Example research essay topic: Affirmative Action – 1,541 words

Affirmative action is one of the more recent andpopular civil rights policies that affect today’ssociety. Affirmative action can be described asnothing more than a lower educational standard forminorities. It has become quite clear thataffirmative action is unfair and unjust. However,in order to blend race, culture, and genders tocreate a stable and diverse society, someone hasto give. How can this be justified? Is there afirm right or wrong to affirmative action? Is thispolicy simply taking something from one person andgiving it to someone else, or is there more tothis policy, such as affirmative action being areward for years of oppression against those whomit affects? There have been many affirmativeaction plans and experiments attempted over theyears; however most have been largelyunsuccessful. These plans range from Title VII ofthe Civil Rights Act to the Rehabilitation Act of1973.In 1986 the Department of Labor published anexperiment entitled workforce 2000, whichinvestigated the number of the most recententrants into the working class from the yearsnineteen eighty-five to two thousand (Hyde 1).

“The analysis showed that of those who would benewly entering the workforce, only fifteen percentwould be white males”(Hyde 1). This courseapproaching prevalent accomplishment ofaffirmative action is the end outcome of anoperation that began in eighteen sixty-four withthe passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.(Hyde1) This act forbids discrimination on thegrounds of race, color, religion, and nationalorigin.

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Title VII was meant to serve as a vehiclefor affirmative action; however, in order toaddress the inequities of the nations employmentsystem, another method was needed. About one yearafter Title VII went into effect, PresidentJohnson required government contractors to takeaffirmative action in the employment ofminorities. With this idea, he introducedexecutive order 11246 on September twenty-fourthof nineteen sixty-five and order 113755 for womenshortly after.

(Hyde 2) In nineteen seventy-threethe Rehabilitation Act was introduced.This actenjoined federal contractors that have a contractexisting over two thousand five hundred employeesto take affirmative action in the employment ofpeople with handicaps. (Hyde 3) There is no doubtthat there will always be controversy withaffirmative action until an effective policy isput forth. Many citizens, organizations, andbusinesses seem to be slow to realize thatgovernment mandated race and sexually basedpreferences can only be used under extraordinarycircumstances.

There are many equal opportunityprograms, such as the NAACP, that are designed toprotect minoritys rights and privileges.Therefore, there is no need for affirmative actionto be used to its fullest extent in the worldtoday. This policy is wrong because it involvesreverse discrimination, promotes the hiring ofless qualified workers, and basically does morewrong than right.

A person should be hired for ajob position because this person is the mostqualified, not because this person is a minorityor a female.Suppose an employer hires a personbecause he or she is a minority; if anotherapplicant is more qualified for the job, then theemployer is the person being negatively affected.If it is a prejudice act for people todiscriminate against minorities, then what makesit right for people to discriminate against themajority? Either way, someone is beingdiscriminated against and affirmative action onlylegitimizes and legalizes it. In my personalopinion, affirmative action is a plan that canonly enhance racial issues. For instance, what ifsomeone loses out on the job position he or shedeserved because this person is a part of themajority? Would race, gender, or a handicap nothave anything to do with this injustice?Affirmative action has proven to be an injusticeto the majority of society. Over the years therehave been numerous cases in which this policy hasharmed a great deal of people in order toestablish so-called justice for an elite few.

Pasour explains one of the thousands of injusticesthat affirmative action has provided: Affirmativeaction promotes the hiring of less skilledworkers. It sometimes forces employers to choosethe best of the minority workers they can find,regardless of whether they have the required jobskills. For example, Duke University recentlyadopted a resolution requiring each department tohire at least one new black for a faculty positionby 1993.However, only six blacks received PH.D’sin mathematics in 1987 in all of the U.

S., castingdoubts as to whether it would be possible for eachdepartment to find a well-qualified black, muchless hire one (1). How does the Supreme Courtjustify that affirmative action is a legitimateplan that benefits the US? The Supreme Court hasdeveloped a test that supposedly provesaffirmative action to be useful. The case historyindicates that the Supreme Court will upholdaffirmative action efforts as long as it satisfiesthe affirmative action test(Hyde 6). As anaffirmative action plan is prepared yearly, it isput to a test containing three simple mandatoryobjectives. However, although the objectives arestrictly focused on helping the underrepresented,they do not seem to mention anything about notinterfering with the rest of the worldsadvancement in schools and work force. Affirmativeaction in college is worse, because a person notin a minority can be cheated out of theireducation he or she is seeking.

Therefore, theminority would again get the better job. Withoutsaying minorities should not get financial aid orscholarships, a person should receive them fortheir achievements, not because they are a certainrace, gender, or from a certain culture. Is thistruly necessary in order to proportionalize aschool to the extent that it is in exact ratio tothe different types of people in the US? If thereis a certain amount of people from one culture ina college and they are the most eligible, thenthat is fine. However, why take this privilegefrom someone that deserves it because someone elseis in the minority? Maybe affirmative action isnecessary in come cases, because anyone that isnot blind would have to admit that minorities areoften underrepresented or simply forgot about.

This policy is the only way that they can be getthe job or school that they deserve. However, ithas gone too far when many are punished so a fewcan jump in the place they want and may deserve,just not as much as others. Who can say that theywould not take advantage of the plan? The answeris very few, and the ones that do take advantageof it still no that it is just not the right wayto do things.It is hard to criticize the peoplewho do get into job position or school because ofaffirmative action, they are only doing what comesnatural. That is taking advantage of what they canbecause there are so many chances and the one youmiss could be the last one. The only thing thatshould be criticized is the plan and societyitself. It is seldom that affirmative actionbenefits society in todays society.

“Proponents ofaffirmative action view their opponents withsuspicion for good reason. They know not all oftheir opponents are racist; they also know thatmany of them are” (Guernsey 66).”The only thingthat will enable affirmative action-or similarlyany similarly controversial policy-to be debatedin an atmosphere free of suspicions is for thesurrounding social context to be decisivelytransformed” (Guernsey 66). The only way thataffirmative action could work would be in asociety with no diversity, which would mean thataffirmative action is needed. As long as there aredifferent cultures, there will always be naturalhostility between them.

As long as there isdiversity, affirmative action will only createmore hostility between these different cultures.Lets say that affirmative action gets its way;what will happen? Every business that hiressomeone only because of their culture or genderwill only be hurting themselves. This is becauseeveryone that were undergraduates or unqualifiedwill not do as good of a job as the ones that werenot hired because they were not a minority.Affirmative action can also be dangerous. This isbecause they are not only cheating themselves butcheating the ones who they serve.For instance, ifan architect firm hires a drafter based onaffirmative action instead of their skill, thenthey are hurting the people who get their draftingdone through their firm. The Supreme Courtconsiders Affirmative action to be a very seriousorder of business.

Their views of affirmativeaction are often very different than those ofpeople who get the worst end of the bargain. Manyof them only see that affirmative action is a goodplan to represent the underrepresented. If thiswere the only aspect of affirmative action, thenno one would be against it. However, somethingmust be blinding them of the thousands ofAmericans who are shafted habitually in order topacify a few.

Bibliography: Work Cited Guersey,JoAnn Bren. Affirmative action: A problem or aRemedy. Lerner publications Company, MinneapolisMN, 1993. Pasour, Earnest. Affirmative Action: ACounter Productive Policy. The Foundation forEconomic Education.(January 1989): 11Pars.

29Feb, 2000.



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