Affirmative Action The real deal




The Necessity for Affirmative Action:
During the American Revolution Thomas Jefferson and America\'s founding fathers struggled for freedom and equality. Years of agonizing battling took place, and finally emancipation was gained and America was formed. As a society we have grown to believe that America equals equality, when in fact it does not. When the declaration of independence was created only white male colonists were created equally. Over 224 years have gone by since our foundation was laid, and unfortunately our original goal has not been reached. Liberty and justice for all is still a utopian idea in the minds of many but not all. There are three reasons our society has not reached its original goal. First, there are large numbers of people who believe that other races, and or genders are inferior. Secondly there is evidence that shows minorities including African Americans, Hispanics, and immigrants are being discriminated against in the workplace. Finally, Affirmative Action has not received a fair chance because of myths and misconceptions about the program. For the above three reasons I believe Affirmative Action is a necessity in America. Many Americans are extremely ignorant to the Affirmative Action program. Many feel that Affirmative Action only pertains to Blacks when it reaches so many more. The maintenance of the program is of great importance to our country especially with a new President in soon to be in office. It is of utmost importance that we as a society learn about the program and its benefits so we can prepare for the future, and eventually erase racial and gender issues in every aspect of our country.
To have knowledge of why Affirmative Action is needed, one should have a solid definition of the program. Affirmative Action, as defined by the office of Affirmative Action, equal opportunity, and diversity at the University of Rhode Island is:
The written document through which management assures that all persons have equal opportunities in recruitment, selection, appointment, promotion, training, discipline and related employment areas. The plan is tailored to the employer\'s work force and the skills available in the labor force. It prescribes specific actions, goals, timetables, and responsibilities and describes resources to meet identified needs. The plan is a comprehensive results oriented program designed to achieve equal employment opportunity rather than merely to assure nondiscrimination.

Affirmative Action is all of the above, but it is not reverse discrimination. Affirmative Action is an outreach program that attempts to recruit minority applicants. “It presupposes an undertaking to remedy underutilization of women and minorities through express consideration of race and or gender.” (Player 59) Affirmative Action programs are designed to ensure fair criteria for all applicants. Currently, 86% of available jobs are not advertised -- they are filled by word-of-mouth. Since white men still own and manage most US businesses, they tend to know and hire other white male applicants. Affirmative Action creates a level playing field, and some may not receive the advantage they are accustomed too. (Williams 4)
There are several misconceptions about Affirmative Action. Many arguers against Affirmative Action say jobs are being given to unqualified people. Many also believe that Affirmative Action is a quota system that places those under-qualified applicants into vacant positions. This is a myth; in reality no Affirmative Action programs require anyone to accept substandard or unqualified applicants. These programs actually expand the pool of qualified applicants who might otherwise not know about the opening or not be provided an equal opportunity at being accepted. The Affirmative Action program has five major elements that someone utilizing the system must establish before a negative claim can be filed. 1) A plaintiff was in an Affirmative Action protected class 2) Plaintiff applied for the position 3) Defendant had a vacancy in which the applicant applied 4) Plaintiff was qualified 5) Plaintiff was denied the position and the defendant continued to seek applicants. The fourth element of the process clearly states that an applicant must be qualified. An employer can deny the position to any under-qualified person. With progression in our society Affirmative Action will no longer be needed. In fact, the education system no longer utilizes the Affirmative Action program because of progress. However, a professor an anonymous professor at Emory University said,