Opinion

Affirmative Action Ballot Initiative Exacerbates Cultural Issues by Ignoring Them

Written by Michael Palomba 

As you may already know, ACA 5 has passed in both chambers of the State Legislature and will appear on the November ballot. This proposal would bring us back to the 20th century, when race and gender-based discrimination was the norm. With such a despicable proposal so close to becoming law, local figures from both sides of the political aisle are sharing their thoughts. 

Unsurprisingly, the NAACP came out in support of the measure, with San Diego NAACP President Francine Maxwell saying that “the NAACP San Diego branch is elated that it was a 30-10 vote. Two-thirds majority said that things have to change and we’re headed to November.”

I guess that the change the NAACP would like to see is a reinstatement of discrimination in America, just with the tables turned. Luckily, there are still leaders out there who do not want to see us return to an era of blatant racial discrimination. 

State Assembly candidate June Cutter has condemned ACA 5, saying that “it is a band-aid put at the end of the problem rather than trying to find a solution to the disparity that I absolutely acknowledge exists, and instead of trying to fix it at the starting line, we’re trying to fix it at the finish line and that’s what I have a real problem with.”

Affirmative action is not the solution to the disparities that we see in some areas of society. Democrats are trying to achieve equality of outcome, but all that the country can fairly provide is equality of opportunity and equal treatment under the law. The problem is that not everyone is taking advantage of the plethora of opportunities this country grants.

We do not need affirmative action in 2020. While many disparities in this country can be classified by race, I don’t believe that is the problem. Members of the African-American community have not been oppressed in decades. In addition to African-American celebrities and CEOs, we’ve seen African-American mayors, governors, legislators, and even a president. How could all of that be possible if this country was as racist as the left proclaims? 

“Black political power and massive city budgets have done absolutely nothing to ameliorate this problem of black insecurity,” explains economist Walter E. Williams. “Most of the problems faced by the black community have their roots in a black culture that differs significantly from the black culture of yesteryear.”

So, what is so different about the African-American community today than in the past? Well, for one, two-thirds of African-American children are currently raised in single-parent households. That number dwarfs the single-parenthood rate throughout much of the 18th and 19th centuries. In most single-parent homes, the father is absent. So in addition to lacking a male presence, a single mother simply can’t give as much attention to her children as two parents could. Furthermore, a single-parent household generally brings in less income than a two-parent household, meaning that many of these children suffer from a lack of resources. These are the driving factors that are holding many in the African-American community down—rather than some nefarious force of “systemic” or “institutional” racism.

“The cultural problems that affect many black people are challenging and not pleasant to talk about, but incorrectly attributing those problems to racism and racial discrimination, a need for more political power, and a need for greater public spending condemns millions of blacks to the degradation and despair of the welfare state,” Williams added.

ACA 5 is a misguided and racist attempt to remedy the consequences of cultural problems. Instead of giving people preferential treatment based on their race or gender, we need to focus on fixing these deep-rooted cultural issues. No matter how much preferential treatment is given, ignoring the underlying problems will only prevent them from being solved.