Affirmative action should be changed or ended altogether In the late Sixties, Martin Luther King Jr. fought hard for equal rights. Before he was assassinated in 1968, he made a speech about his vision of human equality. “I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” (King) The Sixties were a turning point for racial equality. Because of leaders like King, many blacks and minority groups began to face/win new opportunities that were never before available. New policies and laws were established to help reverse the detriment to ethnic groups through years of injustice and prejudice.
With racial tensions ever present in this country, one might question whether the problems can be solved by affirmative action. Some feel that affirmative action in universities is the answer to the end of racism and inequality. If more black students get into and graduate from good colleges, more of them will go on to even out the lopsided numbers in the work force. Prejudice secretly slips through everyone¹s thoughts. Or so Barbara Ehrenreich believes when she writes of a quiet, subliminal prejudice that is caused by statistics that prove the fewer numbers of blacks in high profile jobs.
However, while minorities have had more opportunities, Caucasians have suffered. This so-called reverse discrimination hurts whites and minorities, because all races are not being treated equally. Affirmative action has played an important role in colleges and universities throughout America. Race is a major factor when it comes to the college admissions process. In most of the nation's colleges and universities, minorities receive priority when colleges look at prospective incoming freshman.
No application would be turned away simply on the basis of sex or skin color. Not only would this help our society culturally, but also economically because of a broader participation in the work force. Although affirmative action did include all minorities, it may have never become government policy if it were not for the civil rights movement that began 1950’s. The Civil War had ended slavery nearly a century before, but still many African Americans had never been granted full equality. Many states, particularly the South, passed laws “that were designed to segregate the white and black races and to keep African Americans in an inferior position in society.” (Hamner 21).
This has caused many problems and harsh feelings of unfairness and thoughts of reverse discrimination ever sense. Affirmative action in education was originally intended to guarantee people equally protection under the law for minorities in schooling. It was also designed to destroy discrimination in job fields based on ones color of skin. What this ended up doing however is called reverse discrimination. Now non-minority individuals who work hard to earn a spot in employment can easily be passed over simply because they are non-minority.
Like myself, many other African Americans believe this policy is one the most effective strategies for helping underrepresented minority groups gain access to education and employment. However, critics of affirmative action believe this kind of reform does an injustice to the idea of merit. Though no one can deny minorities and women have made significant steps towards autonomy and equality in America, there are still wide educational and economic disparities between minority groups and white males. While the issues and controversies surrounding race can not be resolved easily, the question remains: Do we still need affirmative action in America? I say yes, affirmative action was and is needed to help prevent unfairness caused by discrimination in America.
In other words, minorities attending elite colleges due to racial preferencing are not likely to remain in the major they originally chose because of the unexpected amount of workload that they are unprepared for. ... ... middle of paper ... ...m of why so many African-Americans and Latinos are academically uncompetitive; and It involves states and schools in unsavory activities such as deciding which minorities will be favored and which ones (e.g., Asians) not” (Clegg 2). American higher education offers a place for everyone including those who barely escaped high school, which makes affirmative action and racial preferences in college admissions pointless. Preferences aren't necessary to teach students how to deal with diversity. The Constitution explicitly commands nondiscrimination, meaning that in certain circumstances, it violates the law.
A writer in USA Today describes a “roundabout method” that would help those that truly need it. “Giving a boost to lower-income students helps all races, while avoiding unnecessary help to well-off applicants simply because they're minorities” (USA Today). This solution provides help to people who truly need it, people who are unable to afford college. Affirmative action began with President Kennedy’s executive order and has since propagated into many aspects of our lives. While this executive order was greatly needed at that time, 1961, it is no longer the best solution if America is going to be truly socially and economically equal.
Both sides provide valuable evidence in support of their stance and examples of the harm and or good it presents. The side in favor of affirmitive action feel that without the pracetice of affirmitive action college enrollment for minority Americans would suffer a great decline. They argue that ceasing affirmitive action will only cause more uneducated people to abide within society along side those with higher educations. Which in return can become a threat when a person does not feel adequately compatible to their fellow American. The African-American commun... ... middle of paper ... ...ucation other than high school.
The question many colleges are facing now is whether race should be considered in college admissions. Is affirmative action necessary anymore and is it fair to all students? What is its long-term impact on American and world society? Liberals say, “Yes affirmative action is a fair path and a path that still needs to be taken if our society is going to move forward.” Conservatives argue that affirmative action is reverse discrimination against white students and that widespread use of affirmative action in colleges is creating an un-level playing field. The liberal’s logical argument is based on the assumption that race is already an issue in college admissions and that historically there has been a lack of opportunity for minorities, especially African Americans.