The Complex Issue of Affirmative Action

Essay by Manny1511College, UndergraduateA, April 2004

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During fraternity rush in my first year of college, I visited several fraternities and was always given a short speech on what the fraternity was looking for and what they stood for. I no longer remember what each fraternity claimed to be about, but I do remember one word that stood out. It was uttered in every single presentation and in every conversation with fraternity leaders: diversity. Looking back on that time, it seems somewhat contradictory that a fraternity, which subjectively chooses its members, could truly covet diversity as much as the fraternities I rushed claimed.

Since the civil rights movement of the 1960s the idea of diversity has become increasingly more desirable. Diversity in an organization is no longer just praised; it is required. Even organizations that are created for a specific group must open themselves to diversity. The arena of High school sports is a particularly controversial area in its occasional exclusion of girls.

One of the most widely debated lawsuits of the year 2000 was over the rights of homosexuals to participate in boy scouting. The desire for diversity is strongest in the job market, where managers are given financial incentives from their bosses for hiring minority employees because a diverse staff is good for public relations, and hence will draw in more business.

Little if any governmental intervention is needed anymore to ensure minorities can get jobs. There is still the problem of minorities not being promoted, but affirmative action has not yet been able to fix the problem and there is no reason to believe that it will in the future. What affirmative action does promote, however, is fear of competition with other races, most of whom are anti-affirmative action. In a survey taken at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, some students believed that "being...