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Affirmative Action Is Not The Solution

1350 words - 5 pages

     Affirmative action is a social policy created to promote the welfare of minorities by supporting the idea that individuals are all created equal and should not be judged by race or gender. Therefore, in situations like job and university applications, we should consider minorities to be as feasible a choice for hire as a white male candidate, taking into consideration their background. In short, it tries to give minorities that have been at a disadvantage their whole life, an opportunity to ‘equal the playing field’ by providing a broader context by which to measure an applicant or prospective employee. In the end, however, this goal is not realized. Instead, superficial ‘quotas’ are established and the discrimination that was once placed on the minorities now turns the other way.
     One of the arguments against affirmative action is that it injures white men and violates their rights. If were to take a closer look at the affirmative action laws, we can see why this would be true. For example, let’s take a hypothetical situation of two males, one white and another individual who happens to be a minority, both sending in college applications to Harvard to compete for admission. Unfortunately, the university only has one available spot and must decide between the white individual and the minority. The white male has slightly better grades and quite a few more volunteer hours, while both of them excelled in sports and completed two foreign languages. Under the current affirmative action policies, the minority would probably get the final position because of the perceived need for ethnic diversity in the college atmosphere, despite the fact that he did not have the stronger academic credentials. Would this be considered just? In this case not only would affirmative action be serving an injustice to the white individual, but it would also help create a loophole by indirectly establishing a legal form of discrimination.
     The counterpoint to this argument is that although affirmative action creates a larger obstacle for white men to achieve, such measures are necessary in order to break the cycle of de facto employment and school discrimination. However, this does not seem to be a valid counterpoint. If we take a look at another hypothetical situation we can see why it is not plausible. Imagine that there are two individuals competing in a race, one a white male named Bob and the other a black male named John. Bob had six months to prepare for the race while John had a ball and chain tied to his leg for the entire six months. Without a doubt, I would believe that Bob would win this race. However, if we interpolate affirmative action into this analogy, we would justifiably be assisting John. Unfortunately, the problem isn’t that we are helping John, the problem is the way we are helping him. Instead of releasing John from his ball and chain, affirmative action would...

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