The Pros And Cons Of Affirmative Action

827 words - 3 pages

Throughout history, laws and rulings have been enacted to help eradicate discrimination based on religion, sex, age, and race. For example, the thirteenth amendment made slavery illegal. The Fourteenth amendment guarantees equal protection under the law despite race. The Fifteenth amendment made it illegal to deny a person the right to vote based on race. Moreover, one of the most important equal rights rulings comes from the case Brown v. Board of education, which makes segregation in schools illegal. However, to ensure that equal opportunity, even beyond that of the thirteenth, fourteenth, and fifteenth amendments and Brown v. Board of education, affirmative action was set in place. President John F. Kennedy first used affirmative action in a 1961 executive order, which requested equal opportunity and treatment in places of employment. President Lyndon Johnson later extended the executive order to include women (Skyes). The purpose of affirmative action is to make sure equal opportunity is given to minorities and women in jobs, and schools. However, affirmative action is controversial. Many organizations support affirmative action and feel it is necessary. Conversely, many organizations oppose affirmative action and feel it should be abolished. Supporters and rejecters of affirmative action use different strategies to support their opinions, however the supports of affirmative action groups make a stronger argument.
Reasons for supporting Affirmative action
Many of those who support affirmative action believe without affirmative action, schools and jobs would not be diverse and without affirmative action, diversity would not naturally occur; therefore, to ensure equal opportunity for all, affirmative action needs to be implemented to guarantee that women and minorities are giving the same opportunities as white males. In “Two Views of the River: A Critique of Liberal Defense of Affirmative Action,” an incident that took place at the University of California, Berkley School of Law is used to prove that affirmative action is needed. Historically, Berkley School of Law admitted on average one African American into their freshman class. However after affirmative action was enforced, the school started to admit more African Americans and Latino’s into the school. Following affirmative action, the school became a diverse, prestigious and lively institution. For this reason the author argues that affirmative action is the reason Berkley School of Law is a great law school. Before affirmative action, the universities were less diverse. UCLA and Berkley School of law between 1987 and 1997 has produced 600 blacks lawyers and more than 800...

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