"Affirmative Action"

The following is Eric's rebuttal to the Affirmative Action conversation on the Message Board.

Studying for my test tomorrow can wait; here's the promised rebuttal rant for Affirmative Action:

Everyone loves to bag on Affirmative Action (hereafter referred to as AA because I'm a lazy bastard.) They say that it's unfair, there's no need for quotas, and the unqualified people get hired. The reason people think this way is because no one really knows anything about it. Oh people think they know, but most folks' info is usually based on misinformation.

For starters, people need to know what the AA laws actually say: that people should be hired with out regard to race, creed, or gender. That's it. No quotas. Quotas are the last of many steps taken by the government to reprimand businesses that do discriminate. This is the same reason that the "unqualified minority took my job" story is bullshit. Companies are never told to hire anyone but the most qualified individuals. I'm not saying that this doesn't happen. I'm sure that some companies do indeed hire less qualified applicants merely to seem more politically correct. However, don't blame this on AA, blame the company. Hell, you could sue for that if you found out that this happened to you. That's what happened in Hopwood v. University of Texas School of Law. UT had a little quota system going on; less qualified people were getting in. The 5th Circuit Court ended up busting their ass. The 11th Circuit just made a similar decision as well.

Finally, there is the argument that AA only perpetuates discrimination because it gives some people special treatment. The logic goes that no one should merit special protection under the law*. That argument does work. in theory. Communism works too. in theory. The sad truth is that some folks are racist/homophobic/sexist/etc. We need regulation to make sure folks get a fair shot at employment. If it really pisses you off that much, just do what I do: Every time a form asks you for your race, just check "other."


*Consequently, this is the argument some folks use against the ERA. They say that women are already protected under the 14th amendment. I'm still on the fence about that one. I mean they are, but the ERA couldn't hurt.

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