.. or right, is really a deceptive attempt to constitutionalize gender discrimination and slam shut the doors of opportunity that both women and people of color have fought so hard to open. It places a hurdle to minorities and women that is not placed to others who seek legislation to benefit them. he elimination of affirmative action programs for women and minorities run by the state or local governments in the areas of public employment, contracting, and education that give “preferential treatment” on the basis of sex, race, color, ethnicity, or national origin would have a devastating affect on the minorities in the society but at the same time we need to keep in mind that the common person is also existing in this society to be successful and not to be denied what he/she deserves just because there were injustices done to the minorities and these injustices should be reversed. As for a review of surveys and polls regarding affirmative action, Charlotte Steeh and Maria Krysan have reviewed the major polls and surveys conducted by major organizations over the past 25 years.
Among the polls and surveys they looked at the following: ABC News/Washington Post surveys Associated Press/Media General surveys CBS News/New York Times surveys Detroit Area Study The Gallup Poll General Social Survey Harris and Associates surveys Los Angeles Times surveys NBC News/ Wall Street Journal surveys National Election Studies Princeton Survey Research Associates surveys Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press surveys One of their discoveries is that there were very few systematic attempts to survey public attitudes about affirmative action in the first twenty years of affirmative action. It wasn’t until the mid-1980s that there were systematic attempts to identify trends in public opinion concerning affirmative action. Despite this lack of replicated data, the authors were able to come to some conclusions. 1. Public opinion towards affirmative action is fluid.
The deciding factor in whether people support affirmative action programs or not depends upon the wording of survey questions. If a question is worded to emphasize the preference or quota aspect of affirmative action, then people will tend not to support these types of programs. Also, questions that are worded so that they tap into the individualistic aspect of what the authors call the “American creed” tend to be result in lower support for affirmative action. 2. There is a large difference between the levels of support for affirmative action programs between blacks and whites.
Black support for preferences and economic aid exceeds 40 percent in all of the surveys and polls studied. White support for these same types of affirmative action, however, generally is below 20 percent. It should be noted, however, that black support for economic assistance for blacks and other minorities dropped from about 80 percent at the start of the 1970s to about 40 percent at the start of the 1980s. 3. More people believe that reverse discrimination occurs than actually is reported.
Between 64 and 80 percent of people believe that reverse discrimination occurs at least occasionally. This is contrasted to roughly 5 to 20 percent of whites who reported that they themselves or someone in their families had been denied a job or promotion (27). Looking at these surveys in more detail, Alpern noted that women were divided on the issue of affirmative action. Only 49 percent of women polled thought that a policy that ensures equal opportunities for women should be continued. Forty-one percent thought that this kind of policy should be discontinued. Nonwhite women, however, tended to support affirmative action policies. Roughly 75 percent of nonwhite women favored a policy to ensure equal opportunities for both women and blacks.
On the other hand, Alpern noted that very few women believed that they themselves had benefited from affirmative action policies. The Hart-Teeter poll showed that only 9 percent of all women and 11 percent of working women responded that they had themselves benefited from such programs. In a Newsweek poll conducted by the Princeton Survey Research Associates in March of 1995, 27 percent of women thought that their gender had been helped “a lot” by affirmative action programs (68). Contrary to previous findings, however, roughly half of respondents in the Hart-Teeter poll were against requiring employers to seek out qualified minority and female applicants for jobs. Once again, however, the word “required” may have affected respondents’ affitudes towards compensatory type of affirmative action programs. In summary, the results of surveys and polls regarding approval of affirmative action programs differ dependingpn how survey questions are worded and also the race, gender, and political orientaion of respondents. After my examination of the history of Affirmative Action and the various court cases and surveys, I found Out that equality of oppurtunity has become a basic economic ideal for United States.
Americans appear in general agreement that merit should be the only criterion for advancement in life. Yet it is also widely ackhowledged that women and blacks and also members of various other racial, ethnic, and religious minorities in this country are seriously handicapped by their sex or origin rather than merely by any lack of ability when they seek career advancement. It’s here that affirmative action comes into the scenario. Instead of providing a path for these minorities and women to get on a level plane with the other so called “preferred” people these types of programs actually drift them even further apart. Some women and members of minority may feel insulted by this preferential treatment or may always find themselves in a position to prove their worth.
On the other hand, the deprived people may increase their prejudice against them to a further degree because they feel that they lost out, not to a better suited person, but to a privileged unworthy person. Therefore plans like these must be done away with because they defeat their very purpose, as they appear to be just as racist and sexist as the injustices they are designed to remedy. It’s just another name for discrimination or even reverse discrimination. Discrimination for a “good” reason is just as terrible as discrimination for a “bad” reason. Affirmative action denies women and minorities the right to compete as equals; indeed it actually assumes that they cannot compete as equals, which is I am sure not its purpose.
When countering the statement that this kind discrimination is necessary to make up for past it justices, I can all but simply defend my belief by appropriately saying that “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. Or, as the wise saying goes, “You can’t use alcohol to treat alcoholism.” Bibliography Kreitner, Robert, Kinicki, Angelo. Organizational Behavior New York: Bryant and Dillon published, 1998 Lehman, Nicholas. “Affirmative Action.” NEW York Times 18 June.1995: 40-42,84 Steeh, Charlotte. Krysan, Maria. “Review of Surveys and Polls” Poll Trends, 1970-1995 1996 Wilson, James Q. “An Affirmative Action?.” The New Republic winter.
1996: 102 Woods, Geraldine. Affirmative Action. New York, London, Sydney : Franklin Watts, 1989. Steeh, Charlotte. Krysan, Maria. “Review of Surveys and Polls” Poll Trends, 1970-1995 1996 Argument in Favour of Proposition 209 , “Why are we opposed to Proposition 209?”. FAQs about California votes no on 209 Feburary 18, 2000.