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The Problem With Affirmative Action

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Social Issues

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One of the problems with affirmative action is that it is not based on economic status. A poor minority has the same chance for advancement under affirmative action as a rich one. Critics have raised many questions about that practice
There have been charges levied by critics claiming that affirmative action has violated the fourteenth amendment. The fourteenth amendment said, "No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."
Reverse discrimination is what the opponents of affirmative action claim race based hiring and education admissions is. In many colleges there are quotas or slots that are set aside for minorities. These reserved slots sometimes go to minority students that meet minimum qualifications but may not posses the some of same high grades or test scores as whites. ("Regents argue over challenge to UC minority police"- Los Angeles Times)
On July 27, 1995, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole introduced broad legislation that would end all race and gender based federal affirmative action programs to the extent they require quotas, goals, or timetables, allowing only recruitment outreach efforts into applicant pools provided no numerical objective is associated with such efforts. (Source - "Some thoughts regarding the present affirmative action debate." by Leonard J. Biermann )
If the justification for affirmative action is reparations for prior injustices why are whites not considered? What about all the other ethnicities that suffered from historical institutionalized racism? Affirmative Action selectively discludes these people from preferential treatment, except for the females.
Another issue is the "immigration-with-preference paradox," as Frederick R. Lynch describes it. This omission of non-black minorities from affirmative action. Frequently, arguments in favor of affirmative action present the case that blacks are "owed" for the past racism and oppression against them. This ignores the fact that a great number of non-black minorities are included in affirmative action programs, many of which are only recent arrivals to this country. (Source - Invisible Victims: p. 148-149. by Frederick R. Lynch)
Some of the basis for affirmative action is to repay groups of people who have been mistreated in the past. Blacks have been enslaved, Japanese were put in internment camps, Mexicans had part of their land taken away, women were barred from voting, and so on. Affirmative action is sort of a pay back of sorts. These minorities and women deserve reparations for what their ancestors went through.
Backers of affirmative action are groups such as the National Advancement of Colored People and the National Organization of Women claim that there is still racism and sexism in the United States. They claim that affirmative action forces "a level playing" field that gives minorities and women a chance to advance where they may not have otherwise. They want America's professional work force to look like America. (Source - White House, Report to the President)
Understanding that affirmative action is a "social change" program, it becomes clear that the involvement of a great variety of people helping others to succeed not only promotes equal employment and a reduction in discrimination, but improves life for all of us. Many employers do not see diversity as an asset. They still may discriminate against people of color and women if there were no programs out there to give minorities a chance. Many times employers do not see how much of an asset diversity is until they institute an affirmative action program. (Source - "Effective Affirmative Action - Creating Strategic Alliances." by Dawn Hyde)
To look how much affirmative action has helped you only have to look back about thirty years ago. Education opprotunites for minorites such as blacks were not there. If a black male was lucky enough to get into and graduate from a college his employment opprotunities were very low. Only thirty years later minorites who were given a chance under affirmative action programs have become succesful and productive members of society. (Source - "Evaluation of Affirmative Action Programs" - The White House - July 1995)
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