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Affirmative Action
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This is an issue that I have strongly mixed feelings about.

Rationally, it doesn't make sense as policy. How do you right a wrong by wronging the priveleged group? How do you end inequality by practicing it in the other direction?

A woman on C-Span this morning said something to the effect that "there was affirmative action in this country for white people for hundreds of years, and now the crows are coming home to roost". Is this the sort of America we want to live in, where the attitude is, "You fucked us for a couple hundred years, so now we're gonna fuck you."

Carried to the extreme, should white people be slaves for the next hundred years?

So the policy of practicing racism to end it seems inherently flawed. And yet...hasn't it worked?

The median income for blacks has steadily risen over the past thirty years. There are blacks in every profession, at virtually every political level (from mayor to governor to cabinet-level positions...but not president, yet). There are obviously still virulent strains of racism in the American psyche, but haven't things become progressively better over the past few decades?

Now the key question is: Have policies like affirmative action helped bring this change about? Have improvements in equality been because of such policies, or in spite of them? I don't know the answer to that, but anyone objectively looking at American society would have to concede that there has been very real, very substantive progress.

But another issue remains, even if we come to the conclusion that affirmative action is sound, effective policy. Ultimately, we should want to get to a place as a society where we no longer need it. When such policies were put into place, they were done so with open-ended time lines. How will we know when to either phase them out or eliminate them? What standards will we use?

Because we do eventually want to reach a place where we no longer need such policies, don't we?

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