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October 3, 2000
English Comp 1301
The Defects of Affirmative Action
Affirmative action was created in an effort to help minorities hurdle over barriers of discrimination. However, many claim that the affirmative action policy is a form of reverse discrimination, and it unfairly improves the status of one race at the expense of another. Affirmative Action not only discriminates dramatically in the job market but it also discriminates on admission tests in institutes of higher education throughout the nation. Due to the many failures of the Affirmative Action, the policy should be discontinued and reconstructed into a more equal policy because it lacks fairness in the workplace, creates a bad premise for minorities, and discriminates in education.
One reason why the Affirmative Action policy should be eradicated is because it lacks fairness in the workplace. Thousands of undiscriminating whites are not receiving a fair job opportunity because the affirmative action plans deny them the rights to a fair chance of obtaining a job. The Affirmative Action policy harms innocent white American bystanders, many of who are hard working, dependable, opened minded individuals with families. Some of these innocent bystanders may be working just to make ends meet and are forced to lose their jobs, because of a discriminative policy enforced by our government. Not only are these innocent bystanders dependent on the job to feed their children, but are also more than likely dependent on their job to provide them with healthcare, and retirement benefits. In other words, the policy states that a white male with the same job skills as a minority applying for a job must require more or better skills to obtain a job than that of a lesser-qualified minority. The effects of this policy not only affect the individual worker, but it also affects companies as well. The Affirmative Action policy forces corporations to employ a certain amount of minorities to meet a quota created by the government. This policy must be enforced by all means, even if it means laying off many highly qualified majorities to hire minorities. Not only is this unfair, but it causes the company to lose money because it was forced to employ poor qualified workers. Did the creators of Affirmative Action not read the constitution where it is boldly stated, ?All men are created equal.? This is in fact discrimination that is enforced by our government and the reason why many see affirmative action as a form of reverse discrimination.
Yet another reason why Affirmative Action policy should be discontinued is because it creates a bad premise of minorities. One way it creates a bad premise for minorities is that it makes them seem inferior to the white race. Are minorities not able to become successful on their own? Most people want to be treated as equals and do not want to be looked upon as inferiors who need extra assistance because of their race; no one had a choice upon picking the color of their skin. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke of equality among whites and blacks in his famous ?I Have a Dream? speech. He said, ?I have a dream, that one day my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.? The Affirmative Action policy fails to take Dr. King?s speech into consideration by judging individuals by the color of their skin rather than by the content of their character. Not only does Affirmative Actions set premises among people of African descent and Hispanic descent, it also assumes that whites have been given the upper hand in life. This is obviously not the case; there are probably more or an equal amount of whites on welfare as any other minority. In fact, whites make up for more than half of those living in poverty; to be exact, figures show that the total percentage of whites on welfare is at 56 percent. Do whites not also deserve some help in life? Minorities fought for the rights to be equal. They did not fight in order to receive special treatment that disrupts their self-discipline and motivation.
Another powerful factor why Affirmative Action should be discontinued is because it fails strongly in education. Institutes of higher learning require students to fill out a section that is dedicated towards race and ethnic background. The reason is because colleges are enforced to have a diverse student body, even if it means not accepting more qualified non-minorities. Once again just as like in the workplace, whites are required to have more intellect, more or better skills than that of their minority counterparts to gain acceptance into certain schools. To make matters worse, certain colleges lower scoring standards on SAT?s to minorities in order to equal the ratio of diversity. Once again the Affirmative Action policy assumes that minorities lack ambition and intellect to get accepted into prestigious universities that require high-test scores. Another problem within the Affirmative Action policy is that it uses skin color as a more important factor than academic and personal merit. Minorities are receiving a ?plus? on the admission standards for being a certain race. The effects of this action could lead to more racial tension, and competition among the ethnic groups. The main problem with this special admissions program is that it does not take into account the disadvantaged who are in the majority, not the minority. Once more proving that the Affirmative Action policy not only discriminates towards races, but also makes a bad presumption of minorities in education.
Affirmative Action has failed tremendously; it has discriminated in the workplace, has created unmoral assumptions, and has lowered educational standards. The issue over keeping the policy seems to be heading nowhere these days. More people are becoming frustrated with Affirmative Actions discriminative policies each day. Perhaps the government can come up with a better way of dealing with diversity and equality among races. Hopefully, in the near future, people will bond together and see themselves as a one human race and not have to be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
Dr. Martin Luther King ?I Have a Dream? The Brief Bedford Reader.
7th edition. Ed. X.J. Kennedy, Dorothy M. Kennedy, and Jane
E. Aaron. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin?s, 2000. 437-440.