NB: This is NOT about American affirmative action, of which I have no experience and about which I do not know enough. This is about affirmative action in South Africa, where slavery ended very recently indeed. Any parallels you may or may not find are a just nature of the beast
Also NB: some of the feedback I got led me to understand that my sarcasm is vague. I wrote this as a parody of the arguments most commonly made by those against affirmative action in South Africa. It was made to be lambasting - I thought that was perfectly clear. I'm sorry if it wasn't.
I agree with the people who say that there needs to be a realistic time limit on affirmative action. The time limit should be completely rigid, and completely fair.
Let's say the government gets 48 years to finish what they're doing with affirmative action. After all, that's how long the apartheid government spent building the whites up at the expense of the blacks.
Oh, no. Wait. The apartheid government didn't make the white people richer than the black people. The white people were already richer. Maybe it was the Brits who did it. Yeah, that must be it. So we'll give the government 92 years to fix the problem. Sound good?
Oh my. Today is just not my day. I forgot about all the land seizures, extortion and unfair, coerced trading that went on from, oh, about Jan Van Riebeeck's time. Silly me. So that's... 342 years. That's how long we'll give affirmative action to do its thing.
Except, now that I think about it, the ANC government - being all, y'know, democratic and stuff - isn't killing white people. Or oppressing them. Or even, like, taking their stuff. They're fixing things a lot slower than the white governments messed them up (because the white governments did that so well, you see). At least twice as slow. So we'll give them proportionately longer. 684 years. We're not unreasonable people, though. We're pretty generous in nature. Let's make it a round 650 years.
Fabulous. That's settled, then. Call us in 2644 AD (you might be familiar with it as 650 ATRGGTOOICA*), you reactionaries, and we'll glady call the whole affirmative action thing off, secure in the knowledge that we've settled the score. Except, save up a little first - you'll probably be calling us from Australia anyway, and that won't be cheap.
Love and kisses.
*After The Racist Government Got Thrown Out On Its Collective Arse
The colour of my skin shouldn't matter in a discussion like this. Nor should my sex. They shouldn't matter at all. Ever. Nonetheless, let's get them out there, so there aren't any conclusions jumped to: I am what is known in South Africa as a Pale Male.