« Boondocks Censored | Main | The Black Slate »

September 26, 2004


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Ray G.

The intellectual confusion surrounding affirmative action (in my humble opinion) transcends ideological categories. Critics and supporters have underestimated the significance of these policies. While the "racial preference" debate rages on, important assumptions about how institutions function to further "Inequality of opportunity" remain unchallenged.

I think affirmative action should stay true to its original purpose of enforcing "equality of opportunity", a purpose that in itself disallows racial preference. In that regard, I see Affirmative Action as an attempt to promote fairness and equality by affording those members of marginalized groups a fair chance to enter significant institutions.


Perhaps in th4e debate on AA I/m as a Black man is missing something.
After all, I try extremely hard to inform my opinion from not only a comtemporary perspective but a historical view as well so as not to lay waste my notions of fairness or evenhandedness.That is to try to come up with a humane solution for what ever that ails me.
So let me see.
For African Americans, a people, who because of their skin color, perhaps, hair kinky-ness or perhaps, their continent of origin, were made to toil unpaid, in the this land, among others, for well over 250 years.After beiing set loose on the land with only the ctolthes on their collective backs, they enjoyed some measure of "freedom" until the gay 90s (1890s) and early twentith century, which then heralded Plessy v Ferguson and Berea v Kentucky, respectively.I'm sure most know both court decisions. But just in case you don't. The former allowed, via Government sanction, racial apartheid in the public sphere and the latter racial aparthied in the private shpere. So this gave us another 60 years or so of Black victimization until atleast the 1960s. Some would argue that Brown v. Topeka Board of Education ended our tribulations, based on our race, but I wouldn't.
Then MLK, (You know him.The color blind guy!) came to fore and stated in one of his many books, ineffect, that some measure of redress was deserving of African American for the centuries of "official" / literal degradation we experienced in this land. Hence, Affirmative Action, of sorts. So lets do the math. Sixty years or so of "freedom" for us Negros. Three hundred years or so, of outright degradation, just because we Black."
Hmmm? Now we are faced with the highest incarceration rates in the world. Jobless rates among our men, in some cities. That, in Irag, the NYT and others, are arguing for jobs programs for young Iragi men with similar unemployment figures, so as not to draw them into the terrorist milieu. Hmmm?
Look we can give everyone else reparations be they American Indians, Interned Japanese Americans or the Jewish people and their decendants in Europe who were devastated by the Nazis and their sympathizers. These folks rightly deserve measurable redress.
Why people are so hung-up on Affirmative Action for "Blacks Americans" is sickening.
I feel, the Prgams should continued and in fact become more focused on Black Americans. It has come to being a spoils system, of sorts, in my opinion for anyone not white. There are too many "others" that feed at this specific table.
I think some form of reparation program for American Blacks, in place of affirmative action, is more appropiate to help remedy our racial conundrum.IN A REAL SENSE, I DON'T THINK WE WILL EVER SOLVE THE PROBLEM OF RACE AS LONG AS THE CURRNET GEOPOLITICAL MATRIX EXIST.


I think affirmative action should stay true to its original purpose of enforcing "equality of opportunity", a purpose that in itself disallows racial preference.



In an "perfect world" notions of " Equality of Opportunity" sounds great.
I mean, this perfect world, to me, would have to have proper nutrition and shelter for our children. That means "family sustaining jobs" here in the US, and a slacking up on those good paying jobs that are exported. I mean, where are they going to export jobs to later? To the moon, for the next cheap "alien" work force. I imagine transportation expenses could be very high. Sorry I digressed.
Proper health care so that our children are not "dulled" by the effects of largely preventable illnesses.
Proper schooling so that relevant textbooks, qualified teachers and dedicated administrators exist in our community, to the degree they exist in other communitites. In fact, where a high school education would be by the indiviual state constitutionally required, with equal funding, where required. Just recently in NY state, it was argured and agreed to that a 8th grade education was all the state was mandated to require. (Just think, in this terribly complicated world, a guaranteed 8th grade education. Can you imagine?) Obviously, this crazy mandated measure was changed to a more humane version.
In a world where legacy admissions and athletic perferences are curtailed or stopped. These are truly racial preferences.
So, if we could achieved some modicum redress in these regards, then the notion of equality of opportunity will have some measure of moral weight. Otherwise,the whole argument against "special compensations" for African Americans is just "smoke and mirrors." And the hate continues in all its ugly racially charged manifestations. Oh yes, what about the " Gender Perference Programs" that has helped many white families into the upper economic echelons of this society. Why aren't the "haters" beefing about these programs? Hmmm?


Ray G.


Your point is solid and I understand where you coming from completely.

In addition, I'll add that in corporate America, many marginally competent and totally incompetent white men are hired daily. Some, because their white skin suits the conscious and unconscious racial preferences of their employer. Interestingly, those that are against Affirmative Action are keeping quiet about that as well, but I know better.

We know that Affirmative Action started as a simple anti-discrimination concept to promote "equality of opportunity" for those who had been systematically and historically disenfranchised (i.e. Women, working class whites and members of racial minorities). This was going well until its mission changed from anti-dicrimination enforcement to social engineering by means of quotas and other forms of preferential treatment.

AA's mission changed after the EEOC set certain guidelines that allowed racial imbalances in the work-places of America to stand as proof of racial discrimination. Once it could be assumed that racial imbalances proved racial discrimination, The social engineers began to put forth all types of remedies to correct these imbalances.

This in itself is not necessarily wrong, but somewhere along that road, it became misguided to the point where it became a black and white issue that is viciously debated by both sides even today.

My contention is that those that are opponents of affirmative action are not looking at the entire picture. They are distorting our understanding ("smoke and mirrors", yes) of the dynamics of racial discrimination. What should be at the forefront of the raging arguments and debates is that a real racial problem still exists in America (as you suggest Gdawg), and the fact that we need to develop a formerly oppressed people to the point where they can achieve proportionate representation on their own, given the equal opportunity to do so.


No one said the world was perfect or that life was fair, but blatant skin color preferences, any way you cut them, any way you justify or excuse them, are abominable.


Ray G your points are well taken and spoken the same. And i'm sure we agree on many points as you have made clear to me.
However, LB comments perturbs me to some degree. I say don't stop at skin color perferences in regards to AA which is what the "haters perfer and sewrves as the gist of ongoing disingenous debate on AA. Go farther. For instance, an abomination for me is to discriminate / oppress people due to their skin color in getting equal opportunities in whatever sphere they choose to pursue as is the case for our people for eons, to take their land due to their skin color, to "abort" them out of existence due to their skin color, to deny them bank loans due to their skin color, to relegate their neighborhooods "redlined" due to their skin color, to have their children in substandard publically funded schools due to their skin color as opposed to the "other" schools who recieved more due to their white skin color, to deny them proper health care (when available) due to their skin color, etc.
I mean lets get real here. It may not be a fair or perfect world as you correctly note. But you can only keep the "proverbial foot" on their neck of folks for so long. Soon the foot will rot off due to sustained pressure and intransigence. And the folks whose necks have been pressed to the ground for eons will seek some measure of relief from this now, one footed monster. Hmmmm? What the outcome will be only God knows. But it can either be honest and civil or ?.
At some point in the life of this nation, hopefully, some measure of "real honesty" will prevail on the issue of resolving our racial conundrum. Or god help us!
So, again, I argue that there must be specific redress for African Americans, other than exportation to who knows where or genocide or virtual reenslavement. And I'm not kidding.



PS: I don't think African Americans, or any other person of African ancestry are discriminated against "simply" because of their skin color alone. This is much too simple. I feel its much more basic, in part, as Francis Cress-Welsing wrote about years ago in her book the Isis Papers, and that that has been made much more real by the revelations of the Human Genome Project, genetic inspired (germ) warfare and the like. BECAUSE ONE CAN NOW, FROM A GENETIC BASIS, DECIPHER ONES' GEOGRAPHIC REGION OF ORIGIN VIA GENES COMMON PERSONS OF THAT SPECIFIC GROUP, THE IMPLICATIONS OF RACIAL DISCRINATION ARE MORE PROFOUND AND DARKER. ESPECIALLY IF WE HAVE TO REVISIT NAZI ERA SCIENTIFIC IDEOLOGIES, DRESSED UP FOR TODAY'S WORLD.
So I make no apologies about the need for African Americans specific call for redress, and equally as important, protection against these folks!

Ray G

"No one said the world was perfect or that life was fair, but blatant skin color preferences, any way you cut them, any way you justify or excuse them, are abominable."

I respect your position.

At least we can agree that life is imperfect and unfair. So, how do you propose that we proceed?

should we just accept things as they are and leave it up to the individual to pull themselves up by their boot straps or should we as members of society, engage ourselves in the struggle to make things better or at least question an institutional system that seems so unfair, more so to people of color.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Blog powered by Typepad