The Lumberjack student newspaper
Illustration by Mikayla Moore-Bastide

Affirmative Action Vs. Quotas

There's a massive difference between affirmative action and quotas

There’s a massive difference between affirmative action and quotas

Reverse discrimination does not exist. Discrimination is discrimination. Now that we got that straight, let’s learn the difference between affirmative action and quotas, also known as tokenism.

Affirmative action is an effort by institutions to improve educational and economic opportunities for underrepresented groups and communities.

Quotas force diversity without factoring in actual inclusion. The pathetic attempt to meet numerical goals to appear diverse. This would be considered discrimination. This is actually unconstitutional.

Affirmative action does not mean that a university or employer is only making their decision based on race, ethnicity or gender. That is also discrimination.

Affirmative action is taking the necessary steps to improve diversity and inclusion within the institution. This includes dismantling the deeply ingrained discrimination within the educational system and the workplace. Affirmative action takes time. Quotas are a quick fix that fixes absolutely nothing but pretends as if it had.

We are all aware that proposition 16 did not pass. The proposition would have allowed California’s institutions to consider race, ethnicity, and gender when making decisions on hiring and admission by using affirmative action policies. This prop was attempting to reverse the affirmative action ban that took place in 1996 with proposition 209.

This was meant to destabilize the lack of inclusion, and figure out ways to attract more members of underrepresented groups such as women and BIPOC. Of course, they need to be qualified. That’s the whole point of affirmative action.

Let’s say there are two individuals applying for the same position, an example is the marketing director of a company. Imagine their resumes are identical, they have the same level of experience, graduated top of their class, perfect interviews, etc.

One applicant was a white man from Los Angeles and the other applicant was a black woman from Atlanta. Using affirmative action, the employer should hire the black woman because her voice may be the voice they need at the table to move their company forward. That is affirmative action, it’s taking the necessary steps to be inclusive and open your eyes to expanding to various walks of life, not just one specific group of people.

Now quotas, which are very different, are very problematic. It’s like a quick fix to diversify the workplace or the institution. Having and keeping a numerical goal is a problem. Saying that their company needs to have at least 10 percent BIPOC and 15 percent women is not okay, under any circumstances. When quotas are put into place, inclusion is not happening.

When these quotas are not being met, the employer or institution may end up bringing on underqualified individuals just to meet their mark. This helps no one.

This extends to tokenizing employees as well. An example of this would be Bon Appetit. Employees of color, specifically Sohla El-Waylly, the assistant food editor, went public saying that she was constantly being used as the face of diversity. She was being pulled into random photoshoots and continuously being asked to show up in cooking videos. Yet, she wasn’t paid for any of it. She was being used by the editor, Adam Rapoport, to make the staff look diverse and inclusive when in fact, that was not the case. It was a quick fix.

Please, do not tokenize photographs, orientation videos, or the institutions or workplaces at all.

Regarding universities and colleges, there would have been various programs resulting from affirmative action. Thomas Peele, Edsource investigative reporter, wrote a piece explaining what affirmative action was and an explanation on prop 16. Peele touched a bit on CSU’s and how this would impact the colleges.

“Outgoing CSU Chancellor Timothy P. White said the ability to use affirmative action policies would have let the system address “a fundamental opportunity gap” that Black, Latino, and Native American students face by providing targeted scholarships and programs to help them stay in school and achieve a four-year degree,” Peele said.

One way that we can put affirmative action into place is by recognizing that there needs to be a change. There needs to be representation present in order to attract people from different backgrounds. Everyone’s culture needs to acknowledged and respected. This includes religion, traditions, language and even holidays. Keep in mind not everyone relates to you.

Don’t be afraid to receive criticism or feedback on how you can improve.

Prop 16 not passing in California was a huge mistake. I hope that we can educate others on what this actually means and how it can improve institutions.

Share This Post

More Stories

Nina G uses comedy to start conversations

During the virtual comedy event held by the SDRC, Nina Ghiselli tells her story and emphasizes the importance of student disability resources within schools.

It’s not just the Capitol Police

As the world watched from their televisions on January 6, we witnessed scenes unfold before our eyes that were, to many, unimaginable: supporters of President Trump swarmed the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building, then proceeded to break in and

The San Jose State University Football Team Comes to Humboldt

On a day’s notice from administration, the SJSU football team spends a week and a half in Humboldt practicing because their county did not allow it. Students react to their presence on campus in the midst of a pandemic. Directed

Homelessness in Humboldt, CA

This is the first trailer of a homeless documentary created by HSU students. We have spent months filming and will continue to film throughout the next year. Follow the heartbreaking stories of the homeless community around Humboldt county and the

Thrifty Arcata

Taking a tour of the local thrift shops in Arcata during the COVID-19 pandemic. Directed and produced by Skylar Gaven.

House Plants Generate Peace and Meaning During the Pandemic

Three different people with the same love for plants! House plants have become quite popular these days especially since we’re all basically stuck inside during the pandemic. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, but these beautiful green oxygen-makers provide more

Prop 22 represents political favoritism of money over workers’ rights

California’s passing of proposition 22 on Nov. 5 represents a frustrating history of workers’ rights being trampled by the overwhelming influence of greed in politics.  This proposition forces app-based workers to be classified as independent contractors, rather than employees. This

Remembering Evelyn Andrews 10 months after her passing

By Katelyn Dendas It has been 10 months since my friend, teammate and freshman year dorm mate, Evelyn Andrews, passed away. I don’t remember what the grief counselor said or what transpired after that Monday, but I do remember arriving

Protestors seek to defund HSUPD

Two local, activist organizations work together to stage a sit-in against Humboldt State’s police department.

Getting stuck on the Trump train

Writer Anthony Aragon details his experience of accidentally joining a pro-Trump car rally.

Justin Turner exposes the World Series to COVID-19

Justin Turner didn’t need to be the story in the wake of the Dodgers’ first World Series victory in 32 years. Instead here we are, wondering what sort of, if any, punishment Major League Baseball will decide to hand down

Four more years of fear

News Editor Carlos Holguin explains why he is worried about the next four years.

Dismal democracy

The Lumberjack editorial staff comments on America’s flawed electoral system As the world watches the United States 2020 election results, waiting for our pseudodemocratic process to churn out a new president, historically unprecedented voting methods misrepresents the reported Election Day

The Mario triple pack invokes a nostalgia attack

When I was a child, the first video game system I owned was a Nintendo 64. Among the games I played was Super Mario 64. I played it all the time and when I wasn’t playing it, I was lying

Women’s lacrosse drops their competitive season

Greta Roberts, president and player of Humboldt State University’s women’s lacrosse team, made the decision with her coach and teammates to cancel the upcoming spring season. The team decided that not being able to recruit in the fall would be

Dobby’s proposition opinions

Haven’t voted yet? Well, you’re running out of time. Here’s a quick rundown of California’s propositions on the ballot this year

Corporations buy out propositions

In a series of general and misleading advertisements, corporate backers of Propositions 22 and 23 show their grubby hands

CDOR continues virtually

The Campus and Community Dialogue On Race returns covering global justice for Black Lives.

Indigenous Food Sovereignty

Local food management practices of the Tolowa Dee-ni, Yurok and other indigenous peoples.

Humboldt State Admin attempts to discredit the Lumberjack

***A Lumberjack editorial represents both the majority opinion of the student newspaper’s editorial board, nine editors, as well as the overwhelming majority of Humboldt State University’s student body. Collectively, an editorial echos, embodies and advocates for community beliefs.*** Insensitive communications

Music of the Moment 6

21 Savage and Metro Boomin drop a classic with “Savage Mode II”

Spartans arrive at HSU despite campus concerns

***Editor’s note: SJSU football program was tested in congruence with Mountain West conference guidelines*** The Spartans have arrived and this time they’re not carrying spears or shields. Instead the San Jose State football team stepped onto the Humboldt State campus

Music of the Moment 5

After shooting Megan Thee Stallion, Tory Lanez cancels himself

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Comparisons between episodes of the classic TV show The Twilight Zone and our own dismal reality

Music of the Moment 4

YoungBoy Never Broke Again dodges the sophomore slump with his new album “Top.”

Self-Care Cuts

Changing your hair to change your life

HSU Seaweed Farm sets sail

The first commercially-approved seaweed farm in California will be on the map.

Music of the Moment 3

For better or worse, Big Sean is likely gone for good.

More Layers, More Protection?

Humboldt State demands double masking on campus, does more layers equal more protection?

The Ethnic Studies Bill is a Blessing

Ethnic Studies will thankfully become mandatory for all California State University students – as it should be.

The Complex Interface of Humans and Wildfires

How fire suppression is a mixed bag in Humboldt County Every fire season, blankets of smoke roll over Humboldt County. Here on the coast, that’s as close to wildfires as some of us get. But our practice of fire suppression

Defund HSU’s Police Department

Incidents of racism from the former UPD Chief, past examples of excessive force from current officers and a shrinking university budget.

How Not To Be Bitten By A Kitten

Please prepare to be prey Congratulations, a baby feline has recently come into your life. If they’re anywhere from 2-18 months, they bite. They see you as prey. Because you are prey. You always have been. You always will be.

Graduating Into Uncharted Waters

HSU graduates attempt to navigate a world turned upside-down by COVID-19 In May, Humboldt State University graduated hundreds of students, as it does every year. Unlike past years, graduates didn’t get to shake hands with their respective dean and receive

HSU Cultural Center Budget Slashed

Associated Students leaves student body devastated after significant reductions in cultural center’s budget.

All aboard the plague ship

Unprecedented times are met with normalized behavior, HSU puts students and community members at higher risk after reopening campus and student housing.

Music of the Moment

The hip-hop community rallies behind the Black Lives Matter Movement

Inside the Immune System

How the body uses multiple levels of defense against foreign intruders

Catcalling Can’t Continue

Verbal harassment toward women is about control and the assertion of gender discrimination