All are equal

While reading The Northern Star on Thursday, September 10th, I saw the most disturbing editorial in the newspaper. This offensive piece was written by Caryn Rosenburg on the topic of affirmative action. From her point of view, she implied that this civil right, that all Americans are entitled to, was reverse discrimination and that it was created to compensate for our ancestors’ mistreatment. However, the views she represented were not the acts of affirmative action but the acts of hostility and ignorance. By ignorance, I don’t mean stupidity. What I mean is having a lack of knowledge about a civil right that affects each and every student on this college campus.

Contrary to the opinion of the editorial, Affirmative action was not created, in Caryn Rosenburg’s own words “… to hire those from minorities or those under-represented in the workplace instead of the traditional stock white male.” This civil right was created to give everyone a fair opportunity in a job interview, buying a home or going to a school such as NIU. If you look at history, it was uncommon for a women to become a lawyer, a deaf person to have an opportunity to have a job or a black person to go to a predominate white university. Affirmative action’s main goal is to give everyone this equal opportunity. Yet, Caryn Rosenburg said “Affirmative action is simply another name for reverse discrimination.” On the contrary, if anyone actually studied Civil Rights Act of 1964, it clearly states that everyone will have equal opportunity regardless or race, color, religion or gender. That does include “the traditional stock white male.”

What Miss Rosenburg doesn’t understand is that qualified men and women are still under represented and are discriminated against because of their race, color, religion or disabilities. Also, she doesn’t realize that this Act means more than receiving a job or getting a chance to go to college. Legally, this act makes the statement that we are all equal in this multi-cultural society, which is why some people want affirmative action abolished. They don’t believe that everyone is equal. In fact, they feel that the best employee is a white employee. Besides this racist attitude, there is a monster that they fear most of all: competition. Back then, white males had all the good-paying jobs and were in the best colleges before affirmative action. After affirmative action took place, more minorities and women were going to the best colleges and were in the high-paying jobs. Over a period of time, they were becoming more successful because they were given a chance. Not only that, because minorities and women are becoming more successful and there is a growing number of competition from overseas, white males realized, that in the first time in their lives, they were forced to compete. It is this competition that keeps this hatred, the fear and the ignorance of Affirmative Action and see the positive benefits this civil right has given all of us. As to the negative comments of Caryn Rosenburg, I suggest she do a little more research and a lot of soul searching than to spread speculations and unfounded reasoning the next time she writes another editorial.

Darryl V. Jones