Essay, Research Paper: Affirmative Action

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This paper was written to show how Affirmative Action took place. It deals with
the idea that diversity management does not decrease ethnic and gender tensions
while increasing profits, productivity and creativity, but it has served a
general purpose to aware people of different cultures, and establish a
justification to make everybody equal in opportunity not based in race, sex, nor
culture. It also includes a history of the Affirmative Action. The different
paths it has taken along the development it has undergone as time has gone by,
from its beginning as a Civil Rights Act to the Affirmative Action it is today.
Statement of Purpose The three members of the group are members of minorities
and the purpose is to acquaint other minorities with what could be encountered
in finding a job. Scope This paper contains arguments that stand for and against
Affirmative Action programs with cases to substantiate the claims. It also
contains a history of the Affirmative Action and its original purpose. Sources
and Methods The material needed for this paper was gathered from several on-line
resources and a book. Such sources were gathered by searching the Internet and
the School's Library. Report Organization The paper starts by giving the reader
the original purpose of the affirmative Action and its history. Then, it states
several pros and several cons supporting each with a case. At the end of the
paper a summary of the same is given together with the conclusions formed by the
writers of the paper. WHAT IS AFFIRMATIVE ACTION? Affirmative Action is the name
given to programs that try to correct past and ongoing discriminations against
women, racial minorities, and others in the work force and in education. The
principal goal of Affirmative Action is to create more diversity and equal
opportunities in jobs or schools that used to be all or mostly male, white, or
both. Affirmative Action programs have been in place only a little over thirty
years throughout Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. There are three
aspects of Affirmative Action. One, Affirmative Action in employment. It can
consist of posting and publicizing job notices in locations that are likely to
be seen by a wide rang e of people so that not only white people, but also
minorities can see that there are job opportunities that they can apply to (Casul,
1). Two, Affirmative Action in contracting. This consists of highly regulated
government agencies that help minorities to get jobs without haven to go through
discrimination because of their background (Casul, 1). Three, Affirmative Action
in education. This consists of various programs that schools have to be able to
provide minorities with the equal opportunity of an education (Casul, 1). THE
HISTORY OF AFFIRMATIVE ACTION Affirmative Action was started in 1965 with the
Executive order of President Lyndon B. Johnson. He stated that something else
had to be done to move beyond the non-discrimination laws that were already
enacted. At the same time something had to be done to enable women and
minorities to move up in their jobs. After President Johnson, President Nixon
implemented that same Executive order. With this done President Ford, a few
years later the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Vietnam Era Veterans
Readjustment Act of 1974. This acts assured that federal contractors had
Affirmative Action regulations in hiring or firing employees. Again, some years
later President Carter created a centralized office to handle all Affirmative
Action cases named the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs (OFCCP).
Now, during his presidency, President Clinton has articulated four standards for
all Affirmative Action programs: no quotas in theory or practice, no illegal
discrimination of any kind, no preferences for people not qualified, and as soon
as the program has succeeded it must be retired. THE CASE FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION
Since the day that thanks to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 African-American
civilians were able to attend school with everybody else; since the day that
there was no difference between a "white water fountain" and a
"black water fountain", the achievements reached with the help of an
Affirmative Action are evident. Affirmative Action has caused a debate and some
tension to rise in the American society (Lewis, 1). The paragraphs that follow
will be intended to show to the reader that an Affirmative Action can indeed
help the business environment in getting the most qualified people the job they
deserve, without their race, culture or sex prevent them from getting it.
Arguments For Affirmative Action Since the day that Affirmative Action programs
started to take place, minorities have been able to be treated fairly and have
been able to get job opportunities also. The next few paragraphs state several
arguments that point to the conclusion that an Affirmative Action is needed to
provide fairness in every aspect to minorities. The programs are needed because
there are still cases in which minorities and women earn less money than white
people and men regardless of the place they studied and got their degrees from.
They still earn less money regardless of the qualifications and past experience
they might have, to prove this look at any community. How many members of a
minority are in leadership positions? How many members of a minority are elected
into office? Affirmative Action programs are created to provide minorities with
the opportunity to be chosen in better jobs. Affirmative Action programs are
needed as a tool that the Federal government has to provide minorities with the
opportunity to be treated equally (LCCP, 4). These programs are needed because
some institutions in society are not ready to hire minorities just because they
are minorities unless they are forced to do so by law. As long as this is so
Affirmative Action programs should be preserved and improved (Rothstein, 1). THE
CASE AGAINST AFFIRMATIVE ACTION As time has gone by, and as discrimination has
been legally reduced to the point that it is easier tolerate with the help of
several Affirmative Action programs, the idea that such programs are not needed
anymore is rising. Together with the question of Affirmative Action being needed
or not debate has been rising too. Just as there are arguments that protect
Affirmative Action, there are arguments that reject it. The following paragraphs
will show the reader that an Affirmative Action is not needed anymore because of
the way society is handling such problem. Arguments Against Affirmative Action
After all the years that Affirmative Action programs have been taking place in
several institutions to provide and end to discrimination; there are some
arguments that point to the fact that such programs are not needed to provide
minorities with fairness. The next few paragraphs state what those arguments
are. The first argument is that people should be able to think what they want,
to establish their own values about everything. This holds true as long as they
do not deny anybody else's rights. The opponents of Affirmative Action programs
believe that "to be free is to be wrong" therefore racists should be
able to believe what they want and be against what they want too. They believe
that to be forced to do something they do not want to do could be harmful
instead of helpful to minorities. In other words racists are only fair when
forced to do so legally (Jemal, 1). The second argument is that the opponents of
such programs believe that to be forced to work with minorities against their
wills is not the solution to stop racism and discrimination. This only makes
discrimination stronger and immune to reason. Opposition believes that
Affirmative Action programs were created to free "White America" of
the feeling of guilt after the atrocities committed against minorities years
back and that they are no longer effective. Opposition believes that those times
have passed and therefore the programs are not needed. The third argument this
paper states is that Affirmative Action programs are nothing but quotas,
therefore the economic aspect of it becomes clear. This programs stigmatizes and
calls into question the credentials of the qualified minorities (Lewis, 2). They
force qualified people to surrender their jobs to less qualified people just
because they are not a minority. This understates that the economy of the
country is in risk of going down due to that fact. Just as Affirmative Action
helps minorities it harms the other people, because it takes away the jobs they
have worked so hard to get. HOW DOES THIS AFFECT BUSINESSES The way that
businesses are affected by the debate that takes place because of Affirmative
Action programs should be considered. The Business Industry can be affected in
two ways. One, businesses are helped by such programs because they can get
workers from other cultures to work with them and even be able to help the
company with ideas to expand, to create better products, etc. After all,
Americans do not only populate United States but it is a mixture of several
cultures that have to learn to live together. Businesses can also be negatively
affected if because of Affirmative Actions companies are forced to indeed hire
minority members that are not highly qualified for the job. The fact that these
programs are created to help minorities can result in harm for the people who
are not members of the minorities in question, and therefore would not be
elected to get the job because of their origin. This could definitely cause a
decrease in the industry's revenue and could cause a fall in the American
economy. Therefore in order to keep Affirmative Action programs in an equal
scale so that they do not affect industries they have to be carefully revised
and planned taking in consideration the men and women that are not members of
the minorities in question. SUMMARY The paragraphs above are an explanation of
the facts that are behind Affirmative Action, both for and against. Affirmative
Action like everything else that involves public opinion has created debate in
society, a debate that has to sides. One, the one that believes that these
programs have helped tremendously because they have given the opportunity to
many members of minorities to get better positions in the job they have and to
be treated equally like it should have always been. This side of the coin
believes that in order to stop every kind of discrimination Affirmative Action
programs should be kept and improved because without them this society would go
back to the times in which Negroes were slaves and not able to vote. On the
other hand the other side, which believes that Affirmative Action programs are
useless, has also strong arguments to believe so. This side believes that when
people are forced to hire people against their will it will only increase the
tension and in some cases the grudge held against minorities. This feelings can
grow to such point that are considered dangerous causing fatalities like the
cases that have been seen on television lately in which minority members are
killed just because of who they are. CONCLUSIONS After the research done for the
completion of this paper, the members of the group have gotten to the conclusion
that the world that would be faced by hem because of the fact that they are
minorities is not a very gentle one. They will be faced by all kinds of people.
People who are not against Affirmative Action programs and by some that are.
People should be aware of the fact that to achieve one's goals they have to do
all that they can to become the best in the things they do whether it is
education or job. The facts shown in this paper are a proof that society as well
as the law are still harsh on minorities even if law protects such people the
risk of being treated in a inadequate manner is there and very much alive.
RECOMMENDATIONS The opinion that the authors of the paper took is that
Affirmative Action does nothing wrong, but to help minorities in achieving that
liberty that has been wanted for many years back. Affirmative Action is the
reason why Mexican students are allowed to come to United sates looking for a
better place to become somebody in life by achieving a good education.
Affirmative Action should be kept an improved by government always to help
everybody everywhere in United States.
BibliographyCasul, Algeo. What Is Affirmative Action? http://www.wco.com/~acasul/algeo/aa.htm
23-Mar-1999. Pages 1-2 Jemal, Alison. What's Wrong with Affirmative Action and
Why It Must Go. http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/1320/affirmative_action
1997. Pages 1-4. Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The Case For Affirmative
Action. http://www.civilrights.org Last modified 21-Nov-1997. Pages 1-6 Lewis,
Brian. An Ethical and Practical Defense of Affirmative Action. http://www.princeton.edu/~blewis/action.htm
Pages 1-5 Rothstein, Richard. Can The Case Against Affirmative Action Stand Up
Against The Evidence? http://www.epn.org Last modified 15-Oct
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