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Affirmative Action: Hurt or Help?

By:   •  July 10, 2012  •  Essay  •  920 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,111 Views

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Affirmative action is designed to end discrimination and unfair treatment of employees/students based on color (Messerli). Some people view affirmative action as something bad or as "reverse" discrimination while others view it as a merely a balancing system to ensure that there are opportunities for people outside of the Caucasian male category in society. Affirmative action generally means giving preferential treatment to minorities in admission to universities or employment in government & businesses (Messerli). In my opinion, those that feel this way do so because of situations in their lifetimes that they have encountered. They may have applied for a job and had it slip away because of the necessity to add minorities to the staff. On the other hand, minorities may have applied for a position and were never offered the opportunity to fulfill the required duties because the job was already given away to the "white guy". One could really look at this topic in both ways because there are grey areas to all scenarios. Yet, the question stands; is affirmative action still required in order to be diverse in society?

50 years ago, affirmative action was required in order to give disadvantaged minorities a chance. This was not put in place solely for men of color, but for women to have a chance in the workplace as well. People viewed this as reverse or legal discrimination, but there is no reverse discrimination! Discrimination is discrimination, no matter what race or gender you may be. For the simple fact that jobs and positions in society should be given based on merit, not because we need some "color" in the workplace. Think about it: a minority holding a high position in the workplace or in society in general, do they owe it to affirmative action or to hard work and dedication? I would like to think that it is because of hard work that got them where they are now and not because it was given to them. Being a minority in some instances makes you work harder because you know that the world is still slighted. What people have to understand is that it is not guaranteed that just because you are of a different race that you will receive what you are applying for. You still have to work hard, stand out, and be the best in your field. The same goes for being a female! Many employers are inclined to hire men for certain positions based on physical ability alone and won't even give a female the proper time to interview her.

Some of the high speed and powerful cities that we live in today understand this concept of providing jobs and positions based on merit. If you are the most skilled/qualified and seem to be the perfect candidate for a position, chances are you will get it no matter what color/gender you are. Meanwhile, some places in the world today this is said to be the complete opposite. In little towns and predominantly "red neck" societies still fighting racism, affirmative action is still needed to provide diversity. Back when affirmative action was needed all over the United States and not just in little towns, not even a highly skilled Caucasian female would be considered for the position if there was a Caucasian male in line for


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