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Should affirmative action be used to eliminate injustice - Essay Example

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Like the famous phrase, “An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth”, for many people the term ‘Affirmative Action’ stands out to be a limiter of revenge. The concept, according to them, seeks to right the wrongs of the past by a process of reverse discrimination, thus, limiting the growth of accomplishments and reinforcing a sense of increased inferiority among minorities…
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Should affirmative action be used to eliminate injustice
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Download file to see previous pages Even though we would like to believe that discrimination of minorities is outlawed, subtle and covert forms of discrimination exist across all societal systems. It exists not just in practise but also in the thinking of man, conscious and unconscious biases regarding minorities undervalue their qualities and overvalue the qualities of the majority. Another point to be noted here is that all the major universities in the world, all major companies in the world, everyone who has a say in the ‘ladder to successes’ is looking for candidates who are academically motivated, confident, have high self-esteem and are goal-oriented. These traits are created, honed and maintained by a system which is mostly majority governed. However, academic motivation is a little hard to come by in public schools where teachers are rarely around. Similarly, notions of confidence, high self-esteem and motivation would never go down well with a single mother who is left with the responsibility of raising her kid on her own. How can we possibly question the goal-orientation of a candidate from a ghetto, if all he could hear in the streets each day was the sound of rapid gun fire? The poverty and economic disadvantage that many minority groups suffer deprive them of the traits that most ideal positions require. But are there any laws written to counter the psychological and social costs of discrimination which rarely end within a single generation? Considering the hue and cry being made over the need for objectivity in the distribution of benefits, isn’t overlooking the differentials that deny access to benefits for certain groups, being subjective? Affirmative action – the way ahead It is under these circumstances of injustices that the author believes affirmative action becomes imperative. Affirmative action works to bridge the gap of discrimination which we knowingly or unknowingly create. Most times affirmative action is not about bringing the competition down to the level of the minorities; it is about removing the upper edge majorities have gained, having played the game over centuries. The author believes that affirmative action should be used as a tool to eliminate injustice because affirmative action, per say, is not about being fair, it is about eliminating notions of pride and superiority that come from culturally sanctioned positions, enjoyed unknowingly by a majority due to the accident of birth. It thus helps level a rough playing field, removing barriers from the path of particular groups who have been stunted in their attempt to reach success. Hence, affirmative action helps eliminate injustice by being unjust itself. Answering the critics Critics and proponents of the concept of affirmative action often see it as an act of charity, a generosity shown to justify the wrongs their ancestors had committed; it is from here that the feeling of inferiority creeps in. In the 1950s when a white male was given preference for a job over an equally deserving black male, it was never seen as charity. Nor is it considered charity when a government today gives humongous tax breaks to a ‘deserving’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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