An argument in favor of affirmative action in the workplace

Arguments For and Against Affirmative Action "The difficulty of overcoming the effects of past discrimination is as nothing compared with the difficulty of eradicating from our society the source of those effects, which is the tendency -- fatal to a Nation such as ours -- to classify and judge men and women on the basis of their country of origin or the color of their skin.

An argument in favor of affirmative action in the workplace

By David Sacks and Peter Thiel Over the past quarter of a century, Stanford has been discriminating in favor of racial minorities in admissions, hiring, tenure, contracting and financial aid. But only recently has the University been forced to rethink these policies in the face of an emerging public debate over affirmative action.

We are beginning to see why. Originally conceived as a means to redress discrimination, racial preferences have instead promoted it. And rather than fostering harmony and integration, preferences have divided the campus. In no other area of public life is there a greater disparity between the rhetoric of preferences and the reality.

Take, for instance, the claim that racial preferences help the "disadvantaged. At the same time, because admissions are a zero-sum game, preferences hurt poor whites and even many Asians who meet admissions standards in disproportionate numbers.

If preferences were truly meant to remedy disadvantage, they would be given on the basis of disadvantage, not on the basis of race. Another myth is that preferences simply give minority applicants a small "plus. The fundamental unfairness and arbitrariness of preferences -- why should the under-qualified son of a black doctor displace the qualified daughter of a Vietnamese boat refugee?

Instead of a remedy for disadvantage, many supporters now claim that preferences promote "diversity.

Why We Still Need Affirmative Action

But if "diversity" were really the goal, then preferences would be given on the basis of unusual characteristics, not on the basis of race. The underlying assumption -- that only minorities can add certain ideas or perspectives -- is offensive not merely because it is untrue but also because it implies that all minorities think a certain way.

The basic problem is that a racist past cannot be undone through more racism. Race-conscious programs betray Martin Luther King's dream of a color-blind community, and the heightened racial sensitivity they cause is a source of acrimony and tension instead of healing.

The Controversy Engaged

When University officials boast of "looking for racism everywhere," as multicultural educator Greg Ricks did in a Stanford Daily interview, then perhaps the most sensible and certainly the most predictable response will be for white students to avoid dealing with such quarrelsome people.

In this way, the stress on "diversity" has made interracial interaction strained and superficial; multiculturalism has caused political correctness. None of this is to deny that there are some people in America who are racist and that there are some features of American life that are legacies of a much more racist past.

But racism is not everywhere, and there is very little at a place like Stanford. Certainly, no one has accused Stanford's admissions officers of being racist, so perhaps the real problem with affirmative action is that we are pretending to solve a problem that no longer exists.

Moreover, there is a growing sense that if affirmative action has not succeeded in ending discrimination after 25 years of determined implementation, then perhaps it is time to try something else. Although Stanford's admissions office cannot undo the wrongs of history, its mission is still very important -- namely, admitting the best class of students it can find.

The sole criterion in finding the members of this class and in defining "merit" should be individual achievement -- not just grades and test scores, of course, but a broad range of accomplishments, in athletics, music, student government, drama, school clubs and other extracurricular efforts.

But race and ethnicity or gender or sexual preference do not have a place on this list; these are traits, not achievements.

An argument in favor of affirmative action in the workplace

Perhaps the most tragic side effect of affirmative action is that very significant achievements of minority students can become compromised. It is often not possible to tell whether a given student genuinely deserved admission to Stanford, or whether he is there by virtue of fitting into some sort of diversity matrix.

When people do start to suspect the worst -- that preferences have skewed the entire class -- they are accused of the very racism that justifies these preferences. It is a strange cure that generates its own disease.

A Stanford without affirmative action will be a Stanford in which the question of who belongs here will no longer need to be answered. It will no longer need to be answered because it will no longer need to be asked, not even sotto voce.The Case For Affirmative Action The Case Against Affirmative Action The Time That Binds.

Head of Steam That question ties into the second flaw in the "stigmatization" argument: Opponents rely on the exceptional case, not the rule. The majority of minorities strongly favor affirmative action because of the benefits and opportunities it.

Oct 14,  · Or they can attempt an overhaul of affirmative action. The economic argument for a different version has only become stronger over time. Outright racism certainly exists, and colleges would have a. Against “Diversity” This is the same argument that businesses in the South made in their effort to have “customer preference” recognized as a legitimate exception to the Civil Rights Act’s ban on discrimination in employment. They failed, and rightly so. Affirmative Action is entirely political, so no moral or legal. Business ethics-Chapter STUDY. PLAY. Arguments in favor of affirmative action include the following: By providing variety, diversity may spur creativity in the workplace An affirmative action policy may be part of an organizational strategy to benefit from underused human resources in an area.

Affirmative action involves the steps employers must take to include minorities, women, people with disabilities and veterans into the workforce. The Best New Argument for Affirmative Action. White students are now more overrepresented at top U.S.

colleges than in Reuters. Affirmative action fans, get ready to meet your new. Affirmative action is primarily lauded because of its hypothetical ability to level the playing field for traditionally marginalized groups while also making up for past injustices.

Job Qualifications

Others favor affirmative action because it promotes diversity, integration and equal access to resources. Affirmative. Affirmative action is a way to ensure that diversity is obtained and maintained in schools and in the workplace.

In so doing it also helps create tolerant communities because it exposes people to a variety of cultures and ideas that are different from their own. Bollinger, a pivotal decision in support of affirmative action, has herself recognized that affirmative action isn't a permanent solution but a remedy that, if used, dare I say, judiciously, will.

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