The difficulty in achieving a color-blind, non-sexist society lies in the fact that discrimination is an embedded mental bias; as a product of a person’s culture and upbringing, it is extremely difficult to change, and that’s even if a person is cognizant of it in the first place. Another issue is that acts of discrimination are sinisterly implicit. Although it is well known that societal discrimination happens, cases with perceived behavior can turn out to be perfectly innocent - a black person might be rejected from a job not because of prejudice, but simply because he wasn’t qualified enough. This ambiguity of motivation and plausible deniability makes individual cases of discrimination extremely difficult to pinpoint. As a result, its imperceptible nature and profound, subtle influences on societal groups make it an impossible to cleanly legislate. In regards to tackling this issue of discrimination, two distinct philosophies have emerged: the equality of opportunity and equality of results. Pojman defines the two types of affirmative action (AA) that can be taken: weak and strong. Weak affirmative action is defined as policies that will increase the accessibility of opportunities to disadvantaged peoples. The dismantling of segregated institutions, expanded welfare for impoverished citizens, and special services on the basis of need all fall under this umbrella: its goal is aimed at providing equal opportunity to compete. Strong affirmative action, however, is making biased decisions against over-represented groups on the basis of race, creed, or gender, aiming for roughly equal outcomes. This known as a preferential treatment policy, as opposed to weak AA, which simply strives to provide opportunities for equal tre...
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...o not apply to all individuals that are part of them: there will be men with softer qualities and women with more dominating ones.
Strong affirmative action is flawed in that it projects an image of a “just society” under a situation of ignorance. Therefore, what we should do is not to speculate what one would look like, but to strive to provide the conditions that would allow for one to exist. Therefore, the question of whether or not Penn is successfully diversified is faulty - that “quota” constantly changing, and impossible to know. However, what we can do is end preferential treatment on race in college admissions, and accept students on the basis of the objective utility they would bring to the college atmosphere - it is only when we can see prospective students as individuals first that we can approach the conditions of a just society.
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