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Special Rights Essay

1612 words - 6 pages

Special Rights
For years minority groups have struggled to receive what they claim to be rightfully theirs in such areas as employment and education. They have slowly been granted the right to equal representation in the work place making it a federal offense to reject an applicant based on ethnic background, cultural beliefs, marital status, or sex. The fight, however, continues for minorities to receive equal education in scholastic institutions. They believe they should now be placed in special classes and groups should be formed that will help them cope with the slander and persecution that has been prevalent in past generations. This special treatment may in fact lead to problems that have generally eluded the opinion of the public. For this reason, the solution may not be special rights, but instead, equal rights for minority groups.
For an equal rights movement to occur, the primary focus must be placed on education. In a conference held by Dr. Nick Tate, Chief Executive of the School Curriculum and Assessment Authority (SCAA), and the main topic of discussion was that cultural continuity is under threat and should, therefore, become the central part in planning curriculum. Dr. Tate stated that there are other heritage's, cultures, and traditions that need recognition simply because young people leaving schools need to know about cultural achievements of other civilizations (Tate, 1996). The key to this statement becomes the word "recognition." Many cultures should be taught in schools. Minority groups should not be isolated. It is hard to set standards regarding how much each student is required to learn but if each student had a general idea of the beliefs and traditions of each society surrounding them, it would help develop the "global culture".
Confirmation of Dr. Tate's opinions can be found in the position taken by Joelle Davis, Student Development Coordinator for Multicultural Student Life at Winthrop University. She states that, "we need to learn from each othth recognition, respect plays a major role in learning about cultures. It is tough to learn to appreciate and respect something that may be thought as inappropriate or just simply wrong.
Isolation of individuals, or giving special rights to minority groups is evident at many universities. Stanford has policies that seem to encourage segregation. The university is a site of various "ethnic theme houses" for different cultural groups. The purpose of these houses is to make students feel comfortable. The president of the university, Donald Kennedy, says that such houses make it easier for some students to adjust to the university setting and make them feel more comfortable (D'Souza 475). To have these houses at an establishment of higher learning may not make sense to many people. Cornell University is much the same as Stanford. It has brochures available that praise integration, but apparently the institution encourages segregation of different groups...

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