While it is your civil right to be treated equally in the United States as all other United States citizens, there are some questions about affirmative action and whether this concept should actually be legal. Basically, affirmative action is the push to include people of all groups, and it is most applicable to woman and minorities. Affirmative action is legal in the United States and meant to balance out discrimination. However, some are opposed to its legality, as affirmative action can also mean another type of discrimination.
In the United States, affirmative action most comes into play with education, employment, and housing. It is meant to prevent discrimination. Certain entities (like colleges or business) have different policies for minorities and women in order to help diversify their total population. For example, at a university, they might accept minorities who have slightly lower standardized test scores, while having higher expectations from groups that apply more readily. This affirmative action raises their minority population.
The problem with this, some believe, is that it effectively discriminative against members of the majority group. For example, say a woman is hired in an all-male office in order to have a female presence in the company. That means that males were not considered for the job and have, in effect, been discriminated against. In other words, affirmative action and the law are at odds often. However, like with other discrimination cases, this can be hard to prove.
Affirmative action regulations were never meant to be discriminatory. Instead, they were meant to prevent people from discriminating. Employers, for example, would discriminate against blacks in the 1960s. Affirmative action rules prevented this, by ensuring the best black candidates were hired. The thought process behind these rules were that the best black candidates were probably the best candidates anyway. Today, it is not always that simple.
However, discriminate does still go on in business, education, and other public sectors. Because of this, affirmative action still had many supporters. The claim here is that the law should always support equal opportunity. While there are many holes in this legal theory, you do have options if you feel as though you are not being given a fair chance.
You should immediately speak with local or state agency if you feel like someone has discriminated against you. This is especially crucial in the case of housing, as the Fair Housing Act makes it illegal for a landlord to refuse to accept your rental application based on race, nationality, sex, religion, disability, or marital status. You can file a complain for this kind of discrimination, as well as for all other, even those you believe are caused by affirmative action laws.
The key here is to speak out as soon as possible. By filing a complaint and helping to take the case to court if possible, you can prevent discrimination in the future for yourself and others. Affirmative action can be a good thing, but it can also lead to some bad results if not regulated properly.