Affirmative action refers to policies and programs designed to promote access to education or employment of a historically socially and politically non-dominant group such as minorities and/or women. The reason for such programs is usually to rectify the effects of past policies of discrimination and to encourage public institutions to have a more diverse population. Like Newton’s first law of motion that says an object in motion will remain in that particular motion unless acted upon by an external force, discrimination in motion will continue down the path of discrimination until it is acted upon by some external pressure like the programs rooted in affirmative action.
Because of the racial discrimination that can be traced all the way back to America’s institutionalized slavery, the black community has been hampered. While many in the white community were able to earn a wage and accumulate wealth, many black people did not have the opportunity to gain assets or capital. When white people passed laws that ended their practice of institutionalized slavery of the African with the stroke of another white man’s pen, black people were left with nothing but the rags used for clothing on their backs while white people were allowed to keep the spoils of the African’s labor. The freed descendants of Africa had nothing to pay for housing, medical care, food, or clothing. Our ancestors had to start where they were and work to get where they wanted and needed to be.
If one thing our ancestors who were freed proved to America was their ability to adapt. Our Africans ancestors were snatched from their land, transported across the Atlantic in conditions no other race of humans had to endure, lost their language, lost their identity, lost their ability to practice their pagan spirituality without interference, became the property of another human, had their family members sold away on the white man’s whims, and were thrown into the American economic system to fend for themselves. And many of our ancestors set out to do just that.
But one thing some white minded people cannot tolerate is black people who don’t understand or refuse to stay in a role that is subordinate to white people. Black people who refuse to operate within the parameters of acceptable blackness as defined by white people are not welcome in America. The only black people that are permitted to prosper are the members of the black community who have demonstrated some type of allegiance to the superiority of white America. Black people will get ahead, but only if they dress the way white America wants them to, talk the way white America wants them to, walk the way white America wants, and so on. White America is more than happy to integrate the subservient black person into their economic system, but only on white America’s terms. One black person here is good enough. One black person there is more than enough. But anything more than that and we may have issues.
With this in mind it should become obvious that the black community is not free to prosper on its own. Too many white minded individuals are at the controls of the economics that could actually liberate the black community from white America’s yoke. These people prefer to exercise control in a manner that keeps the black community repressed and in economic bondage. Black people who make the choice to affiliate with the black community are black people who make the choice to be affiliated with failure, crime, poverty, inactive government, police harassment, limited services, depressed property values, despair, and hopelessness. It matters not if the choice is made consciously or through circumstances beyond the individual’s control. The resulting stigma from the association is the same. The stigma associated with the black community is tangible, very real, and manifest itself physically as the conditions in the black neighborhood.
Now its common procedure that when people are physically handicapped they are given crutches. When we see people using crutches or in a wheelchair in order to gain the mobility that most people take for granted the last thing that should enter people’s mind is some form of shame or ridicule for the condition. Yet, when similar circumstances are attributed to the black neighborhood and its plethora of substandard conditions compared to the white neighborhood, suddenly we are supposed to be ashamed of using the crutch of affirmative action in order to force the white community to allow more people in the black community to earn a living or an education and not just their handpicked token.
Affirmative action actually takes away the white mindset’s ability to ignore the plight of black people. As the vast majority of employers and educators and governing bodies in our society the white mindset actually holds all the economic cards in the relationship between black and white people. Keep in mind that the current conditions between blacks and whites is a product of the ancestors of white people who brought the ancestors of black people here to America kicking and screaming. But now white people want to say they never owned any slaves and that they are not responsible and have no obligation to help their black neighbors who have actually been prevented from being able to compete in white people’s games.
Some people like to point to affirmative action programs and say that they are just a crutch on the black community. These people claim that black people can compete and any affirmative action program robs the black community of any dignity in the job market, school, or whatever you may have. But when white mindset people refuse to allow black people who are just as capable and talented to compete fairly what is the point? The crutch of affirmative action may appear unnecessary because we are so able to compete, but we also need to remember that there are a lot of people who would rather keep us off the playing field altogether and the threat of affirmative action is the only thing that can influence their thinking down a less racially discriminatory path.
Now affirmative action is just one of my boot straps. In a society where white mindset people would rather not see me, a black person who is more than comfortable being outside of white people’s definition of a comfortable black personality, darkening their office I’d rather take a chance of having my dignity suffer over having to rely on a crutch to force corporate America to do the right thing for the black community rather than keep my dignity intact and suffer the type of racism that would prevent me from trying to earn a living.