Is Affirmative Action Useful?

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (Declaration of Independence, 1776).The concept of affirmative action was introduced in the early 1960s in the United States, as a way to combat racial discrimination in the hiring process, with the concept  affirmative action was designed for providing benefits to those people that do not have the advantage to take admission in any specific college or job due to their background. Affirmative action works on the assumption that if minority applicants were striving to get admission in colleges or had equal job qualifications but did not because there would be some limitations or constraints attached with the applicants being a minority. Therefore, a system in which an additional weight granted to applicants for their race or ethnicity was made.

This mean that giving preferential treatment to one group takes away from another regardless of who’s most qualified.This leads to the issue is it is more ethical to retain the policy of affirmative action or to eliminate it. In Daniel M. Hausman essay Affirmative Action: Bad Arguments and Some Good Ones he states many arguments for and against affirmative actions and whether it is ethical or not .One argument he states is the process of reverse discrimination that arise from affirmative action. He also goes on to mention how crucial the notion of qualification is. Daniel used the high school class rank and ACT scores as a way to explain qualifications.

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Since class rank and ACT scores are correlated with academic performance in college these are accurate qualifications for admissions, also running the 100-meter dash in under ten seconds is also a qualification for admission if the success of its athletic teams is among the legitimate goals of a university, but For universities without sports teams, it is not a qualification. Also he mentions that Affirmative actions promotes equal opportunity but thats an contradictions since it denies one of an opportunity to give it to another. It can be argued that Affirmative Action has failed to improve education and workplace discrimination issues throughout our country.Under the assumption that utilitarianism is the best way to decide which programs are beneficial and moral, we must look at the positive and negative affects that affirmative action has or can have on society.

The fact that affirmative action increases diversity in educational institutions or the workplace is only beneficial to society as a whole and it would be idiotic of me to say that diversity is wrong or not of importance, but the problem is with the idea of affirmative action not with the method. It is clear that placing race quotas for minorities is the fastest way to increase diversity in the workplace or in universities, but by doing this you aren’t ridding society of discrimination or problems in the education system. A person who believes in the ethics of utilitarianism might dispute that affirmative action can only be moral if  it benefit society and make everyone happier.Since it has absolutely failed to fix a problem that is still prevalent in low-income neighborhoods, it has obviously failed to meet the moral expectations of utilitarianism.

Fixing the problem on paper in terms of having a certain number of minorities in professional and educational institutions isn’t benefitting society as a whole.This method of creating a diverse culture might  work on paper but doesn’t do anything to fix or give incentives to improve lower level education where the problem begins in the first place.The admittance of minority student into a prestigious academic institution or workplace isn’t helping low income minorities who struggle in low level education.

Is Affirmative Action Useful? essay

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Is Affirmative Action Useful?. (2019, Feb 07). Retrieved from