Is It Time To Totally End Affirmative Action In The US?
What Is Affirmative Action?
Affirmative action is an outcome of the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement, intended to provide equal opportunities for members of minority groups and women in education and employment.
In 1961, President Kennedy was the first to use the term “affirmative action” in an Executive Order that directed government contractors to take,
“Affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin".
Affirmative action policies are those in which an institution or organization actively engages in efforts to improve opportunities for historically excluded groups in American society.
Its policies generally focus on employment and education.
In institutions of higher education, affirmative action refers to admission policies that provide equal access to education for those groups that have been historically excluded or underrepresented, such as women and minorities.
Fifty Plus Years Later – Should Affirmative Now Be Ended?
Megyn Kelly and Jay Sekulow (ACLJ) On Affirmative Action
Supporters of Affirmative Action Say
Affirmative action programs have resulted in doubling or tripling the number of minority applications to colleges or universities, and have made colleges and universities more representative of their surrounding community.
Statistics show that after California abolished its affirmative action programs in 1998, the minority student admissions at UC Berkeley fell 61%, and minority admissions at UCLA fell 36%.
After Texas abolished its affirmative action program in 1996, Rice University’s freshman class had 46% fewer African-Americans and 22% fewer Hispanic students.
Graduates who benefited from affirmative action programs say that they have received better jobs, earned more money, and ultimately are living better lives because of the opportunity they received.
The policies are necessary in order to compensate for centuries of racial, social, and economic oppression.
Critics Of Affirmative Action Make The Following Arguments
The policy is outdated and causes a form of reverse discrimination by favoring one group over another, based on racial preference rather than academic achievement.
It is likely unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Likewise, the programs may be illegal under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color or national origin by recipients of federal financial assistance.
Affirmative action policies lower standards and make students less accountable.
Affirmative action policies do not necessarily help economically disadvantaged students and a study by the Hoover Institution found that affirmative action tends to benefit middle and upper-class minorities.
Which States Have Banned Affirmative Action?
Eight states currently ban race-based affirmative action at all public universities.
California, Washington, Michigan, Nebraska, Arizona, and Oklahoma all passed bans through voter referenda.
In Florida, Governor Jeb Bush issued an executive order creating the ban.
What Do You Think?
Should affirmative action be ended nationwide?
Or shouldn’t it?