Affirmative Action in America: Is it still needed?

Essay by Shoity2004University, Bachelor'sB+, March 2004

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Is affirmative action still necessary in America? I feel affirmative action is still necessary because America does not have enough equality and diversity. There are two definitions of affirmative action: 1) race-neutral, gender-neutral assurance against actual discrimination and 2) racial-preferences and gender-preferences for the correct races and genders. Most Americans associate affirmative action with the second definition, causing much controversy. However, the true and intended meaning of affirmative action is the first one. Affirmative action is still essential in America because Americans do not have sufficient equality and diversity in our workforce and universities.

First, affirmative action is still necessary because of lack of equality. White males typically earn significantly more than women and minorities. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, women, overall, make 71 cents as compared to a man's dollar. While minority men make more than non-minority and minority women, non-minority males make about $ 9,000 more than minority men, $ 14,000 more than non-minority women and $ 17,000 more than minority women in white collar occupations, according to the Federal Civilian Workforce."

(Opportunities for Women, 2003) Without the aid of affirmative action, women and minorities will continue to fall behind in the workforce. Affirmative action is still necessary in order to insure equality among white men, women, and minorities. By using affirmative action, that is race-neutral and gender-neutral assurance against discrimination, we can live up to our country's statement that "everyone is created equal." and have diversity throughout America. (Fullinwider, 2003).

Second, affirmative action is needed to create diversity in America. Affirmative action allows people of different races and backgrounds to interact in the workplace and universities. In 1996, Neil Rudenstine, president of Harvard University, explained Harvard's commitment to diversity by using John Stuart Mill, who emphasized the value of people being in contact with...