Is Affirmative Action Still Needed in 2014?

Affirmative action has been a hot topic for years. It was initially set in motion with the Civil Rights Act of 1964; allowing blacks equal opportunity when it comes to jobs and schools, not to mention the destruction of gender discrimination. Affirmative action, however, is a horse of a different color. Affirmative action generally means 'giving preferential treatment to minorities in admission to universities or employment in government and businesses' (Balanced Politics.org).

The idea of affirmative action was to compensate minorities for the years of discrimination toward them. My question is, "Is affirmative action still needed in 2014?" The Civil Rights Movement has opened a lot of doors for blacks in particular, giving us more opportunities to excel in life. I totally understand the boost that affirmative action gave to blacks during the Civil Rights Movement. It was liberating to blacks who struggled to get hired at jobs that were considered "off limits" to them. The same goes for black students who wanted a higher education at a school they were not allowed to attend.

I currently believe that affirmative action is a disservice to modern-day blacks because the jobs and school admissions were not achieved by merit. President Lyndon B. Johnson's view about affirmative action was "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 just believe that you have been completely fair." What this means to me is what good is it to promote someone who does not have any skills or preparation.

I personally would not appreciate being hired because I'm black. I don't want to meet a company's "token" quota. If I got the job, I hope it was because of something pleasing on my resume or my sparking personality. Being hired because I'm black would eventually lead to being disrespected by my employer and coworkers. I would subconsciously stick out like a sore thumb, even with a promotion. You may say "At least you worked your way up" but it still wouldn't feel right. Affirmative action served its purpose during the 1960s but in 2014, blacks should be further along in their thinking and self-esteem to not need it.

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