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Affirmative Action and American Racial/Gender Discourse June 30, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — afrocity @ 3:04 PM

black plightThe following is an except from a 2003 article by African American writer Thomas Sowell on The Grand Fraud: Affirmative Action for Blacks.  Hattip to poster John Morris. This is only and except and I have linked to the entire article. The words of Mr. Sowell echo my thoughts on the inherent flawas within affirmative action programs.

Capitalism Magazine

The Grand Fraud: Affirmative Action for Blacks

by Thomas Sowell (April 1, 2003)

No issue has been more saturated with dishonesty than the issue of racial quotas and preferences, which is now being examined by the Supreme Court of the United States. Many defenders of affirmative action are not even honest enough to admit that they are talking about quotas and preferences, even though everyone knows that that is what affirmative action amounts to in practice.

When any policy can only be defended by lies and duplicity, there is something fundamentally wrong with that policy. Virtually every argument in favor of affirmative action is demonstrably false. It is the grand fraud of our time.

What of the idea that affirmative action has helped blacks rise out of poverty and is needed to continue that rise? A far higher proportion of blacks in poverty rose out of poverty in the 20 years between 1940 and 1960 — that is, before any major federal civil rights legislation — than in the more than 40 years since then. This trend continued in the 1960s, at a slower pace. The decade of the 1970s — the first affirmative action decade — saw virtually no change in the poverty rate among blacks.

In other words, most blacks lifted themselves out of poverty but liberal politicians and black “leaders” have claimed credit. One side effect is that many whites wonder why blacks cannot lift themselves out of poverty like other groups, when that is in fact what most blacks have done.

Affirmative action is great for black millionaires but it has done little or nothing for most people in the ghetto. Most minority business owners who get preferences in government contracts have net worths of more than one million dollars.

Please read the writings of Thomas Sowell  a very gifted man.


4 Responses to “Affirmative Action and American Racial/Gender Discourse”

  1. John morris Says:

    All of Sowell’s writings on this subject are great. These arn’t just essays; he has studied the global history of affirmative action programs around the world.

    For a really depressing look at what things like this can do- read about the sad history of Sri Lanka.

  2. boldandbald Says:

    In my own industry there are ‘minority owned’ businesses that the company I work for often bids for jobs against. I know of several of those ‘minority owned’ businesses where the minority in question is a figure head only. In fact one such company is now ‘owned’ by a former employee of the company I work for. He rarely showed up to work on time, was habitually asking fellow employees for money, and was eventually fired for incompetence. He also doesn’t have a license to work independently in the field, as most business owners in this industry do. the only reason he is a business owner is because someone wanted to be able to bid on government contracts as a minority owned business. I don’t see this as a help to the African American community. It just prolongs this perception that black people can’t help themselves, they need white people to hand them everything. Anyone with half a brain knows that this perception is false, yet this is the very pretense that AffAct is founded on. AffAct needs to go away.

  3. budwhite Says:

    “A far higher proportion of blacks in poverty rose out of poverty in the 20 years between 1940 and 1960 — that is, before any major federal civil rights legislation — than in the more than 40 years since then”

    I like the fact that Sowell can talk about his own experiences with REAL racism while being critical of affirmative action. He’s an honest broker.

  4. John morris Says:

    “Bangkok, Thailand – In a political gamble, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has begun chipping away at affirmative-action policies for ethnic Malays in a bid to attract more foreign investment and revive a recession-hit economy.”

    Finally, Malaysia may be working to get rid of it’s racist “Sons Of The Soil” program which favors ethnic Malays over other groups in Malaysia and has promoted massive corruption, among a small Malay elite.

    Since 1971, Malays have enjoyed a series of entitlements under the New Economic Policy (NEP), which was designed to redress inequality and poverty after deadly race riots in 1969.

    In recent years, resentment against the NEP has risen sharply among ethnic Chinese and Indians, stirring racial tensions. Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister, has promised to abolish the privileges and tackle poverty regardless of race.

    The ruling coalition slumped to its lowest-ever share of the vote in elections in March 2008. A string of subsequent by-elections has been won by the opposition, raising doubts about the government’s longevity.

    As leader of the dominant United Malays National Organization (UMNO), which has defended the NEP as its birthright, Najib risks stirring dissent in the ranks by taking away their perks. Critics say UMNO insiders are the main beneficiaries of racial quotas, as poor Malays don’t own stocks or compete for government contracts.

    Compare Malaysia to Singapore which has a merit based society which ranks as one of the richest in the world.

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