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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Truth About Affirmative Action

There have been discussions about the Affirmative Action Law for years now. I have heard both sides of the argument. I was once Republican and now I am an Independent. We will start by looking at the beginning of the action from the beginning. March 6,1961 President John F.Kennedy issues the order for Affirmative Action. The order was issued because of extreme racism  and gender based problems in the workforce and in the educational system. 

In 1997 California placed a ban on the action. They felt they no longer needed the action in place because the race relations in their state were not as offensive as other states. Keep in mind California has always been a little more Liberal when it comes to race. Even in the 1800's California  was known as the Stand Alone free state. So, we shouldn't be too surprised by the fact that they do not need the Affirmative Action Law because they weren't as racist as other states.  Now we need to look at the word segregation. Segregation did not end until 1964. In some states they still practiced some forms of segregation. Interracial marriages were outlawed in many states until 1967.These are institutional bans which created issues for all of us. Thank goodness there are no more bans because I love my interracial marriage of 18 years.

There are a handful of states that have done away with the Affirmative Action Law and there are a handful of states that can't do away with the action because they are known for being bias against certain groups. When we are looking at need for Affirmative Action we need to look at the state's ability to produce non-racist hiring practices across the board. 

Affirmative Action helps more than black people. It helps white women and other minorities. The action does not mean you can hire a black person, white woman, or Hispanic unqualified male to put in a job because he is that race, but it means these people will have fair shots at getting into college or getting a job.

The hiring market is a bit more advanced today so it would be nearly impossible to get a person who is uneducated in a field requiring education and experience. The vetting process for the computer based companies alone now cover educational questions and other testing. Some of the processes which are used in Texas and other states require candidates to score a pass on all five or six test before they are even allowed to have their applications forwarded to the hiring managers. Some jobs are starting to require writing test and typing test for positions that once only called for a diploma. 
So, how are people getting hurt by the Affirmative Action?  If computers are screening most of the candidates at the very start  of the job application process and eliminating uneducated people from positions, where is the mistreatment coming from?  I hear Affirmative Action often thrown at black people. Well, think about this for a second. America has about 13% to 14% of its population recorded as being African American. Are you telling me that 85% of America is being pushed out of the job market because of such a small minority? Keep in mind there is a high unemployment rate for black people. Do you really think we are taking your jobs? It doesn't take a Harvard grad to understand the answer! 

About five years ago, we took my husband out for his Birthday at Olive Garden. There were three men seated at the table behind us. One of the men started talking about why they didn't want to hire white men, and then he bragged about hiring only one race because he could do it! He justified his practice by stating white people did it all the time. So, we have a little situation brewing, and it has not raised its ugly head yet, but it is coming. If we do away with Affirmative Action I fear it will do more damage in the future. The tides are turning and what looks like a majority today could very well become that minority tomorrow. Don't shoot yourself in the foot. Racism isn't dead, it's just lurking below the surface. 

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