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Affermative Action

Two words that can bring about emotionally charged debates on the validity of this policy.Is it a fair practice, as proponents argue, or simply a form of reverse discrimination?It is not always been easy to decide on this issue — for the Supreme Court or society. As it intended, affirmative action means that people from a particular group should enjoy special consideration or benefits in job placement or college admissions. Usually, when one speaks of affirmative action, it is in relation to racial discrimination (although women, as a minority group, are also included), and some people feel that the government should have unrestricted freedom in developing plans to make up for past offenses. Other people argue that enforcing this plan is little more than an obviouse reverse discrimination, and it should not be allowed. The Supreme Court has placed affirmative action plans into two basic groups–quota plans and race-plus plans. Under a quota plan, a state or local government has to use different criteria when considering someone of a minority group for a job or admission to a university. There is usually a quota for the number of people of the particular group who must be granted benefits, based on percentage of the population. Race-plus uses as its guidelines the particular racial characteristics of a certain group, and this is to be considered a plus in making the decision on who does or does not receive the benefit (McWhirter, 1).
Affirmative action was designed to create an environment that is nondiscriminatory; it means taking a second look at applicants so that everyone who applies for a job or admission to college is treated fairly. In theory, this sounds good.
This 30-plus year old policy was given its impetus by an executive order in 1965 that was aimed at ending inequality in the workforce, where most jobs had typically been dominated by white males. In the last several years, affirmative action has increased the num…

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