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September 10, 2011
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Affirmative Action Stamp by PunkNarumi Affirmative Action Stamp by PunkNarumi
I don't think I ever really processed that this is a thing until I learned my school has a group dedicated to it (yes in a positive way; Berkeley has a group for everything).

The idea of inclusion based on race is almost unanimously considered bad. However, when people think of it, they think of a majority (and let's face it: regardless of the facts or variation on area, most consider white males the majority) not letting the minority in.

Why in the world would it be okay the other way around?

I'll say this now so no one thinks I'm someone who has no room to talk about this: I'm a minor, female, and half-black/half-white. Yes, I'm the minority.

However, I don't want a job or to get into college based on the fact that I am female or because my mom is black. Me checking the "African American" box should not influence my acceptance at all.

On the other end, when I go to interviews, I get the other end. I do not in any way look part black--I'm pale, freckled, and have bright blue eyes. My hair's completely straight. I look like my English/Irish side entirely. So I shouldn't be discriminated against because they need someone who is black (assuming they didn't have race on the app or I declined to answer).

Though I didn't know this was openly accepted, I did know they look at this. My other mixed friends and I have talked about this a lot. We almost always pick the more "discriminated against" minority in us to focus on in the app. Why? Because we know it'll help us win scholarships.

Why should my race or gender be even comparably noticeable next to my actual achievements? This is perpetuating discrimination, not stopping it, and it's disgusting.

Of course, that's my example that I can relate to myself. There are countless others. Ask anyone who is mixed race; they'll probably tell you similar things. Or, ask someone who is in the majority if they feel discriminated against. I've had all-white friends who spend half of their time searching for the one scholarship they're actually allowed to do, and just feeling horrible at all the ones they can't.

Same for being a female. If Bob is more qualified than me, he shouldn't lose the job just because I have boobs.

For jobs especially I don't get this. College, though it's still very wrong, I can see why they'd think "well, okay, they need a chance to show themselves/overcome their situation" (assuming low-income minority). But for jobs... who cares where they're from? Efficiency is efficiency and skill is skill.

I really, honestly didn't think people legitimately thought this was okay.

I don't remotely see how it is.
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AmandaPeaceLoveSmile Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014  Student Photographer
CISP Featured By Owner Edited Jul 15, 2014
I'm sorry to say that, but you are kind of missing the point.

Firstly 'affirmative action' is usually not about hiring somebody less qualified because of his or her specific characteristics. Instead, it is usually about choosing the candidates from a disadvantaged background from equally qualified candidates.
Secondly, the fear to be reduced to that certain aspect that warranted the 'affirmative action' is widespread and to a certain amount understandable. Nobody wants to be told that he or she only got in because they are of a certain colour, gender, minority. But the problem is actually the other way round. Quotas are not supposed to give those groups a free pass, they are to ensure that despite their social disadvantages (due to direct or indirect discrimination) they are still able to get access to certain jobs, political offices or educational degrees.
The reasoning behind these actions is to increase the number of members of minorities or disadvantaged groups in these areas to open the door for equal access. You unfortunately often need this kind of programs because old habits die hard and the prejudices of people will affect the way the hire.

That said, quotas can only be a short term solution. They have to be accompanied by genuine programs to combat the origins of why these quotas where thought to be necessary to begin with. If that isn't done, no quota on earth will achieve what it's supposed to and the 'you only got in because' sentiment will only increase.

So, yeah: Quotas are a doubled edge sword. But there is a good reason for their use under certain circumstances: To open the door for certain minorities to create equal chances and combat exclusion. The fact that there are some who got in without quotas (as admirable as that may be) does not change the fact, that widespread discrimination might none the less exist.

And regarding all those 'I hate feminism, I want equality instead'-Yellers out there. I'm all for equality. But to achieve equality, we need feminism. Because equality is about everybody having the same access to public goods, offices and opporunities. And that's not where we are at - not by a long shot and in none of the countries I know of.
PeteSeeger Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2014  Student Writer
Regardless of intentions, the government only weakens itself and all others by putting race over merit and is nevertheless racism. 
CISP Featured By Owner Edited Jul 17, 2014
It does not put race over merit. Firstly: Affirmative action is not only about race (which is a rather ambiguous terms), but about discriminated groups and minorities from all ways of life. Secondly: It does not neglect merit - it's mostly about choosing a member of disadvantaged group among equally qualified peers. Thirdly: Quotas are no silver bullet that fix everything. They have their problems and they are, as I pointed out, always a double edged sword. However, they are a tool to help disenfranchised groups to overcome barriers.

It's not about neglecting merit, it's about acknowledging that merit, capacity and ambition alone are often not enough, if there's systematic discrimination within a society. It's not racism or sexism or classism but the attempt to overcome such problems. Otherwise, every program that is designed to help a disadvantaged group would automatically be discriminatory because it targets that specific group (or set of groups). But the group that gets 'discriminated' against doesn't need these programs as they already are at the advantage.

I'm not going to say that every quota program works or is well designed - and I also pointed out that they can only be a short term solution that has to be accompanied by other programs as well. But a questionable application of a mechanism does not necessarily discredit the mechanism as a whole.
AmandaPeaceLoveSmile Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2014  Student Photographer
Well said.
aquafox12 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
And what's amazing how, even decades later, we're STILL doing affirmative action.  And it's not just black people-- it's women too.  I'm a woman, and I'm sick of feminists.  Everyone should be equal.  Choosing a black person over a white person for a job just because he's black, is RACIST.
MobileSuitSonic Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
AA is a way to be racist, by appearing to not be racist.
aquafox12 Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2014
Pixelated--Coffee Featured By Owner Apr 29, 2013
the ignorance is
kelpiehunterkai Featured By Owner Mar 16, 2013  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
This is sooo true. My father had to take a test along with everyone else in his job to qualify for a promotion. He scored in the top 5 people out of 120. this should have put him right in the front of the line, He had the seniority in service and one of the highest grades proving his skills. But no. When the scores were applied to the promotions, every single minority person was moved up knocking my father back to number 32. THIRTY TWO after scoring 5th place. it took 3 years to get promoted because his employers "needed more minorities on the job for equality." they actually admitted this. It's sickening.

My college also practiced affirmative action. My family is lower middle class, with 4 people leaving, in the middle of, or just getting into college. We couldn't qualify for any but one grant. Why? because we aren't the right skin color. The annoying part? I make straight A's. I actually show up to class every day. I actually pay attention. I knew several of my class mates who got free rides because they got in through afirmative action. Their family made the same amount of money as mine. But they made D's. They didn't show up in class. And they cheated on every freaking test.

Don't hire people or accept students based on color. Color has nothing to do with a person. look at a persons ability to help a company or people who will try to make the best of college. This goes for all races and genders.
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