Affirmative Action

Better Essays
Affirmative Action

Affirmation Action In Today Society: Myths and Facts

As America nears the end of the twentieth century, we still face many lingering problems that stand unresolved. One of the most pressing and difficult problems is that of human relations, or to many, the trigger word race relations. For over 225 years America has been trying to fulfill the promise of the founders of this nation that “All Men Are Created Equal”, yet we still see institutionalized injustices and discrimination. Therefore, this paper attempts to look at one controversial issue that was implemented to correct previous human relation injustices of our nations. This issue is Affirmative Action. To examine affirmation action, this paper looks at the origin of affirmative action programs, U.S. Supreme Court affirmative action debate, employment and affirmative action, and finally myths and facts about affirmative action. I hope that through this paper these issues can be presented to gain a better understanding of affirmative action in today’s society.

Affirmative action is a policy assigned to increase representation of women and minorities in business, educational institutions and government. It origin lies in the legislation that came out of the civil right movement of the 1960’s. The Civil Right Act of 1964 was passed, which forbids discrimination unions, employment agencies, and business employing more than 25 employees. However, the tasks for enforcement of this law had been immense and extremely difficult. In an endeavor to redress the systematic discriminations of the past, especially against blacks, remedial programs often called "affirmative action" were undertaken by educational institutions, unions, and governments. These programs required a percentage of minorities – group (racial minority and women) representation goal and a timetable for accomplishment of that goal. The basic premise was to level to playing ground for minorities.

Almost, immediately from its inception affirmative action program has been controversy. The process of minority goals and percentages created a powerful” “white backlash”. Critics charge that the ratios are not goals but quotas and that affirmative action programs really call for reverse discrimination (discrimination against white males). Resolution of this conflict is difficult. While it is true that some minority group ...

... middle of paper ...

... doors by themselves.

In a perfect world program such, as Affirmative Actions would not be needed. Personnel decisions would be basis upon each individual’s abilities and qualifications, without regards to gender or ethnic group. However, we are far from a perfect world. As long as we have prejudices, hatred, and discrimination in society, programs of Affirmative Action will be necessary.


Coleman, James William, and Cressey, Donald R. Social Problem. 5th ed. Harper Collins College Publishers. New York. 1993. 188-190

Levenson, Alec R., and Williams, Darrell L. Interracial America: Opposing View, “ Affirmative Action Combat Unintentional Racism”, Greenhaven Press Inc., San Diego, 1996, 154-158

Bender, David and Leone, Bruno. Work: Opposing Viewpoints, “Affirmative Action Promotes Equality”, Greenhaven Press Inc., San Diego, 168-176

Collier’s Encyclopedia. CD-ROM. Sierra Home, 1998

Reflective in Race Relation, Online, www., 18 Feb. 1999

Coleman, Jonathan. Long Way To Go: Black & White In America, Atlantic Monthly Press, New York, 1997

Carter, Stephen L., Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby, Basic Books, New York,
Get Access