Philosophically, I hate affirmative action. Affirmative action is done to compensate for the prejudice that lingers in society by giving groups who are often discriminated against an advantage. Often times, women or minorities are given a better chance at getting good jobs through a quota or other means. I’m not saying that it doesn’t need to be done. I’m saying that it sticks in my craw that we deal with unfairness by using a different way of being unfair.
I have had to deal with bias for the way I look. I’ve had long hair since before high school and onwards to the present. I remember getting to know some other students when I was in grade 12 and I found that the majority of them thought I was a druggie because I had long hair. Not once in grade 12 did I dabble in any drugs other than alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine.
This bias because of my hair I already had an inkling of before grade 12. So whenever I applied for a job I would make sure my hair was at its shortest. I called this the I-want-a-job haircut. I did get jobs. And while working for each company, I allowed my hair to grow out again. I consider myself to be a good employee, so I think that every employer became satisfied enough to keep me on.
So here’s my alternative to affirmative action: visible minorities can show up in white face for job interviews and trial periods for good jobs.
I mean white face that looks real, not the cartoonish kind.
And anything that costs this much ought to be paid for by the government. It’s a problem of society, not just the visible minority. If it were possible, I would tax just the KKK or other white supremacist groups.
And the time of the applicant in the make up chair ought to be compensated for as well.
Since bias exists in outside life as well as employment, I wouldn’t mind if some of the visible minorities used the free make up to see how other parts of white society operate.
White face might not be enough. Hair style and hair and eye colour might be changed. Accents might need to be worked on and some names exist in only one culture in the world. Even with all these changes, not every visible minority will pass full inspection.
As for females and affirmative action, it would be even harder to erase the presence of breasts and lowering the pitch of the female voice. As well, there are some height and strength difficulties. But in some cases I think there might be success. Some women and minorities could get the white male experience under this regime.
And if all this were covered by the government, then certainly the government might see it would be only fair to pay for one of my I-want-a-job haircuts. Then finally myself and long haired males everywhere would get some recognition and long sought fairness. Sampson!
Affirmative action in South Africa has had an influence in many people’s lives. It is a sore topic for people who have been at the wrong end of the stick. In the workplace it can mean that no matter how hard you work or how talented you are, there are limits to how far you can advance in your career based on your ethnic back round. Affirmative action in South Africa has claimed many top employees, but you don not have to be victim.