Is Affirmative Action in the University Setting Morally Justified

Topics: Affirmative action, Minority group, Discrimination Pages: 5 (1755 words) Published: January 16, 2013
Is Affirmative Action in the university setting morally justified?

Affirmative action is defined as the effort to improve employment and educational opportunities as well as promote the rights or progress of minority groups and women. A minority group is any type of person that is differing from others in some characteristic of the same population and are often subject to different treatment or discrimination. Discrimination is the act of showing favor on a specific person based on group, class, or category that they are in and not on individual merit. In America Affirmative Action was put into place in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by President Lyndon B. Johnson, with the intent to rid America of discrimination against minorities and women. It started being used by colleges and universities in the 1960s to get more diversity among the student, but what are some of the downfalls of affirmative action in the university setting? Two reasons that affirmative action should not be used in the university setting are it can actually increase discrimination and it does not treat all minorities the same when it comes to university acceptance.

One problem with affirmative action is that even though it is set in pace to eliminate discrimination, it can at times have the reverse effect. Affirmative action was put into place in 1964 and the emancipation proclamation was issued in 1863 to start freeing the slaves. After one hundred years it was discrimination was still a problem in America, so affirmative action was put in place, and affirmative action has helped to create more equality among the races, but not necessarily eliminate discrimination. Affirmative action makes university admittance easier for minorities, but then it leads people to wonder if they were admitted because of their merit or their race and culture. This leads to problems, because some people view affirmative action as unfair and unjust and feel that all should have and equal opportunity when it comes to admittance and that a certain percentage or amount of spots should not be saved specifically for different minorities.

The argument against this is that the main goal of affirmative action is to make all equal, so it takes time to start seeing the result. So it continues to be implemented in the university setting to achieve a more diverse campus. Some feel that the only way to achieve this diversity is through affirmative action, and that if it is removed America will start going backwards instead of forwards. Affirmative action gives minorities a guaranteed place in the universities so even when it seems unfair it is just evening the playing field for all to have an equal access to education. Since discrimination still occurs if affirmative action is the only way to try and take discrimination out of the equation when it comes to university admittance and give minorities a better chance to get into universities.

The problem with this argument is that even though it takes time America still wants a quick fix. America says that they want discrimination to end, so the people start to ignore the fact that in the university setting it also has negative effects. One hundred and fifty years seems like a long time ago, but the fact of the matter is that in that time we only went through a few generations. When people are brought up a certain way they do not change overnight when a new act is implemented. People that are brought up being taught that racisim is right, that is what they teach their children; but the government is showing people that all should be viewed as equal and newer generations are starting to change and conform to that idea, reducing racism. But, with affirmative action it is bringing attention to a minorities race or culture. When this happens it is causing the same effect that America is trying to get rid of, it may get rid of the problem to an extent in the admittance procedures, but it does not get rid of the problem...
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