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11 Misconceptions About Affirmative Action

affirmative-action-color-blindThe Only Way to Create A Colorblind Society is to Adopt Colorblind Policies

Although this statement sounds intuitively plausible, the reality is that colorblind policies often put racial minorities at a disadvantage. For instance, all else being equal, colorblind seniority systems tend to protect white workers against job layoffs, because senior employees are usually white.

Likewise, colorblind college admissions favor white students because of their earlier educational advantages. Unless pre-existing inequities are corrected or otherwise taken into account, colorblind policies do not correct racial injustice — they reinforce it.

affimative-actionAffirmative Action is No Longer Necessary

Black Americans continue to have twice the unemployment rate of  whites; twice the rate of infant mortality; and, relative to their population size, a significantly lower percentage of students attending four years or more of college. In fact without affirmative action programs, the number of Black students at many selective schools would drop to only 2 percent of the student body.

This would effectively choke off Black access to top universities and severely restrict progress toward racial equality.

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17 thoughts on “11 Misconceptions About Affirmative Action

  1. Shereen Hart says:

    I've never known a Black person who was affected positively by affirmative action or "equal opportunity" laws.

    One of the reasons why Black people are still struggling to climb out the double-digit employment numbers is because Affirmative Action doesn't apply to Black people, it has only applied to white women. Clarence Thomas is an exception, but he swears he got where he is because of "merit." Uhm, no, Superior Thomas. YOU didn't.

    Anyhoo … Affirmative Action has had ZERO impact in the Black community. It's not the cause of Black unemployment, but it certainly never got off the ground for Black people to even see if it would make a difference.

  2. Ascencion Gomez says:

    I've not benefited from Affirmative Action but I've seen the results and I see surprised looks on people's faces when they find out my background. First, it creates distrust between white and blacks because whites think a person of color isn't qualified for their position but because of A.A they got it. Second, employers looking for qualified individuals of color may become frustrated because they can find any. So they take the first person of color who can meet some of the job requirements. This is especially apparent in the military. You can tell the officers who were allowed to join on waivers; two things standout about them they are generally incompetently not qualified and a person of color. I've had several federal contracted employers complain they have to have a black person on staff or they'll lose the contract. So they hire someone who isn't really qualified to fill the position. This doesn't help it only creates more discontent and stereotyping of black people.

  3. Shereen Hart says:

    Ascencion Gomez

    If you are a white female, you benefited from Affirmative Action because it was the crowning moment of right-to-work laws for women, meaning white women. Black women never needed "right to work" laws, we are trained and made to work from the moment we come out of the womb, and at one time were trained to do the work in the home for white women and their children that they refused to do for themselves.

    We were born to work, that was never OUR issue – as women. So when the right to work protests came along for white feminists in America, it was ALL about white women, never about Black women — for white women, that IS a direct result of Affirmative Action. Since the white women got nearly all the jobs, it never came around the corner to where the Black people were to see if it would do any good.

    It only creates "distrust" for whites because they create their own personal brand of "paranoia," about anything and everything to do with Black people–and that PARANOIA, not Affirmative Action, is what causes racism to proliferate in the workplace.

    When I see a Black woman in a higher paid position in this country, I know she worked to get there and is likely MORE qualified than the white woman; when I see a white woman there, it is either because everyone in her charge is Black, or because she screwed someone to get where she is. We know that white women barely ever, IF EVER, actually have to work for a living or earn their way. WE have to actually earn it, so "qualifications" are beside the point in a world where most white people are never qualified. They are led in through the noise by friends, family members, husbands, dads, uncles, and the men they are screwing around with.

    When you say "incompetent" and "unqualified," it isn't because white people ARE, it's because white people will be taken in and trained to do what they are not qualified to do due to skin color privilege.

    I've seen it over and over again too many times to be listening to those lies.

    I've watch totally qualified Black women be forced to train a white woman to do a job that she's been on for 15 years and watch the white female promoted over her to be her boss after only 2-7 years on the job…and the BLACK WOMAN trained her to do it.

    You are an example of what every one of us talk about when we are well aware of inherent racism that a white female would know nothing about.

    No, white skin with a high school diploma GETS jobs they aren't qualified for and are trained and taught to do jobs that even Black folks with college degrees cannot get.

  4. Shereen Hart says:

    Ascencion Gomez I went to paralegal school and there were 12 of us in the classroom, 6 white, 6 Black. A combination of men and women.

    All had college degrees, NONE had legal experience. We were on a level playing field coming in the Gate.

    When we graduated (I had the highest GPA in the class), the 6 whites all had law firm jobs within six months after graduation, NONE of them with legal experience. They were trained to do their jobs, UNQUALIFIED and all. Ten years later the 6 Black graduates simply stopped looking, they never even got a chance,

    You will never run that lie by me because I've seen too many white guys in charge of jobs they aren't even qualified to do; watched them get jobs even with drug and criminal arrest records that Black men would not have gotten JUST BECAUSE of those records.

    After 35 years in "working class" America, you might be able to pull that lie over on SOME people all day; but you can't put that one over on ME any time of the day. I know better than that.

    I worked long enough to watch the inherent racism in the system, but I will grant you one thing. Maybe it IS white paranoia that stops Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity FROM applying to Black persons, because it certainly does NOT.

    Like I said, with a few exceptions … Clarence Thomas being one of the few.

  5. Ascencion Gomez says:

    Shereen Hart you wasted that rant in fact I take it you harbor some resentment towards white people. My profile picture is a young lady of whom I was saluting at her US Coast Guard boot camp graduation. However, I happen to be a black man with a Hispanic name. After reading your manifesto it seems you're living in a bubble. In the real world people view things differently; for example, the majority of the people I've seen who have an innate distrust for people of color happen to be people of color. For example, several elderly patients in the same nursing home as my grandmother refused to be seen by the black doctors because they believe white doctors were more qualified. My time in the Marine Corps I watched how black and Hispanic pilots were treated because of the belief they got there because Affirmative Act. Makes you wonder WHY doesn't it. Well it made me wonder. The stigma of putting unqualified individuals in key positions because of Affirmative Act has harmed more than it has helped. In fact, it harms those black females who have worked hard to earn their way of being some of the best in their professions (besides most of these ladies don't need Affirmative Act). However, "working hard" in many cases isn't enough because of bigots. Along with hard work is having a viable intellectual understanding of the environment you are working within. What that means is knowledge is the power of learning to work that system. I have discovered bigots or as you call them racist are intellectually rigid. Smart people learn to work around those types of people. Moreover, as the son of an illegal Mexican and black mother the words, "We shall overcome!" wasn't just words, it was the way of life. Consequently, your illusion of white supremacy makes you the type of person who by default has allowed a person's color to abase your position in life (to that of the subordinate). Keep writing tech manual you'll have less of an adverse affect on the next generation because your outlook is skews and demented in that the blame mantra in burning your soul. By the way I'm speaking for a very qualified position. I face it daily

  6. Erik Kengaard says:

    "colorblind college admissions favor white students because of their earlier educational advantages?" Actually, colorblind admissions favor Asians because of their higher scores on admissions tests.

  7. Erik Kengaard says:

    Shereen Hart – same thing in federal government employment

  8. Thank you for the article. The truth is Affirmative action breeds seething resentment in whites.I don't blame them at all.

  9. Levert Caldwell says:

    Once again Black people are pushed to the back of the line. Although in earlier years Affirmative Action helped, a lot of blacks through it were able to enter the workforce and higher education. In later years, companies have come up with more creative ways to discriminate through means of credit checks & requiring bilingual education at entry level positions. Plus with Republicans running Congress they have sat on the ability for govt. Spending which would allow for more hiring. All this coupled together knocks blacks to the back of the line.

  10. @Shereen Hart based on your opinion No Black person has excelled with out affirmative action. That none have succeeded due to merit but all Black who are successful only got there due to affirmative Action and not due to excellence and hard work. Case and point, you are so adamant that judge Thomas only got where he is because of affirmative action, So obviously no other black person has excelled on their own merit..

  11. Duran Woodruff says:

    This will seem to never stop but as african American we have to help each other and those way at the bottom african American why we are up

  12. What an incredible intervention. And what a great leader you are – well done to you and everyone involved. I'm wondering why this project isn't a continuous thing?

  13. Pat Williams says:

    Louise Sawyer Thank you for your positive statement. What maybe the question is how come the strong and fair AA/EEO policy the corporation i worked for had is not a standard across the board. In the private sector each firm sets their own procedures. Although all those procedures are supposed to be based on the same principles under our constitution, many AA or diversity programs as they are called today are just paperwork. They are not monitored, measured or enforced. When I look back I remember many people saying the approach I used at my job was not the usual, which leads us to another question who do they hire to insure your rights, what is their background and track record and make them account for their responsibility. Right now they issue AA/EEO reports that make you believe everything is fine when many minorities especially African Americans are not advancing. I might add that the majority of these positions are held by Blacks and Hispanics. As I pass the torch to a younger generation I say to you challenge it all, stand up and stand out until you get right for yourself and your children. 49 years after the Civil Rights movement 25 years or more of Affirmative Action and Diversity programs where do we go now? Have a blessed day

  14. how many white people have went to city and state owned school's that African people payed taxes for but denied the opportunity of going to the schools

  15. let's stop putting the race question on application or enything else and let's get the judge's out the court room and replace them with computers that is the only way things can be fair

  16. Alipyo Voy says:

    Affirmative Action does help close the opportunity gaps in society.

  17. Moved here from another country young – Automatically understood Blacks where 2 or 3rd class citizens…Denial is running amuck here. ..America taught me ….Psychology of being impoverished : if Oprah or LeBron has money= We as a people are doing good…Only 150,000 Blacks with a million or more out of 50,000,000. …Psychology of the Entitled : Ever meet a white person who owned slaves….? Don't talk about what Grandpa did or Simply say "I had nothing to do with that" …At 13 I knew I was no longer a Negus, Just a Nigga in a box "The Great Slavery Experiment…. Father served 23 yrs US Army (Vietnam Vet), I served 4 yrs Honorable discharge (Operation Desert Storm) …. No job…..In the name of the great American Poet Tupac Shakur : " It Don't stop"

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