Written by: Isaiah Smart
This school year has had its share of controversy and concerns. Last week, the conversation didn’t end. The Young Conservatives of America posted an affirmative action bake sale outside of West Hall last week that got a few students up in arms.
The bake sale, said to be a national initiative by the organization, provided prices that varied based on different groups in the nation, but let’s talk about affirmative action and what it means.
Affirmative action has been a means for years to make our nation more inclusive of minorities. The initiative has been in place for years and has put a number of Latinos, African-Americans, Asians and women in the workplace. For some, this is a form of institutionalized racism. When considering a minority for a position, the employer now has a more stern judgment on hiring someone that they possibly didn’t want there in the first place.
This initiative follows up into what seems to be regulated racism/segregation. Affirmative action and institutionalized racism can be combated, and the most effective way is through mentality. The only real way to change these things in our society is to change the nation’s, and even the world’s, way of thinking.
I will say that at its inception, affirmative action was needed. We needed to force the hand of corporations and businesses in order to get minorities into jobs. Now, I feel as though we’ve progressed enough as a nation to not have to force-feed diversity to institutions. It should be a desire of all to have the most efficient, diverse workplace.
After the climatic end of the civil rights movement, our nation reached a critical transition in economy and societal change. In that period, I feel that we slowed down on the push for change, and now we’re forced to get the wheel turning again. This is only the tip of an iceberg full of controversy, miscommunication and poor education. It’s like the civil rights era was a car that ran constantly and then sat in the yard for years. This car is now rusted and harder to move, yet we’re trying to do all we can to get it back on the road of human rights.
Here’s the catch: This change has to be wanted and acted upon. Saying that we want equal representation and a level playing field cannot only be the end. We have to act upon these words to see change. I have come to the unfortunate conclusion that we can’t change everyone’s way of thinking, but if we continue to speak and work towards it there will be a wildfire of change.
The complete removal of affirmative action would be ideal in a world that accepted applicants of all backgrounds based on the meeting or exceeding of qualifications. The truth behind that is we don’t have an effective way of regulating the abolishment and we need a lot more people who are willing to act for the change. In due time, my friends.