History Of Racial Discrimination In The Workplace.

1730 words - 7 pages

Racial discrimination has long been a problem in social history. The discrimination of ethnic minorities has been a controversial issue, existent in society, and workplaces for many years. The implementation of ethnic monitoring and positive discrimination in employment has increased the number of ethnic employees and gone a long way to mend the bridge of inequality which has burdened society for a long time.Another method introduced to try and counter the racial inequality in employment is that of Affirmative Action. Affirmative action calls for minorities and women to be given special consideration in employment, education and contracting decisions, to increase their number in the workplace.Affirmative action is a controversial issue which has been debated by many. In this essay I am going to look at the advantages and disadvantages of affirmative action and what affect it has on society. I will also debate whether I think affirmative action is a fair method to implement in organisations, and also whether it can be considered to be fair from a philosophical perspective.Affirmative action was defined as an attempt to enlarge opportunity for everyone, it was designed to redress the imbalances caused by long-standing discrimination. Defenders of affirmative action argue that granting modest advantages to minorities and women is more than fair, given hundreds of years of discrimination that benefited whites and men. This implies that as blacks have previously suffered from detrimental racist discrimination and wrongdoings, including slavery and not having the right to vote, they now deserve extra benefits to compensate. This is known as "reverse racism". It argues that as whites once set themselves apart from blacks and claimed privileges for themselves while denying them to others, now, on the basis of race, blacks are able to claim special status and reserving for themselves privileges they deny to others.The question then arises: Do two wrongs make a right? This is what affirmative action is condoning. It says that we are allowed to overlook suitable white candidates if a black candidate is available. This means that even if the white candidate were a better choice and more qualified for the job, the black person would be hired because of the past injustices his race has suffered. People say affirmative action is acceptable because it cures past discrimination (Keyes 1996). However, discrimination was not acceptable when blacks were the ones discriminated against, therefore it's not ok when whites are discriminated against (DeWit 1996).The answer is that two wrongs do not make a right - affirmative action does not make discrimination acceptable, just because it is now against whites instead of blacks.It has been said that job discrimination is grounded in prejudice and exclusion, whereas affirmative action is an effort to overcome prejudicial treatment through inclusion. The most effective way to cure society of exclusionary practices is to make...

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