Episode 34 – Affirmative Action: That Public Policy Between Racism and Discrimination


The public policy of affirmative action is between racism and discrimination. It is a policy that was enacted in 1961 to try and fix the issue of overrepresentation of certain groups in American institutions. However, this policy has not been effective in achieving its goals. Many people believe that affirmative action is a form of reverse discrimination, where qualified individuals are passed over in favor of less qualified individuals from minority groups.

Hello, and welcome back to another series on Affirmative Action on Azazel Podcast. In this series, I explain how affirmative Action works and how it is not meeting the intended purpose of balancing racial diversity in organizations, colleges, and universities. By the end of this series, you will understand that affirmative action is a racial preference policy that disregards individual qualifications to provide benefits to non-deserving minorities who feel entitled to such because of their cultural or geographical background.
I am your host, Dr. Bobb Rousseau. Without further ado, let’s go; shall we? 
The United States seems to be the world’s most popular country when it comes to giving a fair shot to all to pursue the American Dream. The U.S pride itself in fighting gender and color overrepresentation in American institutions. As a matter of fact, since 1961, the U.S government has been enacting affirmative action policies to instruct federal contractors, colleges, and universities to treat all applicants equally or without regard to race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. 
In most layman’s terms, affirmative Action tells CEOs and Deans to give preferential treatment or to apply preferential selection criteria based on race, gender, or ethnicity. As a result, many Blacks and Hispanics have been climbing the American corporate ladder and have been accepted into elite colleges and universities. 
However, Affirmative Action generates intense controversy in a sense many organizations, colleges, and universities focus more on meeting quotas than promoting, hiring, or admitting the most qualified applicants. For many, it is all about checking the box to give the public the impression that they value diversity. 
Affirmative Action uses race based on a zero-sum game to give admission preferences to Black and Hispanic students at the expense of White and Asian applicants without considering their academic achievements. According to legal experts, race is determinative for at least 45% of black and Hispanic applicants being accepted to elite colleges and universities. For example, at Harvard, an Asian applicant with academics in the top 10% has a 12.7% chance of getting in, but with the same grades and test scores, a black student has a 56.1% chance. This is because universities want to balance their student bodies’ racial composition with the population’s racial composition at large.
A close look at affirmative action reveals that such a policy is the tangible continuity of racism and discrimination, for it takes away educational benefits from a race and gives them to another based on quota. Any decision made based on race, gender, or national ethnicity violates the core principle of the universal declaration of human rights stating that all men and women are created equal. “Created equal” means that all men and women are offered the same opportunities to succeed. Subjective categories, such as personality, empathy, and social skills, not gender or background, must be the criteria to measure whether they qualify for certain benefits.
As a racial preference policy, affirmative action benefits non-deserving minorities who feel entitled to such because of their cultural or geographical background. Me, I don’t support the idea of selection preferences that disregard academic achievements or based performances in favor of race or gender; it is racism and discrimination. Affirmative action lacks fairness and blocks the door for good employees and quality students to succeed. 
Thanks for listening, and remember to like, comment, share and subscribe. See you next week. Bye.