Affirmative Action Essay Research Paper Affirmative ActionColor

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Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper Affirmative Action Color of skin in not relevant in public affairs. Nelson Mandela. In recent times, virtually every great political leader has recognized the truth of affirmative action. But, what is affirmative action one might ask? According to Merriam-Webster s Collegiate Dictionary, Tenth Edition: an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women. In the United States, these minority groups include African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, Alaskan Natives, and immigrants. In general, affirmative action is intended to benefit groups that are thought to have suffered from discrimination. However, critics argue that some

groups benefit from affirmative action because of their political influence. In this essay, I will show that quotas and mandatory preferences not only violate our rights as individual citizens, but also are unnecessary, and why they should be abolished. The term affirmative action was first used in an order issued by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 that required businesses with U.S. government contracts to treat their employees without regard to race, ethnic origin, religion, or gender. However, later on the government asked the businesses to consider the race and gender of their employees to ensure that the mix of people on their staffs reflected the mix in the local work force. In addition, a fixed share of federal contracts were set aside for businesses owned by women or

minorities. Many state and local governments, as well as numerous businesses and schools, created their own affirmative-action programs. Since the 1970’s, controversy over affirmative action has developed. People disaccord about how to achieve the goal of nondiscrimination. Even though, some claim temporary preferences are necessary to achieve equality, others believe quotas, mandatory preferences, and other affirmative action policies unfairly affect the right of individuals to be treated according to their abilities. People also disagree about which groups are entitled to affirmative action and for how long (LaNoue). The reasons used by proponents like redressing past injustice and educational diversity are not proper and they harm the society instead of helping it to prosper

(Puddington 70-83). Affirmative action in the United States is meant to provide jobs for blacks in formerly closed fields. Correcting a past injustice is admirable, but requiring an employer to provide black faces in order to fill a quota is unfair both to employers and to employees. It puts productivity at risk, as well as the self-esteem and potential for personal growth for those who are being helped (Almasi 4). Proponents also consider that educational diversity is an important reason behind affirmative action and giving preferences to minority students in schools is a way of achieving it. But the preferences remove from bad schools any incentive to improve, since their students are guaranteed places in good colleges irrespective of their own standards (O Sullivan 22). In

fact, to bring onto college campuses students whose academic abilities have been severely damaged by the conditions in which they have been forced to learn would be a recipe for failure (Carter 438). All these students need is a training to be successful in the real world and not just a push, favor, or preference that will force them into being a failure later on. The proponents suggest changing the race-based affirmative action into the class-based affirmative action that would not arouse any hostility. But it makes very little sense in an area of admission to colleges, universities, and professional schools. We already have a huge and expensive system of federal loans to make it possible for those without parental or their own income to get higher education. One can imagine