Affirmative Action or Reverse Discrimination?
Bob and Steve have both applied to University X for the spring 2002 semester. Both have Board scores that are 1400 and maintain a 3.8 G.P.A. Their extra curricular activities are impressive and both their college essays are outstanding. Bob has been rejected and Steve has been accepted. Bob is Caucasian and Steve is African American. They have just been exposed to affirmative action. Targeted especially towards minorities and women, affirmative action is an idea that advocates equal opportunity and was essentially designed to make up for acts of discrimination in the American history. America, a country which stands by the phrase "with liberty and justice for all", seems to be the last place on earth that one would expect to see the implementation of such a policy. Initially, affirmative action was created to rectify past injustices done to certain groups of people. Instances where the groups were discriminated against before are now instances where they receive special privileges. This can sometimes be viewed as unfair to the groups that were not discriminated against in the past. Because of previous mistakes, these groups are given the short end of the stick at the present. It is a difficult call in the decision concerning the justification of affirmative action. If it were ever to be justified, it would be in the context that it is attempting to make up for discriminating acts of the past. The idea itself is positive but its effects are somewhat negative. Is it fair a person to be discarded just because of their race even though they might be just as, if not more, qualified for the job? The preferential treatment that affirmative action advocates can become "reverse discrimination." Affirmative action is negative because it lets certain groups exploit the past. In the example of Bob and Steve, it is apparent that Steve is admitted to the University because of his race. It is unfair to Bob who has worked just...
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