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Understanding The Benefits Of Ethnic Divide

1481 words - 6 pages

Understanding the Benefits of Ethnic Divide

Does society truly stand to gain from what some might call a breaking of racial and ethnic barriers? When we as a society propose the overly-voiced concepts of 'embracing racial equality' and the 'dissolving of stereotypical values' in an effort to support societal efficiency, do we consider that perhaps these revolutionary ideals will hurt more than help us in the long run? The average individual, in an effort to function properly in the society to which he or she belongs, will follow that which society generally accepts as politically correct, as normal. The downside to this is the possibility of a society's ignorance to the greater picture or, rather, the future effects on economy and the civilization towards which we hold such value. It is obvious, especially in light of certain economic and undying cultural facts, that this adamant dream of bringing together the varying mismatched groups of the world population is not only futile -- when considering that it is in our nature as human beings to define and rationalize our surroundings by recognizing the natural differences in what we see -- but is also illogical with respect to the imposing threat this societal revolution imposes on the capitalist system to which we all owe our lives.

The settling of racial and ethnic indifferences is commonly seen as a problem handled effectively by government inventions. Affirmative action, established in 1965 by US president Lyndon Johnson, is a system designed to overcome societal discrimination of the past by forcing privileges into the hands of minorities (Brunner, par. 1). These privileges translate into unquestioned college enrollment, job opportunities, and additional resources. Heralded as a great step in the fight for civil rights, affirmative action has indeed helped to bridge the racial gap among citizens of varying status. Amid these good intentions however, downsides in the system became obvious as early as the 1970?s, brought into the open by the famous case of Allan Bakke (Brunner, par 3). Bakke, a white college student had been turned down by a medical school twice, while reserved positions went to under-qualified minorities. Similar cases of protest against affirmative action have been heard over the years (Brunner, par. 3-10) shining light on the unfairness of a system designed to bring society together.

In recent years, the strongest failings of affirmative action have been revealed: the inability of minority students -- accepted on an affirmative action basis -- to graduate college (Ravitch, par. 7). While the United States and similar governments are trying to quell the ripples of racist and slavery-based pasts, the effectiveness of the strategies employed is being looked over. The ?social promotion? policies of affirmative action end up pushing students with inadequate grades into college where, when faced with having to make a return to remedial teaching, find that graduation is...

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