Affirmative Action

Topics: Affirmative action, Barack Obama, African American Pages: 7 (2586 words) Published: January 9, 2014

As much as we desire diversity, it will not occur if left to chance. We educate ourselves when we learn to interact with people of different colors and nationalities. During the last election, the majority of Americans voted for an African American President. Why then do we continue to use affirmative action to fight inequality? It is not so easy to wipe away centuries of inferiority, shame, and scars, by simply anointing one minority to the highest position in the land. It will take positive steps to increase the representation of minorities in the areas of employment and education. One of the disadvantages of affirmative action is bypassing the very people that the program was designed to help because it was created on the basis of race not socioeconomic preferences, a failure that has undermined the nature of equality. The criticism that affirmative action is an unfair reward given to minority students because of their skin color, points to one of the disadvantages of ending affirmative action, which begs to ask if the end actually justifies the meanns. However, if skin color is used to discriminate against African Americans, then the same skin color must be used to level the playing field, and give African Americans a better shot at the American Dream. For African Americans to achieve this dream, the myths about affirmative action must be dispelled. One of the most controversial issues about affirmative action is the argument that the program uses quotas. According to Ethnic Majority (2012) "Affirmative action programs should: a) verify that inequities exist, b) set goals to eliminate the inequities, c) set timetables to meet the goals, d) disband the program after the goals are met." If a company like Verizon for example, knows it has huge disparity between African Americans and the general population in its workforce, then the company may use affirmative action in its recruiting efforts to identify how many African Americans to hire, and then determine the levels and timeframe to hire them. Glazer, N. (1973) states "Goals or targets must be set on the basis of an estimate of the relevant labor pool for each underutilized group." Opponents of affirmative action may argue that Verizon is setting a goal, and thereby instituting a quota. If that were true, Verizon would have to mandate that Call Center Supervisor jobs must go to African Americans or a specific number of African Americans must be hired, for that would be instituting a quota. What any company should do is comply with the affirmative action programs through its efforts more so than its results. Using affirmative action to set goals and target is not the same as using it as a quota. Affirmative action also has one important objective, to equalize opportunities in a system rive with inequality. Opponents of affirmative action calls it reversed discrimination. According to Kangas, S. (n.d.), "those who use the term "reversed discrimination "are actually engaging in moral absolutism, a completely unworkable concept that has never been practiced by any society in history." Steve Kangas has a compelling argument. Let us suppose that the government pass a law that no one person can forcefully take a property from the possession of another. However, one day, a person goes to a neighbor's house with a gun and forcefully takes the property of his neighbor. Having identified the culprit, the neighbor called the police. The person who took the property refuses to give it back, whereupon the police pull their guns to forcefully retrieve the property. It would be illogical for the person who took the property from his neighbor to claim that the police broke the law for forcefully removing the property from his possession. Conversely, it is not reversed discrimination to seek to reconcile the injustices and terrible atrocities that include slavery and the refusal of the rights of women and minorities to vote. (Kangas, S. n.d.). It is like...
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