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.
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