Affirmative action should be changed or ended altogether
In the late Sixties, Martin Luther King Jr. fought hard for equal rights. Before he was assassinated in 1968, he made a speech about his vision of human equality. "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character." (King) The Sixties were a turning point for racial equality. Because of leaders like King, many blacks and minority groups began to face/win new opportunities that were never before available. New policies and laws were established to help reverse the detriment to ethnic groups through years of injustice and prejudice. But is it right to limit other races to advance another? Are we using racism to stop racism? Although equal rights policies were established through what became known as "affirmative action" and have assisted in the advancement of many minority groups, affirmative action today is wrong and should be revised or stopped altogether. Affirmative action is an instituted list of policies to make up for past discrimination against groups based on race, religion, national origin, and gender. From its beginning, affirmative action has given minority groups opportunities for employment, promotion at work, new business ownership, school admission, scholarships and financial aid. President Lyndon B. Johnson introduced affirmative action during the civil rights era in 1965. It was used "as a method of redressing discrimination that had persisted in spite of civil rights laws and constitutional guarantees." (Brunner) The purpose of affirmative action was to end racial inequality and set a level playing field for all races. 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. Because of this quota, many educational institutions were forced to lower their standards. The first court case against affirmative action was brought to the Supreme Court because of this. Allan Bakke was denied admission to be considered to University of California-Davis Medical School. In offer to be accepted, a student must have no less than a 2.5 GPA, have good science grades, and have high MCT scores, letters of recommendation, and numerous extra-curricular activities. If all of their prerequisites are met, an applicant then must participate in an interview with the college. Bakke scored 468 out of a total of 500 points on his interview and was not accepted. He then applied again the next year and received 549 out of 600 points, but was again turned away. Afterward Bakke had found out that 16 students with lower test scores were accepted before him. All 16 students were considered ethnic minorities and were accepted based on their color of skin, as allowed by the policies of affirmative action. Bakke took his case to the Supreme Court, arguing he was not treated equally and was turned away because of his ethnicity. The Supreme Court found that in the case of the University of California Regents v. Bakke, the defendant's equal protection rights were indeed violated. Section 1 of Amendment XIV of the United States Constitution reads: " All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law, which shall abridge the privilege or immunities of citizens of the United...
Bibliography: King, Martin Luther, Jr. I have a dream. 28 Aug 1963. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Peaceful Warrior. Pocket Books, NY 1968. Memphis Educational Computer Connectivity Alliance. http://www.mecca.org/crights/dream.html
University of California Regents V. Bakke, 438 U.S. 265 (1975). Finlday.com
18 Nov 2002 http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts
United States Constitution. Amendment XIV, Section 1
Brunner, Borgna "Bakke and Beyond: A History and Timeline of Affirmative Action." Infoplease.com 20 Nov 2002. Family Education Network
McGowan, Miranda Ohsige. "Diversity of What?" In Robert Post and Michael Rogin. Race and Representation: Affirmative Action (New York: Zone Books, 1998), pp. 237-250
Fish, Stanley "Reverse Racism, or How the Pot Got to Call the Kettle Black," The Atlantic, November 1993
Anderson, Elizabeth. "Integration, Affirmative Action, and Strict Scrutiny," NYU Law Review, 77 (2002): 1195-1271.
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