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Affirmative Action

Essay by review  •  February 10, 2011  •  Essay  •  425 Words (2 Pages)  •  574 Views

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Affirmative action was originally a set of public policies and initiatives designed to help women and minorities. It was created to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Affirmative action is a growing argument among our society. It is multifaceted and very often defined vaguely. Affirmative action is defined by supporters as the ability to strive for equality and inclusiveness. Opponents see it as a quote-based system for different minority groups. I agree and support affirmative action in the sense that individuals should be treated equally, and without it, many minorities would not have the same opportunities as "white males."

There are many myths about affirmative action. One myth is that the only way to create a color-blind society is by adopting color-blind policies. The truth is that these policies usually put minorities at a disadvantage. Unlike affirmative action, these policies tend to protect white workers against layoffs, because they are usually the senior employees. At the same time, color-blind colleges usually favor white students because of their earlier educational advantages. Therefore, these policies put in place over affirmative action do not correct racial injustice, they rather reinforce it.

Supporters claim that the playing field is equal now between the minorities and whites. However, although progress has been made, the playing field is far from level. Women are continuing to earn only 76 cents per every male dollar. Equal opportunities for the blacks, for the most part, have remained more wishful-thinking than fact. Black students continue to struggle to seek an education, business owners are still competing against their White counterparts. Black workers are also still experiencing an unemployment rate twice that of Whites and many hold dead-end, labor-intensive, low-paying jobs. The employment outlook for minorities is grim, but not hopeless. We definitely need affirmative action to overcome the disparities of employment that exist in this country.

In conclusion, although opponents may argue that no one supports it statistics show that over 50% of Americans still support affirmative action. They also realize that, because of past discrimination, an extraordinary number of those facing unequal opportunities are black. These people do however oppose quotas, set-asides, and "reverse discrimination."

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