In the past I wasn’t a fan of affirmative action. Primarily because of my sense of loss that accompanied the idea that I could not be selected for a job or position solely on the basis of me not being female or a minority.
I still feel a twinge of that when I talk about this now, but I have a new feeling that I think is important as well. The feeling of “Can’t this just be over.” By that I mean that I want everyone to be equally treated, equally represented and this to be largely a non-issue. I think it is great to get the broadest ranges of backgrounds and cultures into the highest places in our society (the public and private sectors). I think a lot of people I’ve talked to that are younger feel similarly despite their political leanings.
But, my wish for things to be over assumes that everyone treats people from other cultures evenhandedly. That racism, sexism, and nepotism are things of the past, and their subsequent hangovers have faded out as well.
Since this obviously isn’t the case (look at the color in our upper echelon of business and government), I know there is an uphill battle ahead to get to a place where we are evenly represented in our captains of industry as well as our political leaders. I can see that sometimes artificial means must be put in place to help guide that, if only to undo the self-indulgent bigotry and misogyny that has and sometimes still does keep minorities out. This is simply because that process, while it was mostly without formal government guidance, was still just as artificial.
And I’m really excited that we have put our first minority into the White House, which required the people to act and respond. Now, we need our leaders and embattled institutions to follow suit. So that in our childrens lifetime, especially our daughters, we will have had several minorities of different backgrounds at least having vied for the same opportunity. So that it is no longer note-worthy when we do elect a woman or minority to our highest offices. Much like how the congress has become more multi-ethnic I think this can and will be the reality of our future.
So I’m really pumped to that end today that Obama announced a Latina woman as his nominee to the supreme court. I don’t know her background and will be looking into that in the coming weeks. But I do know that I’m excited to see the beginning of the destruction of white privilege in our government, and I look forward to the opposing viewpoints mixed cultures, sexes, and backgrounds playing a more regular and larger part of judicial discussions.