Evaluate Affirmative Action and Evaluate Advantages and Disadvantages

639 Words3 Pages
Affirmative action entails giving minorities a head start in areas like higher education and employment; sometimes referred to as positive discrimination. However to more conservative groups and many Republican politicians it can be seen as reverse discrimination, patronising to minorities and unfair to majorities. The first programme of affirmative action was brought in by Kennedy in 1961, the creation of the Equal Employment Opportunity Council (EEOC), this ensured the hiring and employment practices would be free from racial bias. Affirmative action tends to be largely supported by the Democrats, with the belief of ‘Equality of Results vs. Equality Opportunity’ in that the burdens of racism can only be overcome by taking race into account. Affirmative action also aims to reflect the racial diversity of the nation, the ‘Equality of Results’, within schools, the firm and the workplace. Despite being mainly supported by Democrats, and rejected by Republicans President Nixon played a significant role in affirmative action by instituting ‘set aside’ policies to reserve a certain percentage for minorities. The main advantage of affirmative action is that is leads to a greater diversity in societies main institutions, arguably this would not be achieved had things been left as they were. It is also argued on the basis of righting those previously wronged, by opening areas of education and employment that would not have previously been available to minorities. Affirmative action also helps to integrate minorities within society, by promoting ethnic and racial tolerance, particularly in education. Lastly it increases confidence in the government that the promise of equal opportunity is actually being carried out. The successes of affirmative action can be shown through the statistics, for example; the percentage of black people aged 25-29 graduating university rose
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