Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action Jean Miller #43252 American Heritage 100 7:00 am – 7:50 am M, W, F Brother J. Baker Affirmative Action Affirmative action is a growing argument among our society. It is multifaceted and very often defined vaguely. Some can define affirmative action as the ability to strive for equality and inclusiveness. Others might see it as a quota-based system for different minority groups. Affirmative action was originally designed to help minorities (Gross, 1996).

Is affirmative action fair? Are minority groups on equal footing? Is gaining employment for minorities difficult? Is education easily obtained for the minority groups of people? Affirmative action endeavors to answer all these questions, while allowing society to believe harmony exists. Affirmative action was originally designed to help minorities, but women, especially white women, have made the greatest gains as a result of these programs (Boston, 1996). Is affirmative action fair? In 1974, a woman named Rose was turned down for a supervisory job in favor of a male. She was told that she was the most qualified person, but the position was going to be filled by a man, because he had a family to support. Five years before that, when Rose was about to fill an entry-level position in banking, a personnel officer outlined the womans pay scale, which was $25 to $50 a month less than what men were being paid in the same position. Rose was furious because she felt this was discriminating to her. She confronted the personnel officer and he saw nothing wrong with it.

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In 1977, a woman working for a company as a clerk was informed that she should be at home raising a family. She allowed the comments to persist until she was given two weeks notice that her position was no longer available. Upon leaving the position she learned the company had given the clerk position to a man because he had a family to support. Thanks to affirmative action, situations like the ones mentioned are becoming less frequent and employers are correcting these situations quickly and efficiently. Affirmative action has definitely helped women and minorities in their careers, but it has yet to succeed in the goal of equality in the business world for women and minorities.

As more and more women are faced with discrimination in large firms, more have decided to strike out on their own. Observers argue that women have made huge strides with the help of affirmative action. They now hold 40 percent of all corporate middle-management jobs, and the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 57 percent since 1982 (Dundul, 1995). Affirmative action was designed to give qualified minorities a chance to compete on equal footing with Whites (Chappell, 1995). Equal opportunities for the African Americans, for the most part, has remained more wishful-thinking than fact. African American students are continuing to struggle for an education.

In society today, many educational institutions offer scholarships for minorities. Ethnic minority students can further their education from the elementary level to the Ph.D level. However, for a minority student, all the financial assistance in the world, is not going to pay for the racial discrimination that they may receive, while attending a white educational facility. In 1982 a young African American man had been accepted into an Ivy league institution. His family were proud of his achievements and his ability to become someone great. As time progressed, our African American student dressed like a black, walked like a black, looked like a black, but to keep well with his professors talked, and acted like his white counterparts. Equal opportunities for African Americans continue to be hard work and wishful-thinking.

African American business owners are still competing against their White counterparts. Society labels and stereotypes certain ethic people. For example, when a person enters an electronic store and the owner is white, the person shopping continues to look at the items on the shelf. When an individual walks into an electronic store owned by an African American, the shopper may believe some of the items are stolen. Affirmative action is a written law requesting that minorities have equal opportunities however, society dictates how the opportunities will be given.

African American workers are experiencing an unemployment rate twice that of Whites.The low rate of unemployment is due to low-income, low-education and low individual worth of African Americans. African Americans hold dead-end, labor-intensive, low-paying jobs. Few can argue that racism is still rampant in awarding contracts, jobs, and educational opportunities (Chappell, 1995). Affirmative action needs to overcome the disparities of employment that exist in this country. A recent Urban Benchmarks study found that of 71 metro areas surveyed nationwide, Pittsburgh had the highest rate of employment-related problems among non-Hispanic whites between the ages of 25 and 54 and the sixth highest rate among African Americans in the same age group. The employment outlook for minorities is difficult, but not hopeless.

Jobs can be obtained with education and persistence of each individual. Jobs require more than a high-school diploma, but less than a four-year degree–such as an associate degree or certificate from a vocational or trade school (Kovatch, 1996). Today employers both private and public require individuals to take a test before entering their place of employment. For example, if one were to apply for a job with Foodland a test for your basic educational skill is required. To become a fireman, policeman, teacher, or Kentucky Fried Chicken employee you are required to take a test before being hired.

To further your education you need to take a test to enter a University. Abundant jobs for today are in the technological, computer, and internet areas. The need to be educated is a part of life. In our society there are difficulties with basic education. Affirmative action gives minorities the right to equal education. Education encourages all minorities in our society to better themselves.

Alex Hayley writes, When I first wrote this book in 1982, I thought that education in America was about as bad as it could be. However, in the past eight years I have had many opportunities to observe schools throughout the country, and I have found that the situation is worse than I realized (Hayley, 1982). Affirmative action encourages equal opportunities for education. Is education easily obtained for the minority groups of people? Minority groups have difficulties in turning out highly educated and motivated students. An inner city teacher Marva Collins began her own school. This school was open to all children however, the majority of the school population were of minority ethnic backgrounds.

The school did not have funds for education, no school books, no desks and no chalkboard. Students grades were appalling, reading levels were extremely low and the mathematical skills of students, were not quite at a decent third grade level. In 1980 education for these children was inevitably needed. As one reads Marva Collins Way, you learn that this miracle worker turned out motivated, educated, and socially behaved students. The educational opportunities for minority groups is low.

One may argue that education is low due to finances. Studies have demonstrated that cities with the majority of the population being African American tend to have low income earners, low standards of living and low basic education skills. One may argue that the community in which certain minority people have grown up in does not encourage education. Illegal drug abuse is often found in these communities. Drug users are parasites, feeding off society’s money, taxes and insurance. Those with low self-esteem seem to find that the drug dealers are their way to escape reality. One may argue that the minority of people simply do not want to succeed in life, because there is no equality in our society.

Affirmative action increases the opportunities for every minority whether race, creed, religion, or age to an equal opportunity for an educational experience. Affirmative action is a growing argument among our society. It is multifaceted and very often defined vaguely. Some can define affirmative action as the ability to strive for equality and inclusiveness. Others might see it as a quote-based system for different minority groups. Affirmative action was originally designed to help minorities (Gross, 1996). Is affirmative action fair? Affirmative action has become a tool for minorities to use for equality in the business world.

Women, African Americans, Hispanics and the like now have a level tool that would support their rights as individuals in the business world. Yes, affirmative action demonstrates fairness. Are minority groups on equal footing? Today, affirmative action is recognized however, the glass ceiling is still there. The glass ceiling refers to you can see it, but you cant get it. Minorities can reach for the ceiling but still have difficulty actually trying to touch it. Unfortunately affirmative action cannot tell society to behave in a way that would place every individual, every minority group on equal footing. Is gaining employment for minorities difficult? Today, the employment opportunities for minorities has increased. Minorities education is increasing slowly, hence the level of job opportunities has changed.

Minority people have the right to apply for jobs, contracts, and higher paying employment if they are qualified. Affirmative action has given minorities the freedom to obtain equal employment opportunities. Is education easily obtained for the minority groups of people? Education is a necessity of life. For an individual to survive in todays society the need for an education is imperative. Education is an ugly display of how affirmative action is only a piece of paper with a written law on it. Unfortunately, minority groups of people still have the constant issue of trying to get a fair, equal, education.

There are many scholarships, financial grants and aids, both federal and state for minority individuals, however, not all children obtain an education today. Society has found that the environment in which minority groups grow up in, needs to improve. The community of minority groups needs to improve the quality of education taught and received. Affirmative action is a great tool for minorities. It encourages equality in humanity.

I agree and support affirmative action in that individuals should be treated equally. Bibliography 1. A Question of Fairness Ladies Home Journal. March 1996. 2. Boston, Thomas.

Ready, Aim, Fire. Black Enterprises. March 1996. 3. Chappell, Kevin.

What They Dont Tell You About Affirmative Action Ebony. August 1995. 4. Cooper, Matthew. Affirmative Action on Ever-Thinning Ice. American Enterprises. January/February 1996.

5. Dundul, Tom. Affirmative Action. Working Women, October 1995. 6.

Haley, Alex and Collins, Marva. Marva Collins Way Returning to Excellence in Education. Jeremy P. Tarcher, Incorporated. 1990.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action “Treating people differently because of the color of their skin used to be called discrimination, but today its called affirmative action” (Amselle 177). Affirmative action today, is considered to be one of the most controversial dilemma facing our equal status of individual rights. As we all know, affirmative action was implemented with the idea and hope that America would finally become truly equal. So far, it has lasted for thirty years and had not solved any of our current problems concerning equal rights it made things worse. It was created with the intention of using reverse discrimination to solve the problem of discrimination.

In that, minority groups are being chosen over the qualifications of other workers. This intention creates a mainstream of problems. Some find it very unfair in using its practices, some find it very helpful. The portion of the group that stands with affirmative action, are usually in a situation in which they actually benefited from it. They have their reasons as to why they support the action.

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Based on the general public as to why they acknowledge affirmative action is usually based of the fact that it establishes a situation where equal opportunity is distributed among minorities for jobs. Prior to affirmative action city, state, and government jobs were almost completely closed off to minorities and women. In our present day, minorities and women have gained a tremendous increase in the application of jobs in those workplaces. Unlike the days before affirmative action, where job opportunity was mostly given to the Americans, now jobs are being given to minorities and women due to the quota system. Suppose that a American male and a minority (Hispanic, Afro-American, woman, etc.) are applying for the same job, the American male is much more qualified than the minority, there! fore, logically, the American should be hired.

Due to the quota system, the company, in order to meet that quota, must hire the minority. Which is for the better, because, in that sense, were are slowly but surely making some advancements in solving the problem of racial inequality in Americas workplace. Affirmative action is also very influential in the educational system. Minority students who before never had a chance in being accepted into a decent college, are now being accepted. They are given the chance to prove that, with the help of affirmative action, they could, in turn, get more education and end up with a decent job after graduating. All hopes are to end racism in school campuses, to have diversity between students.

The constitution says that we the people of the United States of America are all created equal. Therefore, since that we are all equal, shouldnt we all have the same opportunity as everyone else. Equal opportunity is achieved when people of lower standards in life are given chances to succeed in life. To start to achieve a better life, one must have proper education, because education is the key to our future. Therefore, though education, minorities must be given the chance to get a good start at securing their future. Critics of affirmative action argue that this quota is unfair.

White males are being forced to pay a price that their ancestors have done wrong in the past. Knowingly that it was a long time ago, and that now, it is a dawn of a new era. White males should not be given this burden of something that their ancestors have done. While the minorities enjoy the benefits such as jobs and education. Especially, to give favor to males or to females, to whites, to blacks or to persons of any color because of their sex or color is morally wrong because doing so is intrinsically unfair. Color, nationality, sex are not attributes that entitle anyone to more (or less) of the good thing of life, or to any special favor (or disfavor). When in the past whites or males did receive such preference that was deeply wrong; it is no less wrong when the colors or sexes are reversed. (Cohen 183) In the workplace, critics argue that because of affirmative action, now they are being treated unequally.

Jobs in which they are more likely to succeed in are, instead, being passed down to less qualified minorities. Not only does this affect the potential white employees, but the employer also has to suffer this condition. Employers are being asked to hire less qualified worker and sometimes for more money too. In concern with education, instead of the white males being accepted into colleges, minorities have taken their role of being the student. White males are displeased because through out their years in school, they have been struggling to get good grades in hopes that in the future they would be accepted to the college of their choice. To have that taken away from them, especially from the minorities who do not rank as high in academic achievements, is probably one of the most disappointing things that could happen to them. From looking at the educational standpoint, not only are the quality students being filtered out, quality teachers are also being filter out.

“Less formally, but quite insistently, affirmative action is practiced by many universities in selecting and promoting black and Hispanic faculty members” (Van Den Haag 225). Highly qualified and educated teachers are being replaced by minority teachers. That then leads to the question of self-esteem. Are the ones who benefited from affirmative action really satisfied knowing that they got a certain job or admittance into a selective university was due to a quota system? Of course, most of them are aware of that, and they liked how it turn out. Although, one must wonder, from time to time, what other people are thinking about them or, at least, suspect how they are doing in accordance with the other students or colleagues.

The damages that they incur to esteem is unavoidable. Affirmative action is a subject that is very controversial. There are much more pros and cons dealing with this issue that I did not touch. However, from reading what I have written down, the main points are pretty much covered. Therefore, I can give you an analysis on how I feel about this subject.

Before this assignment, I was for affirmative action. It has really helped many minority members achieve success. For instance, my friends mom, she is presently divorced and running her own air conditioning business. Without the help of affirmative action, she would be out of work. Affirmative action gives her certain amount of customers, in order to survive in this world because a lady running her own business is really hard to achieve without some kind of help. After all the reading, writing, and group researching, I am now more aware about the situation concerning affirmative action.

Some of the points against it made really good sense. Why should the white group now be discriminated against? Does that not end up being the same thing? Only that the tables have turned. It wasnt fair before, so why should it be fair now? If I were competing for the same position, whether it be for a job or for a educational standpoint, I wouldnt want to be the one who lost out on it although I was the one more qualified. It would not be fair to me. With that, I have now a better understanding of why people are against it.

They should not be asked to pay for something that they did not have anything to do with. Despite the fact that I also believe that affirmative action has some positive points that really do help our society. I am now leaning more towards the con side of this issue. From my point of view, the positive sides against affirmative action out-weighs the positive sides for it. . Affirmative action should definitely be studied more into.

The government needs to do additional research in improving its present situation. Affirmative action should be based on the fact that it is giving equal opportunity with equal results. It should not be increasing racism. If we continue to differentiate people based on the their color, gender, or nationality, then we have not achieved anything. We would not be any different than our ancestors. Times have changed, and as it has changed, so shall we.

We should head into the future, not with hatred toward others, but instead with love and dignity. Works Cited Cohen, Carl. “Should Federal Affirmative Action Be Continued?” Congressional Digest. June – July 1996: 172 – 191. Molinari, Susan.

“Should Federal Affirmative Action Be Continued?” Congressional Digest. June – July 1996: 172 – 191. Van Den Hagg, Ernest. “Affirmative Action and Campus Racism.” Current Issues and Enduring Questions. Fourth Edition: 223 – 226.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action is a policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment.Initiative 200 aims to give each and every person a fair and equal opportunity, in public employment, public education, and public contracting. Is I-200 the appropriate means of abolishing Affirmative Action? Despite its intentions, there are many people who feel that this initiative will not move the fight against racism forward, but it will move it backwards, back to where it was in the 1950s and 1960s.

When President John F. Kennedy issued Executive Order 10952 he became the first President to use the phrase “Affirmative Action”. The order created the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and directed contractors on projects financed with federal funds to take Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during their employment, without regard to race, creed, color or national origin.Kennedy went on to urge Congress to enact a fairly comprehensive civil rights act, to expand educational and employment opportunities for minorities.

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The original intent of Affirmative Action was good, but over the past 30 years, people have altered what it is supposed to mean, and what it is supposed to do. In the 90s the tables have changed, Caucasians, specifically males, have been discriminated against, just to ensure that the government meets its ethnicity quota. The state of Washington, and the Federal government, have both wasted our money, and discriminated against white males. A real life example of this is at the University of Washington, where a young, poor, white female, who was raised by a single mother in Seattle, paid for her undergraduate degree by working as a janitor at night. She applied for the Universitys law school, and was rejected, even though her admission test scores were in the 95th percentile. Why would someone be rejected with her background? The reason, she checked one little box marked white she feels that she was probably passed up for someone more diverse, with lower than average test scores and GPA. In 1994, when she applied, the University of Washington Law School had just finished a diversity program that raised the minority enrollment from 17% in 1989 to well over 40% in 1994 . Even though this is just one example, there are many more throughout Washington, and even more throughout the U.S.

Is this right; is it the right thing to do? No, of course not, there ought not to be a place for you to check on a college application, employment application, or anywhere else, which asks you what your ethnical background is. By doing so, it creates even more prejudices because those people who were passed up, become angry at the system and at the people who could had been admitted, with lower test scores. The only way to end Affirmative Action, and racism, is for everyone to be looked at equally.

Many people define Affirmative Action as the ability to strive for equality and inclusiveness. Is Affirmative Action fair? In 1974, a woman named Rose was turned down for a supervisory job in favor of a male. She was told that she was the most qualified person, but the position was going to be filled by a man, because he had a family to support. Five years before that, when Rose was about to fill an entry-level position in banking, a personnel officer outlined the womans pay scale, which was $25 to $50 a month less than what men were being paid for the same position. Rose was furious because she felt this was discriminating to her. She confronted the personnel officer and he saw nothing wrong with it (Skrentny, 1996). Thanks to Affirmative Action today things like these situations are becoming more rare and are corrected more quickly. Affirmative Action has definitely helped women and minorities in their careers, but it has yet to succeed in the goal of equality to the fullest for the business world to women and minorities. Some observers argue that women have made huge strides, with the help of Affirmative Action. They now hold 40 percent of all corporate middle-management jobs, and the number of women-owned businesses has grown by 57 percent since 1982 (Blackwood, 1995). Affirmative Action was designed to give qualified minorities a chance to compete on equal footing with whites (Chappell, 1995). Equal opportunities for the blacks, for the most part, have remained more wishful thinking than fact. Black business owners are still competing against their white counterparts, and black workers are experiencing an unemployment rate twice that of Whites and hold dead-end, labor-intensive, low-paying jobs. Few can argue that racism is still rampant in awarding contract jobs, and educational opportunities, even though its been proven beneficial to have people of different races with different ideas and different experiences working toward the same goal (Chappell, 1995).
Perhaps the biggest complaint that one hears about Affirmative Action policies aimed at helping black Americans is that they violate the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and the Civil Rights. The claim is that these programs distort what is now a level playing field and bestow preferential treatment on undeserving minorities because of the color of their skin.
Lyndon B. Johnson once said to justify Affirmative Action programs. Suppose that there is a track official judging two athletes running a hundred-yard dash. Before the official shoots off the starting pistol, one runner kicks the other in the shin, stomps on his toes, and then runs ahead fifty yards. Now because our official is observant, he sees this dirty play and immediately halts the race. So, he walks over to the runner, who is fifty yards ahead and tells him that what he did was unfair and wrong and he is forbidden from doing it again. Then he goes back to check on the runner at the starting line. The runner is a little bruised up. The official tells him, “Don’t worry I saw everything that happened. I told the other runner that what he did was wrong and that he shouldn’t have done it. As I speak the rules are being changed to outlaw such actions from ever happening again.” Then the official strolls back to his position and fires the starting pistol to begin the race, where the runners left off.
Surely there is something wrong with this scenario. Is it enough to simply chide the offending runner, change the rulebook, and then begin the race with one runner halfway to the finish line? By advancing one runner ahead, would we be corrupting the idea of the100 yard dash? These questions yield one answer. No. The race has already been tainted. It is our duty to somehow reconstruct the situation so that fairness can again pervade the event.
Affirmative Action was originally started to give people of different ethnical backgrounds a fair and equal opportunity at what the traditional white American had. It has gone far beyond that now, to say that being a white male is a major disadvantage. Initiative 200 will hopefully end Affirmative Action, as we now know it in Washington State.

Our parents teach us to treat people equally regardless of race. Our schools teach us to treat each other equally, from the first day of kindergarten to the last day of high school. Our churches and synagogues teach us to treat others, as we want to be treated. It’s time for our government to do the same.
–John Carlson
Bibliography:
A Question of Fairness, Boston, Thomas. Ladies Home Journal, March 1996, p 17-20.
Ready, Aim, Fire, Chappell, Kevin. Black Enterprise. March 1996, p 24.
What They Dont Tell You About Affirmative Action Ebony August 1995, p 6-12.

Clintons Focus on Diversity, Cooper, Matthew. U.S. News and World Report. March 20, 1995, p. 42.

Affirmative Action on Ever-Thinning Ice, Dundul, Tom. American Enterprise, Janurary/February1996, p. 27-33.
Affirmative Action, Lavery, Mark. Working Women, October 1995, p 39-43.
Down but Not Out, Lubman, Sarah Black Enterprise, September 1995, p15.
Campus Admissions, Rilland, Ralph. Wall Street Journal, May 16, p81.
The Jobs of the Future. Pittsburgh Business Times, April 1996, p72-81.

The Affirmative Action Fraud, Clint Bolick. Cato Institute 1996.

The Ironies of Affirmative Action, Skrentny, John David. University of Chicago Press 1996.

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition.

September 3rd, 1998. Wall Street Journal, Numbers Bind
Carlson, John. The Case for I-200. Seattle Post Intelligence, October 18, 1998.

Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action is a policy that is supposed to give minorities ?more? of an equal opportunity. Corporate America and educational institutions claim that they follow the policy of equal opportunity for all, but in reality they don?t. Affirmative Action is just a policy that is not implemented to do what it is supposed to do. I believe Affirmative Action was created to keep people quiet.

In Ward Connerly?s essay ?My Fight Against Race Preferences: a Quest Toward ?Creating Equal??, is a clear example of how unequal society is. It also demonstrates how educational institutions do not follow what is preached with Affirmative Action. As a result, not only are blacks and other minorities discriminated against but poor white?s as well. Connerly was not surprised to see that blacks were discriminated in the acceptance for Medical school, but he was surprised that poor whites were discriminated against as well ?The circles in the lower-left were almost all black. The fact that no whites circles appeared in the lower-left part of the square meant that ?their people,? poor whites who also needed a boost, were never given a break under affirmative action? (Connerly, Page B6). The lower circles were the students who were not accepted and the ones on the upper right were the students who were accepted. Educational institutions claim that they do not take into consideration the race of a person, but this essay seems to prove otherwise. There were more white students in that upper-right part of the square than there were of blacks or minorities.

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In Alison?s Schneider?s ?Affirmative Action?s Impact on Academe Has Been Minimal, a New Book Argues?, shows that statistics play an important role to distinguish the reality and fantasy of some issues. Corporate America is good example where statistics show us the reality of inequality. According to the Profile of New Tenure-Track Professor, whites clearly showed that they dominated with 81.9% in 1991 and blacks with only 7.0% in 1991. People who advocate affirmative action argue that statistics do not really account for everyone. But for whatever number of people they do account for, it clearly shows us the inequality among the workforce. Yet, at every company one can read ?We are an equal opportunity employer?. Statistics give us an idea of how much inequality really exists, since advocates of Affirmative Action argue that statistics prove nothing. It is a fact of reality that whites dominate the workforce in almost all areas. The implementation of Affirmative Action is not taken seriously since the numbers still show us that there still exists a wide gap of inequality.

Connerly?s essay and Schneider?s essay show us that Affirmative Action is still in the ?needs improvement? area. Affirmative action is a policy, which the government has put into place to keep the court cases at a minimum. It is a policy with no solid framework. I experienced how unequal Corporate America really is. For example, my friend and I went for an interview at JP Morgan. I already had a job with the Bank of New York, but I went along because she asked if I would go with her. The position we were interviewing was for a Credit Analyst. My friend has a degree from NYU and also has some work experience. She is very bright and intelligent, but she is also African-American. On the other hand, I am still going to school and I have work experience. I knew she had the right credentials for the position. She went first in the interview. After she came out she said to me ?They are going to hire you,? I laughed and said ?I have a job and they are not going to.? I went into the interview and the interviewer explained that they needed someone right away and asked if I wanted the job. I suggested that they should give the position to my friend since she was qualified. The lady did not respond and I said that I had a job and wasn?t interested. I came out of the interview stunned of what I was experiencing. The lady told my friend that they would call her. At that point I knew the reason for the Affirmative Action policy. It

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