Affirmative Action – Why It Should Be Reinstated
Uploaded by swandawg11 on Oct 26, 2011
This paper discusses Affirmative Action and why it should not have been curtailed. (5 pages; 2 sources; MLA citation style)
Rarely has a public policy caused the outcry associated with Affirmative Action. By wrong labeling Affirmative Action a “quota system,” opponents have succeeded in overturning or curtailing the program in many areas.
This paper looks at the reasons why Affirmative Action was designed, what it is meant to do, and why it’s important to restore it.
II What Is Affirmative Action?
Affirmative Action is a program designed to provide equal access to various opportunities (education, employment) that would otherwise not be available to women, people of color, and other minorities. It was meant only to provide such access; it was never a quota system: nowhere has it ever been suggested that companies should hire lesser-qualified applicants because they’re women or minorities. What Affirmative Action does is to allow these disadvantaged people an equal opportunity to apply for the positions they might not otherwise have. And it also suggests that when all other factors are completely equal, it is advantageous to employ a woman, black, or minority rather than yet another white man. (White men, the last I heard, own and/or operate 98% of all businesses in the United States. They don’t really have much to worry about.)
There are many myths about Affirmative Action, and they were clearly discussed in a very insightful article published in 1996 in the “Journal of Social Issues.” But before going to that source, I would like to make one observation about Affirmative Action, and other social programs. There is a persistent undercurrent of ill-will in the United States to blacks, immigrants, and others. In the case of blacks, for example, one sometimes hears something like “They got their freedom in 1863; how long does it take before we don’t have to give them special treatment? Isn’t 150 years enough?” This observation (aside from being boorish and racist) ignores basic facts of American history: the Emancipation Proclamation did in fact free the slaves, but it was hardly embraced whole-heartedly by the South, or indeed by the nation as a whole. Though technically free from slavery, blacks still faced discrimination, and in the years following the Civil War, they were lynched in increasing numbers. Jim Crow laws codified the despicable “separate but equal” doctrine of the...