The underlying premise, and often said premise, for the opposition to affirmative action is that affirmative action starts with the assumption that Blacks are not qualified and will fail with affirmative action in place.
The premise is false and based on the idea that Blacks are inferior. I don't care about the race of the person who is in opposition. The idea still is that Blacks are inferior. But, no one seems to think about the many cases where whites are unable to get the job done.
Forgive me if I ramble, but I'm writing from a stream of conscience about this right now.
Let me go back to an orientation meeting during the first days of college. The dean of the engineering school told each of us to look left and then look right. He then said, in four years, 2 of the 3 of you will not be here. Interestingly enough, he was right. This was the e-school so the make up of the school was mostly white. I saw Blacks, Asians, and whites drop out of e-school. Some of those actually left the university all together.
I'll never forget the night in the computer lab when a white girl broke down crying about the major assignment saying she just couldn't get it done. A white boy was staring at the terminal, cursing under his breath at different times. Finally, he muttered a curse phrase, looked up, reached behind the computer terminal, cut it off, and said, "That's it. I quit. Obviously this isn't for me." I also remember the Black students who washed out of the computer science program.
But I marched on and graduated in four years.
However, no one seems to say anything about the whites that fail. It is as if the possibility of failure for them doesn't exist.
There are references to statistics that "show" Blacks who entered college under affirmative action are more prone to not finish in 4 or 5 years. What those statistics don't account for is:
- The reason why the students didn't finish. Did the students transfer and if they did transfer, why did they transfer?
- Did the students not finish because of funding issues? This point is key because Black students rely more on student loans and grants than white students. The fact is, Black students are more likely to not finish school because of funding issues.
Correlation is not causation is the key in that point.
I dated a woman who was an administrator in a college admissions office. She told me of the "fights" she went through just to add majority minority schools to the college recruiting tour. Once the schools were on the tour, she had to fight to keep them on the tour if the recruiting effort didn't produce "enough" applications. At a dinner where her and her admissions peers gathered, they told tales that echoed what she had told me:
- Black students seemingly not being given the same benefit of the doubt as white students.
- Majority minority schools not given the same amount of time to produce interest in the school before being recommended to be dropped from the school's recruiting efforts.
- White students being told about available scholarships while Black students were not being told about available scholarships.
During my work career, I have witnessed countless instances of incompetence. There have been instances of Blacks and whites being incompetent. But it doesn't matter because it's only the Black incompetence that means anything, right?
I worked at a company with an affirmative action policy in place. I helped interview people for a testing position and recommended a Black man for the job. Other interviewers, who were "over" me, recommended a much less experienced white man for the job. The white man got the job and was later moved to another position because he wasn't qualified.
At another company, one day a Black HR person was walking down the hall and I could tell she was mad. She told me that she was being given grief for recommending HBCUs for the employment recruiting tour. She said she had to fight to get HBCUs included because the other HR people never heard of the schools. She then said that she never heard of many of the schools from which they currently recruit.
Am I the only person who seems to remember reports of:
- A study "showing" white men, even with records, being given more consideration as potential employees than Black men without records?
- A study "showing" that resumes of people with "Black sounding names" were given lower consideration than resumes of people without "Black sounding names" even if the resume of the "Black sounding name" indicated that person was more qualified?
Life Is Unfair
Yes, life is unfair.
Yes, we have to be twice as good to be considered as good.
But I'm "talking about" just getting into the damn door to show our asses off!
So don't come to me speaking nonsense saying affirmative action assumes Blacks are not qualified, because it's bull that isn't proven. To me the comment proves that people start with the assumption that Blacks can't do the job, and when we do, we are the exception, not the rule.