One of Abraham Lincoln's claims to fame is the fact that he is best known for abolishing slavery. While he may have felt some personal satisfaction from liberating the Negroes from their bondage, Economy was the main reason why he made his emancipation proclamation. He wanted all of America to move into the Yankee version of capitalism. Over half a decade later, and after a series of civil rights "victories", the roots of Affirmative Action were laid into law.
This was at a time when black civil rights leaders where being assassinated, churches were being bombed, and dogs were not the black man's best friend. Some blacks had managed to prosper in a separate, but equal America. They become lawyers and businessmen and doctors. However, very few businesses employed blacks in a management position, as they knew their white employees would not adhere to their direction.
There was a time when all that were true. It was the same time that smokers were not treated as social pariah; professional athletics made less than the average worker and the only way to send mail was in an envelope. Times have changed. The social landscape has evolved. Technology has made a huge impact in our social fabric. Millions of families have found a home, and built their families in North America from across the globe. Blacks are no longer the scorn of White America. And while the Civil Rights amendments apply to all races, colors, and ethnic peoples, let's face it, it is primarily applied to the African-American.
Between Affirmative Action and demands for reparations, the black community has continued to ask for government handouts needlessly for almost 2 decades. It is time for this to end.
When Italians and Irish peoples first came to Ellis Island, they were not treated any better than the people that were already settled. They faced most of the same persecution and challenges being directed to the black community as well. But they adapted. They formed close ties with their communities, and bought their way into mainstream America. That is the same for the Jews.
Throughout history, no peoples have been persecuted to the same levels as the Jews. Laws, throughout history, were made to keep them out of public office, and some times legitimate business, yet still they prosper. What are their secrets? Banding together as a community. Forming strong business groups. Supplying needed services or products to mainstream America. For some reason, since the wholesale pillaging of Africa, African-Americans cannot seem to imitate other ethnic communities in that regard. They continue to follow the African model of exploitation so that a few can maintain a hold over the many.
What I have stated may be controversial, but it is nevertheless factual. In your company, if a new Italian person is hired, he will be eating with other Italians by lunch. That is the same across most other ethnic communities, except the black community. Black people will look into themselves to find differences (Haitian against Jamaican, American against African, etc).
I believe that this goes against the spirit of Affirmative Action. Its purpose is to give a foothold into long-held white only corporations and their management staff. Most blacks today, once elevated into that position, try to take on the genetic make-up of those in the same position as them. They will not seek to promote other black candidates, in fear of looking too sympathetic, or incompetent. So no matter how many blacks may be working in the bowels of the company, the way blacks have applied Affirmative Action even amongst themselves does nothing but try and maintain a 2% average, even if there are more highly qualified blacks ready to get promoted.
The tide appears to be changing, as more and more black people have benefited from the explosion on their culture in White America, or with the incredible salaries now paid to athletes. They have re-invested into their communities to make a difference in both education and job opportunities. That being stated, if there were no more government sponsored welfare-type programs, those communities would be forced to band together to create a better environment for all their peoples.
Why should the government continue to fund programs and departments meant to uphold this archaic view of corporate practice, when for the most part, they are already in place. Let the communities speak for themselves. If a company has suspect-hiring practices, let the community speak out, and only then should the government get involved. Instead, the government should be focusing on getting kids of all ethnic communities the same opportunities for education afforded to those of privilege. Let's put affirmative action into the hands of each individual, to succeed in whatever profession they excel in, instead of limiting their own job opportunities to about 2% in each company.
About The Author
Gary Whittaker is the editor of T.E.N Magazine, a social commentary webzine with balls! Check out more articles at http://www.tenwebzine.com