Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Affirmative Action: Keeping minorities down for 30 years. Essay

The subject of affirmative action in college admissions has been hotly debated since its inception. Although affirmative action was originally supported by the vast majority, that same majority is now starting to wonder if there is a better way. Commonly asked questions include: â€Å"Is affirmative action still working?† and â€Å"Is there an alternative?† The answers to each of these questions will provide insurmountable evidence that affirmative action in college admissions no longer fulfills its intended purpose and that the only viable alternative is to focus more attention on primary schooling for the underprivileged. The most common question that arises in contemporary debates over affirmative action is, â€Å"Does affirmative action still work as intended?† The original purpose of affirmative action in college admissions was to eliminate racial bias in the applicant selection process and provide a helping hand to disadvantaged minority students. Has this happened? The simple answer is â€Å"No†, but a more precise answer requires more elaboration. Richard Rodriguez, the Mexican-American author of Hunger of Memory and a direct beneficiary of early affirmative action policies, puts it this way, â€Å"I think – as I thought in 1967 – that the black civil rights leaders were correct: Higher education was not, nor is it yet, accessible to many black Americans† (Rodriguez 144). In 1967, civil rights leaders of all types began to pressure universities and colleges all over the United States to admit more minority students and hire more minority teachers. They claimed that racial bias was the nefarious culprit responsible for the low numbers of non-white students and teachers at these institutions and that these low numbers were unrepresentative of the surrounding populations. Affirmative action policies were born in a drive to better represent minorities in institutional America. However, all has not gone according to plan. In an effort to avoid the label of Racist, colleges and universities sometimes give preferential treatment to minority applicants. This preferential treatment means that promising majority (white) applicants are often passed over for less promising minority applicants. The term Reverse Discrimination has been applied to this phenomena and th... ...needed now is to focus all of our efforts on improving primary schooling for the underprivileged. Referring to the above cartoon, why not give everyone the advantages of the majority instead of lowering the standards to fit the minority? Works Cited Billingsley, K.L. "Affirmative Action Is Racist." 1995. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. University Library. IUPUI, Indianapolis. 14 Nov. 2004. Cohen, Carl. "Affirmative Action in Admissions Harms College Students.† 1998. Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center. University Library. IUPUI, Indianapolis. 14 Nov. 2004. < OVRC?vrsn=218&slb=SU&locID=iulib_iupui&srchtp=basic&c=15&ste=17&tbst=ts_basic&tab=1&txb=%2522Affirmative+Action%2522&docNum=X3010148224&fail=8192&bConts=16207> Detroit Free Press. 2001. 14 Nov. 2004. Messerli, Joe. â€Å"Should affirmative action policies, which give preferential treatment based on minority status, be eliminated?† 2003. 14 Nov. 2004. <> Rodriguez, Richard. Hunger of Memory. New York: Bantam Books, 1983.

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