The Affirmative Action Debate Essay

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For the sake of this essay, affirmative action in education is defined as: “policies and programs designed to advance equality of educationalopportunity for individuals from groups that have suffered systematic historical discrimination” (Mickelson 29). What is being referred to here is race-based affirmative action, or the act of taking into consideration an applicant’s race in the college admissions process. This is a hot topic all over the United States and has been for quite a while, the debate raging between two sides: those in support of affirmative action and those opposed. The ethics of affirmative action itself are difficult to determine, but here an attempt will be made to prove that affirmative action is indeed unfair. In…show more content…
Colleges and universities followed suit and began to use affirmative action in admissions as well (Garrison-Wade and Lewis 24). Following this was a whole slew of court cases, both supporting and condoning affirmative action. There are too many to effectively express here. Still today the debate continues to be fueled from both sides, neither group relenting or compromising. The two sides in this issue are simple, supporting and opposing, and they need to be well understood before the case against affirmative action can be attempted. Those who support affirmative action have the general argument that it allows disadvantaged minorities to be admitted to universities whereas without affirmative action they would be turned down and would be unable to have any access to higher education (Ogletree). In fact, Mary Ratliff, state and local president of the Columbia, Mississippi NAACP branch, says this regarding affirmative action: “Many African Americans are underprivileged economically due to past inequities. To not grant any race…-based criteria would mean many African Americans…would be unable to attend college” (Darnell). While she speaks only for African Americans, this concept can be applied to all minorities. The basic idea is that the abolishment of affirmative action means a lower acceptance rate for minority students. Supporters also claim that affirmative action
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