Affirmative Action, Essay Example

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Essay

Affirmative Action is the term that describes how black people and people who are of other minorities are supposed to be included in school and in workplace. Because of so many years of prejudice and discrimination in the U.S., where black people and other minority races could not vote or could not get good jobs, Affirmative Action laws were set so that these minorities would be able to be included in certain numbers. This is a difficult situation, because some people see Affirmative Action as reverse discrimination. This means that if a white person is not given a job because a black person who is less qualified gets that job, the white person is the victim of discrimination. I understand how some people see Affirmative Action in this way, but I feel that Affirmative Action is still needed to help minorities.

Shelby Steele wrote about Affirmative Action and said that he disagrees with it. He believes that Affirmative Action causes as many problems as it solves. In his essay, Shelby Steele explains that Affirmative Action is based on the idea that some reverse discrimination is OK, as long as it leads to more diversity. But Steele says that the real problems of inequality are not helped by Affirmative Action. Because of the way that black people were treated in America for so many years, they did not have the same ways of getting an education or getting good jobs, and Affirmative Action is supposed to solve this. It does not solve the problem, though, because it gives people the chance to get into good schools or into good jobs only because of the color of their skin and not because they are the best person for the job or the best student.

I understand what Shelby Steele is saying in this essay, but it is not only the way I see the problem of racial discrimination. If black people are in a bad position compared to white people, and there is no Affirmative Action, then how are they ever going to get ahead or get into a better position? Affirmative Action helped me get into school, so it is hard for me to say that it is only a bad thing. I think we need Affirmative Action to help make sure everyone has the same chance in life.

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