Opportunities of Character, Not Color. Arguments for and against Affarmative action

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA, November 1996

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Opportunities of Character, Not Color

Created in the 1960's, affirmative action programs attempted to undo past racial discrimination by giving preference to blacks and other minorities. The idea behind these programs was to help minorities gain the representation in the job market that paralleled their percentage of the population (Finley 1). Unfortunately, affirmative action has mutated into a thirty-year-old policy that places many underqualified minorities in positions over more qualified non-minorities. Preferential treatment of minorities has caused problems not only in the workplace, but also in our universities throughout the country. Due to these current circumstances, affirmative action policies in college admissions must be eliminated because of the negative effects they have on campuses across the nation.

There are numerous arguments that defend the use of affirmative action and advocate its effect on college campuses. Supporters of affirmative action believe that minorities are still disadvantaged and that it is 'absolutely necessary to level the playing field' (Wilkins 334).

They believe that minorities will never be given a fair chance at college unless diversity is forced upon the campus. Proponents also argue that affirmative action is the best solution to past discrimination and color-blindness, and that without affirmative action the gaps between our races will never close.

Although these arguments may have positive aspects such as creating a multicultural campus, affirmative action's many faults cause more problems than are solved. The leading problem with these ideas on affirmative action in colleges is that it has completely failed to accomplish one of its main goals: reduce the color-consciousness of university students and ease racial tension. On the contrary, it has done exactly the opposite because affirmative action 'poses a conflict between two cherished American principles: the belief that all Americans deserve equal opportunities and the idea that hard work and merit, not...