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Two-Faced Affirmative Action Essay

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Updated: Feb 26th, 2021

In some years, the period between the late part of the twentieth century and the early part of the twenty-first century will be discussed by the American sociologists and historians as the era developed under the sign of ‘two-faced’ affirmative action, and this idea will be presented in paragraphs like the following ones:

“Affirmative action programs were developed to respond to the minorities’ needs and to overcome discriminatory tendencies. Nevertheless, minorities themselves became the victims of affirmative action policies because imperfect programs and laws were proposed. The rates which demonstrated African-American and Latino’s employment increased dramatically, but these changes were opposed by the ‘white’ majority who debated on the inappropriateness of affirmative action in the media, argued on the associated discrimination in scholarly literature, and wrote petitions to the government. Thus, the affirmative action programs did not resolve the problems of social inequality and discrimination, but they contributed to deepening them …

“People became divided into ‘blacks’ and ‘whites’ as well as ‘men’ and ‘women’ openly, in spite of the years of avoiding such divisions. Affirmative action was defined as ‘anti-white’ and ‘anti-male’ even in the media. ‘Race,’ ‘gender,’ ‘ethnicity,’ and ‘national origin’ became the main factors in determining the person’s opportunities for successful education and employment in comparison with the idea of developed skills and knowledge …

“The idea of workforce diversity achieved its upper limit. This tendency should have been discussed as the evidence to speak about the sick society because the right priorities were set, but the measures and ways were mixed. A black person received the additional chance to become employed. To hire a woman for the leading position meant to respond to social trends and to meet the affirmative action requirements. Human resource managers began seeking blacks and women to improve affirmative action statistics. The concept of workforce diversity was closely associated with the ideas of multiculturalism because more attention was paid to ‘differences.’ People could not forget about their ethnicity because human resource managers did significant work to emphasize that those people were hired because of being African-Americans or Latinos. Race, ethnicity, and gender began to play the main roles in the hiring process. The flavor of those ideas seemed to be felt in the air …

“The affirmative action programs which were promoted as the way to overcome discrimination provoked the development of opposite and even more problematic phenomenon, which was the reverse discrimination. Sociologists stated that minorities became the leading players in many social spheres because of their ‘lower’ status. Thus, white applicants had few chances to enter universities because of many quotas for minorities till the statistics on the affirmative action progress improved …

“The era of expanded opportunities for minorities and women caused the era of double visions and standards. Thus, blacks were still persecuted in everyday life, but they were welcomed by employers. Politicians emphasized positive changes in the education and employment statistics, but they ignored reverse discrimination. The public could not see the real effects of the process, but people relied on the messages given in the media or provided by politicians as the support for their election campaigns …

“The typical representatives of the affirmative action program’s target audience were an African-American, a Hispanic, a woman, and a person with disabilities who did not feel the real satisfaction because of the opportunities provided by the program, but they suffered from the increased prejudice expressed by their co-workers and other representatives of the society because of the privileged status. He or she could suffer from the inability to avoid discriminatory practices and to state the new position in society as an equal person with equal rights. People obtaining the leading positions also had to choose between the highly qualified specialist and the representative of minorities in order to meet the affirmative action guidelines and requirements. Thus, social inequality progressed …

“The era of the affirmative action laws can be described as the illustration to demonstrate the negative results of unreasoned actions and processes in which the causes play a more important role than expected consequences.”

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1. IvyPanda. "Two-Faced Affirmative Action." February 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/two-faced-affirmative-action/.


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IvyPanda. 2021. "Two-Faced Affirmative Action." February 26, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/two-faced-affirmative-action/.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Two-Faced Affirmative Action'. 26 February.

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