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McCain on Affirmative Action

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by AbeBeta, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/

    Did McCain 'flip' on affirmative action measure?
    Posted: 05:36 PM ET

    From CNN's Josh Levs

    John McCain's comments on affirmative action led Obama to charge that he 'flipped' his position.

    CHICAGO, Illinois (CNN) — Sen. John McCain said Sunday he supports an Arizona ballot initiative aimed at ending race- and gender-based preference programs — an announcement his rival cast as a reversal from his previous stance.

    Sen. Barack Obama — speaking to an auditorium full of minority journalists at the Unity conference — accused McCain of having "flipped."

    But McCain's own campaign refused to say whether it stands by the candidate's announcement that he supports the ballot initiative.

    In an interview broadcast on ABC's "This Week," host George Stephanopoulos asked McCain if he supports a referendum on the ballot in his home state "that would do away with affirmative action."

    "Yes, I do," he responded. "I do not believe in quotas. But I have not seen the details of some of these proposals. But I've always opposed quotas."

    Stephanopoulos asked, "But the one here in Arizona you support?"

    "I support it, yes," replied McCain.

    McCain did not indicate that he had a standing opposition to such initiatives, or that he was changing his stance by supporting the initiative in Arizona.

    Contacted by CNN, McCain's campaign sent a statement from spokesman Tucker Bounds.

    "John McCain has always been opposed to government- mandated hiring quotas, because he believes that regardless of race, ethnicity or gender, the law should be equally applied. He has long stood for the protection of civil rights and equal opportunity for all Americans," the statement said.

    But pressed about whether McCain indeed supports the Arizona initiative, the campaign would not answer. In 1998, McCain called a similar ballot measure "divisive."

    Obama told attendees to the Unity conference that he was "disappointed… that John McCain flipped and changed his position. I think in the past he had been opposed to these kinds of… initiatives as divisive. And I think he's right."

    Civil rights leader Al Sharpton, a prominent Obama supporter, issued a statement accusing McCain of having made "a stunning reversal on his respectable record on affirmative action."
  2. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    This quote either shows ignorance on McCain's part or he's trying to play on the ignorance of voters. Anyone who equates AA and quotas does not know the law.

    Quotas are ILLEGAL under affirmative action. Completely illegal.

    People have legitimate reasons for opposing affirmative action. Opposition to quotas is NOT a legitimate reason for opposition as quotas are illegal (as is forced hiring of unqualified applicants)
  3. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    I hate affirmative action because I think it belittles those it is supposed to help.
  4. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    In some cases, you are correct. In particular the stigma of having your co-workers even think that you were hired not because of your ability but because of AA is terrible and it is belittling. But that may very well be because your co-workers fail to understand what AA is and what it isn't.

    The fact is that most affirmative action program currently in place in the U.S. require nothing more that monitoring of ethnicity/sex of applicants to make sure that organizations are not discriminating. The VAST majority of AA program do nothing more than require organizations who take federal funds to demonstrate that they do not discriminate. Very few organizations EVER get past that stage of AA.
  5. burmafrd

    burmafrd Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, they know that people will always question: "was he/she really the best person for the job, or was it the color of their skin".
  6. ChldsPlay

    ChldsPlay Well-Known Member

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    My parents own a contracting company, and I know for a fact they have had to deal with quotas, and it has hurt them.
  7. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    That is true. But frankly, that comes from people not understanding what AA law does and what it doesn't do. So when people question whether someone got their job due to AA or not, it reflects more of an ignorance on their part than anything else.

    Affirmative action is about first and foremost monitoring -- that is, making organizations show they are not discriminating. In the RARE cases were organizations are shown to discriminate they might be mandated to do things like show that proportionally, they are hiring as many qualified applicants from protected backgrounds than those who applied. That is, if you got 30% qualified women, you should have hired around that many.

    I fully recognize that some organizations do this wrong and create ill will - I got a very moving PM from a member here who recounted how he didn't get a job because of AA. I completely respect that people will oppose the policy.

    However, if you want to oppose AA, make sure it isn't because you believe ignorant claims about it like a) it means quotas or b) that it requires hiring people who are unqualified. All that is against the law. Any politician who suggests otherwise insults your intelligence.
  8. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    You might want to refer them to the uniform guidelines for selection procedures at http://www.uniformguidelines.com/uniformguidelines.html - this isn't hard. It is federal law. Or more simply, have them consult an attorney. Illegal in every form are quotas.
  9. theogt

    theogt Surrealist Zone Supporter

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    I don't get the criticism for changing your position after 10 years.

    It's possible that the remedy for racial problems over a decade ago may be considered out-dated. After all, shouldn't the problem be less pervasive than it was 10 years ago? 20 years ago?
  10. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Just ask Michelle "Princeton" Obama.
  11. sacase

    sacase Well-Known Member

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    I thought that affirmative action only applied to the federal government and companies that worked with the federal government.

    Furthermore, I thought that it said that if two candidates were equal, and you did not have enough miorities, then you hired the minority. I never thought it was forcing a company to take the less qualified person.

    But then again I never worried about how afrimative action applied to me.
  12. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    That is correct. AA is a federal law. If you want federal money you have to play by federal rules. Many states use similar rules for state funded agencies. So the use of AA in state funded areas is what Arizona voters will be voting on. However, the truth is that the vast majority of agencies that receive state money also receive federal money, so they would still have to adhere to the federal law.

    That would be the most extreme form of Affirmative Action -- and a form that is rarely employed. A company in this situation would likely have to have demonstrated a clear pattern of discrimination in the past or would have voluntarily taken on this criteria. It is and has always been illegal to force hiring of an unqualified applicant. The idea or more or less qualified is very problematic as few organizations have an objective way to measure qualification that can, with any accuracy distinguish between more and less qualified applicants.

    Few folks should. AA affects hiring decisions made on a minuscule proportion of the U.S. population.
  13. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Michelle Obama graduate cum laude from Princeton, clearly showing that she was qualified not only to attend the university but to be recognized as one of the university's top students.
  14. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    He shouldn't be criticized for changing his stance. I respect politicians who can admit they made bad decisions (at least what they characterize as bad decisions) in the past -- regardless of whether I agree with them or not.

    He should be criticized for portraying AA as a system of quotas. He knows that is a patently untrue statement.

    I am surprised that Steph didn't dig further on that issue. Steph was Clinton's lead on AA and co-wrote a book outlining AA policies in the U.S. I recall from my reading of that book that the authors make the point that quotas are illegal under AA about a million times.
  15. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    except that if you don't hire a given number of minorities, suddenly you're racist. having a game on both sides of this issue doesn't make it right. you can't say you must support affirmative action yet denounce quotas cause they both imply the same thing.

    hire based on race.

    well i can't NOT hire based on race but i'm encouraged to HIRE based on it?

    it all needs to go away and people need to stand on their own two feet.
  16. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    Quotas are completely and totally illegal. Affirmative action makes it illegal to force hiring of unqualified applicants.

    You aren't a racist if you don't hire enough minorities -- you are a racist if you show a consistent pattern of not hiring qualified minorities who apply for positions. If 15% of your applicants are qualified and minority you clearly would be using a standard other than qualifications if you hired none of them.

    And again, hiring practice are affected in very few organizations -- most simply have to monitor who is and who isn't hired and demonstrate that they are using fair hiring practices. Organizations that do have hiring practices impacted are often those who fail to demonstrate that left to their own devices they will make fair hiring decisions.
  17. iceberg

    iceberg detoxed Zone Supporter

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    but i have to interview them. i have to put a focus on them. and if i or any company doesn't hire enough to ward off doubt, they're racist till proven otherwise.

    fair to some means they get a bonus for being a minority. if someone chooses not to recognize that ... bonus ... they're hateful and racist.

    the part in bold illustrates this "unspoken quota" now doesn't it and points out racism will be used to judge people won't it? but, there are no quotas?

    uh huh. please, sell me some montana ocean front property next. it would be easier. the entire concept may talk up one side but you know damn good and well they're not afraid to come after those who don't hire a "fair share" of minorities. and if they have to hire a "fair share" to avoid being labeled, is that not a quota?

    like i said, it's a stupid game on both sides and like others have said, i think it belittles the minority and encourages them to think they are less qualified and need these handicaps in life.
  18. bbgun

    bbgun Benched

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    Irrelevant. Based on her high school transcripts, she would have been destined for the U. of Illinois had she been white. That she did "well" at Princeton is of no solace to the thousands of kids who would have done better or much better had they properly received her slot. All of this led to her senior thesis in which she whined about being "alienated" on a mostly-white campus. Of course, on a campus that practices rather rigorous affirmative action, it’s hard for white students to forget that you are on campus because you are black, not because (like the white students) you met all the qualifications.
  19. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    If you have 15% of your applicants that are minorities who are qualified for the job and you hire far fewer than 15% minority applicants you may be discriminating. That isn't a quota -- it represents what a company who is not discriminating based on ethnicity would do. That isn't a quota in any way shape or form. A quota system would call for hiring of certain percentage of minorities regardless of qualifications.

    And who are "they" who are coming after companies who don't hire their "fair share?" The only companies anyone is coming after are those who fail to show that they are being fair in their hiring practices. Ya see, that's the key to AA -- you get the opportunity to show that you don't discriminate and for most organizations that's all they need to do.

    You are however correct that in some cases people do get a "bonus" for being a minority however, it is important to recognize that organizations can set criteria for what is and what isn't a qualified employee. Even if someone gets a "bonus" it does not mean that they are not qualified for the position. However, you should recognize that when you say Affirmative Action you shouldn't immediately think of this aspect of it as this is among the rarest forms of AA in industry that is generally used only in cases wherein organizations could not demonstrate fair hiring practices. That said, this is clearly the most contentious part of the policy and one that not every supporter of AA favors. This aspect is far from perfect but what other solution would you suggest for the organization that for whatever reason only hires white folks?
  20. AbeBeta

    AbeBeta Well-Known Member

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    As Jim Rome (who I hate) says, Michelle Obama can take your argument and yell "scoreboard." Did she belong at Princeton? Clearly. She posted a cum laude on you.

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