Does Affirmative Action Solves Racism? Essay, Research Paper
Does Affirmative Action Solves Racism?
“That teacher was selected for affirmative action reasons.” That is how I first heard the term used — implying a lack of ability on the part of a teacher at my high school. The phrase “affirmative action” was first used in a racial discrimination context in Executive Order No. 10,925 issued by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. This executive order indicated that federal contractors should take affirmative action to ensure that job applicants and employees are treated “without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” The civil rights legislation of the 1960s followed in the same vein. Kennedy’s executive order implied equal access and nothing else. The system that has evolved since is a perversion of the original intent of affirmative action. Affirmative action is wrong and will not help solve the problems minorities face. The reason it is wrong is because affirmative action is discrimination. It has no place in today’s society because it does more bad than good
A shift in emphasis from equality of prospective opportunity toward racial quotas was already under way by the time the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was debated in Congress. Quotas and the right of minorities and women to have a “correct” percentage of their population employed have since become rallying cries for civil rights activists. Affirmative action as it has been applied is detrimental to the operation of the job market, to white males, and to the groups it is supposed to benefit.
When an employer hires anyone because he or she is a minority, even if someone else is more qualified to do the job, it s discrimination. When whites are discriminated against and minorities are being discriminated for, there is no justice whatsoever and no wrongs are righted. Affirmative action legalizes discrimination and discrimination of this sort has been illegal in this country for a very long time. Also, if this discrimination continues, racism in the United States may become worse. This type of discrimination draws lines between races and emphasizes their differences rather than their common citizenship. Affirmative action bolds the lines of diversity rather than creating unity.
Affirmative action is very dangerous to the American people. If an employer hires an under-qualified worker, that worker puts others at risk if he or she doesn’t have enough experience to know what to do and what not to do. It also creates a great financial and economic risk for employers, especially for small businesses. It is not a sound business practice to pay inexperienced people to do work they’re not qualified for. Imagine what you would feel like if you couldn’t get a job just because you re a white man and not a Hispanic man. Racism is aggravated by it. That is the very thing we trying to prevent. It is possible that because of affirmative action, racism will grow and continue to grow until history repeats itself.
Many people say affirmative action is ok because it cures past discrimination. Discrimination wasn’t ok when blacks were the ones getting the short end of the stick. Therefore it’s not ok when whites are discriminated against. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Consequently affirmative action doesn’t make discrimination ok just because it’s against blacks instead of whites. The concept just isn t logical.
Affirmative action in college is the most unjust practice this country has ever seen. At ivy league colleges the median GPA of applicants is close to 4.0 and S.A.T.’s are close to 1300, minorities are let in with GPA’s less than 3.0 and S.A.T.’s less than 1000. The only way for colleges to achieve ethnic proportionalism is to downplay or abandon merit criteria and to accept students from typically under represented groups, such as blacks, Hispanics, and American Indians, over better qualified students from who are whites and Asian Americans.
Opponents of racial preferences point out that minorities may receive preferences in admissions, but they don’t receive similar treatment on their report cards. They question the fairness of placing minorities in schools for which they are not academically prepared.
Differences among racial and ethnic groups in academic achievement, economic performance and social stability can be accounted for by differences in cultural values, rather than inherited genetic abilities or the effects of racial oppression. Affirmative action assumes that racism is the cause of differences in academic performance between blacks and other groups and abandons merit in favor of affirmative action in order to achieve social justice. If college admissions were based only on merit, it would not lead to equality of results:
+ Studies show that if admissions to the University of California at Berkeley were by grades and test scores only, a majority of students would be Asian and only 1 to 2 percent black.
+ Data from the College Board, which administers the Scholastic Attainment Test (SAT), show that the racial gaps on the verbal section of the test are equaled or exceeded on the math section.
+ Independent studies show that the SAT predicts college performance equally well for all groups, and is even slightly “biased” in favor of blacks.
+ College Board data shows that academic differences aren’t due to poverty, since on average, whites and Asians from families earning less than $20,000 a year score higher on the SAT than blacks from families earning more than $60,000.
But due to affirmative action, blacks from middle-class and affluent families are granted preference at the expense of poor whites with stronger academic credentials. And Hispanics, who have historically been classified as white, get preferential treatment at the expense of Asians — a minority who have also suffered discrimination. Obviously, affirmative action is allowing under qualified citizens to get into college when the people that are qualified aren’t getting accepted. This is very wrong. When we passed civil rights legislation, it didn’t mean that we should treat different races differently. The heart of it means we should treat all people as equals. Affirmative action doesn’t treat everyone as equals. If we lower acceptance standards for minorities, we should lower standards for everyone. Since we are not going to do that we should raise the standard for minorities.
In addition, if affirmative action gets its way, it will do more harm than good. Affirmative action will only work short term because if you hire a minority who is under- qualified, they will eventually get fired or quit from being discouraged. Also, businesses can only hire so many people. Eventually a business will get too many under-qualified people and will of course eventually have to abandon affirmative action all together.
Furthermore, Affirmative action doesn’t work because it doesn’t change anything. If there is racism in today s modern age, then racism will always be present and affirmative action will not change it. If discrimination is used now, where will it end? We will eventually have to revert back to giving whites the edge because THEY will eventually suffer from the effects of discrimination also.. How will this stop racism in this modern age?
Additionally, affirmative action does not translate into giving minorities a better chance. Just because you enroll more minorities in your college, doesn’t mean you’re making the playing field even. When someone isn’t good enough to get into a certain college, they’re out of their league when they get in. Only15% of black and 22% of Hispanic affirmative action students accepted to Berkeley in 1987 graduated. To give minorities a Better life “we have to fix the moral decay caused by the absence of two parent families to help minorities”. The problem is much deeper than what the program called Affirmative Action addresses. It is far more complex than that.
Perhaps more importantly, affirmative action is insulting to minorities because they may feel they have to be helped out just to get a job. A minority that benefits from affirmative action may feel that they’re inadequate for the job they were hired for. Every employee that benefits from affirmative action bears a mark of not being the best pick, but only the best pick from a limited group. When you think about it, he or she will discover that they would get a better feeling of satisfaction if they got a job because they were the best person for the job, not because they were born into a certain ethnic group. Employers may also feel cheated because they didn’t get as good a worker as they could have gotten. Employers that hire employees solely on the color of their skin are discriminating. Reverse discrimination is just as wrong as the straight discrimination.
Affirmative action is just wrong. Affirmative action should be abolished. Such an unlawful concept shouldn’t even be considered in the United States. If we allow affirmative action to proceed, we are just proving to ourselves that we endorse and accept discrimination in the workplace. There is absolutely no reason why it should exist. Affirmative action lends a bad name to the United States of America. Others may view our fine country, as a country with people that are so irresponsible the government has to step in and lower the standards of business just to get people jobs. Current university “affirmative action” policies incorrectly make race a proxy for victimization and disadvantage, just as some police departments make race a proxy for probable criminality. Both are wrong. We cannot get beyond race as a country by continuing to base our policies on it. We cannot end discrimination by continuing to practice it. Most importantly, we cannot achieve a colorblind 21st century unless we eliminate racial profiling in every part of our society.