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The Death of Corporate Affirmative Action

Updated: Jul 19

Throughout my entire life, I have experienced companies that talked about affirmative action and equality in the workforce. Working for many corporations, private and not-for-profit companies taught me that they have more similarities than differences. Over the past few years of working with various organisations, I experienced the truth of how many leaders feel about having to include people of colour in leadership positions. They all talked the talk with elegance, bringing in experts from all over the country to conduct workshops about the importance of diversity, ethnicity, and inclusion, to convince staff members of their positive efforts. In reality, few of them ever walked the walk of promises made to their staff. In most instances, staff of colour was never allowed to participate or speak at the so-called meetings on diversity, ethnicity, and inclusion, better known as DEI. I still wonder what all the directors of DEI did to make changes in their companies. Many DEI Directors and Managers have been terminated or released from duty.

The attack and death of Affirmation Action as a law in our Supreme Court is something that most businesses are thrilled to see disappear. Every organisation I have ever worked with did everything within the law to make sure that qualified people of colour, especially Black Americans, would never enter a leadership position unless they did exactly what they were told to do. Reminds me of Clarence Thomas and so many others. Even when doing the work of a director or manager, most people of colour have been discriminated against even if they scored #1 on all the tests designed to eliminate each and every one of them. Welcome back to the Jim Crow era of hatred, racism, and lawful discrimination.

Companies, organisations, corporations, and many not-for-profit agencies are probably jumping up and down so they can finally be themselves and hire the people who allegedly should be in those positions. They are probably feeling that eventually, the government will stop telling them who to hire.

Universities, colleges, and private schools can now allow the children of wealthy families and donors to enter the best educational system, whether they are intelligent college material or not. Things are returning to the way they were but supported by appointees to the U.S. Supreme Court and elected politicians. Growing up, I was taught that the U.S. Supreme Court was a place where you would always get a fair decision. Just another lie that has been told about our history. Supreme Court judges have been chosen by certain elected politicians to vote repeatedly for the privilege of being able to serve a lifetime term and receive payoffs under the table.

The purpose of Affirmative Action in education aimed to promote diversity and equal access to educational opportunities. With the removal of those policies, people of colour will face reduced opportunities for admission to colleges and universities, particularly in institutions that were previously required to consider race as a factor in their admissions process. This could potentially lead to decreased representation and fewer resources available to those communities.

In the workforce, affirmative action policies promised to address historical disparities in hiring and promotion practices. Eliminating these policies could result in reduced efforts to diversify the workplace, which might limit the career advancement and representation of people of colour in certain industries.

Historically, people of colour have faced systemic barriers that have contributed to economic disparities. Affirmative action was seen to address these disparities. With the removal of these policies, there will be a potential exacerbation of economic inequality for certain racial and ethnic groups, as they will have less access to resources and opportunities.

Affirmative action has always been a subject of debate and criticism. Its removal continues to reinforce negative stereotypes about the capabilities of people of colour, suggesting that they need special treatment to succeed, rather than recognizing systemic issues that have contributed to inequality. In 2016, Trump poisoned the minds of low-income White communities by promoting lies that people of colour were coming for their jobs. The misinformation made racism acceptable, giving certain people the support and power needed to attack others, carry guns to protect themselves, yell racial slurs, and attack the U.S. Capitol building to 'Make America Great Again". And now, it's considered to be one of the worst countries in the world when it comes to human rights.

It's important to remember that affirmative action was just one policy tool among many in the pursuit of racial equality and social justice. The effects of its loss would depend on how other policies, social attitudes, and economic conditions evolve in response to the change. While some argue that affirmative action can be a necessary step toward addressing historical injustices, others contend that it may not be the most effective or fair method for achieving equality. Policy changes in this area are often complex and have wide-ranging consequences, so it's crucial to consider the broader social and historical context when analysing the potential impacts on people of colour.

So, what do you think most companies will do next? Will they hold on to the practices of diversity, ethnicity, and inclusion in the workplace to make things better? Or will they terminate all programs, workshops, and discussions on the topic after eliminating the positions of DEI directors and managers? I am excited to see which corporations and workplaces will stand and speak up for what's right, as well as which ones will go silent on the issue.

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