Two hundred years ago in America, being born of a certain race or gender predetermined one’s opportunities in life. African Americans were subjected to slavery and discrimination and women had very little liberty. In the present, the United States is much closer to equality, yet gender and race still play a role in life’s opportunities given the high frequency of affirmative action programs; they attempt to increase the representation of minorities on college campuses and in the office, regardless of virtue. Programs of affirmative action arouse controversy because some groups view affirmative action as a catalyst for reverse discrimination whilst other groups support affirmative action as a way to diversify society and compensate for past exclusions. Affirmative action describes the “positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded” (Fullinwinder).
Not until much later, did the first clear evidence of racism occur with the start of slave trade from Africa to Britain and America. Racism was then formed by the rich and powerful to justify inhumane treatment of black people. However, social justice has come a long way since then. Ironically, long after declaring all men equal, the United States has shown their efforts to improve opportunities to minorities by continuing the use of affirmative action, which is now not necessary in today's society. Affirmative action clearly leads to reverse discrimination, and the focus on those who have traditionally been thought of as minorities overlooks candidates who may be more suited for a position.
In many colleges and universities, a certain number of openings were set aside specifically for minorities because of the necessity to fill the racial quota for college populations. Because of this quota, many educational instit... ... middle of paper ... ...rds of excellence. Reverse discrimination is not an answer for ending discrimination. It is time to consider a change in the policies of affirmative action or to abolish those policies altogether. Bibliography King, Martin Luther, Jr.
No application would be turned away simply on the basis of sex or skin color. Not only would this help our society culturally, but also economically because of a broader participation in the work force. Although affirmative action did include all minorities, it may have never become government policy if it were not for the civil rights movement that began 1950’s. The Civil War had ended slavery nearly a century before, but still many African Americans had never been granted full equality. Many states, particularly the South, passed laws “that were designed to segregate the white and black races and to keep African Americans in an inferior position in society.” (Hamner 21).
Affirmative action policies were instituted not only to ensure diversity, but to right the wrong of decades of discrimination and to help minorities by giving them extra opportunities (Messerli). The policies were created after the Civil War when slavery was finally abolished. The term was first mentioned by President Kenne... ... middle of paper ... ...prejudice when it’s truly all in their head and the only ones stopping them are themselves. Racial prejudice is not what’s stopping blacks from thriving, it’s a multitude of things that African Americans bring on themselves. According to Charles Canady, crime, substandard academic performance, and out-of-wedlock births stand in the way of progress.
For the majority of the students, those moving on to community colleges or lesser universities, there will be a set of classes that will teach the same subjects as the honor courses, just not in as much detail. There will also be a third tier of classes below this one which will serve the needs of those students who are not academically up to standard. The students in the lower classes will not be allowed to "slack off" and graduate with a sub-par education. Their classes will be more rigorous than the average classes in an effort to bring the students back up to the standard.
We gave them a setback in our economic system, and affirmative action would be our way of reimbursing them for time and opportunities they lost out on (Norman 50). But where should the line be drawn; how much do we do to repay people - in this case blacks - for past wrongs? Is it enough to give them equal rights, or will we give them extra opportunities to make up for those we took away? It has been argued that the black sector in America, in general, is lower in class due to their environment prior to the Civil War, but the black people of today are not those who lived then. Each person today - no matter their gender, 2 origin, race, belief, or whatever difference has the same opportunities as everyone else.
Like myself, many other African Americans believe this policy is one the most effective strategies for helping underrepresented minority groups gain access to education and employment. However, critics of affirmative action believe this kind of reform does an injustice to the idea of merit. Though no one can deny minorities and women have made significant steps towards autonomy and equality in America, there are still wide educational and economic disparities between minority groups and white males. While the issues and controversies surrounding race can not be resolved easily, the question remains: Do we still need affirmative action in America? I say yes, affirmative action was and is needed to help prevent unfairness caused by discrimination in America.
Although he is conscious that reverse discrimination appears unfair to those directly affected, he proposes that fairness is dependent on desert. What an individual deserves lies on the effort and willpower for achievement (3. Rachels, CC2011, p 0201). Therefore, it is morally acceptable to execute preferential treatment towards a deserving individual if he or she put in more effort. Rachels’ moral reasoning for sup... ... middle of paper ... ...nforce the negative stereotype that minorities who got in, had an unfair racial advantage.
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.