Does an Obama win signal an end for the need for affirmative action?

LatinaLista — There’s talk that if Obama becomes the new occupant of the Oval Office, he automatically becomes the poster boy for the argument to end affirmative action programs.

In fact, in November, on election day, three states will be considering doing away with race and gender preferences for college admissions and local and state government hiring — Arizona, Colorado and Nebraska.
California, Washington and Michigan have already passed such initiatives.
While it would be easy to assume that because a biracial man was able to win the biggest election in the country, any person of color could follow in his footsteps.
Yet history tells us it’s not that easy or quick to duplicate such a feat.


We don’t have to look far to see that one person of color who was able to break a glass ceiling doesn’t necessarily signify that old habits are shattered.
According to various diversity reports, people of color are still underrepresented:
According to the 2008 American Society of Newspaper Editor’s annual industry census:

Supervisors: Minorities account for 11.4 percent of all supervisors in newsrooms, which brings this
percentage to its level two years ago. Of all minorities, 22 percent are supervisors.
Newspapers with no minorities: 423 of the newspapers responding to the survey had no minorities on
their full-time staff. This number has been growing since 2006. The majority of these newspapers have
circulations of 10,000 or less.
All newspapers with circulations of 50,000 or more that responded to the census had at least one minority staffer.

When it comes to corporate America, insight into the progress of people of color assuming board positions on Fortune 100 companies is telling. According to the Alliance for Board Diversity’s Women and Minorities on Fortune 100 Boards report, the findings are not encouraging.

According to the report, white men still held a disproportionate share of board director seats, although the study revealed small gains in the share of board seats held by minority women. It also noted that white men realized a net gain of 21 seats as compared with a net gain of three for all women and minority men.
The percentage representation of all women and minority men on Fortune 100 corporate boards did not change substantially from September 30, 2004, to April 30, 2006. Men occupied the vast majority—82.94%—of the 1,219 board seats. In contrast, women held 17.06% of all directorships.
All women and minority men held 28.47% of board member seats—just under one-third of the total—essentially flat compared with 2004. In 2006, 41% of the Fortune 100 boards had more than 30% of their seats held by women and minorities, up from 38% in 2004.

When we get to Congress, the picture isn’t any rosier.
In the United States Senate, out of 100 senators, there are 5 of color:

Barack Obama (D-Illinois), 2005-
Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii), 1990-
Ken L. Salazar (D-Colorado), 2005-
Melquiades R. Martinez (R-Florida), 2005-
Robert Menendez (D-New Jersey), 2006-

Ed Rust, Jr., chairman and CEO of State Farm, said “Diversity cannot be a program. It must be a state of mind …”
Well, regardless of whether or not Obama wins, it’s obvious that as a nation we have a long way to go before we are all of one mind.

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29 Comments

  1. Evelyn said:

    When we can rid ourselves of racism there will be no need for many organizations and programs need to level the playing field, including affirmative action.

  2. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    All this affirmative action stuff will be a thing of the past once the Mighty Obama becomes our Presdent (God forbid). With his plan for wealth redistribution and social services to take care of our every need, everyone will be equally treated.
    Following is a letter from a man that witnessed how this can be done in a very short period of time.
    Each year I get to celebrate Independence Day twice. On June 30, I celebrate my independence day and on July 4, I celebrate America’s. This year is special because it marks the 40th anniversary of my independence.
    On June 30, 1968, I escaped Communist Cuba, and a few months later I was in the United States to stay. That I happened to arrive in Richmond on Thanksgiving Day is just part of the story, but I digress.
    I’ve thought a lot about the anniversary this year. The election-year rhetoric has made me think a lot about my native Cuba and what transpired there. In the late 1950′s, most Cubans thought Cuba needed a change, and they were
    right. So when a young leader came along talking about change, every Cuban was at least very receptive.
    When the young leader spoke eloquently and passionately and denounced the old system, the press in Cuba and even the USA fell in love with him. They never questioned who
    his friends were or what he really believed in. When he said he would help the farmers and the poor and bring free medical care and education to all, everyone believed. When he said he would bring justice and equality to all, everyone said ‘Praise the Lord’ finally. And when the young charismatic leader said, ‘I will be for change and I will be the arbiter of that change, everyone yelled, ‘Viva Fidel!’
    But everyone was so excited about the change, nobody bothered to ask about the details of the change. Well, by the time the executioner’s guns fell silent and the people’s own guns had been taken away. By the time everyone was equal, they were equally poor, hungry, and oppressed. By the
    time everyone received their free education it was worth nothing. By the time the press noticed, it was too late, because they were now working for him. By the time the change was finally implemented Cuba had been knocked
    down a couple of notches to Third-World status. By the time the change was done way more than a million people had taken to boats, rafts, and inner tubes, risking sharks or drowning to escape the change. You can call those who made it ashore with us to Florida or anywhere else in the world, the most fortunate Cubans. And now I am getting a very familiar feeling that goes back to the beginning of my story.
    But, we would never fall for that in America. We wouldn’t put a young leader in charge of this great country who promised
    change without asking: What change? How will you carry it out?
    What will it cost America? Would we?
    Manuel Alvarez, Jr.
    Can’t you just wait for the day to come under the leadership of the media created fraud Barak Obama to see our nation fall into the status of a third-world country where everyone is as equal as the Cubans are. It’s almost like the young Castro and Obama were cut from the same cloth. Beware what you wish for, you may just get it and not find things so pleasant.

  3. Frank said:

    We will never get rid of racism because white racism is being replaced by brown racism. Will there be AA for whites when and if the browns become the majority? Somehow I doubt it!

  4. Irma said:

    Barak Obama should make a promise
    to CONTINUE afirmative action.
    He is a principal beneficiary, why should he
    want to deny it to other people.
    Barak Obama was an average student at
    Occidental college and yet he was able to
    transfer to Columbia University . Why?
    Affirmative action.
    Barak Obama ‘s overall college GPA
    (Occidental and Columbia) must therefore have been less than exceptional
    ( due to averaging) and yet he got into
    Harvard Law School. Affirmative
    action again. Being President of the
    Harvard Law Review is an elected office -
    grades have nothing to do with it.
    Barak Obama got a job as a Lecturer
    at the University of Chicago without
    ever having published any manuscripts on the law. Why? Indeed, apparently,
    Barak Obama has never published ANY
    articles in law journals , strange for someone who has taught for 12 years
    as a lecturer in a law school. Even PhD
    students publish papers.
    Lastly, the bar was lowered for the
    Democratic Presidential Nomination
    so that Barak Obama could be the nominee. If this isnt affirmative action,
    what is ?
    Barak Obama should state first and foremost that affirmative action is a
    good thing and should be continued.

  5. Frank said:

    Of course white racism exists just as it does in every race so what is your point?

  6. EYES OF TEXAS said:

    Affirmative action = Racism against Whites. Minorities scream for equality from one side of their mouth and demand special treatment from the other side of their mouth. What’s it going to be, compete with the rest of us or be given special treatment? It can’t be both ways.

  7. Irma said:

    Affirmative action is NOT racism against whites. Affirmative action
    simply AFFIRMS that inequities in education, jobs etc. for certain groups of people (WOMEN, African Americans, Latins etc ) exist in Americansociety and is a governmental policy designed to correct the situation.
    By the way , the principal benefiicaries
    of affirmative action have been
    WHITE WOMEN not minorities.

  8. Evelyn said:

    Affirmative action = Racism against Whites. Minorities scream for equality from one side of their mouth and demand special treatment from the other side of their mouth.
    E
    and racists white people think it’s their God given right (manifest destiny) to be the only recipients of everything good.
    No other people of color need apply! Reserved for white only!
    Keep all “others” (meaning people who are not white) OUT! HA! HA! HA!
    NOPE, not gonna fly in this day and age.

  9. Frank said:

    That is all past history. Whites are for the most part not like that in this country anymore. Throughout history there are examples of racism in every race but you won’t admit it because it doesn’t fit with your white racism agenda.
    This country had been predominantly white since its founding. We take in more immigrants than any other. Are we only allowing in white immigrants in? Liar!
    For decades Asians and Latinos have been allowed the highest quotas for legal immigration into our country. So what was that about us not allowing “people of color” into this country again? Liar!

  10. Irma said:

    I repeat for the Eyes of Texas- I am Texan myself,so listen up.
    THE PRINICPAL BENEFIICIARIES OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION HAVE BEEN WHITE WOMEN. Go the libary-
    and read and find about it.

  11. Evelyn said:

    This country had been predominantly white since its founding. We take in more immigrants than any other. Are we only allowing in white immigrants in? Liar!
    E
    Who are you calling a liar? No one on this thread is even talking about that.
    For decades Asians and Latinos have been allowed the highest quotas for legal immigration into our country. So what was that about us not allowing “people of color” into this country again? Liar
    E
    Correct me if I am wrong, but isnt it you who is on here every day hiding behind the rule of law only when it suites your agenda. Trying to rid the U.S. of all Hispanic immigrants.
    Not Irish immigrants not Asian immigrants, Not Canadian immigrants. The immigrants you want gone and are forever talking about are Hispanic immigrants. LIAR!

  12. Frank said:

    Yes, I will correct you because you are wrong! I don’t hide behind the rule of law, I believe in the rule of law at all times, not just when it suits my agenda! (whatever that is supposed to mean)
    I have NEVER said I wanted to rid this country of Hispanic immigrants. Just the illegal kind and not just of the Hispanic flavor either. Show where I have ever said otherwise, LIAR!

  13. Evelyn said:

    I have NEVER said I wanted to rid this country of Hispanic immigrants. Just the illegal kind and not just of the Hispanic flavor either. Show where I have ever said otherwise, LIAR!
    E
    Look back at all your racist rants. None of them talk about people other then those crossing our southern border. That is your proof. LIAR!

  14. Frank said:

    I am sick of your lies in here! I have NEVER mentioned Hispanic illegals specifically except to say that they are the majority of the illegals AND THAT IS JUST THE FACTS!!!!
    What racist rants!
    Marisa, please put a stop to her name calling or I am out of here! I will not be treated in this manner anymore!!! It is your choice. All I am asking is for you to stop her name calling. Why do you feel that is necessary to sustain this blog?
    (Edited by Latina Lista administrator)

  15. Marisa Treviño said:

    Ok, Frank. You ask a valid question and I will try to answer it. Today, the country seems to have multiple meanings for what is racism and what it means to be a racist. Clearly, you don’t see your viewpoint as being anything other than your own viewpoint that merely state the facts as you know them. Others, obviously, don’t agree and continue to label your way of thinking as racist. Since being called a racist is very insulting, it’s not surprising that you are offended, frustrated and angry that Evelyn keeps calling you this when you don’t believe that you are, and I do believe you don’t think you are. I can only censor Evelyn as I censor you in regard to editing comments. I would suggest that instead of attacking one another for having different viewpoints that we move the discussion past this and start commenting positively on how to make things better. A blanket answer that they should all be deported is not positive nor realistic which leads to the better question: Is this really an argument over defining racism or clarifying reality?

  16. Frank said:

    No, Marisa. There is a clear meaning to the words “racist and racism.” One cannot twist the meaning of those words to suit their agenda.
    I am all for you editing both Evelyn’s comments and my own when personal insults, false accusations are being flung around. I am a fair minded individual and look for intelligent and civil debate. If I have been guilty of being insulting also you know as well as I do it was in retaliation for her insults of me first! One can only so much of that BS, especially when it goes on for months and months.
    I will be more than happy to adhere to what you are requesting but Evelyn needs to cooperate also and IMO she will not! So you will have to do a lot of editing with her. Good luck with that one!
    As far as my views on illegal immigration, if I say deport them all then that is the way that I feel (actually I am for self-deportations). It may not be postive to you or some others in here but it is MY opinion, like it or not and it doesn’t make me a racist either! I don’t like the opinion that they should be allowed to stay here either.

  17. Frank said:

    One more thing, Marisa. I find it very offensive that Evelyn demonizes the whole white race in here constantly. She tries to deny that she does this and is only talking about white racists but if you read her posts you can plainly see that she feels that all or at least the majority of whites are racists and she slams them every chance she gets for the past and the present. Even if they had no part in the past. You know and I know that Hispanics are also at least partly white from their Spanish ancestors, so “we” should all take offense at that. I am sick of hearing about the past over and over and hating one race over it. It serves no purpose in the immigration issues facing us today.

  18. Evelyn said:

    Oh my, look what I found, a whining party.
    You’re the one admitted racism when you said this.
    “You talk about fear. Well, duh when millions and millions of illegal aliens are here from mostly one ethnic group, you don’t think that that is reason to “fear” for many reasons? Especially when their legal counterparts in this country are cheering them on to increase their numbers. What would be the outcome of that? A numerical, cutural and political takeover! Well silly us, why are we fearing, right?”
    Gee, you are already tired and I am just warming up!
    I will bring every TRUTH to the forefront as long as I am allowed.
    Maybe this is a wake up call racism doesent pay.
    You get called ugly names when you practice it.
    You cant have your cake and eat it too.
    As you can see I am not the only one calling you on the racism.
    Racism is offensive and can not be tolorated any longer.

  19. Frank said:

    There is nothing racist about a society/country fearing a demographic takeover by ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION! Were the native indians racists because they didn’t want the white man to change their demographics? They were powerless to stop it but we are not!
    Would Mexicans relish a “gringo” takeover in this manner? HELL NO! Your hypocricy stinks!
    By claiming that this country has no right to have or enforce its immigration laws in this day and age or that makes them racists is stupid beyond belief! Even Mexico has immigration laws! It is particularly STUPID when we have the most generous legal immigration policy in the world. I have no problem with LEGAL IMMIGRATION, therefore I am not a racist so you stop your BS right now or I am out of here!

  20. Evelyn said:

    Maybe THEY were powerless to stop it but WE AREN’T!
    THINK AGAIN
    YES IT DOES STINK IN HERE, due all the BS you spew.

  21. Marisa Treviño said:

    OK, Frank and Evelyn. I’ve sat by and watched your interaction and while I do feel Evelyn may overuse the term “racist,” I don’t think she’s wrong in its definition. Does that mean I think you’re a racist Frank? Partly yes, if we are to go by the definition. Yet, I also understand that these kinds of opinions have evolved over time in our society and what we simply consider “our opinions” are concepts that were discriminatory in their origins but have become so institutionalized in our collective psyche that they sound “normal.”
    What Evelyn has achieved in her posts is to highlight how this kind of thinking is, by current definition, racism. By overusing the word, she has achieved to sufficiently irritate the hell out of everyone. I could lay down some new ground rules which would be ignored by everyone and so why bother? You’re adults with passionate opposing opinions who aren’t even trying to resolve the issue because it’s so much more important to be right.
    If real resolution can’t start at this very basic level, then what chance is there that it can happen at the higher levels of government? Rather than this back-and-forth insulting, I think the discussion would be far more livelier and interesting to actually tackle the problem of illegal immigration starting from the premise of what each would be willing to compromise on and it would have to be 3 compromises from each one. From those compromises, work towards a general resolution (it won’t be perfect because when compromising, things never are).
    If you take me up on this experiment, I’ll write about it in a future syndicated column. I think it would be a real eye-opener for those in Washington and around the country who are banking on this issue staying around forever and thinking that no one can come up with a plausible solution to it. After all, who said Washington had all the answers anyway? I think we’ve seen enough to the contrary to know that’s not the case.

  22. Ariella Z. said:

    Just looking thru comments and wanted to ask a question..but first I will give a smidge of background on myself first.
    I am Mexican, my husband IS Mexican and we had to fight thru 7 years of red tape to become legal citizens of the United states.
    I do NOT believe it is OK for hundreds and thousands to break the law, what we did was hard and took every extra dime and penny we earned but we came to American for a better life and as such we followed the American laws.
    Because I do not believe it is OK to break the law no matter how good the reason for doing so is, and the illegals that have come here should have to go back and do things teh right way does that make me a racist? Am I traitor to my own people? Am I to be accused of racism? Because if I was white the awnser would be yes… But because I am brown what does that make me… Please ket me know because depending on what color does the posting automatically categorizes if they are a racist.. so I would like an honest opinion as to what I am?

  23. Frank said:

    Marisa, I am a bit disappointed in your remark that you think that I am “partly racist”. Nothing in the definition of a racist fits my views or feelings on the illegal immigration issue.
    It is true both sides want to be right but when someone is screaming racism from the top of their lungs to anyone who doesn’t share their views, there can be no constructive dialog in here on solving this issue. It should have been stopped long ago.
    When someone blames today’s whites for the sins of their races’ past even if their particular ancestors were no part of it and uses it against them in regards to their views on illegal immigration (which are withing the laws set by our government), there can be no constructive dialog in here to solve this issue.
    Eliminate the name calling, false accusations, race bashing, dragging up the past and then we can talk.

  24. Liquidmicro said:

    Ariella Z, that makes you a Citizen of the United States of America!!!

  25. Grandma said:

    Ariella Z, congratulations on becomming an American citizen and welcome to America!

  26. Ariella Z. said:

    Thank you very much, I am however very curious to see what Evelyn and marisa could offer up to my dilema..makes me wonder

  27. Michaela said:

    Ariella, congratulations on finally becoming a citizen! It is a long and arduous process but I hope with all my heart it will be worth it for you. I always tear up when I see new American citizens being sworn in and see the look of joy and pride in their eyes for what they have accomplished. In my opinion, these new Americans will appreciate our country much, much more than someone who has bypassed the whole process.

  28. Ariella Z. said:

    Ahhhh I see Evelyn has chosen to keep her mouth shut, funny when one of her own people does not agree with her she has not a word to say.

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