Affirmative action is a conceptual program to physically increase racial equality in organizations like schools and businesses. Affirmative action ensures that ethnic and cultural diversity is a part of American organizational social structures. Affirmative action gives people access to a culturally diverse social climate. Although affirmative action does create a diverse work culture some issues with the program are that unqualified people are put in positions they do not deserve, and that people who are not minorities become discriminated against. While these may seem like valid points on the surface the numbers typically tell a more accurate story, employment, and implicit bias test statistics reveal the need for racial and cultural equity in the workplace, and education. African Americans are still twice as likely to unemployed as European Americans and this has been the trend for the last five decades. Harvard’s implicit bias tests suggests that Americans prefer European Americans over African Americans. The people who were the main focus of affirmative action were women, African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and American Indians.
Some who are against affirmative action may have a better solution, or may not understand the facts of discrimination indicate unfairness in society or maybe these people are trying hold on to the privileges they think they should have. Some people who are against affirmative action may have psychologically developed anger toward the people receiving benefits from affirmative action because of a perception of an infringement on their privileges and inequity but studies refute this. A study of 80,000 students who earned degrees at 28 elite colleges and universities in 1951, 1976, and 1989 in which students of color were admitted to college because of affirmative action had graduation rates similar to European American students in college and graduate schools and similar rates in professional jobs held. In this study there is no indication of a reduction of graduates or jobs for European Americans. Even though cases like, the 1996 Hopwood case have become the typical view of affirmative action. In the Hopwood case certain Americans were concerned that preferential admission of Black and Latino students to the University of Texas Law School unconstitutional.
While the concession will be made that affirmative action is not the best answer racial inequality because of the potential abuse of inequity that could develop. The problem still remains that without any type of program the abuse of inequity still exists in employment and education. This problem stems from an overall bias against specific groups of people, which has been demonstrated be part of American culture. Affirmative action still needs to be in place until a better solution to the problem of racial inequity in education and employment is found.
Hall, (2010). Multicultural psychology. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall/Pearson.
Segall, M. H., Dasen, P. R., Berry, J. W., & Poortinga, Y. H. (1999). Human behavior in global perspective: An introduction to cross-cultural psychology (2nd Ed.). Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon/Pearson