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Affirmative Action Essay 12

1086 words - 5 pages

Although it is imperative that minorities have equal opportunity with other Americans, it is not the government’s responsibility to actively pursue and demand private businesses and organizations to adhere to minority quotas. The concept of being treated differently in an effort to achieve equality is entirely paradoxical and thus should not be forced by the government. Affirmative action’s true effect comes not in pulling minorities up but holding businesses and organizations back. Forcing a company to hire a minority with lesser credentials is undemocratic and unfair. If the American dream is the possibility of hard work leading to success no matter one’s race, gender, or social ...view middle of the document...

It is such inconsistencies and short comings that shatter the fragile idealistic concept of affirmative action.
Despite the constant attention and reverence by many to the affirmative action system, in reality it is not nearly as effective as advertised. In the mid 1960’s to the mid 1970’s, poverty among African Americans had nearly been cut in half. Since the implementation of the affirmative action plan in 1975, there has been little change to the percentage of African Americans under the poverty line (Sowell, 45). Since that installation several Supreme Court rulings have upheld the basic concept of affirmative action to varying degrees, but recently they have supported the plan to a lesser extent than in the past. In a recent case, Grutter v Bollinger, the Supreme Court ruled that while race may play a determining role in the decision to admit applicants to colleges, it cannot be the deciding factor, only equally considered along with other characteristics such as academic success and athletic ability (Wohlers, 95). This gradual decline in the trust put into the affirmative action system implies that the government is slowly determining the plan’s short comings.
Many experts agree that the problems with affirmative action are even more significant than overspending and inefficient business. Other countries such as Sri Lanka and India have employed a system similar to affirmative action, and neither experienced the desired results. Instead of a society of equivalence and education, in both instances the end result was a very polarized society, with much of the wealth and education enjoyed by a small percent at the top of society while most people endured poor living conditions and terrible education. In both of these countries a middle class is nearly nonexistent, a trait that points to a pending decline or even collapse of that country. In India the installation of such unequal treatment directly coincided with illegal mob activity, and after the implementation of affirmative action terrible civil wars broke out in Sri Lanka (Avery, 33).
Recent studies and trends have led people to understand that the key to the future success of minorities lies in childhood education, not lowering standards to satisfy quotas. The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reports that the average African American high school...

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