Against Affirmative Action

Essay by KVossCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2004

download word file, 5 pages 3.9

Against Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action was first used during the Civil Rights movement. It was intended to balance injustices suffered by minority groups, especially blacks. It was defined as a program for giving preference to individuals for positions in schools and workplaces, based on that person's membership in a previously discriminated-against group. According to The New Encyclopedia Britannica "it began as a government remedy to the effects of historical discrimination against such groups and has consisted of policies, programs and procedures that give preferences to minorities and women in job hiring, admission to institutions of higher education, the awarding of government contracts, and other social benefits."(Vol. A: 127) It is a system of rules giving preference in selection to particular applicants over others. Despite the fact that it was designed to get rid of discrimination, it really creates a greater preference in race, offers advantages to those less qualified and must not be permitted to proceed.

Some people have said that Affirmative Action should not be done away with, whereas many minorities have gained from it. Of course there have been those who have gained from it! There are always people who benefit from the violation of human rights. Injustice always works to the advantage of someone, otherwise there would be no injustice. But benefits cannot be placed in the balance to weigh against injustice.

Affirmative Action is also said to aide colleges, universities, and workplaces in attaining racial diversity. This is desirable, yet it cannot be used to condone unfairness and the infringement of another individuals rights.

But "affirmative action" carries an explicitly zero-sum connotation; if one group of individuals is being advantages, another group is, of course, being disadvantages. From the outset, affirmative action, unlike older policies designed to spur integration was attacked for establishing invidious racial categories.