that the proportion of applicants/race is consistent across all races? What do you make of the point that a significant chunk of that population may in fact have no interest in attending law school (e.g. farmers)? Have you even tried to digest that statistic before brandishing it like that?

 

 You can do better than this. You're one of the most critical members of this Forum, and I have no doubt that you are a successful jurist.

 

Incidentally--and this is a sincere question--you insinuate that Whites are actually under-represented in law school. This being a zero-sum game apparently, another group is necessarily being over-represented in law school cohorts. Which group might that be?



#37 Diplock

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 09:59 AM

@Esper - Bob can reply on his own behalf, I'm sure. But I gave you a lot of ground in my previous reply, and now you've just walking into a couple of statements that I'd like to hold you accountable for. And to be quite honest, I was waiting for them. From someone. I knew they'd come.

 

What do you make of the point that a significant chunk of that population may in fact have no interest in attending law school (e.g. farmers)?

 

How would you respond to anyone who said that if med schools are filled with predominantly men, it might be no problem at all because women don't want to become doctors? What if black kids don't want to become lawyers? Do I need to go on?

 

You've provided a bit of wiggle room by moving from race to economic class. This is one of those times when one statistic becomes another, for the reason I've described and which no one has disputed. Under-representation of rural students becomes under-representation of poor white students simply because there are a lot of visible minorities in cities and not a lot in the country. Everyone, apparently, can agree on at least that much. So what if I provided similar logic. It isn't that visible minorities aren't getting into law school. It's simply that children from poor families aren't getting in. To be far more explicit, Bakari, from your earlier example, isn't attending law school not because he's from a visible minority community, but because his father is a taxi driver, or a janitor, exactly as you described.

 

Sound ridiculous? Sure it does. But you just told me that Bob from Blind River Ontario might not be attending law school not because his family is poor, and rural, and certainly not related in any way to his race. It's just because his father is a farmer.

 

How in the hell do you justify this contrast in acceptable and unacceptable reasoning?

 

This being a zero-sum game apparently...

 

Even better, and even simpler, departure from acceptable reasoning. It IS a zero sum game. You throw in "apparently" like you doubt it. It IS zero sum.

 

Can anyone, ever, with even the hint of a straight face say "it isn't that women are under-represented, it's just that there's an unusual surplus of men." Yes, there are 100 seats in this program, and 80 of them are occupied by men, but it isn't a zero sum game at all. There are no missing women. There are just extra men. Do I even need to go on? I feel embarrassed calling you on this. It's like pointing out that someone's zipper is down in mixed company.

 

The very fact that intelligent people can pretend this isn't a zero sum game, when talking about majoritarian identity groups, is proof to me that logic goes straight out the window when we're having this discussion. Despite the fact that your mind is perfectly capable of seeing this basic truth, your emotional reaction to equity-seeking claims says it simply feels otherwise. But it's still true. When there are limited seats in law school to distribute, over-representation in one group is coming at the expense of someone else.

 

Note. You asked which groups are over-represented. I honestly don't know. I can't be bothered drilling down. I just know that someone must be. It's logically necessary. And I am intentionally denying you the moment when you get to say "how DARE you imply we have too many of X minority group! Racist!!" I know you probably wouldn't pounce on it in that way. But someone would.

 

As YB pointed out, it's not logically impossible to argue that after historical imbalances in the past some correction is required. It's not necessarily a problem (and note, at no point did I even say it was a problem) that we have more visible minorities in law school than anyone would expect, relative to the total population. But it IS a zero sum game. That correction, if it's occurring, is essentially just trying to balance the game as more of a running tally across a much longer time frame. But it's still zero sum.

 

I'm still amazed at the general tone of this discussion. I'm as amazed by you, Esper, as you are by Bob. This thread didn't start out by suggesting there was a problem with too few white kids in law school. It started out as a suggestion there were too few visible minorities which is the same thing as saying there are too many white kids. There's no one way that one doesn't equal the other, no matter how fast you try to dodge it. And at some point I got sick of the competition to argue that everyone is less diverse than they should be and more diversity is needed everywhere and I finally just pulled out the shocking truth. That relative to the Canadian population as a whole, there are far fewer white students than there should be! I'm not even saying that's a problem, necessarily. I'm just saying it's a fact.

 

The logic that you are deploying to try to avoid acknowledging this as even a potential problem is unworthy of any discussion about race, gender, identity, class, etc. It would be laughed out of the room in any other context. I have no idea of how or if you'll try to justify it. But no matter what move you make, in the end, it'll come down to the same thing. We just don't need to worry about historically majoritarian groups the way we worry about other people. And while that's true in some contexts (i.e. hyper-ventilation over men's rights) it really isn't true to the point that it undermines how math works.


Edited by Diplock, 20 November 2016 - 10:25 AM.

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#38 Yogurt Baron

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 10:14 AM

Where I'm most vehement here in agreeing with Bob and Diplock is this: you can't come in here saying, "The demographics of admitted law students are wrong," without any sense of what would be right. I'd love to see - and I'm not sure if the data exists - breakdowns of relatively competitive applicants by demographic, versus admissions by demographic. Let's say there's a floor of who could plausibly be admitted. If 90% of the people who exceed that floor are from visible minority groups, and yet visible minority groups comprise ~40% of the class, that's a problem. Ideally, I'd like to see law school classes that

1. reflect the "best" available candidates, with recognition that the existing metrics don't always give marginalized people a fair shake and that there should be some leeway;
2. come relatively close to reflecting the demographics of competitive applicants.

 

I'm not seeing anybody on this thread who a., thinks visible minorities are underrepresented relative to any benchmark in particular, and b., has any ideas in mind for coming closer to such a benchmark.



#39 Esper

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 11:03 AM

Edit: this is a reply to Diplock's post (#37).

Edit #2: see 0).

 

That was certainly a lot of "gotcha!" rhetoric.

 

I can't tell if you deliberately confused my points, or if I'm just a poor writer.

 

On your first point. I don't remember advocating anywhere for more non-White representation, so I don't understand why you are putting so much effort in trying to fit that claim in my posts? I guess I'll try to address your comments point by point:

 

0) "How would you respond to anyone who said that if med schools are filled with predominantly men, it might be no problem at all because women don't want to become doctors? What if black kids don't want to become lawyers? Do I need to go on?"

I'm sure you know that this argument cuts both ways. You've touted many times your cultural competence. So you probably know that children of immigrants face disproportionately higher parental pressure to "make it count." Surely that must bear nontrivial incidence on the applicants/race distribution. So it's not really as stupid a point as you are trying to paint it.

 

1) "Under-representation of rural students becomes under-representation of poor white students simply because there are a lot of visible minorities in cities and not a lot in the country." This point packs so many assumptions. But I'm ready to concede it.

 

2) "It's simply that children from poor families aren't getting in. To be far more explicit, Bakari, from your earlier example, isn't attending law school not because he's from a visible minority community, but because his father is a taxi driver, or a janitor, exactly as you described."

Again, I don't remember saying the contrary. If anything, you are the one back-tracking because my example was intended to dispute your argument that Bakari has no right to complain because 1) he's not worse off than Casey in terms of all kinds of things (privilege, access to facilities etc.), and that 2) his admission to law school will happen at the cost of Casey's. I have made no statement as to the impact of poverty on law school admission.

 

On your second point. I see your Defence instincts of factual analysis and cross-examination, but I'll be clear right off the bat. I said "apparently" only because I couldn't affirm definitively that it was a zero-sum game. What if I said it definitively, then have another Diplock quote me to say that it isn't a zero-sum game because class size is in fact a variable, and not a constant? You spent three paragraphs ascribing to me all kinds of nasty intentions. And, FWIW, I did not appreciate it. Call me a crybaby, but I expected more from you.

 

1) "I am intentionally denying you the moment when you get to say "how DARE you imply we have to many of X minority group! Racist!"

Rest assured, this is precisely the kind of thing I never say.

 

2) [Second to last paragraph].

a) As I say above, I don't care much about the debate, and I took no position.

b) Again, since the zero-sum math is so exact, then who is being over-represented? The math is not making sense, and unless you can indicate which group is being over-represented, saying that Whites are being handicapped is moot at best, and disingenuous at worst.

 

And thanks about the zipper. Silly me.


Edited by Esper, 20 November 2016 - 11:47 AM.

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#40 Diplock

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 12:14 PM

@Esper - Yeah, there was a lot of "gotcha" in there, and I'll concede it. I'll only say that you can take it. It's not like I'm beating up on a novice here, and while I'm not sure who "started it" you certainly didn't shy from it.

 

I'm going to try to cut through all the point / counter-point and riff off something that YB said. He was allying himself with me when he said it, but I'm potentially as vulnerable to his critique as anyone if I start sounding too sure of myself. These are heavily complicated topics. I alluded to that earlier. When we start implicitly comparing privilege to privilege, talking about where people belong, what they should want, what they deserve ... we can't help but pile assumption on assumption. Empirical study is almost impossible to imagine, and even where it exists it's wildly subject to interpretation.

 

Let's take just one, very basic example. And I'll anonymize it to avoid picking a side. Let's say there is some group, some representative sample from X gender or race or religion or economic class, and we can prove through studying them that they have less interest in attending professional school. Let's just say we can prove that's true. Does that become an argument to say "we're going to have an under-representation of that group in law school, and we're fine with it, because they just aren't interested" or does that become an argument to say "society is not providing opportunities to kids from X background, and we need an outreach program aimed at encouraging them to apply?" Note that I am NOT taking a side as a raise that question. Both answers have been floated, at times, by intelligent and intellectually honest people who are trying to do what's best. There's no way to know which answer is "right." They are ideological positions - not factual interpretations.

 

So, riffing off that, I'll return to my basic point. Talking about how things "should" look is fraught with assumptions and values and interpretations. Now that Esper is putting me in the position of replying to questions, I'm in the same position I deliberately put others. I have to concede, to various points, that I don't know. I don't know what's best. I don't know what the class "should" look like. I KNOW, or at least I believe, that when female students weren't aspiring to attend law school it was considered critically important to encourage them to do so. I'm less sure that it's important to do outreach to rural kids. But I'm not sure it's the wrong conclusion, either. I'm just not sure.

 

My basic point remains the same. Anyone who IS sure is an idiot. Or at least ignorant. And anyone who implies it is simple or obvious en route to justifying their certainty isn't worthy of being taken seriously. And I'm glad I pointed out the absurdity in the original post, even the OP hasn't been back to this in a while. We started from the premise that 62% white students was too many and everyone, EVERYONE, was willing to go along with that assumption and accepted it at face value until I called it into question. Why? Because we've accepted at face value that more "diversity" is always better than less, and diversity is primarily tracked through ethnic identity.

 

Anyway, I'm starting to repeat myself, which is a clue that I'm chewing this to death. But I'll close by saying there are no entirely objective bases, and relatively few uncontested bases, to definitively know who "deserves" a seat in law school. It's no more obvious that a rich white kid with all the advantages "deserves" a seat in law school than it is that a child of poor immigrants "deserves" the same seat. What is obvious is that they are competing for the same seat, all the time, and instead of knowing for certain who should get it what we have instead are contested claims about what makes sense, seems fair, is best for society, for the student, for equality, etc. And contested claims are fine. Let's just not fall into the delusion that everything is easy, or obvious, and that the people who disagree with us are necessarily fools. Unless of course they say it IS easy and obvious and truth is objective. Then they are fools.

 

P.S. @Esper - I don't really think we have a problem, but the reason I said that the make-up of a law school class is definitively, and unquestionably, a zero-sum game is because we're talking about proportions here. Expanding the class doesn't make it less zero sum. You can't have a class that's 50/50 male/female, double the size of the class, add only men such that it's now 75/25, and claim that men haven't "gained" at the expense of women. That's illogical and ridiculous. I honestly was giving you credit for seeing that can't happen, and therefore expanding the class can't be the answer which calls the zero sum quality of this competition into question.


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#41 EMP

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 01:43 PM

So, UofT is lacking diversity because one ethnic group in one year is "possibly" underrepresented relative to the population as a whole. Seriously? Particularly when you're talking about a small group, where you're talking about a difference between 2-3 students instead of 5-6. What is the variance from year to year? In 2016 1% of UofT's student body was from aboriginal origin (down from 3%, roughly proportionate to the Canadian population, in 2015). Is that a sign that UofT became more racist in 2016 than 2015, or is that just a random fluctuation in who applied, was admitted, and chose UofT?

And do you know that black students are underrepresented based on that survey? Are there any students among the "mixed race" set (7% ofthe student body) who might be considered black for the purposes of statscan? What about the non-respondents?

And, if you've really got a hard-on about UofT population looking like Canada, great, did we mention that 65% of UofTs student body is white in a country that is 80% white?

Seriously people. Diplock is right, there are certainly quibble about UofT, but a lack of racial/ethnic/gender/sexual orientation diversity is not one of them.

I come back to my question, if you think UofT should be "more diverse", just what do you think it SHOULD look like? Let's see your preferred racial profile of UofT. This is only a rhetoric question if the premise of the original complaint is assnine.

 

 

My point is that certain minority groups can still be underrepresented, even if U of T is representative when looking at things from a white vs. visible minority lens (see p. 7 of this report for an examination of this phenomenon in the legal profession as whole: http://www.lsuc.on.c...10_ornstein.pdf). I would say that if for two years the number students reporting as black is considerably below their demographic numbers in Canada, that is a cause for concern. Of course, more data is needed to draw a fulsome conclusion, but I raise the point to suggest that even if a minority group is reported in the single figures and they account for a tiny portion for the Canadian population, there can still be underrepresentation of that group. I also never said U of T was racist.


Edited by EMP, 20 November 2016 - 01:50 PM.


#42 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:03 PM

Well, we agree that there can be underrepresentation of one group, indeed we've noted the under-representation of two groups(at least relative to the population at large), namely blacks and whites. So what?

And if underrepresentation of one group is a cause for concern, which group should have their representation reduced? It's a zero-sum game.

To my mind achieving diversity =/= being representative of the population, it means (subject to maintaining academic standards) trying to accumulate a collection of students with diverse backgrounds and experiences of which racial/ethnic background is only one of many aspects. Both UofT and Osgoode do that.

#43 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:20 PM

I don't really care about the debate in this thread, and I don't seek to dispute your point per se.
 
But I take issue with this kind of throw-away statistic. It is weak and misleading. Do you mean to suggest that this 80% is being handicapped in favour of non-whites? Do you mean to suggest that the proportion of applicants/race is consistent across all races? What do you make of the point that a significant chunk of that population may in fact have no interest in attending law school (e.g. farmers)? Have you even tried to digest that statistic before brandishing it like that?
 
 You can do better than this. You're one of the most critical members of this Forum, and I have no doubt that you are a successful jurist.
 
Incidentally--and this is a sincere question--you insinuate that Whites are actually under-represented in law school. This being a zero-sum game apparently, another group is necessarily being over-represented in law school cohorts. Which group might that be?


No, I don't suggest that "whites" are handicapped in admission to UofT, I simply note that they are underrepresented relative to the population at large. That is indisputable. As for which group is "overrepresented", at least relative to the popation as a whole, clearly it's "Asians" (which comes as no surprise to anyone).

Is that a problem? Well, you tell me, if you think law schools should be representative of the population as a whole, then yes. If you think that they should attract the best and brighest (with due regard to the challenges people from different backgrounds), no. I happen to subscribe to the latter worldview.
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#44 Esper

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 05:39 PM

No, I don't suggest that "whites" are handicapped in admission to UofT, I simply note that they are underrepresented relative to the population at large. That is indisputable. As for which group is "overrepresented", at least relative to the popation as a whole, clearly it's "Asians" (which comes as no surprise to anyone).

Is that a problem? Well, you tell me, if you think law schools should be representative of the population as a whole, then yes. If you think that they should attract the best and brighest (with due regard to the challenges people from different backgrounds), no. I happen to subscribe to the latter worldview.

 

I am not sure about this. Why? Because I doubt the surplus of Asian law students is significant enough to account for the deficit of White law students (the 15% not making it into law school).

 

Besides, if you have statistics, I'd be happy to have a look. Until then, the closest "data" I have is in the link EMP referred us to (chart 5, p.7). It's not the best reference point because it looks at lawyers as opposed to law students. But if we were to extrapolate, it would not support your assertion.

 

Edit: and that's assuming that there even is a surplus of Asian law students. My cohort certainly does not have a surplus of Asians. I can count them on two hands.


Edited by Esper, 20 November 2016 - 05:49 PM.


#45 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:07 PM

I am not sure about this. Why? Because I doubt the surplus of Asian law students is significant enough to account for the deficit of White law students (the 15% not making it into law school).

 

Besides, if you have statistics, I'd be happy to have a look. Until then, the closest "data" I have is in the link EMP referred us to (chart 5, p.7). It's not the best reference point because it looks at lawyers as opposed to law students. But if we were to extrapolate, it would not support your assertion.

 

Edit: and that's assuming that there even is a surplus of Asian law students. My cohort certainly does not have a surplus of Asians. I can count them on two hands.

Sigh.

 

Esper, go back and read the original post.  "Asians" account for 21% of the UofT student body (that post links to the UofT class profile in support of that proposition).  In 2011 (the last year for which we have census data), 19% of Canadians identified themselves as "visible  minorities".  So, right there your have a modest overrepresentation, if "Asians" were the only visible minority group, which of course they aren't.  Of those 19%, ~5% were Black, Arab or Latin American, which the rest (14%) being "Asian" (in the sense that they identified as members of a group that originated somewhere on the continent of Asia).  

 

Aside:  I'm surprised you'd be surprised by this, "Asians" have been heavily over-represented at every elite university in North America for years (to the extent that places like Harvard and Berkeley - until it was sued - adopted reverse affirmative action to keep their numbers down on the grounds of promoting "diversity").  A large driver of the demise of affirmative action in the US has been that implementing it involves very real racial  discrimination against Asians who, quite reasonably, wanted none of it.)


Edited by maximumbob, 20 November 2016 - 06:30 PM.

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#46 lumberjack23

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:08 PM

As a non-white student, I love my stats professor who was recruited through the "diversity" program. Dude can't teach for shit but guess what, he bumped the % of minority professor in the sociology department by 33%.

 

Horray!!


Edited by lumberjack23, 20 November 2016 - 06:10 PM.

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#47 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:13 PM

I am not sure about this. Why? Because I doubt the surplus of Asian law students is significant enough to account for the deficit of White law students (the 15% not making it into law school).

 

Besides, if you have statistics, I'd be happy to have a look. Until then, the closest "data" I have is in the link EMP referred us to (chart 5, p.7). It's not the best reference point because it looks at lawyers as opposed to law students. But if we were to extrapolate, it would not support your assertion.

 

Edit: and that's assuming that there even is a surplus of Asian law students. My cohort certainly does not have a surplus of Asians. I can count them on two hands.

 

Aside, the one group that is most heavily over-represented at UofT is the "mixed race" group - a group that accounts for 7% of the student body, but less than 1% of the Canadian population (according to the 2011 census).  Two possibilities.  One, assholes are filing out the survey and checking off every box.  I wouldn't rule that out, though you'd think UofT might do some selective editing and leave out the African/Japanese/Irish/Innu/Jedi students from their list and code them as NAs.  Two, UofT genuinely is attracting lots of people from mixed ethnic backgrounds. 


Edited by maximumbob, 20 November 2016 - 06:30 PM.

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#48 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:25 PM

For what it's worth, in 2014, "racialized" persons accounted for 31% of new calls in Ontario, Aboriginals account for another 2% with whites making up the balance (67%). 

 

Which isn't far off the demographics for Ontario as a whole. 


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#49 maximumbob

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Posted 20 November 2016 - 06:27 PM

Edit: and that's assuming that there even is a surplus of Asian law students. My cohort certainly does not have a surplus of Asians. I can count them on two hands.

Do you live near a nuclear power plant?  How many fingers do you have? :)


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#50 Another Hutz

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Posted 25 November 2016 - 09:16 AM

I think concern about representation in law school is quaint given how the much of the real lawyer world seems to operate. It's being taken more seriously as professional associations get involved and studies are completed.

 

I am sometimes hopeful that we are moving in the right direction. Although, given recent anti-"PC" trends, I don't take much stock in demographics solving the problem. We've been "working" on sexism for decades and the things I still hear people put up with are pretty sad.