I pledge allegiance to the flag
Of the United States of America,
And to The Republic for which it stands,
One Nation under God, Indivisible,
With liberty and justice for all.
Justice for all. A noble goal. A goal worth working for. An ideal worth sacrificing for. Justice for all: a fine standard to hold our actions to. Let's see how the idea known as Affirmative Action measures up.
First, the definition, from Wikipedia:
Affirmative action (U.S. English), or positive discrimination (British English), is a policy or a program promoting the representation in various systems of people of a group who have traditionally been discriminated against, with the aim of creating a more egalitarian society. This typically focuses on education, employment, health care, or social welfare.
In employment, affirmative action may also be known as employment equity or preferential hiring. In this context affirmative action requires that institutions increase hiring and promotion of candidates of mandated groups.
So, how is affirmative Action just or fair? It's not. It's all about giving to the folks perceived as "have-nots" at the expense of those who are perceived to be "haves." At least in England they have the decency to call it what it is: discrimination. And it's only "positive" discrimination from a very narrow viewpoint. The fact that affirmative action and equal opportunity are so often said in the same breath is laughable: there's nothing equal about affirmative action.
Who wants to be hired or promoted based on the fact that they belong to a "protected" group? Certainly not me! If I ever thought that I'd been hired or promoted because I'm a woman, I'd have to step down & let the best candidate have the job. If I even stayed with a company that would give me a job based on my gender. I don't want to be someone's quota or token female. I want to be in a position that I earn.
The Washington Post, in an article on the Center for Individual Rights' campaign to do away with affirmative action, quotes Michael McDonald and Michael Greve:
McDonald and Greve say they are hostile to government-sponsored affirmative action on the philosophical grounds that it undermines efforts to create a truly colorblind society. They are irked by university officials who they say often lie about their efforts to give preferred minorities a leg up. And though diversity is a worthwhile goal, according to CIR leaders, it's overrated and should never trump a person's right to be judged on the basis of talent and character.
"I don't know where this idea came from that all races have to be represented proportionally in all professions," said McDonald, the more soft-spoken of the duo. "We're here to protect the rights of individuals who are being discriminated against through no fault of their own because of their skin."
Discrimination is against the law. The 14th Ammendment prohibits any laws "which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States". So why isn't Affirmative Action against the law? It clearly abridges the privileges of groups such as white males. Affirmative Action clearly isn't up to the ideal of "Justice for All."
Wikipedia: Affirmative Action
American Association for Affirmative Action
Center for Individual Rights
Washington Post: Affirmative Action Under Attack
Washington Post: D.C. Public Interest Law Firm Puts Affirmative Action on Trial
Wikipedia: Pledge of Allegiance