Affirmative action has been an accepted practice in the job market for many years. Universities also follow affirmative action by setting racial quotas in their acceptance decisions. Should we also grade our student's academic achievements differently by favoring one group over another to balance and even out the field of opportunity?
The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited employment discrimination by large employers . That same year, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued E.O. 11246, requiring all government contractors and subcontractors to take affirmative action to expand job opportunities for minorities. This was the beginning of righting a wrong. The first was a law making it illegal to dicriminate and the second was an executive order aimed at helping the minority community catch up. The first was a law demanding equality. The second was equity.
In the debate on the merits of equity, few were able to say that it was not necessary in 1964. Minorities and women were never given the same jobs or educational opportunities. So how would they be able to compete on an equal field. Equal rights in 1964 would not have served the minority community well. They were never allowed to be equal and therefore were not equal education wise.
Fifty seven years after the EO from President Johnson, we are still demanding equity. Can anyone argue that there is an university in the USA that will discriminate against women or minorities? To make a defense for the need for equity after more than half a century leads one to believe that either the law of the land was a failure. Despite there being equal opportunity for all, the Government failed and did not bring about a circumstance of true equal opportunity. Do some progressives really believe that certain races are just smarter? That if laws were not put in place then only certain races would get the academic jobs? That we have to choose based on race because some races can not achive the skill on their own merits?
According to a Public health study by George Washington University
"Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome."
It meant improving education in the inner cities, it meant promoting the two parent unit. It did not mean giving jobs to people of subpar skill and intellect. It did not mean dumbing down our market place and academia. It did not mean destroying the family unit when all studies indicate that children growing up in a two parent household just have a better chance in life to succeed. It was meant to help the minority community have equal opportunities to achieve, but the Government has abandoned that effort.
Now we turn our attention to an interview between Tucker Carlson and a University of California, Los Angeles Professor Gordon Klein. The Professor received an email from a student who is not black that suggested the final for Klein’s principles of taxation course might be canceled, shortened or graded differently for black students. Dr Klein refused. His point being that because of Covid and that the class was virtual, it would be difficult to dicern which student were of which race.
According to the AP story , those who protested that the Professor should lose his job over that email exchange emphasised that the professor ended his email response with the student.
"Some of those responding to the online petition were most offended by his email’s closing remarks, in which he paraphrased Martin Luther King’s famous statement that people should be judged not by the color of their skin but the content of their character. "
Equity in 1964 started with the intent to balance the field, with a goal where everyone has an equal opportunity and has become something where we just gave up and take the least qualified candidate just based on race and sex.