Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper
This paper was written to show how Affirmative Action took place. It deals with the idea that diversity management does not decrease ethnic and gender tensions while increasing profits, productivity and creativity, but it has served a general purpose to aware people of different cultures, and establish a justification to make everybody equal in opportunity not based in race, sex, nor culture.
It also includes a history of the Affirmative Action. The different paths it has taken along the development it has undergone as time has gone by, from its beginning as a Civil Rights Act to the Affirmative Action it is today.
Statement of Purpose
The three members of the group are members of minorities and the purpose is to acquaint other minorities with what could be encountered in finding a job.
This paper contains arguments that stand for and against Affirmative Action programs with cases to substantiate the claims. It also contains a history of the Affirmative Action and its original purpose.
Sources and Methods
The material needed for this paper was gathered from several on-line resources and a book. Such sources were gathered by searching the Internet and the School?s Library.
The paper starts by giving the reader the original purpose of the affirmative Action and its history. Then, it states several pros and several cons supporting each with a case. At the end of the paper a summary of the same is given together with the conclusions formed by the writers of the paper.
WHAT IS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION?
Affirmative Action is the name given to programs that try to correct past and ongoing discriminations against women, racial minorities, and others in the work force and in education. The principal goal of Affirmative Action is to create more diversity and equal opportunities in jobs or schools that used to be all or mostly male, white, or both. Affirmative Action programs have been in place only a little over thirty years throughout Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are three aspects of Affirmative Action.
One, Affirmative Action in employment. It can consist of posting and publicizing job notices in locations that are likely to be seen by a wide rang e of people so that not only white people, but also minorities can see that there are job opportunities that they can apply to (Casul, 1).
Two, Affirmative Action in contracting. This consists of highly regulated government agencies that help minorities to get jobs without haven to go through discrimination because of their background (Casul, 1).
Three, Affirmative Action in education. This consists of various programs that schools have to be able to provide minorities with the equal opportunity of an education (Casul, 1).
THE HISTORY OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Affirmative Action was started in 1965 with the Executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. He stated that something else had to be done to move beyond the non-discrimination laws that were already enacted. At the same time something had to be done to enable women and minorities to move up in their jobs. After President Johnson, President Nixon implemented that same Executive order. With this done President Ford, a few years later the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974. This acts assured that federal contractors had Affirmative Action regulations in hiring or firing employees. Again, some years later President Carter created a centralized office to handle all Affirmative Action cases named the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP). Now, during his presidency, President Clinton has articulated four standards for all Affirmative Action programs: no quotas in theory or practice, no illegal discrimination of any kind, no preferences for people not qualified, and as soon as the program has succeeded it must be retired.
THE CASE FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Since the day that thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 African-American civilians were able to attend school with everybody else; since the day that there was no difference between a ?white water fountain? and a ?black water fountain?, the achievements reached with the help of an Affirmative Action are evident. Affirmative Action has caused a debate and some tension to rise in the American society (Lewis, 1). The paragraphs that follow will be intended to show to the reader that an Affirmative Action can indeed help the business environment in getting the most qualified people the job they deserve, without their race, culture or sex prevent them from getting it.
Arguments For Affirmative Action
Since the day that Affirmative Action programs started to take place, minorities have been able to be treated fairly and have been able to get job opportunities also. The next few paragraphs state several arguments that point to the conclusion that an Affirmative Action is needed to provide fairness in every aspect to minorities.
The programs are needed because there are still cases in which minorities and women earn less money than white people and men regardless of the place they studied and got their degrees from. They still earn less money regardless of the qualifications and past experience they might have, to prove this look at any community. How many members of a minority are in leadership positions? How many members of a minority are elected into office? Affirmative Action programs are created to provide minorities with the opportunity to be chosen in better jobs.
Affirmative Action programs are needed as a tool that the Federal government has to provide minorities with the opportunity to be treated equally (LCCP, 4). These programs are needed because some institutions in society are not ready to hire minorities just because they are minorities unless they are forced to do so by law. As long as this is so Affirmative Action programs should be preserved and improved (Rothstein, 1).
THE CASE AGAINST AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
As time has gone by, and as discrimination has been legally reduced to the point that it is easier tolerate with the help of several Affirmative Action programs, the idea that such programs are not needed anymore is rising. Together with the question of Affirmative Action being needed or not debate has been rising too. Just as there are arguments that protect Affirmative Action, there are arguments that reject it. The following paragraphs will show the reader that an Affirmative Action is not needed anymore because of the way society is handling such problem.
Arguments Against Affirmative Action
After all the years that Affirmative Action programs have been taking place in several institutions to provide and end to discrimination; there are some arguments that point to the fact that such programs are not needed to provide minorities with fairness. The next few paragraphs state what those arguments are.
The first argument is that people should be able to think what they want, to establish their own values about everything. This holds true as long as they do not deny anybody else?s rights. The opponents of Affirmative Action programs believe that ?to be free is to be wrong? therefore racists should be able to believe what they want and be against what they want too. They believe that to be forced to do something they do not want to do could be harmful instead of helpful to minorities. In other words racists are only fair when forced to do so legally (Jemal, 1).
The second argument is that the opponents of such programs believe that to be forced to work with minorities against their wills is not the solution to stop racism and discrimination. This only makes discrimination stronger and immune to reason. Opposition believes that Affirmative Action programs were created to free ?White America? of the feeling of guilt after the atrocities committed against minorities years back and that they are no longer effective. Opposition believes that those times have passed and therefore the programs are not needed.
The third argument this paper states is that Affirmative Action programs are nothing but quotas, therefore the economic aspect of it becomes clear. This programs stigmatizes and calls into question the credentials of the qualified minorities (Lewis, 2). They force qualified people to surrender their jobs to less qualified people just because they are not a minority. This understates that the economy of the country is in risk of going down due to that fact. Just as Affirmative Action helps minorities it harms the other people, because it takes away the jobs they have worked so hard to get.
HOW DOES THIS AFFECT BUSINESSES
The way that businesses are affected by the debate that takes place because of Affirmative Action programs should be considered. The Business Industry can be affected in two ways. One, businesses are helped by such programs because they can get workers from other cultures to work with them and even be able to help the company with ideas to expand, to create better products, etc. After all, Americans do not only populate United States but it is a mixture of several cultures that have to learn to live together. Businesses can also be negatively affected if because of Affirmative Actions companies are forced to indeed hire minority members that are not highly qualified for the job. The fact that these programs are created to help minorities can result in harm for the people who are not members of the minorities in question, and therefore would not be elected to get the job because of their origin. This could definitely cause a decrease in the industry?s revenue and could cause a fall in the American economy. Therefore in order to keep Affirmative Action programs in an equal scale so that they do not affect industries they have to be carefully revised and planned taking in consideration the men and women that are not members of the minorities in question.
The paragraphs above are an explanation of the facts that are behind Affirmative Action, both for and against. Affirmative Action like everything else that involves public opinion has created debate in society, a debate that has to sides.
One, the one that believes that these programs have helped tremendously because they have given the opportunity to many members of minorities to get better positions in the job they have and to be treated equally like it should have always been. This side of the coin believes that in order to stop every kind of discrimination Affirmative Action programs should be kept and improved because without them this society would go back to the times in which Negroes were slaves and not able to vote.
On the other hand the other side, which believes that Affirmative Action programs are useless, has also strong arguments to believe so. This side believes that when people are forced to hire people against their will it will only increase the tension and in some cases the grudge held against minorities. This feelings can grow to such point that are considered dangerous causing fatalities like the cases that have been seen on television lately in which minority members are killed just because of who they are.
After the research done for the completion of this paper, the members of the group have gotten to the conclusion that the world that would be faced by hem because of the fact that they are minorities is not a very gentle one. They will be faced by all kinds of people. People who are not against Affirmative Action programs and by some that are. People should be aware of the fact that to achieve one?s goals they have to do all that they can to become the best in the things they do whether it is education or job. The facts shown in this paper are a proof that society as well as the law are still harsh on minorities even if law protects such people the risk of being treated in a inadequate manner is there and very much alive.
The opinion that the authors of the paper took is that Affirmative Action does nothing wrong, but to help minorities in achieving that liberty that has been wanted for many years back. Affirmative Action is the reason why Mexican students are allowed to come to United sates looking for a better place to become somebody in life by achieving a good education. Affirmative Action should be kept an improved by government always to help everybody everywhere in United States.
Casul, Algeo. What Is Affirmative Action? http://www.wco.com/~acasul/algeo/aa.htm
23-Mar-1999. Pages 1-2
Jemal, Alison. What?s Wrong with Affirmative Action and Why It Must Go.
1997. Pages 1-4.
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The Case For Affirmative Action.
http://www.civilrights.org Last modified 21-Nov-1997. Pages 1-6
Lewis, Brian. An Ethical and Practical Defense of Affirmative Action.
http://www.princeton.edu/~blewis/action.htm Pages 1-5
Rothstein, Richard. Can The Case Against Affirmative Action Stand Up Against The
Evidence? http://www.epn.org Last modified 15-Oct-1996