I watched a couple of debates on YouTube discussing affirmative action and I keep wondering what it would be like if we got rid of it. Now affirmative action covers a lot of distinct groups of people. Usually when someone mentions it, we always think about it in terms of black people. Yet let's stay there because essentially the program got it's luster from the civil rights movement. There's no question black people benefited from affirmative action, no one would disagree with that. Yet now there seems to be a stalemate. In some statistical categories concerning education and families, the black community has gotten worse since those days. (In terms of overall percentages) Back then, during the segregation days, people purposefully got in the way of black progress. It was never "separate but equal" in those days, it was "separate and unequal". Everything considered to be white property was 10 times better than anything considered black property. For instance white schools had updated school books and better facilities than black schools. Ultimately however, even more than the inequality of resources, there were purposeful road blocks put in place to keep black people down. Black people couldn't vote for the most part, you had killings and lynchings for anyone who dared spoke up, and no one was going to jail for those murders. So black people went unprotected. So yes, no one would argue affirmative action or any other civil rights type of law wasn't necessary in those days. Today is a little different no?
If we got rid of affirmative action today, yes I believe the black population at a lot of your prestigious colleges and universities would drop down to almost 0%. Perhaps you will have fewer black people at certain organizations and law firms etc. You know what I would say to that in this day and age? Wonderful! That should make every black person mad as a shark to see us not getting into those institutions. The anger would be good in my eyes if it then leads us to excel in our education. So as a black man or black woman, if my grades and experience weren't good enough to get into a Harvard or MIT, that should inspire me to do better and exceed in my studies. Besides its not the end of the world not getting into those big schools. It's actually the opposite, it could lead to the beginning of a new world. Why aren't some of these HBCs (Historically Black Colleges) considered to be on league with Harvard and other top schools? Where are the black businesses that are on league with a Wal-mart or Microsoft? Who cares if by eliminating affirmative action the end result would almost leave a black person close to zero chance at getting into these famous institutions of education and employment? Why not start and support our own? We no longer have to worry about the road blocks of the civil rights era. In this day and age black people can really take off.
So I see affirmative action as holding black people back more than helping. It's preventing students from wanting to excel in their work as far as schooling goes, because we know you don't have to have the best grades to get into the top schools. Also at the same time, it creates the illusion that you need to continue to support the top schools which are predominantly ran by white people, when you can create your own top school elsewhere. (the same with top businesses)