Affirmative action and the myth of structural reverse racism

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Last week I wrote about the difficult issue of reparations. It’s an issue that has dogged this nation since Reconstruction failed to restore and unify the nation after the division of the Civil War.

Many have argued that in its own way, affirmative action has been the primary form of reparations for slavery and Jim Crow in this nation. They would also argue alternately that in the 50 years since the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the legislation has both served its purpose and been a colossal failure. They claim that affirmative action is merely a method to implement identity politics which unfairly grant an unearned benefit to some, while taking away opportunities from those who are far better qualified.

There are many who swear that they’ve been denied opportunities, access to higher education, or access to job options but for the fact that they are not part of a protected minority class and that this is inherently unfair. Consequently, they have grown bitter and resentful at all efforts to correct and repair the centuries-long imbalance in education, lack of access to loans and capital, and inability to achieve prosperity that has continued to plague many minority citizens.

Affirmative action has become a divisive and frustrating issue, but is it possible that it has no valid purpose or positive impact today?

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