There are many issues in today’s society that have two solid sides to them, sides, or positions, that cannot be proven absolutely wrong or right. Issues such as capital punishment, abortion, labor unions, animal rights and the list goes on and on. But one issue of this sort haunts our schools, our industries, and the subject, or core, of the issue has haunted our country for the last century. The subject of race, and the issue of affirmative action. In the case of affirmative action, like other controversial issues, each side is strongly supported and neither side can be proven right or proven wrong. The supporters claim it is the best way to ensure equal opportunity in the schools and in the workplace, while those opposing it claim that it merely takes away opportunity from one race, and unjustly hands it to another. The side of this fine line that will be exploited in the following paragraphs is the side opposing affirmative action. The results of affirmative action are more harmful than helpful because it negatively affects the general public, denies opportunity to the deserving, and is an abuse of law and power by government.
First, affirmative action negatively affects the public by setting quotas and standards in fields of life that race should have no preference to. For example: colleges and universities. Standards should not be set on which percentage of which race should attend a college or university. An Ivy League school shouldn’t be required to have a percentage of students of each race and nationality. They should be allowed to enroll whom they feel best suits the educational requirements needed to be successful at the school. When standards are in effect students, who were accepted as a result of affirmative action, may find they cannot meet the educational requirements at the school and fail out. This in turn will more than likely either waste a years worth of work, and the individual will just attend another university, or they will never attend another, more suitable university, in fear that the same result will occur. Say due to their failure at the Ivy League school, they are forced to live in the projects, where their family must live, and where their children are brought up in an environment of crime and hate, possibly starting the chain of events in the place where they began. Not helping the public, or society, as a whole, only adding to their problems.
Also, affirmative action denies opportunities to those who maybe are more deserving then those who are granted positions, or jobs, due to the quotas that the employers or administrators are required to meet. When a university receives over five-thousand applications, and must ensure that the proper percentage of those are meeting the racial standards set by affirmative action, the first thing the school officials do is divide the applications by race, and not by qualification. Once they have established how many applications of which race have been received they must then figure how many of which race they need, then choose the most qualified by the racial groupings, not the group as a whole. The problem that surfaces when choosing the most qualified by racial groupings, rather than the group as a whole, is that even if the least intelligent of the white applications happens to be more intelligent than the best out of the black applications, the white student may not be accepted. Primarily as a result of the universities fear of violating the required standards and quotas established. The same can result in a job situation when resumes are received. The employer may end up hiring and unqualified black individual just to ensure that they are not fined or punished by not meeting certain quotas. This is ideally an unjust advantage for races that are covered under affirmative action. It excludes those who deserve the opportunity, and at the same time protects and includes those individuals that may be undeserving, or not as deserving.
Finally, affirmative action is an abuse of power by the government and an unjust law. Once affirmative action has been put into place, what will be the next law a few years down the line that protects another group of people? Possibly a law that requires employers and universities to ensure that the percentage of workers and students they have employed and enrolled that are left-handed corresponds with the population as a whole. Or maybe a law doing the same except reverting to eye color or even hair color. Maybe left-handed people feel they are discriminated against, and want to protest until something is done about it. When our government is going right down to the core requiring that quotas and standards be met, they are obviously trying to hard to establish a fine line of equality. Everyone has heard the saying, ‘life isn’t always fair’, which is true, and government needs to realize that no matter how many laws are passed, and how many violators are prosecuted, they can never make things ‘fair’. By passing laws that give more opportunity to any race, they are at the same time excluding other races. When government steps in too much they only make things worse. By setting standards and quotas they essentially exclude some who are more deserving, and gives more power and privilege to those who may not be any more deserving the next. It is merely a flip of how things have been the last century in this country. Rather than excluding blacks and other races, and giving privilege and priority to whites, they are excluding whites and giving privilege and priority to blacks and other races. And as it has proven in the past, the group not receiving the privilege and priority becomes angry and fight to find ‘fairness’, and if the whites begin to fight for ‘fairness’ than the government has only gotten themselves into a repeating chain of events. Government needs to find a balance, call it ‘fair’ and leave it at that. Going down to quotas and percentages is only an abuse of law and will only make matters worse.
To conclude, the issue of affirmative action is a difficult issue in which to form opinions and choose sides. Each side has its relevance and cannot be proven absolutely unstable and ungrounded. But affirmative action does however negatively affect society as a whole, denies advantages to those who deserve them and merely exploits laws and government in this country.