Date: Fri, 10 Mar 1995 23:39:43 -0500 (EST)
From: ODIN <>
Subject: PNEWS: Affirmative Action
Message-ID: <>

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From: Richard K. Moore <>
Subject: Re: Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action

By Rickard K. Moore, from a discussion on PNews list, 10 March 1995

Clearly any kind of affirmative action mandate involves compromise between different definitions of the term fairness. Until such time as employment patterns are more reflective of population patterns, some kind of affirmative action—in both education and employment—can serve as a partial remedy. Such a mandate can help unite society by reducing racial segregation and reducing race-based economic stratification.

The quota system, though obviously bringing in undesirable side-effects, is necessary because of the impossibility of measuring and enforcing non-discriminatory hiring practices. A quota is a workable, pragmatic mechanism to insure bottom-line results, without forcing the government to stick its nose into how companies conduct interviews, evaluate cadidates, etc.

I’ve seen affirmative action in operation in various companies and universities where I’ve been employed. Never have I seen an unqualified candidate hired. What has happened is that the hiring agencies have broadened their searches to seek out qualified candidates from a wider range of sources. The result has been queue jumping by equally qualified candidates who happen to bring ethnic diversity to the organization.

This queue jumping is obviously bothersome to those candidates skipped over, and here’s where the compromise among desirable but conflicting principles necessarily occurs. You might say we’re going through a period of rough-justice karmic adjustment as a society. Young white males are paying the dues of their previously advantaged Fathers. I’d say that in the broad context of American public policy, the affirmative action system has been one of the fairest elements, and enforced with relatively little government intrusion into how businesses operate.

Let’s face it, some of us HAVE been advantaged. I’m embarrassed by all the whining by my fellow white males over affirmative action.