Free Affirmative Action Essays - Black Americans Need Affirmative Action

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Black Americans Need Affirmative Action

Affirmative action has been the subject of increasing debate and

tension in American society. The debate has been more emotional than

intellectual, and has generated more tension than shed light on the issue.

Participants in the debate have over examined the ethical and moral issues

that affirmative action raises while forgetting to examine the system that

has created the need for them. Too often, affirmative action is looked upon

as the remedy for a nation once ill with the virulent disease of racial

discrimination. Affirmative action is, and should be seen as, a temporary,

partial, and perhaps even flawed remedy for past and continuing

discrimination against minorities in the American society.

Perhaps the biggest complaint that one hears about affirmative

action policies aimed at helping Black Americans is that they violate the

14th Amendment of the Constitution and the Civil Rights laws. The claim is

that these programs distort what is now a level playing field and bestow

preferential treatment on undeserving minorities because of the color of

their skin. While this view seems very logical on the surface, I contend

that it lacks any historical support and is aimed more at preserving

existing white privilege than establishing equality of opportunity for all.

Just looking at the history of this country should provide a serious

critique to the idea of a level playing field. Since the birth of this

nation, Blacks have been an enslaved, oppressed, and exploited people.

Until 1954, when the Supreme Court handed down Brown v. Board, Blacks were

legally pushed to the margin of society where many were left to dwell in

poverty and powerlessness. The Brown decision removed the legal impediments

that had so long kept Blacks deprived of the educational necessities. It

merely allowed Blacks to enter the arena of competition. Without the

deconstruction of white power and privilege how can we legitimately claim

that the playing field is level?

In fact not using affirmative action will only accomplish the

continued exclusion of Black Americans from participation within American

society and thus further ingrain stereotypes Another reason that

affirmative action confuses me, is because the discussion is always limited

to race and gender based affirmative action policies. What about year after

year the athletes that are admitted to all the colleges and universities

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