Affirmative Action Essay

1437 words - 6 pages

Policies which are created to ensure equal opportunities for all persons are acceptable, and in fact are mandated by the constitution, however when these policies exceed their original intention and attempt to intentionally favor minority individuals, they become self-defeating. The most controversial legal issue pertaining to equality rights is the one regarding affirmative action, a concept whose existence has led to numerous problems within the constitution, and more than enough animosity that is largely race-based. The legislative policy of affirmative action breaches its very goal of achieving a completely unbiased society as there are no limits as to how affirmative action is taken; ...view middle of the document...

Affirmative action is undeniably illegal, as it does indeed discriminate on the basis of race. The supreme court of the United States has only just begun to realize this, through a lawsuit filed against the University of Michigan: "In the spring of 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court…heard arguments in two cases that will profoundly impact the future of affirmative action in higher education. The lawsuits against the University of Michigan's Law School (Grutter v. Bollinger) and the undergraduate College of Literature, Science, and the Arts (Gratz v. Bollinger), both challenged policies that consider race/ethnicity as one factor among many in their admissions decisions. The decisions handed down in these cases, heard concurrently, will affect access to colleges and universities for minority students for years to come." In these cases, university officials admitted that race was, among others, a factor in determining entrance into the school's law program. The detriments of this are obvious. However, officials at the University of Michigan did not simply admit to making race a factor, but, as it was later discovered, were actually guilty of having a higher absolute standard for white students. This is a chilling fact, as it means that not only is it possible-and, in fact quite likely-that white students in other universities are suffering the same fate and are completely oblivious to it, but also demonstrates the detrimental power of affirmative action, which can clearly be so concealed as to go unnoticed as a result of its non-specific nature. The problem lies in the fact that affirmative action allows for an interpretation that is too open-minded, allowing race to be used as a single factor yet placing no limit as to what degree it can be so.Because affirmative action is not actually a right according to the constitution, rather a policy which is intended to balance the notion that anti-discrimination laws are being broken, the effects are all the more problematic. Not only does such a policy of proportional representation assume that institutions are inherently discriminatory, but also suggests that minority individuals are somehow more deserving of handouts than majorities. It also allows feelings of guilt within whites to become a dominating idea in the largely white-controlled legal system, which in turn leads to the belief that diversity through means of such justice, are necessary means for ensuring equality. African American Dutch Martin argues that Affirmative Action is undeniably flawed: "They tend to benefit primarily the most fortunate among the preferred group (e.g. black millionaires), oftentimes to the detriment of the least fortunate among the non-preferred groups (e.g. poor whites)." Evidently, the legal system will suffer greatly if majority individuals who are more qualified are rejected, as they will be ones who have legitimate claims to discrimination lawsuits. Thus, this will be seen as being more based on racial...

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