Affirmative Action Should Reduce Inequality Essay

4464 words - 18 pages

Affirmative action is a two-pronged effort that includes “the right of all persons to be accorded full and equal consideration on the basis of merit” (K.U Medical School) and, concurrently, a policy of actively “hiring and promoting qualified individuals in protected groups such as minorities, disabled veterans, Vietnam-era veterans and women” (U. of South Dakota). It was created to focus on education and jobs, and the policies were put in place to take active measures, under the framework of non-discrimination, to ensure that disadvantaged groups that had prevalently suffered discrimination have the same opportunities as whites. The U.S. Department of Labor describes affirmative action as the “ban[ing of] discrimination and requir[ing of] contractors and subcontractors to take… action to ensure that all individuals have an equal opportunity for employment, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability or status as a Vietnam era or special disabled veteran.” (Dept. of Labor 2002)
Affirmative action also includes provisions for the monitoring of its compliance by seeking to establish standards of equality using a quantitative system to measure progress towards the goal. Importantly, “the goal-setting process in affirmative action planning is used to target and measure the effectiveness of affirmative action efforts to eradicate and prevent discrimination.” (Dept. of Labor) Whenever an employer is in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, the EEOC has judicial powers aimed at remedying the situation.
The logic of affirmative action dictates that where a “certain criterion of merit”, even if it is not intentionally discriminatory, works to the disproportionate exclusion of minorities, the burden is on the offending organization to defend the policy in proportion to its exclusionary effect (Lovell 1974). The focus on criteria-fixed merit in the United States disregards that all people do not have equal access to private schooling, resume counselors, SAT prep classes, etc. The EEOC may see certain hiring criteria as intentionally or unintentionally excluding protected groups under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and the “Commission shall endeavor to eliminate and such alleged unlawful employment practice by informal methods of conference, conciliation or persuasion.” (Civ. Rights Act of 1964)
Why is it controversial? What arguments are presented for/against it?
The controversy surrounding affirmative action is directly related to public perceptions -- or misperceptions -- of the policy, coupled with its equivocal nature. Lack of specific guidelines for the execution of the policy has led to variations in actual practice; this lack of uniformity lends itself to ideological clashes regarding the nature of affirmative action and practical ones concerning its implementation. Points of contention and the arguments (both for and against) include the following:
1. Detractors...

Find Another Essay On Affirmative Action Should Reduce Inequality

Should Affirmative Action be allowed in medical schools?

1131 words - 5 pages : primarily recognizing the dilemma, which is racism then instituting the resolution.The objective of affirmative action helps reduce inequity in the office and in schools, regardless of the fact that a few consider that affirmative action is a type of reverse discrimination. On the contrary, the initial objective of affirmative action was to assist people who were underprivileged or inadequately educated, inspiring them to positions for which they

Which Standard of Review should the Court use when Analyzing Race Conscious Affirmative Action Programs?

2009 words - 8 pages Which standard of review should the court use when analyzing race conscious affirmative action programs? Over the last 35 years, the Supreme Court has attempted to answer this question numerous times; each time clarifying certain parts, while leaving other parts intentionally vague and open to interpretation. The result has been various affirmative action plans being called into question to see if they violate the Equal Protection Clause based

Why the US Should Implement Bans on Racial Preferences or Affirmative Action for Universities

3229 words - 13 pages minorities from California’s Proposition 209, which banned the use of affirmative action in admissions at the enormous University of California system and why states ought to adopt similar measures. It is the author’s sincere desire to influence state policy makers to ban the use of racial preferences, ideally through voter referendums, in public universities vis-à-vis admissions and that preference points should be awarded based on a

The essay is about Affirmative Action and If it should be accepted or thrown away with

520 words - 2 pages More Than Just A PolicyBorn of the civil rights movement three decades ago, affirmative action is the nation's most ambitious attempt to reconcile its long history of racial and sexual discrimination. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., in his famous "I Have a Dream" speech, stated that "I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created

Affirmative Action

1218 words - 5 pages absolutely necessary for the survival of our society. Since we do not live in a color-blind society, affirmative action may reduce racial tension by forcing people to interact and work together. It is there to make things the way they should be: fair. Until someone comes up with a better system, or prejudices are eliminated, we will always need affirmative action.Bibliography1. Rockwell, Paul, "Angry White Guys for Affirmative Action", California, 1996.2. Algeo C., "Affirmative Action", California, 1996.3. Hirsch, J., "Affirmative Action", California, 1996.4. Rockwell, Paul, "Four Affirmative Action Myths", California, 1996.

Affirmative Action

3995 words - 16 pages that it is necessary to accept an unqualified candidate, but rather that in choosing between qualified candidates that the minority should receive preferential treatment due to past discrimination (Kivel par. 9). Furthermore, it can be argued that affirmative action increases self-esteem by providing employment opportunities. There is also some evidence that affirmative action policies increase job satisfaction (Plous par. 9). According to Kivel

Affirmative Action: Sociological Perspective

1826 words - 8 pages theory is connected to affirmative action. Affirmative action, thought of as a solution for discrimination, only creates more social inequality. In addition, the white women are benefiting from affirmative action when it should have been focused on the minorities. Going back to the women who are successful due to affirmative action, apparently in private sectors, the advancements of white women are larger than color people. The purpose of affirmative

The Complex Issue of Affirmative Action

3668 words - 15 pages on the above presented evidence and public opinion, we conclude that affirmative action is both politically viable and justified by public opinion the government should actively reduce inequality.  Educating the public and providing an accurate description of the program will serve to clarify misconceptions about the policy and thus reduce the number of those who oppose it based on these wrong assumptions.           Graph 1

Opposing Affirmative Action

658 words - 3 pages Inequality: the battle still rages on in our country, hidden just below the surface. Is inequality occuring when a minority individual fails to achieve admittance to a job/university? Is it occuring when more qualified majority members of society are coming in second to under-qualified ethnic groups? Admittance should be based on individual merit rather than ethnicity. However, Affirmative Action stands in the way. Stand firmly in opposition

Affirmative Action

772 words - 3 pages for Affirmative action. Affirmative action has made it possible for people of my culture to get jobs to support their families, and it has also made it possible for people of my culture to get a fair shot at education. In my opinion people need to realize that thirty years of affirmative action isn't enough time to solve a major social problem. Affirmative action is making steady strides in helping the problem of racial inequality in America

affirmative action

1330 words - 6 pages economic inequalities in America. Instead, it was intended only to rectify discrimination in hiring and academic admissions. When assessing the necessity of affirmative action, the question Americans should ask: Does affirmative action counteract the continuing inequality caused by discrimination? Studies shown that it does. And when affirmative action programs expands access to education and employment for individuals from underrepresented minority groups without substantially diminishing the opportunities of white applicants, the benefits far outweigh any harm.

Similar Essays

Affirmative Action On Social Inequality Essay

1995 words - 8 pages affirmative action. Affirmative action, thought of as a solution for discrimination, only creates more social inequality. In addition, the white women are benefitting from affirmative action when it should have been focused on the minorities. Going back to the women who are successful due to affirmative action, apparently in private sectors, the advancements of white women are larger than color people. The purpose of affirmative action is to assist the

Affirmative Action Should Not Be Continued

2536 words - 10 pages . Affirmative action was a good jump start to get our nation to where it is today. However, affirmative action should not be continued because it is a form of discrimination, it is more harmful than helpful, and it supplements race or gender for one’s qualification. The government thinks that implementing affirmative action will repair inequality, but it cannot. In the midst of tying to promote equality, they are promoting discrimination

Why Affirmative Action Should Be Eliminated

1544 words - 6 pages , this attempt at variety often comes at the expense of white and Asian students. For these reasons, affirmative action policies in college admissions should be eliminated in the United States. Affirmative action policies were created to help level the playing field in American society. Supporters claim that these plans eliminate economic and social disparities to minorities, yet in doing so, they’ve only created more inequalities. Whites and

Should Affirmative Action Be Rescinded From Law?

799 words - 3 pages In the mid 1950’s Dr. Martin Luther King started a crusade to gain equal rights for his race. Over several years he was able to convince President Kennedy to pass legislation on discrimination. Since then there has been a great debate on whether affirmative action should be rescinded from our laws. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act made discrimination illegal. Two authors, Ward Connerly and Paul Kivel, have taken different stands on this issue for