“None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Ogre on Affirmative Action

I don’t support affirmative action because I think as a matter of policy it amounts to reverse racism and unduly infringes on the rights of others. Affirmative Action, in effect, is racist.  

Believe me, I've mulled this over many times.  I've gone back and forth on whether I support Affirmative Action; it's quite a polarizing topic and it's something that deserves everyone's careful consideration.  I understand the issue, perhaps on a deeper level than most since I'm an Ogre (read: not White).  

However, I support common sense decisions and I read somewhere of affirmative action explained like this:

Say you had two guys run to first base.  They have equal times but one has much better form.  Which one do you choose? You choose the one with bad form.  You can coach him to use good form and he will beat the other guy.

“In the same way, blind adherence to GPA and SAT scores is ridiculous. Take two kids, one white and one black.  The white kid’s in private school, has educated parents, opportunities to travel, intensive SAT tutoring.  He takes the SAT three times and submits a score of 1280. The black kid is brought up by a single mom who didn’t graduate High School.  No books in the house, works after school, shares a room with two brothers.  Takes it once and gets an 1120.” You’d take the black kid, right? 

I think the same kind of smart business logic should apply to the market place and we don't need a social policy to enforce smart business decisions.  If all things are equal, wouldn’t a savvy business person be inclined to take the black, Latino woman over the white guy, based on the logic that her achievements had come in spite of what any reasonable person might assume to be inherent disadvantages? But another reason that Affirmative Action seems unfair is that people can no longer blindly assume that a person is disadvantaged because they are a minority.

The bottom line is that the role of government is not to unduly infringe on my right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.  While in 1965 this was absolutely a social program that was well placed, today, especially with the advent of an African American President, it is simply another level of intrusion we don't need.

For another take on the topic, I encourage you to read a thoughtful essay here.  While the author and I disagree on Affirmative Action as a social policy, we both agree, wholeheartedly I will add, that the REAL issue is class-warfare.  It really has nothing to do with race.  As he aptly puts it: "The real problem, as recent history makes painfully clear, is an industrial capitalist economic system in which the interests of working families of all races have always been secondary to the accumulation of wealth and power by the upper classes."  Amen.

//The Ogre

1 comment:

  1. AA is a hot-button item for many, but I sometimes find it comical. Intelligence and even academic success can't be measured by who reads fastest and does arithmetic fastest (nobody beats the computer). In lieu of AA, why not add other measures of intelligence to the admissions test? Creativity is form of intelligence. Physical agility/strategy in sports is intelligence. Test for these forms of intelligence as well as reading speed and math speed, and then take students with highest overall scores. Would this change the racial makeup of students admitted to schools/jobs? Some cultures may be more mathematically based and others more musically inclined. One is seen as intelligence, the other is not. The truth is that math and music so closely related that it is wrong to favor one over the other.


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