Affirmative Action or Affirmative Discrimination
Affirmative action refers to an attempt at equality in the society. It claims that each person receive equal opportunities in the classroom as well as the work force. Not only would this would be subjected to minorities but to women as well. Every sector in America should be equal and unprejudiced - or so proponents say. However, adopting affirmative action would force many employers to replace hard-working employees with those less qualified simply as a consequence of their gender or ethnic background (Sterba, 2003).
We can analyze this concept from the perspective of two opponents as “Arguments for ‘Affirmative Action is Reverse ...view middle of the document...
In opposition to this argument, if you say that affirmative action is reverse discrimination on white males or the majorities of the society; they have been treated unequally because of their gender and race, then why are they still the ones enjoying the most benefits and wealth of the society in reality? Using Bakke’s case as an example, among the 100 places in the class admissions, 84 were opened for competitive admission, and only 16 places were given preferential treatment to students who belonged to minority groups. (Bender, 1996) Hence, although affirmative action programs might reduce the advantages of the white men or majority group, it is not as extreme as the reverse discrimination program that disregards interests of those groups. What affirmative action tries to achieve is to balance their interests with the society’s interests, which is to break the cycle of poverty for minorities.
It is unfair to ask the people today to pay for the sins of the past - to ask people today who have never discriminated others to pay for the discrimination committed by someone else in the past, just because they are offsprings of the same group, is unjust, and can lead to reverse discrimination. As Shaw & Barry (2004) argued that people today can’t be expected to atone for the sins of the past. We’re not responsible for them, and in any case, we wouldn’t be compensating those who rightly deserve it. Young African Americans and women coming for their first job have never suffered employment discrimination. Their parents and grandparents may deserve compensation, but why should today’s candidates receive any special consideration? No one should discriminate against them, of course, but they should compete openly and on their merits, just like everybody else.
We can oppose this argument by claiming that the goal of affirmative action is equality. It believes that the people who were treated unfairly and unequally deserve the same rights as the majority. Hence to return the rights that had been taken away from them, the action itself is based on the assumption that human should have equal rights in the society. However in the real world, factors such as gender, age, race, are still affecting the decision making process in the business world when dealing with employment. It is very common during recruitment that the employer would hire male applicants first when both male and female applicants are equally qualified; or hire the younger than the older. Affirmative action takes a step into correcting all these types of discrimination by setting hard quotas for the minority in the organization. In another words, affirmative action is actually helping to achieve equality for the minority in the real world, instead of reverse discrimination.
When we consider the argument from the utilitarianism point of view; utilitarianism theory was developed by Jeremy Bentham and John Mill and suggested the principle of the greatest good of the greatest number:...