Affermative Action Essay Research Paper Affirmative ActionThe

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Affermative Action Essay, Research Paper Affirmative Action The idea that different subcategories of humans exist, and that depending on one’s point of view, some subcategories are inherently inferior to others, has been around since ancient times. This concept eventually gained the label of “race” in 1789, a “zoological term generally defined as a subcategory of a species which inherits certain physical characteristics that distinguish it from other categories of that same species.” (Tivnan 181). Although slavery has been by and large eliminated in virtually every part of the modern world, the concept used to rationalize its implementation, “racism”, still plagues most modern cultures. Races that were once enslaved, or are minorities within their society, are

often discriminated against in a variety of ways. This attitude can result in actions as severe as the Holocaust of World War II, or as minor as a dismissive glance from a salesman at an uptown department store. In America, an active war has been waged on discrimination since minorities and women rallied for equal rights in the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s. In the last 35 years, the American government has made strides toward ending discrimination altogether, enacting social policies designed to give the downtrodden minorities a leg-up in a white-dominated society. One such policy, Affirmative Action, generally refers to programs that give preferential treatment to minority groups based on socioeconomic status and which try to correct past injustices inflicted upon said

groups. This use of racial criteria to award opportunities in fields like education and employment has sparked major debates over reverse discrimination and moral obligation in today’s America. Many claim that blacks in America have a “moral claim” to compensate them for the “paramount injustice” inflicted upon them, slavery (Tivnan 202). Although slavery ended nearly 200 years ago, racism was tolerated and even encouraged by the American government and was “virtually public policy” for most of the 20th century (Tivnan 202). Proponents of affirmative action believe society owes blacks for these past injustices. In addition to repaying blacks, these policies are “socially useful” to the whole of society, according to Ronald Dworkin in his book “Why Bakke Has No

Case”. By helping today’s impoverished blacks, we can attempt to end the vicious cycle of poverty within just a few generations. Parents assisted by affirmative action will be better able to raise their children, who will be better educated and therefore receive better jobs without assistance. In some cases, the color of one’s skin can be as important a criteria as their intelligence or experience. “If a black skin will, as a matter of regrettable fact, enable another doctor to do a different medical job better (e.g. minister to an urban ghetto population), then black skin ought to be taken as ‘merit’ as well” (Qtd. In Tivnan 206). The fact that black or white skin enables one to do a job better is not a measure of personal worth, just as people who can play

basketball better because of their height are not inherently superior to those who cannot. Although affirmative Action does not solve all the problems, or resolve all the issues, you have to ask yourself: What would society be like without affirmative action? (Tivnan 211) Other’s argue that “you cannot wipe out injustice with another injustice” (Tivnan195). Discriminating against whites is just as wrong as discriminating against blacks. After all, when a society wants to make things equal, it does not mean reversing the current situation and trampling the rights of different demographic instead. Whites and blacks shouldn’t be on separate lists in the career world, just as they shouldn’t have separate dining accommodations (Tivnan195). Another point raised is that