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Affirmative Action

For ENG 111-HV
by

Kevin Martin

on 7 December 2012

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Transcript of Affirmative Action

What is Affirmative Action? Affirmative Action Affirmative Action sets standards by which the government, colleges, and universities have to hire or accept a certain number of racial minorities in order to counteract racial discrimination In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. gave a speech in which he talked about a day when people would no longer be judged upon their skin color, and that all people would be treated equally. In a sense he spoke of a color blind nation, which refers to a nation in which everyone would be treated equally no matter what their race. Reverse Discrimination What is reverse discrimination? Reverse discrimination is when a majority racial group (that being whites in the United States) is discriminated against through preferential treatment for a racial minority group. Now this is a positive aspect if the racial groups aren't looked at the same, but if they are viewed as equals then it's a negative aspect. Major advancements in race relations have been made since the civil rights era and racial groups overall are looked at as equals in today's world. Yes it's true that racism still exists but sadly it always will. You can take steps to help decrease it, but you can't completely obliterate it. Examples of equality An example of reverse discrimination A government agency is hiring for a position and they have narrowed the possible new hires down to two. One white, one hispanic. The white candidate did well in school, has their high school diploma, and now has a bachelors degree in the field that this job pertains to. The hispanic candidate did well in school and received their high school diploma but took no further education. Both candidates interviewed good. The company however is one employee short of meeting their quota on the number of hispanics they need to employ. They hire the hispanic candidate. Does this seem right to you? It doesn't to me. Situations like this happen everyday in the United States. The most qualified candidates of possible students aren't chosen because of affirmative action. Regents of University of California v. Baake (1978) Government agencies aren't the only ones that abide by affirmative action, so do colleges and universities. Just like the example I gave you of how a government agency may be forced to hire a less qualified candidate, colleges and universities are forced to do the same when it comes to their admissions process. A great example comes from the Supreme Court case Regents of University of California v. Baake (1978). Allan Bakke had applied to get into medical school and was denied because the school had set aside a certain number of seats for racial minorities, even though he was more qualified than a lot of the minorities that were accepted. Now if the Supreme Court has even ruled against affirmative action, saying that it's basically unlawful then how can anybody say that it should still exist? They simply can't. In response to this “The Court held that the medical school racially discriminated against whites because it excluded them from 16 out of 100 spots solely by virtue of their race. The fact that blacks have historically had been discriminated against more than whites was irrelevant to this case, because racial quota systems, whether applied against whites or blacks, are always "odious to a free people whose institutions are founded upon the doctrine of equality." Indeed, because the school's quota was designed to redress past discrimination against racial minorities, the Court stated, it was intended to prefer "one group for no other reason other than race or ethnic origin." Thus, the Court ruled that the school's quota system "must be rejected ... as racially invalid" under the Equal Protection Clause” (McBride). The Civil Rights and Affirmative Action Affirmative Action arose in response to the civil rights movement and the civil rights act to combat the effects of racial discrimination. However “This Act guaranteed that every American citizen would be treated “equally” in the public arena “without regard” to his or her race, skin color or national ancestry” (Connerly 57). But what does affirmative action do? Exactly that. It treats people differently based upon these factors. This isn't what Dr.King spoke of during this time period. He wanted people to be treated equally, not given special privileges because of the skin color, race, or national ancestry. This is why affirmative action goes against what it's supposed to represent and achieve. As long as you continue to treat people differently you can't have true equality. This sounds great, but how can you repay one person for committing an act against another? That's like giving a child a piece of candy and saying I’m sorry for hitting your grandpa in the face fifty years ago. It doesn't make sense to repay someone you've never discriminated against just like it doesn't make sense to give that child a piece of candy. Correcting the Effects of Slavery? Works Cited Allen, Anita. “Was I Entitled or Should I Apologize? Affirmative Action Going Forward.”
Journal of Ethics 15.3 (2011): 253-263. Print.
Connerly, Ward. It is Time to End Race-Based “Affirmative Action”. University of St.Thomas
Journal of Law & Public Policy 1.1 (2007): 56-62. Print.
McBride, Alex. “Supreme Court History Expanding Civil Rights Landmark Cases Regents of
University of California v. Bakke (1978).” n.p. n.d. Web. 11 Oct. 2012. <http://www.pbs.org/wnet/supremecourt/rights/landmark_regents.html> Pictures Affirmative Action Handshake.http://www.dividedstates.com/affirmative-action/ .Web. 11 November 2012. Martin Luther King Jr. http://mlk2010.weebly.com/barack-obama.html. Web. 13 November 2012. S.A.T. Scores.http://h340b.pbworks.com/w/page/7314496/Affirmative%20Action%20in%20Higher%20Education .Web. 13 November 2012 Affirmative Action was a necessity during the civil rights era, but major advancements in race relations have been made since those days, and many people argue that Affirmative Action has now become a form of reverse discrimination and this is why it needs to go. Affirmative Action was created to counteract the discrimination that was going on in our country and the fact that racial groups were looked at differently. What happens if they are no longer looked at in this way though? Is affirmative action still a good thing? The answer to that question is no and here's why. If racial groups aren't looked at differently then giving certain ones preferential treatment is obviously not right. It's taking a step backwards in race relations. Affirmative Action Reverse Discrimination Examples of racial groups being viewed as equals would be the fact that many minorities serve in all levels of government, they possess jobs at all levels, are accepted into all types of secondary education institutes, and we now have our first African American President. Regents of University of California v. Baake (1978) Advocates of affirmative action claim that it corrects the effects of slavery. More specifically said, affirmative action can "correct the unequal distribution of economic opportunity and education attributed to slavery, segregation, poverty and racism" (Allen 254).
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