The Debate Over Affirmative Action: Is Affirmative Action justified?
Affirmative action had its origin in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, yet an extreme discussion whether governmental policy regarding minorities in society is a decent open approach has happened in the ongoing decades in the United States. This paper will argue that affirmative action reinforces stereotypes and for all time embeds them into the country’s system. Therefore, affirmative action isn’t legitimized and it even reinforces racism, which still remains a major issue in our society.
This paper has three parts. In the first, I will argue why affirmative action has to be seen as a reinforcement of stereotypes and racism. The second part of the paper will discuss an important objection to my argument I am presenting and offer an alternative response. In the third, I will present another important objection to my argument and offer an alternative response.
Affirmative Action as Reinforcement of Stereotypes and Racism
Affirmative action involves that individuals who are given a position only dependent on this policy usually do not meet all requirements for it, and the idea that all individuals under that race are for the most part not qualified and could not accomplish the position without this special treatment is called racism. It, therefore, assumes that all individuals of a similar race are from a lower class, and require extra help since it is assumed that they would not have the capacity to accomplish it on their own. By giving them a special treatment dependent on this policy it seems like saying that they are unable to accomplish it by themselves. It puts minorities in the perspective that they can not accomplish their goals with their own capacities or diligent work. This supports stereotypes and racism and even inserts it permanently into the country’s system.
A race-based policy brings an undesirable stigma and minorities need to work considerably harder to prove that they have earned their position. The way how individuals are placed into boxes like that and separated depending on their appearance is humiliating, noxious, and simply just wrong and even worse to make it a law. Race and sex segregation remain a critical issue in our nation, yet affirmative action ought to be about class and helping lower class citizen, and not about race. Even though this society has to master many challenges and obstacles to become a nation in which each and every individual is treated equally and with the same respect, but putting affirmative action permanently into the country’s system goes into the wrong direction.
In Steels opinion affirmative action causes more harm than good for minorities and underlines their inferiority. This causes and supports that white people feel superior and reinforces racism. He states that it has the effect of ‘stigmatizing the already stigmatized’ and legitimize it by the policy of affirmative action. There is no need for a policy to demonstrate that minorities have the same abilities to reach specific positions.