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.
For the sake of this essay, affirmative action in education is defined as: “policies and programs designed to advance equality of educationalopportunity for individuals from groups that have suffered systematic historical discrimination” (Mickelson 29). What is being referred to here is race-based affirmative action, or the act of taking into consideration an applicant’s race in the college admissions process. This is a hot topic all over the United States and has been for quite a while, the debate raging between two sides: those in support of affirmative action and those opposed. The ethics of affirmative action itself are difficult to determine, but here an attempt will be made to prove that affirmative action is indeed unfair. In addition, perhaps people are looking at the wrong issue.
In today’s society it is imperative that all people regardless of race or gender are given equal opportunity in the admissions and job applications processes. Affirmative Action was designed to create this equality. The history of Affirmative Action ultimately began two hundred years ago with the founding of our nation. The Constitution, which is the basis of all laws in society, was drawn up and signed by many men who themselves owned slaves. As time progressed, it became necessary to create a “Great Compromise,” which stated that blacks were now allowed to be counted as three-fifths of a person for voting purposes.
Affirmative action allowed minorities a fair chance to pursue education and career advancement. It originally was intended for temporary assistance and was supposed to crush existing racially biased ideas in society. What was once a noble and valiant idea in 1965 has taken the very rights away it was intended to give. As affirmative action was introduced, many industries found the need to reduce standards in order to accept minorities. In many colleges and universities, a certain number of openings were set aside specifically for minorities because of the necessity to fill the racial quota for college populations.
The issue of Affirmative Action, preferences towards persons of racial minorities to compensate for prior discrimination, in college admissions is a quite complicated one. Many sides must be explored to gain a better understanding of the theories and views on this issue. It is not easily answered with a yes or no. Since its inception, Affirmative Action’s use has been a major debate in American society. Many questions are left to be investigated.
For many the subject of affirmative action is worth protesting over, however, there are a few who would love to see the existence of affirmitive action abolished. Affirmative action has always been a long debated topic with two different communites arguing very different view points. Although affirmitive action can cause friction among many different opionated people, on the other hand, the results of the practice has ensured the college educations for many of minorities in America. Should this practice be allowed during the college admissions process is the question that remains to be debated. The right to attend college is considered to be a privilege for students who are able to enroll within a university of their choice.
Discouraging images became a part of the accepted society, but were also implanted in the educational and scientific institutions of the United States. The initial founders of ethnic studies set out to discredit bogus theories and propaganda about African-Americans. The civil rights movement challenged the political and cultural authority of white America and confronted educational institutions that discriminated and demoralized African-Americans because of their race. As warriors of this cause, they were adamant about institutional equality, the end of discriminatory practices, and curriculum reform. The civil rights movement was very successful in demanding the Federal Government to change their outlook on education for African-Americans... ... middle of paper ... ...ralism' In How Americans View the Past and the Future, 2011).
Some claim that it will achieve justice, while others think that it promotes forms of discrimination and further separates our society into racial groups. I intend to outline a compromise between the opposing sides, the main goal of which is to utilize justice and equality in coming to a solution that includes every point of view. I feel that this is necessary because minorities in America are underprivileged, and for that reason some measures need to be taken, specifically in education, to induce social equalization. On one side of the controversy, many groups feel that affirmative action “may be the first instance in our jurisprudence of a constitutional doctrine unconstitutional under itself,” or that affirmative action is a constitutional document that is unconstitutional because it discriminates against a certain group of people, namely white males. These groups clai... ... middle of paper ... ...er 10).
This essay will also give a perspective on the issues. The Benefits of Affirmative Action in Higher Education In order to be competitive in the higher education battleground, some academics believe that it’s essential that universities and colleges give minorities certain plus factors during the admission process. Many universities and colleges throughout the country believe that by instituting some form of affirmative action, the end result will be diversified campus demographics. The type of affirmative action each institution implements is different; however, each has the same goal of increasing minority admissions. There are affirmative action programs developed especially to target minorities.
Harvard University. October 1999. http://www.law.harvard.edu/groups/civilrights/publications/index.html. * McElroy, Wendy. What Does Affirmative Action Affirm? October 1999. http://www.zetetics.com/mac/affirm.htm.