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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Better idea: Maternity Ward Lotteries! Everyone goes home a winner!

But...but....but what about the poor unwanted majority children, what happens to them?

Unfortunately, the ethnic minorities tend to object to whites adopting their children because it removes them from their cultural milieu. Personally, since I'm for the melting pot rather than the mixed salad idea, I'm all for anything that speeds up the blending since I think it's the differences that cause a lot of the racial tension.

In the U.S. our entire school system is dysfunctional, if we are the #1 Nation in the World then our school system should reflect that...it doesn't.

The number of students our colleges and universities can admit is limited, only the most qualified, most able to make use of that level of education should be admitted regardless of their circumstance.

K thru 12 is where the problem lies, poor communities have poor schools and the students do on average poorly, rich communities have better schools the students on average do much better.

But don't hold your breath, that system ain't about to change.

In South Africa we use to have 3 levels that you could write your final school exam on lower grade, standard grade and higher grade. This was removed as they felt it discriminated against disadvantaged people. We have one standard of education, with a lower pass rate needed for higher education, plus we have a scale for race . Black students, Indian, coloured and then white. Blacks need the lowest mark to enter higher education and white need marks of 80% and above. So every year we have strikes om campus because they cannot accommodate all the students. Students with a higher mark not getting accepted. This brings major concerns as the level of education has been dropped, and what will the end and long term product be. We do not have enough teachers at my child's school, not enough class rooms and they spent math time playing outside as they cannot fit 67 children into one classroom in geography they have 6 books to share between 43 children. We cannot ask government for more teachers or books even though a disadvantaged school closed and all their students moved to our school this year. Why because demographically the school falls under a well off school even though two thirds of the children attending cannot pay school fees. So we are left with not enough teachers,books, classrooms, and not enough parents to pay for this as this is a middle class income school. The reality is we can blame government and AA and wait for her to fail dew to circumstances or we can do what we do, put extra hours into study's. At the end of the day we do not choose our circumstances but we do choose how we are going to deal with it.

It is sad that the children of today are forced to pay for the inequities of the past.

The Civil Rights Acts in the 60's were well intentioned.  But, waving a magic  wand and telling a group of people, who have been denied an education for centuries, that they are equal is wrong. You cannot un-ring a bell. So we have ended up with a society rife with incompetent people doing jobs they are not qualified to do just so politicians feel good about themselves.

Worse:  as Unseen has alluded to, when a competent "disadvantaged" minority gets into the work force, people assume he/she is an affirmative action hire, and therefore not competent.  Alas this is rarer than it should be, since even fairly bright individuals will get pushed beyond their level of competence in this system (to fill quotas at the higher echelons) this affects people of all levels of intelligence and competence in the favored minority.  I mentioned people being admitted to top-tier universities who shouldn't be, and flunking out... though they would succeed at second-tier universities and at least get out with a degree.

The fundamental problem underlying all of this bullshit is that people are being treated as if what group they belong to is and should be more important than who they themselves are and what they are capable of.

@ SteveInCO,

people are being treated as if what group they belong to is and should be more important than who they themselves are

Now that is bumper sticker material. :)

Maybe shorten to fit:

You are more important then the Group you belong to.

@  Donald S. Chase,

I agree, I'm 60 years young, I was for and supported the Civil Rights movement and the Women's Rights movement in the 60's and 70's.

But that was then and this is now, back then it was about inequities, now it's about special privilege.  These are not the same.

Fixing the unbalanced K thru 12 school system would be a good start.

First thing change the current funding system, to one where the funding follows the child.  The monies are collect by the State and allocated to each district in dollars per student equally. 

The second thing to address is the school district system approach.  Why do we have 1400 school districts?  Why not just one per State?

Remove the politics of rich against poor and start all our children off fairly and let the cream rise to the top, for the good of our nation and it's future.

Third, adopt the progressive advancement learning method (that's what I call it), where children learn and advance at their own pace.  It's already being done.

And that's just a start.

  The question is whether, if we removed all affirmative action programs, a significant portion of the white "good ol' boy" plutocracy in certain segments of society, especially in the south, would revert to rampant discrimination.  My suspicion, given the relentless drive by Republicans to establish voting rights laws, which are clearly intended to suppress black voters, is that, in many locales, AA is still vital.

Well said Dale.

Affirmative Action is not a panacea.  It was meant to address entrenched racism and sexism that has existed for years. Over time, what was intended to be a meritocracy becomes corrupted as those at the top plot and connive to retain that hard fought status for themselves and their offspring.  The meritocracy, left alone, becomes a plutocracy or oligarchy. I would agree that AA has the unfortunate effect of alienating people who perceive they have become victims of social engineering.  That may be the necessary price we pay so that people aren't denied service at restaurants, as I was in the 1960's, because they are in the company of African Americans, or so that some marginally qualified folks can get decent jobs to improve the expectations of their children.  It is not ideal justice because it comes after the fact but it is a form of justice just the same. 


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