Essay about Affirmative Action: Then vs. Now

4127 Words Nov 25th, 2005 17 Pages
Affirmative Action: Then vs. Now

In the 1960s when minorities and whites were equal according to the constitution but unequal in reality, a program was needed to level the playing field. Thus the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was created and prohibited discrimination. It marked the beginning of a debate that has been going on for nearly a half of a century. Affirmative action needs to be reevaluated in educational settings in light of current needs. The words "affirmative action" were first recorded in law in the year 1961 under the presidency of John F. Kennedy. Congress passed Executive Order 10925 instructing federal contractors to take "affirmative action to ensure that applicants are treated equally without regard to race, color,
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There were people at the rallies who were much more radical and vocal than Jamie. Tom Davis, a senior at the time, yelled into the microphone, "Do you want your children to grow up in a world that separates us or a world that brings us together?"
When affirmative action is considered in enrollment at a school, it is assumed that because one is a minority, one is disadvantaged, lives in poverty or cannot get into the school using their own abilities. For example, the University of Michigan has been in constant turmoil over the past few years with their admissions process. For their undergraduate admissions to the College of Literature, Science and the Arts, students receive a 20-point bonus on the basis of race. The total one can earn is 150 points and there are different categories and points for each item. Race is covered in the category of "other factors." Some of those other factors include: 10 points for a Michigan resident; 6 points for underrepresented Michigan counties; 2 points for an underrepresented state residents; 4 points for alumni parents or grandparents; 20 points for socio-economic disadvantage; 5 points for men in nursing and 20 points for being a scholarship athlete.
In 1997, Jennifer Gratz and Patrick Hamacher, two students who had previously applied for admission to the

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