Do We Still Need Affirmative Action?
by Ryan Kohler
For many years affirmative action was a popular topic due to the need for blacks to receive equal opportunity for jobs, education, and other opportunities. With the Civil Rights Act now 50 years old, has our society grown to a point where we no longer need affirmative action?
What is Affirmative Action?
Providing minorities with equal opportunities for employment and education are the main goals of affirmative action. Before the Civil Rights Act, individuals of different colored skin would struggle to obtain any employment, let alone a job that paid well. Affirmative action helps individuals from different ethnic backgrounds that ability to receive higher education and employment at a high level. Initially the implementation of affirmative action helped to open the doors for many individuals to finally receive equal treatment. However, with many companies and schools already being quite diverse, is affirmative action still necessary?
Is Affirmative Action Necessary?
Even in a modern society, there are still areas of the country that discriminate against others. Unfortunately some individuals are denied acceptance to universities, despite meeting all of the qualifications. Some schools only accept the top 10 percent of high schools, which can quickly weed out the individuals from backgrounds that do not offer the same opportunities for educational growth. One court case that is currently pending, Fischer v. University of Texas, shows that affirmative action is still needed. The courts are trying to determine if the 10 percent rule that universities use includes race as a factor when choosing students. Universities try to obtain a diverse student body, but some are deliberately excluding applicants of different ethnicities. Some individuals feel that affirmative action is doing a great disservice to African Americans because people are given a job instead of earning it. Many American Americans feel underappreciated, especially when they are hired to fulfill a quota for a company.
Fairness without Affirmative Action
The real test will come down to the companies hiring people of all races and genders. Individuals must learn from management how to respect one another for the skills that people bring to the working environment regardless of the color of their skin. Many African Americans feel that being hired simply to fulfill a quota places them in an unhappy working environment. They may have the job, but their employers do not truly respect them and ask for their opinion. The real change must come from management to show people that everyone deserves a voice in the workplace or in the educational world. Everyone must be given a fair opportunity to compete, and earn their way up the totem pole in the workplace.
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