Affirmative Action, first introduced in 1961 by then President John F. Kennedy, was meant as a temporary measure to “level the playing field” between whites and all minorities but primarily blacks. As with so many programs to force equality among unequal circumstances, affirmative action soon took a turn to pursuing diversity. At that time the effort became one of what is now known by the oxymoron “reverse discrimination”.
Liberal ideals of change to achieve across-the-board equality disregards means, manner, knowledge, skills, abilities, achievement and ethic. It is discrimination for the sake of attempted likeness and is harmful to all it encompasses. People cannot be cozily forced into ill fitting molds.
As first designed, affirmative action called for employment and education admission goals that would give minorities opportunity for self betterment without having to overcome the real or imagined barriers of race, color or creed. Percentages had to be met with the best minority candidates chosen from the applicant pools for higher education and jobs. The available pool of minority applicants were not always the most qualified or best prepared for the desired positions. The quotas, however, had to be met from the candidates seeking self advancement.
As a result, requirements for credentials, skills, education, and previous performance history had to be lowered for all applicants to institutions of higher education and for the workforce. Ultimately, all standards were highly modified or foregone altogether in order to meet government mandated proportional diversity goals.
Substandard results were recognized within just a few years. Many of the minorities allowed into the colleges and universities due only to skin color or heritage found it difficult to meet even the lowered expectations and the drop out rate among them rose. Employers found it impossible to fire under performing workers without having to justify the action before labor boards or courtroom judges.
The thinking individual might believe that history would keep us from repeating past mistakes. However, enter the President of the United States of America. He is a prime example of what can happen when someone is promoted to a position for which he or she is not qualified.
In 2008, the American public saw a handsome and articulate man with African-American heritage vie for the presidency of the United States. They voted with emotion for him on those characteristics alone. Prior history of achievement – there was none. Academic accolades – there were none. In fact, his recorded prior performance was average to sub-standard. He was a charismatic orator and that, combined with liberal guilt fostered since the inception of affirmative action, was enough for a large voter turnout in his favor.
Having achieved nothing of benefit to the country, he was re-elected for a second term. Over the past 6 years, the cheer leading media has conducted polls and presented poll results that favor the president. Now, however, we are seeing that even they are unable to word surveys that will foster positive results for the him.
A recent Washington poll of registered voters asked whether the Obama presidency is a success or failure. Of the respondents, 55% gave him a failing grade while 39% accepted him as a presidential success. Only 43% of the respondents believe he is a strong leader while 55% do not see him as a leader.
Affirmative action strikes again.