Affirmative Action Essay Research Paper Affirmative Action 2

Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper

Affirmative Action: A Contradiction In Itself

Affirmative action is a term of general application referring to government

policies that directly or indirectly award jobs, admission to universities and professional

schools, and other social goods and resources to individuals on the basis of membership in

designated protected groups in order to compensate those groups for past discrimation

caused by society as a whole. For political, as well as prudential reasons reflecting racial

sensitivities, public justification of affirmative action has tended to describe it as a logical

extension of equality of opportunity for individuals. In fact, affirmative action embodies

ideas that are philosophically anti-ethical to the principle of equal protection of the laws

that are the basis of equality of opportunity. The essential difference is that affirmative

action policies are designed to benefit persons on the basis of membership in a group,

rather than according to individual qualifications and experience.

Affirmative action focuses on the results of the procedures used by public and

private organization measured with respect to racial balance, rather than on the existence

of procedures that assure equal treatment of individuals irrespective of race, ethinicity or

sex. It can therefore be described as a civil rights policy, promised on the concept of

group rather than individual rights, which seeks equality of result rather than equality of


As a general description of civil rights policy, affirmative action comprehends such

matters as school desegregation, voting rights, housing sales and rentals, university

admissions, the activities of federally funded agencies, and public and private employment.

In each of these areas, there have been judicial decisions asserting the principles of

group and equality of results that define historical development and rationale of the policy

are best illustrated, however, in employment discrimination law.

Before the adoption of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, employers were permitted to

select employees according to race or any other consideration, unlike the situation in

voting of public education where racial discrimination was arguably unconstitutional to

races, because they can’t hire the most qualified person.

Affirmative action is, for lazy people who can’t do anything for themselves, black

whites, men and women alike! The truth is that although the government feels they are

working for the whole, they are forgetting the individual. Setting their sites to boost the

economic status of minorities, but knocking them back a century is what the government

has achieved thus far. These minority groups feel the government has the impression that

their own individual talents are not worthy of the level at which the average white males’

are. This angers many men and women of these minority groups, leaving them feeling

impatient and worthless in their own right. Thus, the vicious cycle of self-doubt begins,

and these men and women depend more and more on the government to get them a job or

get them into college, because they feel they are not qualified enough to do it on their


In effect, the picture that civil rights have come a long way is an impressionistic

one, the out-of-date policy of affirmative action only weakens the effects of the movement

that hese people have been working diligently for.

Affirmative action, while being a noble idea, has failed the people it was intended

to help. It says basically, “You cannot succeed on your own.” It implies that someone or

something must take care of people and in doing so, makes them dependent on the

government. So instead of leveling the playing field, affirmative action has the effect of

pushing people down.

Not only does affirmative action suppress the people it is fighting for, but it also

stomps on others. For example, if a white man and an African-American male apply for

the same job, chances are the African-American male would get it, regardless of

qualifications, because a certain percentage of each business is to be minority employed.

This means a more qualified white male is left out-in-the-cold, because of his race. “Hello!

Do I detect a bit of reverse racism here? Isn’t this policy an effort to insure equality rather

what the race or sex is?” ” This is exactly my point”, says Tyler attorney Floyd Getz, “If

we are going to be fair, we have to be fair all the way around the circle or affirmative

action only discriminates against the majority groups when it’s whole purpose is to ensure

equality. Twenty or thirty years ago this policy was in desperate need but now it is

ineffective and out of date. Yet, if the person with the most qualifications doesn’s get the

job, it seems to me with this policy it is easier for minorities to go to college, than for a

majority group member, so they should be qualified!”

This is all too true. Many white majority members have a very hard time being

accepted to college or being funded through the government, because affirmative action

relegates the percentage of acceptance and aide each group can receive. Therefore,

affirmative action discriminates against majority groups and contradicts it’s whole purpose.

Affirmative Action contradicts the traditional liberal principle that individuals have

rights in respect to which they are entitled to be protected equally without regard to race

or other irrelevant personal characteristics. The guarantee of these rights, where

government acts upon individuals, establishes equality of opportunity. To deny an

individual his or her rights or treat the individual differently because of