While I agree with your headline, I am not sure how reliable the website is that you cite to in your editorial, it would have been much more informative if you had gone to the American Association for Affirmative Action website (http://www.affirmativeaction.org/abou...) to include as part of your discussion.
AAAA is a non-profit organization which mission is to educate and bring about awareness of affirmative action and diversity. I, as well as, many other equal opportunity officers are members of this organization.
While, you are accurate about the inception of affirmative action, which was put in place to right the wrongs of past discrimination, the United States Supreme Court has ruled on numerous cases, that "quotas" or any type of "set-aside" is unconstitutional. (a.k.a "preferences")
Affirmative action includes not only minorities (particular Blacks as you suggest in your article) but also women, veterans, and the disabled population. Its purpose is to provide equal access and equity for minorities and women in employment, education and economic opportunity. I approach my job with the notion that affirmative action includes a strategic plan and outreach to bring about inclusion within a given workforce.
The legislative basis for any affirmative action plan and/or program is Executive Order 11246, as amended, section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended, and the Vietnam Era Veterans’ Readjustment Assistance Act of 1974. These laws together protect minorities, women, members of religious and ethnic groups, and individuals with disabilities and have been powerful initiatives in the quest for a more inclusive society.
I appreciate your article because I am a strong believer that awareness and education is the key. While I do believe that President-elect Barack Obama's accomplishment is indeed historical and a step in the right direction, it does not in of itself (as you state in your editorial)that all laws of equal opportunity should be written off the books.
We continue the fight for equality and justice for all. I am elated to see in my lifetime that my two boys and daughter can aspire to be anything they want to be, including the President of the United States; and it is equally as pleasing to witness the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as noted in his "I Have a Dream" speech become much more than words but a glimpse of reality.
"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 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."
Yulanda McCarty-Harris, Esq.Director, Equal Opportunity and Diversity Youngstown State University
December 7, 2008 at 7:41 p.m.
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