In the darker days of America’s segregated past, the country needed a way to help lift up those treated so poorly into the middle-class, and affirmative action was born. This enabled black Americans to gain employment in corporations run by the white males of the day. Legally, these corporations were required to judge a man not by the color of his skin, but by the skills, potential, and track record.
Affirmative action also lowered college requirements for minority students, based on the fact many were educated in lousy schools, grew up with uneducated parents, or didn’t have access to the educational resources needed to further educate themselves while in high school.
Affirmative action was a good thing, and proved to be a successful program, pulling many bright young black men and women out of the lower financial class and into the middle class. It indeed has changed millions of lives.
A generation later, it was decided the program should continue – as the feeling was black students were still disadvantaged. They probably were. Few whites objected, at least publicly: Affirmative action was also treating white women as a minority—despite the fact our nation has more women than men — so most white women were inclined to approve of the continuance. Most white married men kept quiet, for reasons married men understand.
Now, we are three full generations past the beginning of affirmative action, which began in 1965. We no longer live in the world of George Wallace. It is no longer 1965, and we don’t live in Mississippi. Guys marching in hoods in Columbia draw crowds of white South Carolinians there to mock them. We’ve had a black president (with a Muslim name), a black chairman of the joint chiefs, a black female as secretary of state, a black VP, countless black congressmen/women, black governors and mayors by the hundreds, and blacks at the highest echelons of business, medicine, entertainment, sports, law and federal service.
If America is still racist, someone forgot to tell these individuals … yet affirmative action has remained the law of the land.
Why? Every black youngster who achieved a college diploma in the early 70’s surely moved into the middle class or better … and the next generation who achieved college diplomas surely moved into the middle class or better … and now we have a third generation applying for college.
Today, 24.9 percent of black men and 30.8 percent of Black women have a bachelor’s degree or better. (Journal of Blacks in Higher Education). The US Census bureau says among all American races, 35 percent have a bachelor’s degree. Sounds like affirmative action worked.
Affirmative action was not originally a quota-based concept, that’s the monster it’s grown into. Why does that matter? Because some smart-as-hell black kids who worked their asses off in high school, then graduated Harvard, would probably prefer they not be lumped in with their fellow black students who coasted in … and coasted through with a workload far less than theirs, and spent their days marching for segregated dorms … yet now have the same diploma.
Could the black kids who got into Harvard in 2019 — solely because of quotas — have graduated from a state school? I’d say so — they’d have probably kicked ass, because you have to be smart to even apply for Harvard. Perhaps not book-smart enough for Harvard, but smart nonetheless. For someone with their ego in check, it’s not that hard to admit someone is book-smarter than you … I certainly don’t.
No one looks at a black doctor, attorney or CPA as having coasted there, because the barrier to entry is too high. Doctors must pass their boards; attorneys must pass the bar; CPAs must pass the Uniform CPA exam. A test doesn’t know your skin color.
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The same cannot be said of many professions … and when you add quotas for college with quotas at many businesses, the result blurs the “achievement line.” It becomes impossible to know who got there by busting their ass – and who got hired because the business needed to fill a quota.
This isn’t fair to the millions of book-smarter-than-you-and-me minorities who’ve graduated in the past ten years. It isn’t fair to their reputations. It fails to honor their achievements. It’s a perfect example of the Left’s “soft racism” of low expectations.
“Blacks can’t succeed by competing,” they whine. “They need us liberals to save them by treating them like smart pets. They’ll need to be coddled forever.”
Tell that to Dr. Ben Carson, Thomas Sowell, Candice Owens, Morgan Freeman or Herman Caine. Tell that to the millions of brilliant black men and women who’ve achieved more than you.
I have a Marine buddy who helped handle officer selection in the Jacksonville, Florida region — pre-Internet — and I asked him what his job actually entailed.
“On the first of the month,” he said, “I have all the white male candidates I am allowed to recruit. The rest of the month, I’m doing stuff like searching for a Hispanic female who qualifies for flight school.”
He pulled out a ream of paper four inches thick.
“These are all the kids currently enrolled in college in my region,” he said. “Right now I’m going through these, looking for Hispanic last names, checking to see if they’re female, tracking down their contact info, talking to them about their academics – and commence the begging. Then it’s on to the next minority slot I’ve got to fill.”
Gee… that’s not racist or sexist at all: Limiting the number of white males that can apply, then spending time begging members of another race or sex to fill the jobs the white men already want.
A couple years ago, when America was in the great Syrup and Grits are Racist and Must Be Renamed idiocy, the S&P decided to require all boards to have a female member. How does that look for the females who’d already worked their way to a board position by performing at the highest levels? I’m sure they were thrilled to be lumped in with the new token women.
The bottom line is affirmative action in education was a good thing for the first two generations, but now it’s time to let students complete on a level playing field. The Left has gone absolutely insane, and thinks we’ve time traveled back to the era of Jim Crowe.
Did any of these weeping, teeth-gnashing, scream-at-the-sky libtards actually read the ruling (.pdf)?
Nothing has changed.
- Hiring quotas remain in place, potentially masking the achievements of the hardest working and smartest minorities (and women), which often leads to males wondering if they actually got there through grit, smarts, and hard work.
- Chief Justice Roberts made sure there was a poison pill in the education ruling, which states: “Nothing in this opinion should be construed as prohibiting universities from considering an applicant’s discussion of how race affected his or her life.”
In other words, colleges can ask minorities to write an essay about racism in their lives. These students can then write an essay — whether true or not (or whether by them or ChatGBT) – and schools can say, “This is terrible! This person needs to come to our school!”
Thus, the SCOTUS ruling becomes null and void. It is a loophole so huge, Harvard University released a statement agreeing to abide by the new laws immediately.
The bigger question is this: When is the time we should start treating blacks as equals? If your answer to that question is “never,” that says something about your view of blacks as a race.
It’s called racism. Look up the definition.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR …
Prioleau Alexander is a freelance writer, focusing mostly on politics and non-fiction humor. He is the author of two books: ‘You Want Fries With That?’ and ‘Dispatches Along the Way.’ Both are available on Amazon. He hopes to have another title published soon, but that would require his agent actually doing his job, so it may be awhile. Oh, and if you want to see his preferred bio pic? Click here …
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