ReviewEssays.com - Term Papers, Book Reports, Research Papers and College Essays
Search

Affirmative Action

Essay by review  •  September 6, 2010  •  Essay  •  1,609 Words (7 Pages)  •  1,336 Views

Essay Preview: Affirmative Action

Report this essay
Page 1 of 7

One day, there were two people who went to an interview for only one job position at the same company. The first person attended a prestigious and highly academic university, had years of work experience in the field and, in the mind of the employer, had the potential to make a positive impact on the company's performance. The second person was just starting out in the field and seemed to lack the ambition that was visible in his opponent. "Who was chosen for the job?" you ask. Well, if

the story took place before 1964, the answer would be obvious. However, with the somewhat recent adoption of the social policy known as affirmative action, the answer becomes unclear.

After the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964,it became apparent that certain business traditions, such as seniority status and aptitude tests, prevented total equality in employment. Then President, Lyndon B. Johnson, decided something needed to be done to remedy these flaws. On September 24, 1965, he issued Executive Order #11246 at Howard University that required federal contractors "to take affirmative action to ensure that applicannot

s are employed . . . without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin (Civil Rights)." When Lyndon Banes Johnson signed that order, he enacted a very discriminating piece of legislature.

Affirmative action was created in an effort to help minorities leap discriminative barriers that were ever so present when the bill was first enacted, in 1965. At this time, the country was in the wake of nationwide civil-rights demonstrations, and racial tension was at its peak. Most of the corporate executive and managerial positions were occupied by white males, who controlled the hiring and firing of employees. The U.S. government, in 1965, believed that these employers were discriminating against minorities and believed that there was no better time than the present to bring about change.

When the Civil Rights Law passed, minorities, especially African-Americans, believed that they should receive retribution for the years of discrimination they endured. The government responded by passing laws to aide them in attaining better employment as reprieve for the previous two hundred years of suffering their race endured at the hands of the white man. To many, this made sense. Supporters of affirmative action asked, "why not let the government help them get better jobs?" After all, the white man was responsible for their suffering. While this may all be true, there is another question to be asked. Are they all truly responsible for the years of persecution that the African Americans were submitted to?

The answer to the question is yes and no. It is true that the white man is partly responsible for the suppression of the African- American race. However, the individual white male is not. It is just as unfair and suppressive to hold many white males responsible for past persecution now as it was to discriminate against many African-Americans in the generations before. Why should an honest, hard-working, open minded, white male be suppressed, today, for past injustice? Affirmative action

accepts and condones the idea of an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. Do two wrongs make a right?

Affirmative action supporters make one large assumption when defending the policy. They assume that minority groups want help. This, however, may not always be the case. They fought to attain equality, not special treatment. To some of them, the acceptance of special treatment is an admittance of inferiority. They ask, "Why can't I become successful on my own? Why do I need laws to help me get a job?" These African Americans want to be treated as equals, not as incompetents.

In a statement released in 1981 by the United States Commission on Civil Rights, Jack P. Hartog, who directed the project, said: Only if discrimination were nothing more than the misguided acts of a few prejudiced individuals would affirmative action plans be "reverse discrimination." Only if today's society were operating fairly toward minorities and women would measures that take race, sex, and national origin into account be "preferential treatment." Only if discrimination were securely placed in a well-distant past would affirmative action be an unneeded and drastic remedy.

What the commission failed to realize was that there are thousands of white males who are not discriminating yet are being punished because of those who do. The Northern Natural Gas Company of Omaha, Nebraska, was forced by the government to release sixty-five white male workers to make room for minority employees in 1977 (Nebraska Advisory Committee 40). Five major Omaha corporations reported that the number of white managers fell 25% in 1969 due to restrictions put on them when affirmative action was adopted (Nebraska Advisory Committee 27). You ask, "What did these white males do to bring about their termination?" The only crime that they were guilty of was being white. This hardly seems fair to punish so many innocent men for the crimes of a relative few.

Then after the white male has been fired, he has to go out and find a new job to support his family that depended on the company to provide health care and a retirement plan in return for years of hard work. Now, because of affirmative action, this white male, and the thousands like him, require more skills to get the same job that a lesser qualified black man needs. This is, for all intents and purposes, discrimination, and it is a law that our government strictly enforces.

Affirmative action is not only unfair for the working man, it is extremely discriminatory toward the executive, as well. The average business executive has one goal in mind, and that is to maximize profits. To reach his goal, this executive would naturally hire the most competent man or woman for the job, whether they be black or white or any other race. Why would a business man intentionally cause his business to lose money by hiring

...

...

Download as:   txt (9.7 Kb)   pdf (123.1 Kb)   docx (13 Kb)  
Continue for 6 more pages »
Only available on ReviewEssays.com
Citation Generator

(2010, 09). Affirmative Action. ReviewEssays.com. Retrieved 09, 2010, from https://www.reviewessays.com/essay/Affirmative-Action/1443.html

"Affirmative Action" ReviewEssays.com. 09 2010. 2010. 09 2010 <https://www.reviewessays.com/essay/Affirmative-Action/1443.html>.

"Affirmative Action." ReviewEssays.com. ReviewEssays.com, 09 2010. Web. 09 2010. <https://www.reviewessays.com/essay/Affirmative-Action/1443.html>.

"Affirmative Action." ReviewEssays.com. 09, 2010. Accessed 09, 2010. https://www.reviewessays.com/essay/Affirmative-Action/1443.html.