Affirmative Action: Doing More Harm Than Good Today
There was a time in America's not-too-distant past when affirmative action programs were necessary to address the inequalities in access to education and employment that were institutionalized throughout the country. Today, though, the civil rights movement is over and the Fourteenth Amendment ensures that all U.S. citizens enjoy the full range of protections under the law, including the Bill of Rights. Indeed, some affirmative action programs today are denying access to otherwise-qualified candidates for the very same reason these social reform programs were implemented in the first place: the color of their white skin. According to Black's Law Dictionary (1990), affirmative action programs are "required by federal statutes and regulations designed to remedy discriminatory practices; i.e., positive steps designed to eliminate existing and continuing discrimination, to remedy lingering effects of past discrimination and to create systems and procedures to prevent future discrimination" (p. 59). By denying access to education and employment to white people, affirmative action programs are therefore continuing the very same discriminatory practices they are designed to eliminate.
Moreover, a growing number of Americans are recognizing the fundamental unfairness...
For instance, Wickelgren (2008) emphasizes that, "Perhaps more than at any time since its inception, affirmative action has been under attack-in the judiciary, in state governments, and through voter initiatives" (p. 166). These observations are based on some significant legal cases that have been decided in recent years that have overturned affirmative action policies in the nation's colleges and universities. In this regard, federal courts have declared affirmative action policies for undergraduates unconstitutional at the University of Georgia and the University of Texas, and the University of California Board of Regents mandated that university admissions could not take race into consideration (Wickelgren, 2008). Likewise, Initiative 200(7) in Washington State and Proposition 209(6) in California outlawed race-based preferential treatment in public education and employment (Wickelgren, 2008). These trends are indicative of American public opinion concerning the continuing need for affirmative action, with a growing number of citizens of every race agreeing that the time has come to eliminate these anachronistic programs once and for all. In this regard, Wickelgren reports that, "A large majority of Americans as a whole, including over a third of African-Americans and over seventy percent of Hispanic-Americans,…
Black's law dictionary. (1990). St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Co.
Wickelgren, A.L. (2008, Spring). Affirmative action: More efficient than color blindness. Texas Journal on Civil Liberties & Civil Rights, 10(2), 165-171.
Those favoring it argue it is unfair to have the same requirements for select minorities as for others. Those opposed believe it's unfair that the more qualified candidate loses an opportunity to a less qualified member of a preferred group. Their logic is simple: discrimination on the basis of race, creed, color or sex is wrong. This position has made some progress, winning several significant court battles. it's been so
Affirmative Action At its most objective definition, affirmative action entails "positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded." Affirmative action acknowledges the presence of institutionalized and systematic forms of discrimination: which may not be apparent to members of the dominant or privileged culture. For example, white males will not even notice that no Blacks
Perhaps it's time that politics follows suit. Without denying that we are indeed diverse, it is necessary to recognize that we are all human beings. Diversity makes us human, but discrimination violates the potential bonds of friendship within the societies in the United States. Politicians and federal officials might do well to revisit the meaning of the constitution and of the very name of the country: we are United, diverse,
The continued subordination of blacks in the work place is due to persistent discrimination at all stages of the employment process, from recruitment to interview, job offer, and promotion. Studies conducted in the 1990's by the Urban Institute in Chicago, show significant levels of discrimination in the labor market against black and Hispanic job applicants. The discrimination that previous generations of blacks experienced in the labor market also harms
Affirmative action is also meant to be a temporary remedy, but knowing when and how to eliminate affirmative action programs will be difficult. Proponents of affirmative action argue that the practice is an effective way of eliminating bias in the admissions process and of ensuring that more minorities and females are granted opportunities for upward social mobility and for holding positions of power. Without a doubt minorities and women have
Affirmative Action The term 'affirmative action' collectively refers to the positive steps that have been taken to increase the representation of minority groups in business, employment, and college admissions by according them preferential treatment in a bid to make up for the injustices committed against them in the past (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2001). Its contestation, defense, and development often proceeds along two paths -- administrative and legal (in the form