Essay, Research Paper: Affirmative Action And Ethics

Legal Issues

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"Treating people differently because of the color of their skin used to be
called discrimination, but today it’s called affirmative action" (Amselle
177). Affirmative action today, is considered to be one of the most
controversial dilemma facing our equal status of individual rights. As we all
know, affirmative action was implemented with the idea and hope that America
would finally become truly equal. So far, it has lasted for thirty years and had
not solved any of our current problems concerning equal rights – it made
things worse. It was created with the intention of using reverse discrimination
to solve the problem of discrimination. In that, minority groups are being
chosen over the qualifications of other workers. This intention creates a
mainstream of problems. Some find it very unfair in using its practices, some
find it very helpful. The portion of the group that stands with affirmative
action, are usually in a situation in which they actually benefited from it.
They have their reasons as to why they support the action. Based on the general
public as to why they acknowledge affirmative action is usually based of the
fact that it establishes a situation where equal opportunity is distributed
among minorities for jobs. Prior to affirmative action – city, state, and
government jobs were almost completely closed off to minorities and women. In
our present day, minorities and women have gained a tremendous increase in the
application of jobs in those workplaces. Unlike the days before affirmative
action, where job opportunity was mostly given to the Americans, now jobs are
being given to minorities and women due to the quota system. Suppose that a
American male and a minority (Hispanic, Afro-American, woman, etc.) are applying
for the same job, the American male is much more qualified than the minority,
there! fore, logically, the American should be hired. Due to the quota system,
the company, in order to meet that quota, must hire the minority. Which is for
the better, because, in that sense, were are slowly but surely making some
advancements in solving the problem of racial inequality in America’s
workplace. Affirmative action is also very influential in the educational
system. Minority students who before never had a chance in being accepted into a
decent college, are now being accepted. They are given the chance to prove that,
with the help of affirmative action, they could, in turn, get more education and
end up with a decent job after graduating. All hopes are to end racism in school
campuses, to have diversity between students. The constitution says that we the
people of the United States of America are all created equal. Therefore, since
that we are all equal, shouldn’t we all have the same opportunity as everyone
else. Equal opportunity is achieved when people of lower standards in life are
given chances to succeed in life. To start to achieve a better life, one must
have proper education, because education is the key to our future. Therefore,
though education, minorities must be given the chance to get a good start at
securing their future. Critics of affirmative action argue that this quota is
unfair. White males are being forced to pay a price that their ancestors have
done wrong in the past. Knowingly that it was a long time ago, and that now, it
is a dawn of a new era. White males should not be given this burden of something
that their ancestors have done. While the minorities enjoy the benefits such as
jobs and education. Especially, to give favor to males or to females, to whites,
to blacks or to persons of any color because of their sex or color is morally
wrong because doing so is intrinsically unfair. Color, nationality, sex are not
attributes that entitle anyone to more (or less) of the good thing of life, or
to any special favor (or disfavor). When in the past whites or males did receive
such preference that was deeply wrong; it is no less wrong when the colors or
sexes are reversed. (Cohen 183) In the workplace, critics argue that because of
affirmative action, now they are being treated unequally. Jobs in which they are
more likely to succeed in are, instead, being passed down to less qualified
minorities. Not only does this affect the potential white employees, but the
employer also has to suffer this condition. Employers are being asked to hire
less qualified worker and sometimes for more money too. In concern with
education, instead of the white males being accepted into colleges, minorities
have taken their role of being the student. White males are displeased because
through out their years in school, they have been struggling to get good grades
in hopes that in the future they would be accepted to the college of their
choice. To have that taken away from them, especially from the minorities who do
not rank as high in academic achievements, is probably one of the most
disappointing things that could happen to them. From looking at the educational
standpoint, not only are the quality students being filtered out, quality
teachers are also being filter out. "Less formally, but quite insistently,
affirmative action is practiced by many universities in selecting and promoting
black and Hispanic faculty members" (Van Den Haag 225). Highly qualified
and educated teachers are being replaced by minority teachers. That then leads
to the question of self-esteem. Are the ones who benefited from affirmative
action really satisfied knowing that they got a certain job or admittance into a
selective university was due to a quota system? Of course, most of them are
aware of that, and they liked how it turn out. Although, one must wonder, from
time to time, what other people are thinking about them or, at least, suspect
how they are doing in accordance with the other students or colleagues. The
damages that they incur to esteem is unavoidable. Affirmative action is a
subject that is very controversial. There are much more pros and cons dealing
with this issue that I did not touch. However, from reading what I have written
down, the main points are pretty much covered. Therefore, I can give you an
analysis on how I feel about this subject. Before this assignment, I was for
affirmative action. It has really helped many minority members achieve success.
For instance, my friend’s mom, she is presently divorced and running her own
air conditioning business. Without the help of affirmative action, she would be
out of work. Affirmative action gives her certain amount of customers, in order
to survive in this world because a lady running her own business is really hard
to achieve without some kind of help.
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