Affirmative Action Helps Disadvantaged Minorities Essay

1626 words - 7 pages

Affirmative action is a set of policies put in place to give preferential treatment to certain subgroups such as disadvantaged minorities. For example, African Americans such as Cedric Jennings could gain access to a college even if they are slightly less qualified than a normal candidate under affirmative action. Affirmative action could also be considered a form of stratification in which we create systematic inequalities within groups of people as an intended purpose. Equality and opportunity has been debated constantly in our country over what would be the fairest for everyone despite our race or class. Affirmative action policies should benefit disadvantaged minorities because of the equality, stratification, and opportunity in our society.
Social class has been the basis for opportunity in American Society because of the benefits of higher family income. The three main classes in America are the upper class, middle class, and the poor. The upper class enjoys many benefits that neither the middle nor the poor would be able to afford. Things like private schools, tutors, and SAT prep courses would be out of the question for most middle and poor families. However, the real advantage that most upper class families have is cultural capital. Cultural capital is any resources that upper to middle class families enjoy to their advantage in various situations. This could be anything from the ability to deal with bureaucracies to a sense of entitlement. Most upper- and middle-class parents have much more involvement with their children’s education than lower-class parents. It’s not that lower-class parents don’t care about their child’s education; the fact is that most lower-class parents don’t have the time to get their child involved in extracurricular activities or the funds to let them participate. It seems like the simple fact is that money means knowledge. Unfortunately race also tends to be involved when discussing opportunity in America.
In the past, minorities were subjugated to segregation and discrimination. Even after the civil rights triumphs in the 1960s, a white family today is still said to have an income ten times greater than a black family. Today, if a black family moves into your community, the property value of the homes around it still decreases. For example, two of the same houses could be built in two different places such as a primarily white neighborhood and a primarily black neighborhood, and the white neighborhood house would still have a greater value than the other. For this reason, black families were often denied the opportunity to purchase homes in white neighborhoods. Black families were pushed into the inner-city where property values plummeted while white family’s homes increased in value in the suburbs. This led to greater educational opportunity in the suburbs whereas in the city, schools had appalling conditions and poor teaching. For example, a school in New York has holes in the floor and paint on the...

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