Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action “Treating people differently because of the color of their skin used to be called discrimination, but today its called affirmative action” (Amselle 177). Affirmative action today, is considered to be one of the most controversial dilemma facing our equal status of individual rights. As we all know, affirmative action was implemented with the idea and hope that America would finally become truly equal. So far, it has lasted for thirty years and had not solved any of our current problems concerning equal rights it made things worse. It was created with the intention of using reverse discrimination to solve the problem of discrimination.

In that, minority groups are being chosen over the qualifications of other workers. This intention creates a mainstream of problems. Some find it very unfair in using its practices, some find it very helpful. The portion of the group that stands with affirmative action, are usually in a situation in which they actually benefited from it. They have their reasons as to why they support the action.

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Based on the general public as to why they acknowledge affirmative action is usually based of the fact that it establishes a situation where equal opportunity is distributed among minorities for jobs. Prior to affirmative action city, state, and government jobs were almost completely closed off to minorities and women. In our present day, minorities and women have gained a tremendous increase in the application of jobs in those workplaces. Unlike the days before affirmative action, where job opportunity was mostly given to the Americans, now jobs are being given to minorities and women due to the quota system. Suppose that a American male and a minority (Hispanic, Afro-American, woman, etc.) are applying for the same job, the American male is much more qualified than the minority, there! fore, logically, the American should be hired.

Due to the quota system, the company, in order to meet that quota, must hire the minority. Which is for the better, because, in that sense, were are slowly but surely making some advancements in solving the problem of racial inequality in Americas workplace. Affirmative action is also very influential in the educational system. Minority students who before never had a chance in being accepted into a decent college, are now being accepted. They are given the chance to prove that, with the help of affirmative action, they could, in turn, get more education and end up with a decent job after graduating. All hopes are to end racism in school campuses, to have diversity between students.

The constitution says that we the people of the United States of America are all created equal. Therefore, since that we are all equal, shouldnt we all have the same opportunity as everyone else. Equal opportunity is achieved when people of lower standards in life are given chances to succeed in life. To start to achieve a better life, one must have proper education, because education is the key to our future. Therefore, though education, minorities must be given the chance to get a good start at securing their future. Critics of affirmative action argue that this quota is unfair.

White males are being forced to pay a price that their ancestors have done wrong in the past. Knowingly that it was a long time ago, and that now, it is a dawn of a new era. White males should not be given this burden of something that their ancestors have done. While the minorities enjoy the benefits such as jobs and education. Especially, to give favor to males or to females, to whites, to blacks or to persons of any color because of their sex or color is morally wrong because doing so is intrinsically unfair. Color, nationality, sex are not attributes that entitle anyone to more (or less) of the good thing of life, or to any special favor (or disfavor). When in the past whites or males did receive such preference that was deeply wrong; it is no less wrong when the colors or sexes are reversed. (Cohen 183) In the workplace, critics argue that because of affirmative action, now they are being treated unequally.

Jobs in which they are more likely to succeed in are, instead, being passed down to less qualified minorities. Not only does this affect the potential white employees, but the employer also has to suffer this condition. Employers are being asked to hire less qualified worker and sometimes for more money too. In concern with education, instead of the white males being accepted into colleges, minorities have taken their role of being the student. White males are displeased because through out their years in school, they have been struggling to get good grades in hopes that in the future they would be accepted to the college of their choice. To have that taken away from them, especially from the minorities who do not rank as high in academic achievements, is probably one of the most disappointing things that could happen to them. From looking at the educational standpoint, not only are the quality students being filtered out, quality teachers are also being filter out.

“Less formally, but quite insistently, affirmative action is practiced by many universities in selecting and promoting black and Hispanic faculty members” (Van Den Haag 225). Highly qualified and educated teachers are being replaced by minority teachers. That then leads to the question of self-esteem. Are the ones who benefited from affirmative action really satisfied knowing that they got a certain job or admittance into a selective university was due to a quota system? Of course, most of them are aware of that, and they liked how it turn out. Although, one must wonder, from time to time, what other people are thinking about them or, at least, suspect how they are doing in accordance with the other students or colleagues.

The damages that they incur to esteem is unavoidable. Affirmative action is a subject that is very controversial. There are much more pros and cons dealing with this issue that I did not touch. However, from reading what I have written down, the main points are pretty much covered. Therefore, I can give you an analysis on how I feel about this subject.

Before this assignment, I was for affirmative action. It has really helped many minority members achieve success. For instance, my friends mom, she is presently divorced and running her own air conditioning business. Without the help of affirmative action, she would be out of work. Affirmative action gives her certain amount of customers, in order to survive in this world because a lady running her own business is really hard to achieve without some kind of help. After all the reading, writing, and group researching, I am now more aware about the situation concerning affirmative action.

Some of the points against it made really good sense. Why should the white group now be discriminated against? Does that not end up being the same thing? Only that the tables have turned. It wasnt fair before, so why should it be fair now? If I were competing for the same position, whether it be for a job or for a educational standpoint, I wouldnt want to be the one who lost out on it although I was the one more qualified. It would not be fair to me. With that, I have now a better understanding of why people are against it.

They should not be asked to pay for something that they did not have anything to do with. Despite the fact that I also believe that affirmative action has some positive points that really do help our society. I am now leaning more towards the con side of this issue. From my point of view, the positive sides against affirmative action out-weighs the positive sides for it. . Affirmative action should definitely be studied more into.

The government needs to do additional research in improving its present situation. Affirmative action should be based on the fact that it is giving equal opportunity with equal results. It should not be increasing racism. If we continue to differentiate people based on the their color, gender, or nationality, then we have not achieved anything. We would not be any different than our ancestors. Times have changed, and as it has changed, so shall we.

We should head into the future, not with hatred toward others, but instead with love and dignity. Works Cited Cohen, Carl. “Should Federal Affirmative Action Be Continued?” Congressional Digest. June – July 1996: 172 – 191. Molinari, Susan.

“Should Federal Affirmative Action Be Continued?” Congressional Digest. June – July 1996: 172 – 191. Van Den Hagg, Ernest. “Affirmative Action and Campus Racism.” Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Fourth Edition: 223 – 226.

Affirmative Action

World War One
 Account for the feelings of hostility towards the Austria-hungry Empire by Serb nationalists in 1914:
 Austria was what stood in the way of progress of the Serbian nation. Serbia was a direct threat to the survival of the multinational Austrian Empire and for that reason Austria felt it necessary to thwart Serbia’s plans for growth and development. The Serbs desired more land, especially a coastline with an all important sea port, Austria denied them this by, in the peace treaty of 1912, creating a new country between Serbia and the coast, Albania. Austria also had Imperial control over several Slavic states, to which she denied national self-determination. The annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by Austria in 1908, and the subsequent threat of war by the Empire had also been a major factor in creating the hostility between the two sides.

;#61623; Assess the extent to which Germany provoked the war of 1914:
;#61607; The Actions and policies of Germany before 1914 were largely provocative towards the other powers of Europe and thus a major factor in the build-up to war.
With the Accent of a new Kaiser, Kaiser William II to the throne and the retirement of Chancellor Bismarck Germany embarked on a series of aggressive reforms and developments to her foreign policies. Kaiser Bill himself was threatening to the other leaders. His proud, militarist and power-hungry features, caused him to be viewed in a questionable light and the policies he instigated for Germany caused the same reaction. Central to the foreign policies of Germany was Weltpolitik (world policy), which involved the move from a continental power to a world power through colonial and naval expansion.
Chancellor Bismarck had prevented Germany from threatening the other Empires by her foreign policies but it wasn’t long before Germany’s determination for a place in the sun’ drew the attention of Britain and France. Her aggressive grabs for colonial acquisitions, her rapid naval expansion and increasing military strength were seen as, not only a direct threat to their own individual positions within Europe but as an attempt at world domination, particularly as Germany’s international position was already strong. This created enormous tension that spread through all other nations and caused them to alter their own foreign policies and military status in answer to the threat from Germany. Thus Germany was largely responsible for the stress of the arms race and desperate desires for colonial expansion in the other powers, which created tension that largely, contributed to the outbreak of war in 1914
Germany too, was largely responsible for the creation of the alliance systems that meant any conflict would develop into an international crisis. She began with an alliance with Austria to support the other if attacked, which then spurned the creation of the alliances between France, Britain and Russia. In the opinion of the historian J. Lochlan this was a major contributing factor to the buildup of tension between the rival powers.
When this tension reached crisis point Germany was once again responsible for the direction the events took. Her assurance to Austria of a blank cheque’ for support in the conflict with Serbia allowed Austria to act rashly in instigating war with the Serbs. Had Germany been more cautious in their support of Austria, Austria in turn would have acted more responsibly. Indirectly Germany had once again provoked the powers of Europe and driven them towards war
The final provocation from Germany towards the other powers was direct indeed. On the third of August, when Russia, Austria and Serbia were already at war, Germany invaded Belgium. The implications of this were enormous. Firstly it was a huge threat to both France and Britain, who, if it wasn’t for Germany’s action may have stayed clear of the squabble. Once in Belgium Germany had a clear path to both France and the English Channel. But what was worse was that Germany had, along with France and Britain, signed a treaty agreeing on Belgium’s neutrality. By crossing the frontier Germany had violated that treaty and Britain and France had no option but to retaliate. Germany had caused the war to become an international crisis involving all major powers.

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Although Germany’s actions were a major provocative factor in the actions of the other major powers, which eventually led to war. They were not solely responsible for W.W.I. and it would be unfair to accuse them such. Both Britain and France were very much involved in the arms race and colonial race and added to the tensions these two races created. Austria too played a major role in the war’s lead up by her activities in the Balkans. Blame for W.W.I. can not solely be placed in any one court but Germany’s actions were certainly very provocative and therefore a major factor in determining the course of other powers in the years before 1914.

 Describe the differences between the social classes of Edwardian Britain:
 There were vast differences between the characteristics of life in the different social classes, which were mainly attributed to wealth although birth and social status were contributing factors. Firstly there was education. Working class children attended a board school until the age of about twelve, they learnt basic reading and writing and perhaps some numeracy but that was all. Middle and upper class boys attended Grammar or public schools and, after graduation either university or business school. Middle class girls often attended girls’ boarding school where they learnt to be respectable, while upper class girls were educated by a governess and taught to be a lady. Both girls and boys of the working class entered the workforce at an early age. They worked in large factories for long hours at low pay. Often the work was dangerous and damaging to the health. Working class people didn’t usually have a nutritious diet or healthy lifestyle and so were at risk of disease, which spread quickly in the crowed conditions, in which they lived and worked. Middle class boys meanwhile often went on to become the owners or directors of the factories in which the working class were employed. They were doctors and teachers and lawyers. The women married and they ran large suburban home, often with several servants. The middle class life was one of respectability and comfort. Members enjoyed a life of financial security and, although they did not live in luxury, they did not want for anything and were able to enjoy recreational activities such as seaside holidays in summer. The usual course for an upper class young man was a position in the army, government or church. The upper class life was drenched in tradition, the main source of income was from the large family estates (the upper class were the main landowners in Britain) and houses, which had been in the family for generations. Upper class men did not actually have any employment as such so their lives were an endless round of hunting seasons in the country house, shooting seasons at the Scottish estate and London ball seasons in the town house. In winter most upper class families went abroad to Europe. Ladies aspired to marry well and become socialites; trend setters and party givers. The vast differences between the classes meant huge distinctions in dress. Upper class people had very fussy and elaborate clothes that looked beautiful would have been easily damaged. The middle class was a bit more practical with their clothing but was always dressed comfortably and elegantly. The working class however dressed for necessity. Fabrics were durable and warm, styles designed for maximum movement for the wearer and they often only owned one or two outfits.

 Discuss the factors contributing to the nationalistic fever in Germany by 1914:
 The main factors contributing to nationalistic fever in Germany were; the propaganda put out by various political leaders concerning Germany’s naval, military and colonial expansions, which inspired pride in the nation. They influence of the press on public spirit. The anticipated threat from other powers, which increased the desire for German supremacy and personal financial interest, especially from the middle class, in German industrial expansion.

The German people were proud of their Kaiser and his policies, which they saw as being for the good of Germany, and therefore the good of themselves. Much of their pride was inspired by various pieces of propaganda, designed to rally public support, created by the Kaiser and his political leaders to justify their actions. Prince Bernhard Von Blow was the author of the book Imperial Germany that described Weltpolotik and the reasons for it. In this book, read by millions of Germans he says;
“for the sake of our interests, as well as our honor and dignity”
Phrases like these, about honor and dignity were a huge rallying point for public support. Another tactic used by political leaders was the elusion to a possible threat to Germany’s future. The historian Hand Delbruck said in 1896:
“the nation which goes away empty handed will loose its place in the next generation from the ranks of those Great Powers.”
With messages like these coming from political leaders it was no wonder the German public supported the Kaisers activities and saw them as being for the greater good of Germany.

The press had a very strong influence on popular opinion and, as an organization it was very nationalistic. It then projected this nationalism onto the general public. Newspapers were cheap and easily available, thus they were able to influence all levels of society. Even unbiased reports carried an overtone of nationalistic sympathy that injected itself into the general public. Headlines like;
“Military Power will prevail”
were very effective in arousing public spirit and involving everyone in support for the Government’s policies.

The German press was also very effective in inspiring fear of threats from other powers. It was common knowledge in Germany that France was still bitter over her defeat in the Franco-Prussian war. This, and threats from other powers such as Russia and Britain were played up by the press one headline from august 1905 read:
“British challenge the German right to navy”
messages like this caused the rise of nationalism in response to the supposed threat from other nations.

The last major factor in German nationalism was economic. Major businesses, especially industrial ones, were reliant on Germany’s strength and colonial size for their success. Colonies provided a source of raw materials and an export outlet while much of the German industry was also tied up in the political side of the nation, with links to major banks as well. This powerful triangle controlled all the aspects of Germany’s domestic economy and was very nationalistic in their interests. They, in turn, inspired nationalism in the General public.
;#61623; Evaluate the extent to which the British public determined the actions of Britain in the lead-up to war.

;#61607; The British public played a very large role in the actions of Britain in the lead-up to war. They had such power, which was denied to many of their European counterparts, mainly because, as a constitutional Monarchy with an elected parliament British rule was subject to the needs, wants and demands of the British public.
As voting taxpayers the British public had huge influence over their parliament, who could either submit to demands placed upon it or face the threat of being voted out of power. In turn the British press had huge influence over the public. Newspapers and publications inspired in the British public nationalism, born from the seen threats from other nations and from a desire for British supremacy. One example of the press influencing the public, who in turn influenced the parliament was seen in 1909. Because of the threat to British naval dominance from Germany nationalistic fever created a demand for new dreadnought class battleships. “we want eight and we won’t wait” screamed the headlines in demand of what the public saw as being necessary for Britain’s navy. Because to refuse would have meant the loss of popular support, and then the loss of power in the next election the parliament had no choice but to comply with public demand.

This was the case for many of Britain’s activities during the pre-war years. Any controversy that inspired interest and nationalism in the public was taken up as a public cause. Had the parliament wished to step out of the arms race or imperial race or ever some of the military strategies and treaties being developed public support would not have allowed it. The British public was court up in nationalistic fever and, had any parliament refused to comply with their wishes they would have elected new politicians who would do as they wished. Thus British parliament were bound to their public and the public were largely able to control the course of Britain’s pre-war period
The most crucial event of public sympathy regarded the Belgium affair. When Germany invaded Belgium on August 3rd 1914 the British public was outraged. “protect Belgium!” they demanded and the parliament, who may have been cautious about leaping into war, were forced by the strength of public demand to declare war on Germany.
The public largely determined the course of British action during the crucial pre war period. Leaders who held public confidence, such as Lloyd George did guide the nation on its course but mostly the aims of these leaders coincided with the wishes of the public anyway.

 Explain the reasons behind Germany’s foreign policy.

;#61607; The reasons for Germany’s aggressive foreign policy centered largely on the Kaiser. In his personal life and as leader of Germany the Kaiser was proud, militarist and aggressive. As the right to determine foreign policy lay solely in his hands much of the activities of Germany in her international relations can be tracked back to him. But the Kaiser had his reasons for his actions, and they are what we can identify as being the driving forces behind German foreign policy.

Germany desired a place in the sun’ in other words a share in the glory and power of an Empire. The Kaiser believed that “the future of our people among the great nations depends on it.” Prince Bernhard, Chancellor of Germany gave more economic reasons for Germany’s Weltpolitik. He explained, in his book, Imperial Germany that the expansion of Germany’s empire was necessary; to support her growing industry, to build up her economic basis, to supplement the growth of the navy and to sufficiently defend the mother nation. Many commercial opportunities could been seen by the Kaiser in the Orient and interest in Turkey focused on the advantage of a Berlin to Baghdad railway.

Her international relations with allies and foes were an important part of German foreign policy too. Relations with France, which had been strained ever since the Franco-Prussian war, were further soured over the Moroccan struggle for trade monopolies in 1905. Austria was Germany’s only strong ally and for that Reason Germany was very generous in her support of Austria. She did not want to loose her one ally and have to face a hostile front of nations on her own.

 Identify the major powers at the time of W.W.I.
 The major colonial and influential powers by 1914 were Britain, with the largest Empire and navy. Germany with the strongest army. Russia with the largest population and largest land Empire. France with major monopolies in Africa and India and Austria- Hungry.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action
Affirmative action is meant to be an attempt at equality throughout society. It
supposedly proposes that each person receives equal opportunities in the classroom
as well as the work force. Not only would this apply to minorities but to women
as well. Every sector in America would be equal and unprejudiced – or so proponents
say. On the other hand, adopting affirmative action would force many employers to
replace hard-working employees with those of less qualification simply due to their
gender or ethnic background. Many people feel that affirmative action would be very beneficial to our society. They have many thought-inspiring arguments. Some claim that we owe blacks for what we took from them in the past. We gave them a setback in our economic system, and affirmative action would be our way of reimbursing them for time and opportunities they lost out on (Norman 50). But where should the line be drawn; how much do we do to repay people – in this case blacks – for past wrongs? Is it enough to give them equal rights, or will we give them extra opportunities to make up for those
we took away? It has been argued that the black sector in America, in general, is
lower in class due to their environment prior to the Civil War, but the black people
of today are not those who lived then. Each person today – no matter their gender,
origin, race, belief, or whatever difference has the same opportunities as everyone
else. In my opinion no one needs any special favors to get ahead. In this paper I will discuss some of the problems with affirmative action. These include disgruntled employees, reverse discrimination, and the negative effect on our economic status. People who are for affirmative action have many possible positive outcomes as a result of this law passing, some of which have already been implicated. The first subject I will discuss is diversity in the work place, including women and minorities.

Proponents of affirmative action attempt to show that diversity in the work force
has brought with it improved skills and new insights (Carlton 20). I agree that
diversity could encourage the majority to learn more about minorities by forcing
them to work side by side. On the other hand, it could also create tension due to
the fact that the minorities may replace those who have held a particular job for
a long period of time. There would be a feeling of loyalty among those previously
employed, and it would only be natural for them to become bitter and resent the minority
worker who took the already filled positions simply due to their race or gender.

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Instead of creating a more unified society, as some would suggest, it is more likely
that affirmative action could create more divisions among employees and people in
general. Statistics have shown that affirmative action has found jobs for a large number
of minorities and women. In 1995, sixty percent of the work force was made up of
minorities and women. That was an increase from the 1979 estimate of forty percent.

In the same way, womens wages increased 119 percent from 1979 to 1982 (Carlton
22). There still remains the question: how much longer should we attempt to right
our wrongs? If minorities make up sixty percent of todays work force, will we keep
going until it becomes eighty percent, or ninety? The answer is most likely not. It appears that affirmative action has fulfilled its purpose and has now outlasted its usefulness and should be done away with. Finding jobs for minorities and women was a step in the right direction, but affirmative action was a rather controversial – perhaps
even unconstitutional – way to do it. I have no problem with a qualified woman or minority getting a job. However the key word is qualified, and I do have a problem with it if they are given the job based only on what they are and not what they can do. I have applied for many jobs, only a few of which I had been accepted for employment. Each one of the rejections was a sign to me that maybe I wasnt qualified for that particular job. All it did was make me try harder at my next interview. In my opinion it would make me feel worse if I got a job knowing there were far more qualified people ahead of me who didnt get the job or lost it because of me. It makes no sense to fire a perfectly qualified person and then hire a new employee who is not as qualified. The Supreme Court, on July 12, 1995, criticized affirmative action saying it was not morally justifiable and could amount to unconstitutional reverse discrimination and harm for those it was seeking to advance. In addition to the problems it could cause in the workplace, affirmative action is also reverse discrimination. Next I will talk about the ways affirmative action reversibly discriminates against white males.

We spend so much time trying to find equality and unity between whites and those people of other colors. What about minorities among whites? Should the Irish-Americans receive benefits like affirmative action if they are a minority to German-
Americans? I am Italian, and if I came to the U.S. to look for a job sixty years ago I would have been called a variety of names and would have been discriminated against just as much as the next black man. However I have no desire to get a handout because of what happened sixty years ago. Basing whether a person receives a job on their race seems a lot like discrimination, which is what we are trying to eliminate in the first place. It is also discrimination to take jobs and opportunities from white males, who happen to be the majority. It is referred to as reverse discrimination, and while followers of affirmative action say it does not exist, it obviously does (Norman 51). To give a percentage of jobs to the minority, the majority will have to give a percentage of their jobs up. It is generally accepted that discrimination is wrong, and that should include biases against the majority – not just the minorities. Aside from the personal stab it is to the individual who is getting fired, it is also a stab at our economy and production possibilities. My next topic is the negative effect affirmative action has on our economy.

Not only does affirmative action have a negative effect on the social aspects of
our country, but it also greatly affects our economic status. By replacing well-qualified
employees who happen to be the majority with minorities who may be less qualified is not good for business. If you put it in prospective, you slow down production when you need to cater to the lack of ability in a new employee. To me it would not make good business sense to replace a part that does not need to be fixed. Those in favor claim that affirmative action would increase competition, therefore raising the level of skill among employees (Norman 49). In opposition of that claim, how can the majority population work under the conditions that they could get fired at any moment, regardless of their
skill on the job. In psychology there is a fitting term called learned helplessness. It says that if a person is not rewarded for their work , he will eventually learn that doing above average work is not getting him any farther that doing average work, so he will lower his level of skill. He will stop trying as hard because he will eventually learn that he does not need higher levels of skill because it will not benefit him anymore than if he had a lower level of skill. If the minority worker gets a job with a lower amount of skills, why cant the majority? If everyone could do their best all the time, it would be a different story. Survival of the fittest, no one seems to know what this means anymore. The people that made this country, including everyones parents and grandparents, would be disgusted at the way people expect something for nothing. No matter if you are white, mexican, black or asian you need to work for what you get. If you want a job you need to work at it, and if you do not get the job the first time maybe you should work harder and try again. However sadly enough, that is not the way of the world today.

Affirmative action has some very convincing arguments by some very convinced proponents. This is obvious through the fact that it has been implemented and followed in the past. Though it has proved successful in doing the job it was created to do, affirmative action has unfortunately had side effects as well. One of which is that minorities and women hold a higher percentage of jobs than in the past, but white men have lost jobs. In addition to losing jobs, white students have been denied entrance to schools. People and the population as a whole have developed biases. Our society and economy as a whole have declined. On the surface affirmative action sounds and looks good. How could giving people an opportunity to work and learn to get along be a bad
idea? But after looking deeper into this concept, it seems that the scale of benefits are still not evenly spread amongst the community. After looking at all the negative outcomes, the choice should be clear. This is obviously not the right plan to help our social and economic system and we should stop using it until we can find a better choice.

Works Cited
Abner, Lacy. Discrimination behind a mask. Lighthouse publishing co. Boston, 1996
Carlton, Melinda. Affirmative Action and Affirming Diversity. Public Management.

Florida, 1997.

Norman, Jim. Politics of the nineties: Americas Verdict on Affirmative Action
is Decidedly Mixed. USA Today. June/July 1997: 49-52.

Internet website.
/ Pages : 1,758 / 24

Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is necessary when a qualified student loses their deserved place at a university because they are black. When a woman more qualified than a man is denied a job because of her gender, affirmative action is necessary. Affirmative action is necessary to run a stable society. Affirmative action is defined in the dictionary as a policy or program for correcting the effects of discrimination in the employment or education of members of certain groups such as women and blacks.
Affirmative action is an effort to develop a systematic way of opening doors of education, employment and business opportunities to qualified individuals. Programs about reaching out to affirmative action are built on the American dream that there is enough education, employment and respect for everyone in this country. The programs are not about reverse discrimination or hiring unqualified applicants (Colonnese 197).

Our entire history can be seen as trying to preserve the conviction made in the Declaration of Independence, which was established in 1776. The Declaration of Independence states, We hold these truths self-evident that all men are created equal: that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights: that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The past reveals a distinct gap between what is stated by this American document and the reality of daily life. When this creed was created, only white men could vote and black slaves were not even counted as whole people. Action needed to be taken in order to make the idea that all men are equal a reality.

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It was not until 1954 when the Brown vs. the Board of Education decision was made, that the legal impediments, which prohibited blacks from entering the arena of competition, were removed (Lewis 1). In 1961, President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925, which required federal contractors to take affirmative action to desegregate the work force, but nothing changed overnight (Dovidio 60). Adults remember water fountains being labeled white and colored, they never sat next to members of another race in a movie theater or a restaurant. Even after the Civil Rights Acts of 1964 was passed, during the climax of the civil rights movement, most blacks were still confined to servile and undesirable jobs. They worked as unskilled laborers and most black women worked as low-level service maids. The continuous series of presidential orders, policies, and court decisions were not enough to give blacks a fair start after years of enslavement (Steinburg 17).

During a ceremony at Howard University in June 1965, President Lyndon Johnson stressed that freedom is not enough by explaining, You cannot take a person who for years has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him to the starting line and say You are free to compete with the others and still justly believe that you have been completely fair (Steinburg 18). It is societys duty to reconstruct the situation so that fairness will prevail; this can be done through affirmative action.

There are concerns in all ethnic categories about the times when affirmative action doesnt work. There are times when employers treat a flexible goal as a quota, but affirmative action does not include quotas. Quotas, in reference to affirmative action, would be setting a certain number of each ethnic or gender category that is to receive a job or college admission. The US Supreme Court outlawed setting fixed quotas for hiring and school enrollment during the Bakke decision in 1978 (Affirmative Action 1). Some employers may give opportunities to people who are unqualified instead of to those who deserve it, but affirmative action does not select or reject employees without regard to merit (Samuelson 53). These concerns are real, but not legal and not part of affirmative action. When the administration finds these kinds of illegal cases, they will enforce the law to reprimand such behavior. The unqualified recipient of an employment opportunity will have their conveyance revoked. The law requires fairness for all people and should be demanded to be enforced.
Affirmative action has already been beneficial for America. Women are now playing a major role in business and politics and also attending all-male schools. Minorities are attending once all-white schools and emerging into Americas work force. The never-ending search for equal opportunity is on the correct path with affirmative action.

Some people say that affirmative action is no longer necessary because racism and sexism have been banished from our nation (Graves 9). This is far from the truth. The unemployment rate for African Americans is still twice that of whites (Dovidio 60). Blacks are not the only people being discriminated against. Women still only make 72% as much as men do at comparable jobs. The average income for a Hispanic woman with a college degree is still less than the average income of a white man with a high school diploma (Clinton 5).The end of discrimination in this country is far from near. There are social problems in the United States, which are similar to all other countries. Our progress is being made to bring our nation together as one. With so much work left to do we shouldnt end affirmative action.

There are differing opinions that are continuing to hinder affirmative action. Some people may say that employers are give opportunities to people who are unqualified instead of those who deserve it, but affirmative action does not select or reject employees without regard to merit (Samuelson 53). Affirmative action did not bring about racial tension that was not already existent. Affirmative action gives minorities the chance to defy the stereotypes given to them by other people. Not using affirmative action will only continue to exclude blacks from participating with the American society. America is labeled as the land of the free; however, many people are still charged for the color of their skin.

If affirmative action is used properly it can help society come together and keep progressing forward. Most citizens share a dream of a better nation, one that allows equal opportunity without discrimination. In order to achieve this dream we must be involved and committed to keeping affirmative action alive until discrimination no longer exists in the work force or schools. In support of creating equal opportunities, Americans should choose to continue rather than bring an end to affirmative action.

Work Cited
Affirmative Action: What is it? Web Crawler. Internet. Available

Clinton, Bill. President Clintons Remarks on Affirmative Action. Capitol Building. Washington, DC July 19, 1995.

Colonnese, Tom. Affirmative Action in Higher Education. The Clearing House. March 1996:197.

Dovidio, John. Aversive racism and the need for Affirmative Action. The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Graves, Earl. Living Kings Dream. Black Enterprise. January. 1997: 9.

Lewis, Brian. An Ethical and Practical Defense of Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action. Chicago: Illinois, 1197. Online. Yahoo. Internet. November 25, 1998. Available

Samuelson, Robert. Poisonous Symbolism. Newsweek. July 1997: 53.

Steinburg, Stephan. The Affirmative Action Debate. UNESCO Courier. March 1996.


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