Racism In Affirmative Action

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I think that people of all races and nationalities are confused as to exactly what affirmative action is and who it benefits. Because, people are constantly pointing to affirmative action in order to show that whites are being discriminated due its use. According to Wikipedia Affirmative Action refers to policies intended to promote access to education or employment aimed at a historically socio-politically non-dominant group (typically, minorities or women). That brings up the statements that blacks don’t need anything else since they have received enough through affirmative action and welfare etc.

According to Donna Lamb the persons benefiting most from affirmative action is white women. Yet when a white man does not get a job for any reason he never looks to the white woman and says that the company discriminated against him to hire her, it is always that the company hired a black. Not just any black but some black who of course he (white man) knows is not nearly as qualified as he is. The white person never gives the reason they believe this black person is under qualified. Does having black skin make this person under qualified or did they have privilege to see his credentials and that is the reason they can make that statement.

Let’s talk about affirmative action and how it has been benefiting white people since the day they stole this land from the native man. When white society decided to promote access to education, employment and land ownership to whites only and deny this opportunity to the original land owners and blacks, they were in effect using a type of affirmative action to further their status. Westward expansion or manifest destiny was another such affirmative action or welfare program utilized by white Americans. This program worked by giving or selling land out west to majority white settlers to start homesteading. This land is still flowing down from white forefathers today. Jim Crow and other discrimination practices were also a form of affirmative action by allowing whites to get ahead by giving good paying jobs etc. for white only.

Even today in the higher paying workforce you see that it is predominantly white. Of course people will say that this could be that only whites apply due to the lack of qualifications from blacks and other minorities. Yet if education was an equal opportunity blacks and other minorities would be qualified and applying for these jobs. The unequal education system is a large part of the problem with employment disparities. With blacks and minorities living most often in the inner cities where education and any form of civic government funds are severely lacking and all the while their white suburban counterparts are flourishing. Even if you took all the tax money for schools and put them in a big pot then doled them out equally amongst all schools you would still have disparities. The reason the disparity would last is that the inner city schools are falling apart, barely have competent staff, and lacking in all equipment. The schools in the inner city would have to play catch up still before they could compete, yet no one really wants them to compete or we would fix the mess.

Then you have the people who believe that blacks were given enough just by welfare alone. Now this statement in itself is racist yet let’s tackles it anyway. Through this statement a person is assuming that 100% of blacks have, are or will be on welfare in their lifetime and that is 100% false. Even if they were it wouldn’t amount to the same dollar figure that whites are handing down to their children in inherent wealth meaning land ownership, paid college tuitions, first home down payments and any number of things that undoubtedly came from all the affirmative actions they have benefited from. Not to mention the future wealth due to continued affirmative action where whites continue to benefit from the disparities of society due to white privilege.

But, no matter how much you give people this type of information they will continue to look at affirmative action as if it is giving blacks some unfair advantage. With businesses continuing to be dominated by white people these so called advantages blacks have are extremely hard to see. Only when white privilege in work, education and health care are removed will we see an actual improvement in the lives of blacks and other minorities. Yet, so many people with a white mindset which can be any race of people are hell bent on keeping the status quo thereby keeping whites in a dominating position everywhere in our society.

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19 Comments

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19 responses to “Racism In Affirmative Action

  1. Pingback: Bookmarks Tagged Affirmative

  2. Ola

    Clearly and consecutively speaking, as the clear exception of affirmative action is the target of people of colour and females in particular. In a white male dominated society, females, even though given the opportunity do not seem to correspond in the workplace or any of that matter. Since the beginning of time the inferiority of the minority dominated countries across the world, especially North and South America. Every country is enabling its citizens to be preeminent even if it advocates the segregation of a certain group due its “disadvantages.”

  3. Saltrix

    I am a white male. I will definitely not be getting anything handed down to me. I believe in hard work. Its gonna suck really really bad, but if you want to get something done, you do what you have to do. Everyone in this country has an oppurtunity to make something of themselves. But a lot of them don’t like what it will take to get there.

    For me, this is not a racial or a sexist issue. That has absolutely nothing to do with it. I have no advantage over anyone else, aside from things that I do, like work experience or education (Which I am paying for myself by the way.) Why should anyone have an advantage over that for no reason? If you say its because they live in the inner city and the schools are bad…. you know what? They should have moved. Thats a novel idea: Go away from something you don’t like.

  4. Saltrix,

    I think you might have been mislead to think that you as a white man don’t have an advantage over anyone else. Devah Pager just finished a study of white men vs. black men in the employment search.

    It was interesting that the white men got more call backs overall than black men. But the kicker was that white men with nothing more than a high school diploma AND a felony prison record had a call back rate of 17%. And black men with a bachelor degree AND NO police record at all got a call back of only 15%.

    So what could all those felony having high school graduating white men have that those bachelor degree holding law abiding black men? Only thing left is race and that means that those and most white people have an advantage over minorities.

    I too believe in hard work and I also agree that a LOT of people of ALL nationalities, colors or creeds don’t want to do what it takes. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t outside forces being biased.

    You say that people should have moved away from where the bad schools are. Really! And what prey tell are they going to move with if they are poor and have very little if no resources? Do you think that they are living in those neighborhoods because they want to.

    This is precisely what is wrong with this nation. You believe they should just go where the schools are good. Why NOT make the schools good everywhere? Why not ensure every American has access to a decent education? Because we don’t want everyone to have a decent education.

    Not to mention that no matter where the minorities go, the schools in that area will inevitably go down hill. And don’t tell me it is a coincidence or that the black families did it since they don’t operate the schools nor assign the people to the schools.

    Thanks.

  5. Guy

    I don’t understand how it is fair to discriminate against one ethnic group, to the benefit of another. I believe that it shouldn’t matter what the color of your skin is, but the person that you are and the abilities that you have. The best qualified people should not be passed over because of the color of their skin, black or white, or whatever color. I believe that affirmative action if just a security blanket that people use to cover up their inadequacies. How about we do away with affirmative action, and get back to hard work and dedication?

    Also, I am sick and tired of terms used now a days in conjunction with affirmative action. For example, “reverse discrimination” since when has discrimination been defined only for black people? I thought discrimination could happen to anyone regardless of the color of their skin. Apparently I was wrong..

  6. Guy,

    **SIGH** First of all with your statements that affirmative action is just a security blanket, says to me that you don’t believe that racism is alive and well. If not then how can it be a security blanket? Now, if there is still racism in the hiring and firing practice in employment, how are the best candidates going to get hired if racism still permeates the scene? This is why your arguments are bull.

    And if you are sick of “reverse discrimination” then go tell that to the majority white run media who coined the term. Black people never said that they were the only group who could be discriminated against. How silly of you to even imply such a stupid thing. The problem is that people such as yourself have all this indignation for the wrong things. You seem to be bent all out of shape over discrimination happening to anyone. What you should be all bent out of shape over is that THERE IS ANY DISCRIMINATION….PERIOD!!!

    It doesn’t matter who the hell is being discriminated against. We should be angry when it is happening at all. But all you can think about is, some stupid ass term. God this is the exact reason we are still out of whack in this freaking country.

    Thanks but no thanks for that idiotic drivel.

  7. Mike,

    So are you! If you don’t want to quantify your statement with anything tangible that might explain your views.

    No thanks.

  8. Black Sentinel,

    Any chance you can forward whatever it is that you are responding to, but not posting, to me? For purposes of continuity mostly, but also the occasional random outbreak makes me wonder if your kids didn’t push you out the wrong side of the bed!!! LOL

  9. Hecks yeah! I just hate giving these fools a platform. But what I will do is e-mail you a copy so that you can get hostile with me. LOL. Sometimes I just have to respond even though I won’t give their stupid ass comments any viewers.

    But, if you want it you got it! Thanks

  10. Jack Cowen

    Your argument does presume a few things, Sent. I grew up in an extremely poor half Hispanic, half white town, where crime rates are six times the national average and per capita income is just under 18,000 dollars. My high school was not only amongst the worst in the state, but the region. I ended up, like half of the rest of the people in my hometown, dropping out of high school, then got a GED and went to community college. My parents did not pay for my college education, aside from occasionally purchasing a book here and there when I was extremely desperate for cash. Basically, I was unprivileged white trash living in the ghetto, like most of my family.

    Hiring should be a process with no inclination toward any person of any race, where each and every person is judged on their abilities alone. Race, sex, and age shouldn’t be listed on applications at all. They are not qualifications, why should they be. If only interviews could be conducted blindfolded (of course, not a serious suggestion) or by an outside agency that is specifically trained to be fair and balanced (in a not Faux News sort of way). I have worked my way up to being a clinical professional, and I hope to be the first person in my family to achieve a Master’s degree someday. Yet I am having trouble securing employment (despite an extensive and successful prior work history, and the second best academic record in my class) as two employers I have spoken with explicitly stated they were trying to diversify their staff and hence hired minority female graduates from my technical program. Four of the sixteen grads of my program haven’t found jobs, all of them men, three of them white. All of the women have jobs, despite the fact that four out of five of the best performing students were men, all of whom had significant prior work experience. The only man in my class that’s found a job had been an intern at the place that hired him for a year previous. I suppose that is what I get for going into a field that is 70% female in one of the most liberal states in America. I’m not bitter, I just wish that people thought about diversity in a manner that transcended the color of one’s skin or what genitals one happens to possess.

  11. Jack Cowen,

    I understand full well that there are more than blacks living in impoverished conditions. That really isn’t the point of the post. I too wish that we could have hiring/firing based on nothing more than performance. But, we don’t! That is the problem. We have a system right now where the majority of people at the bottom of the system are minorities. We have a system right now where the unemployment rate does NOT mimic that of society which if all things being fair would.

    Now as far as your class and employment situation is concerned. I understand full well how frustrating it must be that the females are being hired where you and the other fellas are not. I understand that you say you and the other guys are the top students in the class. But to me academics only account for half of what needs to be looked at in employment. And I doubt very seriously if you know the resumes of all the people in the class. So they could be more qualified for these positions. I understand that the guys had extensive prior work experience, but in what field?

    And the personnel person who is telling you that they are wanting to hire more diversity, well I can only say it is a bunch of bull. If they were looking for diversity and you are in a female dominated field such as nursing then you are probably exactly what they are looking for in diversity. But, hey that is just my opinion. The problem that we have in the employment market is that people DO hire based on things OTHER than ability. And that goes all ways around. Not just in favor of whites or blacks or whatever. But based on all sorts of ill conceived premises.

    Maybe one day we will get passed our biased way of hiring and be able to just look at PEOPLE instead of all the incidentals. But until then, we have to do something. We have to figure out an equitable way of ensuring that everyone has the same opportunity for jobs. And I don’t have all the answers. But I do know that we can’t just act as if racism, sexism and any ism doesn’t exist. We have to do something.

    Thanks for the reply.

  12. Guy

    Sent,

    I would appreciate you not making assumptions about me or what I believe. I do in fact KNOW that racism is alive and well in our society, and I do not agree with it at all.

    I just don’t think that it is as rampant as you seem to think that it is. From the way you are writing, the racism of today makes the 1960’s look like a picnic!

    One question too. Isn’t being “bent all out of shape over discrimination happening to anyone” the same as being bent out of shape that discrimination is happening? If I’m worried about everyone being discriminated against wouldn’t that cover all discrimination?

    I wasn’t saying that black people coined the term reverse discrimination, I was just commenting that the use of the term is wrong. I know it was probably the media that coined the term. I think that there are a few problems today that are either perpetuated or started by the media.

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t believe in racism, it’s wrong and anyone who supports it is an idiot. But I just believe that there are other ways to get past racism.

  13. Guy,

    I didn’t make any assumptions about you or what you believe. I simply responded to YOUR words. And if you didn’t word your thoughts in a way that makes sense then that is a personal problem. You clearly said “The best qualified people should not be passed over because of the color of their skin, black or white, or whatever color.” According to Devah Pager, an associate professor of sociology at Princeton University, a white man with a degree and no criminal record will get called back from a job interview thirty four percent of the time while his black counterpart will get called back only fifteen percent of the time. So it is obvious that people ARE getting jobs they aren’t qualified for while those who are qualified are passed over. It is just that people choose to look at it from one perspective.

    So now you tell me that YOU don’t think racism is as rampant as I seem to think. Based on what? What do you know that people of color don’t? You have some sort of inside track on who is and isn’t being hit with racism. Anyhow, the racism of the 60’s was blatant and as the experts and the majority of minorities will tell you, the racism didn’t go away it just changed its colors in order to remain on the down low. But, if you think you know better, who am I, besides a black person who has seen A LOT of racism in my lifetime, to argue with you?

    And you say that you believe that there are other ways to get past racism. Pray tell, what would those ways be? Because if we listen to those doing the study of racism in the workplace, even affirmative action isn’t stopping it. If we look at the fact that college educated blacks with no criminal record are being passed over for jobs to felony wielding white people. But if you know an easier way to get to equality, then let’s have a crack at that. And I am serious! It doesn’t help to hear that people have all these ideas and they list NONE.

    Thanks but no thanks.

  14. CharInOhio

    Alot of factors can play into one getting hired or not hired. They can have NOTHING to do with “race” at all….even IF the education, police records, or whatever are different……one may not have interviewed as well as the other one or the interviewer “liked” one more than the other…..ASIDE OF and OUTSIDE of the “race” of the person.

    Believe it or not, one could maybe not be dressed as nice, and the interviewer felt he should have been, or in that particular job…its a necessity? One could have not answered the interview questions to the liking of the interviewer…..

    I know those seem like meaningless and petty things…..but, in MANY cases its ALL about whether the interviewer “liked” you or not when they are choosing between two candidates….sometimes EVEN IF one stands out more than the other one in experience ect.. What good would hiring someone with a high education prosper you….if you felt you couldnt get along with them and had to work with them closely? And perhaps, the education wasn’t really all that “needed” for that particular job anyways?

    Employers are “clique-y”….like that or not, its simply FACT. If they don’t feel you are a “fit” for their company and won’t blend in with them well, for ANY reason…..do not expect to be hired !!!

    I have even been interviewed places that have like three or four people seperately interview you for ONE job and THEY ALL have to “like you” !!! And one place, let the EMPLOYEES you would be working with interview you and ask you questions !!!! ????

    Believe it or not, EVERYTHING is NOT about “race” when it comes to employement.

  15. CharInOhio,

    There are a lot of what if’s surrounding the game of getting hired. But isn’t it funny that these games seem to play out down the color line? Hmm, I wonder what factor we can attribute that to? I wonder why black unemployment is more than double white unemployment? Do YOU think it is because they didn’t dress well, or interview well or whatever else you would like to pull out? When do we start looking at the facts instead of the hypotheticals? Isn’t when the interviewer liking one applicant over another and the only difference between the two is race, racism? Or is there some secret formula that I should be looking at in order to figure out why?

    Yep, employers are clique-y alright! And isn’t it interesting that when these so called employers are being clique-y their establishments are predominantly or entirely white? When does that clique-y-ness equate to racism? When do we put a stop to this clique-y-ness that impacts the black community? I guess we should just understand and then go and find jobs elsewhere only to deal with that clique-y-ness there and then boom we blacks have more than double the white unemployment numbers. Well, isn’t that great, we can just wait until employers decide that black candidates are a fit for their company. Even though we have proof with a lot of studies especially the Devah Pager study which inadvertently proved that if all things being equal and better yet things being totally unequal in favor of the black the job still went the opposite direction, we still want to sit and give every excuse to as to why disparity exists.

    Instead of coming out of your ass with all of these poor freaking examples, believe it or not, a LOT of what happens in the employment game boils down to race. So black people shouldn’t expect to be hired is what you are saying basically. Because for some ODD reason when employers don’t see a good fit, the majority of the people are minorities. I guess that explains it all, thanks! It wasn’t a surprise that Jim Crow ONLY affected blacks, but if I were to go with you thinking, somehow the only reason blacks had to ride in the back of the bus or weren’t allowed to shop in white stores was because the people on the bus or in the store were just clique-y. Get real, thanks.

  16. I understand full well the benefits affirmitive action has for minorities. I am a white male, myself. And if I get passed over for a job because I am white, I have other options. My white priviledge affords me such.

    Anything good comes at a cost. If Blacks can break their backs for four hundred years helping to make this country great for white males like myself, then is it really to much to ask for me to have to maybe put in a few more applications than normal to help level the playing field?

    I personally would like to one day in the future see AA and reverse discrimination applied more along economic lines rather than demographic. But I do not think we will be ready for that until the disparity between rich and poor transcends the disparity between white priviledge and black disadvantage.

    Peace.

  17. James Butler

    Hmm. Asians don’t seem to need affirmative action to dominate the honor roles in our schools, even in the ‘poor’ schools. And they don’t feel the need to blame someone else if they do not succeed. I’ve been to China many times in the last 30 years and despite the western press glorification of China’s economy, the vast majority, especially in the rural areas, still live far below our ‘poverty line’. Yet children fight to get the best education they can. The difference? Family support. Family values. It’s about time everyone quit copping out by blaming someone else for every problem that comes along. Descrimintation, favortism, and bias will always exist in human beings at various levels for various reasons. And they are just as strong within any race as they are between races. I grew up on a farm annd moved into the city. I was shut out by the white kids. It was behavior, not color that was the issue. Start looking in the mirror and figuring out what you can do for yourself before blaming somebody else.

  18. Hmm, I guess that means that the racism that Asians may or may not suffer is a hell of a lot different than the blatant racism of blacks. But, of course that could never be the case. Because we all know that the relationship between the dominant community made up primarily of white people, is exactly the same for all minorities. Because of course all minorities have had the same background in this country as any other. So, this must mean that Asians were slaves for generations, suffered under some sort of Asian Jim Crow and then continue to have a blatant racist slant against them now. And they were able to somehow overcome this behavior just like you have pointed out. Thanks, because I was so mistaken as to believe that you can’t really substitute one minority for another. And that each minority group has/had their own interaction, relationship which continues to this day with the dominant culture in this country. How foolish of me not to understand that if blacks were to just behave like Asians (whatever that is) we would somehow be ahead.

    So, I guess when I am denied a job, or when I am looked past while standing in that grocery line (which happens a lot) or any other racial disparity happens, I will just look in the mirror to see what the issue is. And when I look in that mirror and see that the only thing separating me from the people doing these things to me is color, then what? What then is your superior thinking going to tell me? That somehow it is me as a person who doesn’t deserve the same respect (whatever that may be) of my white counterpart. Regardless if I have more education, just as nice or nicer demeanor etc. You generalize and then wonder why racism is running amok.

    Also, you say that everyone should stop copping out and blaming everyone else for their problems. You mean the way you are blaming the black people for the discrimination heralded against them.

    Thanks, but no thanks buddy.

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