My friend, the amazing poet Scott Woods, has some shit to say about Affirmative Action. You should read it.
Contrary to the statements made by Supreme Court Justice Scalia recently, affirmative action isn’t about sub-standard people’s worth being rewarded. It’s about the playing field of opportunities not being level before any number of candidates ever shows up for your job/school/opportunity.
You can’t apply all of the machinery of racism and sexism for hundreds or thousands of years on people and their descendants, then say the field is level and we should run everything magically on merit. You can’t even prove you’re capable of that as a society. All evidence – and it mounts every day – suggests America has no interest in a merit based system of access. America isn’t capable, ready or willing to enact actual equality. So you have to give up some fraction of what you own (owe, really) because you don’t want to straighten the level where it really matters. You don’t want to stop gentrification or pay for good schools or give women equal pay or stop police abuse or pay reparations, so guess what: you have to make a piece of what you got at least give the appearance that we live here too. Trust me: you’re getting off light.
Affirmative action is what you have to pay until you decide you’re going to stop being horrible in dozens of other areas of life.