What’s wrong with affirmative action even in its original, “good,” “outreach,” “non-quota” form

This is a comment by me from the discussion following my 2003 article, “My Views on Race and Intelligence”:

I’m not sure I agree with Unadorned in supporting affirmative action “in its originally-advertised sense of aggressively seeking out FULLY-QUALIFIED members of underrepresented groups.” I think the very act of “affirmatively seeking out” members of some group to be students in a school, or employees in a company, or members of an organization, is a mistake because it sets things up on an artificial basis.

Here’s an example. At a bi-annual conference of writers interested in immigration reform that I used to attend [John Tanton’s Writers’ Workshop], invariably at every one of these meetings a certain participant would stand up and say, “We’ve got to get some blacks to come to these conferences, we can’t be an all-white group.”

On one of these occasions I said something like this: “What’s wrong with this suggestion is the same thing that’s wrong with affirmative action. Each one of us is here because we had a common interest in this problem. That’s what drew us together. None of us is here because our organizer said, “Hey, I’ve got to invite a Catholic,” or “I’ve got to invite a Jew.” The meeting is a voluntary association of people who are interested in the same subject. If there was a black who was involved in the same issue, he would be drawn into the same circle of contacts, and he would end up here too. But what you’re suggesting is that we go out and deliberately look for blacks to come to this meeting, just because they’re black. Thus they would be here on an artificial basis right from the start. They wouldn’t be here on the same grounds that the rest of us are here.”

That, in a nutshell, is what is wrong even with the non-quota, “affirmatively seeking out” type of affirmative action. It puts everyone in a false position. It violates the natural process by which human associations get formed and maintain themselves.

Posted by: Lawrence Auster on June 7, 2003 2:58 PM

- end of initial entry -

October 10

Clem P. writes:

And that is exactly what happened with the whole Tea Party phenomenon, at least initially. The first months of Tea Party rallies were overwhelmingly if not exclusively white. Not by design nor by coercion. They just were. There was no explicit calls for a white only movement in fact race was never mentioned at all until those outside of the movement started whining that there was very little if any blacks involved. That in turn led to some inside the move to want to “reach out,” taking what was for the most part a real, organic movement and turning it into something it wasn’t, a “false position.”

LA replies:

Exactly. That’s a perfect example of what I was talking about.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 09, 2011 05:53 PM | Send

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