Affirmative Action: The Discriminatory Effect Essay

2144 words - 9 pages

Throughout history, people have been categorized into different groups. These groupings were based on certain characteristics people shared, whether it was their ethnicity, race, gender, or religion. Society is notorious for distinguishing among different groups and favoring one or two of them. Undoubtedly, this separation of peoples, led to increased tension between various groups. As time progressed, the conflicts intensified, and it became apparent that a change was necessary. At this time, places all around the world began experiencing revolutions of people that were working towards earning their rights. Consequently, governments around the globe began enacting a system of affirmative ...view middle of the document...

Consequently, the benefits of affirmative action began to become less apparent and the system began to show effects opposing the original intents.
Affirmative action is a system that intends to assist minorities; however, it discriminates against these groups. Some say they feel that they were just given an advantage based on their race, and if they did not put their race or ethnicity on their application they would not have been recruited into the institution. People implementing affirmative action understand that it does establish reverse discrimination, but are willing to accept it as long as it increases diversity (Steele 37-39). In other words, they are stating that discrimination is reasonable as long as institutions can meet their racial quotas. In the present time, minority applicants are being assessed mainly based on the racial or ethnical group they belong to, and not as much due to their merit (Steele 37). “Most Americans would support what was called affirmative action back in the 1960s, programs where efforts were made by companies and colleges to go outside the mainstream in their recruiting efforts. But that's an entirely different thing from having hard and fast racial quotas--hiring people according to numbers in society” (Hanmer 9). Affirmative action was intended to give everyone equal opportunities, but not to set a number of people from various minority groups that institutions should have. This is discriminatory, people are being chosen to become part of an organization based strictly on what they look like and not who they are and what merit they possess. However, this system is not only discriminatory against minorities, but to whites as well.
Although affirmative action was established to fix the issue of discrimination, it changed the direction of discrimination and aimed it toward whites. The power and rights of whites seems to have decreased since the establishment of affirmative action. Over thirty years ago, in the 1970s, Allan Bakke applied for medical school at the University of California. At first, he was denied because he was white and the university needed to fulfill its racial quota for minorities. It took a lawsuit for the university to accept him (The Associated Press). Although this issue was presented long ago, it is still a problem today. In 2009, there were two firefighters who were denied a promotion because of the fact that they were white (The Associated Press). Roger Clegg, president of the Center for Equal Opportunity, said, “The laws that Congress wrote are clear — everyone is protected from racial discrimination. Not just blacks, but whites. Not just Latinos, but whites” (The Associated Press). The University of Michigan had an admission program for undergraduates that gave minorities twenty extra points for belonging to a minority group. This program proved that there was such a thing as “reverse discrimination” since it was not giving white males those twenty points that could have helped...

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