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Affirmative Action

Abolishing Affirmative Action


Carol Davis, Wirt Duff, Kristina Cook
Walden University

Affirmative Action

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Abolishing Affirmative Action

Background
Affirmative Action is the practice of improving the educational and job opportunities of
members of groups that have not been treated fairly in the past because of their race, sex, etc.
(Merriam-Webster, 2015). This action began on a national scale when President Lyndon Johnson
by Executive Order 11246, declared that there can be no discrimination in Federal Employment
or by Federal Contractors or subcontractors on the bases of race, color, religion, or national
origin (F & A Home, N.D.). On July 21st, 2014, President Barack Obama amended 11246 and
11478 to change the language to include sexual orientation and gender identification
(whitehouse.gov 2014).
Education and Race
While the idea was to stop discrimination and give all an equal opportunity, it is thought by
some, to be now be limiting in other aspects. In other words, reverse discrimination. For
example, when the practice not to discriminate toward African-Americans or Latinos, etc. some
now believe it now discriminates Caucasians. To make women equal, some believe that men are
now discriminated against. Today, we now have a President who had a white American mother
and a father from Kenyan descent. Mrs. Clinton is a female who is a leading Democratic political
leader. So, imagine being a white male trying to getting into a college for an education. It is not
fair to watch another who has had the same opportunities as you, to be let in because he or she
was once considered to be a minority.
Employment Opportunities
Affirmative action allows minorities to under achieve. For instance, if a position usually
requires a masters degree with a 4.0 gpa, but the minority knows that they can enter into the

Affirmative Action

position with a 3.2 gpa, why should they challenge themselves to reach that 4.0? This double
standard leads to reverse discrimination. An employee that is not a minority knows they must
reach a 4.0 and so they achieve this only to be turned away because they applied against a
minority employee who did not put in as much effort (Messerli, 2012). This is a direct
opposition to the primary role of affirmative action which was to abolish discrimination.
Color-Blind Society
Affirmative action allows a balance of hiring or admission of disadvantage groups that
are usually historically discriminated against either due to their color, sex, disability, sexual
orientation, etc. (NCSL, 2014). However, when applying to a job or to a university/college is hair
color, eye color, or height on the application? No. This is because these factors do not affect an
individuals ability to do a job or succeed at a university/college. These factors have no
association with intelligence, ability, discipline, ambition, character, or other essential factors. In
addition to this, color, sex, disability, sexual orientation also have nothing to do with intelligence,
ability, discipline, ambition, character or other essential factors (Messerli, 2012). Therefore,
affirmative action must end if we are ever to have a color-blind society where everyone was
judged according to the essential factors that have a direct correlation to the position at hand,
whether it is a job or admission into a university/college.
Conclusion
The benefit of affirmative action in the past was beneficial due to the apparent
discrimination against historically disadvantaged groups, but the existence of the action today is
inhibiting society from reaching greater heights, and the idea of a color blind society. The role of
this action was to eliminate discrimination and provide equal opportunity, but now it is serving to
discriminate against other qualified individuals to make room for the disadvantaged.

Affirmative Action

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References

Affirmative Action. (2015). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: http://www.merriamwebster.com/dictionary/affirmative%20action


F&A Home, (N.D.), Global Risk Management Services Home, Rochester Institute of
Technology. Retrieved from
http://www.rit.edu/fa/grms/compliance/statutes/Executive_Order_11246.html
The Whitehouse.gov (2014), Executive Order, Office of the Press Secretary. Retrieved from:
https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/07/21/executive-order-furtheramendments-executive-order-11478-equal-employment
Messerli, J. (2012). Should affirmative action policies, which give preferential treatment based
on minority status, be eliminated? Retrieved from
http://www.balancedpolitics.org/affirmative_action.htm
NCSL. (2014). Affirmative Action Overview. Retrieved from
http://www.ncsl.org/research/education/affirmative-action-overview.aspx