Wednesday, April 16, 2008

As if i needed another reason to call this place 'Misery'...

I had to go to campus yesterday in order to drop off a printing order. On my way through the student union, I was met by a large crowd of protesters chanting something about lies and laws and Missouri. (I am never good at understanding protesters' chants. It's all a jumbled mess to me.) I didn't realize right away what they were protesting, but I knew it had these students, almost exclusively African-American, fired up.

Someone in the printing center knew what was going on. Apparently, the legislature in Misery is trying to pass the Misery Civil Rights Initiative. Other states are in the process of passing similar legislation with the support of Republicans, Democrats, and independents alike.

Sound good, right?

Well, it's not. The main purpose of the bill is to end affirmative action in Misery. While it purports to "
effectively prohibit state and local governments from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group based on race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education and public contracting", what it actually does is reinstate the affirmative action people like myself have enjoyed for centuries, aka being a white male. Or, in other words, minorities will not get a chance at jobs, education, or other public programs through affirmative action.

I know some out there feel this change was long overdue. Why should minorities (including women of all races) get preferential treatment just because their skin color, ethnic background, or chromosomes may be different from me? Isn't that what the civil rights movement fought against?

Well, not exactly.

Thanks to centuries of oppression and exploitation, middle class to rich white men have enjoyed privileges exclusive to them. We have enjoyed our own affirmative action through the fact that things have been run our way. We have the right cultural capitol, wealth, and skin color to get and stay ahead of marginalized groups.

Modern day affirmative action is less preferential treatment than it is leveling the playing field. Affirmative action programs are needed. I don't know whether Clinton and Obama would have had a chance at becoming our next president without affirmative action, but I do know there is a greater chance of having more leaders like them if we do have affirmative action in the future.

Either way, the facts that this state is even considering taking affirmative action from the books is just another reason in a long list of why I will always refer to this place as Misery.

1 comment:

Jake said...

In a perfect world we'd all get based off character.

I think those trying to get rid of affirmative action don't see that part of the picture.

I also always like when people complain about illegal immigrants taking all the jobs; yeah because illegal immigrants are taking top corporate executive positions and all.

Shouldn't these things drive people to be better at what they do? (All races intended)