Affirmative Correction Essay, Research Paper
Affirmative Correction Equality is a word synonymous with the civil rights movement. A word used to promote, and to establish fairness in the lives of African-Americans. Equality expressed by Martin Luther King Jr. is a law that is just when it applies to all individuals, an unjust law only applies to a particular group (597). King laid the foundation in the civil rights movement that paved the way for affirmative action. The essay Affirmative Action and Campus Racism by Van Den Haag, argues that affirmative action is unfair to the majority, because it gives preference over the more qualified majority to the less qualified minority. Haag also states that affirmative action is a direct cause of racial incidents in society. On the other hand, Thomas Nagel the author of the essay A Defense of Affirmative Action discusses that affirmative action is there to insure an equal opportunity for individuals who are victims of discrimination. I ask you this question. Does affirmative action reflect equality in America, or is affirmative action an unjust law? Affirmative action applies only to the minority, is it unjust? No. Affirmative action is necessary because the majority unrestricted will dominate all political, civil, and scholastic arenas in society, and will exclude the minorities from exercising their right to benefit from a democratic society.First of all, affirmative action gives minorities an equal opportunity to compete fairly with white majority. The white majority dominated the political world before the civil rights movement. Today, the majority, for the most part controls legislation and are able to pass or veto any bills that may or may not benefit them; however, because of affirmative action, legislation has begun to include the interest of the minorities. For example, welfare helps to provide low-income families with medical care that only the wealthy majority was able to afford. Welfare also provides affordable housing as well as food to the impoverished minorities. Negal states, Affirmative action is simply a means of increasing the social and economic strength of the victimized group, and does not stigmatize others (228). Affirmative action has also contributed to the development of the economic stability of the minorities by giving them an opportunity to compete for employment in areas that were once dominated by the white majority. Minorities are becoming economically independent and are becoming a strong force as consumers that are able to contribute to the overall strength of the nation s economy. If affirmative action is abolished the minorities may not have the economic ability to buy a quality education that helps to acquire the skills needed to be competitive with the majority, so the cycle of poverty will plague the minorities, generation after generation. In turn, the majority will continue to dominate the political arena, excluding the minorities from the benefits of democracy. Another point, in which affirmative action has contributed to minorities, is the ability to pursue a higher education. Before affirmative action, the minorities would have been denied admission to a university, because qualifications were sub-standard to that of the majority. Here again the validity of affirmative action is proved, because it is economically sound to have an educated America. The possibilities of economic growth and the diversity of consumer s needs increases, solely based on the principle that education leads to a higher income, and with a higher income there is a higher consumption of goods and service. Affirmative action has helped to develop multiculturalism and has built bridges between the different cultures in America. Institutions and universities should promote multiculturalism, because the teaching of multiculturalism helps to expand the body of knowledge that humanity has established. It
helps break down racial barriers that once separated America. Haag believes that affirmative action is unjust and states that it is a direct cause of racial incidents in society. Haag says, The only way to diminish racial hostility, and thereby, the number of racial incidents in educational institutions, is to stop both discrimination against and preferment toward minority, to treat all individuals equally regardless of race or sex, and to admit them solely on basis of their individual merit (225). Haag wants to return to the day of segregation, he wants minorities to be submissive and subordinate to the majority, yet he does not say this directly in his essay, but it is implied. Haag feels uncomfortable with racial opinions of the minorities, and he is afraid to allow the morality of the minority to be taught at universities, because it begins to dilute the majority ideal of democracy. Lastly, affirmative action has provided a way for the minorities to enhance American society. More and more minorities are becoming middle class and this helps to build pride and self-esteem in their race and culture. More minorities are becoming doctors, lawyers, architects and writers that enrich and beautify the American culture. There are many examples of how the minorities are contributing to society. The minorities have always influenced music, but in recently years, R&B and Rap has gained staggering popularity and is enjoyed by a major portion of the population. Another example is television. More and more minorities are using television to entertain the vast collection of viewers. Television programs like Martin or Sister Sister helps illustrate that the cultures are more similar than different. Without affirmative action to encourage multiculturalism America would be dominated by the bias, narrow-minded views of the white majority. However, many opponents against affirmative action feel that it is discrimination against the white majority. They feel that affirmative action is an unjust law, and advocate to abolish affirmative action, because the law must represent equality under the judicial system. Nevertheless, The meaning of equality is ambiguous. It can be interpreted to fit any situation in the affirmative action controversy, for or against; however, equality must not be misunderstood for fairness. What is equal is not exactly fair, but what is fair may be equal. Under the judicial system, black and Hispanic minorities are equal to the white majority, but the majority s advantage in education and economic stability is unfair to the minorities. We must not forget that it was thirty years ago when minorities were segregated and the majority felt the minority to be inferior. It was thirty years ago when the majority was keeping the minorities repressed from the benefits of democracy. Then suddenly, the white majority grants the minority equality under the law. It is not fair to keep minorities repressed for so long and then expect them to be instantly educated and wealthy. It took centuries for the majority to develop their education, wealth, and dominance in America. Affirmative action is retribution and its fair.Affirmative action is not a threat to the majority. Affirmative action is a correction. It is time for the majority to share America with minorities. I ask you to embrace affirmative action, so someday it will be no longer needed. I ask you to embrace the minorities, because someday the white majority will be the minority.
Haag, Van Den, Affirmative Action and Campus Racism. Current Issues and Enduring Questions, 4th ed. Ed. Sylvan Barnet and Hugo Bedau. Boston: Bedford, 1996. 223-226King, Martin Luther, Jr. Letter from Birmingham Jail. Barnent and Bedau, 593-606.Nagel, Thomas, A Defense of Affirmative Action. Barnent and Bedau. 227-231.