Saturday, September 21, 2019
Affirmative Action Essay Example for Free
Affirmative Action Essay Affirmative Action has remained one of the most controversial social issues of our time. Aggressive non-discrimination was the original intention, but it soon became clear that merely promising not to discriminate would have little effect on the racial bias in our society. My own opinion was first formed by my father and influenced by the conservative environment in which I lived. Since then, I have experienced a much broader view of American society. I have heard many different opinions on affirmative action from all aspects of our culture and I have changed my mind. The roots of affirmative action can be traced back to the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, where legislation redefined public and private behavior. The act states that to discriminate in private is legal, but anything regarding business or public discrimination is illegal (Affirmative 13). There are two instances when opposing affirmative action might seem the wrong thing to do. First, the nobility of the cause to help others. Second, affirmative action was a great starter for equality in the work place. The case against affirmative action ests heavily on myth and misunderstanding, and following illustrates that an absence of affirmative action in todays society will only reinforce racial injustice. Myth 1: The only way to create a color-blind society is to adopt color-blind policies. Although this statement sounds unthinkingly possible, the reality is that colorblind policies often put racial minorities at a disadvantage. For instance, color-blind seniority system tends to protect white workers against job layoffs, because senior employees are usually white (Ezorsky, 1991). Myth 2: Affirmative action has not succeeded in increasing female and minority representation. Several studies have documented important gains in racial and gender equality as a direct result of affirmative action (Bowen Bok, 1998; Murrell Jones, 1996). For example, affirmative action has helped five million minorities and six million whites and minority women to be promoted in the workplace. The effect of the affirmative action program previously documented show important gains in racial and gender equality according to, Roger Clegg of the Academic Search Premier. America is known as the land of opportunity. However, it became evident that opportunity was only available to white men. Later, laws were passed to ensure equal opportunity regardless of race, sex, and religion. These affirmative action laws were set in place by our government with the intent of correcting the social evil known as prejudice; but in doing so, they created a monster. Affirmative action has become an ineffective, outdated, and socially harmful policy that is weakening our great nation. Should Affirmative Action be mended or ended? Affirmative action is an attempt to correct unequal distribution of benefits (status, income and wealth, power and authority,) and burdens associated with ethnic and gender differences. When we become citizens of this nation, at birth or otherwise, we get a warranty. That warranty is supposed to be honored by every government franchise in every village and hamlet of this nation. It is non transferable, and it is good for the life of the vehicle. We are guaranteed the right to vote, the right to due process; the right to be free, not to be enslaved, as long as we conduct ourselves in accordance with the laws of our nation; and the right to equal treatment under the law, regardless of our race, color, sex, religion national origin. These are rights which attach to us as individuals, not as members of a group. Affirmative action has its roots in that passion for fairness. When President Lyndon Johnson explained affirmative action to the nation, it is significant that he said, You cant bring a man to the starting line who has been hobbled by chains and expect him to run the race competitively. Fairness dictated that the nation pursue affirmative action to compensate black Americans for the wrong that had been done. Affirmative action was a technique for jump-starting the process of integrating black Americans into the fabric of American society, for changing the culture of America from an exclusive society into an inclusive one. I will never abandon my faith that America can become Ronald Reagans shining city on the hill, a society in which a persons gender or race or ethnic background are irrelevant in the transactions of their government. Let us not mourn the death of affirmative action. Instead, let us proclaim our belief that the spirit of equal opportunity, which affirmative action engendered, has become a permanent fixture of Americas social, economic, and political landscape. Let us have faith in our own sense of fair play and keep affirmative action alive. Efficiency is important to the success of any machine, including economic machines. Affirmative action increases diversity, but it does so at a cost. The cost is that it promotes racism indirectly by focusing on differences. I have a better idea. The main goal behind affirmative action is to promote unity and efficiency. So the question is what is the best way to do that? One way, is to simply provide unity incentives. Instead of punishing qualified white males, we should instead provide incentives to white males to promote diversity and unity. The best way to do this is to use the tax system. Greater unity should mean lower taxes, meaning tax incentives to anyone who promotes unity. The more women you hire, the lower your taxes. The more minorities you hire, the lower your taxes. If your business is diverse according to guidelines, you should actually be able to earn money for promoting diversity and unity. Affirmative action is wrong; you should not punish qualified employees. You should instead reward shareholders, CEOs, and the corporation itself for doing what is rational, and in the best interest of the bottom line. So one replacement for affirmative action could be unity tax deductions. Another replacement for affirmative action could be unity credits, where individuals who choose to run their business or give to charities which promote unity, can actually receive credits for doing so and abolish affirmative action. That great American pastimeÃ¢â¬âbaseballÃ¢â¬âis a reminder of the intensity of our passion for fairness as we encourage the crowd to kill the umpire if he makes what we consider an unfair call. As we drive home at the end of the day, our hands gripping the steering wheel, our bumper kissing the one ahead, when to our right a vehicle speeds along the curb and merges ahead of us at the moment when an opening appears, our passion for fairness surfaces. The protrusion of one of our fingers signals our belief that one of the rules of fairness has been violated. In every sport I can think ofÃ¢â¬âbaseball, basketball, football, tennisÃ¢â¬âone is expected to play between the white lines. To do otherwise is unfair and carries a penalty. The problem with affirmative action is that it singles out a particular ethnic subsection of the lower class, while leaving many deserving people behind solely because of their heritage. Instead, this society should focus on raising the bar for all members of the lower and middle class who wish to educate themselves and better their economic, intellectual and cultural positions in life. We should do this by providing more lower class young adults of all colors and creeds with inexpensive higher education. I strongly believe that only when affirmative action is unnecessary and outmoded should we abolish it. We should not destroy our current solution without creating a newer, better one. In conclusion, affirmative action policies, as they exist right now, are ineffective, outdated, hypocritical, and harmful. On the other hand, affirmative action is the best thing since peanut butter, where all people of all race can enjoy a good sandwich. Though all of these may be argued well by both sides, this last point is indisputable. Affirmative Action, no matter how it is explained, rationalized, justified, or disguised, will still be the center of social issues in our time and the time to come.