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Re: Affirmative Action

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However, I do believe that many of us, myself
>included, harbour stereotypes unconsciously, and that our professional
>decisions are necessarily influenced.
Yes, WE ALL harbour stereotypes whether we like to admit it or not. But the
true test to our humanity is our ability to base a decision upon the
knowledge that our *stereotypes* are best left to battle within our selves
on a moral and ethical basis, but do not belong in our decision making
ability. As intellegent beings, we have the ability to filter out that which
we know is wrong or unacceptable behavior. 
Often the right decision is not the one that we want it to be, but as
thinking beings we should be able to accept the fact that this answer is
true both ethically and morally - regardless of our preconceived notions.
This is the response based upon mature decision making - which is what we
expect of all of those individules in a responsibile decision makeing position.
Therefore, when we excuse ourselves by saying that "this is not a perfect
world" - as I myself have in a previous response - we are simply making
excuses for others to make wrong decisions.
Those in authority should regard themselves and act - ethically and morally
in a more responsibile manner than that which we describe. Possibly the
better approach to affirmative action is to make the punishment for
discrimination stronger than a repremand or demotion. Rather than treating
it as a civil matter, treat it as a criminal matter - or better yet, leave
the decision making based upon qualification to an elected group within a
large business enviornement - voted for by the workforce. Where computers
can be used to tally qualifications - use them. I've yet to meet a computer
that can tell religion, race, sex or nationality based upon input.
How about leaving all of the information that relates to a persons genetic
grouping off of applications - where the determination is made after the
facts have been evalutated and the contenders chosen on merit.
As ridiculus as these ideas may sound - I'm sure our creative thoughts
haven't exhaused all of the possibilities for fair play.
Dennis Wish

P.S. I have always paid those that worked for me equally or better. The be
better the pay for a job performed the better the working relationship.
Although I hire as consultants - since I run a small office, I find that
none of these discriminating factors has ever entered into my decision. I
look only for ability and responsibility to deliver work when promised.
Maybe that's why all that have worked for me as consultants are the same
ones that I used eight years ago. It makes for a better team.