Pros and cons of Affirmative Action
Affirmative action refers to the general agenda which was started in the 1960s. It was brought forward in order to stop the discrimination experienced by women, the ethnic minorities and groups without representatives. The primary purpose of affirmative action was to improve the educational and employment opportunities for this minority groups as their rights.
Affirmative action in itself has its advantages as well as its own disadvantages and therefore arguments can be brought up from the topic. This is because it is a complicated and difficult subject to handle since it brings up emotions and gives rise to conflicts among the two sides (Warnke and Georgia 29)
One con against affirmative action is that it can put stigma on the party that it supports. In a given situation where a public office is given to an individual just to balance gender or race, then the one who gets into that office as a result of affirmative action will not be held with as much value as would be given another person who got into that office without affirmative action.
The other way in which affirmative can prove negative is in a working environment. The person coming into a given position will not work well as they should and be productive in their position due to inferiority complex that they may get. This is because they might feel that the rest of the company is looking at them as inferior and they got there with help.
In some cases, affirmative action may result to hatred and negative attitude between the party on which the action is favoring and the others, this is because there will be no fair ground to compete for a given position or positions in a given institution. This is what will lead to poor attitude towards a given job or even position in a given school for members of different race in a country (Warnke and Georgia 29)
As much as affirmative action is used for the minority in a society, this can go either way in the court of law where every minority will get protected. This is to that; the same affirmative action can be used against those it is meant to protect since the minority might feel threatened by the majority even if it is the majority that is suffering. This is where the affirmative action creates a constitutional paradox in law since it can be used either way therefore creating tension.
The law says that every person should be treated equally but in affirmative action, it will be seen to favor others and this is what causes tension. On the other hand, it will bring along tension as a result of concentrating on things like ethnic balance and not give attention to the economy class of people who may be suffering from poverty and unemployment.
Affirmative action has a down side where these laws may still remain even after the discrimination has gone and this may be used negatively by those to who it is meant to help. In other situations, it will reduce the need for the minority to perform better hence lowering standards because they have in their minds that they are protected and this will lower standards of whatever position they hold. Their success also will be viewed as a result of the affirmative action rather than their own hard work therefore demeaning their effort (Warnke and Georgia 29)
On the other hand, affirmative action can be said to help reverse of discrimination. It was created to eliminate discrimination of the minority who include the workers, students and other minority based on their color or ethnicity. It will also boost the students in a given case who may have started at a disadvantage. This is to say that, those students who have quality can improve by this chance in academics and go on to be quality people in the society (Sturm, Susan, Guinier and Lani 84)
Affirmative action not only supports those of different races but also women in the country. Women may also suffer the same type of discrimination just because of their gender and in this case, they might not get certain positions in different organizations even if qualified. Affirmative action then ensures they get access to position they would otherwise not have gotten
This has lead to many real changes eliminating racism and gender discriminations. Affirmative is therefore advantageous in its own way if it gives all races and sex a fair competing ground and not primarily to give a helping hand to those who may not need it. It has given an opportunity to the women also to get positions which could have been reserved for men only therefore creating an imbalance (Sturm, Susan, Guinier and Lani 84)
In conclusion, affirmative action should not concentrate more on the gender, race and the disabled excessively and forget the economy class that is also living in poverty. Every qualified candidate should be given a chance to a given opportunity when it arises and not discriminated against.
Philosophy of Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King was the son of the son of a preacher and was a dominant leader to the African Americans in their fight for civil rights and an end to discrimination. He believed more on the power of love and this was essential to his idea of nonviolent resistance. He believed that this would greatly help him and the African Americans attain freedom and bring an end to racial discrimination in years to follow
He had studied at Cozer Theological Seminary and was impressed by Gandhi’s teachings on non-violence. Being a Christian, King believed that with guidance from God and applying the love of Jesus plus the idea of nonviolence would help in resolving the conflict between African Americans and the white communities. It was after receiving his doctorate degree and a pastorate position in Montgomery Alabama that he put the idea of nonviolent resistance into action (Fuller and Linda 314)
Kings’ philosophy upheld several points which were used in the civil rights struggle. He argued that though portrayed as cowardly, nonviolence is not. According to him, it will effectively convince the other party that they are unjust. The nonviolent protester according to King did not seek to disgrace to other party but to reach an understanding and even friendship.
In the Montgomery bus system organized boycott, his philosophy worked following an African American named Rosa Parks refusing to give her sit to a white man in the bus. Boycott of the bus system lead to the Supreme Court to term the laws In Alabama of segregation on public transport as unconstitutional. This was achieved by applying the second principle of his philosophy (Nojeim and Michael 179)
He also stated that nonviolent resistance was to be directed to the evils that were being done to the people and not necessarily to those committing the evil. It was directed to the injustices against the African Americans and not the white people. Since retaliating would lead to more problems including chaos and hatred, Kings’ philosophy would be a willingness of the people being discriminated to accept the suffering without retaliation.
He reminded his people to love their white brothers even following the bombing of his house by a group of white violent protestors. This he emphasized that it would change the hearts of the opponent.
The other point was that it was on the side of truth that God dwelled. He therefore insisted that the African American people keep the faith that justice would finally come to happen. In his last point, king believed that his philosophy prevented any form of violence and therefore no physical or emotional violence would result. This helped prevent bitterness and hate replacing them with love (Nojeim and Michael 179)
Martin Luther’ philosophy had a great impact on the civil rights of the African American. Without violence, he was involved in several resistance situations such as the Montgomery public transit system boycott which was a social and political protest that caused crippling financial deficit. This is because the black population was the bulk that used them more regularly. This boycott there after resulted to the Supreme Court to declare the laws of segregation in Alabama unconstitutional (Warren and Merlyn 35)
This boycott had lasted about 381 days lead to many changes. Kings famous speech was also influential in the people fight for their civil right and he was invited to many places and churches to talk to the black people on how to conduct themselves in the civil rights movements. It was a victory that allowed the black passengers sit any where they wanted in the bus transport without being discriminated
Using the principle, positive results were experienced even though King did not live long enough to witness all the victories. This included passing of the civil rights law which declared those facilities that offered food, entertainment fuel and even accommodation to be restricted from showing any kind of discrimination against the black population. Voting was also allowed for all those who could show a minimum of six years of education and discrimination in the working places also came to a stop.
Fuller and Linda K. “National Days, National Ways”: Historical, Political, and Religious
.Celebrations around the World. Greenwood Publishing. p. 314ISBN 0275972704. 2004.
Nojeim and Michael J. “Gandhi and King”: The Power of Nonviolent Resistance. Greenwood
Publishing Group. p. 179. ISBN 0275965740. 2004.
Warren and Merlyn A.” King Came Preaching”: The Pulpit Power of Dr. Martin Luther King,
Jr. Intervarsity Press. p. 35. ISBN 0830826580. 2001.
Sturm, Susan, Guinier and Lani. “The Future of Affirmative Action: Reclaiming an Innovative
Ideal,” California Law Review, 84 (July): 953–1036. 1996
Warnke and Georgia, “Affirmative Action, Neutrality, and Integration,” Journal of Social
Philosophy, 29 (Winter): 87–103. 1998