Affirmative action – an action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education; positive discrimination.
I surveyed 47 individuals of all races and ages and wanted to determine the mindset of people about affirmative action a little before I started this whole project. There were mixed reviews and emotions about how affirmative action is today. Hearing both sides I whole heartedly understand, so I would like to raise awareness on the importance and the significance of affirmative action.
I believe that the idea of affirmative action was to uplift minorities in the United State to give them hope in their choosing for schools and jobs. The function of it is to push the agenda of equal opportunity. Now with that being said, with all of the research I have done for this project, those who were supposed to benefit from affirmative action have not been so happy with the outcome of it.
When you hear affirmative action what do you think of?
Is it something that affects you?
Could you do more to help?
Without affirmative action so many people would not have been able to make it to where they are today. Affirmative action has been seen as unfair to those who are not included in this act. To someone like me, who may or may not have been accepted to a school because of my race it’s not necessarily a joyous occasion. In the back of my mind there is always a “what if”? Yes affirmative action has forced secluded school sand jobs to open their doors to everyone and even having to meet a quota, but let’s not forget why we have this act in the first place.
Affirmative action comes from a time of discrimination, President Kennedy signed an executive order that require government employers to not discriminate against employees because of “race, creed, color, or national origin”. It had then went on to get revised to say that minorities should not only be placed in these positions but have the same opportunity for promotions, salary increases, and etc. When this executive order had come into place and was occurring more and more often, it was seen as reverse racism. For example in the 1978 there was a high profile case, the University of California vs Allan Bakke. He had sued the school and his claim, “alleging that the medical school’s admission policy violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause,” stating that his spot in the school had being taken by less qualified students of different races. This was taken seriously by the California Supreme Court and ruled in favor of Bakke, the medical school then later had been called to shut down its’ quota system.
It is important to analyze the claim of Allan Bakke, and realize that so many people could be positively and negatively affected by affirmative action. Affirmative actions role is to give opportunities to people who don’t have any and make it a lot more “fair”. But how can affirmative action be fair if you lower the standards of minorities who may qualify for the position of school as if they can not do it?
Is it important to be aware and look at the bigger picture. Is it for the greater good and is there more people positively affected by it or more negatively?