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All Things Being Equal Essay

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All Things Being Equal

Most of us have heard Martin Luther King's I Have a Dream speech, or part of it, at some point in our lives. In 1964, one year after the speech was given, Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 11246, which signaled the birth of affirmative action. Affirmative action refers to efforts to increase educational and employment opportunities for minorities and women. In November, 1997, California voters did away with affirmative action [at the state level] by passing proposition 209. They were convinced that it was no longer needed, that it gave minorities and women special rights. Governor Pete Wilson wrote in 1996 as part of his campaign against affirmative action:

Let me be clear: we haven't yet fully
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We are struggling over crumbs because we know that the bigger part hs been received by the elites in corporate America. (Brunk 331)

An example of this fighting over crumbs is the California proposition 209. White people felt they were not getting jobs, scholarships, into college, because the jobs, scholarships, etc., were being given to less qualified people of color. Some people of color were also against affirmative action because they didn't feel like they made it on their own accord but were hired or admitted to college, etc., because of their skin color and not because of their merits. This inferiority complex is shared by Richard Rodriguez, an American essayist and teacher. According to the biographical sketches in Literacies, "Despite his academic success, Rodriguez left the university partly because he was uncomfortable with advantages he felt he received because of his minority status." (Brunk 697)

To understand affirmative action we must look back in history. According to Cornel West,The fundamental aim of affirmative action was to put a significant dent in the tightly controlled networks of privileged white citizens who monopolized the good jobs and influential positions in American society. (Curry 32)

Affirmative action is not about
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