In The U.S. Essay, Research Paper
Affirmative action in theory and in thought is intended to promote the welfare of this country’s minorities by supporting the idea that individuals are equal and should not be judged by race or sex. Therefore, in situations like job and university applications, we should consider minorities to be as feasible a choice for hire as a white male candidate, taking into consideration their background. In short, it tries to give minorities that have been at a disadvantage their whole life, an advantage they have never been open too!
All things considered, this does not happen. Instead, “quotas” are established and the discrimination that was once placed on the minorities now turns the other way. Let’s make up a hypothetical situation. You are sending in your first college application to Harvard. There is only one spot left open between you and someone who is black. You have slightly better grades, both of you excelled in sports, you have more volunteer hours, and completed 2 foreign languages where he only has one. Applying affirmative action, you would not get the last position because of the need for ethnic diversity in the college atmosphere. Is that fair??? Is that right?? You clearly had a better dossier then him!!
If affirmative action is supposed to support the individual, why is it solely based on race and why doesn’t it apply to every situation based on the potential of the individual involved? What happens if in this hypothetical situation that I just told you about, you had lived in a shack your whole life, had to work six jobs, support your mom’s crack addiction, and 4 feed other children in the house? When the black guy has been a millionaire his whole life and it has always been easy for him. By singling out the fact that only minorities are the ones that are at a disadvantage you are racially profiling them.
Usually racial profiling is used in a negative sense, and I still am using the term in this fashion. By singling out minorities as the only people that affirmative action applies to, you are discriminating against them from the start. In effect, the policy intended to benefit minorities makes it obvious that they are at a clear-cut disadvantage; the policy not only permits but also encourages others to think less of them, regardless of anything other than the fact that they know they are of a different race.
In a famous speech, President Lyndon Johnson used the following analogy: he compared affirmative action to that of two people competing in a race. One man trains hard for six months, while the other is in heavy shackles and can’t train at all. Who do you think is going to win when it’s race time? Well when thinking about affirmative action, doesn’t it seem fair that we help the guy who is in shackles? Of course it does, but it is the way that we help the guy in shackles that is wrong. Instead of releasing the shackles on this man, affirmative action would just be placing heavier shackles on the man that had none to start with because he had gotten to train for the race ahead of time. This places an unnecessary disadvantage on the man who had no shackles on to begin with. Think about it! Instead releasing the shackles for the man at the start line and viewing him as an equal, with regard to what he has gone through before the race, all they really did was turn around and place the discrimination on the man who originally was not at a disadvantage.
Besides all this, our most powerful and sacred document that holds all the power in the government is colorblind. As I am sure you know, I am referring to the Constitution. The 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “No state shall? deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of laws.” Affirmative Action seems to be unconstitutional. It ignores the phrase “equal protection” instead of treating minorities like equals. It treats them like they are better than other members of the population and, in particular, puts white males in a situational disadvantage like the minorities once were.
To sum up most of what I have been saying. When we use affirmative action we are undermining the original principle of affirmative action. People should be considered as individuals and not members of a different race. The goal is attain excellence not mediocrity. That is what we should strive for.