Affirmative Action Essay

Affirmative Action Essay

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Affirmative Action

Blacks and other minority groups have been wrongfully persecuted and punished
and have suffered the indignities of discrimination. As Martin Luther King stated so
eloquently in his "I Have a Dream" speech, blacks should be judged "…not by the color
of their skin, but by the content of their character." Our American culture with its
political, legal, and social considerations, is struggling with the idea of white redemption
while offering minorities a more fair and proportionate representation in the working
community. The result of this challenge is the policy of affirmative action and the many
controversies it brings with it. The proponents of affirmative action argue that because
of past injustices, minorities deserve special privileges. The critics of affirmative action
emphasize that minorities should earn their status and not receive special entitlements. In
my opinion, affirmative action is a policy that unjustifiably discriminates against the
majority, does not advance the cause of minorities in a meaningful way, and needs to be
eliminated or in the alternative, experience a massive restructuring.
"Affirmative Action: The Price of Preference", maintains that affirmative action
has not achieved its goals, and that in some areas, it has even backfired. Steele
acknowledges that blacks were wrongly persecuted, but stresses that as a result of
affirmative action, "blacks now stand to lose more than they gain." Although the intent
of the policy is positive, the end result is a false effort at white redemption and an ill
advised effort by the black mandate to gain power by accepting undeserved positions in
society. Steele points out that instead of focusing on developing ...


... middle of paper ...


...ol or technical school level by allocating
more resources (financial and staffing) to those in need of extra help. Public acceptance
of this preferential treatment would be greater, less emotional, and more easily justified.
It does not address the intermediate needs of some minorities, but maybe there could be
federal or state programs for special training. It is not feasible to simply lower the
standards. This is not as much of a government handout because it requires the
individual to do something, to show a commitment, and to earn a position. Even if they
don't get the position they wanted, at least they have better tools and are more qualified
for something else. Shelby Steele's idea of development at an early age offers the best
solution to a challenging and perhaps, unsolvable problem.




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