Imagine a world where skin color means nothing and all races are treated equally. In this world, there is not one exception to the worldwide equality. Today, America claims to be equal yet the establishment of affirmative action programs across the country actually does the opposite. It is creating separate racial groups that are defined by the labels given to them by society (Texas A&M University). This fallacious concept also increases tension in the workplace.
It is common for an employee in the majority to think poorly of an employee that is in the minority, especially if the minority has accepted aid in the form of ffirmative action on their path to the job. Affirmative action is defined as “a spectrum of policies designed to redress inequalities in employment and education through a system of preferences for minorities” (Bailey). The problem is that the programs are not performing in a productive way anymore and are now increasing discrimination. Affirmative action programs enforce a false sense of equality in a country that thrives on individual success and ingenuity.
The concept of affirmative action first began during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Supporters claimed that the programs leveled the playing field n the competition for jobs and education (Bailey). The programs made it possible for minorities such as veterans, other races, and women to compete in the education and job worlds. Although affirmative action did work back then, they are now only harming society. Minorities are often given a better chance to obtain a job because of their differences which is actually unfair to the majority. This also applies to students who are in the minority.
These students are able to check a box on their college applications that provides colleges with information on their race. The schools want diversity, so they will take that tudent even if there is a better prospect that happens to be in the majority. Those who understand they will have an advantage over the hard working majority will slack off and lower their standards. The civil rights movement began in the early 1600s in an attempt to prevent segregation. African American and white men and women all protested together for equality between races.
Affirmative action was incorporated into society so that African Americans would be able to equally participate in schools and employment. Due to the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment was established to prevent the eparation of races and guarantee that a man or woman or any race or age would be treated equal. The Fourteenth Amendment specifically states that: All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside.
No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. McPherson 48) This amendment guarantees that all people, regardless of race, will be treated equally by law. Affirmative action was instituted to make races equal, but it actually does the opposite; it gives an unjust advantage to people who could achieve the same results with hard work and higher standards.
For example, in an affirmative action selection program at a college, if an African American student did not work as hard and got a 1200 on his SAT and a Caucasian man worked hard achieved a 1200 on his, the African American man would more than likely be selected. Affirmative Action is supposed to level he playing field, but really it is biased towards the Caucasian male who worked hard to get a higher grade. The most qualified person should get into the school or job they desire. Author John Pearson stated that “Employment and the use of government programs should be based on merit or need, not on racial guidelines” (Pearson).
It is unfair to the hard working, middle class, Caucasian man if they are not given a job because affirmative action gifts an indolent, African American man the job because of his race. Giving an advantage to one race because they are already at a disadvantage is racist against the ther races despite affirmative action program’s attempts at doing the opposite. When affirmative action was first put in place, it worked effectively to give African Americans a fighting chance to thrive in a predominantly white society.
In 1965, President Lyndon ohnson spoke out about the purpose of affirmative action: “He thought that affirmative action creates equal opportunity, especially in the job and education communities” (The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights). Affirmative action accomplished giving African Americans an opportunity to enter the workforce and schools and it worked effectively hrough the sixties and seventies. At this point in society’s evolution, affirmative action is no longer needed. It is giving minorities an unnecessary advantage and is setting their standards lower.
In today’s society, although all races are not the same, they are treated equally in public. Generally, all races are given similar opportunities to work hard, get a good education and occupation, and make money for their families. Giving a minority, the opportunity to not work as hard because they know they can still get something is really just cheating them out. At some point it is important that schools and orkplaces come to the realization that affirmative action is no longer needed. Minorities are perfectly suitable to do perform as well or better than the majority and there is no need to give them extra aid.
Affirmative action is prevalent in the employee selection process and it only increases racial tension. For example, an African American male achieves a job instead of a Caucasian male that is higher qualified. This would probably aggravate the majority employee and would make him dislike the minority which increases tension in the workplace. Tension can cause utbursts if provoked and that is not good for any employees involved. A Texas A&M University study shows that “affirmative action is demeaning to minorities by sending them the message that they are ‘not capable enough to be considered on their own merits’.
Minorities may take this gesture as if the business were telling the minorities that they are not equivalent to the majority. To hear that they are not superior enough to be treated like the majority is very degrading to character and confidence which can affect one’s attitude and efforts in the workplace. Affirmative action adds more unnecessary tension nd stress to the workplace. Many affirmative action supporters are careful not to point out that not all minorities are in need of help for schools and businesses.
There is an abundance of minorities that reside in pleasant communities, attend superior schools, and do not experience poverty (McPherson 50). This is yet another way that American society stereotypes races. Many African American families have a higher standard of living, receive a better education, and are more financially stable than white families and yet they still receive more aid than the white families living in poverty. Grouping all African Americans under the poor and unfortunate category is more proof that reverse discrimination is a significant product of affirmative action programs.
There have been many affluent, educated minority men and women that did not need affirmative action. They stand to prove that all minorities can do the same on their own and do not need extra help. On most college and job applications, the applier has the opportunity to select his or her race, which could potentially qualify them for affirmative action benefits. It is degrading to that person because they may feel as if they are only getting nto the school or getting the job because of their race and not their hard work or integrity.
There are many minorities who have worked their way to the top and many of them did not need affirmative action to get there. Affirmative action is unnecessary and just gives minorities an excuse to put in slightly less work. Affirmative action works in two ways: minorities have protection against discrimination, but they also should not receive special aid because they are minorities. (McPherson) It does not seem fair that one should be able to ask to be treated qually, but then ask for bonus aid in order to receive an advantage.
The Fourteenth Amendment says that all men should be treated equally and this should apply to all things and there should be zero exceptions. Granting minorities affirmative action is not equal to all. It does not make them even with the majority. It only allows them to cheat their way to higher levels and is entirely unfair to the majority as they do not receive similar help even if they are struggling. Affirmative action is not the way to end discrimination and it only makes things worse in the rest of society.