What a remarkable phenomenon it must seem that a program that set out to ban "discrimination on the basis of race, gender or religion in the workplace" (History 1) would turn out to do the exact opposite. Although people that are of the minority benefit from the Affirmative Action program, people of the majority do nothing but suffer because of it. Innocent white males who have done nothing in the past to promote racial inequality are left unemployed. In some cases, they lose their jobs to minorities less qualified than themselves. The Affirmative Action program does nothing but promote unfairness in the workplace, the same unfairness that civil rights leaders have been fighting for decades to abolish.
In its" chaotic 30-year history, Affirmative Action has been seen in many different lights. Advocates of the program argue that by giving minorites and women a chance to display their abilities, it will break down negative views of their ability to be successful in the workplace. Critics argue that it forces employers to lower their standards with the consequence that the sub-par work done by these employees will only reinforce negative prejudices. President Johnson introduced the policy in 1965 as a means of redressing past discrimination against minorities. For years racial discrimination had persisted in spite civil rights laws that had been passed. Perhaps it was time for a change in terms of making sure minorities had a better chance to succeed in employment and education, but the answer was clearly not to implement a program such as Affirmative Action. Many critics agree that these civil victories such as Affirmative Action "were more a product of an elite response to pressure politics and social unrest than to broad public opinion" (Ong 14). Whichever way you look at it, it must be terribly hard to admit that switching discrimination from one group to another is not the right way to go about changing things for the better.