Affirmative action is the practice of giving preference to racial minorities or women when hiring employees, giving awards, or deciding whom to admit. Affirmative action arose out of a desire to bring minority groups into institutions and professions that had traditionally been dominated by white males. It first appeared after the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s as an attempt to accompany the new legal equality gained for minorities with social and economic equality. The first kind of affirmative action involved setting racial quotas, deciding on a specific number or percentage of members of a given minority group that a company or institution had to accept. Now affirmative action usually involves using racial, gender, socioeconomic background, and/or sexual orientation status as a positive factor in hiring or admissions decisions.
Reasons to Support Affirmative Action
There are three main reasons that affirmative action should be enforced in all work places, these three reasons are: 1) social good; 2) compensatory justice; and 3) the ideal of equality. The social good argument states that society will be enriched by advancing women and minorities. This is a light weight justification since advocates of affirmative action themselves generally maintain that they would push equality even if it lowered the overall good of society. The argument for compensatory justice claims that anyone who causes injury to an innocent person should resolve the damage. Affirmative action goes one step farther, however, and claims that descendants of the injured parties deserve compensation as well. The ideal of equality simply means 'equal treatment', not privilege. To care for those who are suffering whether they are male or female and justice requires that all human beings receive what they individually deserve.
Reasons Not to Support Action
One of the arguments against Affirmative Action was that preferences towards...