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?

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Here is South Africa AA is a big thing. I have a big problem with it because they tend to fire white people in high up positions so that they can free up a spot for a 'previously disadvantaged' to take, often someone that has no idea how to do the job. This leaves the country in complete disarray with barely anything functioning and people at the heads of companies having no idea what's going on. I feel the least they could do is make damn well sure that the person that they are placing in this newly open position is qualified to do the job.

It's become racism is reverse, if you're white and in a high up position (especially in government) you have a chance of being fired simply because of the colour of your skin. It's solving nothing and creating more problems. Black or coloured people that are qualified get poached from rival companies, offering them large sums of money for them to come and work for their company, especially in the banking industry.

I feel that the best way to fix these situations, other than our poorly arranged AA system, is to start at the bottom. Make sure that the children entering the schooling system are being educated properly. We do not have enough teachers here, and a vast number of unqualified ones, because they are payed minimum wages. If they increase their wages and place a need for qualifications on all schools then the problem should improve over time. I think they should also arrange with the universities to perhaps offer free tertiary education in the area of teaching (if possible).

However, a similar idea was tried by the JP Morgan company situated here in SA, where they offered completely free education and a job when they completed it to the 'previously disadvantaged' that achieved good marks in high school. This failed because, of the students that were selected for the program, less than 1/3 of them actually worked hard enough to achieve the marks they needed. The rest simply did nothing, expecting everything to be handed to them, they would not work for their own future and had an attitude that everything was owed to them. This, I fear, is what AA is causing.

This is one of the problems with the AA idea.  Back when I hired people I explained to them that it was their job to "fit in" with the team I had already built up, they would have to adapt to the team not the team to them.  If they couldn't fit in they were gone. 

My job was to compete for customers in an open marketplace, the people who could best help me accomplish that were the ones who got the job and keep the job.  In the world of the free market the cream floats to the top and the crap sinks to the bottom as it should.

Educate everyone fairly because you never know where the best brains are, they could be hiding under a white skin, a black skin, a brown skin, a yellow skin, a red skin or a fucking rainbow skin for all anyone knows.

Exactly. That should be how the AA system is run, free (if possible) and fair education to all people in a nation.

Not trying to single you out or anything but do why people use this annoying right wing stormfront tactical propaganda word "reverse racism"?

There is no such thing as "reverse racism". Its only racism. Racism is racism no matter who the person is. It doesn't matter if the majority is being racist towards the minority or the minority is being racist toward the majority. Its same thing which is racism.

You are technically correct, but "reverse racism" is rhetorically useful because it makes it clear which direction the racism is running.

Of course some people will claim with a straight face that ONLY whites can possibly be racist (because it's only racism when the "privileged" folks engage in it), and referring to it as "reverse racism" is a way to get in their faces.

I know that and I was debating whether or not to use the term but, as Steven said, it establishes the direction in which the racism is going. It's useful here in South Africa because we only recently came out of our 'dark era' of apartheid (in 1994) and the hatred is ever fresh on both sides, although it is slowly improving. It's turned into a 'blame the white' with everything. If a black person is fired because they couldn't do the job, even after multiple warnings, it becomes 'It's because I'm black! You're a racist!' even though they are the ones harboring the hatred. So we have to pussy foot around it. 

In the U.S., slavery ended about 150 years ago, but racism has taken longer to die out. To some extent, it's fueled by stupid beliefs about blacks, but to some extent it's fueled by favoritism toward blacks, so yes it still exists.

And yet, how many of the strongest Western economies have a popularly elected black President or Prime Minister? Not the UK, not France, not Italy or Spain.

As for "because he's white" or "because I'm black" claims, black people do sometimes have to wonder whether being fired or failed might be due to their race, which is something whites almost never have to wonder about.

As for "because he's white" or "because I'm black" claims, black people do sometimes have to wonder whether being fired or failed might be due to their race, which is something whites almost never have to wonder about

I absolutely agree with you on this. I don't doubt that there is still a lot of problems with regards to these kinds of issues. However, when I was discussing the "it's because I'm black" statement here in South Africa, I was referring to it as a go to excuse. There are a lot of people here who have an attitude that the world owes them everything (which I understand, because apartheid did do a lot of damage) and they can do nothing wrong but what they don't understand is that the attitude is not getting them anywhere. As Jorita discussed earlier, SA is dropping the bar for blacks and coloureds, but when they fail to reach even that bar the excuse is almost always racism. Those that fail to reach the bar are often those that hold a grudge or the attitude that the world owes them.

I must say though, things are slowly improving, even if at a snails pace. Improvement is improvement!

PS. I didn't mean to be offensive or come across as racist in my previous post. I now see that I probably have. I was just trying to discuss the problems that I feel are a combination of both the apartheid damage and the one's that AA are causing. Even our government officials are starting to discuss the negative attitude a lot of people still hold.

There are also the folks who will reflexively claim that people who oppose Obama do so from racist motives, rather than perhaps disagreeing with what he wants to do.

Personally my reasons for opposing him have nothing to do with the fact that he is half white.

Half black and half white may be literally true, but for many in the U.S. and elsewhere the so-called "one drop rule" declares that any amount of black heritage—especially if it's visible and obvious—marks that person as black.

If you stop to think about it, if even a small amount of black makes a person black, that makes blackness a dominant and powerful characteristic. LOL

I believe that it's considered analogous to the example that a drop of sewage in a barrel of wine--turns the barrel into sewage.

Disgusting comparison, but I think that's what the racists are thinking.

I said what I did about the president being half white just to cause some cognitive dissonance somewhere if it is needed.

I'm guessing this thread is gonna get out of hand in fairly quick order.

I would suggest everyone take a deep breath before continuing.


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