Thursday, August 20, 2015
Plain and simple: Affirmative action is another form of racism
Consider what the original goal was. Certain groups of people, through no fault of their own, were excluded from participating in American society because of things like skin color.
The effects of this exclusion were deleterious, not only to the individuals concerned, but to society as a whole, since many of the excluded individuals possessed skills that would be valuable to society.
It was also simply un-American to fail to allow an individual to become all he or she wished to become.
To overcome these shortcomings, there was instituted the notion of tolerance for diversity. Not “diversity,” mind you, but tolerance for it. There is no value in diversity itself. It is the tolerance that allowed diverse individuals to participate if they so desired.
Liberals have lost sight of the goal — social integration of diverse individuals — and now believe that the goal is simply to suffer as many differences in society as possible. This is destructive.
Excessive social heterogeneity results in tensions and discord. It is the tolerance for differences that allow the integration of individuals into society and a diminishment of the differences to a level at which the tensions are manageable.
Consider affirmative action for another example of this. It was intended to bring disadvantaged people — the ones with aptitude and promise, not all of them — to a level similar to the “majority.” This was the goal.
Affirmative action is now a goal in and of itself. Liberals could care less whether the original goals are ever reached, and I think some of them secretly hope that they won’t.
The goal now for liberals is to have affirmative action, for ever and ever, amen. The goal is lost in the trees of progress, to make a metaphor of it.
If we want to stop judging people by the color of their skin, or their ethnic backgrounds, we have to stop giving special privileges to people based upon the color of their skin or their ethnic backgrounds. By so doing, we only continue prejudice.
When you elevate group membership over individuals: it becomes impossible to separate the two, in terms of motives and achievement.
The very word “under-represented” assumes that competitive outcomes should reflect the general population, instead of (1) the candidate pool itself and (2) the relative qualifications of individual candidates in that pool. “Under-represented” is the same angle as “disparate impact”.
What do “over-represented” groups (such as Asian students at prestigious universities) do differently? That should provide a clue in how to compete.
Whatever the practical consequences of government racism, it is inherently immoral since it tramples on the individual right to what one has earned. If your qualifications are the best, you are deserving based on merit no matter what your background, skin color or gender.
Furthermore, it elevates the group above the individual and thereby diminishes the individual. It further cements race-consciousness and racism in society. It pushes us further away from the ultimate goal of eliminating or at least marginalizing racism.
As for the practical effects, data indicates that it harms everybody. It does so by perpetuating racism and by causing other adverse consequences. It elevates the less qualified to certain positions and thereby advances incompetence. It undermines the value of individual accomplishment by suggesting that group identity not merit is all-important.
Those who supposedly benefit from racial (or gender) preferences have high failure rates since they are placed in a position they did not merit. The drop-out rate for many racial minorities is quite high since they can not keep up with the more qualified students. So they end up with debt, a loss of time and a loss of confidence in themselves.
Even if they keep up their abilities are called into question since they may have been less deserving than other students.
I would also suggest that people consider better policies that might enhance opportunity for everybody. One such policy is education reform such as school choice, reform that Obama and fellow Democrats have consistently failed to support. This failure is a direct cause of low educational achievement and poverty among racial minorities.
Another policy would be welfare reform since current policies trap many racial minorities in a cycle of poverty since handouts diminish the benefit of hard work. Again, President Obama and his cohorts have failed to back such reform.
So we should abolish affirmative racism while embracing other reforms at the same time. Unfortunately, that won’t happen with the Democrats in charge.
Affirmative action is simply another form of racism. As long as harassment and similar laws exist that tend to favor sacralized victim groups the playing field will never be leveled.
Any regulation or practice that gives a member of one class an advantage over a member of another class – even when it was initially intended to right an imagined wrong – quickly becomes inherently abusive and subject to uses that were never intended.