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Article: "Will Brown Faces Again Be a Rarity?" by Jesus Mena.

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Introduction

Editorial Analysis Assignment By: Laura Gintz Article: "Will Brown Faces Again Be a Rarity?" by Jesus Mena Jesus Mena, director of media relations for UC Berkley, wrote the article "Will Brown Faces Again Be a Rarity?" in the April 15, 1998 edition of the Berkleyan. This editorial offers various arguments as to why affirmative action is needed. I am going to first summarize the article. Then, I will analyze the kinds of arguments that he uses and discuss his premises and conclusions. I will also evaluate his arguments and show the fallacies that he uses. The article begins with Mena flashing back to the past with an example from his past of the lack of minorities he encountered in college. He is a Chicano and only encountered one other Chicano after two weeks of college at Texas A&M. He includes this story to illustrate how few minorities were in college at that time. The article then discusses how UC Berkeley and UCLA are experiencing a drop in the amount of minorities admitted, even though Berkeley has been recognized for its diversity in the past. So, Berkeley and UCLA must at least maintain their present number of minorities. However, that is only a short-term solution. The problem is rooted in the unequal opportunities for minorities starting in kindergarten. ...read more.

Middle

It should be explained how the cause leads to the effect, and that is not done here. It is a bad causal argument. The next supporting statement is that a renewed public interest in education is needed to counter the budget cuts. This is an opinion of the author's, and it is assumed without any argument. I think that it needs to discuss why a renewed public interest would help. Mena should also say why this is the best solution to the problem. Mena continues by stating that until opportunities are equalized we "need to revisit the constraints imposed on UC's admissions process." This is committing the black and white fallacy because no alternatives other than changing the constraints are considered. And, this statement is unsupported. This should have been made stronger by considering alternative actions and giving reasons and support for why this is the best way to equalize opportunities. The next argument is an argument by analogy. Mena claims that Stanford and Harvard use affirmative action. While this claim is true, it seems to be committing the bandwagon fallacy. Just because Stanford and Harvard do it, it does not mean the UC Berkeley and Harvard should. Though, the author does do a good job explaining the linking principle between the evidence case and the conclusion case. ...read more.

Conclusion

Mena also makes several statements (such as "dismal admissions numbers are partially a refection of the poor academic preparation") without supporting them. Although I agree with the basic conclusion that affirmative action addresses a fairness issue due to poorer schools being unable to offer competitive preparation for elite universities, I think Mena's editorial is overly emotional and opinionated. An argument in favor of affirmative action could have been presented in a more neutral and fact-based manner with statements fully supported. The solution is not as clear-cut as Mena makes it out to be. I was surprised when I analyzed this editorial since Mena is the director of media relations for UC Berkeley. I assumed he would write a good argument. However, I found many problems with his argument as I have already stated. Thus, I decided that since Mena is the director of media relations, he knows how to write an article for the media getting his point across, whether he has to use fallacies or not. After all, not everyone knows about fallacies and what makes I strong argument. I know that I did not know anything about it until I took this course. An average person reading this article may think that this editorial is a good argument in favor of affirmative action because they do not know any better. So, Mena probably wrote this article the way that he did because he thought that it would be good enough to appeal to the majority of people. ...read more.

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