Essay on us politics affirmative action

Submitted By calliefitzgerald
Words: 602
Pages: 3

Discuss the arguments for and against affirmative action Many people argue that the program of ‘affirmative action’ has led to vaster levels of diversity and multiculturalism, which would have otherwise not existed. Many also argue that by creating affirmative action, the previous wrongs can be corrected, and the formerly disadvantaged are now advantaged. It has also opened up areas of education and employment which minorities would have previously not considered. Regarding education, a more diverse student body creates a better learning environment, and also one where ethnic and racial tolerance is promoted. Arguably its most important function is to deliver the promise of equality; Giving people equal opportunity, eliminating the racial and ethnic segregation, and striving towards a completely colour blind society. John F. Kennedy did much in the development of affirmative action, by creating the equal employment opportunity commission in march 1961. This made it mandatory for hiring and employment practices to be free from racial bias. President Richard Nixon also played a significant role in pushing affirmative action programs further, by substantially increasing the funding for the Equal employment opportunity commission, he also instituted ‘set aside’ policies to reserve a certain percentage of jobs for minorities on federally funded projects. One of the main arguments for affirmative action is that, it works. Between 1960 and 1995, the percentage of black people aged 25-29 who graduated from university rose from 5% to 15%. However affirmative action soon received criticism from the US supreme court, in the case of Regents of the university of California v. Bakke (1978). The court imposed limitations on affirmative action, to ensure that providing greater opportunities for the minority did not come at the expense of the rights of the majority. The university reserved 16 out of 100 places each year for minority students. Bakke, who was a white applicant was rejected twice, even though minority students who had significantly lower test scored than him were accepted into the school. The supreme court held this unconstitutional, and branded it a violation of the equal protection clause. This brings us onto the argument that preference for one group leads inevitably to disadvantage for another group. Bernie Richter said: “when you deny someone who has earned it, and give it to someone else who has not... you create anger and resentment”. There is also the argument that minorities could be admitted onto courses, or given jobs with