Source: The Week: Opinion- Shikha Dalmia- Affirmative Action is Doomed: Here's What Progressives Can do About it
The rhetoric of affirmative action is running out of steam. The real Roosevelt (Franklin and Theodore) and LBJ Progressives need to step up to the plate and say "We are losing ground badly on this issue and we need a real progressive alternative now." They should tell the New Left Socialists who believe in equality at all costs, "Shut the hell up and go back to the kiddy table where you belong because the adults are now back in charge and we'll take us to the promise land."
What I'm saying here is that the real Progressives in America not the far-left Socialists and leftists and statist micro-managers on the Left who want to run Americans' lives for them, want to use government to see that all Americans have a fair shot at living in freedom and taking advantage of that freedom and the opportunities it provides. They need to restore the Progressive good name with a positive economic agenda built around education and economic development that would benefit communities that are struggling in America right now.
Instead of giving Americans access and status because of their race, ethnicity or gender, empower them to obtain that access and status for themselves. Whether you support affirmative action or not, and I don't, even as we are moving to a majority-minority country, affirmative action is losing political support and support in the judiciary, as well. There isn't a current majority for support on the U.S. Supreme Court and there may never be again.
What what the real Progressives need to do to counter this is to say what we are going to do instead.
We are going to back strict and effective enforcement of civil rights laws as they obtain to race, ethnicity and gender with financial sanctions being assessed on anyone guilty of violating these rights, the funds from those financial sanctions going to the victims.
We are going to empower all Americans who are disadvantaged by poverty to get themselves out of it. We are going to target communities with high levels of poverty which lack education and infrastructure, regardless of race and ethnicity and encourage companies to invest in those areas with good jobs, more than service sector jobs. We will make job training opportunities available from both the public and private sectors for low-skilled, unemployed Americans so they can get good jobs. We will empower these Americans to build their own businesses in their communities.
We are going to have a real education reform agenda that will not have to be approved by the teachers' unions. Yes, we are going to give more funding to the low-income communities for their skills. We are going to encourage well-qualified Americans to teach in underserved communities. We are going to allow parents to send their kids to the public school of their choice. No longer will they be trapped in a failing school not getting the education they need to be successful in life simply because of where they live. Teachers' pay will be based on how well their students are learning, not how long they've been teaching.
If the goal is to lift more people out of poverty and reduce it to the point that it is no longer considered a big deal anymore, like inflation, here's a progressive agenda that would benefit millions of low-income Americans whether they are adults or not. If the goal is to have a progressive agenda that benefits millions of African and Latin-Americans, who tend to come from low-income communities, here's one that benefits those communities and would make affirmative action a thing of the past, as it should be.