Good Argumentative Essay About Affirmative Action: Pros And Cons
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Affirmative action is certainly a hot-button issue in today’s society in America. The idea of affirmative action is a noble one—it is designed to help protect people who are underrepresented in tertiary institutions in the United States. Often, those people are minorities; however, there are increasing numbers of institutions who are implementing affirmative action policies for young men, because young women are taking up more and more of the spaces on college campuses in the United States.
There are good arguments both for and against affirmative action policies in the United States. Proponents of these policies suggest that people who are the target of affirmative action policies genuinely need assistance in some way. Usually, people who benefit from affirmative action policies are less wealthy, and come from less privileged backgrounds than those who do not benefit from affirmative action policies. Despite the connotation of affirmative action with colleges and universities, however, it should be noted that there are affirmative action policies in place in a number of different forms in the United States. Issues & Controversies writes, “Affirmative action programs are initiatives meant to encourage diversity in classrooms and workplaces while increasing opportunities for minority group members and women. Affirmative action allows university admissions officials or employers to take race, ethnicity, or gender into account when they make admission or hiring decisions” (“Affirmative Action”). In short, these policies allow places that would not normally be able to take race, ethnicity, or gender into account—like workplaces and universities—and allows them to change their policies for individuals who are underrepresented in some significant way (“Affirmative Action”).
There is some disagreement about the function of affirmative action policies in certain types of institutions, however. Jaschik notes that in many places, women are significantly outnumbering men in the academic world; in these places, men are becoming the targets of affirmative action. However, if affirmative action is ostensibly designed to protect individuals who have been routinely discriminated against in the past, then this seems strange—white males have never been the target of racial discrimination. Instead of affirmative action, it seems as though these policies have changed from affirmative action policies into racial and gender quotas, which are entirely different from affirmative action (Jaschik).
Affirmative action has become an issue that has changed from one with a noble intent to one that is designed to keep balance within universities and the workplace. Although it would be excellent if employers would stop discriminating based on race and gender, affirmative action policies that merely put quotas into practice are not necessarily an excellent solution for these institutions. This fosters a sense of unfairness and preference in selection that is not based on merit; people often become very frustrated by this issue. In some parts of the United States, courts have struck down affirmative action policies because they have been deemed openly discriminatory. While affirmative action policies may be excellent policies in theory, there is no guarantee that there will be fair application of these policies. Understanding that there are differences in applicants is one thing, but there must be a better way to ensure fairness in the application process than openly discriminating against people—and for people—based on race, gender, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, and so on and so forth.
“Affirmative Action.” Issues & Controversies. Infobase Learning, 29 July 2013. Web. 26 Jan. 2015. <http://icof.infobaselearning.com/recurl.aspx?wid=99152&ID=6334>.
Jaschik, Scott. Affirmative Action for Men. 2006.
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