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Affirmative Action

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Affirmative Action

Few social policy issues have served as a better gauge of racial and ethnic divisions among the American people than affirmative action. Affirmative action is a term referring to laws and social policies intended to alleviate discrimination that limits opportunities for a variety of groups in various social institutions. Supporters and opponents of affirmative action are passionate about their beliefs, and attack the opposing viewpoints relentlessly. Advocates believe it overcomes discrimination, gives qualified minorities a chance to compete on equal footing with whites, and provides them with the same opportunities. Opponents charge that affirmative action places unskilled minorities in positions they are not qualified for and violates the Fourteenth Amendment. Since its inception, the definition of affirmative action has been ever-changing. Prohibiting discrimination in hiring, expanding the applicant pool to include more minorities, compensating for past grievances, and setting quotas have all been part of the definition. In theory affirmative action helps integrate minorities better into society and puts them on equal footing with whites; however, in reality affirmative action is widening the racial gap in America and therefore should be discontinued.

When the Civil Rights Law passed, minorities, especially African-Americans, believed that they should receive retribution for the years of discrimination that they endured. The government responded by passing laws to aide them in attaining better employment as reprieve for the previous two hundred years of suffering. To many, these laws made sense. After all, the white race was partly responsible for their enslavement. However, the individual w...

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... Am I being picked for my writing ability, or to fulfill a quota” (Chinea-Varela 342). Minorities like Migdia want to be treated as equals, not incompetents.

Affirmative Action was an essential part of the desegregation that occurred thirty years ago, but it has become outdated and is no longer part of the solution. It was a temporary plan to improve the conditions for minorities, but it is now more of a hindrance than a help to them. Affirmative action lowers standards, causes unqualified workers to be hired, places a stigma on minorities, lowers their confidence, and gives them the opportunity and encouragement to idle. Affirmative action has not fulfilled its goal of assisting lower income minorities with a history of discrimination, but instead has been exploited by middle-class minorities, the lower income groups still remaining uneducated and unsuccessful.
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