Racism is still an important part of the experience of many people in America in spite of laws and social action.
[Argumentative essay: Affirmative action and Racism ][Student’s Full Name]
The attitude of the Americans toward the issue of racism has changed substantially since the end of the Civil War. However, many consider that the issue has not been addressed adequately in the last 150 years. In the 19th century, most of the African Americans lived in the Southern part of the country. And being from the south, that featured most of the pro-slavery states, the odds were not in favor of the former slaves. Those African Americans from the rural south of the country were now oppressed not by slavery, but the sharecropping system of agriculture that was used by the white farm owners. However, at the dawn of the 20th century, many of those things changed, and the African Americans were able to enjoy the civil rights they deserved. Nevertheless, many people consider that although the de jure segregation stopped, the de facto segregation continued in the country. This de facto segregation is regarded by many African Americans as a disguised de jure segregation. Despite the fact that there are no laws against separation, many people still practice it in their everyday activities (Healey, 2014:177).
In the same way, the other side of the debate considers that in the last fifty years, many social actions have been taken as a way to address the issue of racism, and eradicate it from the country. Starting from community efforts to educate people from the neighborhoods in the issue of racism, and at a federal law with the implementation of Antidiscrimination Acts. Also, people who consider that social actions have been implemented to eliminate racism from the U.S have argued that the government is using its power to eradicate racism from courts, and legal procedures (Menendian et al., 2008).
In this essay, we shall provide two positions. The first, the positions of those who consider that racism is still an issue. And the second, those who believe that affirmative action have addressed racism hoping to eradicate it. Afterward, we shall synthesize both positions and offer a third opinion.
Affirmative Action does not Stop Racism
This group of people consider that the definition of racism is loose in the U.S., and might refer to either color or race. It thrives on the differences and tends to establish a sector of the population as the dominant race. In the same way, racism denotes some conservatism that refers mostly to the way people perceive and understand other people from different races (Sidanius et al., 1996). This takes us to the central point of the argument that states that what has been called “Affirmative Action” is not a way to stop or revert racism. By believing that affirmative action helps the minorities, people is still discriminating, by considering them in need of aid, rather than an equal part of the country. In the same way, affirmative action only refers to the federal issue of racism and discrimination. Socially, affirmative action has not been capable of addressing the subject and stop racism on a neighborhood-level. In a strict sense, Most people tend to think that how would people be able to resolve the issue of racism in a nation-wide arch if they are not capable of addressing it in their neighborhoods (Martinello, 2001). Affirmative action is highly supported by the general public. It might arise situations where people with inherited privileges, such as their race, or their economic status, to regard those who are benefited, as “less”, or different. This, does not help for true integration, and might be an issue of further separation.
Affirmative action does help against Racism.
Affirmative action has been one of the motor drives of the fight against racism. Since President Lyndon B. Johnson required all the federal contractors to take affirmative action, and employ people regardless of their race (Burstein, 1994, 373) the trend toward affirmative action have paved the road toward successful integration in the employment. In the last 50 years, the trend has improved, and affirmative action is taken in almost all the fields of the American way of life. Also, affirmative action is taken as a way to promote a multicultural country that accepts African-Americans and integrates them into the culture as an essential part of the way it means to be American. Affirmative action offers those who did not have the opportunity, one, as a way to pave inequity. Positive action detractors consider that it is a liberal notion that helps the white people feel better, but that is not the case. Affirmative action, when applied correctly, do not give accolades and benefits to those who did not deserve them. On the contrary, they do it because it would be unfair to not to offer everybody the same opportunities (Martinello, 2001).
While it is understandable that many people find the affirmative action a sort of “reverse racism”, affirmative action has played a key role in offering opportunities to many people for the minorities in the past 50 years. Although it can be seen as a decision taken my bleeding-heart libertarians, it has helped many people to achieve things they would not have been able. However, this kind of actions should not be taken lightly, as granting better opportunities is not like giving candy in a parade. It should be done carefully, thinking that it is a person is who is being benefited, not a racial group. That is why we believe that in spite of social actions, racism is still a significant problem in the country. Sadly, those actions do not address the background problem that represents a true integration of the different races in the public sphere.
Burstein, P. (1994). Equal employment opportunity: Labor market discrimination and public policy. New York: Aldine de Gruyter.
Healey, J. (2014). Diversity and Society: Race, ethnicity and gender (4th ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Pine Forge Press.
Martinello, M. (2001). Affirmative Action and Racism. Retrieved from ftp://ftp.cordis.europa.eu/pub/improving/docs/ser_racism_martiniello.pdfMenendian, S. (2008). Structural Racism in the United States. Retrieved June 5, 2015, from http://health-equity.pitt.edu/984/1/Structural_Racism.pdf
Sidanius, J., Pratto, F., & Bobo, L. (1996). Racism, conservatism, Affirmative Action,and intellectual sophistication: A matter of principled conservatism or groupdominance? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 20(3), 476-490. Retrieved June 5, 2015, from http://www.scholar.harvard.edu/files/bobo/files/1996_racism_conservatism_affirmativeaction_and_journal_of_personality_and_social_psychology.pdf
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