There are many laws in place today to prevent discrimination. For what may be the first time in history, however, Colorado voters have an opportunity to prevent the government from doing the opposite.
Amendment 46 aims to prevent preferential treatment on the basis of “race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.” In short, the amendment’s passing will disband affirmative action.
It’s important to remember that while supporters of the amendment argue that giving preferential treatment to a minority or a woman discriminates against Caucasian males who may fail to get jobs and may have a harder time getting into the same colleges because of it, white males unarguably have the scales tipped in their favor from birth.
Throughout our history, minorities and women have been forced to fight for the rights birth-given to white males. While there are many in the white population who suffer and work hard to get into college, they never have and never will have to fight for their right to attend college. Minorities and women still struggle to overcome discrimination, and to say that white males face the same struggle is inaccurate and ignores the pain that generations before us and generations today have endured.
Implementing affirmative action in today’s schools and workplaces isn’t a mandate; it’s a choice. Voting yes on Amendment 46 rids organizations of the option to ensure that women and minorities have the ability to compete against a white male who has grown up with the privilege that they have not.
The white community will never truly be able to understand what it is like to face the oppression and racism that minorities have. While we can’t undo what our ancestors did, it’s our obligation to ensure that we don’t take steps backward as Amendment 46 aims to do.