Essays on Affirmative Action

Essay Introduction

Throughout American history, marginalized groups have been discriminated against due to their ethnicity. However, ever since the Civil War, America has attempted to eliminate this discrimination by providing minorities with more opportunities to succeed. For instance, one of the earliest policies of this was Freedmen’s Bureau which provided African-Americans education; but soon it was overturned by President Johnson. Policies like this were aimed at helping minority groups but ultimately failed. The same can be said for affirmative action: a policy that promotes minorities into many job firms and prestigious schools around the country.

Research Paper on Affirmative Action

President John F. Kennedy contended that government contractors should “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” Ever since Kennedy enforced this policy, it has been a lingering debate on whether or not it’s instrumental. Even though affirmative action may seem beneficial for minorities because it uplifts them to higher educational institutions and professions, affirmative action is ineffective and immoral because it causes reverse discrimination-favoring minority groups that were discriminated against before-and benefits upper-middle-class minorities.

Argumentative Essay Examples on Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is ineffective and immoral because it induces reverse discrimination. To begin with, a person named David Sacks is part of an alumni association for Stanford, and he elaborates his view on affirmative action: affirmative action goes against its intended purpose. Moreover, according to Sacks, affirmative action is just a policy that is pushing for “diversity,” and “that same push…also has led to Stanford to create racially segregated dormitories, racially segregated freshman orientation programs, racially segregated graduation ceremonies, and curricular requirements in race theory and gender studies” (Sacks).

Sacks emphasizes the different racially segregated communities in Stanford because it essentially conveys segregation never ended.. In addition, Sacks suggests that affirmative action “betrays Martin Luther King Jr’s dream of a color-blind community.”To explain affirmative action was enforced in 1961, which was during the Civil Rights Movement, and it aimed to end racial segregation and racial bias in America; instead, it judges people by the color of their skin and not by their character, as Martin Luther King wished.

On the other hand, many people who champion affirmative action would believe that the policy combats the racial stereotype of whites in job professions. Likewise, Anna Quindlen disputes that “only about 7,500 of the 127,000 students enrolled in law school last year were African-American” (Quindlen). Even though the policy of affirmative action would increase the number of African-American applicants in law school, it would mean that these job firms would overlook key components of their job applications.

Thesis Statement for Affirmative Action Essay

To continue, in a study that goes deep into affirmative action, The Wilson Quarterly notes that job firms have been promoting more women and minority groups by ignoring their employment, educational, and criminal records in their applications (Wilson Quarterly). This implies that past records of white applicants were acknowledged more for their criminal records and past employment rather than minority records. Despite the fact that more minorities are being accepted into job firms, it’s not right that they should ignore key components of what they’ve done just because they’re underrepresented.

Also, a recent article about a Harvard affirmative action lawsuit elaborates on the case and the potential future for Harvard. Meghan Liu suggests that Asian Americans were required to have “higher SAT scores” to get accepted into Harvard (Liu). In particular, even though Asian Americans are a strong minority group in terms of socio-economic status, they don’t deserve to be discriminated against by making them have higher SAT scores because it should be equal for any person from any race. Yes, minorities are entering more job firms and schools, but it’s favoring groups that have been discriminated against before, which is essentially reverse discrimination.

Affirmative Action Ideas

Affirmative action is also ineffective and immoral because it benefits upper-class minorities. To begin with, a minority English professor named Richard Rodriguez contends in his autobiography about his privileged life and his view and thoughts about bilingual education, religion, and affirmative action. Specifically, Rodriguez believes affirmative action only helps minorities that are privileged and not those who are socially disadvantaged. Rodriguez illustrates that the policy couldn’t differentiate between educated upper-middle-class men like him from a disadvantaged minority (Rodriguez).

Affirmative action is a policy that falsely labels all minorities into one social group, therefore benefiting those who are upper-class minorities. To explain, Richard Rodriguez applied to Stanford, where they perceived him as a minority with academic potential without looking at his social class instead of “a slightly educated Mexican-American who lived in a barrio and worked as a menial laborer” who never hoped for a “future improved” (Rodriguez). Affirmative action is not helping the minorities in need but just pushing the successful minorities into higher and higher job positions and schools.

The Consequences of Affirmative Action

At the same time, people who support affirmative action might also interpret it as since Rodriguez is a minority, he shouldn’t be antagonizing or going against affirmative action because it aids him. However, even though Rodriguez benefits from this policy, he doesn’t need to because he was already privileged with authentic education when he was young. Essentially, affirmative action just pushed Rodriguez into higher fields instead of actually helping a socially disadvantaged minority like the “Mexican-American who lived in a barrio.” Also, a person might contend that some socially disadvantaged students do get accepted into higher educational institutions, but the same students also struggle in these schools.

To add on, when Rodriguez was a professor, he claimed that he saw “students in college then [that] barely knew how to read…among those students with very poor academic preparation, few completed their courses of study…” (Rodriguez). These students were uplifted into higher educational institutions because of their race but simply weren’t prepared for how rigorous these schools were because they lacked the heavy investment in education as upper-middle-class people are. Affirmative action is supposed to help socially disadvantaged minorities who lack authentic education, but instead, it’s helping people who don’t really need it.


Affirmative action is significant because even though it may seem like a policy that has only great benefits, the unintended consequences and effects of affirmative action convey that this policy may not be so great after all. Some of those consequences would be reverse discrimination, and the policy would only benefit rich, middle-class minorities. Acknowledging these types of unintended consequences would help shape future government policies as they would be tweaked and revised more before enforcing them to the public.

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