The term affirmative action was first introduced in the United States of America via a law aimed at achieving non-discrimination among American citizens. According to Cosson, affirmative action refers to positive steps taken to create a level play field for minority groups as determined by sex, color, religion, race, or national origin. However, this topic is surrounded by very many debates as to whether it is fair or not. Many opinions have been expressed with different people expressing mixed feelings about the issue. Despite the fact that many societies across the world are advocating for affirmative action, a considerable number of people feel otherwise about it. This paper seeks to evaluate some of these issues in grater lengths and ascertain how far different claims can be from the truth. Affirmative action is meant to help the minorities within the society.
However, many people have taken advantage from a socialistic point of view, to find a better position within the society just because they are associated with a minority group. This is despite the fact that such people cannot be regarded as disadvantaged because they have a well-established life. The phenomenon has gone ahead to discriminate against those perceived as superior yet they may not. This means that affirmative action is based on gross assumptions, thus more detrimental to some quotas in the society. Therefore, it should be condemned using all possible terms. ‘’Affirmative action was introduced with an aim of advocating for the rights of the minority groups within the society. However, its application has come with a number of controversies on whether it serves the purpose it was meant for, or not. Affirmative action is introducing more biases into the society by applying double standards in favor of minorities in many ways’’.
Unfair Preferential Treatments for Past Injustices
Affirmative action was first deeply rooted in the historical injustices committed upon certain minority groups. For instance, American black women were given preferential attention in terms of employment just because they had been excluded from academies and work places in the past. Some sociologists argue that this was the only form of justice they could get from a society that had segregated them for a long time. Although such a move could be positive in the sense, that education and other institution can be compelled to abandon their meritocratic admission policies, it results into huge discrimination against other innocent groups. The ‘other groups’ in this context are people perceived to belong to dominant races, color, sex among other lines of bias. This application does not recognize the open truth that past injustices were not directly committed by individuals of the current generation. It means that some innocent people pay for mistakes they never committed by being locked out for positions they can occupy competitively.
Affirmative Action is Discrimination
Although affirmative action was meant to shield minorities from discrimination, it seems to have worsened the situation. This is because it goes ahead to identify people along biases such as color, race and sex in the name of neutralizing chances and opportunity gaps. Supporters of Affirmative Action fail to understand that some of these biases are natural, and there is nothing that be done to eliminate them permanently. Other means different from preferential treatment of particular groups should be addressed. Adopting policies that insist on a progressive agenda that incorporate everybody into the general social system is advisable rather than rushing to discriminate against others simply because they belong to a group, they never chose. The fourteenth amendment in the federal statutes of the United States prohibits discrimination along gender, nationality, or race. For or instance, it prohibits choosing to give first priority to people based on their sex, gender, or race on contrary to what the law says. Justice John Harlan who happened to be a minority stated clearly that the US constitution was color-blind and neither recognized nor tolerated classes among citizens. This was on Plessy vs. Ferguson case in 1986 when the judge overturned a case that sought to favor Plessy on affirmative action related grounds.
Affirmative Action programs are designed in a way to favor some groups at the expense of others. Although supporters of this thought argue that, it creates a society where everybody is treated equally, Affirmative action creates resentment and nurtures hatred among members of a society; for example, when a black American is preferred for an admission into a college on the basis that he or she is black. On the other hand, the administration drops an application from a white student despite the fact the he or she performed better than the black did. This situation may bring out a sense of resentment whereby the white could resolve to curse the group she was born in, a fact that she has no control over. Similarly, the situation may escalate to the older members of the society who may saw seeds of hatred among the society. In addition, Affirmative Action in such a scenario makes the people to be conscious of biases such as race, sex, nationality, ethnicity if one of them happened to be used as a criterion for selection.
Affirmative Action is Time Unconscious
Studies in the United States of America revealed that the African-American middle class has grown tremendously in the recent past. In 2001, figures indicate that the mean annual income of African-American families with two parents has closed toward that of any other middle class family in the United States. The research revealed that about 40 percent of African American families with both parents are at least in the middle class or even higher. This is further depicted by the fact that poverty levels among the black communities in the US has been cut by a half since the civil rights movements. Looking at these statistics, it is evident that affirmative action is no longer necessary to some extent. People who were regarded as poor are no longer poor because they have already gone up the ranks of in the society. In addition, academic qualifications have already increased with more females getting quality education just like males. This means that it unruly to think that girls should be favored in this era because they are equally educated and can compete with boys for various positions.
Affirmative Action Promotes the Inferiority Complex in Minority Groups
Despite the fact that pioneers on affirmative action had good intention with their proposals, it is sad to note that the indented purpose has turned into mockery for the minority groups. In this regard, Affirmative action has become ironical simply because its intended beneficiaries are stigmatized on the basis that they are inferior. This happens most in situations where intellectual capabilities are considered. Those that have low educational qualifications are considered as academically incompetent since they cannot mange to go to school and grasp anything. According to Justice Sandra O’Connor, classifications of people along gender, or race carry an imminent danger in the form of stigma. It is arguably correct to say that perpetrators of stigma use it to shame and demean their victims. In addition, stigma is used to insult other people. This means that a society faces a huge threat that is likely to dismantle it even further. The fundamental units of the society, families, are going to be destroyed since the same effect could be caused by affirmative action if applied at the family level.
Girls and boys will no longer consider their relationships mutual, but a competition that either side must win, come what may. The group that appears weak will be considered inferior by the triumphant one thus creating a situation where inferiority complex will thrive.
Affirmative Action Runs Against the System of Merit
Job slots, school admission, promotions, contracts, among other benefits should logically go to the people who most deserve them. This creates a competitive environment within the society thus encouraging people to work hard if they have to get to certain levels. However, Affirmative action seems to disregard this social value by unfairly locking out qualified individuals from various positions. This makes affected groups very much discouraged because their hard work is not considered important. This may end up bringing in substandard qualities into a social system thus hampering delivery of quality services. It also dismissed the need to have stipulated criteria of picking the most suitable people for different positions. In addition, processes such as examinations before proceeding to other social levels will be rendered useless.
In conclusion, although Affirmative action was meant to influence the society positively, it has some negative implications that make it irrelevant. In other words, it has rough more inequality and discrimination along sex, gender, race and nationalities. If it has to be applied to the current generation, then different ways of using it should be used. Otherwise, the concept remains unacceptable if applied the way it is. This means that it should be condemned using all possible terms.