Affirmative Action In Practice: “It’s An Automatic Hire”

Evidence abounds (and is routinely ignored or denied) that the descriptions and defenses of affirmative action by its supporters have almost no relation to what affirmative action policies and practices actually are. Two days ago, for example, we saw (If This Isn’t Affirmative Action, What Is?) the Syracuse police chief asserting that preferential treatment of women and blacks, who “would be able to score lower on entrance exams and still be admitted to the academy,” was not affirmative action.

Now come school officials in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where “[t]he clock stopped Wednesday night and, in that pause, Wilkes-Barre Area School District officials, NAACP leaders and community members found time to openly discuss racial diversity problems.”

The local head of the NAACP, Ron Felton, expressed dissatisfaction because the school board had not met its quota “minority teachers are vastly underrepresented compared to the percentage of minority students in the district.”

To which Superintendent Jeff Namey replied:

If we have an African American applicant, they are automatically interviewed, And if they are properly certified, and if we believe they can get the job done, it’s an automatic hire, Ron.

No holier than thou “holistic” evaluation, no disingenuous rhetorical camouflage of “race as one of many factors” here. For all certified black candidates who “can get the job done,” i.e., meet the district’s minimum standard, “it’s an automatic hire.”

A big reason affirmative action is so unpopular is that people can see what it is.

Say What?