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Has Affirmative Action Outlived Its Usefulness

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Affirmative action was put in place several decades ago. Today many people in the American society thinks that it has been outlived. The reason behind this are not are clear to scores of minority communities as yet affirmative action has not attained its goals. It may be argued that many people against the affirmative action have lost the meaning and goals for which it was formulated. Besides, the opponents to it would also like to perpetuate similar vices which were committed past regimes.

At deeper look of the understanding of affirmative action, it unveils that affirmative action was formulated as away of compensation of the unfair treatment which were committed in the past intentionally or unintentionally by the past administration. In this matter, affirmative action was legislated during 1960s through the effort of civil rights movement to correct the disparities that was and is overt even today between the minorities and the whites as result of discrimination coupled with slavery and tyranny. (Gaines and Miller, 2008)

The civil rights movement saw that the minority were languishing in suffering in their own democratic states due the infliction of the past. After the declaration of independence in the American states, segregation and discrimination against the minority groups such as African American, Hispanic, Asians and others was cultured. This made many people from the minority groups to live in apt poverty. They lived in pathetic conditions.  The unemployment rate was double that of the white community. In addition, they either resided in the rural parts of the states and if they happened to dwell in the metropolitan areas, they were forced to reside in slummy parts which were burdened with sub-standardized environments with degenerated public housing.  The only remedy that could alleviate such a situation was by affirmative action, where special privileges were bestowed to the minorities as way of empowerment to hike the level of representation in the different institutions that exist in the states. These included representation in the educational sector, industrial and businesses related fields as well as in the governmental institutions. (Gaines and Miller, 2008)

According to statistics, affirmative action has to a low extent mitigated the living standard of the minority communities socially, politically and economically. Many people from these groups would thus demonstrate the need of affirmative action by their sentiment that discrimination against them has just been narrowed from that of the era of Jim Crow. The early discriminatory practices are yet to be absolutely eradicated. The past researches by the fair employment council and urban institute have provided the evidence that minority job seekers are experiencing deliberate suffering of racial segregation twice for every ten applications sent. Moreover, there are wide disparities in salaries for the minority employees despite that they have same qualifications both in academics and experience.

The problems which the affirmative action was instilled to address are thus far from being attained as discrimination as yet been eradicated. This implies that minority communities have continued to suffer from the plagues of the past and the present. In regard to the Derrick work, the unemployment rates for the minority communities is depicted to be 2.5 times to that of the whites and per capita incomes as compared to that of whites is not more than two thirds. He also shows that the minority communities are three time most vulnerable of earning income which is below the poverty level. Although the opponents are arguing that affirmative actions is away of giving unfair privileges to the minority communities as poverty level are not alleviated through incompetence duty assignment, this is plainly unjustifiable as practices makes perfects.

Furthermore, barriers to institutions of knowledge are still eminent. For instance, most students hailing from the minority groups end up in the secondary level of studies, a level which is now termed as obsolete and futile in the job markets. This is caused by the problems of financial funding for their further studies as well as the psychological problems of family poverty associated with the family backgrounds. How can such issue be address without affirmative action on admission to the higher education?

As long as long as present attitudes of the people on various institutions remains  adamant  to view of minority communities, the need of policies that guarantee minority communities fair opportunities ascertain to be crucial. The major benefit is mainly because affirmative action would balance the privilege of the minority with the preference of the whites. (Gaines and Miller, 2008)


Gaines, L, and Miller, R (2008): Criminal Justices in Action: Wadsworth publishers

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