The Affirmative Action Question Essay Research Paper

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The Affirmative Action Question Essay, Research Paper The Affirmative Action Question Affirmative action has been a highly controversial topic since its origin in the mid-1960s. It began as a program to increase opportunities for minorities by favoring them in hiring and promotion, college admissions, and the awarding of government contracts (Finkelman 1). For a student who is applying to colleges, affirmative action programs can affect them greatly. These programs have often become the basis for college admissions, thus leaving many at an extremely unfair disadvantage during the process. By continuing this, we are practicing a form of discrimination and ignoring the constitutional rights given to us as citizens. Affirmative action in college admissions has developed into an

enormous problem and should be eradicated in the near future. In college admissions, minorities have an obvious advantage over others. The admissions standards of minorities are often compromised and blatantly lowered to allow admissions. An example of this can be seen at the University of California at Berkeley. The admission process there went from recruiting Black and Hispanic applicants to lowering admissions standards in order to raise their representation in each freshman class (Browne-Miller 127). This compromises the educational quality of the class and denies others who may deserve admission their acceptance. Affirmative action was begun with a good cause in mind. Its purpose was to help minorities attain representation…that paralleled their percentage of the

population (Finley 1). There is no doubt that minorities have been short changed in the past. Supporters of affirmative action programs seem to think that this is some sort of vindication for the entire minority group. This is now what is viewed as fair. Advocates of affirmative action respond that discrimination is, by definition, unfair treatment of people because they belong to a certain group. Therefore, effective remedies must systematically aid groups that have suffered from discrimination (Finkelman 1). In essence, we are rewarding minority groups for past wrongs that have been committed to them. This may seem fair in the present, but when looking to the future, there may be no end in sight. It is possible that we will have to go on for years before realizing that by

rewarding past victims, we are punishing others. Most times, the individuals that are being punished are in no way responsible for the past. In sight of this, we may have to reward the victims that are now appearing with the programs. It may simply develop into a vicious cycle of trying to correct the past while destroying the future for others. Martin Luther King Jr., a noted preacher once said, I have a dream, that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character (Finley 1). Affirmative action is a direct contradiction to this statement. By basing admissions on quotas for minorities, we are abandoning the meaning of equality. In light of this, race should not be considered in

the college admissions process. This makes the process extremely unfair and causes a great deal of unnecessary discrimination. This aforementioned discrimination is also a direct violation of the 14th amendment of the Constitution. The 14th amendment reads, No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State…deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection under the law (Finley 1). Affirmative action is based completely on minority status. As law author Krista L. Cosner notes, Under equal protection jurisprudence [a division of law], laws which classify people according to race receive strict scrutiny. These laws are unconstitutional unless they are the least restrictive