Monday, September 13

Affirmative Action

        Yes, I realize that this is an old topic. It has been discussed and re-discussed. But I would like to submit my point of view just the same. As the title of this blog is "The Devil's Advocate" I will not divulge whether or not I agree with any of these statements -- I am simply trying to provide some perspective for the side that I see as outspoken. Before we go any further let me say: I am not a racist, I am not making personal attacks, I am stating this all purely for the sake of argument. And with that little aside... aside, let's get to the point.
        Affirmative action is absolutely ridiculous. The idea that we should set aside a certain number of spots in university is not only unfair, but in a way it is racist. In fact, to agree with affirmative action is to agree with predestination. Predestination is the idea that God has decided whether or not you are going to heaven or hell before you are even born. The similarity is this: people on the aff-side of this argument say that many minorities are at a disadvantage because they are born into poverty etc. Do you know what that means? That's like saying that your socio-economic class is determined simply by what color you are, and your color is determined before you are born. If you are pro-affirmative action, you are saying this:
        Random chance = Ethnicity
        Ethnicity = Socio-Economic Class
        Socio-Economic Class = Level of Education achievable
Therefore, by the transitive property of equality, we get: Random chance = level of education achievable, or predestination. In other words, your chance to succeed in life, to make money, to achieve a high status, is based on random chance, and this is racist in and of itself because it says that minorities can't achieve these goals. And please understand, this is the argument of the aff. I'm not just making this up -- they actually believe that all minorities are so disadvantaged that they need action to be taking to help them (hence "affirmative action.") This is simply unacceptable. And the worst part -- to say that minorities need help getting into college, etc. is simply insulting to them. That is saying "you're too stupid to make it on your own, here we'll help you." That argument is much more condescending than anything I could say or anyone taking this position could say. I would even say that it rises to the level of racism. Discriminating against one ethnicity because too many of them go to college, while helping others simply because they can't make it on their own is pure, unadulterated ignorance. It is akin to the social Darwinism of Europe's imperial days.
        And finally there's the argument that it's not fair for everyone else -- I won't get into this, as you can probably guess what it would say, but I will point out that is not fair. There are plenty of impoverished people who won't get the same opportunities simply because affirmative advantage looks past them. But enough of that. The bottom line is this -- if we want to truly create a color-blind society, we need to stop with things like affirmative action. Affirmative action, though it may help in the short term, is not color-blind. It is therefore, in principal, as racist and bigoted as anything else, and it is exactly what we tried to free this country of decades ago. We need to get rid of it, and though it may be hard, strive for a truly equal society without the aid of affirmative action and programs like it; they are a crutch, and we need to learn to walk on our own without them.


  1. I feel like your views on affirmative action strengthening race barriers is most definitely correct (however I would not go so far as to call it racist). However, in regard to eliminating affirmative action - I feel like this is a bad idea unless you can suggest some other area to use that cash for. People do still benefit, and are still grateful for affirmative action policies. Moreover, I feel like we must merely eliminate race from these proceedings. (Merely on matters where the government is included, of course - while it may be dividing, private charities, etc. should be able to do what they please). Overall, I say affirmative action in and of itself is not a bad idea, but having divisions based solely on chance, as you said is unfair to some. Helping others out when they want it is always great, and I do think that organizations that provide chances for people that show promise are doing good. However, I have a feeling you are speaking of government-sanctioned processes alone.
    Nevertheless, you make some valid points, and it's good to see you talking about something you feel strongly about, e.g. politics as a whole. :) Keep up the good work, Sam.

  2. Thanks for the feedback :) I definitely think that yes, private organizations absolutely have the right to do what they want, especially with a matter like affirmative action. And it's true something certainly needs to be done. My point is rather than completely praising affirmative action, we should instead inspect it and try to figure out a way to save the good parts and reject the bad ones. And as for the government - they have absolutely no right to do this. The government has always been expected to be ahead of its time, and it should carry that spirit when considering this topic

  3. Zane, i think that the money for affirmative action would be put to a much better use if instead of increasing job chances for only certain groups of people, the government would use the money to increase public school funding. That way, everyone would be more educated, and there would be a greater amount of people with the education to perform a job that requires a higher level of education. this process would be facilitated by switching our school system to a system of only public schools (no private). this way, all the people with significant amounts of money would be much more likely to contribute to public schools, and public school educations would become much better. In addition, this process would also get rid of the name recognition that sometimes causes smarter people to not get jobs, because there would be no one who could say "he went to Yale, just like me. i should hire him even though he is slightly less qualified"

  4. I completely disagree with Savage. Affluent people can give money to whomever they want, and usually they donate to private schools. Only having a public system would be horrendous, because what about people like CPS students? If we want to work harder and enjoy academic stimulation, we should be able to go to private schools. And it is because of the affluent people who donate to schools that those who can't afford private schools are still able to attend because of scholarships.
    And besides, those who pay for private schools already pay for public schools in taxes - everyone does.

  5. Hmm Ashley raises some good points. I don't agree that we should get rid of private schools -- after all, this is a free country with free enterprise. I do think though that all the money allotted for affirmative action could be put to use elsewhere, or else it shouldn't be spent at all.

  6. I completely agree with savage about increased public school funding. The reasons affirmative action exists is to: 1) try to offset racism and other discrimination and 2) give minorities, who are given less opportunities than white people (a generalization, but backed up in research), a better chance at breaking the low opportunities cycle.
    If public schools had more money, poorer people and those who just aren't for any reason going to pay for private schools would have equal opportunities to those of the richer. This levels the playing field somewhat and allows merit to be more based on effort and actual potential, instead of how much money your daddy had.
    That said, better public schools would not take away the need for an affirmative action policy. There is too much discrimination in america, and you just can't pick up all the slack by putting a little more money in public schools.

  7. Christopher

    If for one second you think A/A is good or acceptable then you have not researched anything for yourself. Get on google and look up state exam scores. In Illinois it is the Prairy State exam. each state has there own. In the results section they break it down by race, income and so on. Only 30-38 percent of African Americans meet or exceed the set standard each year while over 75-80 plus White students meet or exceed the set standard and the funny thing is they all go to the same school and have the same classes by the same teachers. There are alot of them that take the slow classes which are suppose to be for kids with disabilities and so on. Now days we have so many so called disabilities that they just put you in the slow class so they can pass you. So 70 percent fail the standard but can graduate anyways and also get an advantage in being selected for a job and or higher education. Like they deserve either of them. So we waste millions and millions of dollars to help only Certain people who dont even try to help there selves. Besides if you ever grew up in a mixed area you will know that they are far more raciest than most white people and a much larger portion are in and out of the legal system before 18. Big waste of money. All political figures involved in getting this passed and preserving the future of such programs should be put in jail. Spineless men and women who cant just tell the truth because it might hurt someones feeling. If the shoe fits let them wear it. Or if not then lets fire a bunch of baskeball players so we can have a equal number of whites. I mean if we learned anything from this its that you dont have to be better at what you do you just have to have an equal number of employees in that position. Its ridiculous that our government caters to a race that dont want to learn, cant behave and follow the law. Look up another statististic while on google. Go and try to find city data on cities with the most black and the most whites. bet you will find a trend. Cities with a higher number of Blacks have higher crime lower education, lower housing value and so on. Yeah but we owe them my ass. Last time i checked they were never slaves, i never owned one and unless they are in there 70-80's they dont even know what slavery even looked like except whats in the history books which schools doctor anyways. Think for yourself and do your own research before you open your mouth. Did you also know that some corporations get kick backs for having a certain percentage of minorities working for them? Yeah look it up dont just believe me. All my beliefs are based off facts from cities, states and the governement. All the same people who give out the handouts and make the excuses for these people or lack there of.