Affirmative Action Research Paper

1237 Words 5 Pages
Should affirmative action policies change their focus from race-based to class-based? The term affirmative action was first used under President Franklin D. Roosevelt and was used for job security due to union blacklisting during the Great Depression. However, what would become the present form of affirmative action took shape under Kennedy. As times have changed the implementation of affirmative action has shifted it’s focus from the workplace to campuses. Affirmative action is currently a system to attenuate past and possible present discrimination. However, the current system on the college campus is a hotly debated subject as it can be seen to primarily benefit members of minorities in the middle or upper classes while ignoring the poor …show more content…
Many of these individuals believe that affirmative action focuses on not only race and gender but socio-economic class as well and that eliminating race and gender would undermine the purpose of affirmative action. The African American Policy Forum(AAPF) believes that class - only based affirmative action will be ignoring the racial discrimination middle class minorities may have experienced. The AAPF concludes that “Race - conscious affirmative action remains necessary to address race-based obstacles that block the path to success of countless people of color of all classes.”.[7] The AAPF also believes that affirmative action is responsible for the existence of an African American middle-class. In a study done in 2003 at the University of Chicago it was discovered that “black - sounding” names were fifty percent less likely to be interviewed as “white - sounding” names.[8] Supporters of affirmative action often use the positive effects of it to justify it, citing the benefits to women within the workplace in many cases at least doubling the number of women present in the field.[9] A large portion of the supporters of affirmative action believe that it is a necessary step to correct past discrimination. According to Jim Crest, Author of “Affirmative Action for Whom?”, Latinos are the least educated major ethnic group, they have suffered discrimination and were excluded from the benefits of reconstruction, and have a negative stereotype of being lazy hanging over them. Between 1975 and 1990 latinos suffered a three percent drop in high school completion rates and only made up three percent of the bachelor 's’ degrees awarded in 1990 while they made up nine percent of the population. While opponents of affirmative action may believe that it is the cause of the difficulties faced by Asian - Americans, proponents believe that it is due to the stereotypes that

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