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Free «The Continuing Need for Affirmative Action» Essay Sample

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Affirmative action refers to policies formulated in the 1960s and was primarily devoted to improving the employment and educational opportunities for the American negroes-the universally accepted designation of the time. Affirmative action started as soft affirmative action and then progressed on to hard affirmative action, which consisted of targets and goals. Affirmative action was formulated as solution to racial and ethnic inequalities. President John F. Kennedy introduced this policy in 1961 as a way to curb discrimination.

The opponents of affirmative action viewed it as a way to offer preferential treatment to individual and groups based on race, sex, color and ethnicity (Colamery, 1998). The proponents viewed affirmative action as a way to level the playing field with regard to promotions career advancements school admissions and scholar ships(Colamery, 1998) The negative side of affirmative action became prevalent in 1970s  through reverse discrimination where there was unfair discrimination against white applicants(Colamery, 1998). The social justice intended was viewed as unfair preference.

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Currently affirmative action is no longer viewed as a way to eliminate social injustices and oppression but rather as a way to promote diversity in different levels of the society. To date affirmative action is widely misunderstood people view it as a way of giving opportunity to unqualified minorities at the expense of the qualified majority. (Tomasson, 2001) However contrary to this notion affirmative action is designed to encourage the minority who have qualifications to succeed to go for available opportunities.

“Racial segregation and isolation and the ignorance they breed, remain critical issues that must be addressed if we’re to become a more harmonious society. Affirmative action properly administered, is one of a number of good tools to address these and related issues of race relations. For affirmative action, properly administered, doesn’t just benefit minorities. It benefits all in the society.’’  (Tomasson, 2001)

 
 
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Discrimination against the minority groups in the past prompted the application of affirmative action. There is need for continued affirmative action to address inequality and to represent the minorities in education and governmental institutions (Tomasson, 2001). The argument that affirmative action is similar to reverse discrimination is not true. Selective application of affirmative action will benefit the minorities who have the desired qualifications for governmental jobs and Educational opportunities.

Selection of people using affirmative action will motivate members of the minority groups. In education institutions the administration can give preference to the qualified members of the minority groups. The environment at the work premises should be such that it offers a level praying ground for all workers employed. Some countries in asia, Africa, Europe and America have in a way adopted the concept of affirmative action in educational institutions and employment.

Conclusion.

Affirmative action was introduced in 1961 by USA president, John F Kennedy to rectify racial discrimination within the United States. The policy as first applied partially and later on wholly leading to various criticisms. The policy enables the minority groups to get equal opportunities in the governmental institutional and educational sector. The concept of reverse discrimination can be eliminated by educating the masses on the benefits of affirmative action. Majority of the people still believe it is preference to the minority over the majority.

   

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