If you're not a U.S. citizen, you may not have even heard the term "affirmative action" before, or if you have you may not understand what it means.

Basically, back in the heyday of the black civil rights movement, a set of laws were passed under the heading "Affirmative Action" designed to force businesses and institutions in the private sector to show that they weren't discriminating against blacks by enforcing hiring quotas, admission quotas, and so on.

Now that it's been shown that a black man can even rise to the office of the Presidency, many are wondering if it's time for the government to get out of the enforced equality business.

Some would even argue that AA is dysfunctional such that if one sees a black person in a responsible position they wonder whether they got the job fairly by deserving it or unfairly through AA.

Others would argue that all the AA hand-holding isn't even good for blacks seeking jobs, an education, and to belong to agencies having to justify their stats to AA bureaucrats. They argue that the time is ripe for minorities, but especially blacks, to sand on their own feet and without the crutch of AA.

What do you think?

Tags: action, affirmative

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In South Africa we have AA I do believe transformation is needed, but in some aspects I don't agree. To get into University to study to become a doctor You have to have a pass rate at school of 50% if you are black and 80% as a white person. If you did not get good marks at school how are you going to get good marks at University. 

someone from ZA told me some jobs were held by hereditary Africans but that an additional consultant had to be employed to help them do their job. True/False? ... I ask because they were fairly racist in respect of ideas they were prepared to take on board

Another problem is the students who get admitted to a top-level college because they belong to a favored group, end up flunking out because in fact they can't cut it (or the college dumbs itself down).  That student would be better off with a degree from a B-list college than having flunked out of Harvard.

The problem is that students that can make the grade must take another course until one of the AA students drop out and space open up for them or they must do BSc in their first year to go over to medical in their second year, it is a waist of time and money in a country that does not have enough doctors

I was talking about the US but it sounds like you have similar issues!

Something not really all that related to AA that happens here is that students at universities get weeded out heavily during their first two years... so they can accommodate an influx of students getting in from 2 year colleges, for the third and fourth years.  And those students are often of lesser quality than the folks who got weeded out.

I think that it has become so easy to use the term previously disadvantaged as an excuse. My parents could not afford for me to stay in school. I decided to do home schooling at age 38 got my high school diploma with marks high enough to be accepted at university and to start to study at age 39. I had no teachers or class room photo copied books from the local library held down a full time job and took care of two children. For me reality is that I was only going to get out what I put in. I think it is an insult to be told that you don't have to achieve because of your background. I think that it breeds the conception that you only have to put in half the effort and you can go to university. 

There have been similar “affirmative action” plans put in place to have quotas for women on boards of directors or as elected members of parliament. While these plans are all well intentioned and sound good in theory most women appear to dislike the practise. There are better ways of moving forward. I think if the working hours and support services were put in place to assist people irrespective of their race, sex or colour then people would be empowered to pursue these vacancies. So they would be filled by suitably qualified people instead. They would not be taken as seriously if it was known that they only got the position based on a quota system rather than on merit. Of course it is the people above the various glass ceilings that have the power to change the structures and mind-sets that will allow others to become empowered and be able to compete in a transparent manner and on an equal footing.

Let's not forget, AA is about sex as well as ethnicity. And I'm talking about key lifesaving jobs. Some fire and police departments have been forced to lower standards in order to get more women in their departments so they can meet AA requirements. If a male firefighter is required to be able to get a 250 lb person out of a building by carrying or dragging, should the female be required to deal with only a 180 lb person. I weight 200 lb. If I'm in a burning building should I have to pray (figuratively for TA purposes) that the firefighter who finds me is a man and not a woman?

It's one thing to have a 50 lb lifting requirement for a male warehouse worker vs. a 35 lb lifting requirement for a woman. It's something else entirely to have sex-based requirements for a soldier, firefighter, or cop.

AA is blind to the fact that some work is a job but some is a service and for service jobs having differential standards for the sexes is dysfunctional.

We call it "Positive discrimination" in the UK, and I think we have a history of similar experiences with the USA.  It probably wasn't thought through far enough - it was meant to give a kick-start to giving full opportunities to all ethnic or other minorities, but nobody considered at what point it would stop, or how that cessation should be triggered.

Although Affirmative Action really doesn't apply much for Indians/Asians in the US but wherever there is a (non liberal and non tolerant) White Majority and non white minority, Affirmative Action is always needed.

Look at the current debate in the US. They are trying to get rid a prominent part of the Voting Rights Act which is part of Affirmative Action. 

The Supreme Court hears arguments today on a case that may well lead to the dismantling of Section of the Voting Rights Act, which requires many states, cities, and counties, primarily in the South, to get preclearance from the Department of Justice before changing election laws in ways that could affect minority voting rights. The argument for doing away with the section is straightforward: The South has come a long way since 1965, and it is unfair to keep singling the region out for scrutiny.

http://www.newrepublic.com/article/112535/voting-rights-act-supreme...

HECK NO, the South has not come along since 1965. Republicans in the US are trying to change this laws so they can start with their new Voter Suppression laws in which they are trying to eliminate early voting, and if you  look at history, you will see that most early voters tend to be the elderly and the minorities. 

I believe currently the good of AA still outweighs the bad of AA. Although AA is becoming more and more useless but in all reality, racism and discrimination is alive and well in the US. We will never get rid of it but until we come to a point where we have overcome enough of it, things like AA will be needed

Side Notes:

1)Wherever there is a non tolerant Majority regardless of race or creed, the minority group will always need  Affirmative Action

2) Technically there is no need for it since we only have 1 race which is the Human race but unfortunately that is now how our cultures are based on.

1) WHERE is there a "non tolerant majority"? Not in the United States. (Where are you from?)

2) I saw that bumper sticker, too.

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