For the record, I am a slender, southern born and raised white male. So when the editor approached me about writing a story for the discrimination issue, naturally my first thought was, “What in God’s name do I know about discrimination?”
The truth is, probably nothing. Is there discrimination of the white male? Probably. Have I ever experienced it? Maybe. Is it proportionate to those who are of different race, sex, size or origin? No.
It does exist however. Should the fact it exists be ignored because of the hundreds of years of discrimination the white male institution had inflicted on others? I don’t think so. It’s easy for me to say that though, simply because I am a white male.
But, should we contend that two wrongs make a right? The main contention of racism and discrimination is it is unfair. True. I agree with that statement. But does it make a situation fair when you swing the pendulum to the other side?
Because I am white and male, I do not get special scholarships or preferential treatment when it comes to job consideration. Because of that, I am at a disadvantage. Scholarships that are available to me are also available to minorities and women. Special scholarships are available for women and minorities that are not available to me. That doesn’t sound very fair.
Some will argue affirmative action is a retributive function and sooner or later it will be removed from society. The question is when? When will we get rid of it? How do we determine we have punished the white male long enough?
I do not believe we should totally abandon the idea of affirmative action. My proposal is we should go with a quota system. Yes, that’s right, the system that was outlawed in Bakke vs. California.
We should do it in a different way than the University of California-Davis did it. Instead of having minorities and women reach a certain level that is lower than what the white male should have, we should up the bar.
If we could have a quota system that is carefully monitored by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where minorities and women could not be allowed unless they meet the same requirements as white males, then we as white males could not complain to their being accepted.
This could apply to both universities and the business world. I feel small businesses should be exempt from this application because it would be difficult to work this system if the business had only 10 or less employees.
If a company or university could not find enough minorities or women to meet their quota then they should be allowed to let white males fill the vacant slots. I feel over a period of time those vacant slots will lessen and eventually the quota system and affirmative action will no longer be needed.
The question is, how long is “eventually?”