is affirmative action necessary?

United States
June 29, 2009 4:06pm CST
Another discussion on here got me thinking, and I got to thinking I should start a new discussion. My question is this: Is affirmative action still necessary, let alone appropriate? I realize the arguments in favor of affirmative action; the goal of making discrimination illegal, evening out the playing field and what have you. But in today's world is it necessary? Are we past the point of making things even and have we gone so far that now we have simply elevated the "other side" to having the upper hand? I understand that there was a time when discrimination was blatant and rampant, I simply do not believe that we are still in that time. I think it is extremely discriminatory to give extra "points" on job and school applications simply because of race; or to punish/reward businesses monetarily based on the proportion of different ethnic groups in their employment. Of course when a business feels they have a quota to fill they will fill based on race, even if there is a better candidate for the job that is not a minority. By the way, this isn't a black and white thing either; it's a white and "everything else" thing. I live in Montana and I challenge you to go to USAjobs. com and look at the government listings in montana. How many of them DON'T state on their job descriptions that they will give "points" to native americans? To me, as a college educated montanan, that is a slap in the face. I come from a WORKING CLASS family, the first generation in my family to GO to college. I worked 2 jobs to pay my tuition while attending. Why am I worth less than anyone else? Isn't this process counter productive to the initial problem affirmative action set out to solve? Comments?
1 person likes this
8 responses
@4ftfingers (1314)
29 Jun 09
I agree, discrimination, whether negative or positive is still discrimination and with that, someone is going to gain, and someone else is going to lose but not because of something each person has achieved (like in your own example). This inbalance is what causes negative feeling in people as I think everyone want to play on a level playing field to the best we possibly can. I can't comment for anyone else but I think I would feel insulted to be given special treatment for things that bear no reference to my abilities to do the job that I have applied for. Here in the UK, the police force have used positive discrimination to improve it's poor image, as there was widely reported evidence of institutional racism. For this I think it can be good, as a short term means to gain the public's confidence. But if used long term I think it will cause more harm than good.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jun 09
I, too, would be offended to receive special treatment for something I have no control over. I remember taking welding in high school and being the only girl. My welds were judged on the same criteria as everyone else. I would be offended if people offered to move my acetylene bottles for me-I wanted to do it myself so they knew that I could. That is me, and maybe someone else would've appreciated the gesture...but I wanted people to know I got an "A" because I had some pretty darn good welds, not because the teacher thought he better give me one!
30 Jun 09
I have a lot of respect for that. Sometimes it's all too easy for women use their sexuaity to benefit themselves, when I was studying as a plumber there were three girls in the class. One of them, who was about 30, was very flirtatious towards the lecturers. Some lecturers ignored it while with other lecturers it was obviously gaining her extra credit, which everyone else resented. In the end people who use this are not doing themself any favours because others won't respect them for what they can do. But it's not just her fault, lecturers are supposed to be unbiased with their students, if they let things like that persuade their marking then their teaching system is failing.
• Philippines
30 Jun 09
I'm a democrat. I believe in equality. Time for us to fight for it, period. No special rights. No tolerance for those who want them or who try to use racial bigotry for their decisions. ENOUGH. EQUALITY. Affirmative action is just racial prejudice that society accepts. It's reverse discrimination against white males.
1 person likes this
• United States
30 Jun 09
I agree, this is reverse racism.
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• United States
30 Jun 09
I think that affirmative action should be abolished because now that we have an African-American president, what need does this country have for affirmative action? I can see no need for it. I think that education should be equal for all, and that no one should get any special treatment. Everyone should be judge based on what they can do, what their skills are, and what their talents are. I am sick of this "I am a minority, so I should get treated better than everyone else" junk. I work, I go to college, and I got a scholarship based on my grades, not on my race. Enough is enough. There should be no more special treatment in this country. We all want a country that is fair and equal right? Well then, let's show other countries that we are fair and equal.
• India
30 Jun 09
i think that there are still minor pockets in our society where there is some reservation required for the minority classes. otherwise, by and large we have reached a state where we can rid ourselves of this kind of a discrimination.
1 person likes this
@bestboy19 (5482)
• United States
30 Jun 09
I've always thought of affirmative action as an insult to the people who are receiving it. To me it's like saying, "you're not good enough or smart enough to do it on your own, so we're going to have to help you." I also think it gives the minorities an incentive not to work hard. Why should they if they know affirmative action will do the work for them. I do believe, though, that we have reached a point were we're more color blind than we used to be, and affirmative action is no longer necessary.
@N4life (851)
• United States
30 Jun 09
I agree with your statements. I completey disagree with discrimination, but I to am a first generation four year college grad who happens to be white and my feeling is at this point, laws which outlaw disrimination are needed. Haveing said this, laws which encourage discrimination are not, and this is what I think affirmative action is now.
• United States
30 Jun 09
I agree! Especially in places like southern California, parts of texas, etc where whites aren't even the majority...where's the logic in that? I agree that discrimination should be illegal, but I just don't think that affirmative action produces positive results at this point.
@heathcliff (1415)
• United States
29 Jun 09
It may surprise some here to learn I never supported Affirmative Action. I have not fought against most of these programs in the past because I understood the reasons many people fought so hard for them and I've seen some good results. In the end, however, the ends should not justify the means. If we want societies built on freedom and justice for all, we cannot make the guidelines for admission/promotion/reward based even partly on "what" we are. Who we are, what we've done, and our potential from there, should be judged as if blind in 99% of life's situations.
• United States
30 Jun 09
I totally agree. I don't understand why people would ever judge somebody because of anything other than their actions. Not only in situations like this, but also in terms of who their parents are, what other people in their family have done, what kind of car they drive, you name it. It blows my mind to hear people say things like "oh, do you work with so and so? I can't believe she works there, did you know her sister's in jail?" No, I didn't know that, it has nothing to do with her work ethic, and I don't really care! That digresses a little bit, but still...ACTIONS, what people DO mean so much more than what people LOOK like...
• United States
30 Jun 09
Affirmative action is racist. It's the purest form of racism out there. Quoting from the Constitution: " Article 9 (2) of the Constitution states: "Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken." So we've got a policy that states you must hire the black man or the black woman even if they aren't qualified to make sure that the races are balanced out in the work place. That's like telling a white person to sit on the back of the bus and if someone more important comes along, who cares. Hoof it! Everyone knows it's racist except those who benefit from it.