Affirmative Action, Is It Good Or Bad?

What is affirmative action?

Affirmative action is defined as steps or policies to create positive and equal opportunities for women and minority groups. Factors that are included in it are race, color, gender, religion, sexual orientation or national origin. There are a number of affirmative pros and cons that separate certain groups from others because of their opinions. Affirmative action came into consciousness in the United States when President John F. Kennedy signed an Executive Order to achieve non-discrimination. Its purpose is to give opportunities for minor groups to be a part of institutions and professions that was once dominated by white male. This concept of affirmative action is dynamic and practiced throughout the world. Affirmative action is often a topic of debate where affirmative action pros and cons are discussed. You can find more useful information on this website.

Affirmative action pros and cons

The topic of affirmative action divides groups who study the concept. Emotions may arise and history is being recalled to justify the issue of discrimination among the minority. Schools, workplace, businesses, government and even homes are encouraged to practice affirmative action. Although not a concrete and defined law, the concept of affirmative action should always based on the practice of ensuring equality in the environment. The study of affirmative action should not only be offered in a certain course but should be known by all people to promote and spread its purpose.

Affirmative actions taught in school will lessen racial discrimination and bullying. Children are often the target of discrimination and are sensitive to such issues. Diversity should always be encouraged and that no person is superior to any other person. In the workplace, skills and productivity should be the measure of promotion. Minority groups should not be deprived of their rights to enter an institution or to hold any position in businesses.

Discrimination will continue even if affirmative action is practiced. Peoples opinion, beliefs and history matter and certain rights overlap the purpose of affirmative action. Confidence may not be easy to develop among minority group since there might be prejudice on the promotion of affirmative action. Individuals may or may not perform well or they might be accepted to fill a quota and not because of their ability or skills. Others consider affirmative action as a remedy to heal discrimination that had happened in the past. The most common issues of discrimination is women and skin color. Women are seen as inferior and are stereotyped to do certain tasks that are only intended for them. Gender is the basis of acquiring rights rather than skills. Skin color, on the other hand, has been a long time issue in America and other continents.

Affirmative action pros and cons as a balancing act

Although affirmative action pros and cons divide people, the idea of equality must exist. Social justice is achieved when no one is hurt and there is unity regardless of gender, skin color, nationality or race. Dialogues and debates are healthy to exchange ideas and opinions. In this way, everyones voice is heard.

Affirmative Action, Is It Necessary?

Affirmative action refers to policies that were created so that government contractors would not discriminate against any employees or applicants because of race, creed, colour or national origin.  Soon after the policies took effect in the mid 20th century many pros and cons of affirmative action were raised and steps were taken to include gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status and religion.  Today it has broadened its scope from government to private contractors and educational institutions and is practiced in many other countries outside the US.

However with modern times the need for affirmative action has now been brought into question as more and more integration has happened in society over the past 5 decades.  Issues being brought up by affirmative action critics have criticized the policy for preferring the minority group and discriminating against the majority.  Meanwhile supporters of the policy, while affirming its uses against discrimination in the past, see no need for the policy as these issues have lessened or have ceased.

Such issues have questioned the need to amend or completely discontinue the policy, but as it is a very sensitive topic doing so is difficult if not impossible, especially with many pros and cons of affirmative action being raised all the time.  Pros of affirmative action include:

- Allowing minority groups to break through social barriers which would otherwise stop them from entering certain professions, schools or work.

- Groups that have suffered years of oppression can consider affirmative action policies as a means of compensation for past transgressions.

- Encourages diversity and social integration in certain environments where the minority is looked down upon and wouldnt normally be accepted.

- Affirmative action policies continue to protect the minority groups from oppression and removal of the policy may allow discrimination and prejudice to resurface.

Given the above arguments it would appear that there is much to gain from affirmative action policies. However the need for the policy to continue is questioned as it labels the minority groups and allows a form of reverse discrimination.  Anti affirmative action groups argue that:

- Affirmative action policies should be phased out when society becomes more integrated, however being a government policy, interest groups will most likely defend it even after the discrimination has ceased.

- Some institutions and companies adopting the practice of affirmative action policies lower the standards expected of minority groups encouraging discrimination and social profiling.

- In addition, Individuals accepted through lowered standards may be unable to perform to the extent required for their environment which may lead to failure or poor performance due to the mismatch.

- Affirmative action policies may encourage discrimination against the majority group as it gives preferential treatment to the minority group, thus impacting the selection of more qualified candidates in the presence of a minority candidate.

Given the above counter-arguments it would appear that continuing affirmative action policies can be counter-productive, but the sudden removal may reinstate the discrimination and abuse that it was designed to prevent.  Hence this issue cannot be taken lightly.  To continue affirmative action policies and adapt them to different environments needs careful planning in order to succeed and prevent abuse.  We hope that the pros and cons of affirmative action listed above helped shed more light on this issue and give our readers a more solid ground on affirmative action.

Understanding Affirmative Action In The Workplace

It’s hard to move about society, the American one in particular, without encountering affirmative action in the workplace. Affirmative action within the workplace is essentially a means of trying to rectify any wrongs done to minority groups in the past by giving an advantage over the whites in America. Starting out in admission policies in schools, affirmative action now makes it possible for minority groups to participate in avenues where they are not allowed before or were at an unfair disadvantage before. Now, affirmative action is the entire opposite of how things were used to be done. Now, it’s all about consciously giving the minority groups a clear advantage over the white Americans. But should this really be the case?

Many are of the belief that affirmative action in the workplace is in itself based upon a policy of discrimination, although most of the people affected by affirmative action today had no role in any of the discrimination that affirmative action is looking to address. For a lot of people, hiring an individual or accepting an application should solely be based upon the individual’s merit. This would make it unfair then to give anyone an advantage over the other, no matter who was benefiting. It is also argued that if society in America was ever to live up to its best capability, then it would be natural that those who would be getting jobs are the ones most qualified to do them. Otherwise, you’re looking at a society that is undermining itself.

What affirmative action in the workplace reminds people is that two wrongs will not make a right. Won’t it make people develop better self-esteem if they have to work for what they want to receive? Also, won’t standing on your own merits make people respect you more? If you would follow this train of thought though, it would seem that society will be better off without affirmative action. Not to mention that doing without affirmative action will help dissipate any kind of resentment that white people will have against the minority groups. Since if that happens, affirmative action will be causing what it was exactly trying to put to rest. This is one of the reasons why there are those who want to make do without affirmative action and encourage people instead to stand up on their own without any help from anyone. Because if one was to ask for help from society, surely whatever help will be dispensed will be at the expense of others.

In the end though, reasons for keeping affirmative action in the workplace are so much more valid than the ones against it. Change in a society is hard to initiate, most especially on the topic of fairness, that’s why a firmer hand in the guise of government aid is needed under certain circumstances. It wasn’t so long ago that slavery was abolished in America. Back then, surely there were those who thought that freeing the slaves was absurd. But it did happen and now everyone is enjoying their freedom. The same could be said about affirmative action in the workplace. It will have its negative side now but eventually people with see that all it really aimed to do was level the playing field for everyone by giving those who need it just a little bit more prodding than the rest.

Lowdown On the Policy of Affirmative Action

The affirmative action in education is a policy that procures factors such as a minorities’ color, race, gender, religion, national origin and sexual orientation into a circumstance so that they can benefit in the areas of business, education and employment. Some people find it beneficial since it gives preferential treatment to minorities when it comes to their admission in major universities or employment in businesses or government sectors, however, not all people are in line with the code.

Say, the policy gets abolished. What will be the outcome?

  1. It will lead to reverse discrimination Those who live in poverty that works twice as hard compared to upper class minorities are shrugged off because of the influence put on by the latter. Now this doesn’t translate into equity at all. Its truly unfair to those who use discipline and hard work to get what they want but never reap the rewards because of the racial circumstance.
  2. Lower standards of accountability Effort is what we’re talking about here, and if a certain school has to lower their standards just to accommodate a specific minority who doesn’t put much effort to work, it lessens accountability.
  3. Ill-equipped The problem here is that some minorities won’t be given the chance to perform better because the SAT or GPA requirements imposed by universities are too much for them to handle, often being a hindrance for them to succeed in their chosen field.
  4. It would lead a color-blind society Authorities wouldn’t be inquiring much about a specific minorities’ hair, eye,and skin color in this case, because it isn’t really important.
  5. Add insult to injury As if the policy isn’t harsh enough, it’s truly condescending. A person who thinks he’s incapable of doing the best he can will tend to worry more because of the imposition of affirmative action. It’s insulting and will make minorities feel that they’re not capable of achieving goals through hard work and discipline.
  6. Demeans real minority achievement As if condescension isn’t enough already, affirmative action will demean truth allotted to minorities. It would be insulting for a certain student’s part that worked his way through achievement only to be criticized by the policy in the end.
  7. Permanent damage It will be very difficult for affirmative action to be removed once it gets enacted.

What if it doesn’t?

  1. Desirable cultural diversity Since affirmative action will be catering lots of minorities from all walks of life, there will be vast cultural diversities evolving in different sectors of society which is an important factor for the establishment of harmonious and unified nation.
  2. Major boost Minorities who are having problems adjusting to a society may need to have a little boosting, especially those who came from a mediocre background. Affirmative actions gives them a chance to prove themselves in the public arena.
  3. It gives minorities a chance to work at their ideal business sectors and study in their preferred schools.
  4. Stereotypes will be left for dead.
  5. The affirmative action in education compensates minorities that have suffered and were victims of discrimination in the past.

An Affirmation of the Affirmative Action Plan Requirements

An affirmative action plan, commonly referred to as the AAP, is a program that presents an analysis of the possible underutilization of a given employer of the skills of some of his employees belonging to the protected classes of society. Typically, one of the many affirmative action plan requirements is that the employer has to take several steps to ensure that the said underutilization is corrected, thereby improving the representation of the affected employee within the company.

The AAP is supposed to be written every year, with the affirmative action plan requirements providing that separate programs be implemented for every individual member of the protected class such as the disabled people, Vietnam and other war veterans, women, and those falling under the minority group. The plan need not really be prepared unless an audit has been conducted by the government agency concerned, and the company involved has been found to have discriminated against certain members of the protected group.

Additionally, not all companies are expected to comply with the many affirmative action plan requirements. There are actually three different scenarios under which a given firm is required to come up with an AAP. One is when the company has been set up in such a way that it regularly enters into various business contracts with the many agencies falling under the federal government. In this regard if the said company has at least 50 people under its employ and closes a $50,000 federal government deal, it will be required to present an AAP and maintain the same in order to recruit, hire, and promote disabled individuals, women, veterans, and minority people.

Similarly, a suitable affirmative action plan has to be put into place if a company plays the role of government funds depository regardless of the amount involved. The same thing applies in the case of a company engaged in the issuance and payment of various savings notes and bonds of the US government.

Another scenario when affirmative action plan requirements need to be observed is when the courts have so ordered. In this particular case, an employer is being asked to produce an affirmative action plan since the court has found him or her to have violated federal and state laws against discrimination. As such, the AAP is being pushed to serve as an effective solution to the discrimination made.

The last scenario when an AAP can be implemented is when employers want to be more liberal when hiring people. An example of this is opening job positions traditionally reserved for men to women candidates. By doing so, employers offer a remedy to discrimination previously made against women. For the most part, though, this particular situation is voluntary in nature.

The many affirmative action plan requirements can be a bit complex. For this reason, it is not uncommon to find many companies opting to do away with its implementation unless the court has ordered them otherwise. What they fail to realize is that a violation of the law is possibly being made, and that this can have serious impact on their businesses in the long run.