Affirmative Action

analytical Essay
4766 words
4766 words

Affirmative Action

Because economic, social, gender and racial inequalities exist within the American population, it is in the best interest of its people and government to take action to amend these problems. Since the U.S has a capitalistic based economy, there is little that the government can do to completely end all inequalities. However, it can try to remedy racial and gender discrimination. The most realistic and supported program is Affirmative Action, which has many key issues: does the government have the right to enforce “reverse discrimination” or is it right to take race or gender into account for purposes of diversity and equality when evaluating college or job applications?

The United States has a history of treating minorities, women and immigrants like 2nd-class citizens while favoring affluent white males (Schrag). In 1857, the Scott vs. Sanford decision stated that blacks have “no rights which the white man is bound to respect” (Davis). However, changes were made in the legal treatment of women and minorities with the 1866 Civil Rights Act that guaranteed every citizen “the same right to make and enforce contracts…as enjoyed by white citizens” (Sykes) and the 14th Amendment, which “grants citizenship to everyone born in the US, forbids states from denying ‘life, liberty, or property’ without due process of law, and guarantees equal protection under the laws” (DCLU). Despite such legislation, a major setback took place in the 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson court decision upholding that “separate but equal” accommodations were constitutional (DCLU). Because of this forced inequality, many ethnicities were kept out of upper levels of American businesses and educational institutions (Hudson).

The mid-20th cent...

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The Hopwood Aftermath. University of Texas. 1 May 1997.

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Wydick, Bruce. “Affirmative Action in college admissions: Examining labor market effects of four alternative policies.” Contemporary Economic Policy. 20.1 (Jan 2003): 12-25. {primary scholarly; print via internet; reputable}

US Census Bureau. “Poverty Rates by Race and Hispanic Origin: 2001 and 2002.” {unrestricted; print via internet; reputable}

US Census Bureau. “Table 1: Income in the United States: 2002” pg. 3. {unrestricted; print via internet; reputable}

US Census Bureau. “Table 2: Median usual weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary

workers by occupation and sex, 1983 and 2002 annual averages.” {unrestricted; print via internet; reputable}

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how the mid-20th century brought numerous advancements towards policies that worked to deal with inequality, such as brown vs. board of education ending legal segregation.
  • Argues that affirmative action does help women and minorities attain jobs historically dominated by white males, but it does not allow them to be promoted to managers or ceos.
  • Compares the number of unemployed blacks and employed whites in the civilian labor force in 2000, and argues that diversity training and affirmative action programs do not affect diversity.
  • Explains that affirmative action supporters cite wage inequality between men and women, but there are several examples of resistance toward these goals.
  • Argues that affirmative action supporters believe that diversity will help minorities succeed economically and socially as well as benefit society on the whole.
  • Cites anderson, elizabeth, and the nyu law review. integration, affirmative action and strict scrutiny.
  • Explains that the 1970s and the gender of class. feminist studies, 25.1, 1999, 42-79.
  • Explains that lessons from a high-tech occupation. gender and society.
  • Analyzes smith, james p., "affirmative action and the racial wage gap." the american economic review.
  • Compares the 1983 and 2002 annual averages of workers by occupation and sex.
  • Explains that the u.s has a capitalistic based economy, so it is in the best interest of its people and government to take action to amend these problems.
  • Argues that the issue of affirmative action is divided because people differ in their beliefs on how inequality should be ended.
  • Explains that affirmative action in college admissions is needed to maintain diversity and that black acceptance rates at universities prohibited from taking race into account are considerably lower than white acceptance rate.
  • Recommends that the candidate take a position that clearly defines affirmative action and the ways in which he/she plans to fulfill its purposes.
  • Cites abouali, diana, adam, kanya, and adam. affirmative action's uncertain future.
  • Analyzes bunzel, john h., "race and college admissions." public interest.
  • Explains cancio, silvia a, and t david evans and david j maume jr., 'reconsidering the declining significance of race: racial differences in early career wages'.
  • Cites cohen, carl, and jordan j. cohen. the consequences of premature abandonment of affirmative action in medical school admissions.
  • Analyzes dolton, o'neill, and sweetman's work on gender differences in the changing labor market.
  • Cites harpalani, vinay, heilman madeline e, caryn j block, and peter stathatos.
  • Explains that jacobs, jerry a., "gender inequality and higher education." annual review of sociology.
  • Explains mcguire, gail, and barbara f. reskin's "authority hierarchies at work: the impacts of race and sex." gender and society.
  • Analyzes the educational equity of girls and women.
  • Cites the us census bureau's report on poverty rates by race and hispanic origin.
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