Likens: UT-Austin's affirmative action policy counterproductive, breeding casual racism
Published: Monday, October 15, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, October 16, 2012 13:10
I’d make a crack about how University of Texas at Austin’s good/bad football season is about to be spoiled/made worse by controversy, but I don’t really care about football. That being said, I’ll skip the pleasantries and cut right to it.
Abigail Noel Fisher is suing UT for declining her application back in 2008 and for more than just petty revenge. Fisher is suing because she believes UT’s affirmative action policy ruined her chances of admittance.
Maybe some of you just woke up from that nap you started in 1960. Abridged, affirmative action is essentially the government’s policy on promoting ethnic diversity. The method used to go about this, however, has a long history of getting people all riled up and lawsuit-y, on account of the fact that it does so by requiring organizations employ a certain number of minorities. No exceptions.
Although well-intended, affirmative actionis a counterproductive attempt at righting the wrongs.
As far as the numbers go, blacks and Hispanics, who tend to occupy most of affirmative actions' efforts, aren’t even the most disadvantaged races in American society. That title easily goes to Native Americans, who statistically suffer from the highest rates of poverty, depression, alcoholism, and suicide of any race in the country. But somehow, affirmative action is almost exclusively reaped by the least minor of minorities.
If affirmative action were a movement actually about assisting the disenfranchised, rather than an ill-informed guilt trip on the part of the government and white people in general, things wouldn’t be quite as simple as “On a 1-10 scale, how dark are you?”
So why does affirmative action miss the mark?
Actually, it’s an identified phenomenon called the Availability Heuristic. For those of you who don’t know what that means, and don’t want to Google anything up that just sounds like it was pulled from a random page in a Michael Crichton novel, the Availability Heuristic is best described as a common mistake we all make, wherein the mind assumes a particular event occurs more often than it actually does, simply because they’ve heard about it a lot.
And that’s exactly where affirmative action falls on its face. What affirmative actionattempts to combat is racism-induced disadvantages when more or less, life-altering racism has pretty much left the building. Yes, it happens but it’s not even close to being on the scale one would gather from watching the Oprah show. Considering that heavy cases of discrimination are generally enacted on a personal level, maybe it’s not necessary to have a nation-wide policy that affects every individual in the country.
Even Supreme Court Justice Sandra O’Connor specifically stated in the early 2000’s that she felt affirmative action would almost certainly become obsolete within the next 25 years. However, I’d also imagine she wouldn’t have predicted that before the end of that same decade, Barack Obama would win the 2008 election, Neil Tyson deGrasse would become everybody’s favorite astrophysicist and Eminem would become certifiably ‘blacker’ than either of those guys combined. Colorblindness is occurring at an exponential rate.
The only difference between a reasonable policy and blatant prejudice is a proper justification. If there is no justification for affirmative action that can’t be proven to be unlikely or outright incorrect (which seems to be the case), then the policy is 100 percent, stone cold racism.
And it’s not just racist against whites either. Without probable cause, Affirmative Action is basically a condescending way of telling minorities they’re too incompetent to survive competing against good ol’ white folks.
Oddly enough, affirmative action is apparently to breeding casual racism as sneezing into peoples’ mouths is to breeding the flu. People tend to feel negatively about anyone who got their job because the boss was behind his quota on employing minorities, and minorities who actually earned their positions have their accomplishments tarnished by the fact that they likely could have gotten it anyway.
Because of this, I’ve heard more otherwise intelligent people say irrational, racist sounding things during affirmative action discussions than anywhere else--like a catalyst for some ignorant form of Tourette’s. Ignorettes, if you will.