President Johnson created affirmative action, asking employers to take steps to ensure that they were not discriminating against job applicants or employees. Affirmative action programs today are controversial, with some people arguing that they constitute “reverse discrimination” and are stealing jobs from White people. Supporters say that White people, and particularly White men, have benefited from their own form of affirmative action, the pro-White biases in our society, for generations and that current affirmative action policies only seek to level the playing field. Affirmative action policies for college admissions continue to be contested in the courts.
Affirmative action policies can sometimes lead to tokenism, in which one member of a minority group is present in an office, classroom, or other settings. This person is then treated not as an individual, but as a representative of her/his group, and any actions the individual takes are made into new stereotypes about that group.
Affirmative action has been the center of national debate in recent history with liberals, both black and white, arguing that affirmative action levels the playing field and makes up for historical discrimination. In contrast, conservatives, both black and white, say that opportunities in education and employment should be on merit, the individual’s talents and abilities and that giving preferential treatment based on race or gender is reverse discrimination.
Discuss affirmative action policies in education and employment. Where do you stand on the issue? Defend your position sources in APA format with your references listed at the end.