Like so many other euphemisms, the name "affirmative action" suggests something positive while its actual meaning is quite something else. The dictionary definition is according to the Random House Unabridged Dictionary a fairly bland: "the encouragement of increased representation of women and minority-group members, esp. in employment. "
With the institution called "affirmative action", quotas for those perceived to be disadvantaged minorities, often override completely individual performance, as criteria for college admission. Sufficient legal and political pressure has compelled most businesses to hire in accordance with the same disregard to its own free market driven search for actual qualifications.
When it comes to government jobs--forget it. There have actually been recent cases where resistance to Union demands for outrageous increases in benefits and wages, have been labeled "racist", based upon hugely exaggerated representation of certain "minorities" among the predominantly union hires in government jobs.
Those who vocalize most loudly against the reversal of this long run of state sponsored discrimination have, on occasions of heightened diplomacy, described the majority of Californians who supported Proposition 209 to have been mislead by an apparent "white" conspiracy to keep African Americans, Hispanics and women from affluence.
Those most "benefiting", however, from the reversal of this state sponsored discrimination, are in fact Asian Americans (male and female)--these were in fact the most adversely affected by the policy of replacing test scores and academic performance with those with significantly lower credentials that happened to fall into the appropriate race and/or gender categories.
Note that even the term "minority" has been apparently redefined for the purpose of keeping afloat the dramatically unsound social programs that have prevailed against all reason in recent American history.
I had learned that Japanese Americans living in California, although far fewer in number than African Americans or Hispanics, are not considered to be a "minority" for the purpose of special consideration in qualifying for government jobs, or when being considered for admission into a learning institution. I believe this may be true for other Asian Americans as well (Vietnamese, Chinese etc.)
It seems to me that the reality of affirmative action, is that sufficiently LARGE groups, have organized sufficiently well, to create a program that serves quite specifically what they perceive to be their own interest. Authored by a California lady-attorney, Proposition 209 offered Californians an opportunity to free themselves from what I see to be perhaps the most hypocritical of all social experiments--a program that purports to be a means to end the very kind of discrimination that it in fact is!
Proposition 209 was actually challenged on the basis of it being somehow "unconstitutional" when in fact the extremely simple and brief language of this bill, is virtual excerpted from the US Constitution! Ultimately, the U.S. Supreme Court, failed to even dignify the claim that Prop. 209 was "unconstitutional" when they opted not to waste the time in deciding the obvious.
The language of the bill is very simple in that it mandates that the state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.
The complete text of this bill can be seen here:
In my view, Dr. King was a great man who richly deserves to be honored for his place in American history. It should also be noted that what is euphemistically described as "affirmative action" was never called for in his vision of a "color blind" future. Dr. King had called for equality of opportunity--something that affirmative action does not even pretend to be.
I believe it to have been my responsibility to have been among those who supported the passage of Proposition 209. I have not personally been affected much at all by affirmative action, but I believe that voting is more a responsibility in the application of good judgment, than a "right" for individuals to ask for things they expect will serve their own interests.
Personally, I could never feel comfortable raising my children (hopefully someday) in a world, where they might be pushed to the back of the line in their pursuit of academics or career options, to satisfy someone else's taste for quota based "social justice".
Further, I cannot think of a bigger insult for the many bright African Americans and Hispanics that do succeed, than the constant second-guessing from their peers and perhaps even of themselves, as to whether there success was realized by their own tenacity and ability, or at the expense of someone else who, in spite of higher credentials, didn't qualify for somebody's idea of being adequately "disadvantaged."
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