Affirmative Action | Teen Ink

Affirmative Action

January 9, 2010
By ramseyalazem BRONZE, Houston, Texas
ramseyalazem BRONZE, Houston, Texas
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Minorities have been singled out for centuries, and now with affirmative action, the playing field can finally be leveled. White men have ruled this country since the inception of the United States. They get better jobs, preference, and more money. Affirmative action is a necessity today because it can finally make things fair, the scale has been tipped for centuries in the favor of the white man and balance is now needed.

Many people describe affirmative action as reverse racism against the white man. In the article “Reverse Racism, or How the Pot Got to Call the Kettle Black” the author states “affirmative action…is no different from the policies that created the disadvantages in the first place is a travesty of reasoning” (Fish 2). This is a valid statement, but the white man has been favored for all throughout American history and things as they are, are flat out unequal. We need a change to level out these circumstances. Another thing that others would state is that minorities feel inferior if they get the job because of their race of gender. I believe that in this day and economy, if they get the job, they have the job and the money, resulting in happiness. Period.

Minorities mostly suffer from environmental inequality, and this plays a huge role in the educational department. Say that one person has to go to a terrible school, live in a horrid house, and struggle to make ends meet, chances are that they will not be on the same academic level as a person who has a nice, stable life. In many less privileged neighborhoods, education is not really a priority, so effort is not placed on making the education in the area any better. In “Savage Inequalities” the author, Jonathan Kozel tells of the time that he visited one of the top schools in East Saint Louis, “I visit in part, at the request of school officials who would like me to see education in the city at its very best. Even here, however, there is a disturbing sense that one has entered a backwater of America” (Kozel 8). A kid who lives under worse conditions than another could very well be as smart as the other, but would not have the chance to show it. There really are smart kids dealt the hand of poverty who have not been able to flourish. Affirmative action helps minorities like this get the education and opportunities that they deserve.

The Supreme Court has validated it, and other courts said affirmative action was legitimate. In “Equality for all No Discrimination” it declares “A large number of federal court decisions have agreed that the use of affirmative action programs to redress imbalances that are the result of previous discriminatory hiring practices is legitimate (lesson 19, 55). If the highest of American courts can validate affirmative action, it must be beneficial to America. Federal courts have ruled on its legitimacy. There are not seeking personal gain, they actually believe in it. Very highly educated people are put on the Supreme Court and they agree with affirmative action. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Lastly, with affirmative action, equal opportunity will someday be achieved. So many jobs have been given to the white man that the scale has been unfairly tipped. According to the Los Angeles Times, of the people employed in green industries and occupations, blacks and Latinos make up less than 30%. Black women fill just 1.5% of energy sector jobs, while Latinas occupy 1% and Asian women take up 0.7%. By giving more jobs to minorities, eventually the “playing field” will be even. Stanley Fish tells of a time he was nixed out of a job because he was a white male and was ok with it because he understood why, “lt is the difference between an unfairness that befalls one as the unintended effect of a policy rationally conceived and an unfairness that is pursued as an end in itself” (Fish 5) When everything is even, we can try and make new adjustments to give the job or the acceptance letter to the person most deserving.

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