Friday, April 14, 2006

Reductio ad Affirmative Action

Evan Coyne Maloney linked to a NY Times article where a family is seeking DNA testing for financial aid and college admissions. Reading Maloney's brief write up and reading this article it seems the debate on affirmitive action has gone in a totally unusual direction. Could anyone have seen this coming when they started this policy?

Check this out...
Alan Moldawer's adopted twins, Matt and Andrew, had always thought of themselves as white. But when it came time for them to apply to college last year, Mr. Moldawer thought it might be worth investigating the origins of their slightly tan-tinted skin, with a new DNA kit that he had heard could determine an individual's genetic ancestry.

The results, designating the boys 9 percent Native American and 11 percent northern African, arrived too late for the admissions process. But Mr. Moldawer, a business executive in Silver Spring, Md., says they could be useful in obtaining financial aid.

"Naturally when you're applying to college you're looking at how your genetic status might help you," said Mr. Moldawer, who knows that the twins' birth parents are white, but has little information about their extended family. "I have three kids going now, and you can bet that any advantage we can take we will."

Think about it this way. It has been in the news for the most part last year and maybe somewhat this year that there were improprieties in minority set aside contracts. It seems that companies seeking contracts from the City of Chicago weren't exactly minority owned business but were fronts. That is they may have had a minority (either a black, Latino, or a woman) at the head but it wasn't owned by said minority. Think about the Duffs, they got into trouble for that.

Now if they don't do that type of trickery, now they use DNA testing to prove what race they are. They are reaping the benefits of Affirmitive Action that was supposed to be a remedy for those groups shut out. Perhaps we need to really reconsider this policy. Either scrap it altogether or make some adjustments.

I'm not totally against affirmitive action, I just want it done for exactly the right reason. No hiring of unqualified individuals based on race or gender, and the same policy on issues of contracting and school admissions.

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