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Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is a growing argument among our society. It is multifaceted and very often defined vaguely. Some can define affirmative action as the ability to strive for equality and inclusiveness. Others might see it as a quota-based system for different minority groups. Is affirmative action fair? Are minority groups on equal footing? Is gaining employment for minorities difficult? Is education easily obtained for the minority groups of people? Affirmative action endeavors to answer all these questions, while allowing society to believe harmony exists.

Affirmative action has definitely helped women and minorities in their careers, but it has yet to succeed in the goal of equality in the business world for women and minorities. As more and more women are faced with discrimination in large firms, more have decided to strike out on their own. Today employers both private and public require individuals to take a test before entering their place of employment. For example, if one were to apply for a job in a supermarket a test for your basic educational skill is required. To become a fireman, policeman, teacher, or Kentucky Fried Chicken employee you are required to take a test before being hired. To further your education you need to take a test to enter a University. Jobs for today are in the technological, computer, and Internet areas. The need to be educated is a part of life. In our society there are difficulties with basic education. Affirmative action gives minorities the right to equal education.

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Is affirmative action fair? Affirmative action has become a tool for minorities to use for equality in the business world. Women, African Americans, Hispanics and the like now have a level tool that would support their rights as individuals in the business world. Yes, affirmative action demonstrates fairness. Are minority groups on equal footing? Today, affirmative action is recognized however, the ‘glass ceiling’ is still there. The glass ceiling refers to “you can see it, but you can’t get it”. Minorities can reach for the ceiling but still have difficulty actually trying to touch it. Unfortunately affirmative action cannot tell society to behave in a way that would place every individual, every minority group on equal footing. Affirmative action is a great tool for minorities. It encourages equality in humanity. I agree and support affirmative action in that individual’s should be treated equally.
Affirmative action is still needed. Although women and people of color have come a long way in the decades since the Civil Rights Act was passed, discrimination still exists. In 1991, President Bush and Congress appointed a 21-member Federal Glass Ceiling Commission to identify barriers that block the advancement of women and people of color into decision making positions. In March, the commission reported back: “Today’s American labor force is gender and race segregated — white men fill most top management positions in corporations.” (ACLU). This clearly states that glass ceilings still exist within our society, which preaches freedom and non-discrimination towards all races, but yet there are none of these same minorities at the decision making levels of major businesses and corporations.

Affirmative action is not the most important issue for black progress in America, but it is part of a redistributive chain that must be strengthened if we are to confront and eliminate black poverty (West, pg 47) If these programs are taken away, what will happen to the largest population of those who are on the affirmative action plan right now, the black community. Affirmative action must be looked at as what t really is. A stepping-stone for those individuals who never had the opportunity to get a great education, a chance to prove that if they were not one particular skin color, that they would be allowed into that position of power no matter what they were. The hope is that the long-term effects of this plan will ensure minorities into positions of power where a larger majority of the population can be truly represented, instead of white males.
Affirmative action works, and most Americans, when questioned carefully, support the principles, as long as quotas are not included. (Acenet) Interesting statement made about affirmative action, quotas are usually a misconception, its not a real guideline set by the government or the firm which is hiring but rather a relative number set up so that the government does not get curious as if the company is being discriminatory so that they dont get fined by the government etc
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