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Affirmative Action & Its Role In Society

1288 words - 6 pages

Affirmative Action and its Role in Society
Affirmative action which is defined as hiring a slightly less qualified candidate from a disadvantaged group over a white male is looked at in two contrasting ways by Edwin C. Hettinger and Louis Pojman. After carefully reading the two articles it is clearly apparent to me that hiring less qualified candidates from a disadvantaged group over a white male is unjustified and I plan to prove that in the following piece of writing. In the article What is Wrong with Reverse Discrimination by Hettinger he makes several claims in support of affirmative action and uses several arguments to show how it is justified. In Pojman’s article The Moral Status of ...view middle of the document...

If no action were taken or there were to be a push for inaction the above situation would never be rectified and that is part of why he believes and supports the notion of affirmative action. Hettinger states that trends show white males have a greater and unequal advantage to all other groups in society and that the effects of affirmative action which will negatively impact white males is considerably smaller and should be overlooked as the tradeoff is well worth it and has a much wider reach and effect due to the advantages and opportunities given to minorities.
When considering Hettinger’s points it is important to compare the double edged sword that is his overall claim. By stereotyping and arriving at the conclusion that all white males are privileged or advantaged it points to the conclusion that all minorities are in the exact opposite situation. It is important to keep the mindset however for every industry and field of work that white males are heavily represented and minorities are underrepresented there are many other examples that minorities are over represented in comparison to the aforementioned white males.
Pojman claims that the idea of preferential hiring of less qualified candidates in order to address racial or gender inequalities (strong affirmative action) is unjustifiable. Pojman states that innocent beneficiaries and the idea that a white male who at no point in his life disadvantaged any person is it just for him to bare the disadvantages that are then placed upon him. It is unfair for people to expect reparations at his expense for involuntary characteristics that could hinder his professional progression. He goes on to state that the idea of strong affirmative action is entirely ineffective at ridding the world of stereotypes, it classifies all minorities as disadvantaged and while doing so puts all white males under the category of advantaged therefore unjustly discriminating. This raises the question how can reverse discrimination be a forward progression and stand as a valid option. The idea encourages those who are underrepresented to feel and maintain a disadvantaged mindset and outlook in various professional venues. In Pojman’s earlier referenced article he uses an analogy of the National Basketball Association (NBA) to drive home his point. He states that white and Asian athletes make up less than 20% of the NBA and that white and Asian males who would like to consider the option of one day playing for one of these teams have to deal with the psychological effects of knowing that the chances of them making it into the sport as a professional is greatly less likely as it is dominated by a race that is not their own. By broadly defining affirmative...

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