The rationale for including these additional groups is that they have also suffered discrimination. However, at one time or another, most races have encountered discrimination in America - Irish, Italians, Jews, Poles, Middle Easterners, even my ethnicity, Armenians. In fact, my mother’s family and friends pleaded with her not to marry that low-life Armenian. In the 1960’s, Fresno State refused to hire an Armenian as its basketball coach.
Affirmative action is really politicians picking and choosing winners and losers. It clearly violates the basic tenet of our Constitution: equal protection for all, irrespective of race. The groups not included by our politicians do not have the same opportunity for jobs, businesses, government contracts or education.
Even if you agree that preference should be given to these select groups, the obvious question is for how long? What is fair? Fifty years? 100 years? Perpetuity?
Ironically, oftentimes, affirmative action in education hurts the minority student. Even if the student is qualified to attend the institution there is a stigma that he/she was only admitted because they are a minority. The students who are not qualified face acute difficulty staying up with the course material and competing for grades against students who are more prepared and better qualified.
However, the real reason affirmative action is a colossal failure is that it hasn’t helped the group of people it was intended to help. It ONLY helps a small number of minorities, most of whom do not need assistance.
Affirmative action gives a preference to minorities for government contracts and lucrative business licenses, such as cannabis licenses and airport concession licenses. Businesses that have a certain percentage of minority ownership are given preference for the contract or license even if they do not submit the best Request for Proposal or are the most qualified.
On most occasions, the minority owns only a fraction of the company and is not involved in its day-to-day operations. Worse yet, the same minority owners are awarded multiple contracts or licenses, helping only a few people. This select group of minorities has benefited greatly but they tend to need less help. Most are personable, intelligent, self-motivated and have been successful in the past.
Nevada’s has only one entirely Black owned cannabis business, Nevada Wellness Center. Its owner is Frank Hawkins, former NFL great, Las Vegas City Councilman, and successful developer of low-income housing. Frank doesn’t need affirmative action to be successful. He has been successful his entire life.
Even in higher education, affirmative action helps minorities from successful families the most, children who have had strong parental guidance and been provided a quality education.
If the United States really wants Blacks and Native Americans to attain a level playing field, it should provide their children the best education possible: the best schools, the best infrastructure, the best technology, and the best teachers.
However, the opposite is happening. Most minorities are raised in poor neighborhoods with little funding for education from the local property taxes. Their schools are older, smaller, and dilapidated. Many of the better teachers won’t teach there because of discipline problems or the dangerous neighborhood. While millions are spent on new suburban schools, older urban schools are following apart.
Instead of reparations, Blacks and Native Americans should demand more money to better educate their children. Motivating and educating children will make the greatest difference. The map to success in America has always been through quality education.
Affirmative action is a political tool used by politicians to get elected and to grant favors to donors and friends. It has helped a few get rich while ignoring the masses who remain in poverty.
Before I used Frank Hawkins’ name, I requested his permission. He asked that I include his statement in the blog. I have great respect for Frank and am happy to include it. Below are his written comments on several questions:
Q1. How do you build an equitable industry that rights the wrongs of prohibition, racism, and discrimination. NOT POSSIBLE !!! because of Capitalism. It is a competitive system.
Q2. How can the simple act of doing smart cooperative business bring about real advancements in equity while driving profits and mobilizing conscious-driven entrepreneurs. NOT POSSIBLE, BECAUSE THE CAPITALIST SYSTEM ISN’T FAIR OR WILLING TO TAKE THE TIME, SPEND THE MONEY, MAKE THE LONG-TERM COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE. UNITY AND UNDERSTANDING THE SYSTEM IS THE ONLY WAY WIN IN THIS SYSTEM.
NO OTHER GROUP OF PEOPLE HAVE GIVEN TO AMERICA LIKE AFRICIAN AMERICANS HAVE:
- Our ANCESTORS, African American men have fought in every war America has ever had; no other group has.
- No other group has been enslaved for hundreds of years.
- African Americans are continually diluted in each program mentioned below.
- Games of chance (BINGO), random selector, are not the answer.
- *African Americans need their own federal set asides program, not the failed programs below.
THESE BELOW GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS WERENT DESIGNED TO HELP THE MASSES OF AFRICAN AMERICAN PEOPLE. AFRICAN AMERICANS CONTINUE TO BE DILLUTED AT EVER NEW PROGRAM IMPLIMENTATION.
- MINORITY BUSINESS PROGRAMS, 85%
- MINORITY SETSIDES PROGRAMS, 50%
- AFFIRMATIVE ACTION PROGRAMS, 40%
- DIVERSITY, EQUALITY & INCLUSION, 25%
- SOCIAL EQUITY PROGRAMS, 10%
- COMMUNITY BENEFITS PLAN, SMALL BUSINESS 2%
which are supposed to help, HURT African Americans.
Clark County Fire Department recently graduated a class of about 86 people or so, 5 black men, 1 black woman, folks say what’s wrong with that? Had we graduated 80 blacks and 6 others they would have an investigation and claim everyone cheated. REDO the test. Six out of 86 is less than 10 percent.
The OAKLAND A’S were awarded $380 MILLION DOLLARS to move their baseball team to Nevada. In return we get a COMMUNITY BENEFITS PLAN FOR SMALL BUSINESS which won’t include a sizeable participation number of African Americans businesses, just like Raider stadium.
Black Americans make up 13% of the U.S. population but own less than 1% of cannabis businesses. That’s a dramatic imbalance.
Please don’t talk about education unless you are willing support public education, by replacing 50-year schools in the black community providing Wi-Fi and cable to ever child’s home, more library’s less bars, more tutors, more early childhood programs.