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Re: Affirmative Action

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On Sat, 6 Jan 1996 17:10:45 -0500  IrishBYTE(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:
>Colleagues:
>
>Let's not start a war here!  

Trying not to!:-)

>>>>>> Ah, so discrimination is all right, then, as long as it's practiced
>against a group *you* picked?  Why, then shouldn't I happily discriminate
>against any groups *I* want to and work to see that (asinine) selection
>enforced by the law?
>Shouldn't we instead look at trying to get the most-qualified person into a
>given job and leave the accident of their glandular status or pigmentation
>out of it entirely?
>
>Response:  I donnot believe many of us who are intelligent enough to practice
>engineering actively make conscious decisions based upon
>racism/sexism/whatever.  However, I do believe that many of us, myself
>included, harbour stereotypes unconsciously, and that our professional
>decisions are necessarily influenced.
>
>In a perfect world, people of age or colour, or with handicap or  a different
>religion or sexual orientation would be treated exactly the same as healthy,
>young white anglo-saxon protestant males.  But, in the world we have
>inherited, certain people are targets of discrimination.  They are evaluated
>based upon factors unrelated to their actual qualifications.  

The point I was trying to make (apparently unsuccessfully) is that IMO institutionalizing 
discrimination on the basis of gender or skin color, etc., does not improve the situation, it merely 
changes the victims of that discrimination.  It generates just as much hostility on the part of its 
victims and prolongs the era of judging people on irrelevant criteria.  And, just as the original 
discrimination kept some of the most qualified candidates out of jobs, the current Politically 
Correct form of the same has the same effect, to the detriment of our economy and culture.

>I go back to my argument about equally qualified (education + experience)
>professional women making 67c on the dollar.  This statistic has not changed
>since 1969.  The same holds true for many other minorities. 

Hmm.  I've read a number of reports over the last couple of years that disagree with your statement 
that the situation hasn't changed. 

>Can you suggest a better alternative to affirmative action?  Realistically?

Yes.  Change it so that discrimination on any grounds but ability to perform the requisite function 
is illegal, rather than using the laws for vengeance.

Nigel

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Nigel Mends, PE
email:  nmends(--nospam--at)mt.net
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