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The Reality of Affirmative Action Essay

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In the United States justice is defined as equal treatment of all citizens under the law. When one citizen is treated unfairly, an injustice has been committed against all people. It is the duty of Americans to make sure such injustices are eliminated. Affirmative Action is one such program whose purpose is to make sure that equal citizens are treated equally under the law. In today’s society it is imperative that all people regardless of race or gender are given equal opportunity in the admissions and job applications processes. Affirmative Action was designed to create this equality.

The history of Affirmative Action ultimately began two hundred years ago with the founding of our nation. The Constitution, which is the basis of all laws in society, was drawn up and signed by many men who themselves owned slaves. As time progressed, it became necessary to create a “Great Compromise,” which stated that blacks were now allowed to be counted as three-fifths of a person for voting purposes. Nearly, one hundred years later, slaves were freed. However, these newly freed slaves were now placed in a more perplexing situation than they were initially. They were now a large group of people who knew little of their newly founded rights, and for the most part uneducated. Sadly, the leaders of this country failed to realize that freeing this group of people was not enough. The result was a new class of people who were uneducated, by no fault of their own, and then were told that they were now on their own. These people navigated through a stranger’s culture and society.

A similar effect occurred after World War II when the men who had been away at war returned to find their wives wearing their pants and doing their work in the yards an...


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.../~affirm.>.

Bureau of the Census, Current Population Survey. Income, Poverty, and Valuation of Non-cash Benefits. 1993. 10 October 1998 <http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/
html/aa/footnotes.html#aa28>.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fact Sheet. 1994. 10 October 1998 <http://
www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/html/aa/footnotes.html#aa28>.

Federal Glass Ceiling Commission. Making Full Use of the nation’s Human Capital. March 1995. 10 October 1998 <http://www.whitehouse.gov/WH/EOP/OP/html/aa/
footnotes.html#aa28>.

Gergen, D. “Why Race-Sensitive College Admissions Policies Work.” U.S. News & World Report Vol. 125 (October 1998): 84-85.

Lewis, M. Rethinking Affirmative Action. 1996. 5 October 1998
<http:// www.virginiatech.edu/~affirm.>.

Pasour, E. “Affirmative Action: A Counter-Productive Policy.” The Freeman (January 1989): 24-25.


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