Affirmative Action Affirmative action's role in colleges and universities has been a strongly debated topic. The heated subject has again come to the forefront due to the recent bans imposed on affirmative action by California and Washington. In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled (University of California Regents v. Bakke) that universities are allowed to consider race as a factor when choosing which students to accept. Affirmative action was intended to level the racial playing field and give minorities chances in the workplace and the classroom that they would not have received in the absence of affirmative action. However, while minorities have had more opportunities, Caucasians have suffered.
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.
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.
If affirmative actions benefit minorities, then members of the majority will be discriminated against. The college and university admissions process should be re-evaluated and re-distinguished to benefit all in society. In most cases, affirmative action po... ... middle of paper ... ... rates of 18- to 24-year-olds in degree-granting institutions, by sex and race/ethnicity: 1967 through 2006. [Digest of Education Statistics] Retrieved from http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d07/tables/dt07_195.asp Redhead, J. (1997, April 17).
This paper will discuss the history of affirmative action, how it is implemented in society today, and evaluate the arguments that it presents. History of Affirmative Action Affirmative action was really implemented at the height of the civil rights movement in the United States. Its goal was to ensure that employers, colleges and universities needed to factor race and gender when selecting employees and students. “Under affirmative action there would be an active effort to make sure that the workplace and the university included people of all races and both sexes.”(Hanmer 8). Prior to this in the United States, opportunity did not exist for all.
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.
The subject of affirmative action in college admissions has been hotly debated since its inception. Although affirmative action was originally supported by the vast majority, that same majority is now starting to wonder if there is a better way. Commonly asked questions include: “Is affirmative action still working?” and “Is there an alternative?” The answers to each of these questions will provide insurmountable evidence that affirmative action in college admissions no longer fulfills its intended purpose and that the only viable alternative is to focus more attention on primary schooling for the underprivileged. The most common question that arises in contemporary debates over affirmative action is, “Does affirmative action still work as intended?” The original purpose of affirmative action in college admissions was to eliminate racial bias in the applicant selection process and provide a helping hand to disadvantaged minority students. Has this happened?
Affirmative Action Few social policy issues have served as a better gauge of racial and ethnic divisions among the American people than affirmative action. Affirmative action is a term referring to laws and social policies intended to alleviate discrimination that limits opportunities for a variety of groups in various social institutions. Supporters and opponents of affirmative action are passionate about their beliefs, and attack the opposing viewpoints relentlessly. Advocates believe it overcomes discrimination, gives qualified minorities a chance to compete on equal footing with whites, and provides them with the same opportunities. Opponents charge that affirmative action places unskilled minorities in positions they are not qualified for and violates the Fourteenth Amendment.
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.
Two hundred years ago in America, being born of a certain race or gender predetermined one’s opportunities in life. African Americans were subjected to slavery and discrimination and women had very little liberty. In the present, the United States is much closer to equality, yet gender and race still play a role in life’s opportunities given the high frequency of affirmative action programs; they attempt to increase the representation of minorities on college campuses and in the office, regardless of virtue. Programs of affirmative action arouse controversy because some groups view affirmative action as a catalyst for reverse discrimination whilst other groups support affirmative action as a way to diversify society and compensate for past exclusions. Affirmative action describes the “positive steps taken to increase the representation of women and minorities in areas of employment, education, and business from which they have been historically excluded” (Fullinwinder).