" (Kepple, 1995) Kepple questions if affirmative action is "really doing this" and states "the answer is no." (Kepple, 1995) Kepple states that affirmative action makes the assumption that 'Everything can be solved by lumping whites, and men in particular, all of whom have supposedly achieved some kind of tangible advantage and benefits from the color of their skin alone, into one group. Non-whites, all of whom are assumed to be the victims of the aforementioned group because the white males were obviously all attempting to hinder the non-whites in various ways constitute the second group." (Kepple, 1995)
The work of Dean Elmuti (1996) entitled: "Revising Affirmative Action and Managing Cultural Diversity Challenges in Corporate America" states that management of cultural diversity in the workplace in combination with "attempt to abolish affirmative action are emerging as some of the most important issues facing American business in the 90s. Affirmative action was born during the Civil Rights Movement in an effort to reverse the effects of generations of racial discrimination (the concepts and the laws which governed it broadened over the years to include women and other traditionally disadvantaged groups). It is federally mandated law to combat discrimination. Diversity on the other hand, is an organizational effort that aims to modify organization standards, procedures, and management practices that hinder creativity, productivity, and advancement of employees." (Elmuti, 1996)
The work of W. Ralph Eubanks (2009) published in the American Scholar states that the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. demonstrate that while King "embraced affirmative action" that King also believed that affirmative action "should help economically disadvantaged people of both races. He proposed a Bill of Rights for the Disadvantaged, not a Bill of Rights for Blacks, noting that 'while Negroes form the vast majority of America's disadvantaged there are millions of white poor who would also benefit from such a bill." (Eubanks, 2009) p.1
Eubanks notes that conservatives point to the famous assertion of King that "people should be judged by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin as evidence that he would have been against affirmative action." (2009) Eubanks notes the work of Rustin whose personal papers are housed by the Library of Congress. Rustin is stated to have written for the Baltimore Sun and questioned "how the cultural and political change brought about by the movement [Civil Rights] might evolve, specifically stating 'As in any period of significant change, the potentials of the new situation cannot be realized until we are liberated from the modes of thought and action of the past. The strategies of the civil rights period were once appropriate but when outdated they become roadblocks to future progress.'" (Eubanks, 2009) it is the belief of Eubanks that affirmative action should be "retooled...to providing a path for people of all races into the middle class." (Eubanks, 2009)
The work of Gutman (2000) entitled: "EEO Law and Personnel Practices" states the following overview of outdated practices of affirmative action:
State Protection Laws -- state protection laws prohibiting women from danger (e.g., heavy lifting) are unconstitutional;
Height/weight requirements -- Excluding on height/weight criteria is as difficult to defend as excluding all members of one gender;
Pregnancy discrimination -- Discrimination in medical benefits for pregnancy outlawed in Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978;
Retirement benefits -- women may not be forced to pay more or receive less because they are expected to live longer;
Sex-Plus Discrimination -- Exclusion based on motherhood is facially discriminatory if parallel exclusions do not apply to fatherhood;
Fetal protection -- prohibiting fertile women from jobs based on fetal safety does not satisfy BPQQ defense. (Gutman, 2000)
Discussion, Implications and Recommendations
Affirmative action is stated to have been developed in 1961 (Holmberg, 2008) and it is acknowledged that during that time in recent U.S. history that racism was an issue that required addressing. In fact, there are still vestiges of racism that are still strongly shadowing society although unacknowledged and even ignored this racism whispers from the corridors of history a little too loudly. However, Affirmative Action has been used miserably in unconscionable ways and toward questionable ends. Affirmative Action has served to perpetrate a most aggressive form of discrimination. This new racism is one that seeks to inflict discrimination as retribution upon a majority racial class for the sins of their ancestors.
The ideal that gave birth to the foundation of Affirmative Action is that all men, regardless of race, religion, creed, ethnicity, gender, and so forth should be on the receiving end of discrimination in societal institutions, organizations, memberships or citizenships. It is not that Affirmative Action was not needed for, at the time it was needed and it is not that it is today a bad idea but instead it is the idea that the past generations status quo should move forward and effectively grant entitlement or retribution to a people upon the basis of race. If true justice and equity are to exist in society there must be a balance with no racial grouping pushing too hard to enforce their receipt of justice based on entitlement and simultaneously committing discrimination against the racial grouping assigned to pay for the sins long past committed by ancestors or simply others of the same racial profile. The time for all this has come and gone and required is cognition within and without, in practice, thought, and deed, and evidence by human resource practices that absolutely is defined by choosing the best possible candidate to fill the positions of employment in the organization regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender, or other personally defining characteristics.
Recommendations for Future Research
Recommendations for research arising from this brief study include the recommendation that research should be applied to the area of affirmative action and to the optimal refining and retooling of the principles and guidance of laws, regulations and principles of Affirmative Action and EEO policies.
Rogers, Eloise (2008) Column: Affirmative Action Policy is Outdated, Offensive. Campus Times in: UWIRE, CBS News 20 Nov 2008. Online available at: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/11/21/politics/uwire/main4622919.shtml
Holmberg, Kelley (2008) Affirmative Action as Outdated as Discrimination. The Chase -- College Media Network. 27 Feb 2008. Online available at: http://media.www.enmuthechase.com/media/storage/paper1015/news/2008/02/27/Opinion/Affirmative.Action.As.Outdated.As.Discrimination-3238855.shtml#4
Burke, Ronald J. And Cooper, Cary L. (2005) Reinventing Human Resource Management: Challenges and New Directions. Routledge 2005.
Kepple, Benjamin (1995) the Fallacy of Affirmative Action.15 Nov 1995. Online available at: http://www.umich.edu/~mrev/archives/1995/11-15-95/affirm.html
Elmuti, Dean (1996) Revising Affirmative Action and Managing Cultural Diversity Challenge…