I've always been curious, why does it matter. I feel...never mind.
The liberal view of Affirmative Action believes that since the American society is still a racist society as a whole, and therefore minorities still suffer from an education lag, and should not be more susceptible to getting a job as the average white American. This is what it also says "Due to unequal opportunity, minorities still lag behind whites in all statistical measurements of success." . Yes in some way that is hypocrisy, because the statement itself is a racist one. Not only that, but it also gives a census-like statistic of a company. For example, when the company sees employee census, they can see the diversity and such of said company, which would in turn make other races be more likely to be picked over others to add diversity and show that company doesn't only pick in race, but is not a selective and/or discriminatory company/business. . Well at least that's how I see it. It makes sense to me.
I live in Germany. Here, it is illegal to even ask for race/ethnicity.
We have that "General Equal Treatment Act". http://funadvice.com/r/163rbvrnp0u It prohibits "discrimination based on race or ethnical origin, religion or belief, sex, disability, age or sexual orientation."
It means you may not put somebody at disadvantage, because he is a member of a minority group. BUT This also means that YOU MAY NOT favor someone only because he is a memberof a minority group.
Which basically means: Your race and ethnical origin MUST be completely irrelevant in the decision whether you get the job or not.
And - that is another law - private companies may only collect private data from you if it is relevant for your business relation. Thus, they may not collect any of your private data that is irrelevant. And as race must be irrelevant, they may not ask for it.
I think that it's because some races are considered a minority and it may be harder for them to find a job than, for example, a white American. Although, now the "minority" is no longer the "minority" and soon there may be more people from the "minority" living in the US than white Americans. :)
like in some cases. lets say the police department im not sure if there required or if they choose tobut they will always higher a certain number of non-whites