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Many supporters and citizens began to hope for a future with affirmative action that would be secure under a black president. However, progress was not as apparent within the first few years of president Obama's administration. In , education statistics denote the problems of college admissions in the US: "The College Board recently released the average SAT scores by race and ethnicity. They found that the gap between Black and Latino student versus White and Asian students has widened, despite the College Board's recent efforts to change questions to eliminate cultural biases. The following year in , Obama presented his plan regarding the past administration's policy, under George W. Additionally, in an indirect manner, the Obama administration aimed to garner support for more federal money and funds to be allocated to financial aid and scholarships to universities and colleges within the United States.
University of Texas where the Supreme Court decision which endorses "the use of affirmative action to achieve a diverse student body so long as programs are narrowly tailored to advance this goal. The Trump administration supported rolling back Obama-era policies on affirmative action,  and Trump advocated that institutions, including universities, colleges, and schools, should use "race-neutral alternatives" concerning admissions.
The guidelines the administration set were aimed to curb the Supreme Court decision's in Fisher v. University of Texas. President and Fellows of Harvard College , a lawsuit alleging discrimination in admission against Asian Americans by the college, that Harvard's system, while imperfect, nonetheless passed constitutional muster. In , Arizona voters passed a constitutional ban on government-sponsored affirmative action known as Proposition As of January 1, House Bill , affirmative action is not allowed in college admissions and employment. During the November 6, election, a majority of Oklahoma voters voted to pass Oklahoma State Question , which ended affirmative action in college admissions and public employment.
President Kennedy stated in Executive Order that "discrimination because of race, creed, color, or national origin is contrary to the Constitutional principles and policies of the United States"; that "it is the plain and positive obligation of the United States Government to promote and ensure equal opportunity for all qualified persons, without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin, employed or seeking employment with the Federal Government and on government contracts"; that "it is the policy of the executive branch of the Government to encourage by positive measures equal opportunity for all qualified persons within the Government"; and that "it is in the general interest and welfare of the United States to promote its economy, security, and national defense through the most efficient and effective utilization of all available manpower".
Some individual American states also have orders that prohibit discrimination and outline affirmative action requirements with regard to race, creed, color, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, gender, age, and disability status. Proponents of affirmative action argue that by nature the system is not only race based, but also class and gender based. To eliminate two of its key components would undermine the purpose of the entire system. The African American Policy Forum believes that the class based argument is based on the idea that non-poor minorities do not experience racial and gender based discrimination.
The AAPF believes that "Race-conscious affirmative action remains necessary to address race-based obstacles that block the path to success of countless people of color of all classes". The group goes on to say that affirmative action is responsible for creating the African American middle class, so it does not make sense to say that the system only benefits the middle and upper classes. A study conducted at the University of Chicago in found that people with "black-sounding" names such as Lakisha and Jamal are 50 percent less likely to be interviewed for a job compared to people with "white-sounding" names such as Emily or Greg. A study by Deirdre Bowen tested many of the arguments used by the anti-affirmative action camp. Her research showed that minority students experience greater hostility, and internal and external stigma in schools located in states that ban affirmative action—not the schools where students may have benefited from affirmative action admissions.
Supporters of affirmative action point out the benefits women gained from the policy as evidence of its ability to assist historically marginalized groups. In the fifty years that disenfranchised groups have been the subject of affirmative action laws, their representation has risen dramatically  in the workforce:. Thanks in large measure to affirmative action and civil rights protections that opened up previously restricted opportunities to women of all colors, from to Moseley-Braun , 8.
Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census , Table According to a study, there are at least six million women — the overwhelming majority of them white — who simply wouldn't have the jobs they have today, but for the inroads made by affirmative action Cose , For the first years of America's recorded history, Africans were traded as commodities and forced to work without pay, first as indentured servants then as slaves. In much of the United States at this time, they were barred from all levels of education, from basic reading to higher-level skills useful outside of the plantation setting. After slavery's abolition in , Black-Americans saw the educational gap between themselves and whites compounded by segregation.
They were forced to attend separate, under-funded schools due to Plessy v. Though de jure school segregation ended with Brown v. Board of Education , de facto segregation continues in education into the present day. Eisenhower 's GI Bill. This piece of legislation paved the way for white GIs to attend college. Despite their veteran status returning black servicemen were not afforded loans at the same rate as whites. Furthermore, at the time of its introduction, segregation was still the law of the land barring blacks from the best institutions.
But for blacks, higher educational opportunities were so few that the promise of the GI Bill went largely unfulfilled. According to a study by Dr. Paul Brest, Hispanics or "Latinos" include immigrants who are descendants of immigrants from the countries comprising Central and South America. Latinos are disadvantaged compared to White Americans and are more likely to live in poverty. At times when it was favorable to lawmakers, Latinos were considered "white" under Jim Crow laws during Reconstruction. Latinos have encountered considerable discrimination in areas such as employment, housing, and education. The category of Native American applies to the diverse group of people who lived in North America before European settlement.
Instead, they were forced onto reservations which were far smaller and less productive. Early Asian immigrants experienced prejudice and discrimination in the forms of not having the ability to become naturalized citizens. They also struggled with many of the same school segregation laws that African Americans faced. At the beginning of the 20th century, the United States passed the Immigration Act of to prevent Asian immigration out of fear that Asians were stealing white jobs and lowering the standard for wages.
According to a article by Professor Qin Zhang of Fairfield University, Asians are characterized as one dimensional in having great work ethic and valuing education, but lacking in communication skills and personality. This has contributed to the " glass ceiling " phenomenon in which although there are many qualified Asian Americans, they occupy a disproportionately small number of executive positions in businesses. Many proponents of affirmative action recognize that the policy is inherently unequal; however, minding the inescapable fact that historic inequalities exist in America, they believe the policy is much more fair than one in which these circumstances are not taken into account.
Furthermore, those in favor of affirmative action see it as an effort towards inclusion rather than a discriminatory practice. The most effective way to cure society of exclusionary practices is to make special efforts at inclusion, which is exactly what affirmative action does. There are a multitude of supporters as well as opponents to the policy of affirmative action. Many presidents throughout the last century have failed to take a very firm stance on the policy, and the public has had to discern the president's opinion for themselves. Bill Clinton , however, made his stance on affirmative action very clear in a speech on July 19, , nearly two and a half years after his inauguration. In his speech, he discussed the history in the United States that brought the policy into fruition: slavery, Jim Crow, and segregation.
Clinton also mentioned a point similar to President Lyndon B. Johnson 's "Freedom is not Enough" speech, and declared that just outlawing discrimination in the country would not be enough to give everyone in America equality. He addressed the arguments that affirmative action hurt the white middle class and said that the policy was not the source of their problems. Clinton plainly outlined his stance on affirmative action, saying:. Let me be clear about what affirmative action must not mean and what I won't allow it to be. It does not mean — and I don't favor — the unjustified preference of the unqualified over the qualified of any race or gender. It doesn't mean — and I don't favor — numerical quotas.
It doesn't mean — and I don't favor — rejection or selection of any employee or student solely on the basis of race or gender without regard to merit In the end, Clinton stated that all the evidence shows that, even though affirmative action should be a temporary policy, the time had not come for it to be ended. He felt it was still a relevant practice and overall, the goal of the nation should be to "mend it, but don't end it. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, many private sector employers have concluded that a diverse workforce makes a "company stronger, more profitable, and a better place to work. In the year , according to a study by American Association of University Professors AAUP , affirmative action promoted diversity within colleges and universities.
This has been shown to have positive effects on the educational outcomes and experiences of college students as well as the teaching of faculty members. Moreno, the results showed that faculty members believed diversity helps students to reach the essential goals of a college education, Caucasian students suffer no detrimental effects from classroom diversity, and that attention to multicultural learning improves the ability of colleges and universities to accomplish their missions. Affirmative action has been the subject of numerous court cases, where it is often contested on constitutional grounds. A study by Princeton sociologists Thomas J. Espenshade and Chang Y. Chung compared the effects of affirmative action on racial and special groups at three highly selective private research universities.
The data from the study represent admissions disadvantage and advantage in terms of SAT points on the old point scale :. In , Princeton sociologist Thomas Espenshade and researcher Alexandria Walton Radford, in their book No Longer Separate, Not Yet Equal , examined data on students applying to college in and calculated that Asian-Americans needed nearly perfect SAT scores of to have the same chance of being accepted at a top private university as whites who scored and African Americans who got After controlling for grades, test scores, family background legacy status , and athletic status whether or not the student was a recruited athlete , Espenshade and Radford found that whites were three times, Hispanics six times, and blacks more than 15 times as likely to be accepted at a US university as Asian Americans.
Richard Sander claims that artificially elevating minority students into schools they otherwise would not be capable of attending, discourages them and tends to engender failure and high dropout rates for these students. For example, about half of Black college students rank in the bottom 20 percent of their classes,  Black law school graduates are four times as likely to fail bar exams as are whites, and interracial friendships are more likely to form among students with relatively similar levels of academic preparation; thus, Black and Hispanic people are more socially integrated on campuses where they are less academically mismatched. Yoon confirmed Sander's mismatch findings, but also found that eliminating affirmative action would "lead to a 63 percent decline in Black matriculants at all law schools and a 90 percent decline at elite law schools.
Their article found a strong indication that racial preference results in a mismatch effect. However, they argued that the attendance by some African-American law students to less-selective schools would significantly improve the low first attempt rate at passing the state bar , but they cautioned that such improvements could be outweighed by decreases in law school attendance. Other scholars have found that minorities gain substantially from affirmative action.
For example, the University of Michigan Law School found that their affirmative action programs have substantially increased the enrollment of African American students. A study in the Quarterly Journal of Economics found that the ban on race-based affirmative action in California public universities led to lower wages for minority applicants and deterred qualified students from applying. These findings are inconsistent with the mismatch effect. The controversy surrounding affirmative action's effectiveness is based on the idea of class inequality.
Opponents of racial affirmative action argue that the program actually benefits middle- and upper-class African Americans and Hispanic Americans at the expense of lower-class European Americans and Asian Americans. This argument supports the idea of class-based affirmative action. America's poor population is disproportionately made up of people of color, so class-based affirmative action would disproportionately help people of color. This would eliminate the need for race-based affirmative action as well as reducing any disproportionate benefits for middle- and upper-class people of color. In , a group of Italian American professors at City University of New York successfully advocated to be added as an affirmative action category for promotion and hiring.
Italian Americans are usually considered white in the US and would not be covered under affirmative action policies, but statistical evidence suggested that Italian Americans were underrepresented relative to the proportion of Italian American residents in New York City. Libertarian economist Thomas Sowell wrote in his book, Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study , that affirmative action policies encourage non-preferred groups to designate themselves as members of preferred groups [i.
Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas opposes affirmative action. He believes the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment forbids consideration of race, such as in race-based affirmative action or preferential treatment. He also believes it creates "a cult of victimization" and implies blacks require "special treatment in order to succeed". Thomas also cites his own experiences of affirmative action programs as a reason for his criticism. Frederick Lynch, the author of Invisible Victims: White Males and the Crisis of Affirmative Action , did a study on white males that said they were victims of reverse discrimination. He argued that blacks had to take full responsibility in their education and in maintaining a job.
Steele believes that there is still a long way to go in America to reach our goals of eradicating discrimination. Terry Eastland, the author who wrote From Ending Affirmative Action: The Case for Colorblind Justice states, "Most arguments for affirmative action fall into two categories: remedying past discrimination and promoting diversity". Additionally, she argues that affirmative action carries with it a stigma that can create feelings of self-doubt and entitlement in minorities.
Eastland believes that affirmative action is a great risk that only sometimes pays off, and that without it we would be able to compete more freely with one another. Libertarian economist Thomas Sowell identified what he says are negative results of affirmative action in his book, Affirmative Action Around the World: An Empirical Study. Critics of affirmative action assert that while supporters define diversity as "heterogeneous in meaningful ways, for example, in skill set, education, work experiences, perspectives on a problem, cultural orientation, and so forth", the implementation is often solely based on superficial factors including gender, race and country of origin. In the United States, a prominent form of racial preferences relates to access to education, particularly admission to universities and other forms of higher education.
Individuals can also be awarded scholarships and have fees paid on the basis of criteria listed above. In the early s, Walter J. Leonard , an administrator at Harvard University , invented the Harvard Plan, "one of the country's earliest and most effective affirmative-action programs, which became a model for other universities around the country. Bakke that public universities and other government institutions could not set specific numerical targets based on race for admissions or employment. Dean of Yale Law School Louis Pollak wrote in that for the previous 15 years Yale "customarily gave less weight to the LSAT and the rest of the standard academic apparatus in assessing black applicants".
He wrote that while most black students had "not achieved academic distinction", "very few have failed to graduate" and that "many black alumni have Pollak justified the university's plans to increase the number of minority students admitted with lowered standards "in the fact He believed that the "minor fraction of the student body"—up to two dozen in the class entering that year—with "prior educational deficiencies" was not likely to damage the school, and expected that the number of "well prepared" black applicants would greatly increase in the future. Scholars such as Ronald Dworkin have asserted that no college applicant has a right to expect that a university will design its admissions policies in a way that prizes any particular set of qualities.
If diversity is a goal of the university and their racial preferences do not discriminate against applicants based on hatred or contempt, then affirmative action can be judged acceptable based on the criteria related to the mission the university sets for itself. Consistent with this view, admissions officers often claim to select students not based on academic record alone but also on commitment, enthusiasm, motivation , and potential.
To accommodate the ruling in Hopwood v. Florida and California also have similar college admission guarantees. Class rank tends to benefit top students at less competitive high schools, to the detriment of students at more competitive high schools. This effect, however, may be intentional since less-funded, less competitive schools are more likely to be schools where minority enrollment is high. Critics argue that class rank is more a measure of one's peers than of one's self.
The state's adoption of the "top 10 percent" rule has helped return minority enrollment to pre levels. During a panel discussion at Harvard University 's reunion for African American alumni during the —04 academic year, two prominent black professors at the institution— Lani Guinier and Henry Louis Gates —pointed out an unintended effect of affirmative action policies at Harvard. They stated that only about a third of black Harvard undergraduates were from families in which all four grandparents were born into the African American community.
The majority of black students at Harvard were Caribbean and African immigrants or their children, with some others the mixed-race children of biracial couples. One Harvard student, born in the South Bronx to a black family whose ancestors have been in the United States for multiple generations, said that there were so few Harvard students from the historic African American community that they took to calling themselves "the descendants" i. The reasons for this underrepresentation of historic African Americans, and possible remedies, remain a subject of debate.
Sander published an article in the November issue of the Stanford Law Review that questioned the effectiveness of racial preferences in law schools. He noted that, prior to his article, there had been no comprehensive study on the effects of affirmative action. Less qualified black students would attend less prestigious schools where they would be more closely matched in abilities with their classmates and thus perform relatively better.
A study in by Mark Long, an economics professor at the University of Washington , demonstrated that the alternatives of affirmative action proved ineffective in restoring minority enrollment in public flagship universities in California, Texas, and Washington. At the same time, the policy did not significantly impact white and Asian American students. Fleming criticized the Yale system as "a long step toward the practice of apartheid and the maintenance of two law schools under one roof", with consequent "damage to the standards of Yale Law School". He warned that such an admission policy "will serve to perpetuate the very ideas and prejudices it is designed to combat.
If in a given class the great majority of the black students are at the bottom of the class", it would result in racial stratification between students, demands by black students to weaken academic standards, and other racially based "aggressive conduct". Fleming noted that racial quotas were a zero-sum game , as "discrimination in favor of X is automatic discrimination against Y"; Asians in California, for example, were overrepresented in engineering schools and would suffer if black and Mexican applicants received preferential treatment. He stated that a quota system violated "the American creed, one that Yale has proudly espoused In , Jian Li, a Chinese undergraduate at Yale University , filed a civil rights complaint with the Office for Civil Rights against Princeton University , claiming that his race played a role in their decision to reject his application for admission and seeking the suspension of federal financial assistance to the university until it "discontinues discrimination against Asian Americans in all forms" by eliminating race and legacy preferences.
Princeton Dean of Admissions Janet Rapelye responded to the claims in the November 30, , issue of the Daily Princetonian by stating that "the numbers don't indicate [discrimination]. In , Abigail Fisher, an undergraduate student at Louisiana State University , and Rachel Multer Michalewicz, a law student at Southern Methodist University , filed a lawsuit to challenge the University of Texas admissions policy, asserting it had a "race-conscious policy" that "violated their civil and constitutional rights".
In July , the US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit concluded that UT maintained a "holistic" approach in its application of affirmative action, and could continue the practice. On February 10, , lawyers for Fisher filed a new case in the Supreme Court. It is a renewed complaint that the U. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit got the issue wrong—on the second try as well as on the first. In July a majority of the Court found in favor of the University of Texas at Austin, with Justice Kennedy finding for the Court that the university's affirmative action policies were constitutional, despite the requirement of strict scrutiny.
On November 17, , Students for Fair Admissions, an offshoot of the Project on Fair Representation, filed lawsuits in federal district court challenging the admissions practices of Harvard University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The UNC-Chapel Hill lawsuit alleges discrimination against white and Asian students, while the Harvard lawsuit focuses on discrimination against Asian applicants.
Both universities requested the court to halt the lawsuits until the U. Supreme Court provides clarification of relevant law by ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin for the second time. In May , a coalition of more than 60 Asian-American organizations filed federal complaints with the Education and Justice Departments against Harvard University.
The coalition asked for a civil rights investigation into what they described as Harvard's discriminatory admission practices against Asian-American applicants. Asian-American applicants with near-perfect test scores, top-one-percent grade point averages, academic awards, and leadership positions are allegedly rejected by Harvard because the university uses racial stereotypes, racially differentiated standards, and de facto racial quotas. On October 1, , judge Allison D. Burroughs rejected the plaintiffs' claims, ruling that Harvard's admissions practices meet constitutional requirements and do not discriminate against Asian Americans.
In August , the US Department of Justice notified Yale University of its findings that Yale illegally discriminates against Asian American and white applicants and demanded Yale cease using race or national origin in its upcoming — undergraduate admissions cycles. Numerous myths and misperceptions regarding affirmative actions shape public opinion on the issue. For example, in Students for Fair Admissions , the conflation of two separate issues -- Harvard University's affirmative action policy and specific claims of discrimination by Harvard University — colors individuals judgements on affirmative action as a whole.
Public opinion polls on affirmative action have varied significantly. It is likely that survey design, the framing of the survey question itself, and other factors may have significant effects on the survey results. The following polls only discuss affirmative action in higher education. In general, "affirmative action" is supported by the general public, but "considerations based on race" are opposed. According to Gallup: "One of the clearest examples of affirmative action in practice is colleges' taking into account a person's racial or ethnic background when deciding which applicants will be admitted.
Americans seem reluctant to endorse such a practice, and even blacks, who have historically been helped by such programs, are divided on the matter. Aside from blacks, a majority of all other major subgroups believe colleges should determine admissions solely on merit. In February , Gallup published the results of a November and December survey and found that support for affirmative action programs was growing. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. State bans affirmative action and other forms of selective employment.
State previously had a ban on affirmative action. Overview of the topic. General forms. Related topics. Allophilia Amatonormativity Anti-cultural, anti-national, and anti-ethnic terms Bias Christian privilege Civil liberties Dehumanization Diversity Ethnic penalty Eugenics Heteronormativity Internalized oppression Intersectionality Male privilege Masculism Medical model of disability autism Multiculturalism Net bias Neurodiversity Oikophobia Oppression Police brutality Political correctness Polyculturalism Power distance Prejudice Prisoner abuse Racial bias in criminal news Racism by country Religious intolerance Second-generation gender bias Snobbery Social exclusion Social model of disability Social stigma Stereotype threat The talk White privilege Woke.
This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. When a program like Affirmative Action exists, the goal of the program tends to slide toward meeting expectations or regulations instead of seeking out highly qualified people. If that slide occurs, diversity can hurt more than it can help. It changes accountability standards. Equality means giving everyone the same fair chance at the beginning of a journey. Instead of focusing on socioeconomic issues, we can shift our focus toward creating better educational opportunities in every neighborhood in the US. We can provide a better law enforcement presence, start mentoring programs, and offer more assistance to those who need it.
Affirmative Action is reactive, which means accountability standards change. We need to be proactive to create equality. It lessens the achievements that minority groups obtain. If someone receives a position because of a program like Affirmative Action, then their achievements are viewed as a result of policy instead of personal skill and talent. This means people in minority groups typically must work harder to achieve the same level of respect that people in majority groups receive as they must counter the policy perspective. Personal bias will always exist. Despite the Civil Rights Movement, programs like Affirmative Action, and numerous diversity plans, our news cycles are dominated by stories that involve racism, classism, and political polarization.
There will always be a personal bias in place. Instead of trying to work around discrimination, we should confront it head-on so that we can evolve our society instead of attempting to revolutionize it. The advantages and disadvantages of Affirmative Action show us that promoting diversity can be good, but it should not happen at the expense of others. Equality is a goal we can all strive toward. In some circumstances, a program like Affirmative Action could promote needed diversity. From a societal standpoint, however, we need to be proactive in our efforts to help everyone start from the same place.
That way each person can pursue the opportunities that are right for them. What Are the Advantages of Affirmative Action? Home News World News. In Depth. Here are some of the pros and cons put forward by people on both sides of the debate. Con: Prostitution exploits women Many feminists argue that prostitution is rooted in the patriarchal oppression of women and is an affront to gender equality. Pro: Human rights and medical experts support it In , Amnesty International published a draft policy arguing in favour of decriminalisation, saying sex workers should be entitled to the same rights as other workers.
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