Advantages and Disadvantages of Affirmative Action

1661 words 7 pages
English 112
Exploratory Essay

The Affirmative Action Debate

Affirmative Action Defined

Affirmative Action can be defined as “positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded (Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)”. However because those steps involve “preferential” selection affirmative action generates intense controversy (Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy).

Affirmative Action (Negative)

There are many people who oppose the institution of affirmative action for many different reasons. Some argue that it allows students, and employees to slack off, and takes away their initiative to perform
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When I heard about his accomplishment I spoke with my counselor about it, and I told her how he inspired me to want to do the same. My counselor (a white woman) chose that moment to explain affirmative action to me. She explained how my principal may have been accepted to Princeton even though he didn’t meet the qualifications, simply because he was a black man. This is a clear example of why I feel that affirmative action takes away from the accomplishments of minorities. Clearly my principal was a smart man yet his accomplishments were being overshadowed by affirmative action. As a result, I have taken a “middle of the road position on this topic”. While I agree that diversity doesn’t always occur naturally, I also agree that affirmative action can be harmful to my race as well. When people say that they disagree with affirmative action because it involves reverse discrimination and anything that involves discrimination is unjust, and negative in outcome. However, I am sure unsure that, is a valid argument. There are many forms of discrimination that people consider reasonable. For example “discrimination against a potential firefighter because he is physically incapable of doing his job (Affirmative Action and Ethics pg.1)”. That is an accepted form of discrimination, and it also has a positive outcome, perhaps not for the firefighter, but certainly for the people who need help from a physically


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