Standing Up For Affirmative Action

KDean75206 at KDean75206 at
Sun Aug 29 21:32:44 MDT 1999

I've been wondering if Affirmative Action is simly a "liberal" attemt to work
within the capitalist system for "fair competition" rather than any radical
attempt to overthrow the oppressive system.

I will quote a few buzz words from this article that make me nervous:

"never end Atlanta's affirmative action program for minority businesses"

"highly successful minority business"

"success and profitability for minority businesses has virtually been closed."


This reeks of trying to work within the system to bring a fairer society.  It
only creates more class antagonism.

Yes its true that a black boss has less in common than a worker yet is still
subject to racist remarks made against him.  This only shows that the race
issue has nothing to do with how successful one is--and I dare say, has
nothing to do with class.  Racism, sexism, ect..cannot be done away with by
giving more minorities greater ablitity to become capitalists.

Lets not give in to this liberal bullshit that we can paint Capitalism with a
smil face.  Lets work on actions that will take the whole system down.
Arguing for Affirmative Action in this manner is being an apologist for
Capitalist Oppression.

If Affirmative Action, as Bill Clinton claims, gave way for Colin Powell--is
this a good thing?  Is Colin Powell, because he is a minority and may have
been subjected to racism, going to somehow be 'nicer' to the Iraqi people?  I
don't see it happening.

Will a hispanic business owner be 'nicer' to his employees simply because he
is a minority? No...Capitalism is for profit...being 'nice' to workers is bad
for business.

Let us not let bleeding heart liberals call the shots.  Lets not lose sight
that AA is for the free market.  Let us not think that simply because 'right
wingers oppose AA' we should say the opposite.  Of course I am not defending
right wing arguments against AA.  Radicals need to oppose AA on different
grounds.  Simply put--AA does not stop imperialism.  It does not make for a
more equal society.  It is a band aid solution to the problem of bringing
about Socialism.  And the wound the band aid is trying to heal is pouring out
way too much blood for the band aid to be effective.

Kevin | Buffalo, NY
ICQ# 8616001
David McReynolds for President!
Socialist Party of Western New York
Money is the universal self-established value of all things. It has,
therefore, robbed the whole world -- both the world of men and nature -- of
its specific value. Money is the estranged essence of man's work and man's
existence, and this alien essence dominates him, and he worships it.--Dr.
Karl Marx

In a message dated 29.08.1999 12:42:35 AM, umlalbi0 at cc.UManitoba.CA writes:

>Standing Up For Affirmative Action By Ron Daniels
>>Newspapers across the country recently ran a photograph of the Mayor of
>>Atlanta, Bill Campbell, addressing a huge crowd of supporters in the
>>council chamber of city hall. It was an amazing image of an African
>>American mayor standing up to racist rightwing forces, defiantly vowing
>>that he would never end Atlanta's affirmative action program for minority
>>businesses. A conservative legal organization intent on ending affirmative
>>action in Atlanta filed a lawsuit challenging the highly successful
>>minority business set aside program initiated by former Mayor Maynard
>>Jackson during his first term.
>>At a time when far too many Black mayors have adopted a "race neutral"
>>"crossover" political strategies to attract White voters and White
>>capital, it was heartwarming to see a Black mayor unequivocally stand
>>for the interests of Black people for a change! Mayor Campbell's stance
>>Atlanta may well breathe new life into the struggle to maintain or revive
>>affirmative action programs around the country.
>>In the face of massive attempts by rightwing forces to roll back the gains
>>of the civil rights movement, African Americans must collectively take
>>stand in favor of preserving a concept that was/is designed to redress
>>past and present discrimination against Black people. The results of the
>>onslaught against affirmative action have already begun to take a toll
>>Black progress. In those states like California, where the passage of
>>Proposition 209 ended affirmative action in higher education, university
>>enrollment of Blacks and minorities is down significantly. And, because
>>Supreme Court decisions that have seriously curtailed race based set aside
>>programs, an avenue once open to success and profitability for minority
>>businesses has virtually been closed.
>>Under the guise of "fairness" to all Americans (which really means White
>>Americans), the forces of reaction in this country, aided and abetted
>>Black conservatives like Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and
>>California businessman Ward Connerly, have been increasingly successful
>>destroying affirmative action programs designed to level the playing field
>>between Blacks and Whites in this nation. In the face of this assault,
>>Black America has been amazingly silent.
>>Some Blacks have expressed the view that affirmative action has only
>>helped the Black middle class. Others have complained that they feel
>>"stigmatized" by special programs that give preference to Blacks and
>>minorities. And some Blacks simply feel that its time for Black people
>>stop relying on the government. While it is true that affirmative action
>>may have disproportionately aided the middle class, it is also the case
>>that countless thousands of poor and working class Black people benefited
>>from consent decrees that opened up police and fire departments across
>>country and major sectors of the economy like the steel industry that
>>forced to redress discriminatory policies in the hiring and promotion
>>minorities. In addition, many sons and daughters from Black poor and
>>working class families secured a passport to the middle class because
>>affirmative action policies adopted at colleges and universities.
>>As for those Blacks who now claim they feel stigmatized, prior to
>>affirmative action many of them would have been standing proudly in the
>>unemployment line! As for relying on the government, Black people should
>>never be ashamed of hard fought for programs which promote Black progress.
>>As a matter of fact government at all levels has been dispensing
>>affirmative action programs for White people for generations.
>>As Dr. Claud Anderson recounts in his book Black Labor, White Wealth,
>>Homestead Act of 1862 provided land for White settlers who moved West
>>most Africans in America could not move off the plantation. The government
>>also gave huge tracts of land to the railroad interests, a giant welfare
>>program that enabled White men to reap huge fortunes. They were not
>>ashamed of accepting a "hand out" from the government. By the mere fact
>>our enslavement these programs were in effect "set asides" for White
>>people. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) "set aside" loans for White
>>people after World War 11 so that they could escape to suburbia. Black
>>folks were confined by custom and secret covenants to the inner-cities.
>>For decades certain categories of jobs in industry, the best jobs with
>>highest wages, were "set aside" for White people. Hence "White skin" has
>>been a badge of privilege that opened doors of opportunity that were
>>closed to the sons and daughters of Africa whose free labor helped create
>>the very opportunities to which we were denied access. The point is that
>>throughout the history of this nation, preferential policies in the public
>>and private sectors have constituted a massive and incredibly beneficial
>>affirmative action program for White people!
>>As we look to the 21st century, Black people must not be ashamed to demand
>>that the government of the United States adopt and maintain policies
>>designed to compensate Black people for the long history of discriminatory
>>policies and practices which consigned the Black America to a position
>>competitive disadvantage to White America. And, its not over. Racism is
>>alive and well and still depriving Black people of opportunities in this
>>country today. With no apologies Black people have a duty to take a
>>militant stand for affirmative action.Copyright (c) 1999 The Black World

More information about the Marxism mailing list