Affirmative Action is Essential
According to Merriam-Webster's dictionary, affirmative means "favoring or supporting a proposition or motion." By the same standards, action is "the bringing about of an alteration by force or through a natural agency." If you put them together it would be supporting a position to bring about a change by force or a natural way. This closely matches the dictionary definition of affirmative action, which is an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women. Now, this doesn't sound like such a bad thing does it? So why are Oregonians bringing about a proposition to eliminate affirmative action programs that are based on race or ethnicity?
By definition, affirmative action isn't a program of choosing people of color over whites for a job, nor the reverse. Instead, affirmative action seeks to make the number of people of color employed proportionate to the percentage of their respective race or ethnicity.
For example, if Sanipac employs one hundred people, thirteen of them should be of Hispanic heritage because thirteen percent of the population in Oregon is Hispanic. Now, to some this may seem like a quota which unfairly forces employers to choose people of color for jobs over whites. However, of those same one hundred people that work for Sanipac, seventy-two must be white for the same reason. If applied across the board, this benefits everyone equally.
So, why is this such a bad thing? One argument presented by the Coalition Against Immigrants is that people of color and immigrants are taking jobs away from us. But what jobs are they talking about? Where does this sense of entitlement come from? Does a white person any have any more right to a job than a...