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Affirmative Action Laws, Their Role and Changes Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Jul 23rd, 2020

Introduction

Such a concept as affirmative action can be described as a set of policies that are aimed at empowering a certain group of people who were discriminated on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, or religion (Steely, 2001). These laws were first implemented in the United States in the early sixties at the time when the civil rights movement in the United States was very active. To a great extent, these policies continue to affect the functioning of many public and private organizations. Overall, it is possible to say that the affirmative action laws should be continued because they help the society eliminate the inequalities which originated from continuous discrimination or even dehumanization of many people. This is the main thesis that should be elaborated. However, this affirmative action should be based on meritocratic principles. In other words, individuals should compete on the basis of their skills, knowledge, or expertise; however, it is not permissible to give privileges to a person because of his/his race or gender. These are the main issues that should be discussed more closely.

The necessity for affirmative action laws

It should be mentioned that affirmative action is the response to the long years of discriminatory policies against many groups. For instance, in the American South, black people were constantly denied the opportunities for education or employment. Furthermore, the state attempted to limit their participation in the political life of a country (King, 1963). In particular, many black people were prevented from becoming registered voters (King, 1963). Some of these difficulties were faced by other groups such as Native Americans or women. Many economic inequalities existing in the society can be attributed to the effects of discrimination. So, this is the main rationale for the adoption of these strategies. Therefore, the implementation of affirmative action laws was a necessary response to many problems. Moreover, these problems should not be disregarded by modern people because very often individuals are forced to struggle with discrimination in the workplace. For instance, women are often denied promotion in many organizations (Imbornoni, 2009). Therefore, one cannot say there is no need for affirmative action because racial or gender prejudices continue to influence the decisions of many people. This is the main point that can be made.

Another rationale for continuing the implementation of affirmative action is that it can help organizations select from a wider pool of talented candidates who were not even considered even considered before the adoption of affirmative action laws. These laws are helpful for eliminating many possible conflicts. It should be kept in mind that the adoption of affirmative action gives rise to the development of many programs that support workers. For instance, in modern American companies, women are better protected against sexual harassment. So, one can argue that affirmative action has brought some improvements into the lives of many people. Complete abolition of these laws can result in the return of many discriminatory practices. This is one of the risks that should be taken into account. This issue should be considered by legislators and public administrators because they shape the policies of the state.

The changes that should be made

However, it is important to remember that affirmative action has certain limitations that should not be overlooked. For example, it is possible to speak about such as a practice as imposing racial quotes on public or private organizations. This requirement creates challenges for many organizations, especially colleges and universities (Steely, 2001). In many cases, black students, who come from prosperous households, are accepted in colleges or universities, even their SAT scores do not reach the expected standards (Steely, 2001). One cannot say that these individuals are underprivileged in a certain way. In turn, many white or Asian students, who come from poor families, cannot get access to high quality college (Steely, 2001). Therefore, this policy can lead to a great number of conflicts. Moreover, it can intensify racial prejudices existing in the society. This situation can also be observed in the workplace. Therefore, this policy can stifle competition among people who can be students or candidates. So, it is necessary to eliminate gender or racial quotas because these practices can diminish the role of talent and achievement. This strategy can produce adverse effects on many stakeholders such as learners, employees, organizations, and communities in general. This is the main pitfalls that should be avoided.

Conclusion

This discussion suggests that the implementation of affirmative action laws has indeed brought some improvements into the lives of disadvantaged groups. This policy was first carried out in order to reduce inequalities existing in the American society. Therefore, this policy should be further implemented. However, there are some important changes that should be made. In particular, organizations should pay more attention to possible discriminatory practices. Yet, policy-makers should not support a certain group of people at the expense of others. So, the abolition of racial quotas is one of the steps that should be taken. This is the main change that should take place should take place.

Reference List

Imbornoni, A. (2009). . Web.

King, M. (1963). . Web.

Steely, S. (2001). The Double Bind of Race and Guilt. Web.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Affirmative Action Laws, Their Role and Changes." July 23, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/affirmative-action-laws-their-role-and-changes/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Affirmative Action Laws, Their Role and Changes'. 23 July.

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