Affirmative Action Essay Research Paper As Nick

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Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper As Nick Catoggio went to his mailbox, he knew that his acceptance letter from Harvard University had arrived. Although Nick was nervous, he knew that his hard work in high school had gained him admission into one of the world?s most prestigious institutions of higher learning. Because of his grade point average of 4.0 in high school, his numerous extracurricular activities, and a combined score of 1440 on his SATs, Nick believed that he would almost be guaranteed admission to Harvard. When he opened the letter however, he was shattered when he read the words, ?We regret to inform you ?? He immediately called his friend Richard Sahk, who had also applied, to tell him his news and to see if Richard had received his letter from Harvard.

Richard said, ?Yeah Nick, I got in!? Nick was astonished. Richard?s GPA was only 3.7, and he receive a combined score of 1100 on his SATs. After a long pause he replied, ?It?s because I?m black, Nick,? Richard felt bad for his friend. Both he and Nick had realized that he was accepted by Harvard because of his race. Nick was mad because he was qualified and didn?t get in; Richard felt upset because he wasn?t as qualified as Nick but was admitted because of his race. This is an anecdotal example of one of the many criticisms of affirmative action. In fact, the whole controversy over preferences based on race and gender has been debated ever since the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. I believe that Affirmative action should be discontinued, this program is a new kind of

discrimination to counter the past discrimination and this defeats the whole idea of the program. Affirmative action is defined, as a program ensuring that a predetermined proportion of jobs or college admissions go to African Americans and presumably, other minorities and women as well (Woods 102). Also, James Q. Wilson in the winter 1996 issue of The New Republic takes affirmative action to mean the selecting of persons based on their group membership (23). Nicholas Lehman writes that affirmative action today refers to " stuff that helps black people." By this, he says that affirmative action today has come to mean everything from "preferential college admissions to the way news is covered to what’s hung in museums to corporate promotional practices" (84).

According to Nicholas Lehman, affirmative action started out as Executive Order 10925. Lyndon Johnson, the incoming vice President asked Hobart Taylor Jr., the lawyer son of one of his friends, to work on a draft of an executive order that would ban discriminatory hiring by Federal contractors. Taylor later said that he "was searching for something that would give a sense of positiveness to performance under executive order, and I was torn between the words ‘positive action’ and the words ‘affirmative action.? . . . And I took ‘affirmative action’ because it was alliterative" (40). Even during Johnson’s proposal of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the issue of racial quotas was controversial. Said then-Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, "… I know

what will happen if the bill is passed. I know what will happen if there is a choice between hiring a white man or hiring a Negro both having equal qualifications. I know who will get the job. It will not be the white man" (Lehman 40). The people who seek to abolish affirmative action claim that more qualified students are being displaced by less-qualified students. But there are no more or less qualified students, only students who can benefit from attending a university such as Michigan get a chance, and no one knows in advance who they are. The opinions that accompany the various Supreme Court cases concerning affirmative action have been perplexing, and, at times, contradictory. Woods Geraldine referred to the opinions of the justices as pieces of a puzzle that no one,