Ethics Position Paper on Affirmative Action
The term affirmative action refers to policies that take race, ethnicity, physical disabilities, military career, sex, sexual orientation, or a person's parents' social class into consideration in an attempt to promote equal opportunity or increase ethnicity or other forms of diversity. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and education to public contracting and health programs. The impetus towards affirmative action is twofold: to maximize diversity in all levels of society, along with its presumed benefits, and to redress perceived disadvantages due to overt, institutional, or involuntary discrimination. Opponents argue that it promotes reverse discrimination. Affirmative action is a term coined in the United States. Matching procedures in other countries are known as Reservation in India, Positive Discrimination in the United Kingdom and Employment Equity in Canada. Regardless of the name it still means the same thing and that is that one group of people is seen as higher, or as more important than another group no matter the scenario. I believe that affirmative action used to be right when our country was still dealing with trying to help blacks become equal after slavery, but now that we have a black man in the most powerful position in the world, I believe affirmative action has done its job and should be abolished. Yes, it has helped blacks already and we Americans should already have it ingrained in our minds, like it is written in our Constitution, the governing papers of our democratic government, that “all men are created equal.” Men being a termed used lightly as any common person, including women. The mistreatment of minorities has been the norm for years and years, dating back to times before the Americas were even discovered. Portuguese and Spanish conquerors first sailed along the coast of Africa in the fourteenth century and when landing, discovered natives and trapped them and took them and sold them into slavery to the wealthy people of London, Venice, and other big cities and civilizations of Europe. At the time, Irish and Scottish folk could be considered slaves and thus been sentenced to horrible chores and deeds. Only recently, in the last couple hundreds of years have people even come to think of slavery as wrong. Our earliest Presidents even owned them. Abraham Lincoln outlawed slavery immediately following the Civil War with the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment but it wasn’t until 100 years after, with the guidance of Martin Luther King Jr., and John and Robert Kennedy, who helped pass the Civil Rights Act of 1964 which prohibited discrimination in public accommodations and employment. “Affirmative action began as a government remedy to the effects of long-standing discrimination against such groups [minority groups and women] and has consisted of policies, programs, and procedures that give preferences to minorities and women in job hiring, admission to institutions of higher educations, the awarding of government contracts, and other social benefits. The typical criteria for affirmative action are race, disability, gender, ethnic origin, and age” (Encyclopedia Britannica). In most recent times, this has also grown to include sexual orientation as gays and lesbians have started to fight for their equality, starting with the military.
Being a white male living here in America, I stand as an example of the complete opposite of a potential hire for an Equal Opportunity Employer who is looking to diversify its employment roster. The issue of affirmative action is not going to die or go away any time soon because there is always going to be two sides. We have to face it, there are a large amount of white males here in America and we are fighting to get into the workplace just as hard, if not harder as some minorities. Truth be told that the majority of poverty stricken areas are...
Cited: "affirmative action." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2010. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 01 Apr. 2010 .
Brunner, Borgna, “A History and Timeline of Affirmative Action” Affirmative Action History, n.d. 31 Mar. 2010 http://www.infoplease.com/spot/affirmative1.html
Jordan, Jeff, “The Doctrine of Double Effect and Affirmative Action” Journal of Applied Philosophy Vol 7 Ise. 2, 18 Feb 2008, 31 Mar. 2010
Locke, Edwin A., “Supreme Court Wong on Affirmative Action,” San Francisco Examiner 25 Jun 2003, Providence Journal 27 Jun 2003; 31 Mar 2010, http://www.ayrand.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=7520&news_jv_ctrl=1223
Please join StudyMode to read the full document