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The Many Faces of Affirmative Action - Essay Example

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This paper "The Many Faces of Affirmative Action" will evaluate the Affirmative Action program in the US. The writer claims that America's moral tradition of accepting the responsibility and correcting the wrongs that have been committed as a nation is a basic principle of our country…
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The Many Faces of Affirmative Action
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"The Many Faces of Affirmative Action"

Download file to see previous pages The concept of compensatory justice for wrongs that were committed against a race of people on a massive scale is a part of the American tradition. America has a long history of reparations regarding the Japanese in World War II, Native Americans, and General Sherman's promise of 40 acres to the freed slaves at the end of the Civil War (Burch, 2008, p.121). As moral agents, citizens not only have an obligation to compensate those that have been wronged by society, "it would be unjust to prevent [them] from living up to [their] responsibilities" (Radzik, 2003, p.328). In addition, it gives the African Americans a fast track to catch up to the society that had left them behind centuries earlier.
Catching up in the free market of education or employment cannot be done when a person is severely disadvantaged, and Affirmative Action simply removes the disadvantage. By 1965, the white dominant class had a near monopoly on education, the professions, and upward mobility. Affirmative Action helped to break this stronghold and presented opportunities to the African Americans that were previously excluded due to unfair competition. Supreme Court briefs filed by executives and retired military officers argued that "the United States cannot compete in today's global economy, or maintain an effective military, without racially diverse business and military leaders" (Foner, 2003, p.5). By introducing these additional women and minorities into the marketplace for education, it has improved the quality of the educational system, the students, and our global status.
Giving women and minorities an advantage in gaining an education has been instrumental in breaking the cycle of poverty and the destiny of culture. Young people, who had little or no cultural capital, and no family tradition of higher education, would be doomed to repeat the life of poverty and continue the struggle endured by their parents. Though there has been some progress made, there is still a significant gap in representation in the professions such as the legal field (Tatum, Nichols, and Ferguson, 2008, p.80). Still, Affirmative Action is the best, if not the only, hope that many of these people are given. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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