The Case Against Affirmative Action

The Case Against Affirmative Action - The Case Against...

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The Case Against Affirmative Action Louis P. Pojman In this essay I set forth nine arguments against Strong Affirmative Action , which I define as preferential treatment, discriminating in favor of members of under-represented groups, which have been treated unjustly in the past, against innocent people. I distinguish this from Weak Affirmative Action , which simply seeks to promote equal opportunity to the goods and offices of a society. I do not argue against this policy. I argue against Strong Affirmative Action , attempting to show that two wrongs don’t make a right. This form of Affirmative Action, as it is applied against White males, is both racist and sexist . Hardly a week goes by but that the subject of Affirmative Action does not come up. Whether in the form of preferential hiring, non-traditional casting, quotas, "goals and time tables," minority scholarships, race-norming, reverse discrimination, or employment of members of underutilized groups, the issue confronts us as a terribly perplexing problem. Affirmative action was one of the issues that divided the Democratic and Republican parties during the 1996 election, the Democrats supporting it ("Mend it don’t end it") and the Republicans opposing it ("affirmative action is reverse racism"). During the last general election (November 7, 1996) California voters by a 55% to 45% vote approved Proposition 209 (called the "California Civil Rights Initiative") which made it illegal to discriminate on the basis of race or gender, hence ending Affirmative Action in public institutions in California. The Supreme Court recently refused to rule on the appeal, thus leaving it to the individual states to decide how they will deal with this issue. Both sides have reorganized for a renewed battle. At the same time, the European Union’s High Court of Justice in Luxembourg has recently approved Affirmative Action programs giving women preferential treatment in the 15 European Union countries (Nov. 11, 1997). Let us agree that despite the evidences of a booming economy, the poor are suffering grievously, with children being born into desperate material and psychological poverty, for whom the ideal of "equal opportunity for all" is a cruel joke. Many feel that the federal government has abandoned its guarantee to provide the minimum necessities for each American, so that the pace of this tragedy that seems to be worsening daily. Add to this, the fact that in our country African-Americans have a legacy of slavery and unjust discrimination to contend with, and we have the makings of an inferno, and, perhaps, in the worse case scenario, the downfall of a nation. What is the answer to our national problem? Is it increased welfare? more job training? more support for education? required licencing of parents to have children? negative income tax? more support for families or for mothers
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This note was uploaded on 03/16/2012 for the course FENS 101 taught by Professor Selçukerdem during the Fall '12 term at Sabancı University.

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The Case Against Affirmative Action - The Case Against...

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