The Effects that Affirmative Action Has Had on Past and Future Endeavors of Minorities in the United States

Powerful Essays
The African American experience in the United States is one that could almost be described as irreparable. The African American debut in this country was one that started off as foul as a situation could be. The slavery experience ranks amongst some of the most inhumane eras in the history of mankind. The settlers in the colonies viewed Africans as only 3/5ths of a man and used Africans as tools, or pets, as opposed to acknowledging them as real thinking, loving, feeling human beings. Amazingly so, African Americans were able to advance in this society to a plateau in which we are now, by definition, accepted as equals. Racism still exists in many social institutions and mindsets of our citizens, but opportunity now is vast, compared to how it was over time. With the well documented existence of racism, there has to be an option that levels the playing field for African Americans. That equalizer is affirmative action. Affirmative action is a policy or a program that seeks to redress past discrimination through active measures to ensure equal opportunity, as in education and employment. In addition to providing equal opportunity, affirmative action also serves as a form of reparation for the actions by white America in the past. With the advancement of African Americans in this society, some argue that affirmative action actually is a way to declare inferiority of the black people, and holds African Americans back in terms of progress in the nation. Others argue that it is the only way that the African American person can receive fair treatment in a nation that is still blinded by prejudice. Affirmative action is a crucial debate that has no finite solution. Even if it is granted, there will still be those who view it as a cop-out or “crutch” for African Americans and other minorities. This reason is why affirmative action serves as a double-edged sword. Although the notion of affirmative action serves as a double-edged sword, affirmative action in the 21st century is headed in a direction that will benefit African Americans economically, throughout the venues of employment, income, education, and social status; and by doing so, affirmative action has definitely served as a pivotal method to assuage and suppress racism and prejudice in these United States.
Affirmative action is a staple in today’s American employment system, but there was a long road to ach...

... middle of paper ...

...he or she does not perform, then that may perpetuate racism. If one comes into an office and he or she excels and is above the others in the office, then it will be understood that this person did not get here just because they are a minority, but because they are capable. These reasons are why one must acknowledge the fact that affirmative action suppresses racism and eliminates it, simply because it does the least it can do, in providing opportunity-opportunity that was not always given in a more racist society, but is offered today. In the 21st century, affirmative action should stay in place, and will contribute to the advancement of minorities. The actual advancement depends, not on policy, but on the initiative of those involved.


Brunner, Borgna, Timeline of Affirmative Action Milestones (2005). Clinton White House Staff (1995). Affirmative Action: Emperical Research. In
Affirmative Action Review: Report to the President, Chapter3. Retrieved from
Get Access