Monday, November 17, 2008

The Great Melting Pot

Last night I had a wonderful discussion with a neighbor of mine who is from Puerto Rico. He is a layer who still practices in Puerto Rico but is looking to retire in the US. During that conversation we spoke about the great melting pot that WAS this country but how it has become more of a country where people are now offended when someone disagrees with them. What I miss most is the ability to have an opposing viewpoint, get into a difficult debate, and then go have a beer with that person... no hard feelings... and perhaps a compromise at the end of the debate. Now if I were to go and say that I disagree with somebody but they are from a religion, color, background, race that they can use against me they may say that it is because of their religion, color, background, race that I am arguing with them, or disagreeing with them.

I find that in my travels everyone is just trying to do the best they can for themselves and for their families. They are trying to do what is right according to what they know is 'right'. Everyone has different life experiences... which is what makes (or made) this country great, powerful, a place everyone wanted to live. Now we are no longer celebrating our differences, but continuing to maintain protected classes and groups. Idiocy.

How about this: Now that we have elected an 'African American' President (I prefer to say we elected an American) can we finally put a nail in the coffin of Affirmative Action? If an 'African American' can be President why give special treatment to any class of people? Is that not the highest office in the free world? Does that not show everyone that the American Dream is real?

-End of Ramble


Pragmatic Guy said...

My opinion is: maybe not.

Over the past decades, African-Americans (I prefer to say "Black" -- unless somebody wants to call me "European-American") have made huge progress in terms of entering positions of power. It started with sports. Some of the greatest American sportsmen are black (Owens, Ali, Lewis...). Then it was the arts (music, TV, movies...). And now, we can finally say that some of the greatest American politicians are black.

The trick is, affirmative action is for education and business, not sports, acting or politics. We can probably state that it is fairly easy for a black person to enter a university and that affirmative action is not necessary. But should we state the same for businesses? It is really as easy for a black person to jumpstart a business as it is for a white person?

Given the dysmal state of public education in black neighborhoods and the minimal wealth that black people possess, doesn't it make sense, from a capitalist "equality of chances" standpoint, to give a nudge to minority-owned businesses? I think there is a discrepancy between "the best they can" of a white person and a black person -- only because of historical reasons.

Sure, it's all a generalization. Many black people are born much wealthier than many white people. But on average, the difference is frankly unacceptable. I don't know if affirmative action in its current state is effective, but I do think that some form of help is necessary to improve the lot of poor, hard-working people. When the median salary of black people (available from the Census) comes within upteen percent of the median salary of the rest of the population, we'll be able to scrap all forms of reverse discrimination.

And I'd love a beer.

Oklahoma City Divorce Attorney said...

Affirmative action is a relic of the past. It has outlived its purpose.