Affirmative Action – Online Writings

What is affirmative action?  What sorts of myths and stereotypes impact our conversation about affirmative action

Using course readings and course materials, talk about the above question. 200-250 words.  Last day April 5

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49 thoughts on “Affirmative Action – Online Writings

  1. Affirmative action was enacted in the late 1960s to help start racial integration in the work place and school, while also trying to create equal opportunities at work and in school for anyone no matter their race. However, after affirmative action was put into place it has been no cake walk for people of color to integrate freely into schools without getting stereotyped, in fact affirmative action have brought along with it stereotypes of its own. In chapter 25 of our class book it unearths the truth affirmative action and the sort of “color- blind racism” it creates. African Americans often feel as though whites just look at them like they are “affirmative action attendees” and that they are not intelligent because they used there “token” to get into college. This stereotype often puts added pressure of African American students to do better or to just conform to the stereotypical notions white students believe about them, greatly hurting their futures.
    The myth around affirmative action that people of color did not earn their place into college and that the only reason they are there is because they are of color. “I was appalled when a White got up and pointed his finger at me and said “I don’t think it is right that you go to go to school here when my best friend doesn’t.” I thought, you don’t know anything about me.” (Black female student) (Radicalized and Radicalizing Institutions, 295). Affirmative action makes white students hostile toward students of color because they feel disadvantaged and victimized, this causes students of color to feel awkward and they start to separate themselves from whites creating more of a separation between races.

  2. Affirmative action is a set of policies established in the 1960s designed to reduce discrimination by increasing minority populations in employment and educational opportunities. The basis behind affirmative action is to include certain racial/social/ethnic groups that have been underrepresented in history. The purpose of these policies is to try to reverse discrimination, promote more diversity, and encourage social institutions to include these minorities in their corporations. In doing this, the hopeful goal is to lessen the gaps between cultural, class, and socioeconomic groups. A major myth that comes with affirmative action is that it’s not working. In class lecture, we saw statistics on how it has failed to increase female and minority representation. Also, the intention is to reduce discrimination; however, in order to bring in more diversity and minority populations, we first need to determine who is a minority versus who is not. Does this mean that we are already discriminating in an attempt to do the opposite? In my opinion, I believe so; it’s just a winding circle of contradictions. Additionally, another myth suggests that selection of candidates are taking away opportunities from those who are qualified and giving them to those who aren’t. At the same time, this can be looked upon as a degrading the accomplishments of minorities because affirmative action is displaying the idea that helping minorities is necessary for their success rather than letting them earn their own success through hard work.

  3. Affirmative action is a set of policies started in the 1960s “aimed at giving access to education and employment to social/racial/ethnic groups that have been historically kept in the margins” (class notes). It essentially is a legal method to encourage improvements in the social status of those that were historically discriminated via employment (who otherwise would not have been hired), etc.

    Naturally, such a drastic set of policies created all sorts of controversies and due to people misunderstanding the policies and whatnot, various myths spawned around these policies. One of the more popular myths that spawned was that since it has been in effect for decades, the playing field is fairly level today. That is simply untrue, as statistically speaking, women still generally make 76 cents for every dollar men make (class notes). That in turn affects the conversations that are going on today in terms of whether or not the playing field needs to be leveled. For example, if a company were to believe this myth, then they would see no reason to consciously make the extra effort to hire more women in high-level positions within the company and pay them the same amount as their male counterparts. That would uneven the playing field even more.

    In terms of stereotypes, because of the fact that affirmative action was the cause of many underrepresented groups being accepted into colleges, stereotypes within colleges have shifted to the general idea of “I don’t think it’s right that you [minority student] go to school [university] here when my best friend [white] doesn’t” (Dalmage, Rothman, 295). Due to this stereotype, students have begun to blame the set of policies for “replacing” those would normally be there with minority students.

    Overall, it’s interesting to see how affirmative action has affected daily conversations.

  4. Affirmative action’s main goal is to readdress the affects of pass discrimination to make things more fair for everyone today, this includes in the work force and at school. Common myths of affirmative action include that it hasn’t worked, when actually we have noticed that it has helped equally the playing fields quite a bit and that schools and work places are becoming more diverse. Another common myth is that it is not needed anymore today because it has already worked, well if that was the case then in contradicts the above myth and just proves that we must continue to have it if it making changes in our community for the better. Another myth that upsets a lot of people is that they believe that whites will lose out on job and schooling opportunities because they have to hire or enroll so many. This myth has been proven not to be true and even if it was it would have such a small impact on the overall white population that it wouldn’t be that big of a deal. Another myth is that you can’t cure discrimination with discrimination but, affirmative action is not discriminating it is equally the playing field so that everyone has the same opportunity. Finally the largest myth about affirmative action is that supporting it means that you are supporting selection procedures that favor under qualified candidates over qualified. However this is a myth because just because they are a minority doesn’t mean that they are under qualified and don’t deserve an opportunity.

  5. Reading through the book and listening to lecture I have formed my own opinions on affirmative action. The idea is to create opportunities for people of color and non-American ethnicities in the labor and employment world. The problem is that many people have ideas in their head as to why affirmative action is a complete failure. The myths of failure may have hints of truth in my opinion but overall help increase diversity in Corporate America. There are six myths that come from lecture:

    1) “It hasn’t succeeded in increasing female and minority representation.”
    2) “It may have been necessary 30 years ago, but is not necessary now”
    3) “A large percentage of white workers will lose out if it is continued”
    4) As a general rule, “you cannot cure discrimination with discrimination.”
    5) “Support for AA mean support for preferential selection procedure that favor unqualified candidates over qualified candidates”
    6) “Affirmative Action causes hostility.”

    I take issue mostly with number two. Affirmative action is a set a federal recommendations that require companies to increase their diversity. Yet, here we are today with seemingly increased forms of racism in the workplace. For example, the fact that people are complaining about affirmative action to me is a form of racism. But the only way affirmative action will no longer be necessary is if racism disappears which is nearly impossible, therefor affirmative action is still necessary today.
    Another myth that gets me going is number 5. Just because a company goes out and finds and ethnic worked does not mean he or she is any less qualified than the white person. Come on people, grow up. It’s not like a head hunter is going to the hood and picking a random person off the street and hiring them just because they’re black. There are still standards of quality and experience. Usually business people aren’t that stupid when it comes to personnel selection.
    The myth that I can probably say is the closest to true in my eyes is number 6. Unfortunately I think this is true. I think the people that are complaining most about affirmative action are the ones that are causing the hostility. Plus, it is very uncommon for the government to pass a set of laws that 100% of the population is supportive of. It’s sad, but true that affirmative action has created conflict within my communities and people.
    Other than that I think affirmative action is a step in the right direction and I can bet that if the government hadn’t come up with it, segregation in the workplace would still be a tremendous problem.

  6. Affirmative action which was brought into existence in the 1960’s was meant to promote equal opportunities across race, gender, class and sexual orientation. The idea was to tear down some of the discrimination that had been present before the 1960’s. One way they went about attempting to enact this system of equal opportunities was to set a minimum quota for each identity intersection. One thing that jumps out to me as affirmative action from previous studies is the title nine legislation enacted in university athletic programs. What title nine attempted to do was to provide equal athletic opportunities to men and women at the collegiate level. Title nine states that there must be an equal amount of men’s and women’s sports programs at each university. One thing that this does not account for though is the amount that is spent each year on men’s and women’s programs. For instance in 2009 the median amount spent on men’s programs was 21 million whereas the median spent on women’s programs was 7 million. There is a huge disparity in the equality of spending on colligate athletics. This goes the same for the work place when it comes to hiring on the basis of gender or race. Although there may be quotas in place that does not equate to equal distribution of resources, on average people of color make less than their white counterparts in similar job positions. This history of unequal earnings is present across all intersections of identity and creates an unequal environment within our workplaces and universities. Just because systems are in place that are “supposed” to make things “equal” it does not actually mean that equality is present.

    • I think your athletics was a really important issue in collegiate sports today. Women’s team get less funding and equipment than the men’s teams of the same sport. They also get less support from students and the school because society still has the mentality that women’s sports are inferior to men’s sports. Policies need to be enacted that equalize the program funds for women and men.

  7. Affirmative action is a law that makes sure all people are given equal opportunity when it comes to applying for jobs and school. It was signed by president John F. Kennedy on March 6, 1961. Affirmative action was made especially for minority groups. In such a racial and segregated time period, people of color were not granted equal opportunity as whites. Race wasn’t the only thing affirmative action protected; it also gave opportunities to people of all religion, color and national origin. It wasn’t until October 13, 1967 that sex was included in affirmative action. So not only were people of color and different religions benefiting, women were as well. Affirmative action has some controversy. People believe that blacks have an unfair advantage due to this law, but in reality thats not the case because still to this day blacks are greatly outnumbered in the work place and university’s. There are stereotypes and myths tied into it. It is said to believe that people are not given equal opportunity despite the law. For instance, as we talked about in class, you can still find more men in the work place than women and also men are on average paid more than women who have the same job.

  8. Affirmative action is a set of policies started in the 1960’s with the Civil Rights movement designed to promote inclusion of all individuals, and focusing concerns about discrimination. Some of the issues that are recognized by affirmative action are reverse discrimination which divides the community and the people rather than making everyone equal. For instance, this has occurred in job settings, schools and social situations. Our country tends to promote equal opportunity in the way of success in society whether you are a specific race, from an ethnic origin, or gender. Affirmative action is intended to recognize these differences and attend to these differences rather than be “colorblind” and pretend there is no problem at all.
    With legal rules set in place, this created controversial discussions that argued against the idea of giving the minorities more of a chance. This was a myth that by promoting under qualified people it could take away the opportunity for the more qualified end of the spectrum. In my opinion it seems as though it is reversed discrimination and everything that was done wrong in the past is being done now but just in the other way. Overall, I think that it is interesting to see who is on what side of the spectrum as well as how it has helped different groups today.

  9. Affirmative action is a law that started in the 1960’s that was supposed to bring equality across gender, race, class, and sexual orientation. There were many different types discrimination in the 60’s towards women, the poor, homosexuals, and people of color. Affirmative action was put into place to try and make all of the discriminations disappear so that everyone is treated as equal. In class, we talked about five different myths that are associated with affirmative action. The first myth is that affirmative action has not succeeded in increasing female and minority representation when in fact the increase of women and minorities in the workforce is directly related to it. The second myth states that everything is level today. This is a myth because women still make less than men and racial minorities are still seen as behind white men. The third myth is one that I think most people believe is true, it is that a large percentage of white workers will lose out if affirmative action is continued. The myth assumes that jobs always belong to whites and they will be losing jobs that “belong” to them because of affirmative action. This is obviously not true because whites are not entitled to certain jobs. The forth myth states that you can not cure discrimination with discrimination and the fifth myth is that supporting affirmative action means supporting preferential selection that favors unqualified candidates over qualified candidates. All of these are clearly not true, and people need to realize that before shooting down the idea of affirmative action.

  10. Affirmative action is defined to be laws that were instated in the 1960’s that are aimed in the work place and in the classrooms. That are to give social/racial/ethnic groups access to education and employment, these groups are generally those who are non-white as well as women. Although affirmative action is in place for those groups there have been a lot of misunderstandings and is generally misinterpreted by the public that has caused myths. According to the class lecture these myths are as followed:

    1. Affirmative action has not succeeded in increasing female and minority representation
    2. Affirmative action may have been necessary 30 years ago, but the playing field is fairly level today
    3. A large percentage of white workers will lose out if affirmative action is continued
    4. You can’t cure discrimination with discrimination
    5. Support for affirmative action means support for preferential selection procedures that favor unqualified candidates over qualified candidates.
    6. Affirmative action causes hostility

    With affirmative action in place today as well as the myths that come along, there is some controversy that comes along as well. One example is with the third myth, white workers are still representing the working class today and affirmative action is in no way trying to do anything to try and take away their positions of employment. I think one of the big reasons why this myth causes friction is that people believe that with affirmative action, this is giving minority groups more of an advantage over others; advantages of with whites can’t exactly compete with so to say. This could be seen as a threat to them since there could be some people that would not want to see these minority groups being seen as higher than them. Another example goes to the 5th myth, affirmative action is in no way trying to put someone who is unqualified over someone who is qualified. I have an uneasy thought that thinks that people who are in minority groups are automatically classified as “unqualified.” If this is the case this would only further improve that racism and discrimination still exists.

    Overall in my opinion affirmative action is in no way trying to put minority groups above those who would still qualify to be working or getting an education, but more to make sure that they can get the same amount of work and education in as the other normal human being would. Which I think is a goal that our entire society wants to accomplish.

  11. President John F. Kennedy first addressed the process of affirmative action in 1961 with the creation of the “Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity”. This was made to generate unbiased employment and education opportunities regardless of race. However, it was not until 1964 that President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act that affirmative action was taken seriously. In his term, Richard Nixon implemented “The Philadelphia Order”, and truly began demanding to see the results of affirmative action. This entire process was first and foremost intended to redress the negative effects racial discrimination had on both access to education and employment equality. Its’ second objective was to encourage social institutions to incorporate previously disregarded groups into their ranks. It was expected that by achieving this, that there would be a breakdown of social/financial segregation as well as an increase in inter-group exposure.
    Due to the forced drastic changes in mindset brought on by affirmative action there are a plethora of stereotypes and myths that permeate the issue. Some naysayers claim, “Affirmative action has done nothing to reduce the consideration of racial discrimination”. Yet, according to the US Labor Department, “5 million minorities and 6 million white/minority women have moved up in the workplace since the affirmative action mandate”. With these numbers in mind, some argue that such a mandate is no longer necessary in this forward-thinking world. However, to this day, women are still making 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man doing the same job. How is that equal? If I were to base an argument against affirmative action on white stereotyping, it would be, “Now white people are going to lose their jobs”. This assertion is based on the false sense of ownership that has been bred into white society. White people don’t own their jobs, nor do they have any special claim over them. Affirmative action simply creates an even playing field. Upon which, equal (job-qualified) applicants can compete for the same job (regardless of race, color, or creed). And, even if unemployed African-Americans were to “take” all of the “white jobs”, only 2% of all the White people in America would be affected.

  12. Affirmative action is a program that was created to aid the integration of race in society. Its goal was not only to integrate different racial groups into white society but also to create equal opportunities for minorities at school and in the work place. Though affirmative action seems like a good plan, it has not worked as it was originally designed to. Whites view African Americans as “attendees” of affirmative action. They don’t have to work very hard to get into college because they or of another race, so they get to use a free pass or “token” to get into college. This creates an often unspoken tension between whites and minorities, because the whites think that the minorities only made it into the school by using their racial category. Some even feel animosity: “I don’t think it’s right that you go to school here when my best friend doesn’t” (Dalmage, Rothman, 295). (Excerpt from book, white student pointing at black student as he speaks) This example somewhat disproves one of the myths discussed in class about how affirmative action causes hostility. This is an example of affirmative action directly causing hostility. The white people causing the tension are often the ones that are supporting the disparities that affirmative action is attempting to curtail. One of the myths discussed in class was that a large percentage of white workers will lose their jobs because of affirmative action. This is not true; the only thing that would happen is that the playing field would be equal so everyone has the same opportunities to procure a job. Another myth discussed in class was that you cannot cure discrimination with discrimination. According to the statistics, even with affirmative action in place, minorities are still grossly underrepresented.

  13. Since birth, through maturity, and continuing into the modern age, racism, prejudice, and discrimination have plagued America’s great name. There have been many regulations passed to reduce discrimination as much as possible, yet still minority groups suffer each day due the relentless, ever burning flames of ignorance and intolerance. One such policy was passed in the 1960’s when President John F. Kennedy implemented Executive Order 10925, more commonly known as Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action is justified by the doctrine of Disparate Impact, which arose from the Civil Rights Act of 1964, passed just one year prior to Kennedy’s Executive Order. Title VII of said act established the commission for equal employment opportunity, and states, (paraphrased) that a company’s employment methods are classified as discriminatory in the event that they have an “adverse impact” on any minority group, through disparate impact. Affirmative Action, then, is characterized by the responsibility of each and every business and school to practice equal treatment in regards to hiring, promoting, and general treatment of minority groups. If, for example, a business was to hire more men than women (by a large ratio [1:10]) or was found to play favorites in respect to race, then said business’s employment practices could be questioned. While this doctrine is meant to be positive, however, it can have some adverse side effects on minority communities; a nice example being the disproportionate amount of grants and scholarships awarded to non-white individuals purely on the basis of race. Many white individuals feel this isn’t just, and often attribute this unfair treatment to Affirmative Action. In cases such as these, Affirmative Action seems to have the opposite of its intended affect; people are finding reasons to discriminate due to the apparent “unequal treatment” being given to blacks, Latinos, women, and other minority groups. Typically, these types of individuals have succumbed to such thinking as, “The constitution states all men are created equal; why should I be paying for the sins of my forefathers when I am not racist myself?” The above statement, while at first tantalizing, is incorrect, because the fact of the matter is that not all people are created equally; differences include not only race, but gender, economic background, societal classes and many other factors that in essence separate the American people into many different groups. We need to discard any discriminatory thoughts which stem from Affirmative Action; Understand that “handouts”, grants and scholarships are in place to help individuals in need, and accept the fact that if you aren’t receiving special treatment solely due to race, gender, or social status, it probably just means you don’t require such aid and should thus be grateful for your blessings, not resentful for the charity given to others.

  14. Affirmative action came about in 1964 when President Johnson signed executive order 10925 that stated, “ affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” It was supposed to help reduce discrimination that was rampant and plagued the hiring system in America along with other institutions. Today, many white Americans resent affirmative action and blame it for their personal shortcomings such as not getting into a particular college they wanted too. Saying this such as “if I was a minority I would have gotten in.” As we talked about in class, affirmative action does not negatively affect white Americans, and helps people from not just racial discrimination, but also protects gender and economic discrimination as well. Even though this order was signed and put into law in the mid 1960’s, discrimination is still involved in workplace hiring. During lecture, we talked about recent studies that people with “black sounding” names were 50 percent less likely to get calls back on jobs interviews as well as a person with a white sounding name is the equivalent of 8 years of previous work experience in an job interview. This is just further proof that affirmative action is not working. White Americans complaining about and fighting affirmative action is a way to try and preserve white privilege and work hiring discrimination. America should change affirmative action so it is more successful for race equity not just race equality.

  15. The concept of affirmative action started in the early to mid-1960’s. Most would define it as the encouragement of more representation for minorities and women, especially when it comes to the job scene. It’s sometimes known as “positive discrimination.” It’s definitely a federal agenda, and tries to compensate these underrepresented groups because of ways that they have been treated historically. One of the most positive outcomes of affirmative action is that women and other minorities were allowed to get jobs in areas they weren’t allowed before. It allowed for a lot of expansion in the workplace. Now, debates on how effective this action has been goes both ways. What I personally don’t like hearing is “this school has to let a certain amount of African Americans in, a certain amount of Native Americans in, ect.” Because that simply isn’t true. The reality is that strictly ethnic scholarships take up less than two percent of college scholarships. Another falsity is that it takes away from other well deserving candidates both in schools and in the workplace when that simply isn’t true either. Spots are not reserved according to specific amounts of different ethnicities. Though institutions encourage diversity, they are generally not inclined to limit their employment to a certain amount of people per race/ gender.

  16. Affirmative action in the United States began in the 1960s to start the process of eliminating the constant discrimination against African Americans. The original efforts of Affirmative Action were directed towards government contracting agencies. Affirmative action is the set of rules created around equal opportunity employment. These rules are set up to completely avoid all discrimination in hiring employees based on their race, religion, sex, etc. 1961 was the first year that United States government used the term to describe the new policy. The United States Department of Labor makes a point to offer affirmative action outreach campaigns, recruitment, training sessions, mentoring, employee development, and support programs. Issues around affirmative action also often appear with college admissions and trying to give equal access to all social, racial, and ethnic groups. A common myth around this topic is that men and women of different races have equal opportunities to succeed in life in the United States. The family you grew up in, the city you live in, the school you attend, and much more can dictate your opportunities for both employment and education. As much as we would like to say that America is where you come/live to make a life for yourself, that is not always the case and often it is completely out of your control.

  17. What is affirmative action? What sorts of myths and stereotypes impact our conversation about affirmative action

    Affirmative action by definition is “a policy or program aimed at countering discrimination against minorities and women, especially in employment and education” (Encarta). It can be seen more closely through the admission processes of colleges and universities. Affirmative action was initially put into place by John F. Kennedy in 1965 as a way to simply undo racism and discrimination (Johnson). However it seems to be that this purpose is easier said than done. Discrimination actions, whether we agree with them or not, have been apart of our society for hundreds of years whether in large, publicized ways, or smaller and more private ways. Therefore if you try to enact an action to undo discrimination, it has the potential of coming out as even more discrimination than anything else.
    In the example of admissions through colleges and universities, these schools may try or even say that they do not discriminate during the process of enrolling future students. However they have a potential of doing it another way. Top schools may be more accepting of minority students by providing them with various scholarships or placing them higher up in the acceptance lists. However in the end it all comes down to who can afford it. These top schools tend to be the more expensive ones and it is generally found that the students who come from wealthier families have the tendency of being white. In all honesty, many schools want ways to gain more money so they can make further improvements. This may not be able to be done if the students that are enrolled in the school are not able to afford it all on their own.

    There’s the idea that “you can’t cure discrimination with discrimination”. Since the main goal of affirmative action is to get rid of discrimination, what it seems to be doing instead is discriminating again only in a different way. The way that discrimination could be shown is that minority students and/or employees are still being singled out. It seems that more minority students are being accepted into universities or receiving jobs simply because of their race, not always because they have the qualifications. But then again if jobs and university were selecting strictly based on qualifications, generally speaking whites could have that potential of being the more likely candidates. Therefore although this idea of affirmative action was initially set out to be a way of stopping discrimination, it seems that it has done nothing less than to continue it.

  18. Ever since affirmative action was established in the 1960’s it has faced harsh and unfair criticism. Mainly for two reason that I can see. First myth is that this will give black’s jobs that they dont deserve and take away from white employment. Well first there’s around 1.8 million unemployed blacks in America, while there are around 113 million employed whites. So even if all of these black’s took a job from one of the whites it would only affect 1% of white Americans. Second myth is that if this is working then we no longer need to use this law. It is true that affirmative action has helped ethnic groups and women in the work place and getting into school, but still the vast majority of jobs and scholarships are given to white men. Another stat shows that still for every dollar a man makes a women makes 76 cents, while we have seen a definite improvement in numbers there is still a long way to go before we can consider all of us equal in all rights. This means if anything we need to expand affirmative action into new areas and benefits, not cut it and go back to the ways of old.

  19. Affirmative action is a law that was brought up in the 1960’s by President John F. Kennedy and sought to bring many types of groups together. During the 1960’s many things were happening, women were not allowed to do many things because they were woman and they were told they had to do certain things. Also many horrible things were also told to the poor, homosexuals, and people of different ethnic groups. Then in 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act after that the affirmative action was taken seriously. This law was brought up because they wanted discrimination to disappear so that everyone was treated equal. The first myth is that affirmative action has not succeeded in increasing female and minority representation. The second myth is that affirmative action may have been necessary 30 years ago, but it is not necessary now. The third myth is, a large percentage of whit workers will lose out if affirmative action is continued. The fourth myth is you can’t cure discrimination with discrimination. The fifth myth is that supporting affirmative action means support for preferential selection precedes that favor unqualified candidates over qualified candidates. I think that every single day stereotypes comes into people’s conversation so many times it is hard to come out of it because it is part of everyday life. -Nohemi Meza

  20. Affirmative action came about as a result of continued systemic discrimination after the civil rights movement. The origins of affirmative action were in the 1960’s and were mainly aimed as maintaining equal opportunity in the workplace. Since affirmative action has been implemented, it has faced many criticisms, most of which are myths. These myths include false claims, like that it is no longer necessary to have affirmative action in todays society, or that it will displace significant amounts of white workers. These claims are disproven empirically by the fact that affirmative action has been in place for years and has not caused mass unemployment for whites, as well as a decrease in the amount of unemployment of minorities, and is thus still required. Affirmative action has also helped minority groups by decreasing unemployment and increasing the wages that they are payed, but we still need to improve it. For example if all of the unemployed african americans in the United States today were replace a white worker, there still would only be about 1% of the white population displaced from work. This disparity is still large and there affirmative action is needed to correct it. Furthermore, there was a study done that showed that you can be a white felon and still have a higher probability of getting a job that a normal functioning african american in our society with a clean record. These statistics alone prove that affirmative action is still necessary in our society.

  21. Affirmative action is as any program that uses racial, or sometimes gender, preferences to offset the effects of centuries of racial injustice and to increase diversity in a student population or the workforce. Many believe that affirmative action only helps African Americans, but in reality affirmative action opens up educational and career opportunities to many groups like women, Latinos, Native Americans and others that have faced and continue to face discrimination.

    Myths:
    • Provides an unfair advantage to minority applicants and discriminates against white people
    • Affirmative action has not succeeded in increasing female and minority representation
    • Affirmative action may have been necessary 30 years ago, but the playing field is fairly level today – This is not true. Example: Women still make 77 cents for every $1 men make. Also black people continue to have twice the unemployment rate of White people, twice the rate of infant mortality, and just over half the proportion of people who attend four years or more of college.
    • A large percentage of white workers will lose out if affirmative action is continued – This is not true. According to the U.S. Commerce Department, there are 2.6 million unemployed black civilians and 114 million employed white civilians (U.S. Bureau of the Census, 2011). So, even if every unemployed Black worker in the United States were to displace a white worker, only 2% of whites would be affected.
    • You can’t cure discrimination with discrimination – Truth: This is wrong because the premise that affirmative action is discriminatory is flawed
    • Support for affirmative action means support for unqualified candidates over qualified candidates

    Overall, I think affirmative action is still necessary in our society and the statistics show that it is helping not hurting our society.

  22. Affirmative action was meant to be an anti-discrimination program. This focused on employment as well as education. During the 1960’s, racism was extremely popular. As most students recognize, affirmative action is used during the college application process. There are many myths bout affirmative action, many of those myths are false!
    -Affirmative action has not succeeded in adding more women or minorities to the work force and education.
    FALSE! Many studies have shown increase in women and minorities in the workplace. For example, according to a report from the U.S. Labor Department, affirmative action has helped 5 million minority members and 6 million white and minority women move up in the workforce (“Reverse Discrimination,” 1995).
    -Affirmative action does not have any supporters.
    This myth is also false! Every study or survey I found actually showed an increase in support, up to 80% public support!
    -People who benefit from affirmative action have lower self-esteems.
    Most surveys indicate that this is extremely rare. Most people do not feel undermined because of affirmative action.
    -Minority students admitted through affirmative action are not admitted based on merit.
    This is also wrong! Many people see this as minorities overcoming adversity to compete on the same level as privileged kids.

  23. Affirmative action in and of itself refers to equal opportunity when it comes to employment opportunities in regards to color, sex, religion or ethnicity. It was passed in the 1960’s under President John F. Kennedy, and was aimed primarily towards African Americans that were being denied jobs, higher education, and basic social services after the Civil Rights Movement. Affirmative Action provided a way for African Americans to succeed in ways they were previously unable to, allowing them to attend college and gets jobs in areas that had previously denied them due to their color. However, this actions has led many to believe in “myths” regarding the amount of benefits that Affirmative Action provides. Examples of these myths include:

    1.) People who receive benefits as a result of Affirmative Action didn’t actually get their job according to their abilities/skills.
    *THE TRUTH: Affirmative Action didn’t simply order companies to give jobs based on an individuals color, it simply opened the window for different groups other than whites to the same job opportunities that whites have.

    2.) People who were granted more scholarships and better opportunities at better schools only got them because of Affirmative Action.
    *THE TRUTH: Affirmative Action had nothing to do with scholarships; it provided different ethnic groups with the opportunity access to the same top-tier colleges that whites had access to. The people that receive benefits from Affirmative Action are held to the same standard as the white students.

    3.) Affirmative Action essentially flips the concept of racism around, giving different ethnic groups benefits, while leaving whites to fend for themselves.
    *THE TRUTH: Affirmative action was passed to change a racist system that was already in place, and had been in place for a long period of time. Affirmative Action wasn’t passed as a way for a particular ethnic group to be above the others, rather it was made to level out the playing field for all; allowing all to be successful, regardless of their color, race,
    religion or gender.

  24. According to our lecture Affirmative Action is “the set of policies aimed at giving access to education and employment to social/racial/ethnic groups that have been historically kept in the margins (examples in the U.S. are non-white groups and women)”. This is making it easier for minorities and women to ease their ways into a job or education. It’s not quite easing their way because of all the discrimination and hostility that they encounter which gives it a rough path. Affirmative Action is supposedly diminishing discrimination and racism, but we all know that isn’t going to happen for awhile. The fact is that racism will always be around no matter what community we are in, there are still people who are skin heads and KKK’s that we aren’t aware of that are raising their children to believe in similar racism. It sucks, but its reality. I love engaging and learning about new cultures and the fact that I’m a stereotypical “white girl”, that was raised in a very diverse city that I hear being called “ghetto”, makes me support the Affirmative Action to make sure that everywhere has diversity. But then again, I dislike the idea that gaining an employment or an education is based on the color of your skin, how much your family makes, where you came from, etc . . . The dedication of your work ethic should be counted towards getting that job or making it into the university. The world is full of ignorance and it is only wishful thinking that it will go away along with discrimination and racism. In the our book on page 295 under “WHITE RESENTMENT AND HOSTILITY ABOUT AFFIRMATIVE ACTION” the examples are shown of a black male and female who get targeted as “tokens” and only let into the universities because of the color of their skin. The person subjecting reassures our views of ignorance that follows Affirmative Action and leads into hostility. I think people should be given an education and job that they work for and have proof that they want it the most and know that they fit in because they worked just as hard as everyone else; I know that it’s easier said than done. I Googled “Affirmative Action” to see what else would come up besides Wikipedia and found an interesting article that was released on the 25th about a voter that wants racial preferences in admissions to Michigan state’s public universities. I found it pretty interesting :
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/26/us/justices-take-new-case-on-affirmative-action.html?_r=0

  25. Affirmative action is the only way to create a color blind society is to stop color blind polices. Color blind policies often put racial minorities at a disadvantage, often preferring white employees over the rest, gender also plays a roll in that. Color Blindness also plays a roll when it comes to be accepting to a University, most universities accept more white people that minorities because they according to a color blindness society they are at a educational advantage growing up. Meaning the school they attend is often better that one that is attended by a minority student. In most cases like we spoke about in class, that does take part, most Universities target the more educational advanced high school because they are typically richer and the students that attend those schools better economically than a school that is not that advanced, where it has more minorities that are at a disadvantage due to the resources around them. In my opinion color blindness society does not affect minorities that bad, being a minority i have obtained some pretty good jobs as well being accepted to a couple of Universities, and i also came from a high school were our test scores were always pretty low as well as a high percentage of my community living under the poverty rate. Most of my community is minority or illegal immigrants and a lot of us end up attending Universities.

  26. From the middle of 19 century, the USA’s law started to protect the right and behavior of civilization who was in black. At the first, this is a action that the USA government want to protect the minority group. It helps the minority group and women have more chance to get a job, or have more opportunity to have education. However, some of people think it was a great idea that this law can make the minority group be better, but some of people think it was not fair to the people who was born in a large group. In fact, it was a good idea but it was too unfair to continue. For example, in education, some of the research and some education only the minority group can enter, it was bad and total unfair to those people who are really good but they are not the minority group. According to the speech, the professor told us that the set of policies aimed at giving access to education and employment. I also find some information on the internet. there are some another good examples. There are some research told us because of the affirmative action, people focus on women and the minority group, make men and some group used to be good to perform much worse than before. People think the affirmative was too over to balance the race.
    http://zh.wikipedia.org/zh-tw/%E7%A9%8D%E6%A5%B5%E5%B9%B3%E6%AC%8A%E6%8E%AA%E6%96%BD

  27. The rationale for affirmative action is as follows:
    Redress past discrimination – this makes it seem as though affirmative action is just like a make-up call in basketball. Minorities were discriminated against before so now we have to fix the problem. This isn’t really the case though. I think, however that if there weren’t discrimination now then affirmative action wouldn’t exist. So in reality nothing has been fixed. Slavery doesn’t exist and there is no longer a civil rights movement, but we still live in a very discriminated society. So instead of a redress, I think of it as more of a reminder. Affirmative action is a reminder of the steps we still need to take to live in a society that isn’t so discriminated. We will know affirmative action has done its job when in fact we don’t need it any longer.
    Create spaces of diversity – Affirmative action has shown to do this, but it has fixed only a small percent of the lack of diversity in public places. I agree with this part of the rationale, and hope that people don’t just think of affirmative action as an “excuse” for minorities.
    Encourage marginalized groups – although in reality a lot of Americans are equal in terms of the middle class, we really aren’t equal at all in terms of race and opportunity
    I agree with those who fully support affirmative action because the more we do to decrease discrimination, the better.

    • I enjoyed reading your post and I completely agree with you. The problem isn’t affirmative action, the problem is that we need it in the first place. I also agree with you that a policy isn’t the solution, that the actions and understanding that can come from it is the solution. I also believe that we need to take action ourselves when we become professionals. Thank you for your post.

  28. Affirmative action by definition says “a policy or program aimed at countering discrimination against minorities and women, especially in employment and education” (Encarta). This program was started in the 1960’s by John F. Kennedy in an attempt to eradicate racism and discrimination from the work place, schools, and hopefully everywhere in the world. As one might think this may be more difficult to be done as we can see in today’s world. Take colleges for example, I feel that people view the minority as having more help and that they are given all of these special seats that take away from others. But the real fact is that only a small portion of the scholarships do go to the minorities only. Only less than two present are reserved for people of color. People see that the people of color are the ones getting the most help may be because they need it the most but there is an equal spot for every person. Now if we look at the more high-level schools such as Harvard we can see that the highest percentage is white and this is because they have money. They do have more ways to help because they are so big but they need people who can pay their own way to keep everything going. In all Affirmative action was made to make everyone equal no matter who you are so that everyone has a fighting chance.

  29. The misconceptions regarding affirmative action have created a common mindset that it is detrimental to the “fairness” of being hired for a job. The misconception that a person who is under qualified will be hired before a qualified person is not only wrong, but it is consistently affirming stereotypes of what constitutes a qualified worker vs. a non-qualified person. These stereotypes often come back to race, or that the “qualified white man” is no longer being fired because a person of color is taking his job. The statements arguing against affirmative action are most often centered on race. This point along is extremely frustrating. The truth is that women and the elderly have benefited the most from affirmative action, deeming the ‘race argument’ extremely flawed.
    Another misconception about affirmative action is the fact that lesser-qualified people are being hired first because there is a certain quota that has to be filled. Again, this argument is flawed. You will never find a magic number or quota of how many women, minority, or elderly persons need to be hired. Affirmative action, put into place by President John F. Kennedy literally states that “not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin” and “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin”. When you look at it by how it is, you will realize that it gives justice to those who are turned away even though they are qualified because of their race, color, creed or national origin, sex, etc. Affirmative action is everywhere; schools, work places, etc. and it is a good thing. I feel that we need to focus, as a nation, on the fact that a policy like this is still necessary and focus on stopping discrimination rather than false beliefs about the policy itself.

  30. Affirmative action was a process enacted in the 1960’s that gives an attempt to create more racially diverse atmospheres in the work place, educational institutions and many other places where minority groups have an unfair disadvantage to opportunities (along with diversifying gender and class). Many people believe myths that affirmative action does not actually work when in fact it has proven to help improve the unequal ratios and lack of diversity. Many people today also believe that affirmative action was only needed and helpful 30 years ago, because they assume that discrimination is not a factor in schools and the workplace today. I believe that people who think affirmative action is not necessary today are indeed turning a blind eye towards racism and discrimination, because it is still very relevant to today’s society. The fact that people think we don’t need affirmative action makes me assume that they believe there does not need to be diversity which in turns promotes the idea that those people are racists themselves. Other myths about affirmative action include the idea that they are trying to cure discrimination with discrimination, it forces places to choose less qualified people over those who are qualified, and that white workers will lose their chances and their opportunity. These myths themselves are extremely racist and discriminatory. For example, just because a company has to expand their diversity in the workplace does not mean that anyone who is not a white male is not able to do the work or isn’t ‘qualified’. There are tons of reasons as to why people would come up with such ridiculous assumptions about affirmative action and how it may negatively affect them, but in the end it all comes down to their own racist and discriminatory selves. Affirmative action, as it has been proven, is a step in the right direction.

  31. Affirmative action was supposed to help create ‘equal opportunity’ for all Americans. Through the Affirmative action program, measures were taken to ensure that all workers, students, etc. are treated equally, ensuring that race, religion, sex, or your national origin are not used against you. You should be judged based on merit alone, not on where you came from. In an effort to accomplish this, affirmative action measures have employed outreach programs, recruiting programs targeted towards minority groups, management development training, and employee support programs in an effort to help minorities gain an equal footing in the job market as well as in school admissions. These efforts have tried to overcome the decades of disadvantage minority groups have faced due to discrimination. Affirmative action has oft been a controversial program due to misconceptions of how it works. People often complain of quotas, based on gender or race. This is of course an inaccurate perception of the program and how it works.

    Overall, the program has helped to create a more diverse and progressive workforce. It has been shown that a more diverse workforce leads to a stronger workforce. However, many may think that affirmative action has led to the incorporation of lesser-qualified individuals over ‘more qualified’ white workers. This is one of the many myths that opponents of affirmative action only wish were true. Another is the idea that we no longer need to follow the ideals established by affirmative action. Many people would argue that affirmative action is no longer needed, ‘we have overcome discrimination right,’ yet we still see large disparities between the number of racial minorities and women in positions long predominated by white men. I don’t remember her name, but a former employee of the state department under Hilary Clinton said something to this effect, ‘we will not have achieved equality until we see an equal number of women to men, and an equal number of minorities to whites in high raking government positions and high level corporate positions.’ I tend to agree. So long as we continue to see the large disparity in upper level management in the private and public sectors, we will continue to need the support of affirmative action programs.

    RP

  32. Affirmative action is a set of policies that started in the 1960s. These policies were designed to reduce discrimination by increasing populations in employment and educational opportunities to social/racial/ethnic groups that have been kept in the margins. With this being such a drastic set of policies, it created all kinds of controversies and various myths spawned around these policies. One of the most major myths that comes with affirmative action is that it is not working but we have actually have noticed that it has helped equally the playing fields quite a bit and that schools and work places are becoming more diverse. The largest myth of them all about affirmative action is that supporting it means that you are supporting selection procedures that favor under qualified candidates over qualified. Other than all these myths I believe that affirmative action is going in the right direction and if the government hadn’t come up with it, segregation in the workplace would still possibly be a huge problem.

  33. Affirmative action started in 1960s by John F. Kennedy. The definition of affirmative action is “a policy or program aimed at countering discrimination against minorities and women, especially in employment and education”. People believe myth that affirmative action does not working, however it is proven to against the discrimination of minorities or women. For example, I am an exchange student studying in Washington state university for just 10 months. Even if I am a foreigner and my English is not perfect, people around me and professors treat me equally as other American students. It is hard for me to understand whole classes or get good grades, because English is my second language, but I can try to catch up and improve myself. My university in Japan also accepts a lot of foreign students from all over the world, but they cannot take same classes as Japanese students and even the building that they take classes are separated from the building that Japanese students take classes. They come to study Japanese or Japanese culture, but they don’t have much opportunity as I have here in the United States. I prefer to have affirmative action for education in the US than no affirmative action for education in Japan. I don’t want to be discriminated, so I came to study here.

  34. Affirmative action is an action that takes place in order to help or favor those who are discriminated or in the minority, especially when it comes to education and employment. In class lectures we saw that the statistics favoring white, rich children when it comes to education were astounding. A rich child is 25 times more likely to be admitted to a highly selective college and “less than 1 in 8 of young people from the poorest ¼ of society enroll at any 4-year school within two years of graduation.” We also see similar statistics with employment. One myth about affirmative action that changes our conversations is that affirmative action is no longer needed because the “playing field” is now level. Even though we have made tremendous progress, our country is still very far from equal. As seen in the statistics above, poor have less of an opportunity to get an education, as do African Americans and other minority groups. Another myth about affirmative action is that the only way to create a colorblind society is to put in to use colorblind policies. This is not the case because often colorblindness can put minorities at a greater disadvantage because they reinforce racial injustice rather than fix it.

  35. Affirmative action was started in the 1960’s as a way to bring equal opportunities and to counter or prevent current discrimination across race, gender and class. Affirmative action has played a huge part in creating diversity in our workforce and in our student communities. Despite the good it brings to all members of society there are still myths floating around society which gives the impression that affirmative action negatively impacts the working class and our school system. Common myths of affirmative action include, it hasn’t worked, it is not need anymore because it has already worked, whites will lose out on jobs and schooling opportunities because they have to hire or enroll , supporting affirmative action means that you are supporting selection procedures that favor under qualified over qualified candidates. While disadvantaged minorities receive additional consideration because of race, it is not true that whites would automatically gain more places in selective institutions of higher education if race were not a factor in admissions decisions. According to Schmidt (lecture), 1 out of 5 students lack the advertised academic standards for each of 146 colleges in Barron’s Top two tiers. In The Shape of the River, written by former university presidents William Bowen of Princeton University and Derek Bok of Harvard University, the authors pointed out that eliminating consideration of race would have increased the likelihood of admission for white applicants at selective undergraduate institutions from 25% to only 26.5%. It is evident by the statistics listed, myths about affirmative action and its’ impact on schools are not entirely true. They do have an impact but it is so slight that it does not outweigh the good it is doing by bring diversity into school systems and the work environment.

  36. Affirmative action was an idea first launched by Lyndon Johnson that turned into programs that usually encompassed retention programs, recruitment efforts, time tables and goals, and mentoring. The intent behind affirmative action was to aid and increase the opportunities given to minorities and people of certain races or backgrounds. Due to the fact that I recently went through the process of applying to and getting into a four-year university I saw first hand some of the effects of affirmative action. Whenever filling out an application I would always be asked my race, religion, and other background information. One myth or misconception would be that due to universities wanting diversity is that not as many white students would be able to get in. Even though it may make it somewhat more difficult only 1/5 of white students are unable to get into 146 top two tiers. One thing to point out is that even though affirmative action has helped in some ways rich kids are still 25 times more likely to gain admission to a university. Affirmative action has lead colored students at universities to often feel as if they have, “Affirmative Action stamped on [their] forehead,” according to the textbook on page 295.

  37. Affirmative action evolved in the 1960’s to promote equality. By definition it is a “policy or program aimed at countering discrimination against minorities and women, especially in employment and education.” It was created to make things fairer for everyone nowadays. Affirmative action was a result of the continued systemic discrimination after the civil rights movement. The fact that whites view African Americans differently and say that African Americans don’t have to work very hard to receive cakewalk into college explains why affirmative action is a controversial topic. I felt that white people pointing their fingers at another race saying they’re getting off easier just because of a simple difference is selfish and is racist. Clearly there are still some different views and disagreements when it comes to affirmative action. On the other hand, affirmative action has allowed women and other minorities to get jobs in areas they weren’t allowed to before. This opportunity is an example of what went well with affirmative action. I think both men and women should be treated equally so it’s nice to see women getting opportunities that they deserve. There are several different myths and controversies that we’ve heard in lecture and that are all over the Internet, but there has been advantages to affirmative action that are still now being used now a days.

  38. Affirmative action became law when John F. Kennedy enacted it in the 1960’s. The overarching goal of it was to allowing for integration and inclusion of groups. These “groups” were mainly people of color and women. When looking at affirmative action on paper, it seems like a great idea. However, like with any major changes that are made, society made affirmative action out to be an unfair advantage.

    One of the biggest myths surrounding affirmative action involved admission to universities. Everyone is told that people of color have an advantage because the university “has” to let them in to meet the numbers. Although all universities strive for diversity among the student population, that does not lessen the chance of a while student getting in. Another myth regarding affirmative action, surrounding education, is that of scholarships. People seem to think that the majority of scholarship money goes to people of color. They assume this without really doing their research and looking into the numbers. In reality, less that 1% of the scholarship money goes to people of color. In my opinion, this statement needs to be switched around and concern should arise regarding the lack of scholarship money that people of color are receiving.

    Another myth that goes alongside with affirmative action has to do with employment. People believe that people of color “steal” jobs that white people deserve because of quotas. The truth is that this is a complete lie. When is comes down to it, one does not deserve a job more because of the color of one’s skin but instead because of their qualifications. People need to begin to complete research before making false statements regarding affirmative action. I believe that affirmative action was a great idea in the past and continues to be today.

  39. Affirmative action is one of the most effective tools for redressing the injustices caused by our nation’s historic discrimination against people of color and women, and for leveling what has been an uneven playing field. Affirmative action isn’t about advancing people chasing the American dream, but about repairing damage that has been done and removing the barriers that block the pathways to opportunity that only some people face. Affirmative action was created to equalize the conditions of an otherwise unfair race and give everyone a fair chance to compete. One myth about affirmative action is that it doesn’t help represent women and other minority groups. According to understandingprejudice.org, there was a case that showed that affirmative action has helped 5 million minority members and 6 million White and minority women move up in the workforce. That alone is a pretty significant increase, and it makes it hard to say that affirmative action policies don’t work. Another reason to bust this myth is that large companies have reported an increase in hiring more minorities and women to their workforce. I think that affirmative action policies will help if people just believe in it and actively try to mend the negative stereotypes, as well as set aside their prejudgments.

  40. Affirmative action is a set of policies aimed at giving access to education and employment to social/racial/ethnic groups that have been historically kept in the margins. In my mind these policies helped people that were not being helped in the right way or at all. These policies helped people that were given little or no opportunities to become more successful. There are three things affirmative action aimed at accomplishing. The first was to redress the effects of past discrimination. The second was to encourage social institutions to incorporate marginalized groups to into their fold. The final objective was to create space for diversity; to breakdown segregation and increased inter-group exposure. These three objectives explained more thoroughly the policies in affirmative action. Its main focus was helping people with little or no opportunities. Even though the objective of affirmative action is clear, it has been misinterpreted by some people resulting in a set of myths being created. Five main myths were created; the first is that affirmative action has not succeeded in increasing female and minority representation. The second myths talks about how affirmative action was necessary 30 years ago, but now the playing field is fairly level. The third myth is that a large percentage of white workers will lose out if affirmative action continues. The fourth myth states that discrimination cannot be cured with discrimination. The final myth states that support for affirmative action means preferential selection procedures that favor unqualified candidates over qualified candidates. All I can say is that every one of these myths is not true. For example women are still making 76 cents for every dollar men make. So the playing field is not even yet.

  41. Affirmative action is a set of policies that are designed to promote inclusion of all individuals addressing concerns about discrimination. This began in the 1960’s with the civil rights movement. The basis of this, is “aimed at giving access to education and employment to social/racial/ethnic groups that have been historically that have been historically kept in margins” (class lecture) so to basically to readdress the affects of past discrimination and make things more fair or positive for everyone today in the work environment and school, which includes both men and women. From lecture we learned a lot of myths that can inpact conversations about affirmative action, to name a few

    *”affirmative action causes hostility”
    *”it hasn’t succeeded in increasing female and minority representation”
    *”supporting it means you are supporting selection procedures that favor under qualified candidates (more experienced) over qualified.” this targetting mainly to minorities but in my opinion just because someone is not as “experienced/qualified” as someone else does not mean they aren’t a good candidate. Everyone has to start somewhere, how else would people gain experience to be a “qualified candidate”.

  42. Affirmative action came around in the 1960’s and was used to promote against discrimination. This was to help disregard religion, race, ethnicity, and sex. Affirmative action also helped minorities gain equal opportunities and equal treatment. There are myths saying that people of other races and of other origins haven’t earned their place and that they simply got whatever opportunities they had simply because of the fact that they were of different origins. This contradicts what affirmative action was supposed to promote.
    I think that it was a good thought but so much controversy has risen around it. One of the myths is that affirmative action isn’t doing anything and I would have to ask the same question. Is affirmative action making a difference? Looking at the statistics presented in class, women are still not given equal opportunities as well as people from other races.
    With the policy comes a lot of entitlement. Yes, people of other races and ethnicity are being accepted to colleges simply because they are the minority and I completely promote diversity. However, I think that everyone should earn their opportunities like education and jobs on an equal playing field. Should we be getting continuously asked what our race is on job applications and college applications?
    Equality is a hard thing to come by and if whatever policies or laws arise keep getting battled like they have in the past or taken advantage of, equality will remain an issue.

  43. Affirmative action is the set of policies aimed at giving access to education and employment to all different kinds of social, race, and ethnic groups. Its known to give equal opportunities to minorities and give them a chance and make things fair. However, according to lecture, in college and universities, a rich child is 25 times more likely to gain admission in a highly selective college than a minority. This just shows some people that any law put into paper isn’t going to change anything unless the people are willing to do so. Affirmative action was meant for people to non-stereotype and to not privilege any race when selecting an applicant. It’s like why do people need to check what their race is in an application? In my opinion, if the applicant meets the standards, why should the race matter? The Supreme Court created the 14th Amendment to not prohibit a separate but equal society. However, there are so many myths and stereotypes that impact conversations about affirmative action. Two myths about affirmative action, from our class book, that I see would impact conversations, is first that ‘it has not succeeded in increasing female and minority representation’ and second that ‘you can’t cure discrimination with discrimination’. When you look back at history and the way women were treated and how now they have women rights and could vote, you see how affirmative action has helped. However, some women still need to prove themselves more than men. And then when you look at the second myth this could be portrayed how affirmative action wants you not to discriminate minorities or women, when now you are discriminating the white race and men because you don’t want to discriminate minorities and women.
    Affirmative action can have so many definitions when asked the question, “what is affirmative action?” It can also be a controversial law in many ways that its all up to if the people are willing to change and how they want this law to impact others because I believe this law can make a difference if the effort is put into it.

  44. “Affirmative action is a set of initiatives and policies in the United States designed to enforce diversity.” Some people may argue that enforcing rules in order to create diversity is a positive tactic to improve our society. People who believe this statement feel affirmative action lays the foundation to eventually eliminate or narrow the viewing scope of stereotypes. The interesting thing about affirmative action is that it’s based on racism and sexism, as looking at the person based on their race, color, or sex. So it’s essentially using that to get rid of it, which is an iffy ground. Many people also believe the best way to stop discriminating on the basis of race, is to stop discriminating on the basis of race. Doing that is almost like starting a race and three quarters through the race, tell the women and people of minority to start running and argue that everybody is running so there is no disadvantage. Sounds like an odd cliché, but people who argue against affirmative action are essentially supporting this kind of action. A myth that is often stated about affirmative action is that it was “necessary 30 years ago, but the playing field is fairly level today.” That statement is completely false and until the day where people of all races and sexes reach the level of similar employment opportunities and salaries based off their experience and educational level alone, then affirmative action is a policy needed to provide support to make that day happen. Affirmative action tries to provide a level playing field in a system that was bias in the first place. In order to reach the point in our society where affirmative action is no longer needed, it has to start at the educational level. As people become educated on topics they know little about, stereotypes begin to fade. Part of education, especially at the college level, is being subjected to different types of people and listening to some of the most educated people in the world. It is at this stage in one’s life where many opinions are generated and people begin to identify how and why they feel for certain things.

  45. Equality for all people within our society in the present day is a constant struggle to obtain. Whether it be in the justice system, the workplace, or the education system in the United States it is clear that it is not a even playing field for all races. Affirmative action was a set of policies put in place in the 1960’s in hopes to help level playing fields for all races in both the work and education systems. The main goal of these policies was to rid our society of the discrimination holding the work and education systems back from being diverse. With these new set of policies came opposition who often felt that these policies were unnecessary arising questions and myths about these new laws. An example of one of these myths is the idea that there is no longer discrimination in our social institutions making these policies out dated. These is clearly untrue when you look at a number of statistics including the percentage of minorities in government, the percentage moving on to higher education, as well as wealth disparities in the United States. Another myth is that that Affirmative Action simply is not working and has not increased the percentage of females and minorities being successful. This is simply untrue, since the 1960’s we have seen a huge spike in minority as well as female enrollment in higher education. Overall affirmative actions is a step in the right direction but in order to keep breaking down barriers causing discrimination in our society we need to continue to change the structure of our social institutions.

  46. Affirmative action works towards enacting policies aimed at equalizing the play field to people of all races, genders, and sexual orientation. Historically, ethnic minorities, people of color and women have always been treated unequally and this is still the case today. I believe affirmative action is very important in our society today. Across the board it has been shown statically that white people have advantage over these groups in employment, education, and opportunity. One of the statistics we learned in class stated that the average black family has 1/8 the net worth a white family has. Another is that women make 76 cents for every dollar a man makes. Disparities such as these aren’t problems of the past as some myths will have you believe. Racial disparities are very much integrated into our society today and it is policies like affirmative action that are trying to deter this development and implement equality measures to tackle this plague. Another myth is that affirmative action isn’t working so we should just stop it altogether. In reality, according to the government reports, increases of racial minorities and women in the workforce are directly related to policies of affirmative action. This myth circulates because of how much discussion there is one inequality of gender inequalities. People think that since it is still an issue that affirmative action hasn’t helped in any way. While we still have a long way to go in terms of gender discrimination, affirmative action has made bounds in the right direction. I believe that affirmative action is very necessary to help rid society of racial and gender disparities.

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