Re: Affirmative Action (Was: Anthroplogists, I need advice!)

Stephen Barnard (
Tue, 10 Sep 1996 18:42:53 -0800

omar shafey wrote:
> In article <513tth$>, wrote:
> > In article <>, Stephen Barnard writes:
> >
> > > wrote:
> > >>
> > >> In article <01bb9e17$95021a40$>, Karen writes:
> > >> Also, what are the job opportunities for Anthropology? The
> > >> >history job market is quite bleak!
> > >> >
> > >>
> > >> In Anthropology your prospects are grim, especially with a name like
> > Dan
> > >> Levine. It's a risky thing to go into it. Do so only if you love
> > >> anthropology and can't imagine doing anything else. I doubt the job
> > market
> > >> has been better in anthropology than in history.
> > >>
> > >> Jay Bernstein, Ph.D.
> > >
> > >Color me naive. What's wrong with the name "Dan Levine"? (I know you
> > >don't think there's anything "wrong" with it, but what puts Dan Levine
> > >at a disadvantage in anthropology?)
> > >
> > > Steve Barnard
> > >
> > It means you're a white male. Ever heard of Affirmative action? It means
> > white males not preferred. You are much better off if you are a black or
> > other quote unquote "minority" woman when it comes to getting a job.
> >
> > Jay Bernstein
> I hear the discordant harping of the Alan Bakke reactionary backlash
> against affirmative action. Affirmative action is a well-intentioned move
> to offer opportunity to historically denied groups and to promote
> representative cultural/ethnic diversity in anthropology, education, and
> elsewhere where it has been sorely lacking, resulting in insensitive and
> biased delivery of services (ideas) to an increasingly diverse public.
> Anthropology of anthropologists: Just look at the racial/ethnic diversity
> of tenured faculty at most universities and compare it to the pool of
> entry-level applicants or the student body's composition and you should
> get the idea. Even if no men were hired to replace retiring/deceased
> faculty, it would take decades to reach equal representation for women in
> academia. The situation for minority groups is even worse.
> It's said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions and
> affirmative action fits the bill for alot of people, especially those who
> are feeling the pinch of "reverse discrimination," a pinch which the
> unrepresented have always felt against the monolithic old boy network. The
> resulting split in the liberal coalition which fought for the Civil Rights
> Act and other long overdue social reforms is now coming home to roost,
> much to the glee of society's bigots and their allies. The reactionary
> backlash is now in the process of stripping out all the hard fought social
> gains of past decades.
> Personally, I applaud the intention of affirmative action policies even
> though, as an Arab-American, I feel doubly-discriminated against; first by
> anti-Arab bigots and second by affirmative action policies which lump
> Arabs, "people of the Mediterranean and North Africa" as members of the
> over-represented Caucasian group! (Another example of the fallacy of
> racial categorization). And I resent seeing the work of highly-qualified
> colleagues who happen to be Asian-American or Latino devalued by bitter
> members of the dominant community who claim that standards were lowered,
> as in, "He/she only got in, succeeded, reached the top, etc. because of
> affirmative action."
> The whole process will seem unjust to some people no matter how it is addressed.
> In the immortal words of the late great Robert Nesta Marley, "Until the
> color of a man's skin is of no more significance than the color of his
> eyes, I've got to say war!"

Affirmative action, no matter how noble its motives, hasn't worked.
Your post demonstrates that.

Steve Barnard