The Case Against Affirmative Action

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The Case Against Affirmative Action Affirmative action in general indicates undertaking measures, which will provide referential treatment towards underrepresented communities at the cost of a group, representing majority such that discrimination might be compensated. The major argument in favor of affirmative action refers to equalizing the benefits by compensating the shortfall in numbers. Also, the idea behind the same is derived form setting the wrong to right by committing something wrong again. Discrimination of any form is wrong and in this case discrimination takes place against the majority group in order to set the injustice undergone by the minorities. For instance, since the blacks were treated as slaves once, it is justified that they should be getting some privileges over and above the whites that perhaps had no connection with slavery. The idea is based upon Two Wrongs Make a Right Thesis (Pojman) Despite all, one might argue essentially on the basis of discrimination alone that affirmative action cannot do justice to the society at large an is ethically wrong. Pros 1. Students who begin their career at a disadvantage will need some thrust or support to move forward. Coming from black families put them often at a disadvantage in terms of economic and social status. They often belong to crime-infected families and are place at a disadvantage compared to the whites. 2. Affirmative action will draw the people from minority groups to choose those profession or academic careers, which they would not have thought in other circumstances. For instance, women are entering into fields of technology. It is important to alter the stereotypes in order to prevent future discrimination.3. Affirmative action will help in compensating the wrongdoings, which the minorities suffered once.4. Diversity needs to be encouraged especially since it has utilitarian value to the society. 5. Another argument, which is often put forward states, is based upon No One Deserves His Talents. Individuals do not have claims to any particular merit. hence they will not have access to the better ranks or positions in the society. (Pojman. Messerli)Cons1. Discrimination of any sort is bad even if it is biased towards the majority groups. In fact this is a case of reverse discrimination. It is pointless to punish the innocent white people for the wrongdoings of their ancestors. 2. The diversity argument is favor of affirmative action has been discussed before. However, in certain cases where a white policeman might be able to arrest a black criminal better and vice versa might be regarded as a case of merit instead of affirmative action.3. The ‘No One Deserves His Talents’ is based on the ground – ‘If a person does not deserve what produces something, he does not deserve its products’ which cannot be held as correct because based on this argument none would deserve anything. They will not deserve to be paid for their labor or have right to their own property.4. Estimates show that many groups other than racially inferior ones lie within the category of minorities. Elderly people and handicaps are also among them. Hence one might argue to include the ugly looking, obese and short people in the list too. In fact to judge carefully, the white young people are lying in the oppressed category. Therefore, they would also be included in the list. This way the list would no longer be solely in favor of the minorities.5. Affirmative action is against excellence and competency. This could be the strongest argument against affirmative action. A person should be respected for his worth, which is inherent or based upon his merit. (Pojman. Messerli)Before coming to any conclusion or position about affirmative action it is important to differentiate between strong and weak affirmative actions. Weak affirmative action stands for provision of equal opportunities to all in order to provide fair grounds for competition. Strong affirmative action looks to equalize on grounds of certain parameters base don which individuals are classified as minority groups. I personally would therefore stand against strong affirmative action although I feel that weak affirmative action is fair to the society especially in certain cases where the idea is to eradicate all forms of segregation instead of reverse discrimination (Messerli). Works CitedMesserli, Joe. Should affirmative action policies, which give preferential treatment based on minority status, be eliminated?, Balanced politics, December 3, 2010 lt. Pojman, Louis P. The Case Against Affirmative Action, CSUS, December 3, 2010 lt.