Read the Point – Counter Point on Page 66 of Chapter Two in your textbook. Take

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Read the Point – Counter Point on Page 66 of Chapter Two in your textbook. Take a position and then debate your position on the Discussion Board. Provide references to the textbook, consult outside sources, and reply to a minimum of 2 of your classmates.
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A debate in this class is defined as: an informal method of interacting with other class members while representing a particular position or stance regarding an arguable topic. There is no limit to the debate, other than it must be completed each week by Sunday at midnight. The debate is to be highly interactive. The more reasoned and researched your argument(s), the more quality responses you provide, the higher your grade will be. You are encouraged to consult sources other than your textbook. Be sure to list any references you consult using APA Reference Format.
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Affirmative Action Programs Have Outlived Their Usefulness
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Point
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U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is arguably the Court’s strongest supporter of affirmative action—in theory. In a recent case upholding the Michigan ban on affirmative action for underrepresented races in state university admission practices, Justice Sotomayor refused to use the term. “Affirmative action,” she said, has the connotation of “intentional preferential treatment based on race alone.” Yes, it does. Isn’t that the point?
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Affirmative action programs (AAPs) were needed to get the process of workplace diversity started, but that was all a long time ago. The practice, now outlawed in Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, and Washington, raises the percentage of minority individuals but does not create a positive diversity climate. Here’s why:
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Affirmative action lowers the standards for everyone by shifting the criteria for hiring from experience, education, and abilities to quotas based on race or other nonperformance attributes. Performance standards for the organization are then effectively lowered. Groups not helped by the initiative will be resentful, which can lead to workplace discrimination. Individuals “helped” into the organization also suffer from perceptions of low self-competence (“I don’t know if I would have made it here if not for AAP”) and stereotype threat (“I’m afraid others can’t see me as competent because I was let in by the AAP”).
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Research indicates that minorities are not helped by AAP in pursuing higher education. In fact, a large-scale study showed that minority law students who attended schools best matched to their LSAT scores performed better than those who went to higher-ranked schools than their scores would warrant without affirmative action.
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Some of the world’s AAPs have resulted in strife. For example, Sri Lanka has suffered from civil wars partially caused by affirmative action that further polarized the Tamils and Shinalese. In Africa, the quota system to help blacks created a climate of race entitlement and marginalization of Indians. In fact, most countries have struggled with issues arising from affirmative action policies.
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Affirmative action has outlived its usefulness in creating diversity, and it is time to create true equality by focusing on merit-based achievements.
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Counterpoint
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Affirmative action was enacted to ensure equality, and it’s still needed today. When the United States was considering the issue for black minorities back in 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson said, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and then say, ‘You are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair.” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. agreed that, in order to create equal opportunity, proactive measures are needed as long as some people remain at a disadvantage. Therefore, what we should be asking is: Are minority groups faring as well as majority groups in the United States? No, they are not—not by any indicator.
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South Africa has affirmative action for blacks through the Equal Employment Act; China has “preferential policies” that require that ethnic minorities and women be appointed to top government positions; Israel has a class-based affirmative action policy to promote women, Arabs, blacks, and people with disabilities; India has a policy of reservation, a form of affirmative action, for underrepresented castes; Sri Lanka has the “standardization” affirmative action policy to help those in areas with lower rates of education; Malaysia’s New Economic Policy (NEP) provides advantage for the majority group, the Malays, who have lower income; Brazil, Finland, France, New Zealand, and Romania have education AAPs; Germany’s Basic Law has AAPs for women and those with handicaps; Russia has quotas for women and ethnic minorities; and Canada’s Employment Equity Act provides affirmative action to women, the disabled, aboriginal people, and visible minorities.
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To be certain, fairness is in the eye of the beholder. Affirmative action provides opportunity, but then it is up to the individual to meet the expectations of schools or employers. As blogger Berneta Haynes wrote, “I’m not ashamed to admit that without affirmative action, I’m not certain I would be on the precipice of the law career that I’m at right now. As an African-American woman from a poor family, I have little doubt that affirmative action helped me get into college, earn a degree, and enroll in law school.”
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If we change anything about affirmative action, we should expand the program until the achievements of underserved groups fully match those of long-overprivileged groups.
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Sources: Based on D. Desilver, “Supreme Court Says States Can Ban Affirmative Action: 8 Already Have,” Pew Research Center Thinktank (April 22, 2014), http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/04/22/supreme-court-says-states-can-ban-affirmative-action-8-already-have/; B. Haynes, “Affirmative Action Helped Me,” Inside Higher Ed (March 12, 2013), www.insidehighered.com/views/2013/03/12/affirmative-action-helped-me-and-benefits-society-essay; D. Leonhardt, “Rethinking Affirmative Action,” The New York Times (October 13, 2012),

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