Affirmative action programs were intended to remove institutional discrimination and give minorities opportunities that had previously been unfairly denied them. Do you support these programs? Do you think they have worked as intended? Explain.
Affirmative action is defined as “an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women; a similar effort to promote the rights or progress of other disadvantaged persons” (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/affirmativeaction). The intention of this program is to create equal opportunities for minorities and women in areas where discrimination was an issue for all minority groups, in areas like colleges and the workplace. I recall when I was around four-years-old (this was around 1978), my mother applied for a couple of jobs in administrative health care (before I was born she worked as a medical secretary at Blue Cross Blue Shield). I remember her coming home complaining that the job she worked hard at applying for was given to someone with less experience and “was the right color”. Unfortunately, I heard that. Fortunately, she did not know that I heard what she said.
Do I believe that affirmative action is working? Essentially, yes; there is more diversity in the workplace and on college campuses versus 40 years ago. However, there are still gray areas in the program. There is the possibility that, on occasion, the program could backfire. For example, the U.S. Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a case in reference to the affirmative action program. Abigail Fisher, a Caucasian student, said that the University of Texas denied her admission to their school due to her not being a minority from a racial perspective (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/us/justices-to-hear-case-on-affirmative-action-in-higher-education.html?pagewanted=all). The question is, has affirmative action created reverse discrimination for the majority?