Arguments for and against Affirmative action


The aim of affirmative action is to ensure that distribution of resources is done in appropriate and considerable manner that includes every person from diverse racial and ethnic background.

Those in support for affirmative action argues that there are certain groups of people who have been previously discriminated against and this gives them difficulties to compete equally within the society with those from dominant groups occupying most resourceful sectors within the nation. The intention is to administer equality amongst all citizens (Martindale 1-2).

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Affirmative action can be defined as a policy that aims at providing advantages or opportunities to people forming minority group against whom have been traditionally discriminated. The discrimination can be against access to social facilities and other resources such as education and health care (Martindale 1-2).

Analysis of the paragraphs

The argument in the case where affirmative action is considered to allow for fair evaluation of candidates is well used as a preferential treatment. The implementation of race-based affirmative action drives towards the general improvement of the society since it creates good social set-ups for children as well as adults.

The diversity that exists within the schools gives opportunities for the improvement of learning since students get the chance of exposing themselves to diverse ideas which ultimately challenge them to seek for more knowledge (Martindale 1-2).

The case of diverse student body could be supported by the fact that United States is diverse in ethnicity and race as compared to other nations. Hence very crucial to ensure that there is free interaction amongst the groups and clear understanding that leads to creation of strong nation. According to analysis this point of view presents one of the strongest arguments in support for affirmative action (Martindale 1-2).

The application of affirmative action in ensuring that all the ethnic groups are presented may at times place the minorities in situations which are above them hence they are most likely to fail. This encourages fear amongst the minority and may cause them not to utilize their full potential. In this case affirmative action tends to conflict the idea that the most qualified applicant should always be given priority when it comes to selection.

It is always good at times to use conventional qualification measurement other than criteria to create adequate distribution of resources and admissions. It is at times intrinsically wrong to use race on making decisions concerning some situations (Martindale 1-2).

Affirmative action focuses majorly on race which is considered as one of the aspects of diversity. This case on judging applicants outside their merits do not consider intellectual diversity but rather focuses only on creation of racial diversity which also do not support diversity of opinions. This makes the argument appear to be strong against affirmative action (Martindale 1-2).

The argument that affirmative action do not lead to true diversity sounds weak. This is since the emergence of affirmative action led to social awareness within the society and also led to institution of anti-discrimination laws which made race be of less concern compared to social class. The idea of class could best be used to address the issues of disadvantages which could ultimately be used towards promoting equality. Hence the use of class-based affirmative action could well be used to help in the creation of racial diversity (Martindale 1-2).

What is referred to us class based affirmative action is preferred since it creates less stigma on persons. This is because it proves very difficult to identify a person’s class than his race or ethnic background. The goal for affirmative action should be to de-racialinize the society.

This could be achieved through improving the economic status of every race and also including them in top occupations. This would assist in getting rid of the idea on discrimination based on skin color, because an increase in the number of blacks in top prestigious positions of power, would lead to decline in the cases of racial identification. It becomes a reality since the gap between color and social class would have been narrowed down (Martindale 1-2).


Attempts to reach the goal of diminishing cases on racial discrimination could be hindered by the occurrences of some negative side-effects brought by different ways in which people view the policy. The issue may at times result in additional stigmatization imposed on those who are considered beneficiaries of affirmative action programs.

The affirmative action at the universities has been found of benefit to blacks unlike other minority races like Asian Americans who happen to be minority in population though quite a number in the Universities and colleges (Martindale 1-2).

Works Cited

Martindale, Gayla. Arguments For and Against Affirmative Action. U.S. University Directory 2010. 10th January, 2010.


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