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Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper

This paper was written to show how Affirmative Action took place. It deals with

the idea that diversity management does not decrease ethnic and gender tensions

while increasing profits, productivity and creativity, but it has served a

general purpose to aware people of different cultures, and establish a

justification to make everybody equal in opportunity not based in race, sex, nor

culture. It also includes a history of the Affirmative Action. The different

paths it has taken along the development it has undergone as time has gone by,

from its beginning as a Civil Rights Act to the Affirmative Action it is today.

Statement of Purpose The three members of the group are members of minorities

and the purpose is to acquaint other minorities with what could be encountered

in finding a job. Scope This paper contains arguments that stand for and against

Affirmative Action programs with cases to substantiate the claims. It also

contains a history of the Affirmative Action and its original purpose. Sources

and Methods The material needed for this paper was gathered from several on-line

resources and a book. Such sources were gathered by searching the Internet and

the School’s Library. Report Organization The paper starts by giving the reader

the original purpose of the affirmative Action and its history. Then, it states

several pros and several cons supporting each with a case. At the end of the

paper a summary of the same is given together with the conclusions formed by the

writers of the paper. WHAT IS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? Affirmative Action is the name

given to programs that try to correct past and ongoing discriminations against

women, racial minorities, and others in the work force and in education. The

principal goal of Affirmative Action is to create more diversity and equal

opportunities in jobs or schools that used to be all or mostly male, white, or

both. Affirmative Action programs have been in place only a little over thirty

years throughout Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are three

aspects of Affirmative Action. One, Affirmative Action in employment. It can

consist of posting and publicizing job notices in locations that are likely to

be seen by a wide rang e of people so that not only white people, but also

minorities can see that there are job opportunities that they can apply to (Casul,

1). Two, Affirmative Action in contracting. This consists of highly regulated

government agencies that help minorities to get jobs without haven to go through

discrimination because of their background (Casul, 1). Three, Affirmative Action

in education. This consists of various programs that schools have to be able to

provide minorities with the equal opportunity of an education (Casul, 1). THE

HISTORY OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION Affirmative Action was started in 1965 with the

Executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. He stated that something else

had to be done to move beyond the non-discrimination laws that were already

enacted. At the same time something had to be done to enable women and

minorities to move up in their jobs. After President Johnson, President Nixon

implemented that same Executive order. With this done President Ford, a few

years later the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans

Readjustment Act of 1974. This acts assured that federal contractors had

Affirmative Action regulations in hiring or firing employees. Again, some years

later President Carter created a centralized office to handle all Affirmative

Action cases named the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).

Now, during his presidency, President Clinton has articulated four standards for

all Affirmative Action programs: no quotas in theory or practice, no illegal

discrimination of any kind, no preferences for people not qualified, and as soon

as the program has succeeded it must be retired. THE CASE FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION

Since the day that thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 African-American

civilians were able to attend school with everybody else; since the day that

there was no difference between a "white water fountain" and a

"black water fountain", the achievements reached with the help of an

Affirmative Action are evident. Affirmative Action has caused a debate and some

tension to rise in the American society (Lewis, 1). The paragraphs that follow

will be intended to show to the reader that an Affirmative Action can indeed

help the business environment in getting the most qualified people the job they

deserve, without their race, culture or sex prevent them from getting it.

Arguments For Affirmative Action Since the day that Affirmative Action programs

started to take place, minorities have been able to be treated fairly and have

been able to get job opportunities also. The next few paragraphs state several

arguments that point to the conclusion that an Affirmative Action is needed to

provide fairness in every aspect to minorities. The programs are needed because

there are still cases in which minorities and women earn less money than white

people and men regardless of the place they studied and got their degrees from.

They still earn less money regardless of the qualifications and past experience

they might have, to prove this look at any community. How many members of a

minority are in leadership positions? How many members of a minority are elected

into office? Affirmative Action programs are created to provide minorities with

the opportunity to be chosen in better jobs. Affirmative Action programs are

needed as a tool that the Federal government has to provide minorities with the

opportunity to be treated equally (LCCP, 4). These programs are needed because

some institutions in society are not ready to hire minorities just because they

are minorities unless they are forced to do so by law. As long as this is so

Affirmative Action programs should be preserved and improved (Rothstein, 1). THE

CASE AGAINST AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As time has gone by, and as discrimination has

been legally reduced to the point that it is easier tolerate with the help of

several Affirmative Action programs, the idea that such programs are not needed

anymore is rising. Together with the question of Affirmative Action being needed

or not debate has been rising too. Just as there are arguments that protect

Affirmative Action, there are arguments that reject it. The following paragraphs

will show the reader that an Affirmative Action is not needed anymore because of

the way society is handling such problem. Arguments Against Affirmative Action

After all the years that Affirmative Action programs have been taking place in

several institutions to provide and end to discrimination; there are some

arguments that point to the fact that such programs are not needed to provide

minorities with fairness. The next few paragraphs state what those arguments

are. The first argument is that people should be able to think what they want,

to establish their own values about everything. This holds true as long as they

do not deny anybody else’s rights. The opponents of Affirmative Action programs

believe that "to be free is to be wrong" therefore racists should be

able to believe what they want and be against what they want too. They believe

that to be forced to do something they do not want to do could be harmful

instead of helpful to minorities. In other words racists are only fair when

forced to do so legally (Jemal, 1). The second argument is that the opponents of

such programs believe that to be forced to work with minorities against their

wills is not the solution to stop racism and discrimination. This only makes

discrimination stronger and immune to reason. Opposition believes that

Affirmative Action programs were created to free "White America" of

the feeling of guilt after the atrocities committed against minorities years

back and that they are no longer effective. Opposition believes that those times

have passed and therefore the programs are not needed. The third argument this

paper states is that Affirmative Action programs are nothing but quotas,

therefore the economic aspect of it becomes clear. This programs stigmatizes and

calls into question the credentials of the qualified minorities (Lewis, 2). They

force qualified people to surrender their jobs to less qualified people just

because they are not a minority. This understates that the economy of the

country is in risk of going down due to that fact. Just as Affirmative Action

helps minorities it harms the other people, because it takes away the jobs they

have worked so hard to get. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT BUSINESSES The way that

businesses are affected by the debate that takes place because of Affirmative

Action programs should be considered. The Business Industry can be affected in

two ways. One, businesses are helped by such programs because they can get

workers from other cultures to work with them and even be able to help the

company with ideas to expand, to create better products, etc. After all,

Americans do not only populate United States but it is a mixture of several

cultures that have to learn to live together. Businesses can also be negatively

affected if because of Affirmative Actions companies are forced to indeed hire

minority members that are not highly qualified for the job. The fact that these

programs are created to help minorities can result in harm for the people who

are not members of the minorities in question, and therefore would not be

elected to get the job because of their origin. This could definitely cause a

decrease in the industry’s revenue and could cause a fall in the American

economy. Therefore in order to keep Affirmative Action programs in an equal

scale so that they do not affect industries they have to be carefully revised

and planned taking in consideration the men and women that are not members of

the minorities in question. SUMMARY The paragraphs above are an explanation of

the facts that are behind Affirmative Action, both for and against. Affirmative

Action like everything else that involves public opinion has created debate in

society, a debate that has to sides. One, the one that believes that these

programs have helped tremendously because they have given the opportunity to

many members of minorities to get better positions in the job they have and to

be treated equally like it should have always been. This side of the coin

believes that in order to stop every kind of discrimination Affirmative Action

programs should be kept and improved because without them this society would go

back to the times in which Negroes were slaves and not able to vote. On the

other hand the other side, which believes that Affirmative Action programs are

useless, has also strong arguments to believe so. This side believes that when

people are forced to hire people against their will it will only increase the

tension and in some cases the grudge held against minorities. This feelings can

grow to such point that are considered dangerous causing fatalities like the

cases that have been seen on television lately in which minority members are

killed just because of who they are. CONCLUSIONS After the research done for the

completion of this paper, the members of the group have gotten to the conclusion

that the world that would be faced by hem because of the fact that they are

minorities is not a very gentle one. They will be faced by all kinds of people.

People who are not against Affirmative Action programs and by some that are.

People should be aware of the fact that to achieve one’s goals they have to do

all that they can to become the best in the things they do whether it is

education or job. The facts shown in this paper are a proof that society as well

as the law are still harsh on minorities even if law protects such people the

risk of being treated in a inadequate manner is there and very much alive.

RECOMMENDATIONS The opinion that the authors of the paper took is that

Affirmative Action does nothing wrong, but to help minorities in achieving that

liberty that has been wanted for many years back. Affirmative Action is the

reason why Mexican students are allowed to come to United sates looking for a

better place to become somebody in life by achieving a good education.

Affirmative Action should be kept an improved by government always to help

everybody everywhere in United States.

Casul, Algeo. What Is Affirmative Action? http://www.wco.com/~acasul/algeo/aa.htm

23-Mar-1999. Pages 1-2 Jemal, Alison. What’s Wrong with Affirmative Action and

Why It Must Go. http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/1320/affirmative_action

1997. Pages 1-4. Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The Case For Affirmative

Action. http://www.civilrights.org Last modified 21-Nov-1997. Pages 1-6 Lewis,

Brian. An Ethical and Practical Defense of Affirmative Action. http://www.princeton.edu/~blewis/action.htm

Pages 1-5 Rothstein, Richard. Can The Case Against Affirmative Action Stand Up

Against The Evidence? http://www.epn.org Last modified 15-Oct


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