Affirmative Action Help Or Hinder Term Paper

Length: 14 pages Sources: 10 Subject: Race Type: Term Paper Paper: #55915360 Related Topics: Chicano Studies, Torch, Nigeria, Malaysia
Excerpt from Term Paper :

It has been reported that due to the economic disparity the available opportunities have been inaccessible for the minority groups, and therefore such initiatives are important to be formulated which facilitate the minority groups in their quest to reach the mark. Affirmative Action is incorporated once the society has failed to materialize the society value equality and fairness. Affirmative Action are installed only to regret the failure on the behalf of the state to ensure equality and justice to the people irrespective of the racial, sexual, ethnic and religious divisions, therefore the Affirmative Action has diluted the heavily concentrated ethnic and racial vigor, and has subdue the negative fallout of such practices. Affirmative Action has brought ultimate relief to those particular elements of the society which were previously ignored, and whose existence was previously deplored in the society. The American society has although benefit from the implementation of the Affirmative Action, but the common understanding has revealed that the Affirmative Action has delivered limited gains, and the element of discrimination and ignorance towards the people with diversified backgrounds is evident. It was the Affirmative Action which influenced the National enrollment figures, the enrolment of the people with diversified ethnic and racial background rose from the negligible figures, during the period when the 'schools were segregated to about 20% of the nation's post-secondary education students' (Schmidt, 2001). During the period of 1993, the statistics revealed that African-Americans comprised of more than nine percent of the enrolment, whereas the state of Latino reflected the enrolment percentile of Asian-Americans at five percent, and the American Indians recorded less than a percent of the total enrolments. The progress was gradual, and the 'yearly gains were minimal' (James, 2004) and it took more than two decades to reach the improved level of the enrolment figures. The Affirmative Action provided leveled field to the minorities having affiliation with different regions and divisions, including Latinos, Chicanos, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, and women. It has been wrongly interpreted that the Affirmative Action has suppressed and diluted the concentration and representation of the majority groups into different sets of activities of the affairs, the white men previously hold the structural power in the society, and even after the lapse of more than two decades, when the Affirmative Action has been implemented the white men has the authority in their control. According to the study conducted by the Washington Post, more than ninety five percent of the corporate executives of the leading organizations are white males. The Asians have been successful to achieve the remaining percentile 'from affirmative action by making use of services provided by programs such as the Educational Opportunity Program, Upward Bound, and different such initiatives launched to facilitate the minority groups (Randall, 1987).

The success story of the minority groups in particular the Asian community is widely based on their struggle and quest to achieve the mark, it is their hard work which has definitely make them achieve the mark and success, therefore the policies and the initiatives launched through affirmative actions have only supported the participation of the Asians and other minority groups, the success has lot to do with their personal motivation, hard work and devotion. The particular segments of the American society has widely condemned the Affirmative Action, and has held such practices responsible for the failure of the friends and relatives in different institutions. The approach and understanding is widely considered to be biased, and has a logical error. The statistics revealed that the current system forces have been successful in keeping the participation and involvement of the people with racial and ethnic divisions at disadvantage, 'for example, Asians and Pacific Islanders who on average have higher percentages receiving bachelor's degrees i.e. forty percent, compared to all other Americans i.e. twenty percent, are not proportionately represented in the job market, specifically in areas of management and executive positions' (Schmidt, 2001). It is therefore misleading and inaccurate to blame the participation of the minority into workforce for the failure of the majority group, instead injustice is being done to the people with different ethnic and racial background, who despite of being meritorious are not ignored or...


The implementation of the Affirmative Action has although provided relief to the people with ethnic and racial background, but the preference is far more diluted than the preferences and advantages enjoyed by the white people. A report published by Berkeley's Institute for the Study of Social Change in 1991, observed that many white people have been successful in getting admission into the elite institutions of the United States through the alumni preferences, which is more than 'the combined number of all the Blacks, and Chicanos entering through affirmative action'. During the period of 1980s, the admissions awarded to the students in Harvard University on the basis of the alumni preference or legacies, have been more than 35%, and even then 'no attacks or criticism were made on these century old preferences based on family ties and perpetuating the old-boy networks. The study by the public institute revealed surprisingly data which has proven the concerns of the white men fallacious, it is not the reality but the lost position which as angered the white men, 'In 1973 approximately 18 million of white Americans between the age group of 18-24 graduated from their respective high schools, whereas due to the significant declination in the birth rate reported in 1993, the number of students who graduated from the high school dropped to 16 million. During 1973, more than thirty percent of the white high school graduates entered university; however the admission of the white men during 1993 significantly rose to the mark of forty percents, although there was sharp decline in the number of students going to the high school. The pattern of increased college participation holds true for every ethnic group. Nearly 15 million students are now enrolled in college, and participation by every racial group has increased. That is partly what the anger on campuses is about, not that people of color are taking white places, but that white men demand more spaces and vacancies for themselves. Despite the fact that the participation of the racial and ethnic divisions has improved with the passage of time, white's nationally constitute seventy five percent of the student body, earn eighty eight of the PhD's awarded to U.S. citizens, are ninety percent of the college administrator, and hold 875 of the full time faculty positions'. During the subsequent years, the number of the admissions of the students, having affiliation with minority groups has been at reasonable rate. Unfortunately, it has been the conservative elements within the democratic forces which in an attempt to gain privilege from the interest of the majority groups 'have seized upon and irresponsibly whipped into frenzy' (Young, 2003), and therefore the entire debate with reference to the 'dispassionate discussions about affirmative action' have been difficult. It is evident that although different representatives of the majority and minority groups have expressed their opinions with reference to the Affirmative Actions, and have experienced differences, but the representatives of both the sides have expressed their desire to workout for mutual resolution and adoption of Affirmative Actions with special emphasis on he diversified operations (Young, 2003).

It is important to realize that the Supreme Court of the United States of America has on different instances adopted varying stands, and 'as always held that it is permissible for an institution to adopt remedial affirmative action in order to compensate for identifiable acts of purposeful discrimination committed by that very institution' (Weisberg, 1985), although such laws and regulations were considered to the be reflection of the discriminatory attitude of the Supreme Court towards minority group, and 'it was rare for an institution that is engaged in Affirmative Action to make a confession that the judiciary has committed identifiable acts of purposeful discrimination, or at least to admit that it did so in the recent past' (Weisberg, 1985). The reluctance to publicly make a confession was expected to indulge the judiciary and the state into vulnerable situations including 'further claims of compensation from other victims' (Ronald, 1985). Therefore the concept of the remedial Affirmative Action was launched by the state and supported by the judiciary, which was based on different situations related to 'when they have been found guilty of discrimination, or, more likely, when they have been forced into accepting a legal settlement' (Jed, 1997).

Diversity Affirmative action is based on the propagation of diversified forces in different profession and other social activities; the idea of such an act is not to encourage the practice of remedial affirmative action, which is precisely aimed at derailing the discrimination. The purpose of such a Affirmative Action plan is to propagate diversity and pluralism, 'which in turn is justified either in terms…

Sources Used in Documents:


James P. Sterba. Affirmative Action around the World: An Empirical Study. New Haven & London: Yale University Press. Journal Title: Stanford Law Review. Volume: 57. Issue: 2. 2004

Ronald Dworkin. A Matter of Principle. McGraw-Hill. pp. 294-303. 1985.

Randall Kennedy. Persuasion and Distrust: A Comment on the Affirmative Action Debate. Thomson South-Western Publication. 1987. pp. 165-180

Jed Rubenfeld. Affirmative Action. Yale Law Journal. Volume: 107. Issue: 2. 1997. pp. 213-230. Yale University, School of Law Publication.

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