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Writings of various natures on various topics
A Brief Polemic on Affirmative Action
Affirmative Action is based on a fundamentally racist,demeaning premise posited by (at the risk of egregious, blatant stereotyping) rich white northeastern liberal academics. That premise is that some groups/classes/races are fundamentally incapable of overcoming whatever obstacles are placed before them without the intervention of the government. The position taken by the proponents of Affirmative Action is,at core,that if you are black in America you are unable to succeed without the government dictating that you be given preferred treatment due solely to the fact that your skin is a different color. It is the very essence of racism.
For the white majority,the presence of Affirmative Action policies reinforces the racist notion of incapable minorities by giving the notion the weight of validity backed by the government; if it's Federal policy then it must be so. For the black "beneficiary" of Affirmative Action efforts,he must forever wonder if he truly achieved what he achieved on his own merits,or if he was given an easier time of it; furthermore,he must at some level recognize and deeply resent the underlying assumption that he really couldn't have managed on his own without the kindly hand of Federal intervention just because he's black.
Maybe the playing field is level and maybe it isn't. But until such unutterably improbable future time in which there are no prejudices and biases,let us not pretend that shifting the balance in the the opposite direction is a just or desirable endeavor. A "fair" society would say "Ok,you had your turn on top,now it's these other folks' turn to be on top" (or to put it another way, it's merely a color reversal of Jim Crow, but I hesitate to say that as it might just be too inflammatory).
A truly JUST society on the other hand,would say,"We are giving everybody the same chance,and nobody gets preferential treatment." I don't want to ignore the fact that the deck was stacked against minorities (particularly, given the practice of slavery, the blacks) in the past; but while acknowledging that the nation was wrong let us not fulfill some misbegotten notion that we must in compensation stack the deck in the other direction.
Previously posted to a thread on Higher Ed Morning.Back to Writings