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Affirmative Action; This Essay Is An Argument Essay For My Wrt 101 Class

1235 words - 5 pages

Argument EssayAffirmative action has been a long debated issue on both sides of the political spectrum, by those who believe affirmative action programs should be abolished and those who think they still serve a vital purpose. Affirmative action is defined as "A policy designed to give special attention to or compensatory treatment to members of some previously disadvantaged group." Roughly forty years ago, the federal government first took steps to ensure equal opportunity for minorities in employment. Since then, affirmative action programs have expanded to include women and have been instituted in many sectors including higher education and the military. Affirmative action is actually quite unconstitutional, and it also provides a wonderful example of reverse racism. Affirmative action essentially causes more harm than good and only serves to cause more problems in the workplace as well as public service agencies.Today, even supporters of affirmative action are unclear about what exactly affirmative action is out to accomplish. Is the goal to compensate for past wrongs against minorities, or, is it to achieve diversity on campuses and in the workplace? In 1965, in a speech to Harvard's graduating class, President Lyndon Johnson addressed the importance of affirmative action at the time. He saw it as significant in remedying past discrimination against minorities. He said "You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him, bring him to the starting line of a race, saying, 'you are free to compete with all the others,' and still justly believe you have been completely fair, thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates." At the time, affirmative action seemed like a good idea. In black and white, it was being shown to help minorities out of a peripheral black hole, without pointing out the fact that affirmative action programs were actually a violation of citizens' fourteenth amendment rights.Avid supports of affirmative action say it is an important mean for universities and other organizations to maintain diversity, which helps break down racial barriers and better reflects an integrated world. They also argue that affirmative action is necessary to "level the playing field" for minorities following decades of discrimination. But at the same time, racial preferences violate the fourteenth amendment of the constitution. The amendment guarantees equal protection for everybody under the law. These racial preferences also counter the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which makes it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race and sex. Such programs foster the belief that minorities cannot succeed unless they are given a "handout" and casts a doubt on all minority achievements.Again, The Civil Rights Act of 1964 made it illegal to discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, or gender and in the work and college...

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