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.
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.