Sunday, December 19, 2010

Amelia "Affirmative Action" Earhart

The primary reason I disagree with affirmative action is not that it gives an unfair advantage to a group of people on worthless grounds (though that itself is enough to be against it), but rather that it disenfranchises people who happen to be a member of a minority or "victim class" of a very important thing;


For example my Kuwaiti supplier of cigars IS the best tobacconist in the Twin Cities.

But, does he know that for a fact?

A friend of mine whose pigmentation HAPPENS to make him black IS the first person I would hire in a heart beat for a CEO position of a corporation I am kicking around starting.

But, does he know that for a fact?

Natasha is arguably one of the best corporate accountants in the state.

But does she know that for a fact?

And another black friend of mine IS the best banker in the Twin Cities because he (like me) refused to go along with the corruption laden real estate scams in the state. He is fortunate to have found work after quitting on moral grounds at our previous employer.

But does he know he got hired at another bank because he was the best banker in the Twin Cities for a fact? Or because PR-sensitive HR departments were anxious to parade him in-front the politically correct castratti of Minnesota?

It is this that I find to be the biggest cost to affirmative action because it deprives those people (who through birthing or conceiving circumstances beyond their control) were fated to be "black" or a "woman" or a member of some "victim" group of the confirmation and knowledge that they are indeed the "best" or "damn good" at their job or profession.

Which leads us to Amelia Earhart (whose potential bones have put her back in the news).

A compelling piece was put together that deserves more attention about Amelia and how unlike Charles Lindbergh and other male aviation pioneers she had a ton of help which was essentially a 1930's prototype version of affirmative action. Male pilots and navigators piloting for her. Lack of radio skills. Acknowledging she basically just took orders. And let's not forget the fact she (regrettably) FAILED in one particular flight resulting in her death and unknown whereabouts.

I was brought up believing she was this great aviator. Notice I said "aviator." Not "female aviator." There was no discernment between male or female. She was just this kick ass chick who could do what the boys could do. Matter of fact, until I read more about Amelia I thought she was side by side with Charles Lindbergh in terms of feat-accomplishment in terms of a time line. She was like the hot IT geek chick of her time and like hot IT geek chicks of our time, we absolutely adore, worship and honor them. And this of course is what everybody else my age, as well as younger and older viewed her as.

What is so upsetting about this article is not that we were misled, but rather that if even half of it is to be believed, then the spirits and admiration women (and certainly men) had for Amelia were all in vain. Women who went onto pursue and "be like Amelia" or made Amelia their hero were putting their faith not in a truly independent woman, but one who needed a serious dosage of helping from men. Which behooves the question -


Is not history full of genuinely powerful and legitimately independent women?

Joan of Arc comes to mind.

Catherine the Great.

Or (my favorite because she was a lower class prostitute-turned empress) Theodora who grew a spine when her pansy beta husband Justinian wanted to retreat from the Nika revolt.

Margret Thatcher is another.

Not to mention I'm sure all of you know women in your lives personally who are heroes within their own rights (and forget something "strong" or "heroic," how about just great women who did simple things like making life enjoyable and being a great mom or a great wife?)

But no, we need to create a media sensation as well as make it look like we're doing something for society so we can get re-elected.

Of course the cost is nowhere near worth the benefit.

In implementing things such as affirmative action (or predecessor gimmicks such as Amelia Earhart) we truly undermine current and future generations of minorities and women by making it impossible to have pride as well as to know for a fact they are the best.

And I don't say this as some kind of "appeasing, oh look ,the Captain really does have a heart or is extending a palm branch to the left" kind of way. I mean this as in "Damnit, I know people who are the best at what they do, and they are PEOPLE who are the BEST at what they do."

Not some "black guy" who is really good at managing a business "for a black guy."

Or "some chick" who is really good at accounting "for a chick."

Or some "muslim guy" who is really good at negotiating tobacco prices "for a muslim guy."

It is THE ONE guy who is the BEST at managing a business.

It is THE ONE guy who is the BEST banker in the ENTIRE Twin Cities.

It is THE ONE girl who is the BEST assistant controller in the state.

And it is THE ONE guy who is the best tobacconist in the Twin Cities.

They may just happen to be inconsequentially black, hispanic, female or muslim, but that is NOT them and does not define them. Their brains and personalities and persons are who they are, regardless of skin color, gender or religion.

But no, you lefties have to make these excellent professionals question their achievements because you've now given society an incentive to hire people for reasons other than performance. And not only that, you've now seeded doubt into any intellectually honest minority group member as to whether they'll be judged on merit and performance and ultimately THEMSELVES or the color of their skin and gender.

MLK and Susan B. Anthony would (and probably are) rolling in their graves and having a heart to heart with Amelia as well as her modern day compatriot Kara Hultgreen.

Post Post

I just wanted to add an addendum to this post to show you a concrete example of what I'm talking about. I've highlighted this before, but this really is the epitome of what I've been talking about above. The Nicholas Brothers were, are, have been and (frankly) will forever be the best tap dancers in the world. Oh, mock "tap dancing" as you might, I will bet my fortune there isn't and never will be another brotherly duo on the face of this planet that will ever achieve what they did (see below).

Both of them have unfortunately passed away, but they damn well knew they were the best. And you want to know why THEY knew they were the best?

It's not because there was some lefty female 40 something philosophy doctorate placating them about "institutionalized racism" and how "they had to overcome such hurdles" "explained" why their performance was great "given their handicap."

It's not because their elementary school teacher told them they were all "special" and were "bound for greatness by their mere existence."

And it's CERTAINLY NOT because Barack Obama is the president of the United States.

It's because they WERE, ARE and FOREVER SHALL BE the best.

Do you think for a second they ever thought about their RACE when it came to them pulling off this feat of brilliance?

When they were done with this dance I guarantee you they knew they were the best. And to have some pansy ass goatee wearing lefty schmub from the suburbs dare to insult them posthumously by daring to apply a lesser standard to them because of their skin color. They would rise from their grave and pummel them.

The reason why?

It's because the performance of the Nicholas Brothers has nothing to do with the color of their skin. They were just the best damn tap dancers in the world. They dedicated themselves to the study, training and physical demands of such a performance.

And in the end, nobody is looking at the color of their skin. They're simply looking at the real core and soul of the men who gifted society with such a brilliant and unapproachable piece of American culture.


Anonymous said...

I noticed that all famous women you mentioned were politicians, certainly not the top-job from an economic point of view.

How about Marie Curie or Carly Fiorina. They actually produced something, as you would say ;-)

Captain Capitalism said...

Ug, OK, duly noted. Marie Curie and Carly Fiorina are included. Though I think they came from much upper bringings than Empress Theodora.

botcho said...

Frankly there's nothing in there that I could disagree with.
Reading your entry this morning immediately brought to mind the Kara Hultgreen story from a few years ago; back in the day when PBS's "Frontline" did a half decent job on getting to the bottom of matters.
A stunning reminder of what happens when political correctness meets reality.
Well worth watching Cap'n

Tony said...

Just as everything else from the Leftists, they seem to always get exactly the opposite of what they say they want. Which, given time and repeated examples of such, does lead an honest person to the conclusion that they, the Leftists (which every party labels they give themselves), are primarily liars who are trying to further the very evils they say they are against.
It really is sad, that as time goes on the facade that has been "America as we've known it", is falling off, nothing seems real anymore. One feels compelled to preface a retelling of history with "if this is to be believed". Heck it doesn't even need to be history, simply getting the true facts about a event that occurs today is sometimes impossible.

Anonymous said...

Plenty of blacks and women are perfectly happy to abandon "pride" if it means freebies for them taken from others (especially the hated "whitey" and "patriarch"). Heck, millions of women claim without any sense of irony that they're "independent women" while receiving alimony and child support (which in most cases is grossly in excess of the actual needs of said child, let alone half those needs).

Anonymous said...

You dared write and post this - I'm most appreciative of your honest observation. It is consistent with what I've witnessed.

Captain Capitalism said...

Yeah, amazing how truth is becoming outlawed.

Anonymous said...

Agree totally with the rant.

With AA in place, only a white male truly knows if he's the best. Everyone else has to wonder.

When you get around to it, go ahead with a rant on the secondary impact of AA.

BTW, I wonder when AA will be expanded to a new minority suffering severe employment bias due to the recession - the age 50+ male employee.

One more difference between a liberal and a conservative -

liberals expend effort to appear better - they're pretenders

conservatives expend effort to be better - they're producers

Anonymous said...

I would add Florence Nightingale to your list.

Aside from that, you have hit on the reason why I don't like AA. Its about pity and degarding others through what is essentially backhanded compliments. In fact, AA is the best example of institutional racism there is.
I have a friend who is part Aboriginal and refuses to identify as such because he is ashamed of his cousins who live off welfare etc.

- Breeze

Anonymous said...


And I'm totally with the commenters on the women thing. I truly believe it's the rise of more women pretending to be independent that has caused this huge growth in government (they can "work" in public office).

I wasn't brought up that way. I got where I am by working hard and depending on myself.

If I found out I was hired because I was a woman and not just because I'm damn good at what I do (engineering), I'd be heartbroken.

CBMTTek said...

OK, going to say this, despite the fact that I will probably get flamed for it.

I think Affirmative Action is just fine as a concept. Essentially, it says not to discriminate, to get rid of prejudices.

It is the application of AA that I have a gross problem with.

Will use the following to illustrate:
Take engineering for example.
When I went to engineering school, there were about 2 women in the electrical engineering program. There were something like 60 men. In the graduating class, there was one woman. (the other one had changed major to computer science, I think)
Given that, I would hazard a guess that approx 2% of the electrical engineers in the US are women.
Yet, AA states that 50% of the US population is women (approx), therefore, if you use AA rules, then 50% of the electrical engineers you hire, must be female.

Now, had AA been structured to take into account the number of "minorities" seeking the position, based on surveys, college enrollments, existing employment, etc... then there would be nothing wrong with AA, because it would reflect national demographics.

Or, we could just toss out AA and let real life dictate the situation.

Kate said...

If women ran the world....

exiled_spaniard said...

When I was studying to become an electrical engineer in the UK, we had 120 students on the first year. 7 of them were women, 4 of them from the P.R.C.; 50% of the students were from P.R.C. (I am not kidding or exaggerating), and 25% of them were from the sub-continent (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, some Malaysians and Singaporeans); the next biggest group was (surprisingly) Scandinavians (about 10%-12% of the class)... I believe out of 120 people 10-12 were British... and we wonder why the UK has declined as an industrial powerhouse? (meanwhile, Sociology was 95% white -and 2/3 female-).

When I eventually graduated, I discovered that small, independent companies were 99%-100% male in the engineering department, whereas large corporations and government corporations were about 30% female... go figure, just my anecdotal observations...

Anonymous said...

I've always wondered what kind of uproar would occur if offer letters highlighted affirmative action choices.

For example:

Congratulations Mr. Smith, as the leading Black candidate we are pleased to offer you employment...


Congratulations Ms. Chi, as the leading Oriental and homosexual candidate we are pleased to offer you employment...

The Phantom said...

Shirley Muldowney. Affirmative traction.

By the way Captain, if I might be so bold as to boil down your post a bit, don't you basically mean "STOP YER LYIN'!!!"?

I concur.

Stephen J. said...

The thing about Affirmative Action was that it was never intended to be more than a *temporary* measure. (Like the income tax, of course.)

Because of their skin, sex, faith or whatever, good people were being relegated to second-tier jobs and opportunities and given no chance to acquire the skills and experience that would have let them compete. The playing field was not level.

The answer conceived by well-meaning progressives (the tragedy is that so many of them really are): Tilt the playing field *temporarily* in the opposite direction by requiring educators and employers to give opportunities to those previously denied them. With enough time, the skill, knowledge and experience would percolate throughout the community until affirmative action was no longer required.

That enough people would become invested in the power-politics of AA-regulations that this "temporary" requirement would endure indefinitely never occurred to anyone at the time. And it has never been satisfactorily answered by any progressive I know of now; I've never heard any single social-justice advocate answer the question, "OK, when do you consider we've 'succeeded' and can discontinue the AA programs? If you're a feminist, does every career in every part of the West have to be as evenly distributed between men and women as possible? If not, what *are* your acceptable targets? And if you're willing to articulate a specific, identifiable target, how likely do you think it is that it will *ever* be achieved, and could it ever be conceivable that it might require costs that would be greater than the benefit?"

But no progressive can ever hear these questions without paranoiacally suspecting that they are driven by nothing more than fear of being the next person in line for the termination squad.

Anonymous said...

"I think Affirmative Action is just fine as a concept. Essentially, it says not to discriminate, to get rid of prejudices."
Not to flame you, but no, it says to discriminate now in favour of a once-disfavoured group to compensate for the (alleged) wrongs of the past. This includes giving/awarding positions and promotions etc. to candidates who aren't as qualified as those of the (once) favoured group. Its proponents even literally call it "positive discrimination".
/Andrew in Toronto

Frances said...

Or, to quote the late Charlotte Whitton: "Whatever women do, they must do twice as well as men to be half as good. Luckily, this is not difficult."

It's not fun being the token whatever and knowing that, however hard you work and well you do, there will always be those who dismiss your accomplishments as overblown and any promotions as being solely determined by your 'special' status.

Elspeth said...

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