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Affirmative Action Is Not the Solution Essays

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     Affirmative action is a social policy created to promote the welfare of minorities by supporting the idea that individuals are all created equal and should not be judged by race or gender. Therefore, in situations like job and university applications, we should consider minorities to be as feasible a choice for hire as a white male candidate, taking into consideration their background. In short, it tries to give minorities that have been at a disadvantage their whole life, an opportunity to ‘equal the playing field’ by providing a broader context by which to measure an applicant or prospective employee. In the end, however, this goal is not realized. Instead, superficial ‘quotas’ are established and the discrimination that was once placed on the minorities now turns the other way.
     One of the arguments against affirmative action is that it injures white men and violates their rights. If were to take a closer look at the affirmative action laws, we can see why this would be true. For example, let’s take a hypothetical situation of two males, one white and another individual who happens to be a minority, both sending in college applications to Harvard to compete for admission. Unfortunately, the university only has one available spot and must decide between the white individual and the minority. The white male has slightly better grades and quite a few more volunteer hours, while both of them excelled in sports and completed two foreign languages. Under the current affirmative action policies, the minority would probably get the final position because of the perceived need for ethnic diversity in the college atmosphere, despite the fact that he did not have the stronger academic credentials. Would this be considered just? In this case not only would affirmative action be serving an injustice to the white individual, but it would also help create a loophole by indirectly establishing a legal form of discrimination.
     The counterpoint to this argument is that although affirmative action creates a larger obstacle for white men to achieve, such measures are necessary in order to break the cycle of de facto employment and school discrimination. However, this does not seem to be a valid counterpoint. If we take a look at another hypothetical situation we can see why it is not ...


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...” However, this argument is not compelling, as the best way to increase productivity and improve the economy is to hire on merit. Hiring based on something other than objective merit may result in economic inefficiency and a less qualified staff. If minorities have a qualified resume and are available, they will meet the criteria of the employer. Once again, it is more effective to treat the disease itself, rather than to stoop down to the same level and discriminate to treat the symptoms. In athletics, for example, in spite of past discrimination blacks have excelled, not because standards were lowered but because barriers were eliminated. Now more than ever blacks comprise the largest ethnic group in professional sports and have come to dominate some of the most lucrative sports such as football and basketball, and are now using their earned social capital to give back to their communities to help others along the way. This is a prime example of how minorities can be helped without lowering the standard by which others are also measured by. To improve our standards as a whole, we must remove the ball and chain on minorities, rather than adding a heavier ball and chain on whites.


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