Affirmative Action and Racial Tension Essay

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Affirmative Action and Racial Tension

Affirmative action. What was its purpose in the first place, and do we really need it now? It began in an era when minorities were greatly under represented in universities and respectable professions. Unless one was racist, most agreed with the need of affirmative action in college admissions and in the workplace. Society needed an active law that enforced equality during a period when civil rights bills were only effective in ink. With so much of America¹s work force spawned from integrated schools now, some may question whether racism really is the problem anymore, and many college students might answer yes. They see it on college campuses today, and they are not sure why.

Subconscious
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Ehrenreich believes affirmative action should guarantee that the best person regardless of race gets the job or gets into the school until it is all so evened out that our subconscious doesn¹t put competence and color in the same boat(114). The subliminal prejudices she speaks of may also be stirred by newspaper headlines that feed our emotions and actions. Twenty-nine out of thirty UA students feel the media influences the subconscious(Martin). When blacks read sometimes false statistics about their failing race in periodicals, it builds anger and animosity towards whites(Irvine and Goulden 78). The media implies that they are still not going to overcome the white man at the rate they are going. They subliminally become prejudice of white people, and in effect take violent actions sometimes building emotions that lead to things like the L.A. riots. With our surroundings and media creating images of inequality, affirmative action seems a necessity. It will provide a more positive goal for black students.

Affirmative action might not create racial unity even if we do reach the anticipated equal work world we and Ehrenreich dream of though. The evidence is on the college campuses today. Though numbers are not greatly equal, minorities are a big part of university life. In this so-called integrated setting, one might notice that even the equal self-segregate. The
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