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Affirmative Action Essay

  • Submitted by: Slimington
  • on May 6, 2012
  • Category: Social Issues
  • Length: 344 words

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Below is an essay on "Affirmative Action" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

Affirmative action generally means giving preferential treatment to minorities in admission to universities or employment in government & businesses. The policies were originally developed to correct decades of discrimination and to give disadvantaged minorities a boost. The diversity of our current society as opposed to that of 50 years ago seem to indicate the programs have been a success. But now, many think the policies are no longer needed and that they lead to more problems than they solve.

One notable example is a case argued a few years back in the Supreme Court concerning admissions to the University of Michigan. The school had a policy of rating potential applicants on a point system. Being a minority student earned you more than twice as many points as achieving a perfect SAT score. Three white students sued citing this as raced-based discrimination. School officials said that diversity is desirable and affirmative action is the only way to achieve true diversity. Another notable case in 2009 involved firefighters whose captain's exams were thrown out after it was determined not enough minorities passed. Several other cases involving affirmative action have followed similar arguments.

Pros

    affirmative action lowers standards of accountability needed to push students or employees to perform better.
    Students admitted on this basis are often ill-equipped to handle the schools to which they've been admitted.

    It would help lead a truly color-blind society.
    It is condescending to minorities to say they need affirmative action to succeed.
    It demeans true minority achievement; i.e. success is labeled as result of affirmative action rather than hard work and ability.
    Once enacted, affirmative actions are tough to remove, even after the underlying discrimination has been eliminated.

Cons

    Students starting at a disadvantage need a boost.
    Affirmative action draws people to areas of study and work they may never...

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