In simple terms, affirmative action refers to the giving of preferential treatment to minority communities when it comes to admissions to higher education institutions and government or business employment. The policies of affirmative action were established as a way of correcting years of minority discrimination and as a way of boosting the hugely disadvantaged minorities’ chance of succeeding in life (Maltz, 2005). The diversity exhibited by the current society is almost and indication that the affirmative action policies have been a success. However, debate has sprung out concerning the issue with some arguing that the policies are no longer needed (Maltz, 2005).
Affirmative action results in what is called reverse discrimination (Messerli, 2012). Although, the policy was enacted to end the unfair treatment and discrimination of students/employees on racial basis, affirmative action nowadays seems to be doing the opposite. Some white students who work extremely hard to qualify for college may be passed over simply because of their race. Contrary to the common stereotypes, there are actually a lot of white students from poor households while there are a lot of minorities who fall in the upper or middle class section of the economic hierarchy. Unfortunately, due to the nature of things currently, a poor white student who uses hard work and discipline to get good grades may be passed over by a rich student from a minority student and who does not put much effort in his studies (Messerli, 2012).
Maltz, L. (2005). Affirmative action. Farmington Hills, MI: Greenhaven Press.
Messerli, J. (2012). BalancedPolitics.org - Affirmative Action (Pros & Cons, Arguments For and Against, Advantages & Disadvantages). Retrieved January 15, 2014, from http://www.balancedpolitics.org/affirmative_action.htm