Affirmative Action ‘Reverse Discrimination’ Assignment Instructions
Affirmative Action refers to any policy favoring members of a historically disadvantaged group, particularly in the areas of employment and education. In the United States, affirmative action most commonly refers to the preferential treatment of African Americans, women, and other minorities, given the exclusion of these groups throughout the nation’s history.
The political atmosphere had changed dramatically in the United States since the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In a commencement address at Howard University in June of 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969) stated that guaranteeing basic equal freedoms was not enough; the nation also had to work toward an “equality of result.”
However, in a legislative compromise, the actual Civil Rights Act of 1964 disavowed using quotas as an anti-discrimination measure. In September of 1965, President Johnson issued Executive Order (EO) 11246, which required employers to search aggressively for qualified minority applicants through such methods as advertising and recruitment in minority communities. It did not establish a means of enforcement to ensure candidates were now considered in a “color-blind” pool of applicants. In addition, EO 11246 did not include gender discrimination, which would be added a few years later.
The willingness of the public to provide a level playing field to the disadvantaged was again undermined in the 1970s and 1980s when economic recessions created a tight labor market. More of the nation began to view job opportunities as a zero-sum game. This perspective suggested that when an individual belonging to a minority was hired under affirmative action, someone else, probably a white male, was disqualified. As this kind of attitude towards affirmative action became more pervasive, the Supreme Court in 1977 took up a case that addressed “reverse discrimination:”
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke (1977).
Allen Bakke and other higher-ranked white applicants were rejected from the University of California Davis Medical School and argued they had been discriminated against in order to fill a given number of slots with minority applicants. In a majority decision the Supreme Court struck down UC-Davis’s racial-quota system and ordered Bakke admitted. However, the Court also found that it was acceptable to take race into account as a positive factor in admissions as a way to create a diverse student body. Affirmative action as a system remained intact although institutions were no longer allowed to blatantly use quotas to enforce desegregation.
In 1996 a majority of Californians voted for Proposition 209, a state law which attacked affirmative action programs by stating that race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin could not be used to “grant preferential treatment” in the areas of “public employment, public education, or public contracting.” The Civil Rights Initiative (CCRI) organized the campaign. A member of the University of California Board of Regents argued that affirmative action programs, in place since the 1960s, have hurt more than helped African Americans.
This issue again came to national attention in the United States in late 2015, when the Supreme Court was deciding the case
Fisher v. University of Texas. In this case, the court justices ruled that the school should consider race when admitting students only if it had already attempted to recruit students in race-neutral ways.
After reading the above, and using your own experiences, training, upbringing, and Christian World View, please discuss the following questions:
1. Have you ever been in involved in Affirmative Action situation?
a. i.e., that you applied to an academic scholarship and received or was denied the scholarship, based on perceived discrimination factors, such as race or ethnicity?
b. That you applied for an employment position and later found out you received the position, or was denied the position, based on perceived discrimination factors, such as race or ethnicity?
2. How did this experience shape your future viewpoint and what Christian World View lessons can you pass on to others, regarding this important Civil Rights issue?
For this Assignment, the student will write at least 500 words, but not more than 600 words. The student must support their assertions with at least two scholarly citations in current APA format. Any sources cited must have been published within the last five years. The student must also integrate at least 1 biblical principle with citations. Acceptable sources include the textbook, provided articles, video, the Bible, and other scholarly sources.
Note: Your assignment will be checked for originality via the Turnitin plagiarism tool. The tool is a starting point for instructors to check overall Academic Integrity and higher scores generally indicate a higher probability of Academic Misconduct. The higher a score the higher the probability that there are too high a percentage of quotations included in the narrative, and/or there are passages that have not been properly cited.
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