After reading your editorial on affirmative action, I recalled a day back in 1977 when I, along with about 5,000 people, stood in line for more than seven hours to apply for 100 job openings at a Western Electric plant back home in Missouri. It was that time of the year when they had to hire 100 workers because the contracts they had with the federal government dictated they hire a certain number of minorities.
After waiting in line for some hours, it was my turn at the door where they took the following information: name, phone number, age, race and sex. I’m not kidding, that was all that was asked.
I was only 17 at the time, but I couldn’t help wondering where the fairness was in it all. Please don’t lecture someone who disagrees with you on affirmative action. To me, and many others who have stood in lines for jobs, affirmative action is nothing more than a quota system. I can see the necessity for affirmative action at the time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted, but after all these years I feel it is time to take away a crutch that is used by all too many people and force them to compete the same way I must do, and that is by merit and hard work.
P.S. I didn’t get the job at the plant.