Race-Based Affirmative Action in the United States Essay

Submitted By yazeerm1
Words: 975
Pages: 4

“Race-based affirmative action has failed.” Discuss (45 Mark)
When the constitution was produced, the Founding Fathers aimed to ensure that all people share the same right, have equal opportunity. Affirmative action is a programme that entails giving those members of a previously disadvantaged minority group a head start in such areas as higher education and employment. There were many goal during the 1960s till now set out to ensure that there will be a point where racial equality will not be problem in under any circumstances. There have been some failure and successes in having affirmative action. I will discuss whether raced based affirmative action has failed or has it been a success in the USA.
Firstly, one of the major issues was education as statistical evidence showed that school in such areas continued to racially segregated education for black students was less funded than that for white students. In order to overcome this matter there was a legislation that was passed authorising the government to withhold funds from the school districts which had failed to desegregate. The Supreme Court has also has helped in ending segregated schools. In this case for education affirmative action has not been a failure instead it has been a great success in the USA as figures shows that the percentage of African-Americans completing high school rose from 39% in 1960 to 86% by 2000. Also the number of African Americans with university degree was increased by the 1970s, this shows that there has been a success in affirmative action.
Secondly, Even though they have been a success in some circumstances they have been some failure to ensure that everyone has equal opportunities. The people who were against affirmative action also have proved them self-right e.g. at school where minorities were separated Richard Sandor found that putting black students into classes with white students, the white student had more success therefore cannot complain at the levels of black students achieving low grades.
Also some politicians and philosophers think that affirmative action is bound to fail by this measure because a programme that is based on race is unlikely to move society to a point where race no longer counts. In 2003 Bollinger, suggested that affirmative action programmes should not be seen as a permanent fixture of American society. As the court has suggested that this will occur in the next 25 years which shows that they still hasn’t been enough success to say that affirmative action is no longer needed therefore this can support the evidence to show that race-based affirmative action has failed in the past years as it is still not been achieved fully.
Furthermore, affirmative action’s programmes have helped to increase racial equality as in employment sectors in 1960, only 15% of African-Americans were employed in white collar jobs e.g. sales position. Compared to 44% of whites. Black workers were excluded from apprenticeships for skilled trades such as plumbers and electricians. However by 2002 the proportion of African Americans in white collar jobs had been risen by almost 70%. This shows that such programmes led to greater levels of diversity across the country which would not have been achieved by leaving things as they were.
Under the presidency of Richard Nixon, affirmative action was at the side of success as he introduced the “The Philadelphia Plan”. The plan was to ensure that all contractors doing business with the federal government to convince them to hire more minorities and to demonstrate that they were taking active steps to meet their targets. In the short term this has brought lots of benefits to the African Americans as this targeted construction industries which they extremely excluded the African-Americans, this had improved in achieving more jobs for the African-Americans in this sector meaning that they would be able to have a