The Affirmative Action Question Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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means of achieving a compelling state interest. (Cosner 1007-8) These college admissions are often based upon this and in essence, denies equal protection under the law. These debates have been the basis for numerous Supreme Court cases. One of the notable Supreme Court cases was the Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. This case involved a thirty-five year old white man, Allan Bakke who applied for admission and was turned down from the University of California Medical School at Davis. The affirmative action program that was implemented here involved the reservation of sixteen spots in each entering class of one hundred for minorities. This was done in an effort to redress long-standing, unfair minority exclusions from the medical profession ( Oyez 1). The

affirmative action program in this case allowed less qualified individuals who were classified as minorities to be admitted even though Bakke s credentials exceeded their own. Bakke decided to take this case to the California courts and eventually to the Supreme Court. He claimed that he was denied admission to the University solely on the basis of race. This case was a direct questioning of the validity of the Fourteenth Amendment s equal protection clause and the basis of affirmative action. The Supreme Court did in fact decide that this was constitutionally permissible. Although Bakke s case did gain him admission to the medical school program, there was a split vote. Four of the justices decided that the racial quota system in college admissions was not permissible while five

decided that is was. This case was simply a travesty. The University of California was in fact admitting less qualified students simply because they were a member of a minority group. What is worse, is the Supreme Court simply stood by this. If this is allowed to continue, the entire higher education system will continue to suffer immensely. By permitting less qualified students to be admitted, the quality of the education and institution as a whole is compromised. Author Angela Browne-Miller notes: Perhaps we have achieved liberty and justice for all and this is how it looks: a continual balancing and rebalancing of opportunity; a continual monitoring of ourselves and our institutions, especially by those who perceive the presence of injustice-the restriction of access to

opportunity. (124) If this continues, we will constantly be readjusting everything to better serve those who have been the victim of prejudice. Eventually, it will include the entire population since most have been a victim of prejudice at one time or another. Affirmative action in college admissions was supposed to allow many the opportunity to gain higher education. This has occurred, but doesn t necessarily mean that the individual will succeed. Such a case came be seen at the University of California at Los Angeles. Around 90 percent of the regularly admitted law school applicants pass the bar exam. When looking to the students that were admitted under special programs to help minorities, the passage rate falls to 30 percent (Finley 1). This reflects that the relationship

between admissions and success is not extremely impressive. For many minorities, the presence of affirmative action is an extreme annoyance, for even if it has not aided them, they are automatically looked at by most as a recipient (Finley 1). It is undoubtedly a difficult idea to contemplate, but a minority may always wonder whether or not they were admitted based on credentials or their race. Most of the time, people would rather know that they accomplished something rather than think that it was handed to them without merit. Washington Post columnist William Raspberry explained, I doubt that many affirmative action supporters — including the beleaguered Bill Lee — want to parcel out society s goods on the basis of racial entitlement (Raspberry 2). Shelby Steele, an

African-American associate professor and San Jose State University explain her view by saying, Affirmative action robs us of our dignity. It says somehow color, not our hard work, can bring us our advancement (Finley 1). Advancement should be something that is earned by a person and not handed to them. Simply, affirmative action is the server of such hand-outs. William Raspberry noted, we need to level the playing field. This will allow the equality that is lacking to emerge. Before we do away with affirmative action as a whole, we must see it as a problem and a vice for discrimination. Until this is admitted, the debate will continue endlessly and applicants will always remain at a disadvantage. A progressive change should take effect. Admission officers should look to