“I problems with people being apathetic and not
“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.” – Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. (6). Dr.
King stated this in his famous “I have a Dream” speech in Washington, D.C. in 1963. Is affirmative action still needed in America? Affirmative action is still needed because America does not have enough equality and diversity.
Almost all of our American history dealt with inequality between the white men and the black men. As time went on, nothing has changed and is still seen in today’s society. There are two definitions of affirmative action: 1) race-neutral, gender-neutral assurance against actual discrimination and 2) racial-preferences and gender-preferences for the correct races and genders (3). Most Americans associate affirmative action with the second definition, causing much controversy. However, the true and intended meaning of affirmative action is the first one. Affirmative action is essential in America because Americans do not have sufficient diversity and equality in our society.Affirmative action is needed to create diversity in America.
Affirmative action allows people of different races and backgrounds to interact in the workplace and universities. During 1996, Neil Rudenstine, president of Harvard University, explained Harvard’s commitment to diversity by using John Stuart Mill, who emphasized the value of people being in contact with people who are different from them (5). Justice Powell who stated “a diversity of opinions, experiences, backgrounds, talents, aspirations, and perspectives” helped college students to feel great intellectual exchange, exploration, and growth (5).
With such great advantage to the students with colleges with great diversity the education system itself should have implemented a policy such as affirmative action. According to Patricia Gurin, a psychology professor at University of Michigan, students experience better learning in a diverse educational atmosphere and are more prepared to become active in our pluralistic, democratic society after they leave college (5). In America today, we are already have enough problems with people being apathetic and not involved in society. When students grow up in diverse schools, they can become active and help the democratic society. Affirmative action is necessary because it creates diversity in America’s universities.In the long run affirmative action will help the community even if there are a few draw backs to affirmative action. Many argue that reverse discrimination takes effect.
Reverse discrimination is described as discrimination towards whites. Many of these reverse discrimination cases have been brought to court, the result is just more confusion. This is because there is a lot of gray in the law concerning this topic. Sometimes courts allow someone to choose the minority if they are less qualified, while in other cases they don’t allow it. For example in a Supreme Court decision, it was allowed for a Michigan school district to layoff non-minority teachers in order to hire minority teachers with less experience (1). However, not many cases such as these occur. The minorities have gone through such cases everyday for decades.
For the whites or majority to say that one or two cases are a substantial amount and that justice be served, where have they been when the minorities had the same troubles years ago and still to this day? There is bound to be some setbacks but overall, affirmative action will lead to a better society where everyone can be treated and looked at fairly.Affirmative action is still necessary because of lack of equality. White males typically earn significantly more than women and minorities. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, women, overall, make 71 cents as compared to a man’s dollar(4).
While minority men make more than non-minority and minority women, non-minority males make about $ 9,000 more than minority men, $ 14,000 more than non-minority women and $ 17,000 more than minority women in white collar occupations, according to the Federal Civilian Workforce (4). Without the aid of affirmative action, women and minorities will continue to fall behind in the workforce. Affirmative action is still necessary in order to insure equality among white men, women, and minorities. By using affirmative action, that is race-neutral and gender-neutral assurance against discrimination, we can live up to our country’s statement that “all men are created equal.” and have diversity throughout America.
Creating race-neutral and gender-neutral assurance against actual discrimination is affirmative action’s true purpose. By keeping affirmative action in America, American citizens will be able to create equality and diversity throughout our country. If the American citizens continue to use affirmative action in America, we will be able to remove the chains of oppression from women and minorities. As Charles de Montesquieu once said, “The love of democracy is that of equality.
” (2)1.Altschiller, Donald Ed. Affirmative Action New York: The H.
W. Wilson Company,1991.2.”Charles de Montesquieu Quotes.
” http://www.quotationspage.com/ 10 Nov. 2003 http://www.quotationspage.
com/quotes/Charles_de_Montesquieu/3.”Definition: Affirmative Action.” Online. Yahoo. 10 Nov. 2003.
http://www.adversity.net/Terms_Definitons/TERMS/Affirmative_Action.htm4.Feminist Majority Foundation. “Affirmative Action: Expanding Employment Opportunities for Women.
” Online. Yahoo. 10 Nov. 2003.http://www.feminist.
org/other/ccri/aafact2.html 5.Fullinwider, Robert. “Affirmative Action.” The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2002 Edition). Edward N. Zalta (ed.
).http://plato.standford.edu/archives/spr2002/entries/affirmative-action/6.King, Martin Luther Jr. The Peaceful Warrior.
Pocket Books, NY 1968. http://www.mecca.org/crights/dream.html