Affirmative Action

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Affirmative Action Paper

Q: What is a Definition of Affirmative Action:
Affirmative action- a plan to offset past discrimination in employing or educating women, blacks etc. (Websters New World Dictionary.)
The phase "affirmative action" was used in a racial discrimination context. Executive Order No. 10,925 issued by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. The order indicated that federal contractors should take affirmative action to ensure job applicants and employees are treated "without regard to their race, creed, or national origin." A person could define this statement as an order to imply equal access and nothing else.

Q: What is the History of Affirmative Action?
Affirmative action was implemented with the idea and hope that America would finally become truly equal. The tension of the 1960's civil rights movement had made it very clear, that the nations minority and female population was not receiving equal and social economic opportunity. The implementation of affirmative action was America's first honest attempt at solving a problem it had previously chose to ignore.
The history of affirmative action has its roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and stems from the United States Supreme case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. In 1969, the department of Labor exposed widespread racial discrimination of the Construction Department so President Nixon decided to incorporate a system of "goals and timetables" that provided guidelines for companies to follow and comply with affirmative action regulations. Which brings us to today


Q:What caused the lawsuit.
After applying to the University of Michigan Law School, Barbara was waitlisted then rejected. Similarly, Jennifer and Patrick were waitlisted then rejected by the University's College of Literature, Science, and the Arts. After learning that race played a large role in the University's admissions policies, all three realized that they would have been admitted had they been of a preferred race — black, Hispanic, or Native American. The three sought legal representation to vindicate their right to be free of racial discrimination.


Q: What wad the Plaintiff’s Point of View?
     The three named plaintiffs and the class of rejected applicants they represent seek primarily injunctive relief to ensure that future applicants will be judged as individuals without regard to race. It is unfair to be judged by the color of your skin… NO MATTER WHAT COLOR YOU ARE!!! WHITE IS A COLOR TOO
     
Q: What is the Defendants Point of View? .
That the University should remain off limits to the majority of working class and most middle class youth, but that it should be made “diverse” through the selective admission of a small percentage of minority students, who are given preference over qualified white students.

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Q: What was the decision? Why?
The Supreme Court’s long-awaited decisions in the Gratz and Grutter cases concerning the University of Michigan’s affirmative action programs were greeted with deep sighs of relief by the numerous advocates of (euphemisms aside) ethno-racial preferences. Their relief at having dodged a judicial bullet is perfectly understandable. The Court’s decision, however, should not give them too much comfort, for it will convince no one who is not already a true believer in preferences.
The majority’s application of strict scrutiny amounts to a dilution of that indispensable standard. It relies on an unexamined, shallow conception of diversity and of what is required to produce its benefits. In the name of that diversity, it relies on the very stereotypes it opposes, stereotypes that it ironically believes preferences will discredit and dispel.

Q: What do you think of the decision and why?
I don’t really care… I want the bigger issue here to be taken care of…
Though affirmative action may have been valuable in the beginning, it has long since outlived any usefulness it may have had. That it ever had any usefulness is questionable, based on comparisons between overall black populations socioeconomic standing today and that of the mid-1960’s. Today, it is little more than a scapegoat behind which inferior performance can hid very well, and that scapegoat’s upkeep has become far too extravagant in today’s society.


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