8 Advantages and Disadvantages of Affirmative Action

While it goes by different names in other countries, affirmative action is a government policy that is in some cases referred to as positive discrimination. It protects minority groups from hate crimes and racist injustice, as well as promotes equality among them. While this action may seem to only carry positive aspects, it actually comes with some drawbacks like any other subject matters. Let us take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of affirmative action.

List of Advantages of Affirmative Action

1. It increases diversity.
A substantial portion of affirmative action laws usually specify minority percentages for employment, which means that that employers are not allowed to discriminate an individual or refuse to hire him, solely based on the color of his skin or sexual orientation.

2. It promotes moral commitment.
By embracing affirmative action, businesses can have a means of making a moral commitment to the equal treatment or the ideal of justice for all. This moral stand within the workplace can help draw employees who share a belief in the principle of justice, helping foster a more tolerant workplace. Moreover, it can reassure employees who come from historically underrepresented groups that their employers will provide them with full consideration for any promotions available.

3. It offers protection from hatred.
While nothing can completely shield an individual from all the hatred that they would encounter in life, affirmative action can greatly help. It enforces strict punishments on any person who is found guilty of assault against another person primarily based on race or sexual orientation, making people think twice before committing violence or act of hatred.

4. It provides greater opportunities.
Mostly, children of minorities would become subjected to violence, poverty and other disrupting acts, which greatly affect their education. With affirmative action laws, they will be able to get opportunities to succeed more within their communities.

List of Disadvantages of Affirmative Action

1. It is a condescending action.
Affirmative action provides protection and special treatment to minorities, but ironically, this has made many people feeling like they cannot succeed on their own and need special aid just to perform the normal functions of their daily lives.

2. It places low standards for accountability to be followed.
With this type of law, it is observed that standards for employment and education were greatly lowered, which be a very bad thing considering that people should be able to operate under the same standards as anybody else. As a result, more racism has occurred among people who so not like such a special treatment.

3. It imposes reverse racism.
As you may know, racism goes two ways, but affirmative action only protects one side of the fence, while seemingly making the other side the bad guy whatever the circumstance is. This resulted to minority people developing a sense of entitlement and a feeling of anger towards majority groups.

4. It causes stigmatization.
This type of law has the potential to create a stigma that minorities and women obtain positions in a firm based on race and gender, rather than on qualifications and achievement. This stigma had translated into questions about the competence of the minority to do their jobs.

While affirmative action laws can certainly benefit some people in the short run, it is believed to bring about more harm than good in the long. Based on the advantages and disadvantages listed above, what do you think? Would it be good to be upheld by society or not?

About the Blog Post Author
Crystal Lombardo has been a staff writer for Future of Working for five years. She is a proud veteran and mother. If you have any questions about the content of this blog post, then please send our editor-in-chief a message here.