I have never been quiet about voicing my deep dissatisfaction with anti discrimination efforts such as affirmative action. I am proud to say that I have never accepted a scholarship or accolade that was based upon my being a woman of color. Affirmative action is a racist practice that in a curious historical twist has become a badge of tolerance and diversity.
After the tragic race baiting campaigns of the 2008 presidential election, the news that the United States Supreme Court is hearing a case, Ricci v. DeStefano on reverse discrimination should not come as a shock. Throughout history affirmative action’s appeal lies in its claim to be anti-racist. Please do not misunderstand, it is an admirable concept. I only believe that it ironically achieves it’s racist goal under the cover of diversity.
I am not totally against affirmative action and I will grudgingly admit that many of the arguments for affirmative action are plausible and in some cases sound such as those that demand upon the elimination of segregation. However as a long time skeptic of affirmative action, this blogger raises a glass to the case that is before the Supreme Court; a case that is said to have again waved red flags concerning the constitutionality of affirmative action practices.
From the Wall Street Journal:
APRIL 23, 2009
High Court Weighs Bias in Firefighters’ Test.
By JESS BRAVIN
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court appeared divided as it heard arguments over whether a Connecticut city engaged in racial discrimination or was fighting it when officials rejected a fire-department employment test because no blacks passed
Only whites and one Hispanic qualified for promotion to lieutenant and captain in the New Haven Fire Department. After the civil service board refused to certify the promotions and directed that all applicants take a different test, firefighters who had passed sued, alleging racial discrimination.
The city defended its action, arguing in part that certifying a test failed by nearly all minorities could expose it to a discrimination lawsuit by black and Hispanic applicants.
Gregory Coleman, the lawyer representing the white firefighters, said the city’s decision diminished his clients'”individual dignity” and promoted “regrettable and socially destructive racial politics.”
Justice David Souter said New Haven faced “a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation.”
Lower courts sided with the city. The case offered the Supreme Court the opportunity to expand its review of antidiscrimination efforts, an issue that Chief Justice John Roberts addressed in a 2007 opinion striking down school-desegregation plans that local school boards adopted voluntarily. The 5-4 decision said systems that base student assignments partially on race are unconstitutional.
I think we should pay particular attention to the city’s decision to reject the results of the original employment test noting from the article: “when officials rejected a fire-department employment test because no blacks passed.”
This case while interesting in and of itself takes on an added significance when considered that it is a warm up for subsequent “reverse racial discrimination cases. Despite the election of our first African American president and the media imposed climate of CHANGE created by the illusion that racism is now somehow dead because we have a black dude in the White House.
The framework of affirmative action remains racist. In my opinion the practice is opaque and ridden with inconsistencies. It does not deliver an outcome that would be acceptable by Martin Luther King.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.
The court will not deliver a decision until July. Meanwhile those managers that make hiring and admissions decisions who are unsure of the legality of affirmative action programs in their organizations should definitely revisit such practices and look to the court’s decision for guidance.
I would like to concluded this post by adding a personal anecdote.
My criticism of affirmative action rises from someone who has experience the negative consequences much more so than the positive. There is nothing flattering about the assumption of your colleagues believing that you received advances in your profession solely because of your skin color. I am living proof that here is little doubt that affirmative action reinforces the belief that minorities are not capable or qualified. When I stand and condemn affirmative action as an African American, many of my racial peers are shocked. However, the basis for my rejection of the practice rests upon my faith in us as not only African Americans but rather Americans who are intelligent and capable human beings.
Autographed Letter Signed,