The One Minute Case Against Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action is racism

Affirmative action refers to a collection of policies intended to promote access to education and employment for minorities and women. In an attempt to guarantee such opportunities, government enforced and voluntary programs impose an assortment of racial criteria on businesses, public offices and universities. Compliance with these programs can often cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal and consultant fees as well as significant opportunity costs when organizations are forced make decisions based on race and gender instead of merit.

The underlying evil of all affirmative action programs is that individuals are categorized by their race. This principle inevitably prolongs racism. This is why an anxiety of appearing racist amongst white males is very common in the United States compared to their European counterparts, and why corporations desperately seek to present themselves as non-discriminating and careers are shattered by unjust accusations of racism.

Affirmative Action hurts employers

There are two kinds of jobs affected by affirmative action policies. The first are employment opportunities which seek individuals who possess a minimum set of skills. Some examples include factory workers, cashiers and food service workers. Such affirmative action policies make it more difficult for individuals from non-protected groups to be considered for a position.

Another kind of employment opportunity seeks the best possible candidate for the job. This category includes professorships, managerial and engineering jobs. In order to avoid the appearance of racism, consultancy groups may reluctantly employ an analyst who they know will not produce as many great ideas, hospitals may reluctantly employ a surgeon who they know will not be as effective in the ER, and universities will admit students who they know will not be as diligent.

Affirmative Action hurts employees

Because employment opportunities are given to less qualified, there will be less remaining opportunities awarded to the most qualified. Thus, applicants who don’t belong to a legally protected “under-represented” group compete for fewer positions and therefore face more exclusive standards for selection. As many high school graduates know, SAT scores and GPA requirements for admission to the most competitive of universities are seemingly higher for students of East Asian or East Indian descent. 1

Affirmative Action hurts minorities

A high school student with a below average academic record is likely to be a below average college student. Thus, students admitted through minority recruiting programs often end up in remedial classes with mediocre academic performance. Through simple cause and effect, affirmative action programs prolong the stereotype of minority students finishing near the bottom of their class by encouraging enrollment in universities beyond an appropriate level of difficulty. According to a federal study, just 39% of enrolled black students finish their degrees compared to 54% of white students. 2 Attending a university where the pace of learning is too difficult is just as counterproductive as attempting to lift too much weight at the gym.
The insistence on relaxed admission standards for minority students insinuates that such students are incapable of succeeding without such programs. This insult casts a permanent doubt on the real achievements of high-achieving minorities.

Affirmative Action must end

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. dreamed that one day we would live in a society where individuals would be judged by their character and not the color of their skin. The affirmative action policies of today are both unnecessary and detrimental to minority success. Moreover, they are significant barriers to the establishment of a racially-blind meritocratic society. Justice for all requires the end of affirmative action.

References:

  1. Syracuse University – Office of Multicultural Affairs
  2. MSNBC: U.S. college drop-out rate sparks concer

Further reading:

13 Comments

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13 Responses to The One Minute Case Against Affirmative Action

  1. Richard Bramwell

    “The underlying evil of all affirmative action programs is that individuals are categorized by their race.”

    The above is an egregious error. The underlying evil is that individuals are not characterized by merit. The quoted statement above, which substantially reflect the integrations of the rest of the article, is invalid. It misrepresents the essential nature of affirmative action as being racism rather than an anti-conceptual approach to merit.

    • M.C.

      On the CONTRARY, the author is correct in all regards. By focusing on affirmative action and choosing certain quotas by race, the division between races is emphasized further.

  2. D.J.R.

    So forcing an owner to hire someone based on “merit” is ok? 😕 Isn’t that how the supporters of affirmative action justify their actions in the first place, by saying that the fact that there isn’t a statistically corralitve amount of a certain colored group in an area doesn’t take up the same portion of jobs “merits” a member of that group for that job?

    There is no government solution to “the problem” of not hiring people based on merit, unless force is considered a solution.

    Saying that the problem with his article is that it misreprestents the essential nature of “affirmative action”, which is in it’s application based on racial quota systems, is to lead a reader to believe that an affirmative action program not based on race but merit would be ok.

    • M.C.

      Yet, that is the beauty of the author’s argument. No one can argue that people should NOT be hired due to MERIT, because that means people are more qualified for the job. Would you want a doctor operating on your loved one if you knew that another doctor not protected by affirmative action had better skills to do so?

    • M.C.

      Yet, that is the beauty of the author’s argument. No one can argue that people should NOT be hired due to MERIT, because that means people are more qualified for the job. Would you want a doctor operating on your loved one if you knew that another doctor not protected by affirmative action had better skills to do so? NO YOU WOULDN’T.

  3. Josh

    Great article. I am a student at Pitt and I can never understand what my teachers are saying. Affirmative action puts so many different ethnic groups in the office which is great for diversity but I need to understand what they are saying. I speak 2 languages which should make it easier, but some of their English is so bad there is no point to going to class. They can’t get their lessons across and they often spell simple words wrong on the board. The bad thing is the teachers get tenure and then it is impossible to get rid of them or not cost effective. If we can’t get rid of affirmative action lets at least test their English. One day we are going to be passed up by other countries because they hire the best while we try to be politically correct. Pick the best. That is the best way to go. Giving someone a job based on their ethnic race isn’t much better than not giving them a job based on their ethnic race. Where is the pride in your abilities? When my wife was in HS she worked very hard while three African Americans she knew screwed around. All three of them got full rides to multiple colleges while she pays. Being raciest is possible against white people.

    • M.C.

      Huh. Not just white people; against all people non-hispanic, african-american, or native american. Although Josh seems to be racist in the idea that there are many other underrepresented groups that aren’t white nor protected by Affirmative Action (he only addresses white people), it just shows why AA is bad. It clearly propagates racism, and in return, people respond with racism.

      • M.C.

        However, the point that people who screw around get full-ride scholarships is technically not due to AA. It’s just about minority. AA refers to quotas for college/jobs.

  4. I studied 30 years!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! to become a lawyer. They hired a black guy named MELVO!!! Now i am working in IN N Out flipping patties spiting in every negroes order!!!!!!!!FML!!!!!!!!!!

    • Joe T

      John, you MUST be pretty F**KING stupid! I doesn’t take 30 years to learn how to spit on Negro’s orders. People like you have been doing it to us for over 400 years!

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  6. lom

    “39% of enrolled black students finish their degrees compared to 54% of white students”. I think 39% is quite high considering.

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