Friday, October 5, 2007

Red and Yellow, Black and White

Maybe I am opening a can of worms here, but I have been thinking about this for a few months. While I am sure some reading this post may be offended, I am trying to take a neutral stance, while hoping for feedback from the diverse group of friends who read this blog. So here I go: Affirmative Action.

Racial tension is not a social disruption privy to the US alone. Darfur, the Balkans, the Congo, etc. all have witnessed civil wars with racial issues as the root cause, or at least the perpetuated cuase. America, who has learned from her mistakes, tends to be very proactive in preventing future evils; thus the reasoning from Washington for our current involvement in Iraq. Affirmative action was set up to prevent the segmenting of races following the Civil Rights Movement. The evil offspring of segmentation are unfair stereotypes, discrimination, and hate. But does legislation of such matters ever go too far?

Meredith Vs. Jefferson county, circa December 2006.

In a nutshell, the utmost politically correct, Jefferson County, the 26th largest school district in the US, tried to safe guard itself from being considered “racist” by implementing racial quotas to be met by each school in the district. Each school was required to have no less than 15% and no more than 50% of one race. Sounds noble, right? Keeping a balance?

Here is the obvious problem: Your kids may or may not be accepted into any given school based on their race…kind of counterproductive. Here is the not-so-obvious problem: Jefferson county’s standard for “desegregation” divided race into TWO categories—Black, and other. That’s right your Asian friend, your Latina friend, middle class white friend, and your Muslim friend who didn’t happen to be African American were unable to escape a particular label. At the same time, your black southern Baptist friend, your black Muslim friend, and your black son-of-a-black-doctor friend also were imprisoned by terminology. I wonder how many sleepless night were had by Jefferson County school board members when trying to figure where to place children whose parents were of different races!

Does enforcing diversity solve or create problems? While this story may be extreme, is seems that at times, affirmative action itself may be discriminatory. The solution? Don’t ask me…try Michael Moore.


Five Year Slumber said...

In the words of Depeche Mode... "People are people"

Ken said...

I don't know.....part of me says that people shouldn't be allowed in/excluded from anything simply based on race/gender/whatever.

Public schools should be attended by any student who falls in that school's district or however that city/county/whatever divides it's territory.

On the other hand, I think diversity is a good thing! Most of the problems between races is based in ignorance and fear. The only way to combat fear is to gain love for eachother through getting to know one another.

I'm quite thankful for the racially diverse schools I attended growing up.

Nate Watson said...

Good thoughts Ken.
My biggest beef with J County is that they tout themselves as the model of diversity with their 15-50 quota, yet that quota only takes into consideration BLACK AND OTHER...the ACLU could have a hayday with that one...just find one disgruntled and mislabeled non-caucasian "other."

To finish the rest of your quote, 5YS, "so why should it be, you and I should get along so awfully..." A perfect lyric for the post!