Most people recognize that to be economically competitive and socially just, America needs to draw upon the talents of students from all backgrounds.
Email [Be sure to read the Comments and replies following the article where the analysis continues. A place to begin is with the question of what affirmative action is and where it came from.
It can be thought of as a response to two problems. The first problem is that racial discrimination is alive and well in the United States as documented by abundant research, especially in hiring, housing, and the financial industry. African Americans, for example, were systematically targeted for subprime mortgages regardless of income level, and they suffered devastating losses as a result, far greater than the white population.
Jamal Jones, for example. In addition, a great deal of racial discrimination is difficult to prove because the decisions involved are often subjective and not open to any kind of scrutiny, as when interviewers form personal impressions of applicants.
And the higher the position, the more subjective the decision becomes. Bias is also difficult to prove because it often operates below the level of conscious awareness, so that the person making the decision is unaware that race is playing a role. The second problem to which affirmative action responds is that discrimination against people of color and corresponding affirmative action in favor of whites have been going on for hundreds of years.
This means that unearned white advantage is not simply a result of current practices but has been accumulating across many generations.
The average net wealth of white households, for example, is now roughly 20 times that of African American and Latino households, which has a profound effect on things such as being able to send your children to college. The situation is far worse for many Native Americans who continue to live on the impoverished reservations into which they were forced more than a century ago.
So, the question is, what to do in response to this? It ignores the implicit and unconscious nature of much racial discrimination and does nothing to overcome the cumulative effect of centuries of unearned white advantage. Enter affirmative action, a federal program begun by President John F.
Its purpose was to combat the exclusion of disadvantaged groups from occupations, and to help undo the effects of the long U. Most of the objections I hear focus on race.
The charge is often made that anything that takes race into account must be racist. This means that affirmative action of course must take race explicitly into account. What it does mean is that race is considered as one of a long list of criteria, with the goal of doing something, however imperfectly, to respond to the problem of racism as both a current and historical problem.
It is also not possible to undo centuries of prejudice and discrimination directed at people of color without affecting outcomes for individual whites.
In a competitive society, anything that increases the odds of success for people of color will decrease the odds of success for white people. It is simply a matter of doing the math. Complaints from whites that this is unfair ignore the fact that the odds of success for white people have for hundreds of years been artificially boosted by the systematic disadvantaging of everyone else.
Schools also play a major role in reproducing and shaping society itself. As such, the decisions made about who will be given the opportunity for higher education affect not only individuals, but the kind of society we will have in the future. If we are to move toward a society in which inclusion and equal opportunity are the rule, then admissions decisions have a role to play in undoing the long history of white privilege.
That this will sometimes conflict with the needs of individual whites is unavoidable because meeting those needs is not the only reason that universities exist.
None of this means that white people are being discriminated against simply because they are white or that affirmative action is racist. But when affirmative action programs go out of their way to identify and recruit people of color, there is no implied judgement of the white people who are turned away.
Universities and employers do not reject white applicants in favor of affirmative action admissions and hires because they think whites are inferior or undeserving. Whiteness is still the norm almost everywhere in America, the cultural standard of what it is to be a normal human being.The Supreme Court of the United States blog.
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One of the most controversial issues in the discussion of race relations in the U.S. is that of affirmative action. Not only are different racial/ethnic groups arguing with each other over this topic but many times, members of the same racial/ethnic group can't agree with each other over it.
SECTION. 1. All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives. Affirmative action in the United States is a set of laws, policies, guidelines, and administrative practices "intended to end and correct the effects of a specific form of discrimination." These include government-mandated, government-sanctioned, and voluntary private programs that tend to focus on access to education and employment, .
Now there was some interesting news—the story of a college that had ended affirmative action. I hustled to write a piece about this, only to find out that the College of Charleston was touting its commitment to affirmative action and going to continue to practice it in its admissions program.