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Race And The Affirmative Action Policies

1700 words - 7 pages

The utilization of race in affirmative action policies in higher education has been a topic of contention for several decades now. Since the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we have seen some of the most heated debates over the fairness of affirmative action and the impacts on society the utilization of race creates. With such pending questions on fairness and of the constitutionality of affirmative action policies two major Supreme Court cases have arisen, University of California Regents v. Bakke and Grutter v. Bollinger, both impacting university admissions policies throughout the country and setting precedent in following rulings. Following the two rulings of these cases, I argue that affirmative action and the utilization of race as a positive factor is desperately needed in higher education. With the changing demographics and the rise of new national needs, the racial diversity created by such policies are vital to the growth and productivity of the nation. Diversity created by race conscious policies allows for educational benefits that cannot be obtained by any other means while it also provides a new class of professionals that serve the needs of many communities, needs that will not be met without the continuous education of minorities in graduate and professional schools. Answering the questions of whether affirmative action produces diversity and whether affirmative action is still constitutional in today's society are my main objectives in this paper. I will utilize the cases of Bakke, Grutter, and Fisher, literature on the history of affirmative action in college admissions and its effects, as well as statistical analysis of admissions rates throughout the years to answer these two questions.
Movements for civil rights in the 1950s and 1960s saw the passing and signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. This piece of legislation outlawed discrimination based on race, color religion, or national origin; desegregating public accommodations as well as ending discriminatory practices in institutions that received federal funding. While it was a milestone in the path of racial equality pushed for by the Civil Rights Movement, Critical Race Theory (CRT) states that the reason the act was actually passed at the time was not just because of the growing momentum of the progressive civil rights agenda but because America’s image in the international community was tainted by the racism so obviously seen in the United States. The United States was championing freedom and democracy abroad in its fight against communism but international leaders saw and criticized the behavior of the U. S. at home. The interest-convergence principle clearly shows that the white European Americans supported such policy where the benefits received from a more tolerant image being projected outweighed the rights given to minorities. This principle can be seen in the ruling of the University of California Regents v. Bakke (1978), where Bakke was admitted...

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