Advantages and Disadvantages of Affirmative Action

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English 112
Exploratory Essay

The Affirmative Action Debate

Affirmative Action Defined

Affirmative Action can be defined as “positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded (Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)”. However because those steps involve “preferential” selection affirmative action generates intense controversy (Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Affirmative Action (Negative)

There are many people who oppose the institution of affirmative action for many different reasons. Some argue that it allows students, and employees to slack off, and takes away their initiative to perform better. Some of the other arguments suggest that it demeans the color blind society that it is trying to create, and takes away from minority achievement as well. However the most common argument against affirmative action is that it creates reverse discrimination. This is the most important, and controversial argument made by those who criticize affirmative action. One article stated “it constitutes a form of racial discrimination and as such is presumably unjust, immoral, and illegal on it’s face ( pg.1)”. Critics of affirmative action claim that those who support it as a way to correct past discrimination are being hypocritical. Using another form of discrimination to fight discrimination solves nothing. Critics also suggest that students that are admitted to universities under affirmative action are not ready to handle the course work at the school they have been accepted to ( pg.1).

Many examples can be cited to support these claims. For example in 1994 faculty members were fired from St. Bonaventure University ( pg.1). All of these faculty members were men. After being questioned about his actions, the president of the university stated that his motive was to protect the small number...
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