Historically, affirmative action emerged in response to the discrimination of minorities and their prevention from equal access to education, job and other socially significant issues. However, the implementation of the affirmative action raises severe debate. On the one hand, the affirmative action is considered to be essential because it provides minorities with equal opportunities compared to the majority. On the other hand, the affirmative action is vulnerable to severe criticism because it makes the belongingness to minority the major criteria for inclusion of individuals, instead of their academic knowledge, professional skills and other objective criteria.
At first glance, the affirmative action has a positive impact on the society because it helps to close gaps between the majority and representatives of minorities caused by the historic discrimination of representatives of minorities. The main point of the affirmative action to provide representative of minorities with equal opportunities compared to representatives of the majority. As a rule, the affirmative action refers to the field of education and employment, although the scope of the affirmative action is much larger and may involve all spheres of social, economic and political life. Therefore, the affirmative action provides minorities with equal opportunities compared to the majority.
However, equal opportunities grounded on the belongingness to minorities alone are unfair that puts under a question the usefulness of the affirmative action. For instance, if the belongingness to minorities becomes prior to professionals skills in the field of employment, they the affirmative action is likely to have a negative impact on the performance of employees because less qualified representatives of minorities cannot work as effectively as well-qualified representatives of the majority.
Thus, the affirmative action should not become prior to objective criteria.
Sowell, T. (2004). Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study, Yale University Press,