Affirmative Action in the United States consists of the active efforts that take into account race, sex and national origin for the purpose of remedying and preventing discrimination. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal government requires certain businesses and educational institutions that receive federal funds to develop affirmative action programs. Such policies are enforced and monitored by both The Office of Federal Contract Compliance and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (Lazear 37).
The most noteworthy criticism of affirmative action is that of the white male population who insists that such programs are forms of "reverse discrimination". In contrast to their view, the United States Commission on Civil Rights argued until 1983 that only if society were operating fairly would measures that take race, sex, and national origin into account be "preferential treatment." After the commission on civil rights was reorganized in late 1983, however, it took the opposite position. By January of 1984, it approved a statement that "racial preferences merely constitute another form of unjustified discrimination". In recent years, however, affirmative action has continued to grow, and the number of controversies surrounding its existence is consistently augmented.
In 1978, in University of California Regents v. Bakke, the U.S. Supreme Court held (5-4) that fixed quotas may not be set for places for minority applicants for medical school if white applicants are denied a chance to compete for those places. The court, however, did say that professional schools may consider race as a factor in making decisions on admissions. More recently than the Regents decision, in United Steelworkers of America V. Weber (1979) and Fullilove v. Klutznick (1980), the court continued to hold for affirmative action.
II. An Introduction to the Controversy
The transformation of affirmative action over the years is generally considered a negative and socially unfair one. Although the original intention of such programs with regard to minority management was one of an undeniably just nature, my research has clearly indicated that over the years, various legal trends have drastically altered the socio-political implications of affirmative action often creating unfair situations for white males who are not part o...
... middle of paper ...
...ope for in the current system is an augmentation in the number of companies educating their employees on multicultural human relations. Since the eventual long-term goal is to eliminate prejudice, the only way to do so in corporate America is to teach people about acceptance. Executive stereotyping only exists because mainstream stereotyping exists. Minorities can stop feeling like "inferior tokens" when whites stop regarding us as such and stereotyping us out of sheer ignorance.
Affirmative action must exist at least as symbolism of this country's commitment to civil rights. The thick blood of prejudice will still continue to run through the veins of U.S. society, despite upbeat talk about the increasingly diversified work force. Government-mandated hiring preferences prod companies into integrating their work force, and in the past twenty-five years of
affirmative action, blacks and other minorities have indeed benefitted both socially and economically. Individual businesses and the economy have profited, not lost. Until the United States conceives a better idea, it is most wise to maintain a policy that despite its flaws, is both a moral imperative and an economic necessity.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Affirmative Action in the United States Affirmative Action in the United States consists of the active efforts that take into account race, sex and national origin for the purpose of remedying and preventing discrimination. Under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the federal government requires certain businesses and educational institutions that receive federal funds to develop affirmative action programs. Such policies are enforced and monitored by both The Office of Federal Contract Compliance and The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (Lazear 37).... [tags: Affirmative Action Prejudice Equality Essays]
4545 words (13 pages)
The Effects that Affirmative Action Has Had on Past and Future Endeavors of Minorities in the United States
- The African American experience in the United States is one that could almost be described as irreparable. The African American debut in this country was one that started off as foul as a situation could be. The slavery experience ranks amongst some of the most inhumane eras in the history of mankind. The settlers in the colonies viewed Africans as only 3/5ths of a man and used Africans as tools, or pets, as opposed to acknowledging them as real thinking, loving, feeling human beings. Amazingly so, African Americans were able to advance in this society to a plateau in which we are now, by definition, accepted as equals.... [tags: essays research papers fc]
2845 words (8.1 pages)
- Affirmative action programs are often misunderstood. Each person has their own idea of what affirmative action really entails. This paper will provide an overview of the legal aspect of affirmative action. The differences between affirmative action programs and equal opportunity legislation will be explained. The positive arguments will be presented along with the negative arguments. The affects affirmative action has on the society of the United States will be analyzed. Finally the reactions of beneficiaries of affirmative action will be discussed.... [tags: Affirmative Action]
1298 words (3.7 pages)
- Affirmative action: Should it be mended or ended. Affirmative action is an attempt to correct unequal distribution of benefits (status, income and wealth, power and authority), and burdens associated with ethnic and gender differences. Affirmative action has been promoted by the Federal government since the mid 1960's, when president Lyndon B. Johnson ordered federal contractors to adopt affirmative action plans. (Congress and the Nation, 748). This paper will focus on the relevance of affirmative action in the American society.... [tags: Affirmative Action]
1336 words (3.8 pages)
- The Controversial Issue of Affirmative Action Considering the subject of affirmative action the following questions frequently are raised: Is there a clear understanding of affirmative action roles/goals. What are the pros/cons of these programs. What are the "loop holes" in the system. Does seniority play a role in affirmative action. Addressing these key questions may help us all in our daily routine, as administrators and/or potential administrator in the public/private sector. Affirmative action programs throughout the United States have long been a controversial issue particularly concerning employment practices (public/private) and university student and/or staff recruitment.... [tags: Affirmative Action Racism Racist Essays]
3005 words (8.6 pages)
- Affirmative Action Will Build a Strong Nation Affirmative Action: often upon hearing this word, one will start thinking about quotas and reverse discrimination. However, contrary to this misconception, affirmative action is actually a policy that dictates that employers attempt to find diverse employees by exploring untraditional sources of labor. The goal of affirmative action is to create a work force that mirrors the population of the nation both in gender and in ethnicity (Hanmer 8,10). Affirmative action is necessary to give all Americans an opportunity to be successful and to counteract the discrimination that still exists in modern society.... [tags: affirmative action argumentative persuasive]
1366 words (3.9 pages)
- During the 1950’s and 1960’s there were major changes in civil rights taking place within the United States. In 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which sought to create equal opportunity for minority groups in the nation and eliminate discrimination. Shortly thereafter, “the goal of the civil rights movement shifted from the traditional aim of equality of opportunity through nondiscrimination alone to affirmative action to establish ‘goals and timetables’ to achieve absolute equality between blacks and whites” (Dye 253).... [tags: Affirmative Action is Necessary 2014]
510 words (1.5 pages)
- After you graduate from college, you will be putting in your application for a job that you went to college for. Even though you might be the most qualified for the job you still might not obtain the position. Affirmative Action sometimes causes this because companies have to hire a certain number of minorities relative to the size of the company. This means that if there are no minority citizens available, immigrants who aren’t even US citizens can take the position. This is why Affirmative Action should be readjusted, because it is helping immigrants instead of the people it was meant for, American citizens.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
1086 words (3.1 pages)
- Affirmative action is an attempt by the United States to amend a long history of racial and sexual discrimination. But these days it seems to incite, not ease, the nations internal divisions. Opponents of affirmative action say that the battle for equal rights is over, and that requiring quotas that favor one group over another is un-American. The people that defend it say that the playing field is not level, and that providing advantages for minorities and women is fair considering the discrimination those groups tolerated for years.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
1609 words (4.6 pages)
- Affirmative action is an attempt by the United States to amend a long history of racial discrimination and injustice. Our school textbook defines affirmative action as “a program established that attempts to improve the chances of minority applicants for educational or employment purposes, although they may have the same qualifications, by giving them leverage so that they can attain a level that is equal to caucasian applicants” (Berman 522). There are people that support and oppose this issue.... [tags: Affirmative Action Essays]
1823 words (5.2 pages)