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Essay on Affirmative Action

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"I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (6). Dr. King stated this in his famous “I have a Dream" speech in Washington, D.C. in 1963. Is affirmative action still needed in America? Affirmative action is still needed because America does not have enough equality and diversity. Almost all of our American history dealt with inequality between the white men and the black men. As time went on, nothing has changed and is still seen in today’s society. There are two definitions of affirmative action: 1) race-neutral, gender-neutral assurance against actual discrimination and 2) racial-preferences and gender-preferences for the correct races and genders (3). Most Americans associate affirmative action with the second definition, causing much controversy. However, the true and intended meaning of affirmative action is the first one. Affirmative action is essential in America because Americans do not have sufficient diversity and equality in our society.
Affirmative action is needed to create diversity in America. Affirmative action allows people of different races and backgrounds to interact in the workplace and universities. During 1996, Neil Rudenstine, president of Harvard University, explained Harvard's commitment to diversity by using John Stuart Mill, who emphasized the value of people being in contact with people who are different from them (5). Justice Powell who stated "a diversity of opinions, experiences, backgrounds, talents, aspirations, and perspectives" helped college students to feel great intellectual exchange, exploration, and growth (5). With such great advantage to the students with colleges with great diversity the education system itself should have implemented a policy such as affirmative action. According to Patricia Gurin, a psychology professor at University of Michigan, students experience better learning in a diverse educational atmosphere and are more prepared to become active in our pluralistic, democratic society after they leave college (5). In America today, we are already have enough problems with people being apathetic and not involved in society. When students grow up in diverse schools, they can become active and help the democratic society. Affirm...


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...on from women and minorities. As Charles de Montesquieu once said, “The love of democracy is that of equality.” (2)

1.     Altschiller, Donald Ed. Affirmative Action New York: The H.W. Wilson
Company,1991.

2.     "Charles de Montesquieu Quotes." http://www.quotationspage.com/ 10 Nov.
2003 http://www.quotationspage.com/quotes/Charles_de_Montesquieu/

3.     "Definition: Affirmative Action." Online. Yahoo. 10 Nov. 2003.
http://www.adversity.net/Terms_Definitons/TERMS/Affirmative_Action.htm

4.     Feminist Majority Foundation. "Affirmative Action: Expanding Employment Opportunities for Women." Online. Yahoo. 10 Nov. 2003.
http://www.feminist.org/other/ccri/aafact2.html

5.     Fullinwider, Robert. "Affirmative Action." The Stanford Encyclopedia of
Philosophy (Spring 2002 Edition). Edward N. Zalta (ed.).
http://plato.standford.edu/archives/spr2002/entries/affirmative-action/

6.     King, Martin Luther Jr. The Peaceful Warrior. Pocket Books, NY 1968.
http://www.mecca.org/~crights/dream.html


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