Affirmative action no longer useful
Sept. 30, 2010
The Arizona Republic
Affirmative action was a catch-up plan, adding extra opportunity where it had been missing in education and the workplace. The time was going to come when affirmative action was no longer necessary.
That time is now.
Voters should approve Proposition 107, which would amend the Arizona Constitution to ban affirmative-action programs in public employment, public education or public contracting.
Affirmative action has reached the point where its drawbacks outweigh its advantages. We need to stop putting a well-intended thumb on the scale.
Setting exact quotas for minorities and women in every category of job - as has been done at some universities - is just ludicrous.
Minorities and women can find that their achievements are shadowed by the assumption that they got an extra leg up through affirmative action.
Our changing world means that the group benefiting from affirmative action can suddenly change. While public universities used to make an effort to include women, the enrollment ratios have reversed so much that some are now discriminating in favor of men.
The last presidential election showed that being an African-American is no barrier to reaching the pinnacle of power in the United States.
The best way to make sure every Arizonan has access to a level playing field is to get rid of affirmative action with a "yes" vote on Proposition 107.