Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Affirmative Action is needed

I think you have to look at the purpose of AA, one purpose, is to give certain minorities a chance at a good job, college etc.. Is it unfair? Perhaps, but I would argue that it is less unfair than legacy, nepotism, or the old boy net, which most who oppose AA do not have as big a problem with. There will always be some cases where a supposedly more-qualified white person will have been passed over for a seemingly less-qualified minority, but I would argue that the reverse also happens today even with AA. I think we can all agree that before AA, and the Equal Rights Amendment, things were definitely unfair to minorities. That being said the left argues that AA is a way of attempting to repair those years of unfairness. The right argues that little miss Sally Whitebread has never discriminated of been unfair to minorities so why is she being treated so unfairly? Why should minorities be given an extra leg up? Surely these things should be decided purely on merit, (snarky remark edited). In other words society as a whole doesn"t have to give minorities squat for what society has done to them. Whereas those on the left argue that society as a whole must allow for some recompense for all those years of unfairness. It may not be my fault personally, but I feel that I have to take responsibility as part of society, and I’m willing to pay the price of having some instances of a little reverse discrimination. Those on the right are not willing.
AA can also be argued this way: Nepotism, legacy, Old Boy Network, will not be going away anytime soon, the boss can pretty much do whatever he wants in terms of hiring his relatives, and schools are not going to reject a wealthy alumnist"s idiot son and lose his fathers generous donations. These things overwhelmingly benefit white people. So we give some non-white people a leg up only to compensate for the preferential treatment given to whites. Yes, two wrongs don"t make a right but it does make things a bit more equal, if in the face of wrong #1 (legacy) not going away. But wait, most whites are not wealthy, or related to the boss, or know someone high up enough, to benefit from these things. To which I would say, Well why don’t you take your own advice and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps, work hard and perform well and raise yourself up to that level.
Also of note: minorities of Asian descent do not benefit from AA, and that"s whole other can of worms.

post inspired by Angry Bear™

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