Is there racism in California
Positive discrimination"Affirmative Action" in the USA
Senator Holly Mitchell is on a mission: your goal; the equality of women, blacks, Latinos and indigenous people in their state of California with the help of so-called "affirmative action". A tool that takes minorities into account more positively, for example when they are accepted into universities or government contracts.
Mitchell is black herself and she says: from a purely legal point of view, all people in the USA are equal - but the reality is different:
"What Affirmative Action recognizes is that non-whites and women are historically worse off than our whites, male counterparts. For example, that we have not been able to build up fortunes over generations or that we are treated worse as business partners. It is recognized that there has been discrimination for decades and that our competitiveness has been reduced. "
In percentage terms, black Americans still live on the poverty line, work in low-wage jobs and have poorer education. There are only opportunities for advancement through education. All the more important to come to a good university. Precisely because of this, Mitchell says that in California, 26 years after the abolition of affirmative action, it should be practiced again. At public universities or when the government awards contracts to companies:
"Ethnicity and gender must be a factor in admission!"
Affirmative action was used for the first time after the civil rights movement at the end of the 1960s - as a concrete quota, a certain number of black and people of color, i.e. non-whites, were selected for study places. But there was another lawsuit against this in the 1970s. The accusation at the time: If certain groups are preferred, this discriminates against the others
Are quotas racist?
The quota for universities can officially no longer exist - instead, the origin, ethnicity and social background can now be a factor that is taken into account when applying. One speaks of a holistic view of the students. The whole thing sounds a bit complicated and vague, which is one of the reasons why affirmative action is repeatedly criticized, even now in California.
"A big warm welcome back to racism. Because racism is back in action. So what this really means is: That is going to allow people to start again to discriminate people based on race, gender. It's essentially legalized racism."
Critics like this say the affirmative action itself is racist. Right-wing conservative groups in particular fear that whites could be discriminated against. Against this is the fact that whites still belong to the largest group of students in US universities, by a large margin.
Senator Mitchell is of the firm conviction that this political tool can help to make society more just, right now the corona pandemic would show even more that certain groups in the USA are severely disadvantaged.
"The Native Americans are hardest hit, the number of cases there is very high. And that too has something to do with centuries of oppression that has never been invested in this group. That is why it is important that they too are more represented in universities and in the business world. "
No post-racist world yet
Affirmative action is not an overreaching of blacks and people of color, says Mitchell - but the attempt to bring more diversity into society and more justice. You just don't live in a post-racist world yet, she says:
"We all have prejudices. The point is to be aware of that and then to find out about people who are different from us. I think right now more people are becoming aware of it, they feel a discomfort. And that's why we want that Allow voters to vote on it in November and now is the time to do so. "
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