Affirmative action, is it still needed in this day and age? Has it accomplished what it was supposed to? Many people say that if America concentrated on programs that provided assistance to the most needy then they would have the opportunities that affirmative action is trying to provide. By going into the ghettos of our cities and stimulating business, thereby, promoting economic growth, the disenfranchised will reap the benefits. Have they been reaping the benefits of affirmation action? As a nation devoted to equality, the United States must do away with unproductive race-dividing policies. By eliminating them, Americans can take major steps in promoting competition and overcoming the color barrier. In his famous march in 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. longed for a society where "people would not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." Moreover, skin-color and social status should be irrelevant in hiring employees. Whereas, judging people by the "content of their character" and their capabilities will create a thriving country. The emergence of Louis Farrakhan and the O.J. Simpson verdict have aroused American awareness regarding the extent to which race relations in this country have deteriorated. While Martin Luther King Jr. preached unity and equality in America, Farakahan supports segregation. Any organization or individual promoting a particular race diminishes uniformity. The existence of affirmative action and quotas further segregates American society by characterizing people by race and distinguishing between skin color. In order to bring people together, these classifications must yield. In employment situations, when the employer is bound to affirmative action policies, an individual of race A will receive a job before a better qualified individual of race B. These results are unfortunate. It’s discouraging to think that a company may not reach its greatest economic Affirmative Action 3 potential because it is forced to hire the less qualified of two individuals. How can we, as Americans, possibly promote policies that give preferential treatment to one person over another, based on something as irrelevant as the color of their skin? We can’t. Maintaining the role of one of the most competitive countries in the world, I would like to think that, as Americans, we have more pride in our country than that which is hampered by affirmative action. Furthermore, affirmative action and quotas play a very similar role in education. Unfortunately, many exceptional young students may not reap the benefits a well-respected college has to offer because someone with a possible, lesser degree of potential may be granted admission on the basis of their skin color.