Affirmative Action

January 10, 2010
By Anonymous

Affirmative Action
Some years ago a story circulated about a teacher who introduced a game to her high school class. She presented each student with an envelope; half the students had tickets, the other half have blank envelopes. Those with tickets were “ins”; those with blank envelope were “outs”. The “ins” received special privileges, attention, and praise, while the “outs” were treated as nonexistent beings. The point of the game was to demonstrate an object lesson in discrimination. It worked! The students became aware, at least partially, of the pain caused by prejudice. However, on a large scale racism and discrimination continue to plague our society and foster inequality to minority groups. A major portion of discrimination involves the ability of minorities to achieve quality education and decent, respectable jobs. Since discrimination prevents this advancement, affirmative action is needed to correct the balance.

Affirmative action levels the playing field. In the past racism has brought inequality for minorities and blacks, in particular. Affirmative action tries to give minorities a more competitive chance because “ the skills that make for success are nurtured by institutions and cultural practices from which the disadvantaged minority has been systematically excluded.” The minorities as such have from the beginning have the disadvantage, being poor and lacking proper educational facilities. This means that all the benefits of our society are going to the majority, primarily the rich and elite, and that minorities, African Americans in general, are being excluded. They have not had the right facilities and whites do not the proper facilities due to discrimination so they need a little help from Affirmative action to give them an equal chance with the rest of the United States population. This action will bring equality because “white students have greater ‘merits’ or because we have a segregated school system”(Pryse) so blacks need a boost. The educational system with which we have is only for whites and not for minorities, because most of the money is spent on the whites and they can afford better facilities and teachers. To be be judged on their merits would also be unfair because the blacks have less merits. They originally started out as slaves, and now that they have freedom they are provided with little of the same benefits that should be theirs. Also schools are not mixed so their will be equal chance; they are segregated mostly for an all white school with a few minorities and an all minority school with all blacks, the white school having all the money and benefits while the minority school has little if any of the same advantages. Affirmative Action is needed so that minorities can be given a more equal chance to compete with the over advantaged whites.

Affirmative action is needed to give minorities preference since past discrimination has robbed them of the same abilities of white males. They have been through history deprived of education and even freedom and so this action is needed to provide help for those that were ravaged by history. In the “past discrimination has produced a high degree of correlation. As racial minorities were systematically excluded from better paying, more prestigious jobs” they were impoverished and lacked a means of getting out of such a predicament. They were excluded from jobs based upon race and had no education because of past injustices to back them up. They were meaning that by affirmative action they could have a chance to improve their lives with better-paid jobs. Affirmative action “neutralizes the competitive disadvantages with which women and minorities are currently burdened when they compete with white males” giving them equal chances to succeed. Affirmative action s not giving them advantages over whites it is giving them an advantage so as to equal chances as with white males. This means that while white males may have the benefits of a better history, education, and wealth it can be equaled by women and minorities who lack such advantages with the help of affirmative action until such preference of whites is not need and such affirmative action is not need.

Affirmative action is in fact reverse racism. It gives an unequal advantage to the minorities and is discriminating white males. It gives minorities preference, not based on merit or accomplishments, but rather on a “non-relevant chararacteristic-race or sex-to make employment decisions and this violates justice by violating the principals of equality and of equal opportunity”(). This would be what people against affirmative action would say but it is flawed. How can it be democratic and give everybody equal chances based on merit if the educational system that has been established gives unfair advantages and favor to white males already. Notwithstanding, that whites already gain entry based on legacy far more the affirmative action and based upon their socioeconomic standing is regardless of merit. The fact is that based on the merit argument is saying that the playing field is equal. However, if the people are characters than the field is already tilted to the white side, and mostly the males, and the all other characters such as the blacks and other minorities get left out and in the long run lose. For whites racism was to set themselves apart and disadvantage others while giving themselves advantage, which they succeeded magnificently, while for the minorities it is the result of these actions to make themselves on an equal level again.

As we have seen with the lesson of our most brilliant teacher discrimination and racism are still alive today as we have seen in the past and as such many minorities are disadvantaged. No argument can say that there is no disadvantage and since there is there needs to be something done to level the field once more. Affirmative action is needed. We need it more than ever so to give all equal chance for success in our free nation.

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