One day, there were two people who went to a company for a job interview for only one job position. The first candidate graduated from a prestigious and highly academic university, had years of work experience in the field, and in the mind of the employer, had the potential to make a positive impact on the company’s performance. The second candidate does not have a college degree and is just starting out in the field and seemed to lack the ambition that was visible in his opponent. Who do you think was hired for the position?
If this story took place before 1964, the answer would be obvious. However, with the adoption of the social policy known as affirmative action, the answer becomes unclear. Affirmative action is a product of the civil rights era, that time from the late 1950s through the 1960s when African Americans fought to live as equal citizens in the country of their birth (Maltz, Leora, 2005). After the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, it became apparent that certain business traditions, such as seniority status and aptitude tests, prevented total equality in employment.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
President Lyndon Johnson implemented and enforced affirmative action as the set of public policies and initiatives designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin, is under attack (Maltz, Leora, 2005). Affirmative action ensures that applicants are employed without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin (www. encyclopedia. com). But is equality far different from affirmative action? I believe the two are very different and strongly disagree with affirmative action.
In my opinion, affirmative action creates inequality between races, lacks in strengthening diversity, and makes minority races appear weaker. How is it equal to give one individual unfair advantage over another? During the times before and even shortly after the civil rights act was passed, the racial tension was at its peak. Most of the corporate executives and managerial positions were occupied by white males, who controlled the hiring and firing of employees. In 1965, the U. S. government believed that these employers were discriminating against minorities and believed that there was no better time than the present to bring about change.
That was then, this is now. Today, everyone gets an opportunity to go to college, get training, and reach the sky if they want. So, if everyone has a fair chance to get the education and training they want, why do we have this “rule” setup to ensure a certain amount of “equality” in the work force and in the schools? How does hurting another group help another? Equality in racial terms requires that people treat each other the same without regards to their race or ethnic background. By using affirmative action as the reason for appointing positions, contradicts the idea of being racially equal.
Racial harmony cannot be achieved if we continue to uphold the idea of racial discrimination. The impact of racism began early (Tatum, Beverly, 1999). Many of us grew up in neighborhoods where we had limited access to interact with people different from our own families (Tatum, Beverly, 1999). Things are somewhat different now. With the economy rapidly changing, Blacks have had a hard time and many White people have had hard times as well. And today, many Minorities are as well off as most white people today.
When the Civil Rights Law passed, minorities, especially African-Americans, believed that they should receive retribution for the years of discrimination they endured. The government responded by passing laws to aide them in attaining better employment as reprieve for the previous two hundred years of suffering their race endured at the hands of the white man (Plous, 2009). To many, this made sense. Supporters of affirmative action asked, “why not let the government help them get better jobs? ” After all, the white man was responsible for their suffering. While this may all be true, there is another question to be asked.
Are they all truly responsible for the years of persecution that the African Americans were submitted to? Probably not. Does the person working in the cube next to me resent me knowing consciously that we are working side by side because of affirmative action and not because we both qualify to be employed there? Probably so. This type of work environment is not strengthening diversity, it tears it down. Affirmative action supporters make one large assumption when defending the policy. They assume that minority groups want help. This, however, may not always be the case.
They fought to attain equality, not special treatment. To some of them, the acceptance of special treatment is an admittance of inferiority. Some would include me. I believe I can become successful on my own. I don’t need laws to help me get a great job. I along with many others who are against affirmative action want to be treated as equals, not as incompetent. Although discrimination is not placed in a well-distant past, affirmative action is an unneeded and drastic remedy for today’s world (Farron, Steven, 2005) Affirmative action is becoming a form of reverse discrimination (Farron, Steven, 2005).
Widely supported programs that promote the interests of both lower and middle class Americans that deliver benefits to minorities and whites on the basis of their economic status, and not their race or ethnicity, will do more to reduce minority poverty than the current, narrowly based, poorly supported policies that single out minority groups (Plous, 2009). However, if this, or another remedy is not taken sometime in the near future, and affirmative action continues to separate minority groups from whites, we can be sure to see racial tension reach high points in the years to come.
I believe that affirmative action may have been necessary in the beginning when it was first instated. With racial equality closer than ever before, isn’t it about time that we choose on merit based system and not a quota based system? I believe completely in equality. That is why I feel that affirmative action is not fair and is not the solution. It creates an inequality among the races. It clearly shows that we believe one race to be weaker than another. This is shown by the need to give aid to the minority. Normally aid is giving to sick and weak individuals.
Affirmative action creates inequality and lacks in strengthening diversity. I feel affirmative action should be done away with completely. Equality is not created by affirmative action. Works Cited (2009). Retrieved from www. encyclopedia. com Farron, Steven. (2005). The Affirmative Actin Hoax. New York: Seven Locks Pr. Maltz, Leora. (2005). Affirmative Action. Farmington: Greenhaven Press. Plous, S. (2009). Retrieved 2009, from www. understandingprejudice. org Tatum, Beverly. (1999). Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? New York: Basic Books Publishing.