Affirmative Action


Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including “race, color, religion, gender , or national origin”[1] into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group, usually as a means to counter the effects of a history of discrimination. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and education to public contracting and health programs. – Wikipedia

Pulling out of my driveway this morning, I turned on the radio for some company. I’m not sure what station I was listening to but the topic of affirmative action was being discussed. Living in the South, I frequently see newspaper articles that talk about wanting to up the “insert race here” quotient in the local police or fire departments. Incentive programs are often offered to entice those of the desired race.

As I was passing by the park, down the street from my house, the two DJ’s on the program began talking about a recent poll they conducted. Seems they had sent someone to interview local college students on their thoughts on affirmative action in regards to sports. The students where asked:

“Do you believe that players should be recruited based on talent or race?”

Almost all of the students replied, “talent”. They were then asked:

“Why then is there a double standard in the business world where business owners have to hire based upon race and not those who are the most talented?”

Why indeed huh. Freedom and equality for all, even the stupid. Reminds me of this quote from the movie The Incredibles (swap the word “powers” for “talented”):

Helen: Dash… this is the third time this year you’ve been sent to the office. We need to find a better outlet. A more… constructive outlet.
Dash: Maybe I could, if you’d let me go out for sports.
Helen: Honey, you know why we can’t do that.
Dash: But I promise I’ll slow up. I’ll only be the best by a tiny bit.
Helen: Dashiell Robert Parr, you are an incredibly competitive boy, and a bit of a show-off. The last thing you need is temptation.
Dash: You always say ‘Do your best’, but you don’t really mean it. Why can’t I do the best that I can do?
Helen: Right now, honey, the world just wants us to fit in, and to fit in, we gotta be like everyone else.
Dash: But Dad always said our powers were nothing to be ashamed of, our powers made us special.
Helen: Everyone’s special, Dash.
Dash: [muttering] Which is another way of saying no one is.