Affirmative Action? Essay, Research Paper
A major controversy encompassing the country is the issue of affirmative action. Many believe that the abolition, or at least restructure, of affirmative action in the United States will benefit the nation for many logical reasons. Originally, affirmative action began as an attempt to eliminate discrimination and provide a source of opportunity; affirmative action did not begin as an attempt to support just minorities and women. In addition, affirmative action naturally creates resentment when the less qualified are preferred instead of the people actually deserve the admission or job. Another reason that has existed since the abolition of slavery is the myth that women and ?minorities? cannot compete against white males without receiving special preference or treatment. Money used for the support and continuance of affirmative action cost in excess of 125 million dollars annually. Important programs in the country may benefit from the money received by affirmative action bureaucrats. Most importantly, the fundamentals of democracy rest on the equality of all people, whereas affirmative action is actually trying to give minorities and women higher status of importance than Caucasians. If the policies of affirmative action end, then the nation can return to its original equal opportunity policies.
The original founders of the Civil Rights Act intended for all people, including majorities and minorities, to receive equal opportunities for education and job positions. Presently, in today?s economic system, companies and businesses offering job positions have to meet quotas and statistics proving that they are not discriminating against one race or gender for another. For example, a software company is hiring a new graphics designer to assist in drawing and the creation of graphics. This type of job requires experience and expertise to succeed. There are three applicants for the job offering. One applicant is a white male age 35 who has six years of on the job experience. The other three are an Asian female, black male, and white female. Two of these minority applicants have no practical experience and the other only a few years. In order for the company to meet the quota, the company must automatically reject the white male and only look at the other three applicants. The company now is no longer looking for good experienced employees; instead, they are trying to appear fair. This so called ?equal opportunity? is not what it says. This means that they provide ?equal opportunity for minorities.? They are now discriminating against majorities, which goes against the original initiative for civil rights.
Affirmative action is actually dividing the country into two different racial categories: all minorities against the majority. This causes severe resentment towards those minorities who are less qualified yet are preferred because they feel sympathy or pity towards them. When trying to apply and qualify for scholarships an applicant will find that the majority of the scholarships are for minority or specific race only descendants. This disqualifies everyone who needs the scholarship, but was not born under a certain type of ancestry.
One major misunderstanding encompassing the people today is the myth that women and other ?minorities? cannot compete with ?whites? without special preference or treatment. One constant example is the issue of male and female sports. Women believe that they may play with males in male-dominated sports such as football. If the same group of women were on a volleyball team where males are attempting to join, the women would see the males as unreasonable. Many women and minorities believe that fairness comes in the form of equal opportunity, but they will not allow this ?equal opportunity? if it does not benefit them. That is the constant question people are constantly asking when applying to sports: ?How come girls and women may join male-dominated teams, but males are seen as unreasonable when attempting to join a female-dominated sport or team?? This also applies to job applications or college entrance admissions. The minorities insist that the government should offer all of the government aid money towards minorities and women instead of everyone.
The government spends hundreds of millions of dollars on affirmative action. This over expenditure of money might be justifiable, but this money is not available for everyone; the money for so-called ?equal opportunity? only applies to minorities and some women. For example, the California government spends over 125 million dollars on state and local programs relating to affirmative action. The government could better spend this money on programs such as: food for the poor, help for earthquake victims, and improvement of state and local parks and amusements. The government could also spend this money on fire and police protection, hospital facilities and support programs for everyone.
The fundamental idea of democracy is the statement ?All men are created equal.? The Civil Rights Act also stated that the government shall not discriminated against or for any race, creed, gender, or ethnic origin. Affirmative action is the complete opposite of both of the two former ideas. Affirmative action says that none of the ethnic minorities is capable of supporting themselves without special treatment. This is not true for the minorities in general. It is true that some people in the minority groups are poor or unable to pay for college; however, that also applies to the white majority in this country. Caucasians are not all rich. Minorities and women are not all poor. The idea of affirmative action comes across as meaning that all Caucasians are rich and do not need financial aid, minorities are all poor, and every minority person needs financial aid. This is the complete opposite belief of what our ancestors tried to start.
Every government and educational system should dispose of affirmative action and let people succeed on a fair, color-blind, race-blind, and gender-blind basis. Affirmative action does not represent what it started out to represent and people feel resentment to others who receive a part of the millions of dollars spent. The country should go back to the passing of the United States Civil Rights act: ?The state shall not discriminated against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group, on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting.?