Affirmative Action: Why American-style liberalism would be bad for Africa, I

See the preamble to this series.

An acquaintance of mine, Dr. Tyler F. Williams laments the lack of women bibliobloggers as part of a more general discussion of lack of minority writers in blogs in general. Well, if there was ever something less worthy to fret over.  Blogs are free for the asking.  Anyone can start and maintain a blog.  Perhaps there are good reasons why men do biblioblogs and not women, but they have nothing to do with discrimination.

But this gets to my point.  People who fret over the lack of minorities and women in certain fields, particularly academics, have pushed for affirmative action.  Affirmative action is a the process of hiring based on ethnic or gender preferences.  The result is that a woman or a minority (except Jews and Asians) that has some academic ability, is promoted even when there are other superior candidates for the post.  The net effect is (1) discrimination against candidates who are not members of preferred race or gender categories, especially white men, Jewish men, and Asian men; (2) the overall lowering of academic standards at every level; and (3) the tacit demeaning of all women and minorities in academic posts, whom everyone suspects are there not because they were the best person for the job but because of affirmative action.  This is bad for every minority person or woman who actually deserves the post they are in.

I’ve heard of a similar problem in Africa based on tribal preferences and nepotism.  For example, the person chosen for a foreign scholarship program is a relative of the president of the republic, not the person with he highest academic ability.  This creates a very bad situation where the system discriminates against the best talent.  This is one reason for my Atlas shrug away from academia.  I knew that my applications for posts were being thrown in the garbage because of my white male name; but if they knew that I was an Asian, there would be even more discrimination.  So eventually I stopped looking for an academic job.

By the way, it is American Democrats and liberals are usually in favor of affirmative action.

External articles:

Asian Americans and Affirmative Action, James Chen

When Affirmative Action is a Quota System, by Russell Eisenman

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