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Affirmative Action: The Debate Rages On

817 words - 4 pages

In its thirty nine year history, affirmative action has been viewed as a milestone by supporters, and a millstone by opponents. Others regard it as both or neither -- as an essential, but deficient, cure for an intractable social disease. Established in 1965 by President Johnson, it was method of rectifying discrimination that had continued regardless of civil rights laws and constitutional promises. (Legal History) According a poll by the Public Agenda, 79% of Americans said it is important for colleges to have a racially diverse student body, while just 54% said affirmative action programs should continue. In a Gallup poll, 49% of adults said they are in favor of affirmative action and 43% ...view middle of the document...

At Berkeley, a 60% drop for African-Americans and a 59% drop for Latinos were observed. 1,200 African-American, Latino, and Native American applicants with an average GPA of 4.0 and an average SAT score of 1280 were denied entrance to UCLA and Berkeley. A recent analysis by the University of Chicago and MIT found that resumes with so-called "white-sounding" names such as Jennifer or Matthew got 50 % more responses than ones with so-called "black-sounding" names such as LaQuisha or DeVante. (Take Affirmative)Another myth is that if Jewish people and Asian Americans can advance economically, African Americans should be able to do the same. But this comparison overlooks the history of inequity against Black people in America. "Blacks have a 380yr-year history on this continent: 245 involving slavery, 100 involving legalized discrimination, and only 30 involving anything else", pointed out by historian Roger Wilkins. (Wilkins, 1995). Conversely, Jews and Asians are people that immigrated, free willed, to North America. Among them were doctors, lawyers, professors, and entrepreneurs. Additionally, European Jews are able to blend into the White majority. To expect Blacks to show the same progress as Jews and Asians is to disagree with the historical and social reality that Black people face. (Ten Myths)An issue that arises with affirmative action is reverse discrimination. A poll that was taken showed Americans extremely divided over whether affirmative action actually...

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