Because of the Jayson Blair/NyTimes scandal, a great deal of talk about affirmative action has been generated. In the spirit of candor, let me state that I am opposed to affirmative action, in that it seems fundamentally wrong to use skin color to base preferences on anything. I understand why it is in place, but I disagree with it. At any rate, having stated my opposition to affirmative action, I must address what I think is the most annoying argument against affirmative action, which goes something like this:
“We should end affirmative action because when Americans see black people in positions of power they think they are only there because of special treatment.”
In a word, bullshit. You may think that, but I don’t. I don’t think most people in favor of affirmative action think that. I have met lots of people in positions of power (in the university system, in the military, in the corporate world), and I don’t recall ever thinking “Gee- he/she must be in this job simply because they are black.”
In short, when someone says that, the only response I can think of is- “Hey, just because you have issues about race does not mean we should end affirmative action.” There are enough valid reasons for ending affirmative action. This simply isn’t one of them.