Affirmative Action Essay

1768 words - 7 pages

IntroductionAffirmative action works. There are thousands of examples of situations where people of color, white women, and working class women and men of all races who were previously excluded from jobs or educational opportunities, or were denied opportunities once admitted, have gained access through affirmative action. When these policies received executive branch and judicial support, vast numbers of people of color, white women and men have gained access they would not otherwise have had. These gains have led to very real changes. Affirmative action programs have not eliminated racism, nor have they always been implemented without problems. However, there would be no struggle to roll back the gains achieved if affirmative action policies were ineffective.Affirmative Action in BusinessesAffirmative action has had its greatest amount of success in city, state, and government jobs. Since the 1960s the area of law enforcement witnessed the greatest increase in minority applicants, and in jobs offered to minorities. This should be viewed as an extremely positive thing, because prior to affirmative action these jobs were almost completely closed off to minorities and woman. The influx has been greatest in the area of government, state and city, because this type of work is easier for affirmative action to watch over and regulate. Affirmative action has experienced considerably less success in integration in big business. This is doing to the fact that big business has been more resistant to affirmative action and harder to regulate.Affirmative action addresses preferential hiring programs. Many times people of color have been excluded from hiring pools, overtly discriminated against, unfairly eliminated because of inappropriate qualification standards, or have been rendered unqualified because of discrimination in education and housing. Court decisions on affirmative action have rendered illegal those qualifications that are not relevant to one's ability to do the job. They have also mandated hiring goals so that those employed begin to reflect the racial mix of the general population from which workers are drawn. There is no legal requirement to ever hire an unqualified person. There is a mandate that in choosing between qualified candidates, the hiring preference should be for a person of color when past discrimination has resulted in white people receiving preferential treatment.Affirmative Action: AntagonistOpponents of affirmative action want to see the "most qualified" people be hired, regardless of sex, race, age, etc. However, a person's experience should be taken into consideration during the hiring process and if certain groups are blocked from competing, when they are finally allowed to compete they may have every other qualification, but will lack what they were blocked at competing in the first place (Cyrus, p. 265).Employers have traditionally hired people not only on test scores, but also on personal appearance, family and personal...

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