Political Promise

Is Affirmative Action Outdated?

In Matteo Bergamini on March 21, 2011 at 8:00 am

For Matteo Bergamini, America is the land of the free and the home of democracy, but how true is this when affirmative action tops up the rights of minorities? 

Some have come to view America as the utopia of freedom, a land where you have the full protection of the constitution, regardless of your background.Yet in the wake of this supposedly equal nation comes “Affirmative Action” or “Positive Racism”.

Introduced by President John F. Kennedy, the term was used to refer to measures to achieve non-discrimination. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson issued an Executive order that meant federal contractors had to hire without regard to race, religion and national origin.

This policy was aimed at banning discrimination in the hope of an equal society. However, in 2003 the Grutter V Bollinger case changed it all, turning it into “positive discrimination”. This case introduced racial profiling in universities, meaning that people from minority groups found it easier to enter university. From then Kennedy’s non-discrimination measures became the one thing they were meant to stop, they became discriminatory measures.

“Affirmative Action” or “Positive Racism” today takes into account ones “race, religion, sex, or national origin” in employment, education, public contracting and even health programs. It does beg the question; can Racism truly be positive?

Can something that divides humanity on lines of sex or colour really be a good thing? Affirmative Action takes many different forms in different countries, but the idea is the same, discrimination against the majority to compensate for past discriminatory acts. Discrimination to fight discrimination, how is that remotely sensible? We complain about using violence to remove a violent dictator and in concept it’s the same thing, it’s a metaphor.

For society to truly progress we must let go of our past weaknesses and move on, one of them being discrimination. If we keep looking back to the past for mistakes then lets correct the mistakes, not reverse them or bring them to the 21st century. Humanity will never progress socially if any form of racism or sexism still plagues society. We are all human, we are all on this planet to succeed and live our lives without the need of feeling like the traits we are born with could hold us back.

Discrimination has been going on for 100’s of years and now, being in the 21st century where literacy rates are near 100% in all western countries, it’s time for it to end and not be turned into a government initiative!

Affirmative Action, the idea to use “positive racism” to impose equality should be confined to history. One should get a job or education because he or she deserves it, not because he or she is the right sex or colour.

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