Affirmative Action Essay Research Paper Affirmative ActionThe

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Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper Affirmative Action The topic of affirmative action is a very sensitive and volatile subject. ?Affirmative action is a time bomb primed to detonate in the middle of the American political marketplace?, wrote Steven Roberts. (page 1 art.47) The increasingly hostile and divisive debate about the role of gender and race is becoming serious part of modern America. It appears that the issue of affirmative action can no longer be over looked. The author, Roberts, puts worth a reason for the growing assault on affirmative action. ?The assault on affirmative action is gathering strength from a slow-growth economy, stagnant middle-class incomes and cooperate downsizing, all of which make the question of who gets hired ? or fired ? more

volatile.?(page 1 art. 47) Of course with the growing assault comes the increasing defense. Women?s groups, civil rights organizations and other defenders of affirmative action must setup a defense. The most common argument put forth for affirmative action is that women and minorities still need preferential treatment, due to the fact that racism and discrimination still exist. The other negative aspect that the issue of affirmative action creates is a conflict between two cherished American principles. The two principles are the belief that all Americans deserve equal opportunities and the idea that hard work and merit, not race or religion or gender or birthright, should determine who prospers and who does not. The author points out that back in 1965 Lyndon Johnson defended

affirmative because he believed that minorities were at a disadvantage due generations of bias treatment. The fact is that thirty years ago that made sense to many Americans, but today times and opinions have changed. Another draw back for the proponents of affirmative action was that some minority and women?s leaders spoke against it. They argued that affirmative action had a destructive affect on their communities. One example put forth was that affirmative action caused co-workers to view minorities suspiciously. ?White skepticism leads to African ?American defensiveness? says Sharon Brooks Hodge, a black writer and broadcaster.(page 1 art 47) Others against affirmative action go further to say that affirmative action only leads to re-segregation. William Bennett, a former GOP

strategist says, ? toxic race relations, aggravated by affirmative action, have led to a damaging form of re-segregation. Affirmative action has not brought us what we want ? a colorblind society. It has brought us an extremely color-conscious society. In our universities we have separate dorms, separate social centers. What is next ? water fountains??(page 2 art 47). In response to statements like this supporters of affirmative action point out that we tried colorblind 30 years ago and found that further steps were needed. According to the author of this article, Roberts, the fight over affirmative action is being played out in four arenas. The first arena is California. The proposition to ban the use of any form of preferential treatment in California universities. The

initiative created by Tom Wood and Glynn Custred, attacks what they call widespread reverse discrimination. The second arena is in the courts. The Supreme Court who has generally supported race and gender preferences, has began to limit the doctrine. The author points out that this could be because the increased conservatives on the bench. There have been more and more rulings against the use of preferential treatment. The third arena is within Congress. Republican victories have setup a power struggle between the Republicans and the Democrat that is president. The fourth and final arena is the campaign trail. With affirmative action becoming a major issue, the whole political scene will be affected. Almost all candidates will have to decide were they stand on affirmative action.