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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I was saying in general

Actually, while the Republicans DID try to suppress minority voters, with minority voters becoming a more powerful voting bloc than white conservatives, they actually shot themselves in the foot. 

Trying to "fix" things for minorities actually contributes to resentment which keeps racism kindled. 

The Repubicans are going to have to appeal to minorities now rather than suppress them. 

The year before the last election, the Texas Legislature redrew it's map, changing the districts (re-districting) so as to dilute the minority vote by dividing areas with high populations of minorities and grouping the segments with areas that have high white majorities. Fortunately, the Supremes struck it down, but segregation, at least politically, is far from dead in the South as long as the Grand Old Party remains the Grand White Party.

I'm of the opinion that allowing the people in office in this day and age of information to set the bounds of the districts that will be voting for them is the greatest flaw in our democratic process. Voting districts that are rigged to be primarily Democratic or Republican are part of the reason that there is so little turnover in Congress. What we need is a more objective means of determining those boundaries.

Good luck on changing that. Our best defense is the Supreme Court, for what it's worth.

Yeah, and those shenanigans (along with Mitt's 97% comment) played a big role in losing the election for them, because it became a determining factor for any blacks (very few) or Hispanics who were wavering. It also affected the votes of many white people who were on the fence. The Republicans have a long climb out of the hole they created for themselves in terms of appealing to Americans growing non-white population and whites who see them as the party of fat cats and sleaze.

The true measure of man is in whether his third toe is superior to his second toe. 

AA is still needed, it is a good topic of discussion, but in my opinion we have two decades left to it minimally, three to four optimally.

@ Melvinotis,

AA is still needed

If AA is still needed after 40 years of use doesn't that indicate the causes for the need have not been corrected in 40 years?

How does quotas on the back end correct inequities on the front end?

I can understand AA as a temporary patch but not as a solution to the problem of inequities on the front end.  How does maintaining this system for another 40+ years bring about change to the underlying causes of inequities?

There is no real way to make undone the injustices of the past. They exist. What is left is a disenfranchised population. How to enfranchise them is to educate them first. There have been great strides in this respect, but there is a long way to go.

Further, we need to give them access to employment, because the populace as a whole cannot support itself except as a third world country within the country. Again, great strides AND great missteps have been made in this regard. 

The act of employing a person is an action that often fosters nepotism on the hard side and a hiring of "like peoples" on the softer side. This is, I think, quite natural because to hire someone says that the company trusts the person/s to perform the job they are hired for. Who is easier to trust than someone who looks like you and has the same background education? 

Big businesses have made the switch (to a great extent), but small businesses employ half of the population in the US, and if AA were dropped tomorrow, within five years the employment of minorities in that sector would drop dramatically, and I am not saying that it would even mostly be because of blatant racism, but because of that tendency to hire "like people" (that is a worldwide phenomenon, not restricted to the US). 

The reason I said 20 years (about one more generation) is because by 2033, the US will be so thoroughly mixed in ethnicity that the term "minority" will be inaccurate at best. Virtually every household will have some connection to a race other than their own in that short span of time. In that sense, a sort of equality will be achieved that any sort of jobs program cannot match.

This is a conversation that demands more attention than I have time to write, but I get to see a lot of small businesses. Thousands over the course of my career, and approximately 10% of them follow AA guidelines willingly, the rest with resistance.

Some of the inequities you might think have already been fixed is absolutely not yet done. About 15 years ago my company supplied to an MBE (minority business enterprise). They worked on huge building projects that had over 500 employees, and 15% of the job had to go to MBE's because of the quota. A minority was "subcontracted" and was in charge of 15% of the job. He was the only minority on the job and all other 499 were white, his bosses wrote checks for his company and he had no function whatsoever, except signing those checks. This is much more the rule than the exception. It was also within the law.

There is ugly stuff out there, and much of it is hidden. I am in a position to see both sides and that is why I am sure AA is still needed. The job of correcting these problems is not close to completion.

 @Melvinotis,

I read your post a couple of times and went to your links.

In 40 years a few people have moved up the ladder, more people have moved down the ladder, but the ladder remains.

Another 20 years will not alter the social/cultural underpinnings, the population numbers will move around in the race columns but the race columns will remain.  Removing the word "race" from all government forms would be a good step in the right direction.

Can you imagine how much better everyone would be doing if we had fixed the educational system 40 years ago?

If AA is still needed after 40 years, perhaps it's not really needed, assuming that what's needed is a real solution.

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