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Argumentative Essay Affirmative Action


The fact that white people are not admitted, due to extra points that black students received by affirmative action's rule, represents a reverse discrimination because white students also are entitled to equal treatment, based on meritocracy. Theoretically, affirmative action was introduced in order to overcome past discrimination and make the society more equal. Even though, removing racial and ethnic considerations from the admission process would have a devastating impact on the number of African-American students who would be admitted to university, and above all to the law schools, the combination of admission test scores and grade point averages, supplemented by consideration of race, is a discriminatory method for deciding whether or not to admit a student and, above all for evaluating his knowledge. The criteria for admission should be based on merit, on who really deserves to be admitted.

Affirmative action implicates constitutional rights. In fact, the Fourteenth Amendment, which declares that states must give all people “equal protection of the laws” makes race an impermissible factor in state university selection practices. How can we conciliate the reality of affirmative action as it is actually practiced with the version that it is a race-based preference, which was introduced in order to overcome past discrimination? When minority and under qualified groups are preferred it represents a discrimination and, in particular, a reverse discrimination against white people. In fact, the argument that the plaintiff's attorney who represented the white students (Grutter v. Bollinger and Gratz v. Bollinger) in the Michigan's law school case said his clients have a “personal right” not to have their race count against them.

There are educational and cultural diversities that influence the pedagogical benefits. The admission policies based on affirmative action has his impact not only in the office of admission, but in all students' environment. Even though American society is a multiethnic reality, we have to realize that different cultures in the same classroom not always can produce a high educational value if there is not the same level of knowledge. In fact, the racial balance we find in work world is the result of a positive economic process, and it is not a result of a pre-fixed quota as in university admission, which could negatively impact the pedagogical purpose. It is not the affirmative action the way for contributing to the entire community's future, but the way is to allow only people with the same intellectual background to contribute together to a better society. For example, in the case that both white and black students are admitted, affirmative action does not always represent a real help during the black student's university career. In fact could be very hard for the minority applicants to fill the gap with other students due to different educational background of knowledge. It is a frustrating situation because minorities realize how hard is to be in a class where the level of students' learning it is different, and where there are students who waist their time to wait for the others that need more time to understand, due to their different cultures. As a result, theoretical equal opportunities do not mean racial integration, and as soon as students have the possibility they prefer to have dinner, to sleep, to live with people of his race.

Moreover, a generic racial preference could be considered discrimination too. It is doubtful that affirmative action can ever be justified as compensation, because compensation is a matter of individual, not group, entitlement, and allowing black applicants to have preference now cannot compensate generations of blacks who suffered injustice in the past. We have to rejected preferences designed to compensate for the effects of unspecified historic or social discrimination. To remedy past discrimination, a state must identify with "particularity" the discrimination to be remedied, and design the preference to benefit only those persons who were discriminated against and only to the degree necessary to counteract the effect of the discrimination.

American Universities give the students the opportunity to receive a high education, but on the other hand these universities are the most expensive. If the purpose were to increase the intellectual level of people and to give a competitive education for the benefit of the whole community, the race-preference would not be very helpful. The tuition still remains extremely expensive, and a more objective system could be based on the parent's income. Students, whites or blacks, who have the same capacities, could be admitted at university, and their tuition would be in percentage on their parent's income, without any relevance of their race.

Everyone would like to be successful in his life, but that it is a result of a huge hard work. It is a reverse discrimination to give to the minorities groups more possibilities than other people to succeed in their lives. The argument that race no longer matters is a signal that it is time to change to a more objective method of university admission. Therefore, the system that most American universities use to screen candidates for admission demands to be changed and affirmative action should be ended in university admission. If university really wants to give equal opportunities why does it not decide the amount of tuition based on the parents' income, in order to allow that even the poorer student, white or black does not matter, could study, instead of using affirmative action.

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Free Affirmative Action Essays - Affirmative Action is Discrimination

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Affirmative Action is Discrimination

 

Affirmative action is a plan designed to end discrimination by guaranteeing

minorities will be hired, regardless of race or gender.  While our country hires

such groups based upon these guarantees, the qualifications of such people are

occasionally overlooked.  Many believe that affirmative action is a very

effective plan; however, the population which opposes such action frequently

includes people of various minorities, as well as many others who have been

wronged by this plan   In several cases, this plan causes minorities to be

perceived as being under-qualified when hired; in addition, it also causes a new

minority, the white male. Our government must acknowledge the fact that

affirmative action is not putting an end to discrimination; in all actuality,

this plan has succeeded in creating new minorities, and more reasons for

discrimination. Affirmative action frequently causes qualified employees to be

looked down upon because some believe them to be "affirmative action hires".

Two of my female relatives are currently on the police force; as a result, I

have encountered many discriminatory comments pertaining to their positions.

The first remark I usually receive suggests that they were hired for their

position solely based on gender.  Another comment which I usually receive is,

"Well, being a woman probably didn't hurt their resume." Both of my relatives

are very good at their jobs; one was even on the popular television show, Cops.

Neither of them are "wimps", yet most males look down upon them as being hired

because of affirmative action. This type of criticism is received by many

minorities holding good jobs, whether they are qualified or not.  To quote

William Reynolds, assistant attorney general in the civil rights division:

 

        In many cases, affirmative action takes away from legitimate

        minority success. People look at the black banker

        downtown who has made it on his own and say, "He got his

        job because of affirmative action." Or, an employer hires a

        few talented minority people who would have succeeded

        anyway and says, "Those are my affirmative-action hires."

        (26)

 

In this particular case, affirmative action may, or may not, have been the

reason for hiring, yet that is what most perceive.

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  People of any race or gender

should be able to hold a job where their colleagues respect them as equals, not

as "affirmative-action hires".

 

My cousin, Christine, has also added to my knowledge on how well affirmative

action works at the hospital where she works.  One of the administrators

happened to be a black male--who was very qualified for his position--yet most

of the staff accused him of being promoted because of his race. This affected

his morality to such an extent that he resigned shortly after his promotion.

Another black female--who was hired because of her race and gender--is not

qualified for her position, yet is esteemed by her colleagues for her

accomplishments.  It seems that minorities are accepted to a certain extent,

until they become someone's boss.  It is also a scary situation when a person

has an under-qualified surgeon performing surgery on them because of affirmative

action.

 

Affirmative action insists that the employer must "[a]void the kind of

unnecessary escalation of criteria for selection and promotion which has

sometimes been used to keep certain classes of people from entering the

mainstream of our economic life" (Berry  19).  This aspect of the plan creates

more openings for minorities; however, it also suggests that the standards

should be maintained at a low to guarantee these openings.  In my opinion, if

the standards for any position are raised, the productivity and accuracy of the

country will rise accordingly.  When the policy of affirmative action is to

almost lower the standards of our society, this sacrifices quality for the sake

of equality.  Roy Wilkins, a former Executive Director of the NAACP, stated to

the congress:

 

        Our association has never been in favor of a quota system.

        We believe the quota system is unfair whether it is used for

        or against blacks...We feel people ought to be hired because

        of their ability, irrespective of their color...We want

        equality, equality of opportunity and employment on the

        basis of ability. (qtd. in Reynolds  26)

 

If the people which affirmative action was made for are against most of it's

principles--and the white male loses jobs because of it--why is the majority so

supportive of this plan?

 

One of the most powerful arguments for affirmative action is based upon claims

from minorities who believe that they deserve a certain amount of compensation

because of the past discrimination which they have received.  Diana Axelson,

chairperson of the Department of Philosophy of Spelman College,  states this in

her essay, "Affirmative Action Compensates for Past Discrimination", by claiming,

"The first form of compensation which seems appropriate is compensations...for

injuries they themselves have received as a result of individualized or

institutionalized racism and sexism" (33).  In my opinion, the blame of past

wrongs should not be put upon the employer, nor should something which happened

in the past be a factor in hiring practices. To quote Michael Levin, professor

of philosophy:

 

        Other past wrongs have left their traces-acts of theft,

        despoliation, fraud, anti-Semitism-yet society has no

        organized policy of rectifying those wrongs.  It surely seems

        that if the consequences of one kind of wrong should not be

        allowed to unfold, neither should those of any other.  (40)

 

Although society may sympathize with past wrongs, it is not any employer's

obligation to compensate these people; further, it would be a great injustice to

society's majority to ignore them in order to accomplish this.

 

Affirmative action is a successful plan in theory, but hiring a certain

percentage of minorities--qualified or unqualified--has turned into a larger

problem than what already existed.  In all actuality, the hiring requirements of

affirmative action have caused the white male to become a minority because they

cannot be hired unless the required percentage of minorities are already

employed.  A more effective method of hiring fairly, without discrimination, may

be a faceless and nameless interview.  If perspective employees could send in

their resumes, be assigned a number, fill out a written interview, and be hired

entirely based on their qualifications, this would solve many of the problems.

Using this method to hire and promote would guarantee the most qualified people

would be hired, and there could be no accusations of choosing a person solely on

their race or gender.  We live in a country where a certain percent of the work

force is hired based entirely on their race or gender, not their qualifications.

It is quite obvious that affirmative action does not fulfill the intended

purpose; contrary to its objective, this plan has only created more

discrimination than could ever be imagined.



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