Thursday, August 8, 2013

Affirmative Action is White Slavery (and other stuff you didn't know were "things")

The title is not for shock value. I'm not making this up. Some of you who regularly read my blogs may even agree with it. That's the gift (and curse) of having a diverse audience. We're not always going to agree, but I do get to see different opinions. (it should be noted that I'm listening to "Back dat azz up" as I write this....taking over for the 99 and the 2000. just thought you should know) BTW... watch this video...because...let's discuss. White Slavery!

How in the entire hell would anyone make THAT analogy? Whetttt?!?!? White Slavery? What did white people lose...a few spots in college? A promotion or two? HOW IN THE HELL CAN THEY COMPARE THAT TO SLAVERY?!?! I mean...that's the emotional response. I'm not emotional, though. So I'll look at this as if I were white for a minute (indulge'll be fun).

This is what they expected me to be on the news.

For the purpose of this exercise, I will assume that my character stays the same and I'm simply transformed physically. I'll remove the conditioning. I'll assume a position of equality based on hard work (and maybe a little family parents earned that). how do I feel about affirmative action? Well, if I'm better for the job, shouldn't I get the job? Why yes the hell I should! If I'm more qualified for the university, shouldn't I be accepted? You daaaaaamn right I should! I never owned a slave...why should I have to pay for slavery?!?!?! This is an outrage! This is oppression!!! is....THIS IS SLAVERY!!!!!

This is what they got!

I imagine that's how that thought process plays out. And let's all suspend our background for JUST a second, and admit that seeing someone get a job you're more qualified for, or a spot in college you're more qualified for, hurts. I don't care what color you are, losing out on something to someone you feel is undeserving stings and causes you to react. The first reaction is often to say "this isn't fair". I is SUPPOSED to be fair, right? Of course it is. And...this is America gosh darnit! this is the place where hard work is rewarded and lazy people get exactly what they deserve...NOTHING! Cool...Cool...except that's NEVER actually been America. Ever. Not once. At no point has there been absolute equality (or even close).

I'm here to break the shackles for my white brethren

So...let's figure this out. How about we start with...Affirmative Action isn't slavery. At all. Not even kinda. Slavery involved people being forced to leave their country, family, lives and work for someone, with no money in return (if you say the slaves were provided with food, clothing, and shelter i might slap your lips off fam...cut that shit out). As a matter of fact, can we stop comparing shit to slavery other than people being forced to work for someone for free and not being allowed to quit, walk away, stop, etc? I don't think this is a lot to ask, ok? Ok. Also, the holocaust isn't a natural analogy to make for hate. Millions of people killed because they were Jewish. Unless you're comparing another group of millions killed because of their ethnicity/religion/etc...find another word. Shit can be really really really bad without resorting to the hyperbole.

Ok...soooo is Affirmative Action...bad? If you know me, you know I think most things are neither bad or good. Most. Sexual Assault, Pedophilia, Oppression...yeah that's bullshit. Most other things I recognize are rarely all one or the other. Take AA. For minorities (which includes women), AA helped (and still does) balance the scales of being denied fair opportunities. For the majority group (in this case, white males), AA took away some opportunities. Without context, you can see how losing opportunities that you once had, based solely on race/sex, can be viewed as discrimination (still bullshit because context isn't a make believe word but...) We can have an intellectual discussion about whether or not it's STILL relevant/needed if you'd like. We can discuss whether it's "racism against whites" if you'd like (it's not because it's not but....). What we can't do is pretend that the default setting on this country until the 1960's was legally protected discrimination. President LB Johnson said "" seems logical. But it's 2013. I'm open for the discussion. What I'm NOT here for is the extreme position on either side. Nope, a person of another race not liking me is not necessarily racism. I'm loud. I cuss occasionally (though far less in real life than you'd think). I refuse to shave my beard. I resist most attempts to define me and to assimilate. In other words...I can understand you not liking me and it doesn't necessarily have a thing to do with my beautiful copper toned skin and luxurious beard. On the other hand, every time a black person mentions race, it's not an attempt to make white folks feel guilty about slavery or ask for reparations (most of us have accepted that shit ain't gonna happen). Rarely do we attempt to discuss. If I discuss something for days it doesn't mean I'm outraged. Most of the black people I know (this isn't scientific, but it's telling) were NOT outraged about the Paula Deen situation. We made jokes about it. We hashtagged it on twitter. We even pointed out that the slavery dinner was probably a bigger deal than the use of the word nigger. What we DIDN'T do was picket, sit-in, ask for a government inquiry, riot, loot...unless you define outrage by "blogging the SHIT outta that story"....nah. Folks just found a story about a public figure and discussed it.

AA is white slavery? Reach on fam

Now...I'm not going to ignore the feeling of unfairness some white people are experiencing. I don't believe I can expect my experience to be respected while I'm dismissive of yours. But....let's not reach, Mr Fantastic. Affirmative Action was intended to right a historical wrong. It was clearly not designed with the sole purpose of demeaning white men (remember white WOMEN benefited from Affirmative Action, too). If you really believe it's unfair, then produce a less emotional argument devoid of hyperbole. Show how ending AA would be beneficial, not just to you, but to the country as a whole. Or...just keep saying ridiculous shit while I laugh. (now listening to Ha. my music choices didn't influence my writing...but i want to share)


  1. My hand has been forced with AA several times throughout my career, with different companies. During the hiring process, it doesn't bother me as much as it does when it surfaces in downsizing situations.

    In those situations, on multiple occassions, I've been forced to remove staff members who were better fits for the position, already doing the work, etc... based soley on the fact that they're white. Downsizing sucks. Downsizing and having to fire people who know they are better than the people who are staying, REALLY SUCKS. Especially when they really have no recourse to fight against it. I've put my job on the line by flat out telling them... "sorry, it wasn't my choice, but legally it puts us at risk to remove the other person."

    Just went through this again... and on a conference call, with HR and the legal group, it was actually said, "I know these people aren't exactly right for the jobs, but if we don't keep them, we could be at risk. The others wouldn't have a case. Next time, if you really want to keep someone, make sure their reviews are all much better than the others... then maybe this would fly."

    In other words... discriminate against your employees all the time, so corporate won't have to discriminate for you.

    1. Thank you for this insight. I never knew that AA is factored into downsizing. Although I DO support AA, I honestly think in this particular application it's completely unfair. If two people are given the same position and one outperforms the other, the choice seems obvious. I would not feel good about keeping my job in a layoff solely based on being a black woman. I may still be grateful, but I would still feel guilty.

  2. While I am sure I have stated in the past that affirmative action is racist, because of the perception that it favors one subset of persons over another.

    What affirmative action IS is 'legally protected discrimination'. One select group either gets preferential treatment at the expense of another, or one select group gets discounted treatment to the benefit of others.

    What it isn't is 'white slavery', which is a term used to describe the sex slavery trade, which is different from what the normal American means when they say 'slavery' which is actually 'chattel slavery'. Some folks use it to describe the slavery system used by the Muslims when pirates would enslave the sailors of ships they had conquered.

    Any other use of the term 'white slavery' is the fault of the user.

    Of course, the talking heads like to twist meanings, and that tactic works with folks who don't think.

    Life isn't fair, never has been, never will be.

    99% of life's problems can be fixed if everyone would just follow one simple rule: Treat others as you wish to be treated.

    But no, affirmative action is not white slavery.

  3. Saw this linked to bigghost's twitter and checked it out. I feel you for the most part. I think affirmative action should apply to ALL people from low income, urban areas. It's unfair if some milk chocolate light skinned pretty boy whose parents are lawyers gets into med school over an equally qualified whiteboy who wasn't born with a silver spoon and is the first person in his family to attend college.

  4. FM, I've been a huge fan of yours for a while. Even as a conservative, a libertarian, and a fundamentalist Christian, I deeply appreciate your willingness to BE BOLD in your stances and, even more importantly, your integrity. That said...

    [Show how ending AA would be beneficial, not just to you, but to the country as a whole]

    I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."

    I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

    I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

    I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

    I have a dream today.


    Affirmative Action is NOT equality. It is NOT brotherhood. It is NOT about the content of character but is, in fact, perpetuating the division based on the color of skin.

    Reverse discrimination is still discrimination. You cannot achieve justice for one person by stripping justice from another. Unless a SINGLE standard is applied, all you've done is applied a bandaid, leaving the wound itself untreated and festering.

  5. The saddest thing is that we really do need Affirmative Action. From my perspective, the old, tired, "I had to fire these superior white men in order to keep these black, brown, women in jobs." Well, yes actually that is discrimination. My White female executives at one of my previous employments, hired a young, single male at 30% more than me. I know because he disclosed what he was being paid to me. Hmmm. So I had the same degree, a decade more experience, a superb work record with amazing annual reviews, but he is able to earn 30% more than me Why? When I approached my supervisors about this injustice, I was informed as a "man, he will have a family to support, also, he is supporting his young adult brother with out any help from his family, which is just so "incredible"so its actually quite fair." "Well, I am supporting my three young sons with no child support, no alimony, no family support. So, does that qualify me for more money?" As it turns out, no. Apparently my inability to recognize my ex-husband after five years and my having worked and put him through school, would leave and become a "upwardly mobile working man/player." I "chose to have children and should have made a better decision about who I married." Oh yes my dears, they used to say that s*** as little as twenty years ago. Of course, I still had all three of my boys at home and a car payment, rent, utilities, etc... so I got the message, shut up and put up with it or lose your job. My next review, i was not longer "a good team player" and I needed to "learn to be more of a team player."

  6. White people don't get that they're already at an unfair disadvantage. Even with affirmative action to help us receive similar opportunities, a degree will take them further and a job will pay them more. There are cases now where white people are challenging AA in schools because they believe it to be unfair, but don't find a shred of irony in the fact that the schools that they're suing are majority white colleges and unicersities. I went to a southern school with a very small amount of black students, and white people would complain about affirmative action as if we didnt make up less than 5% of the population. The fact that they don't understand the need for AA makes me wonder how they see us: most anti affirmative action arguments talk of capability, and they usually make it seem as if white people are the only ones capable for whatever position "unjustly" filled by a Black person via affirmative action.

  7. The problem I see with AA isn't so much that it was created. Heck I get why...but the problem with it is that things are much different now vs the 1960's.

    First off when does a program technically end? When would it be declared a success and be dissolved?

    Secondly is that what specifically is deemed a minority today is totally different then generations ago. The numbers of mixed race people are far higher. So does someone get half AA if they are like Obama? What about if someone was adopted like in the movie the Jerk? What about hispanics? Asians etc. How does one determine what a minority is on a given scale. Is it local? State, regional, national or something else. Let's say a white guy meets a native american and he lives on the reservation. Should the tribe give him AA because he is white and obviously a minority? I know of a city where it is nearly 50/50 white and hispanic so african americans and asians are minorities so who is decided to get more?

    Third Who **really** wants to use affirmation action and be known for using it? I know a african american that made a business and then put it under his wifes name so that way he gets more federal contracts! His wife does nothing for it at all, he runs the show.

    Lastly I'd note that there actually was white slavery under the Irish with Cromwell. This is why many Jamaicans sound Irish. A fair amount of the Caribbean has white slaves as ancestors.