Outcomes of Affirmative Action

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Outcomes of Affirmative Action Affirmative action was started by Lyndon B. Johnson as a way to equalize the employment field to minority job seekers. What started out as an equal opportunity action has become the subject of controversy in many workplaces across the United States. Many feel that affirmative action has gone too far and is an example of reverse discrimination, while others believe that it has yet to do enough to “level the playing field” in the employment domain. From what I have studied, it is my belief that affirmative action has started to produce many more negative effects, than positive ones. Therefore, it is my opinion that affirmitive action is a good guideline for hiring practices, but should not be manditory. Lyndon Johnson initiated affirmitive action with the Executive Order 11246, which ordered all federal contractors to have equal employment. Companies had to determine the perentage of minorities and women and then identify “underutilization”, which is, “when the percentage of employees in a particular job catergory is less than the percentage of potentially qualified members of that group in the labor force”(Walker 111). Many companies today are required, by law, to have a certain percentage of minorities and women working for them. In 1966, when Lyndon Johnson passed this Executive Order the United States was a different place than it is now, thirty three years later, and racial minorities and women are treated more equally than they ever have been. Special treatment was necessary to equal out employment oppertunities in 1966, but now “test results indicate that many firms today do operate as equal opportunity employers” (Ben*censored* 150). Affirmative Action was a great idea, but I believe that it has become outdated and unnessary. One of the major negative outcomes of affirmative action is that many white males now feel like they are experiencing reverse discrimination. Often affirmative action works in a way that it seems that minorities are choosen over their white counterparts even when their credentials are of an equal level. This is a form of discrimination and actually performs the very function affirmative action was implemented to prevent. Tensions run high with white males when discussing affirmative action. Many feel ignored and looked over so that some company can fulfil thier quota of women and racial minorities. Whether this is true can not be tested, but white males feel like the system is letting them down, that they are being taken for granted. I think this sentiment is dangerous.

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