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Research Paper

2405 words - 10 pages

Affirmative action is the process of improving employment, hiring, and admission practices for groups previously discriminated against. Executive Order 10925 issued by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 created the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and introduced affirmative action to the country. Affirmative action is a way of compensating for the previous 345 years of slavery and legalized discrimination. Higher education has been utilizing affirmative action in their admission processes since the 1960’s. (Stewart)
Despite promoting equality, affirmative action is a problem. It uses race, gender or ethnicity as a determinate for acceptance or denial. This creates a system of discrimination against certain demographic groups. Applicants are facing unequal standards due to their demographic. Affirmative action is degrading the educational system. Although affirmative action was established to compensate for previous discrimination, the fact is affirmative action should not be practiced because it does not promote equal treatment for all people.
Affirmative action has improved the overall life of numerous people. Many minorities, specifically African-Americans, have improved due to educational opportunities acquired via affirmative action. Enrollment of black students skyrocketed because of affirmative action. Blacks had accounted for less than one percent of students entering into universities in 1951. Affirmative action, starting in the 1960’s allowed for blacks to make up 6.3% of Ivy Leagues by 1978, and approximately eight percent of law and medical schools by 1995. The same schools that were less than one percent black in 1951 now had a population consisting of 7.1% black students in 1989. A study done by William G. Bowen and Derek Bok used the credentials of black applicants in 1989, but disregarded race, in order to see the amount of black students who would be accepted regardless of affirmative action. The studies showed between two and four percent of college’s population would be black enrollment, far less than the actual seven percent enrollments. Affirmative action increased black enrollment. Bowen and Bok also studied the lives of higher university graduates beyond graduation. Many of the minority graduates of the higher schools were only accepted on the merit of their race and affirmative action. Bowen and Bok were able to conclude that minority students who had attended these higher universities were less likely to be divorced and expressed “higher satisfaction with one’s life” than those minorities who attended lower colleges or did not receive an education. (“Affirmative Action: The Shape of the River” )
Affirmative action increases diversity in universities. Polling of graduates yielded results were a majority of graduates agreed that a diverse environment aided in their learning experience. The process of affirmative action has not resulted in a substantial amount of white denials from...

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