Affirmative Action and Hosea Martin
Hosea Martin's article on affirmative action aims to defend the practice of hiring
people not just on their qualifications but by their race as well. He does so by using his
own experience in the work place along with some personal, unsupported opinions of his
own regarding hiring practices and education. Martin also attempts to defend affirmative
action programs as being fair and non-discriminatory by emphasizing that "every single
one of us...had been hired for reasons beyond our being able to do our jobs." (Martin qtd.
in Hicks, 219).
Martin begins by trying to explain how no one is actually hired on their
qualifications in this "meritocracy". Everyone has an unfair advantage in some way. This
is his own personal opinion on how and why certain people are hired. His mediocre
attempt to justify the hiring of a person of race over that of a truly qualified person is
based on his perception that "just about everybody...got special consideration for one
reason or another"(220). He also makes reference to the "right" schools. If the "right"
school means picking a white-Anglo Harvard graduate with a Ph. D. over an African-
American University of Florida graduate holding the same degree then the distinction
between the two candidates is obvious. People who want to succeed at the highest levels
in our society work hard their entire lives to get into the "right"schools. This gives them
an advantage over others not because of the color of their skin, but because they have
shown the willingness and aptitude to get ahead. They have already proven their worth.
Martin uses, as a means to support his argument of unfair advantages...
... middle of paper ...
... jobs away from whites". This may be true of the work place but Bakke v. Regents
of the University of California (1978) proves that reverse discrimination does exist in our
education system. Bakke, a white man, was denied admission to medical school despite
the fact that his grades and test scores "were significantly higher than those of several
minority students who were admitted."(Newton qtd. in Hicks 222). Accepting unqualified
students to a medical school is not as Martin says "[a] tremendous benefit to
society"(220). After using affirmative action to his own benefit, Martin presupposes to
write an "educated" and "insightful" article by using not fact but conjecture to prove his
ill-researched and unsupported argument in favor of the continuing use of affirmative
action programs in the work place and then again in education.