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Affirmative Action Program Essay

1679 words - 7 pages

Racism, a morally wrong idea that has been combated in numerous ways by many first world governments. When observing the laws used to combat it, one must observe the consequences of such actions. Even though these laws have no intent to harm a “socioeconomic disadvantaged class,” they may discriminate against a different socioeconomic class. One of these laws, or programs, is the Affirmative Action Program, put into effect when “President John F. Kennedy signed an executive order to unite the workforces on projects without regard to race, creed, color or national origin” (Finkelman, 2004). Many people argue, that it is not necessary in this modern era, and that it only causes harm. Affirmative Action can lead to cases of reverse racism because it focuses on the color of an individual instead of skill sets, it takes jobs away from majorities with higher qualification and it harms the minorities it is attempting to help.
Affirmative action is an example of reverse racism it focuses on the color of an individual instead of skill sets. Affirmative Action is described as “ a cogent description of reverse racism” (Fish 128) . What is affirmative action? Stanley Fish, an American literary theorist, says “once racism and sexism were recognized as immoral...we had to decide what to do about it” (128). Racism was a legitimate problem in America ever since the beginning of the slave trade. After numerous lynching incidents and evident discriminatory actions in the workplace, the United States government has decided that action needs to be taken. As mentioned above, in 1961, the first action was taken to address this issue. Up until then there were still laws preventing racial minorities from getting certain jobs (Robinson 2003), these laws were abolished and a new program known as Affirmative Action. According to Thomas E. Perez, the Secretary of Labor, these laws require “federal contractors and subcontractors, affirmative action must be taken by covered employers to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.” This usually meant that these individuals were required to meet certain race quotas.
Lets say an individual was working in a human resources department, this individual was handed a quota. This quota required that he bring the employment of African Americans up to 30%, Latin Americans to 20%, Orientals to 20%, Caucasians to 20% and other races to 10%. This would mean he would have to hire and fire as required to reach those percentages. A similar thing happened in 1974 when in order to stop what it thought was a history of discrimination in hiring and promoting blacks, the City of Detroit Board of Police adopted a plan to create a fifty-fifty ratio of whites to blacks being promoted in all the levels of the police force. This was started by creating two promotion lists, one for the black police officers, the other for the white. Then every time they were going to promote, they chose from a...

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