Affirmative Action Essay Research Paper Affirmative ActionAmerica — страница 2

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low percentage of minority workers compared to other similar companies in the area. At the end of the case, Solectron offered jobs to the nine qualified minority applicants, payment totaling $237,000, and a promise to refine its affirmative action goals. Woodson did not accept the job, because by this time, he already had another job. This is not the right way to conduct business, because Solectron was following all the rules and the OFCCP decided that the company did not meet the goals. In 1972 and 1973, Allan Bakke, a white male, applied to the University of California at Davis Medical School. He was denied admittance, but his test scores and GPA were higher than students admitted through the affirmative action admittance program. The affirmative action admittance program set

16 of the 100 opening aside for minority students that did not meet the standards of the normal admittance process. Bakke sued for admissions on the basis on the Fourteenth amendment and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Bakke claimed he was a victim of reverse discrimination. The University of California s logic behind this policy was that it is necessary to compensate for past injustice suffered by members of certain disadvantaged groups It was one way to open new opportunities for individual groups that in the past had not enjoyed these opportunities. The vote was five to four in favor of Bakke. Justice Lewis Powell wrote, The guarantees of the Fourteenth amendment extends to all persons The guarantee of equal protection cannot mean one thing to one individual and

something else when applied to another. This case was very controversial, because four justices believed that race should not be a consideration at all, while four others believed that affirmative action was a very good idea. The final decision of this case was that Bakke should be admitted to the school and that race could be a factor of the admissions process, but not the main criteria. This reinforces the questions about the legitimacy of affirmative action. This judgement was a step in the right direction, but was not totally constitutional, because the constitution is supposed to be race-blind. Not only does Affirmative Action affect the hiring goals; it also regulates how the government contracts its business. The 8(a) Program is designed to give minority and women owned

businesses government contracts. If a firm is given 8(a) status, it is able to get a contract without competitive bidding. Participating companies must be 51 percent owned, controlled, and operated by individuals who are socially and economically disadvantaged. Minorities and women are usually considered to be socially and economically disadvantaged. This means that minorities and women should qualify, but that is not the only qualification. The applicant must also demonstrate that their net worth is not above $250,000 to qualify. This criteria means that not only white males are automatically excluded, but also some minorities do not qualify. This criteria not only affects the person who is applying, it also may apply to the spouse of the applicant. For example, Rep. Eva Clayton

was denied a contract, because her husband made too much money. Even with this, 46 percent of the program s 5,330 participants are black 23 percent are Spanish-speaking and 21 percent are Asian, but only seven white women have qualified. In society, this means that the applicant must learn to play the system, because the qualifications tend to vary between applicants. To be eligible for any government contract, not just the set-aside program, a company must also make a good faith effort to meet their goals and timetables. There are several very influential people who think that these program requirements are not fair. Rep. Jan Meyers is the chairman of the House Small Business Committee. She stated: A black Harvard graduate with a net worth of a quarter of a million dollars

stands a better chance of getting into the program than a poor white woman from Appalachia. There is something wrong with that. Also, the government allows the participant to stay eligible while his net worth steadily climbs during his nine-year tenure in the 8(a) program.9 Every area of government is affected by Affirmative Action from the EPA to the Department of Transportation. In the Department of Defense, five percent of its entire procurement budget is to be awarded to socially or economically disadvantaged individuals who own firms. The Navy is cleaning up environmental damage on the Kahoolawe, a Hawaiian Island, and gives special preferences to businesses owned by native Hawaiians. 8 In the Education Department, special consideration is given to minorities and minority