Affirmative Action 7

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Taking Sides on: Affirmative Action

Many have argued over the years that affirmative action in schools or the workforce is necessary for the fusion and equality of our culture. In the book, Taking Sides, two different authors discuss each view of either side of the issue. Both Robert Staples and Roger Clegg have a solid view of where they stand on the issue of affirmative action. Staples agrees that affirmative action is necessary to achieve racial equality. He recognizes that minorities, specifically blacks, are still being treated unfairly and unequally. His stance on the issue of affirmative action is that it is the most fair way to include everyone to an equal opportunity, whether it be in the schools or through employment. Clegg however, views the issue of affirmative action quite differently. He sees it as an excuse for schools and employers to appear more fair and equal. Clegg discusses that the tactics, specifically used in higher education, are geared towards the inclusion of minority groups and women, so that they are not discriminated against.

Although both authors have their opinions about affirmative action, it seems as though the term is not clearly defined in their arguments. As the reader, I found it difficult to understand what they were speaking about. Staples says, “As for affirmative action, there is no consensus on what it is, who are its beneficiaries or what it has achieved. I will not try to define it…because affirmative action operates in such a complex and convoluted way.” (218). Staples is for affirmative action but his opening paragraph seems to go against his original opinion. Staples believes that the negative view of African Americans

as “violent criminals, drug dealers, wife beaters, sexual harassers, welfare cheaters and underclass members,” changed to “privileged members of the middle-class” by way of a racial equality program of white males who play the “race card.” (217). To me, this means that...
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