Paper Example on Institutional Discrimination and Affirmative Action

Paper Type:  Critical thinking
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  952 Words
Date:  2022-09-28


For many developed democracies racial discrimination has been outlawed in all levels of government and society. It is unlawful for any person to be discriminated upon based on his or her color, the nation of origin. Descent, ethnicity or even ancestral background. At the place of work, action can be taken for any individual who shows any form of racial favoritism and discrimination during employment such as recruiting, terms and conditions of employment, dismissal and the daily conduct at the workplace. However, one must understand that some form of discrimination is accepted and recommended by law, such as discrimination to favor a disadvantaged group such as the physically impaired in certain cases. Institutionalized racism, on the other hand, involves overt and covert actions taken by an institution to offer chosen race some social privileges which enable them to have added advantage over other groups despite evidence to the contrary (Offermann et al., 2014). It is evident that racism is alive and well in modern societies not only in the US but across the world. It denies people who rightly deserve what they should ordinarily be given. Therefore, oppression of the few by the many or those in a position of power needs to be fought vehemently. One of the most efficient ways for this to be done is through the implementation of affirmative action (Synnott, 2017).

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Most of the time race is brought to the light by those who feel wronged rather than those who benefit from it. The way that individuals observe the world regarding racism has a bearing on who they trust, who is an ally and those they deem as competition (Synnott, 2017). Affirmative action can work best when viewed as a way of verification of fairness in a system. However, if used as a goal in itself, other than a mechanism for checking conformity, it becomes a negative aspect for the victims by putting them on the spot and against the majority. Therefore, the affirmative action should not lead to a situation where one feels like they are being favored and should have to repay that favor (Offermann et al., 2014).

It is easy for affirmative action to result to change without effecting an overhaul of the structural mechanism which resulted in the underrepresentation (Synnott, 2017). The advantages of compliance can be fleeting and are depending on the cost for and those against as seen by the manager. Those leaders who manage by objectivity are only interested in the final result that will enable achievement of the set objective are less suitable in implementing racial equality since they will look for shortcut ways to minimize costs than tackling the underlying issue (Synnott, 2017). The roots of racism must be identified and dealt with for the vice to be considered solved. If a minority is hired just because of the racial disadvantage associated with the person and to fix racial balance, then the person will continually be in a position of having to justify the inclusion (Kennedy, 2013).

The inclusion of various races that have been previously discriminated upon has shown great promise in areas such as college and university education (Kennedy, 2013). It has offered a great opportunity for individuals to gain an education which they would otherwise not qualify to get. Considering disparities observed in different communities depending on the race issue, affirmative action in institutions of higher education bring along change which is long overdue in changing the perception of both the victims and the perpetrators. The more the minorities are included in the colleges and the universities, the more level the field is made so that all people can engage competitively (Synnott, 2017). Although the racism issue has been legislated on and outlawed in most instances, there is still a need for affirmative action to rectify the bad history and nullify the set precedence.

Some individuals have argued that affirmative action in itself is a form of discrimination against the majority. Opponents of affirmative action charge that hiring employees from the previously disadvantages minorities also victimizes those who are seeking for jobs and coincidentally fall into the same category as the majority (Kennedy, 2013). They opine that such discrimination should not be allowed to prevail. However, it is evident to note that affirmative action is not about having an equal number of employees from the minorities as from the majority; it is about equality which comes about as a result of have representation that conforms to the percentage of the minorities. It is about being able to see diversity in every level of the institution. Giving more opportunity to the minority so that they can be redeemed from the oppression they have historically faced in the form of discrimination (Synnott, 2017).


In light of the aforementioned, it is therefore clear that affirmative action is a necessary endeavor which should be supported across the board. To ensure complete eradication of the wrongs that have been visited on the minorities, it is vital that they are supported until they are strong enough to stand firmly. The majority should understand the importance of inclusion so that every individual feels part of the process. With a collective responsibility from all stakeholders, such as anti-racism advocacy groups, the government, and the public, it is easier to slay the monster of racial discrimination. So far, the progress made is a step in the right direction.


Kennedy, R. (2013). For discrimination: Race, affirmative action, and the law. Pantheon.

Offermann, L. R., Basford, T. E., Graebner, R., Jaffer, S., De Graaf, S. B., & Kaminsky, S. E. (2014). See no evil: Color blindness and perceptions of subtle racial discrimination in the workplace. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, 20(4), 499.

Synnott, M. (2017). The half-opened door: Discrimination and admissions at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, 1900-1970. Routledge.

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