Affirmative Action: Where it Stands Today
- January 22nd, 2020
- in Capstone Commentary
by Perry Johns
Though the United States has come a long way since legally segregating public school students on account of their race, the fact remains that discrimination based on race is still embedded in the American education system with the use of affirmative action programs. Affirmative action refers to the policy of considering race as a factor in hiring and school admissions in order to give minorities an advantage to counteract effects of historic discrimination. Affirmative action has been a fiercely debated topic in public discourse over the past few decades. Proponents of affirmative action programs argue that “race neutrality” (the idea that race should not be a factor, and every person is equal regardless of skin color) is not enough to compensate for past wrongs and that the white majority still has an inherent advantage in the United States. Opponents of affirmative action believe that preferential treatment of minorities is degrading to both minorities and the white population because “not only is individuality subordinated to group identification, but the concept of merit is supplanted by quotas.” Opponents argue that affirmative action programs go against the American ideal of equality before the law, and further, that the programs deepen racial divisions in American society.