For years, the Asian Am. community has debated that question. It hasn't been settled. Reason? We asked the wrong question. The question was too general. Here is my attempt.
Affirmative action was NOT applied uniformly to all Americans. It was applied to blacks, Hispanics, Native Indians and women, but not Asian Ams. Why? The implementation of AF was left to the Labor Dept. All past and current Labor Secretaries have knowingly bypassed Asian Ams!!!
Given the above knowledge, specific questions about AF can be answered easily.
1) Is affirmative action good or bad for blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans and women?
Of course, it's GOOD for all of them. Before 1965, the year when Exec Order 11246 was issued to enforce affirmative action, there were practically NO managers among blacks, Hispanics, Native Ams. and women. Now there are so many. Many are indeed CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. We are glad for them.
2) Is affirmative action good or bad for Asian Ams.?
As it is now, our adults do NOT get the advantage of affirmation action in workplaces while our children gets the disadvantage of affirmation action in admission to first tier universities. Of course, it has been BAD for Asian Ams.
See 80-20 Educational Foundation's full page ad which clearly lays out our grievances. The ad has only 300 words with 2 easy to understand charts. Visit http://www.80-20educationalfoundation.org/projects/equalopp_washingtonpost.asp
3) How will 80-20 make affirmative action good for us also?
80-20 has obtained the signed iron-clad commitment of Senators Clinton and Obama that if elected, each'll apply AF to Asian Americans. See http://www.80-20initiative.net/news/preselect2008.asp .
80-20 is now working hard on Sen. McCain to give the same commitment. A number of very high ranking Republican elected officials are helping, although not a single Republican elected Asian American official has offered to assist us yet. Please contact me via firstname.lastname@example.org , if you are an elected official and want to help.
Let's live up to our generational responsibility for our offspring.
Join 80-20. Visit http://www.80-20initiative.net .
S. B. Woo Member, Executive Committee, 80-20 PAC, Inc.
(a) We proudly welcome about a thousand Asian Ams. who joined 80-20 in the last 2 months, including Dale Minami, the famous civil rights lawyer who in effect overturned the Japanese Internment Act of WW II.
(b) We thank Jack Zhou, Veronica and w-c Lam and Tak-Chuen Kwan for each donating $1,000.
(c) We thank Henry Lee and Edward Lin for respectively asking their friends to donate to 80-20 instead of gifts or flowers.