Affirmative Action: Is It Counter-Productive?

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Module 03: Group Position Paper: Affirmative Action
Affirmative Action: Negative Team 1

Diversity in the Workplace
Professor Linda Noeth
Center for Distance Learning
SUNY Empire State College
Slavery in America can be traced all the way back to colonial times, or as historians have dated; 1619. Although slavery had technically been abolished by the late 1800’s, issues over race still remained prominent. Regulations such as “Jim Crow Laws”, that claimed to provide “separate but equal” facilities, only helped to segregate minorities and treat them as second class citizens. In response to such suppressive inequalities, the United States decided to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964, outlawing major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, religions, and women. In 1961, President Kennedy had introduced affirmative action, and in 1965 President Johnson began to put it into effect. Affirmative Action was meant to balance out some of the inequalities that had been holding back minorities from opportunities to excel in things such as; employment and school. Affirmative action was thought to be a temporary effort to fix inequalities that would, over time, fade away. However, here we are in the year 2013 and affirmative action is still largely being enforced. Because of this, much controversy over its relevance in our current day society strongly exists.

While proponents may argue that Affirmative Action is still needed, many feel that it is now counter-productive.  Americans tend to be a highly competitive society, favoring an applicant due to their skin color, religion or ethnicity unfairly gives a boost to those that are competing on ability alone (Storey, 2011).  Currently the Supreme Court is reviewing the case of Fisher vs. University of Texas, in which Abigail Fisher, a white student, was denied admission to the University of Texas due to Affirmative Action. She brought the University of Texas to court...
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