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In the United States a process called Affirmative Action is used to help to overcome the affects of past societal discrimination by granting jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. The policy was implemented by federal agencies enforcing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and by the Equal Employment Opportunities Act of 1972. While many people believe it is a step in the right direction in stopping employment discrimination, it is taking jobs from qualified persons because they are not of a certain race or gender, in turn doing the same thing that was done to minorities and women for years.
I do not support affirmative action for several reasons. This policy would enable two people who apply for a job in an office building for the same position to be judged differently. One applicant is white and the other is black. Only one slot is available. The two applicants have the same exact level of education and work experience. They both have great recommendations and great credentials. According to affirmative action, however, the person of African American origin is automatically better qualified, in an attempt to “integrate” the work place of higher employment positions. So, in essence, the person of African American heritage is receiving the job only because he is a different race. Now, in the early 1970’s this policy was invented to help put a stop to racial discrimination in the work place, but with this policy you are doing the exact same thing you set out to stop, but to the other race. I do not think it is fair to integrate our work forces at someone else’s expense.
One specific group of people that do not support the policy is, surprising to most, the Asian-American society. Many Asian Americans, specifically Chinese, Koreans, and Japanese, argue that affirmative action policies ultimately harm them. While these policies exist to help the underrepresented, they claim that they are over represented. Their argument is, therefore, similar to that of the white majority. They state that race-based policies such as affirmative action should be abolished based on the argument that group-based affirmative action hurt individuals. Those against affirmative action claim that eliminating affirmative action would increase the Asian American admission rate. They say that Asian American achievement and integration into American society is a proof that affirmative action programs are no longer needed and they hinder opportunities for “qualified” Asian Americans.
On the other hand, I do understand what the goal of the government is by doing so. Early in our countries history minorities were withheld the education and opportunities that the common white male was. This has had a chain effect on our society today. According to federal employment statistics there is a 28 percent difference in employment between minorities and non-minorities. This is largely due to poor education and poor employment opportunities in areas of lower income. This is a great and daunting task to overcome, and it must be dealt with. But it cannot be dealt with at the cost of another citizen.
Now granted the playing field is not level yet, and granting modest advantages to minorities and women is more than fair, given hundreds of years of discrimination that benefited whites and men. But our government and civil rights activists, which are the best in the world, have to find a better and more effective way to even the scale with out taking away opportunities from qualified persons. We are not benefiting the nation as a whole with this policy. It hurts the individual more then it aids the minority.