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Affirmative action is just because it gives a fair advantage to black Americans, women and other minorities who have suffered from the effects of social injustice in our country. Majorities have constantly opposed affirmative action because they view it as an injustice directed to them.
In Grutter v Bollinger, one can say that affirmative action is just because it is a benign discrimination. One might say that the law school?s consideration of African Americans, Hispanics and Native American student?s (who otherwise might not be represented in the student body) is unjust. However, considering the facts of the case, the school?s policy does not define diversity solely in terms of racial and ethnic status and does not restrict the types of diversity contributions eligible for ?substantial weight.? Grutter?s grade point average was remarkable but data demonstrates that test and high grade point average is not necessarily the best predictors of future success. The law school considers diversity in their admissions because they think that diversity promotes learning outcomes and better prepare students fro an increasingly diverse workforce for society and for the legal profession. Many people would argue that, there is no studies that prove that diversity promotes learning outcomes, but what we know is that, the law school considers diversity for a positive motive. Through diversity, students would be understanding of each others culture and come to respect different views. The school?s program is also flexible enough to ensure that each applicant is evaluated as an individual and not in a way that makes race or ethnicity the defining feature of the application. The law school has also been found to have considered non-minorities with low grade point averages and therefore, Grutter cannot prove that she was rejected solely because of her race.
Affirmative action is just because it helps correct the injustice done to specific groups. Through affirmative action, people of color, white women, and working class women and men of all races who were denied their right to equal opportunities are now able to enter institutions where they explore different aspects of learning and contribute to the society. We now have blacks and women who are lawyers, cops, doctors and engineers. This is important because people of the same race are sympathetic to themselves. A black lawyer would be more passionate about defending his/her client of the same race and also a female doctor would be at a best position to understand what her fellow female goes through and also a woman would be most comfortable with a female gynecologists than a male gynecologist.
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Some people also argue that affirmative action is not just because there are some middle class people of color who also benefit from affirmative action. We can say that many colored persons have experienced the effects of racial discrimination and therefore even though there are some rich colored persons, their money does not protect them form racial discrimination. This was a joke from one of my professors: ? What do you call a black person in a three piece suit? Answer a ?nigger.? Others say that affirmative action is unjust because individual whit people have to pay for past discrimination and may not get the jobs they deserve. It is rather unfortunate that this would happen but we forget that the system they have made is the same system which is coming back to harm them.
We cannot say that whites (male) are being discriminated against or are losing out as a result of Affirmative action programs. If we look at high professions such as medicine, law, architecture or even the average income of whites, we would notice that colored people are still under represented and under paid in many jobs. Whites are still over represented in lucrative businesses and professions.
Nozick would argue that Affirmative action is not just because the people in our society acquired their holdings in a just way. Nozick states in his entitlement theory that, people own what they have worked for and they have to enjoy the fruits of their labor. Nozick says that people often note that wealth is unequally distributed and proceed immediately to discuss how it might be made more equal. But in the entitlement theory one cannot decide whether redistribution is necessary merely by looking at the prevailing pattern of distribution. He says that, whether a distribution is just depends on how the distribution came about. If it came about in accordance with the rules of acquisition, transfer and rectification then it is not unjust however unequal it may be. In this case, even though African Americans and women do not have the same advantages and opportunities as white males, Nozick would say that the white males justly acquired their holdings and thus, their liberty is protected and it would be unfair to interfere with their possessions.
For Nozick there is no attempt to institutionalize poverty relief, furthermore there are no justified mechanism, according to Nozickian libertarianism for transferring legitimately held wealth from one individual to another.
Rawls with his theory of justice would support that Affirmative action is just. Rawls believes that each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive total system of equal basic liberties compatible with a similar system of liberty for all. In his Difference principle, Rawls says that social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged, and also attached to offices and positions open to all under conditions of fair equality of opportunity. Affirmative action which gives preference to African Americans and minorities who have suffered from past injustices and are less well of in society is just because even though affirmative action discriminates, it is to the interest of the less advantaged in the society.
?An inequality of opportunity must enhance the opportunities of those with the lesser opportunity? (Rawls). Affirmative action, which is a benign discrimination is just because it helps people who have been put to a disadvantage in the society to gain a stance.