Affirmative Action Minority Friend or Foe Term Paper

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TOPIC: Term Paper on Affirmative Action Minority Friend or Foe Assignment

Affirmative action is regarded as the set of preferences and quotas, which are offered within prescribed limits of time and scope, with the purpose to 'benefit the least advantaged or to achieve a certain proportionality of benefits between the more advantaged and the less advantaged in society'. Affirmative Action is also considered to be 'a policy of favoring qualified women and minority candidates over qualified men or non-minority candidates with the immediate goals of outreach, remedying discrimination, or achieving diversity, and the ultimate goals of attaining a color-blind and a gender-free i.e. no sexual discrimination society' (Johnson, 2004) the color-blind society is termed as the society in which the 'race has no more significance than eye color has in most societies'. The ultimate objective of the affirmative action is to provide racial justice and sexual justice to the minority in particular, and public at large. The set of immediate goals and relief are adjoined with the Affirmative Action. The Affirmative Action has the 'goal of outreach', as per which 'one seeks out qualified women and minority candidates who would otherwise not know about or apply for the available positions, but ultimately hires or accepts only those candidates who are actually the most qualified' (Stefan, 1992). The impact of the discriminatory forces can also be diluted through the implementation of the Affirmative Action, and which support the creation of 'truly equal-opportunity environment' (Stefan, 1992). The Affirmative Action swiftly 'compensate for past discrimination and the effects of that discrimination' (Stefan, 1992) which have previously generated violence and social chaos. A particular form of the Affirmative Action is based on innovating diversified range of sequences and development, where 'the pursuit of diversity is justified either in terms of its educational benefits or in terms of its ability to create a more effective workforce in such areas as policing or community relations' (Johnson, 2004) the terminology of Affirmative Action was initially used when the National Labor Relations Act was promulgated in 1935. In that particular context the Affirmative Action was interpreted as 'an employer who was found to be discriminating against union members or union organizers would have to stop and take affirmative action to place those victims where they would be without the discrimination' (Randall, 1987).

According to the observers and critics, it is important for different countries and regions to 'redress its long history of racial and sexual discrimination' (Weisberg, 1985) and the matter of grave significance can only be achieved through exercising 'the nation's most ambitious aspect' which is affirmative action. The Affirmative Action has incited internal divisions between nations and regions, and therefore it has further complicated the present. The opposition movement has expressed their concerns towards the struggle for the provisions of equal rights for all the citizens, and have argued that sufficient provisions have been introduced and incorporated, as per which 'favoring members of one group over another simply goes against the American grain' (Weisberg, 1985). However, the particular representatives of the Affirmative Action has responded that provisions have not been fully incorporated, and any such move to introduce such provisions has been boycotted, and believe that 'grant of modest advantages to minorities and women is more than fair, given hundreds of years of discrimination that benefited whites and men'. Affirmative Action is based on the primarily principle of human rights, as per which each and every segment of the society should be provided with equal right and status, in particular the minorities and the women population. The concept of Affirmative action originated after the evolution of the civil rights movement, the action has given enough consideration towards the employment, education and contracting decisions. The human rights and organizations which are considered to be the torch bearers of the Affirmative Action have establish certain timeframe for the achievement of goals which emphasis on 'increased diversity, and use recruitment' (Steele, 1997), and has denounced the practices based on preferences, which were previously adopted for the achievement of such those goals. In its contemporary form, the Affirmative action can be regarded as the call for an admission or preference of the applicant having affiliation with the minority segment, based on racial, gender or ethnic divisions. The actions and policies initiated and approved as per the injunctions of the Affirmative Actions are not based upon quotas, biased attitude, preference to the unqualified candidates, and the purpose of the Affirmative Action is not to 'harm or damage the interest of any individual or party through reverse discrimination' (Stefan, 1992). According to Bill Clinton, the former President of United States, there is always a need for the assertion towards reforms which can end the practices based on discrimination, and such practices have remained unfinished, therefore there is a need to mend the ongoing system, instead of putting an end to it. On the other side, the Conservatives associated with the American politics believe that the complete cease of Affirmative Action is 'a powerful political issue' (Johnson, 2004) the ruling of the American Supreme Court in 1996 on California ballot have abolished the practices of sexual and racial preferences, therefore the affirmative actions are on the verge of decline, the trajectory of which is based on the ruling authority of the country (Young, 2003).

It is interesting to observe that the previously experienced political violence, which mainly took place due to the failure on the part of the majority groups, or the their vested interests have urged them to practice such a violent course of action which has been responsible for further agitation and chaos, in actual such actions were purported to condemn and urge the withdrawal of plans and regulations which provided enough safeguard to the minority groups, and such chaos by those, ' whose only real problem has been their inability to compete with more skilled and more diligent minorities' (Randall, 1987). Such situations have been experienced widely across the world, in different places including Asian countries like Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and the Indian states, and the African country of Nigeria. The comprehensive overview of the Malaysian past and present has revealed that the 'politically dominant native Malays voted for employment and educational preferences for themselves over ethnic Chinese who had emigrated to Malaysia during the recent colonial period and, without discriminating against anyone, had generally become better educated and more prosperous than the native Malays' (James, 2004) Taking an account of Sri Lanka, the rights of the Tamils have been ignored, and the Sinhalese have mainly stressed over the need to achieve preferences in different sectors, which is possible due to their political dominance, the fear and concerns of the Sinhalese were based on the fact that the Tails are more educated and prosperous, the hatred and jealousy was responsible for supporting hatred between the two groups, which has resulted in the civil war. In the cases of Nigeria, the Ibo tribe has access to education and government during the colonial rule, therefore the Hausa-Fulani, political force of the country launched strong movement for the additional preferences of their tribal people in employment and education sector. Eventually, the introvert approach of the respective tribes was responsible for the freedom movement in the Southern state of Nigeria, although with the collapse of the civil war the freedom movement was diluted, but he political concerns of the respective tribes were unresolved, and the agitation and violence still prevail in the region. In India, the ethnic and tribal prejudice has been responsible for the violence and agitation, and the Indian state of Assam and Maharashtra has observed intensified riots and chaos due the Affirmative Action which were taken to compensate and provide ample opportunities to the migrants and other habitants from different states (Steele, 1997).

History of affirmative action and its future within particular country (United States of America)

The major studies have revealed that Affirmative Action is to be considered reverse discrimination, which has provided preferential treatment to the particular class of people on racial and sexual grounds. The interpretation of the Affirmative Action has been condemned, and different elements of the civil society have insisted that, 'Affirmative action has been mislabeled preferential treatment for certain members of society' (Randall, 1987), and have regarded the Affirmative Action as 'a kind of social restitution and an attempt to create a more democratic society' (Thompson, 1974). According to Mr. Johnson, the former President of United States, 'You do not take a person who for years has been hobbled by chains, liberate him and bring him to the starting line of a race and say, 'You are free to compete with others,' and still justly believe that you have been completely fair' (James, 2004) the access to the opportunities is not the only requirement for the minority, rather it is important for the state and the public institutions to provide and encourage the potential and abilities within the minorities to benefit from the available opportunities, in this regard 'Affirmative action is an attempt to facilitate a more… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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