16 March 2012
Wiregrass Tech. College Online
The terms affirmative action refer to policies that take race, ethnicity, or gender into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity or increase ethnic or other forms of diversity. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and education to public contracting and health programs. The impetus towards affirmative action is twofold: to maximize diversity in all levels of society, along with its presumed benefits, and to redress perceived disadvantages due to overt, institutional, or involuntary discrimination.
Affirmative Action has remained one of the most controversial social issues of our time. Aggressive non-discrimination was the original intention, but it soon became clear that merely promising not to discriminate would have little effect on the racial bias in our society. My own opinion was first formed by my father and influenced by the conservative environment in which I lived. Since then, I have experienced a much broader view of American society. I have heard many different opinions on affirmative action from all aspects of our culture and I have changed my mind. The roots of affirmative action can be traced back to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, where legislation redefined public and private behavior. The act states that to discriminate in private is legal, but anything regarding business or public discrimination is illegal (Affirmative" 13). There are two instances when opposing affirmative action might seem the wrong thing to do. First, the nobility of the cause to help others. Second, affirmative action was a great starter for equality in the work place. The case against affirmative action rests heavily on myth and misunderstanding, and following illustrates that an absence of affirmative action in today's society will only reinforce racial injustice. Myth 1: The only way to create a color-blind society is to adopt color-blind policies. Although this statement sounds unthinkingly possible, the reality is that colorblind policies often put racial minorities at a disadvantage. For instance, color-blind seniority system tends to protect white workers against job layoffs, because senior employees are usually white (Ezorsky, 1991). Myth 2: Affirmative action has not succeeded in increasing female and minority representation. Several studies have documented important gains in racial and gender equality as a direct result of affirmative action (Bowen & Bok, 1998; Murrell & Jones, 1996). For example, affirmative action has helped five million minorities and six million whites and minority women to be promoted in the workplace. The effect of the affirmative action program previously documented show important gains in racial and gender equality according to, Roger Clegg of the Academic Search Premier. America is known as the land of opportunity. However, it became evident that "opportunity" was only available to white men. Later, laws were passed to ensure equal opportunity regardless of race, sex, and religion. These affirmative action laws were set in place by our government with the intent of correcting the social evil known as prejudice; but in doing so, they created a monster. Affirmative action has become an ineffective, outdated, and socially harmful policy that is weakening our great nation. Should Affirmative Action be mended or ended? Affirmative action is an attempt to correct unequal distribution of benefits (status, income and wealth, power and authority,) and burdens associated with ethnic and gender differences. When we become citizens of this nation, at birth or otherwise, we get a warranty. That warranty is supposed to be honored by every government franchise in every village and hamlet of this nation. It is non transferable, and it is good for the life of the vehicle. We are...