Affirmative Action Essay
In the past, minority rights such as racial equality were limited due to race and gender discrimination. Minority advocates such as Martin Luther King, Jr. strived for this basic necessity of equality. In Martin Luther King, Jr. ’s speech, “I Have A Dream,” he states “I have a dream that my future little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. ” His dream of racial equality has become a reality, but only to an extent.
The statistics mentioned in any of the research or surveys do not signify the treatment any of the group receives within the society. There are various factors that affect social life of people and there can be other ways to promote ethnic diversity in the society. People receiving benefits of the affirmative actions develop different mind sets. They are perceived differently and some kinds of stereotypes are developed for them. These are some of the negative and identified consequences of the affirmative program. These programs have become more political issue than a solution of social problem.
The use of Affirmative Action to promote racial and gender equality have negative consequences in our society. Affirmative Action was expected to be the solution to correct the unfair practices of the past that has continued in the mindsets of people. Affirmative Action is the practice of giving preference to racial minorities, people with disabilities or women in the education or profession. This practice was to bring minority groups and women into institutions and professions that had been dominated by Caucasian males. The use of Affirmative Action has impacted our educational institutions.
Proponents of Affirmative Action insist that the use of this practice is advantageous for students. Supporters of Affirmative Action dismiss the negative effects of this initiative. Yet, Affirmative Action in higher education has created problems such as reverse discrimination and social stigmatism in our learning institutions. My family and I moved to the United States fifteen years ago hoping to have a better life. Most Asian parents moved here so their kids can have a better education and better future, my parents were no different.
The experience as a minority student has not been bad for me. In fact I enjoyed it to a certain extent, where I had been treated specially. However, sooner I realized the other aspects of being minority. Why does every minority student like to have this treatment? I personally disliked this type of treatment due to various reasons. One of these reasons is that I do not want to be labeled as an Affirmative Action recipient. I think I am capable enough to make through the pharmacy school. I would require funding and would apply for the loans and scholarships.
If I ever made it into pharmacy school, I definitely do not want my classmates and professors to think that I used the Affirmative Action policies to get into the program. However in the present scenario, it seems to be impossible. People will think I am one of the recipients even if I am not. In a couple months, I will be applying to pharmacy school and the Affirmative Action practice will present me with a dilemma. This practice will affect my admission process one way or another. It will offer me, a minority student, some form of preferential treatment in getting into it.
But I am not sure how this is going to help me to deal with the day to day challenges of my educational life. Will this help me to change the mindsets of my classmates to be that I belong to a minority group? Will this change what they think about my background and how they stereotype me with that? I am proud of myself and my background. I do not want to carry the social stigma of being from minority class there. I want to get recognized by what I am, an individual and my character as Martin Luther King told in his speech.
Affirmative Action was created to help all students learn to take different viewpoints into account and to learn to live with people of different races and cultures. However, in my view the purpose of Affirmative Action has been reversed. Instead of promoting minority groups in higher education, Affirmative Action serves as a reverse discrimination tool against male Caucasians. If society can not accept discrimination among minorities, then there is no excuse for discrimination against male Caucasians. Proponents suggest that Affirmative Action has contributed to the increase of diversity in our public higher education.
For example, many children come from families whose native language is not English. Language barriers create a stigma for non-English speaking students. Supporters of acknowledge that Affirmative Action helps students overcome difficulties. However, does this practice make college easier to get in? Many colleges and universities base their admissions on the factors of grades and academics. Through the use of Affirmative Action, it is the individual’s background that mostly justifies entrance. Yet, how does a students’ background justify how well he or she is going to succeed?
For example, many students apply to medical schools or pharmacy schools which are highly competitive. Factors such as academic affect how a student is going to be admitted. In cases where schools apply methods of Affirmative Action, minority students who are unlikely to be admitted, are accepted. Affirmative Action has also placed a social stigma on students who benefit from Affirmative Action. Many students who benefit from Affirmative Action may be labeled as unintelligent. This can create a form of stereotyping among minorities which Affirmative Action is trying to eliminate.
An example of social stigmatism is shown at North Carolina Colleges. Many Black students state that “they were treated like Affirmative Action cases even if they were not. Professors, seeking to help, asked them if they needed tutoring or other assistance, already assuming the Black students’ lack of qualifications. ” In some cases, people’s race does not necessarily determine their beliefs on the issue of Affirmative Action. I am one of them. The use of Affirmative Action has been built on historical precedents.
Many proponent of Affirmative Action believe that society should repay back to minorities for what they did in the past. Yet, how much should society give back for the mistakes of the past? I do not believe that we should compensate for the things we did in history. We can not change what happened in the past. Through proper implementation of cultural and diversity awareness, we can stop the new forms of discrimination that is occurring today. People are less likely to discriminate against each other if they have a better understanding of the person. I am one of the prospective recipients of the Affirmative Action benefits.
I had developed my viewpoints towards this particular aspect on the basis of my personal experiences and social responses I had received on this particular aspect. I did my own research in order to develop more understanding towards the issue. The objectives of any affirmative programs are as follows: 1. To provide equal opportunity in education and employment 2. To increase ethnic diversity in all levels of society 3. To redress perceived disadvantages of racial, ethnic, physically disabled or other minority classes and gender based discriminations.
There are various types of affirmative actions taken across the world in order to encourage or promote the equal treatment to all the diverse classes. In most of the countries the affirmative action programs intend to benefit historically disadvantaged ethnic minorities, women, disable people, veterans, aboriginal people and others. All the affirmative programs have similar objectives. However the major outcomes even after decades of implementing such programs are as follows: 1. None of the program across the world has been able to achieve its objectives in the desired time frame. 2.
All the programs had to be extended due to the failure of achieving the desired responses, oppose from the minority groups to terminate the program or raised political interest for the political benefits. 3. The beneficiaries of these programs are majorly from the upper section of the minority groups. Some of the respondents receive the benefits of affirmative programs more than one time in their life. Those people for whom these programs are developed and implemented are left behind and there is no change in their education, social and economic status. Affirmative Action is good in nature but there are still flaws that can be changed.
Race should not be the deciding factor if a person gets admitted to a college or university. It has always been the person’s socioeconomic status that has been an obstacle to higher education. For example, when a student of high socioeconomic status is raised in a community where education and teacher quality is high, the probability of the student going to succeed is high. Yet, when a poor student is offered inferior education, it is not because of the student race, it is one’s socioeconomic status is an obstacle. Each student should have the same opportunity to have an equal education, no matter what race one is.
Therefore, government agencies should stop focusing on race related issues. They should try to increase the quality of our public schools through proper funding. In doing so, it will allow anyone of any race/gender to succeed in school and life. There are some other ways that can be adopted to ensure social change in the society. A diverse society requires everyone to be treated equally and respectfully. These aspects can not be forced by adopting these measures for prolonged period. These benefits should be interlinked with other aspects of the social life of beneficiary.
Those people who really do not have means and measures to afford good education and are eligible for the same should be encouraged and supported. If it is must to have affirmative program, than it should be given once in the lifetime and it should be linked with other aspects of the social life. There should be various opportunities in the social, educational and professional lives of people to interact more with diverse backgrounds of people. Churches, religious organizations, social organizations should be encouraged to promote diversification of the society.
People should be given equal opportunity and any case of unfair treatment should be handled with strict legal framework. The consequences of mistreatment to anyone on any ground should be taken seriously. The focus of the policy makers should be to encourage the diverse environments and fair treatment at all the levels of the society without providing special benefits to any group but by promoting the respect and fear of consequences of unfair treatments. Sometimes I get these kinds of comments from the people advocating affirmative actions, ‘When you will face actual situation, you will understand by your own.
” I might be very young to understand the dept of these actions, but I do believe that majority of people taking these benefits are not the actual people for whom these policies has been developed. In someway, we are repeating the mistakes of the history. Admissions or professional growth on merit basis provides a positive environment to study and grow, where one will not have the feeling that they have been granted something they do not deserve nor some have the feelings that they could not get the opportunity due to the reservations given to the minority class.
Affirmative actions gives preference to one on the same ground they were not given opportunities in the past, their historic background. To a certain extent affirmative action can be justified for the physically challenged people as they have to deal with tough and complex living situations than the normal and healthy person. Being physically challenged does not make them less capable for certain tasks or abnormal but it increases the complexity of their lives.
This is due to the fact that everything from the bus terminal or classes in an institution is designed with the view of a physically normal person. There are constant efforts done in order to make the life easier for physically challenged people. Nevertheless these aspects are not applicable to the people receiving benefits on the basis of their race or gender. Racial and gender equality is a basic necessity that millions of people have been fighting for the past decades.
Through the use of Affirmative Action, how can we justify this practice if it contradicts what we have been looking for? Martin Luther King, Jr. ’s perception of society is a reality that is changing. If we continue to endorse the use of Affirmative Action, then we will be going back to our unenlightened ideology of race and gender superiority. To conclude I would like to quotes of actor Jon Stewart, “Here’s the point – you’re looking at affirmative action, and you’re looking at marijuana. You legalize marijuana, no need for quotas, because really, who’s gonna wanna work?
” Affirmative actions are injuring the scholars and capable people of the recipient groups by stereotyping them to be belonging to a class of less capable group receiving benefits. It will institutionalize the demerits of the discrimination on any ground. I do not want myself to be in the same stream. As an individual I want to be treated as I am as a person and on the grounds of my eligibility and capabilities in my social and professional group. My background should be the factor for anyone to decide what kind of treatment I should be given.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 1 November 2016
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