Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Affirmative Action leading to Unequal Opportunity

What are the reasons for Affirmative Action? Is it to adress wrongs in the past? Or is it to give minorities a leg up on everyone else?

I will be the first to admit that I don't know what it's like being a minority. I have never had to deal with any stereotypes or any other form of discrimination. So, I may be completely off base with my analysis of the situation.

That being said, Affirmative Action is not the right step to fix any of these problems. The only solution to these social injustices is time. Should we have to pay for the mistakes of a small minority of Americans from the time of Lincoln? Should we continue to pay for the mistakes of "seperate but equal" and blue laws? It is now the ruling of the court that requiring quotas for minority positions in colleges and jobs is unConstitutional, but where is the line drawn. Is it only saving positions only for minorities unconstitutional, or all affirmative action wrong? If discrimination against a minority in the first place was definately wrong, what makes discriminating against the majority the correct thing? If life before Affirmative Action was like a hundred yard dash...with minorities starting 50 yards behind the starting line, what makes it ok to have them run only 70 yards now?

Yes, I believe that there are social injustices in this world. There are still people that discriminate by race and sex. But Affirmative Action can lead to more problems than it solves. It leads companies to hire a black woman to fill a cheap paying job in order to show that they are not discriminating. People that are smart and earned a position may feel they were only given the job because they met the minority criteria. It reinforces some stereotypes when unqualified workers are hired only for their race. It can even be bad for morale, for both the recent hiree and the old boys club in which they are thrust.

Yes, discrimination still exists today, but it is not the job of government to attempt to solve these problems. Time will lead to the realization that man or woman, white or black, the most qualified and best (pardon the pun) man for the job should indeed receive the position. Not for any other reason than the fact they will help the organization they are hired by, and that they earned it.