Discrimination against race, gender, religion, or other social characteristics is occurring in all parts of the United States almost every day. Unfortunately, the U.S. has a history of extreme case of discrimination, which has evoked controversy and in worse cases, violence. To discourage any more of adverse discernment towards certain individuals, the Federal government has imposed legislation called affirmative action. According to At Issue: Affirmative Action, “Affirmative action is designed to promote access to opportunities in education, employment, housing, and government contracts among certain designated groups, such as women and minorities“ (At Issue). This law is necessary in today’s society in order to maintain equality and diminish discrimination against social groups throughout the United States.
Affirmative action has leveled the playing field for minorities in situations where they normally would encounter disadvantages. Prior to affirmative action in 1965, the UCLA Law School only enrolled four women and a small amount of minorities, but since the legislation was passed, the school has seen close to half its students female and an increase in minorities (Blasi). Greg Walton, a Stanford psychologist, emphasizes that, “schools need to take affirmative steps to level the playing field and to make meritocratic decisions” (qtd. in Donald). In addition, Jeremy Blasi states in his submission to the newspaper LA Youth, “It [Glass Ceiling Commission] also found that businesses do not recruit minorities and women. For every woman or person of color in a high-end job, there are three white men” (Blasi) to show that in the workplace white males tend to be more hired individuals. Society needs affirmative action to prevent an overwhelming number of a single majority to be hired, leaving other minorities suffering from unfair employment experiences. Companies and educational institutions greatly benefit from the guidelines of affirmative action because they profit from the different ideas, work styles, and contributions unique to each diverse individual. As quoted in Paul Connors’s compilation, Affirmative Action, President of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger, addresses the importance of a diverse educational system by stating, “The experience of arriving on a campus to live and study with classmates from a diverse range of backgrounds is essential to students' training for this new world, nurturing in them an instinct to reach out instead of clinging to the comforts of what seems natural or familiar” (12-13). A statement by Southeastern Oklahoma State University further supports the idea that success in modern day society stems from diversity saying, “Our country is strong because of the rich diversity of our culture, not in spite of it” (Affirmative Action).
Not only does Affirmative action prevent discrimination, but also this legislation implemented by the national government can diversify and improve the overall...