Affirmative Action

.. Aguilar 1. Affirmative action should be eliminated (Sadler 70). Affirmative action does not solve discrimination problems; on the contrary, it harms those the program is meant help. The program divides society into two groups based on ethnicity; this completely defies the effort to have a color-blind America (where society does not see ethnicity or a color difference in any person).

Disguised as an equal opportunity program affirmative action discriminates against non-minorities. Affirmative action has its affects in collegiate admissions and employment, however, remains more controversial in college admissions. Many groups protest the abolishment of affirmative action for sake of higher minority student admissions into prestigious universities; however, protesters fail to view that minority drop-out Rates are nearly fifty percent higher than whites. In employment many unqualified applicants are hired solely in the fact that they are members of a minority group. The Womens Movement as well as the Civil Rights movement has been negatively affected by affirmative action, all that Martin Luther King Jr.

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worked and fought for is being denied by affirmative action. I intend to show that affirmative action and any similar programs must not have any place in todays society, this program and any like it should remain out use. Affirmative action was first put into use during the 1960s. The Civil Rights movement of 1964 emphasized the program. During that era discrimination among minorities and women was extremely high and there were many barriers. Affirmative action required employers to hire regardless of race, the affirmative action of today has changed, and employers now hire minorities on the fact that they are Aguilar 2.

minorities. This was not John F. Kennedys intent when he began the program in 1961. The main goal of affirmative action was to give minorities and women an equal opportunity at employment and in collegiate admissions, in present time, the program gives minorities and women an unfair advantage. The program was brought into effect ratios of employment and college admissions between whites and blacks were not corresponding with population.

A second reason affirmative action was activated was to help disadvantaged minorities, those with insufficient financial funds, many could not afford a better education and therefore are at a disadvantaged for competition. Though it became a controversial issue, affirmative action was ousted in the 1996 ballot. The program was officially removed November 5, 1996 by proposition 209. Proposition 209 was lead by Californians Against Discrimination and Preferences (CADAP). CADAP was founded August 1994.

Through out the 1960s and 1970s women feminists fought to be treated equally. The feminists did not want special treatment nor did the feminists want to be treated as inferior to men. Affirmative action denies women the dream that early feminist had worked hard for, the program insists on treating women as inferior by giving them special treatment. Again the subject of ratios appears, according to population the ratios of women in employed positions do not match. The goal of equal treatment in the work force is never to guarantee women a fixed percentage, a woman can do and should do anything she desires, however, she must earn her position and not rely on a program that has racial and gender preferences.

By demanding real, not rigged, competition for jobs, Aguilar 3. promotions, or admission to academic institution women will be fulfilling the true goal of early feminist (Sadler 69). Why would any self-respecting woman prefer a job where she ponders if was hired because of some quota? Surely she would rather know she obtained the position based on her skill and merit. Racial preference programs are not the best method of overcome barriers that keep colored people out of prestigious positions, these are indirect ways that insult the capability and potential of minorities; these programs simply add to the barriers. Affirmative action was and is an exception to the constitution, because rather than treating people equally it treats minorities more favorably than others (BernBach 102). What happened to all men are created equal? The criteria of employment should not be based on color, it first should be getting the most qualified person for the job, and second, rewarding the most merited candidate based on job-relevant qualifications (Singer 87).

How can one reward an unqualified candidate? Affirmative action now promotes rewarding undeserving candidates. Positions and promotions are given on race rather than merit. Only by following this job-relevant criterion can employers ensure the highest possible productivity from their faculty. The great Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. once gave a famous speech titled I Have A Dream. Doctor King spoke my children will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character Affirmative action is doing the opposite of what Doctor King wanted. Minorities are not obtaining employment or college admission because of their character, but because of the color of Aguilar 4.

their skin. Employers are judging minorities job positions only by the color of their skin. Racial preference is an obscure form of racism and discrimination, and the government should not any part in preferring certain racial groups. Affirmative action promotes reverse discrimination. Giving the job positions to less qualified candidates is favoritism; this harms those who should who be obtaining the job position.

Non-minorities also have families to feed, clothe, and shelter. A more dedicated person who worked hard in his education would lose a position to a minority that slipped into the position undeservingly. Affirmative action forces employers to hire convicted felons; one town for example was forced to hire a convicted murderer on its police force. The criteria on a held upon a police officer candidate is extremely strict, recruiters check the background of a candidate for any blemish, the background check goes as far as high school records and neighbors, yet a murderer gets passed the regulations and standards. Favoritism of this sort does nothing but imply that reverse discrimination and special treatment towards minorities is admissible, this is not equal opportunity. Highly merited black professionals have become victims of affirmative action.

People of color do not need special treatment; people of color need equal treatment. Affirmative action assumes and implies that blacks are inferior to whites, that blacks need to be treated special just to have a chance. The program lowers standards and causes a minority to question his/her capabilities and skills. Blacks have proven to be equal with whites for example in the army, 8,000 blacks are commissioned officers, thats Aguilar 5. twelve percent of all generals (Megerson 7). One of highest ranked General, Colin Powell is black and did not use affirmative action to obtain his position and rank.

Powell obtained position and rank through work and discipline. General Powell had to work and dedicate himself because affirmative action does not exist in the army or any military branch in the United States. The goal being proved by black professionals is that blacks can compete at any level with anybody without preferences. Black professionals do not need to be considered the best blacks competing for black slots. Affirmative action assumes not only minorities are inferior but that are incapable of success, the program undermines the achievements of blacks and other minorities, implying that their positions were handed to them rather than being earned. Affirmative action in collegiate admissions has proven to be one of the most controversial issues of the era. In this area both minorities and non-minorities are discriminated against, when affirmative action was in use the admissions board was divided into two groups one for minorities and another for non-minorities, standards for minorities were lowered; again equality fails to be shown.

In the University of California Berkley the average SAT score for blacks was 947, while whites had an average score of 1235 (Megerson 14). In the same university forty-two percent of blacks dropout, compared to the sixteen percent dropout rate for whites (Mergerson 15). How can the government help blacks when they do not help themselves and apply themselves like they should? Life is a competition (Curry 171). Minorities will be at a disadvantage if standards are lowered, in the real world one either has the skill to accomplish the job or Aguilar 6. doesnt.

When programs like affirmative allow minorities to slide through the cracks that affirmative action has made and places minorities at a disadvantage to compete in society. Enforcing racial diversity in an academic institution does not enhance the value of education nor contribute to success of a student. The government alone cannot achieve success for the students, parents have a responsibility to prepare their children on reliance on themselves and their merit because universities seek to educate those likely to become leaders, which enforces merit rather than race. Race does not make one a good leader nor is it a factor of creating a good leader, but rather merit and self-reliance are. Success and acceptance is all based in the personal responsibility one puts forth, not quotas. Policies such as affirmative action, impose and assume that race is, itself, a flaw, disadvantage, and that the disadvantage justifies a reason for racial preference.

In athletics, in spite of past discrimination blacks have excelled, not because standards were lowered but because barriers were eliminated (Curry 115). Blacks set their standards high in sports and thats why blacks dominate in athletics. When youths apply the same effort in academics the results are the same; all minorities and non-minorities have the same opportunities, some simply work harder for what they desire. Effective ways to deal with discrimination can be inspired by early African-American ancestors. They understood that their most powerful response lay not in demands made of whites, but in their own industrious mutual effort, and faith-inspired perseverance (Curry 177). This sort of mentality has increased black capita by 300 percent during Aguilar 7.

the first half of the century after freedom was obtained (Curry 117). A victim mentality has been not only demeaning but dangerous for the young people who have taken this message to heart (Curry 116) The inferior-imposing programs such as affirmative action create the victim mentality, which contradicts and insults the ancestor mentality of perseverance. Through the years perseverance has resulted in a decrease of illiteracy from eighty percent to forty-five percent, black newspapers increased from two to 154, black attorneys increased from two to 250, black physicians increased from three to 749 (Curry 117). All these accomplishments were achieved under the Jim Crow laws (laws, practices or institutions that resulted from segregation of blacks from whites) which demonstrate the power and potential of perseverance. The people from this exemplary generation have proven that even with limitations and no special treatment they can achieve anything.

In the present day, racial barriers and limitations have been removed and still minorities fail to compare with early ancestors. What cannot be stressed enough is effort. All it takes to achieve is to put the same effort in academics like minorities do in other things, for example sports. This type of effort can make all the difference in the black and the Hispanic society. Affirmative action has a huge negative impact on our economy, affirmative action is costly, futile, and worst of all destroys the legitimacy of minorities.

In the business world the main concern of an employer should be to hire personnel that will increase productivity, the concern should not de to hire to have a racially diverse faculty. How can the most effective person for the job be hired if the hiring is done on Aguilar 8. race rather than merit? The best way increase productivity and the economy is to hire on merit. Hiring on something other than merit may result in economic hardship and a less qualified staff. If minorities have a qualified resume` and are available, they will meet the criteria of the employer.

Grants and scholarship are wasted among the irresponsible and unprepared minorities. The drop out rate of minorities in academic institutions is double and in some cases nearly the triple than that of non-minorities. These minorities use the funds and soon drop out; funds that wasted should go to financially challenged person no matter what the race is. Funds used to support affirmative action are futile and are wasted funds. The main problem for minorities is bad education facilities and resources; urban schools are below average, and unfortunately generally occupied by minorities.

This is where the funds should go to, to repair the urban education facilities and improve resources; the government should attack the root of the problem, which is inferior teaching institutions. It is better to treat the disease itself, than to discriminate, to treat the symptoms. Affirmative action is simply out of place in todays society, where the problems of women and minorities are economics as opposed to social (unknown author 1). Giving unqualified minorities employment simply treats the symptoms, hundreds of inner-city schools are in horrible shape and this strikes a hard blow to the possible opportunities of the dominate minority population in the inner-city area who attend these inferior academic institutions. Lack of a competitive education adds to the disease, many of which minorities suffer from. Aguilar 9.

Women also suffer hardship because of economics. Many women leave their jobs in pursuit of a family. Regardless of gender, when a woman or man leaves the work force for an extended period of time for family he/she falls extremely behind in the corporate ladder. Recovery from this extended leave in many cases proves to be impossible to recover from. In the majority of cases, beginning a family is choice that both males and females make.

Falling behind in the business world is an eventual consequence, and a sacrifice to beginning a family. There have been numerous cases and incidents where affirmative action and similar programs have made people victims. Janice Camarena, a widowed mother of three young children signed up for an English class freshman class at San Bernardino Valley College, however, she was rejected immediately because the class she applied was reserved only for African-American students (Curry 169). This is a case of reverse discrimination, and returns our present to the past, where Jim Crow laws were still in effect; separating the races, I fail to see the color-blind attempt in this incident. How can protesters say, there are no victims of reverse discrimination (Curry 169).

Non-minorities are being discriminated against; an example is the Reagents of the University of California versus Bakke (Singer 32). The University of Davis in California saved 16 of a hundred slots for low merited minorities, Bakke was not admitted under less qualified candidates. Bakke challenged with reverse discrimination and won the case. Still, slots for low- merited minorities should not exist, if the minorities did not put the effort or even meet the standards they should not be considered. Aguilar 10.

Reverse discrimination cases also reach out into employment. Firefighters versus the City of Cleveland demonstrate promotion discrimination (Singer 36). Preferential treatment for promotion decisions resulted in unqualified minorities getting the promotion. Clearly this is discrimination, the Supreme Court, however, ruled it constitutional, the discrimination was allowed to continue. Even when minorities commit crimes in a job position they are treated preferably under affirmative action mentality.

Example, McDonald versus Santa Fe Transportation Company, three employers were found guilty of stealing company merchandise, two of the men were fired but the black individual retained his position (Singer 30). The black individual was as guilty as the rest but kept his job, the court, however, ruled this discrimination and the employee was fired. Not only does reverse discrimination associate with race but gender as well. In Johnson versus the Transportation Agency in Santa Clara, a male was passed over a promotion to a woman with lower test scores (Singer 37). The discrimination follows to government programs such as the Small Business Administration (SBA) which was founded to help socially and economically disadvantaged small business owners. Although the program is to help anyone regardless of race or gender, it deals more exclusively with minorities which gives non-minorities the back seat, the acceptance of white females is slim even though the program began in the 1970s.

Jane Fagan left her abusive and alcoholic husband and took her four young children (Mergerson 15). Her husband had beat her so bad it resulted in Janes permanent disability. Jane Fagan ended up on welfare, the SBA said she had not suffered any social Aguilar 11. disadvantage. The cases presented show the racial preference and reverse discrimination that affirmative action is promoting. Racial preferences are founded on the proposition that the achievements of their beneficiaries would be fewer if the preferences did not exist (Sadler 62). Racial preferences are insulting to all minorities; no minority is inferior to any white, and neither a female inferior to any man.

Only by eliminating race-based preferences can America reach the ideas set forth by Martin Luther King Jr. (unknown author 1). Doctor King hated for his children to be judged for any reason because of the color of their skin instead of their character. Doctor Kings dream will remain so, a dream, as long as affirmative action has supporters attempting to reactivate the program and employers following its ideas. Affirmative action should now help any financially challenged individual; race should not be an issue. Minorities, knowing that they have been admitted to a selective institution with lower test scores and grades than their white classmates may demoralize them as well.

The negative affects of affirmative action are numerous and drastic. In employment hiring a less qualified minority because of racial preference will gradually pick away at our economy. In collegiate admissions minorities who are in a lower class will find it hard to keep up because they came from a low level and jump in over their heads to a higher level, which increases drop out rates. Affirmative action is not helping the needful, which should be people with a financial disadvantage, some beneficiaries of this policy came from or have middle to upper-class income. In 1989 seventeen percent of Hispanic freshman and fourteen percent of black freshman who Aguilar 12.

entered the University of California at Berkeley had a house hold income of 75,000 and up (Curry 112). These are not to be the beneficiaries of affirmative action. Affirmative action should consider class rather than race, equal opportunity for all even if one is from a low family income. Almost every selective institution is committed to the principle that talented students from all income groups should be able to attend regardless of ability to pay the tuition (Rosenfeld 270). Universities are interested in potential leaders and achievers, their origin and economic status should be irrelevant.

But with fundamental reform for K-12 grades of inner-city schools all races can succeed on their merits. Since American society has not yet reached the goal of being color-blind the laws must substitute for it; therefore equal opportunity must be enforced. The laws must also forbid the courts and employers from encouraging the use of racial preferences and quotas that involve race, sex, color, religion, or national origin. Programs such as that at the University of Maryland, the Academic Achievement Program (AAP) should be placed nation wide. The AAP program offers 120 positions for any color student with low income.

AAP is open to minorities and non-minorities; most importantly it helps financially disadvantaged youths. These are the types of programs that should be interjected into colleges. In my conducted survey ten out of ten minorities agreed that affirmative action contradicts the belief of Martin Luther King Jr. to judge by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Nine out of ten minorities agree that affirmative action and similar programs assume that minorities are inferior. Seven out of ten non-minorities agreed that affirmative action contradicts the belief of Martin Luther Aguilar 13.

King Jr. to judge by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. These results show that minorities do not want affirmative action, we want to be treated as equals not people that need special treatment; non-minorities as well disagree with the program. To be equal, minorities need ameliorate schools; this is where funds should be directed. Affirmative action is outdated, minorities no longer need racial preference programs; affirmative action was good its time, however, it has out lived its usefulness and must be abolished. Social Issues Essays.