Affirmative action. A great idea that failed in the real world. Intended to heal
and reverse the pernicious effects of racism, it inflamed and aggravated tensions without effectively meeting the needs of those suffering from centuries of abuse. The newer Texas system is more effective and race neutral. I strongly support it.
Shawn's response: Being that Affirmative action was initially intended to promote "equal opportunity" in due time to "heal" discrimination and subsequently dissipate the need for such initiatives ... Yes I would agree that it "Failed" ... However, being that this didn't work for the "healing" of discrimination, it did successfully help A LOT of minorities in areas of the workforce as well as education obtain that which would have been even harder to obtain had not such initiative been in place. The fat that it "Didn't" work completely as planned proves that.
My response to Shawn: Agreed. It did good work in its day. I was a strong supporter in the beginning. I believe now that it has become more negative than positive and believe that we need to address the ongoing root problems that deny a fair chance. I've been convinced for decades that guaranteeing admittance to junior college, state college, or state university if you meet certain grade standards, is one effective solution.
No games, no tricks. You earn it, you get it. This promise must be made clear to all kids in elementary school and it MUST be kept. For those who fear a new entitlement, the grades must stay high in college and financial support must be on a sliding scale. Also, recall that the entitlement of the GI Bill made us the wealthiest nation in the history of the planet in the 50's
The other side of the story. Affirmative action did much good in the beginning, but I believe that the time has come to change the focus to ending the causes, not simply mitigating their results. I suggest four essential changes: 1. A "GI Bill" for America's youth. If you earn admission to higher education, you get it. Think of it as a salary for the work done in K through 12 education. 2. Stop the war on minority young men, which is a war on their families. These men belong at home with their wives and children, not incarcerated at such unbelievable rates. A white man arrested for drug possession is very likely to get probation and treatment. A Black or Hispanic man is almost certain to get imprisoned. 3. Give a future back to inner city kids. Growing up in gang and drug infested neighborhoods makes many children believe they will not live to grow up. Why try when you are soon to die anyway? 4. Give principals much more authority and responsibility for their schools. Government meddling by incompetent amateurs, from local school board members to US senators has steadily and predictably degraded our once world class education system into a test driven national disgrace. Reform not the schools, but the system of political education systems which care more about ideology than about teaching children.