Thursday, April 13, 2006

Is Affirmative Action Still Working the Way We Intended It to?

The following excerpts come from an October 2005 article in the La Prensa San Diego:

"For many years, Affirmative Action has assisted many minorities to get to where they are today. In fact, it’s fair to say our country would be a different place if Affirmative Action had not been there. But now that we’ve arrived at the point where our government and institutions are nowhere near where it was when the law was derived, do we still need Affirmative Action? Perhaps with some alterations –kinks ironed out—, Affirmative Action could mean something entirely different today than its origination. With a change in Affirmative Action, is there a possibility the results will mean sliding back to square one?

Today, many believe the Affirmative Action laws are not doing what they were set out to do; that is, create equality. It is the demanding quotas and tax-reduction incentives that have taken over the original purpose of the law. When two candidates, one being a minority, are eligible for a position within a company, the minority may be hired to meet the apparent quotas set in place. The quotas were originally formed to ensure compliance with diversity amongst all. But as a result, some are now finding the non-minority candidates are being rejected so the company abides by the laws."

While the author of the article takes no real stance on the issue, it does a good job of bringing up the point. Just as I casually talk about the issue with people, I find that there are mixed feeling towards the subject.

I feel that affirmative action is indeed a good thing as long as it follows the appropriate guidelines, such as that it is used for the right reasons which include:
-to give underrepresented minorities a better chance to become a part of a certain educational institution or workplace, and
-that it does not adversely affect non minorities (reverse discrimination).

Eventually I believe it should be phased out as our country gets more and more diverse but I think we are still years away from that point.


Blogger Jessica Walker said...

It's interesting that the author of the article refers to quotas, when our reading for today made it clear that such quotas are illegal. Is she talking about the "unofficial" affirmative action?

The article seemed to be exactly what our textbook referred to as far as huge misconceptions regarding affirmative action (or should I say, Affirmative Action?) While I think most of us, including myself, have heard of the quota-based, preferential treatment side, I wonder how few people are aware of the actual statutes behind the original concept.

11:24 PM  

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