Affirmative Action: Racial Discrimination

Topics: Discrimination, Racism, United States Pages: 5 (1765 words) Published: April 13, 2006
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Racial discrimination is a plague of the human mind, and has been important to the history of the United States, as well as continues to play a large role in current issues. But, it is rarely discussed how the majority is being subjected to racism every day. Affirmative Action is detrimental to the American Society because it creates discrimination, denies applicants that are well qualified, and harms the equal America that this country is trying to create. In order to fully understand how Affirmative Action affectively ruins the chances of many well-qualified Americans each year, its process must be understood. Meet John. John is a senior in high school, and is also an average middle-class white male. John is busy in the process of applying to the university that has for long been a dream. Maybe it's UW, UCLA, or even Stanford. After filling out applications, sending in FAFSA forms, getting letters of recommendation, and having English teachers correct entrance essays, John licks the envelope and sends off his application with hope for a positive answer in two months. The time quickly goes by, and each day is filled with anticipation each time the mail box is checked or the phone rings. One evening, the Dean of Admissions calls and breaks the news to John. Unfortunately, John has been denied application to the school. It came down to two students, and they had to give John's spot to a Hispanic girl. John was qualified enough, in fact, more so than the other girl, but there is a quota that needed to be filled. While an applicant would never be told that Affirmative Action was the reason for denial, this is many times the kind of bias that is a result of Affirmative Action. Affirmative Action was passed in the 1965 by Lyndon B. Johnson as executive order number 11246 (Murray, 193). At the time, it was intended to actively seek out blacks to help them get into schools and receive jobs. However, the 1960's was also the start of the biggest civil rights movements in our history. So as time went on, it was formatted to also include women, as well as all racial minorities. Any establishment that has a government contract must abide by Affirmative Action's law. Most commonly affected are public universities. There are two types of Affirmative Action. Weak action and strong action. Weak action is when a minority is given the upper hand by being favored in the application process. Standards are often even lowered for these people. For example, at the University of Michigan, you will receive 20 extra points on your application review just for being a minority ( Strong action is where an establishment has to fill a certain quota or ratio of minorities hired or admitted. This is also most common in public universities and large corporations, such as Boeing. Many times, a more qualified student or worker is turned down in order to meet these quotas, or sometimes out of sheer fear of being prosecuted for racial discrimination. This is why Affirmative Action is often referred to as "reverse racism" by its opponents. When Affirmative Action affects universities, it extends to all areas of a school. One of the most famous cases for revealing Affirmative Action as racist was the famous Bakke case in 1978. Allan Bakke was a medical student who had been declined admission to the University of California, Davis medical school for two years in a row, and instead, less qualified applicants were granted admission. Davis had set aside sixteen spots out of one hundred to that could only be filled by racial minorities, a practice that is discrimination in itself ( In 1973, those sixteen racial minorities that were admitted had an average overall GPA of 2.88, and an average science GPA of 2.62. Those not qualified for one of the sixteen reserved spots (white applicants) had an average overall GPA of 3.49 and science GPA of 3.51(O'Neill, 29). And though this was over thirty years ago, some...

Cited: O 'Neill, Timothy J. Bakke & the Politics of Equality: Friends & Foes in the Classroom of Litigation. Connecticut: Wesleyan UP. 1985
Graham, Hugh Davis. The Civil Rights Era: Orgins and Development of National Policy. New York: Oxford UP. 1990.
Murray, Charles. "Affirmative Racism." Debating Affirmative Action: Race Gender, Ethnicity, and the Politics of Inclusion. Ed. Nicolaus Mills. New York: Dell Publishing, 1994. 192- 201.
Holy Bible: New International Version. Michigan: Zondervan, 2002.
Brunner, Borgna. Bakke and Beyond: A History and Timeline of Affirmative Action. 2005. 1 Mar. 2005. .
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