Best Affirmative Action Quotes : Affirmative Action Sayings

These affirmative action quotes will inspire you. Affirmative action refers to a set of policies and practices within a government or organization seeking to include particular groups based on their gender, race, sexuality, creed, or nationality in areas in which they are underrepresented such as education and employment.

A collection of motivating, happy, and encouraging affirmative action quotes, affirmative action sayings, and affirmative action proverbs.

Famous Affirmative Action Quotes

  1. “I am a product of affirmative action. I am the perfect affirmative action baby. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in the south Bronx. My test scores were not comparable to my colleagues at Princeton and Yale. Not so far off so that I wasn’t able to succeed at those institutions.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor
  2. “Preferential affirmative action patronizes American blacks, women, and others by presuming that they cannot succeed on their own. Preferential affirmative action does not advance civil rights in this country.” ~ Alan Keyes
  3. “The purpose of affirmative action is to give our nation away to finally address the systemic exclusion of individuals of talent on the basis of their gender, or race from opportunities to develop, perform, achieve and contribute. Affirmative action is an effort to develop systematic approach to open the doors of education, employment, and business development opportunities to qualified individuals who happen to be members of groups that have experienced long-standing and persistent discrimination.” ~ William J. Clinton
  4. “Affirmative action has a negative effect on our society when it means counting us like so many beans and dividing us into separate piles.” ~ John Kasich

  5. “The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor
  6. “With my academic achievement in high school I was accepted rather readily at Princeton and equally as fast at Yale, but my test scores were not comparable to that of my classmates. And that’s been shown by statistics, there are reasons for that – there are cultural biases built into testing, and that was one of the motivations for the concept of affirmative action to try to balance out those effects.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor
  7. “We have to think about affirmative action and craft it in such a way where some of our children, who are advantaged, aren’t getting more favorable treatment than a poor white kid who struggled more.” ~ Barack Obama
  8. “If you don’t like affirmative action, what is your plan to guarantee a level playing field of opportunity?” ~ Maynard Jackson

  9. “I’m not one that believes that affirmative action should be based on one’s skin color or one’s gender, I think it should be done based on one’s need, because I think if you are from a poor white community, I think that poor white kid needs a scholarship just as badly as a poor black kid.” ~ J. C. Watts
  10. “I think that we need more economic-based solutions to the problems afflicting the Black community, and I think that that’s a way to redefine affirmative action. I grew up with poor white people in West Virginia, and I know there’s a culture of poverty. I know that I’ve seen white people perform exactly the same pathological forms of behavior as Black people do when they’re systematically deprived, whether it’s getting pregnant, doing drugs, dropping out of school, whatever we’re talking about. I think that we should have affirmative action for poor white people too.” ~ Henry Louis Gates
  11. “And affirmative action is a very nice term for racial discrimination against better-qualified white people in jobs, employment, promotions and scholarships, and college admittance.” ~ David Duke
  12. “Affirmative action was always racial justice on the cheap.” ~ Joe Klein

  13. “There’s a lot of Americans, black and white, who think that we’ve arrived where we need to be and nothing else needs to be done and affirmative action needs to be dismantled.” ~ Spike Lee
  14. “I think there are some things … that may even be distorted in the practice, such as some affirmative action programs becoming quota systems. And I’m old enough to remember when quotas existed in the United States for the purpose of discrimination, and I don’t want to see that happen again.” ~ Ronald Reagan
  15. “The problem is that affirmative action could never really get at the issue of corporate power in the workplace, and so you ended up with the downsizing; you ended up with de-industrializing. You ended up with the marginalizing of working people and working poor people even while affirmative action was taking place, and a new black middle class was expanding.” ~ Cornel West
  16. “The third fallacy is that affirmative action doesn’t work.” ~ Harold Washington

  17. “There are cultural biases built into testing, and that was one of the motivations for the concept of affirmative action – to try to balance out those effects.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor
  18. “What is so remarkable about the success of affirmative action is that it has been accomplished despite the Justice Department and the policies of the federal government.” ~ Harold Washington
  19. “Blacks who have not succumbed to the victim culture have been, are and will be doing quite well – all on their own, without handouts, affirmative action and other patronizing measures” ~ Tammy Bruce
  20. “When I call myself an affirmative action baby, I’m talking about the essence of what affirmative action was when it started.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor

  21. “Well, certainly one of the ironies of the success of affirmative action is that the middle class within the black community no longer lives within ‘black community’ by and large.” ~ Henry Louis Gates
  22. “Those in blue suits who use thinly veiled race symbols — when they say welfare and crime and three strikes and anti-affirmative action — they are sending messages more profound their language.” ~ Jesse Jackson , Anti affirmative action quotes
  23. “Here’s the point – you’re looking at affirmative action, and you’re looking at marijuana. You legalize marijuana, no need for quotas, because really, who’s gonna wanna work?” ~ Jon Stewart
  24. “If affirmative action means what I just described, what I’m for, then I’m for it.” ~ George W. Bush

  25. “Affirmative action is a little like the professional football draft. The NFL awards its No. 1 draft choices to the lowest-ranked team in the league. It doesn’t do this out of compassion or guilt. It’s done for mutual survival. They understand that a league can only be as strong as its weakest team.” ~ J. C. Watts
  26. “I had no need to apologize that the look-wider, search-more affirmative action that Princeton and Yale practiced had opened doors for me. That was its purpose: to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race many were unaware was even being run.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor
  27. “My views on everything from welfare to a balanced budget to affirmative action can be traced to what Buddy and Helen Watts taught me as a young boy growing up poor but proud in Eufaula.” ~ J. C. Watts
  28. “I am an affirmative action hire.” ~ Anna Quindlen

  29. “Affirmative action works but we’re going to need to muster all our political resources if we are to keep it in place.” ~ Harold Washington
  30. “You know, I love all kinds of activism. I certainly think blacks deserve to have something whether it is affirmative action or an opportunity that should be opened up to them. But at the same time I believe that people of color are not the only poor people in America and all over the world.” ~ Russell Simmons
  31. “I regard affirmative action as pernicious – a system that had wonderful ideals when it started but was almost immediately abused for the benefit of white middle-class women.” ~ Camille Paglia
  32. “You can’t be a minority in this society without having someone express disapproval about affirmative action.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor

  33. “I was critical of race-based affirmative action early on in my career and I’ve changed my mind. And I’ve publicly acknowledged that I was wrong.” ~ Alan Dershowitz
  34. “I support affirmative action. I support special measures when you need it.” ~ Quentin Bryce
  35. “Too often the result of affirmative action has been an artificial diversity that gives the appearance of parity between blacks and whites that has not yet been achieved in reality…Preferences tend to attack one form of discrimination with another…Affirmative action encourages a victim-focused identity, and sends the message that there is more power in our past suffering than in our present achievements.” ~ Shelby Steele
  36. “Affirmative action based on quotas is wrong – wrong because it is antithetical to the genius of the American idea: individual liberty.” ~ Jack Kemp

  37. “The worst thing about affirmative action is that it encourages reverse discrimination, so-called because it goes in the opposite way of how we naturally discriminate.” ~ Stephen Colbert
  38. “Due to affirmative action, about half of the black law students fall to the bottom 10% percent of the class and they are 2.5 times more likely than whites not to graduate college. Blacks are four times less likely to pass the bar exam on the first attempt.” ~ Peter Kirsanow
  39. “Affirmative action is not going to be the long-term solution to the problems of race in America, because, frankly, if you’ve got 50 percent of African-American or Latino kids dropping out of high school, it doesn’t really matter what you do in terms of affirmative action. Those kids aren’t going to college.” ~ Barack Obama
  40. “You have countries like India that have tried to help untouchables, with essentially affirmative-action programs, but it hasn’t fundamentally changed the structure of their societies.” ~ Barack Obama

  41. “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, “you are free to compete with all the others,” and still justly believe that you have been completely fair. We seek not just legal equity but human ability, not just equality as a right and a theory but equality as a fact and equality as a result.” ~ Lyndon B. Johnson
  42. “Your actions are living affirmations of what you say you believe and feel. ‘Affirmative action’ is when your actions are in congruence with your beliefs & feelings. You’re doing it to make YOU welcome.” ~ Derek Rydall
  43. “All rights are individual. We do not get our rights because we belong to a group. Whether it’s homosexuals, women, minorities, it leads us astray. You don’t get your rights belonging to your group. A group can’t force themselves on anybody else. So there should be no affirmative action for any group.” ~ Ron Paul
  44. “Affirmative action is something that I think is very crucial and necessary.” ~ Cornel West

  45. “Some kind of affirmative action is important in a democracy and for economic competitiveness and national security. The Army was the first to realize that you had to have desegregation of a military to have it working properly.” ~ Andrew Young
  46. “Affirmative action was designed to keep women and minorities in competition with each other to distract us while white dudes inject AIDS into our chicken nuggets.” ~ Tracy Morgan
  47. “I can take a job with an affirmative action employer without having my co-workers on the job suspect that I got it because of my race.” ~ Peggy McIntosh
  48. “I don’t want affirmative action – too much affirmative, not enough action.” ~ Paul Mooney

  49. “I think that even someone who got into an institution through affirmative action could prove they were qualified by what they accomplished there.” ~ Sonia Sotomayor
  50. “And when you tell me that somebody’s skin color or gender is going to determine their prospects in this world, that is turning the clock back hundreds of years. Back to a time before this nation declared that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator; not by their ancestry, not by their skin color, not by their gender, not by Congress, not by the Constitution, and not by the laws” ~ Alan Keyes
  51. “[A]ffirmative action in the United States has made blacks. . .who have largely lifted themselves out of poverty, look like people who owe their rise to affirmative action and other government programs.” ~ Thomas Sowell
  52. “Affirmative action was never meant to be permanent, and now is truly the time to move on to some other approach.” ~ Susan Estric

  53. “I’m pro-choice, pro-affirmative action, pro-environment and pro-labor. I was either going to be the loneliest Republican in America or I was going to be a happy Democrat.” ~ Wesley Clark
  54. “What makes the Southern Poverty Law Center particularly odious is its habit of taking legitimate conservatives and jumbling them with genuine hate groups (the Klan, Aryan Nation, skinheads, etc.), to make it appear that there’s a logical relationship between say opposing affirmative action and lynching, or demands for an end to government services for illegal aliens and attacks on dark-skinned immigrants. The late novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand called this ‘the broad-brush smear.'” ~ Don Feder
  55. “[I] can’t actually imagine a time in which the need for more diversity would ever cease. Affirmative action has been an issue since segregation practices. The question is not when does it end, but when does it begin [..] When do people of color truly get the benefits to which they are entitled?” ~ Eric Holder
  56. “Affirmative action is an effort to include every aspect of society in the decision making.” ~ Andrew Young

  57. “Remember the vast majority of the Democrats as well as all the Republicans in the House of Representatives in Louisiana voted for my signature-piece of legislation in the house which was a bill, actually a bill for true civil rights. That there must be no discrimination against anyone on the basis of race in affirmative-action.” ~ David Duke
  58. “The fact is that in too many parts of our country, we still have discrimination. And affirmative action is not just something that applies to people of color. Some people have a mistaken view of it in America. It also is with respect to women, it’s with respect to other efforts to try to reach out and be inclusive in our country.” ~ John F. Kerry
  59. “The government can back up its tastes and beliefs with the police power. That is why it cannot be permitted tastes and beliefs. Most emphatically, it cannot be permitted to define one group as being privileged over another group of people. It was wrong in the days of Jim Crow; it is wrong in the days of affirmative action.” ~ Charles A. Murray
  60. “If we are prepared to invest the necessary time and effort, affirmative action can contribute to Harvard’s quality and not detract from it.” ~ Derek Bok

  61. “I ended Affirmative Action by executive order and replaced it with a leadership model that created more opportunities for African-American and Hispanic students.” ~ Jeb Bush
  62. “The Australian way of affirmative action is setting goals and recognizing discrimination and lack of opportunity and deciding to take action and setting some goals and targets. I guess I prefer that language to talking about quotas.” ~ Quentin Bryce
  63. “You take a poor black child. Give him a good education, tell him he’s somebody, that God didn’t create junk when he created him, and that black child will create his own affirmative action.” ~ J. C. Watts
  64. “Workers, black and white, need some kind of international affirmative action to protect them from unfair competition with unorganized or slave labor abroad and unfair competition with robots at home.” ~ Jesse Jackson

Historically and internationally, support for affirmative action has sought to achieve goals such as bridging inequalities in employment and pay, increasing access to education, promoting diversity, and redressing apparent past wrongs, harms, or hindrances.

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