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Affirmative Action

Essay by review  •  November 28, 2010  •  Research Paper  •  699 Words (3 Pages)  •  517 Views

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Affirmative Action

Should a man be hired for his skills or for the color of his skin? Is racial diversity in the business world more important then the most qualified workers? Affirmative action has become an important topic in today's society to better diversify the different races in America. Affirmative action is a set of public policies that were designed for the elimination of discrimination toward race, color, sex, etc. These policies are under attack today because of the unfairness toward the more qualified people. Increasing opportunities for a minority that has suffered past discrimination is the cause for affirmative action, and for the reverse discrimination toward the majority. Many people view discrimination toward one race today to compensate for the discrimination of another race in the past as unfair. This reverse discrimination is unfair treatment toward the majority. Affirmative actions are policies created to give preferential treatment to the discriminated, but also discriminate as well.

Affirmative action was first referenced to in 1961 with the signing of Executive order 10925 (Brunner). With this the Committee on Equal Opportunity was created, and was mandated that "projects financed with federal funds 'take affirmative action' to ensure that hiring and employment practices are free of racial bias" (Brunner). Three years later, in 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights act that prohibits any form of discrimination (Brunner). On June 4, 1965, President Johnson defined the concept of affirmative action saying, "that civil rights laws alone are not enough to remedy discrimination" (Brunner). Supporters of affirmative action say that the government must make up for the past by aiding groups that have been discriminated against. They argue that goals for hiring are necessary to integrate fields traditionally closed and minorities because of discrimination. Does achieving these goals help the American population?

College admissions are a great example of affirmative action. Colleges across the country must admit a certain number of minorities every year into their college. To admit minorities though comes at a cost to the majority. Colleges can only admit a certain number of people in every year as well as certain number of minorities. To do so they must turn down applicants from entering their school that may be more qualified or better fit for the education. Even medical schools are forced to follow the rules set to help minorities. Until recently, medical schools used a numeric point system to rank candidates in the admission process (Croasdale). However, the government ruled this form of admission process unconstitutional forcing schools to rethink their admission process (Croasdale). Some people view the racial preference in college admissions as a positive thing, saying that diversity is a benefit for all students (Bowen). While others view this is a discredited achievement toward the minorities as well as discrimination toward other races.

Some people find affirmative action as a good thing in today's society. Arguments that are for affirmative action include social good: compensatory justice; and the ideal of equality (McElroy). "Affirmative action drives a wedge between individual worth and economic

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