Affirmative Action

.. entions, changing the past effects of discrimination is a goal that is far from reach, however, not unattainable. Women and minorities should be entitled to enjoy the same successes as the rest of the country, without the fear of being seen as the beneficiary of entitlements. Business owners should be free to make intelligent hiring decisions based on a persons skills and talents, without the fear of penalty from the government. As Marsha M. states, “Affirmative action is used not to level the playing field, but used to strong-arm employer’s into jobs, raises and promotions for Black Americans and women.” The growing tensions that result from these programs continues to divide races, not bring them closer together.

“Ultimately, either quotas will go or democracy will, because legal privileges based on status are incompatible with democracy’s requirement of equal standing before the law” (Roberts & Stratton 177). Allowing different sets of rules and lower standards to separate people based on race or sex, defeats any efforts made toward finally ending discrimination. Today every American has access to employment and educational opportunities. Americans live in a world of free enterprise where they can create their own successes. Americans have the means to achieve and succeed, they just have to have the drive and incentive to go out into the world and do it.

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As in every aspect of life some things may not come easily. Yet these experiences make one stronger and sometimes even more determined to achieve their goals. Individuals of any race should not use or misuse the color of their skin or sexual orientation for advancing themselves over others. Instead by using their talents, knowledge and sense of fairness to achieve their goals, affirmative action will become outdated. Works Cited Page Affirmative Action: Part 1 Enforcing Equality, ” An Affirmative Action Primer”, The Virginia Pilot. 1995.

Pilot Online. 12, September 1998. Heilman, Madeline. Study: “Affirmative Action Hires Abilities Doubted” @. Money Magazine, Aug.

31, 1992, 3B. Kahlenberg, Richard D. The Remedy. New York; BasicBooks, 1996. M., Marsha. “Untitled”.

Tidewater Community College. November, 1998. Roberts, Paul Craig., and Lawrence M. Stratton. The New Color Line. Washington, DC; Regnery Publishing, 1995.

Rough Draft Affirmative action refers to the U.S. program set forth in the early 1970’s to correct the effects of past discrimination by giving preferential treatment to women and ethnic minorities in the workplace. At the time of their induction, proponents of affirmative action programs felt that the only way to increase the number of minorities in the workplace was to establish a system of quotas to be maintained by law. However, by forming and maintaining these laws over the past twenty-five years, a development of an entirely new set of problems arose. These problems are what fuel the controversy over affirmative action.

Most people are dissatisfied with current affirmative action policies, but are opposed to eliminating them completely: “Americans hold doggedly to notions of family and liberty, but they also believe in a sort of rough equality of opportunity that gives the underdog a real chance in life” (Kahlenberg 209). Once a necessary evil, affirmative action programs have outlived their usefulness, and promote discrimination by continuing to allow for unfair hiring practices. The primary goal of affirmative action programs was to increase the number of minorities in the workplace. Most people would agree that that goal has been realized. There was a definite need for action to enlighten individuals and corporations to the negative results of their prejudices. It is unlikely that corporations would have taken the initiative to hire from the minority groups, had it not been for government intervention.

Affirmative action has created numerous opportunities for women and minorities in this country. It would be difficult to argue that these programs were not absolutely essential in making progress toward equality that we have made today. The American Association for Affirmative Action states that they are “dedicated to the advancement of affirmative action, equal opportunity and the elimination of discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnic background or any other criterion that deprives people of opportunities to live and work (AAAA Sept. 1998).” However, affirmative action has always been a compromise, and with the progress made, a price has also been paid. Affirmative action must now be rethought and restructured.

Laws created the preference programs: “were based in the conscience of the American people and in their commitment to equal treatment. The racial quotas that we experience today are blatant perversions that are illegal under the statutory language of the Civil Rights Act” (Roberts & Stratton 67). If the goal is true equal opportunity employment, removal of all advantages and allowing people to be hired for their skills and abilities only should occur. By continuing to allow for unfair hiring practices, affirmative action programs promote discrimination. Using reverse discrimination to solve the problem of discrimination will always receive criticism for its hypocrisy.

By requiring corporations to fulfill quotas, the affirmative action laws promote the hiring of less qualified workers. For example, in 1965, the Newport News Shipbuilding Co. buckled under the heavy hand of the EEOC, who had solicited complaints by knocking on the doors in black neighborhoods. The company reluctantly agreed to promote 2,890 of its five thousand black workers, designating 100 blacks as supervisors, and agreed to a quota system. One shipyard worker stated that the EEOC had done its best to “set black against white, labor against management, and disconcert everybody.” (Roberts & Stratton 93).

This creates animosities between workers that lead to further segregation, defeating the intentions of the programs entirely. Another example of this “reverse discrimination” was in the education system; the public case of Cheryl J. Hopwood, Douglas W. Carvell, Kenneth R. Elliott, and David A. Rogers. They filed discrimination charges again the State of Texas stating they were discriminated against and denied admission to the University of Texas School of Law.

The college granted admission to less qualified African American and Mexican American applicants through the use of a quota system. This practice of preferential admissions for minorities furthers the practice of reverse discrimination, now not just in the workplace, but also in the school systems. Affirmative action has never been a perfect solution and people will always have valid arguments for maintaining its existence. But, to continue to offer one group opportunity, due only to their minority status, at the expense of another is wrong. Non-minorities continue to feel that their rights have been violated and that they are being punished for crimes that they had no part in committing. And when non-minorities are subject to the same discrimination, they have little recourse: “Under the 1991 Civil Rights Act, white males can have no grounds for discrimination lawsuits until they are statistically underrepresented in management and line positions. The 1991 Act, in effect, repealed the 1964 act by legalizing racial preferences as the core of civil rights law” (Roberts & Stratton).

Regardless of good intentions, changing the past effects of discrimination is an unattainable goal. Women and minorities should be entitled to enjoy the same successes as the rest of the country, without the fear of being seen as the beneficiary of entitlements. Business owners should be free to make intelligent hiring decisions based on a persons skills and talents, without the fear of penalty from the government. As Marsha M. states, “Affirmative action is used not to level the playing field, but used to strong-arm employer’s into jobs, raises and promotions for Black Americans and women”.

The growing tensions that result from these programs continues to divide races, not bring them closer together. Allowing different sets of rules and lower Standards to separate people based on race or sex, defeats any efforts made toward finally ending discrimination. “Ultimately, either quotas will go or democracy will, because legal privileges based on status are incompatible with democracy’s requirement of equal standing before the law” (Roberts & Stratton 177). Today every American has access to employment and educational opportunities. Americans live in a world of free enterprise where they can create their own successes. Americans have the means to achieve and succeed, they just have to have the drive and incentive to go out into the world and do it. As in every aspect of life some things may not come easily.

Yet these experiences make one stronger and sometimes even more determined to achieve their goals. Individuals of any race should not use or misuse the color of their skin or sexual orientation for advancing themselves over others. Instead by using their talents, knowledge and sense of fairness to achieve their goals, affirmative action will become outdated. Bibliography Page Affirmative Action: Part 1 Enforcing Equality, ” An Affirmative Action Primer”, The Virginia Pilot. 1995. Pilot Online. 12, September 1998.

Heilman, Madeline. Study: Affirmative Action Hires Abilities Doubted @. Money Magazine, Aug. 31, 1992, 3B. Kahlenberg, Richard D. The Remedy.

New York; BasicBooks, 1996. M., Marsha. “Untitled”. Tidewater Community College. November, 1998. Roberts, Paul Craig., and Lawrence M.

Stratton. The New Color Line. Washington, DC; Regnery Publishing, 1995.