Essay on Affirmative Action: A Road to Discrimination and Prejudice

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Affirmative Action: A Road to Discrimination and Prejudice Affirmative action: these words bring to mind many different things to many different people. To some it is a leveler of the playing field and a right for past injustices, but to others it is a tool used to cause reverse discrimination and continues prejudices. Affirmative action was born into a time when our country was attempting to provide equality for all and was only intended to be a temporary measure to bring about this equality into areas where it had been lacking. Now almost forty years later this temporary measure known as affirmative action is still being used and has in the most part failed to bring about the equality it was supposed to. Instead, we have today a…show more content…
From this beginning one can see that affirmative action was too narrow in scope to ever actually level the playing field or to make up for past injustices to all without discriminating against some. The main focus of affirmative action was on education and employment. It required that measures be used to ensure that minorities and women be given the same opportunities for promotions, salary increases, career advancements, school admissions, scholarships, and financial aid that all others were given (Brummer, 2003), but originally did not state how this was to be accomplished. By 1970, the federal government had established regulations which required affirmative action through goals and timetables. While unintended in conception, in practice, these too often encouraged preferential treatment for members of one group over members of another. Ultimately affirmative action became based on preferential treatment in the form of quotas and other efforts that made race and gender the determining factors in many aspects of employment and admission to colleges (Wilson, 1995, p. 111). Here lies the root problem with affirmative action in that it causes a new form of discrimination to exist. Overtime, it has become apparent that affirmative action has exacted a price from its beneficiaries, that is often higher than the supposed rewards that affirmative action was to give, the success of affirmative action was based on its appeal to our heritage
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