The Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action Essay

The Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action 1 The Pros and Cons of Affirmative Action Detroit Adapted from The North Star Network, (2003) “People marched outside the federal courthouse in Detroit on March 1 in support of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action programs. The Supreme Court is hearing a challenge to the university’s policies. ” Defending affirmative action. (On the Line).

Affirmative Action pros and cons will platform the awareness that affirmative action connotes reverse discrimination. Affirmative action statistically viewed as controversial positive steps in improving the diversity specific groups of people, in most cases to cure the collective effects covert and overt actions of prejudices against these groups. Affirmative action in practice gives positive opportunities to minorities or women during employment, promotions, and admittance into major colleges and universities.

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Affirmative action came about because of the demand to allow minorities into institutions of higher leaning and arose out of a desire to bring minority groups into institutions and businesses automatically held by European males. Insight Center for Community Economic Development states Affirmative action is more a “political term” than legal or business term. Affirmative action boosted by the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s was an attempt to go along with the new “legal equality gains” of minorities and women for social economic equality and fair treatment.

The origin of affirmative action Former United States President John F. Kennedy mentioned affirmative action in his speech in 1961. In an executive order, Former President Kennedy made it mandatory for federal contractors to accept affirmative action and make sure those who would apply for employment received employment regardless of the national origin, race, creed, and color of the individual. In October 13, 1965 Former United Stated President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered affirmative action as a plea to government for nondiscrimination in government employment.

He clarified the issues of discrimination on the bases of sex, which assisted equal opportunity programs such as the EEOC concerning sex discrimination. The necessity of Affirmative Action Given that the legislation of the 1960s became a viable participant in seeking social justice and equality. Decades passed after the end of slavery, and yet segregation remained legal among the American society. Given that discrimination exists President Johnson argued harder for affirmative action thus his “equality of result” came under fire by the American public workforce.

Yet he takes positive steps in affirmative action, Hence affirmative action problems are not easily solved by the absence of segregation laws. Many of President Johnson’s opponents to affirmative action considered his plans a quota system that requires a particular number of hires of minority if the European male is more qualified. Because affirmative action addressed issues of women in the workplace, change is pending. The roles of women in traditionally known as “women’s jobs” – secretaries, nurses, elementary schoolteachers, etc. Raymond, Nate.

Corporate Counsel, (2008) “Crackdown on diversity: the Department of Education took aim at affirmative action. ” “What effect all of this may have had on the actual demographics of the law student population is uncertain. The ABA says minority students last year made up 22. 4 percent of first-year enrollment, up from 21. 5 percent when Bush was elected in 2000. Yet the proportion of blacks enrolled in their first year slid from 7. 8 percent to 7. 1 percent, and the presence of Hispanics grew only slightly during that time. Only Asian American populations increased substantially, from 6. 7 percent to 7. 9 percent.

While it’s impossible to say exactly how anti-affirmative action efforts affected those numbers, they probably didn’t help. “ Says Johnson: “If students of color can’t get into law school, they can’t become lawyers. ” Therefore opponents of Affirmative action believed giving a job to a woman over a qualified male compares to taking the job from the man. One can concluded Gloria Steinem’s essay in 1979 “The Importance of Work,” goes against the idea women should not work if they do not “have to. ” Hence Gloria Steinem idea of a double standard of employers who question men about children at home and the need to the job they applied for.

One can conclude women do need their jobs and work considered a “human right,” not just for males. Some new and developing controversies What are the effects of affirmative action? Controversy over the effects of affirmative action and government hiring and equal opportunities surfaced in the 1970s. Huppi, (2007) “The following chart shows the leading economic indicators for women since 1959. Because affirmative action for women did not start until the late 60s; it was most vigorously enforced in the 70s, and less enforced in the 80s. ” Huppi, (2007) “ Two major types of jobs in this economy.

The first group, which shows the best paying jobs; managerial and professional jobs. In 1994, women occupied 27. 5 % of all jobs in the U. S. (9) The second group consists of all other jobs that consist of three fourths of all lower paying jobs. Therefore, women must qualify first for managerial, professional jobs, before hired, which means attending college. College’s admission practices were discriminatory; hence affirmative action programs fought this fight as well. Greater number of women began graduating, which required time to “rise up through the ranks” to managerial, professional jobs.

Hence a long lag between the application of affirmative action and its results. ” Guinier, Lani. Law. Harvard, (2009) “The pigment perplex: the complexity of race reveals the inefficacy of conventional admissions criteria and demonstrates the vital importance of diversity. ” Law, (2005) “To illustrate his view that race is an illusory concept that should be irrelevant to admissions, dissenting Sixth Circuit judge Danny Boggs wrote that he’d shown “a sample of people” in and out of his chambers a Christmas card, “containing a lovely picture of a friend and his spouse, their two children and their] spouses, and four grandchildren. The physical appearance and, thus, the ancestry of at least one photo subject were apparently open to interpretation. “How many of the ten people in the picture should receive racial preference under Michigan’s policy? ” asked the judge. Answers ranged from one to ten, from which he concluded that race cannot be a surrogate for qualities that a law school should value. ” Sixth Circuit judge Danny Boggs The effects of Affirmative action went from the workplace, women and jobs, to admission decisions in colleges and race.

Equal amount of women and men admitted to higher education programs. In the selection of diverse student groups, university admissions committees may use minority status as a factor. The North Star Network, (2003) “Examples are the University of California and the University of Michigan; the United States Supreme Court” examined their policies against competitive state schools. “The success of affirmative action can be seen in the following chart. The highest paying jobs in the U. S. re managerial and professional, and the percentage of women and minorities being hired in these jobs has been rising: Employment level of various groups in managerial and professional specialty occupations (5)” Year Female African Americans Hispanic* ———————————- 1982 40. 5% 5. 5% 5. 2% 1983 40. 9 5. 6 5. 2 1984 41. 6 5. 7 5. 5 1985 42. 7 5. 9 5. 7 986 43. 4 6. 0 6. 0 1987 44. 3 6. 2 6. 3 1988 44. 7 6. 1 6. 4 1989 45. 2 6. 1 6. 3 990 45. 8 6. 4 6. 8 1991 46. 3 6. 4 7. 0 1992 47. 3 6. 6 7. 3 1993 47. 8 6. 8 7. 7 1994 48. 1 7. 1 7. 7 1995 48. 0 7. 5 7. 6 *Includes Spanish, Cuban, Puerto Rican and Mexican Americans By comparison, women comprised of 51. 2 % of the 1995 U. S. Population; African Americans comprised 12. 6 percent, and Hispanics, 10. 2 % (6). The above chart does not show how these groups are doing in general but each group best wage earners. The bottom of the scale shows members in all groups losing ground.

Note for all the above progress, these groups still hit a glass ceiling regarding promotions to upper executive positions. The 1995 Glass Ceiling Commission report, 95% of senior level managers in Fortune 1000 industrial and Fortune 500 service industries are White men despite being only 33 % of the population. An ACLU paper on affirmative action reports: “Six million women have received opportunities in employment and education directly because of affirmative action programs. Between 1970 and 1990, the proportion of women physicians doubled from 7. 6% to 16. 9%.

From 1972 to 1979 — the years when affirmative action programs were most vigorously enforced — the number of women becoming accountants, lawyers and judges, and school administrators increased substantially. And during the last 10 years the overall number of African Americans professional women grew 125%” (7). The two most influential groups for in the norms of society, Women’s Liberation Movement and the Civil Rights Movement. The generations to come will find it difficult to understand the need for affirmative action. They may know that it is illegal to discriminate.

Some opponents of affirmative action believe affirmative action over and done. Other opponents say that women still find it hard to get past a certain point in the workplace. In conclusion the opposing individuals to Affirmative Action trust the steps that led to reverse discrimination, and believe it led to employing individuals based on diverse groups of people or racial preference and gender not merit. The argument that Affirmative Action allows individuals biased actions, and as it intensifies the ideas of “us versus them” mentality.

Opponents also argue that mounting numbers of minorities coming into administrative positions, Affirmative Action works, and discrimination is dissipating. The proof of this argument through charts show, affirmative action successful in the advancement of women and minorities groups; affirmative action has a specific job in helping diverse groups, the job just isn’t complete yet. Reference Acumen PI- Title: Critically assess how effective employment law is as a means of altering social attitudes, Name: mamani, Date: 2003-04-05. Aguirre, A. Jr. Martinez, Ruben. The diversity rationale in higher education: an overview of the contemporary legal context. ” Social Justice, Spring 2003 Issue. “Defending affirmative action” (On the Line). (Brief Article), The Progressive, April 2003 Issue. Raymond, N. “Crackdown on diversity: the Department of Education took aim at affirmative action. ” American Lawyer, Nov 2008 Issue. Raymond, N. “Crackdown on diversity: the department of education took aim at affirmative action. ” Corporate Counsel, Nov 2008 Issue. Bigler S. R. “Race and the workforce: Occupational status, aspirations, and stereotyping among African American children. ” Developmental Psychology, 2003.


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