Opposing Views on Affirmative Action

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Opposing views on affirmative action (1996) (miscellaneous) Since the beginning of time there has been prejudice and hate. Adam and Eve hated snakes. Jews hated Jesus. Sugar Ray Leonard hated Tommy Hearns. Prejudice is caused by two things: ignorance and hate. Prejudice and mistreatment has existed in this country, first with American-Indians and then later with African-Americans and other minorities. The selling and trading of slaves is a shadow that has been hanging over the heads of white Americans for two centuries. Some people feel that it is the white-American's duty to pay the black population back. According to Spencer Perkins, co-author of More than Equals: Racial Healing for the Sake of Gospel, in reference to the long-standing racial divisions in America, "It took us 300 years to separate ourselves like this, it's going to take a while to undo that." (Zipperer 44) Affirmative action is designed to give minorities, such as blacks, the opportunity to maintain jobs in our prejudicial society. For those who support Affirmative Action they define it as a way to give the disadvantaged a chance at the "American dream." Those who do not support Affirmative Action define it as giving minorities positions that they are not qualified to have. As Mr. Khalenberg, head editor of The New Republic says, "we will still reward those who play the victim" (Khalenberg 27). Just imagine that you have gone through six years of college and have gotten your degree. You go looking for a job and even though they are tough to come by you manage to get an interview with a well-known company. The interviewer tells you that you and one other person are equally qualified and in the running for the job. You get a call later telling you that you didn't get the job because the company had to hire a minority. You would most likely be angry, right? The purpose of this paper is to show the differences in how people feel about the issues involved with affirmative action. This paper was written to give different views on affirmative action. First I will give a little background and general information on the subject. Secondly, I will show how those that are in support of affirmative action feel. I will then balance the argument out by showing how those who oppose affirmative action feel. I will also explore the minorities that are also against affirmative action. Finally, I will tell what causes the consequences that affirmative action brings. The definition according to Webster's New World Dictionary College Edition, is "a policy or program for correcting the effects of discrimination in the employment or education of members of certain groups, as women, blacks, etc." In today's world some people deem it necessary to balance the discrimination that is prominent in today's workplace. According to Juliane O'Gara, Affirmative Action does not mean hiring unqualified women or minorities over qualified white male applicants, nor does it mean quotas. In fact, hiring somebody solely on the basis of race or gender without concern for merit is the very definition of discrimination, be it against women or men, whites or minorities. The courts have said repeatedly that the purpose of Affirmative Action programs is to create an environment where merit can prevail' (O'Gara 25, my emphasis). This states in not so many words how Affirmative Action is considered reverse discrimination. Many people believe that the hiring of unqualified employees is actually how Affirmative Action works; giving jobs to those who are unqualified strictly because they are a minority. Those that believe in the idea behind Affirmative Action actually believe that jobs should be given based on merit not just the idea of hiring anyone that happens to be of a different color or be a minority. But if the opportunity arises where there is an equally qualified minority and a white male some believe that the minority should be given the job. Juliane O'Gara gives an example of this in one of her...
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