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“…granting modest advantages to minorities and women is more than fair, given hundreds of years of discrimination that benefited whites and men.” (Fromkin) Affirmative Action is not only justifiable, but it is necessary in today’s world. Affirmative Action can be seen throughout United States History as a leading fighter for equal opportunity. Affirmative Action can assist in creating a more equal opportunity for people regarding higher education, employment and the work force, and creating a more diverse equal community in all aspects. Affirmative Action, in contrast to many people’s beliefs, does not promote “reverse discrimination” or create quotas for groups to adhere to. On the contrary, it gives minorities and women the opportunity to have jobs and positions they are already qualified for.
Affirmative Action “calls for minorities and women to have special consideration in employment, education, and contracting decisions”(Fromkin). Although the name “affirmative action” has only been applied in recent times, there is a history of affirmative action actions taken in the United States. This history is an example for the endless fight for equality among women and all minorities. These actions can be seen in amendments to the constitution, especially the 13th, 14th, 15th, and 19th amendments. They abolished slavery, granted citizenship to the former slaves, that the right for United States citizens to vote can not be denied or reduced on the account of race or color, and lastly the 19th amendment gave women the right to vote. Furthermore, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, title VI, states that the use of literacy or other voter-qualifications cannot be used to keep any minority off the voting lists, reassuring an equal voice in the democracy of the US. In addition, former President Johnson and Kennedy used executive orders 11246 and 10925 to show government support of affirmative action through the “equal employment opportunity” and the establishment of the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity respectively. The downfall in affirmative action history is the passing of Proposition 209 and the California Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) which ended affirmative action in California. Affirmative Action has played a large role in history, as a fighter for equal opportunity, despite race or gender.
Affirmative Action provides women and minorities equal opportunity in higher education Affirmative Action in higher education allows minorities and women not given the opportunity of a prestige education to go further in life and attend side by side with students given better opportunities. It allows a very qualified minority from a not-so- well neighborhood or city to go further and have the opportunity to have the education he/she deserves. It makes the admission boards of colleges look further at a minority applicant, to give that person the equal opportunity of acceptance given to whites and males. As a result, university and college campuses will become more diverse opening people up to the cultures and behaviors of the world. People will be forced to learn more about these people and create a less ignorant mind and world. The more understanding and educated people become, the more equal and just our societies and communities will grow to be.
Affirmative Action also plays a big role in employment and the workforce. As a result of affirmative action women and minorities are in more top job positions and higher paying jobs then before. Nevertheless, women and minorities are still very unrepresentative in the workforce. Affirmative Action “ensures that qualified minorities and women are included in the pool of potential candidates for skilled postitions” (Grapes 29). Affirmative Actions “levels the playing field” (Fromkin 30) giving minorities and women the opportunity to be considered for the top jobs they are qualified for. It is not to say that a women will be given a position only based on the fact she is female, but to say that because she is a women she will not be discriminated against and given the same opportunity as all other applicants. Affirmative action does not give women and minorities positions because they are women and minorities, it gives qualified women and minorities equal employment opportunities. “The failure to hire talented women and minorities is a poor use of human resources” (Fromkin 29) and will lead to the downfall of the workplace and national economy.
Affirmative Action promotes diversity in society. As long as our communities and societies are dominated by whites and males, they will stay uneducated and ignorant towards the skills that women and minorities can offer. Affirmative Action allows for society to become more diverse through equal employment and equal opportunities in the workforce. Once they are diversified people will become more educated about one another and eventually have no need for laws such as affirmative action to protect the rights of women and minorities. Affirmative Action doesn’t choose one race over another but chooses one race over another between two equally qualified people. Affirmative Action sets no quotas for companies or schools to meet, so there is no certain number that needs to be met. It allows for these companies and schools to look at their percentages and statistics and question why so many minorities and the female population are unrepresentative. A diversified society can only be the bettering and strengthening of it.