Affirmative Action

Topics: Affirmative action, African American, White people Pages: 5 (1534 words) Published: November 12, 2013
D’Angelo, Raymond and Herbert Douglas, eds. Taking Sides: Clashing Views in Race and Ethnicity, 7th edition (Dubuque, IA: McGraw-Hill, 2009).
“Issue #19: Is Affirmative Action Necessary to Achieve Racial Equality in the United States?”
Affirmative action is an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of member of minority groups and woman; also noted as an effort to promote the rights or progress of other disadvantaged persons. Affirmative action arose in 1964 as a way to fix the racial discrimination and to promote the rights that were declared in the Civil Right Act. In the 60’s, Americans who knew the potential of “equal protection of the laws” expected the United States government would uplift the promise of the 14th amendment. But when the government didn’t, is arose this question: Does the constitution’s prohibition of denying equal protection always ban the use of racial, ethnic, or gender criteria in an attempt to bring social justice and social benefits? Affirmative action is necessary to achieve racial equality in the United States.

Those who are for affirmative action believe that the United States is not what it says it is when it comes to a “color-blind” society. An African-American sociologist, Robert Staples, views affirmative action as a positive policy that will restore the rights for minorities and women. His views on American society are ones filled with racism. He states that he fears that the attack on affirmative action will cause white supremacy and the continuation of subordination for African Americans, women, and other minorities within the society. “Affirmative action is not a “black” program, but one that sets equal opportunities for minorities and women”.

Opponents of affirmative action view it as a “bad public policy”. Roger Clegg, a general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity in Sterling, Virginia and contributor to The Chronicle of Higher Education, argues against affirmative action, saying that such programs violate equal opportunity. Clegg is the President and General Counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity. Before he joined the CEO, Clegg served in a variety of capacities with George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan administrations. Clegg was also a graduate from Rice University as well as Yale University. He believes that this display of affirmative action is divisive and contributes to the continuation of racial intolerance in the United States. According to opposing forces, affirmative action reinforces feelings that make us believe that we cannot do anything on our own or lack of a drive, which results in missed opportunities.

It is estimated that about 5 million African American men get their jobs from Affirmative action. The numbers for African American women are even greater because women work more than men do. On the other hand, the progress for white women is a little bit different because the majority of them are married to white men in which they live at the same standard. This group of African Americans and women make up about 70% of the American population. A major part of the attack on affirmative action is the white male. If one doesn’t believe in affirmative action that means that one should assume that every white male is superior to every female and colored people. The opposing side argues that the reason why white males should have superiority over African Americans and women is that white males have the skills that other groups do not. Standardized test is one way that the government tests their performance. They pretend that the standardized test scores proves that white males is a valid measure of merit, thus white males get the best jobs. Another test run by white males proved that the first standardized test had nothing to do with intelligence or work ethic. Affirmative action was also used as a tool to consider measures to evaluate job applicants. On the other hand, opponents of affirmative action mention that...
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