Affirmative Action - Critical Analysis Paper #1:...

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Critical Analysis Paper #1: Affirmative Action In today’s society, one can find a plethora of controversial issues by merely looking at a newspaper or turning on their TV. However, of these many issues, few have such deep historical roots as well as impact on each and every citizen as affirmative action. The fact that affirmative action impacts so many people only complicates the subject at hand; once affected by affirmative action, one typically finds one’s self biased towards a position. In analyzing the controversy over the ethics and constitutionality of affirmative action, one can discern that each side presents a compelling, and earnest argument. However, by looking at several sources critically, an informed opinion can be carefully calculated. Proponents of affirmative action assert that race conscious policies are vital in promoting equality to all citizens. Perhaps the most notorious argument is that affirmative action is needed to right past wrongs in “[compensating] the descendants for the wrongs done to their ancestors” (Messerli). The reasoning behind this is that these minority groups have been disadvantaged for centuries, and thusly true equality does not exist in today’s society. Often times, minority students with great potential fall through the cracks because they have simply not been afforded the necessary opportunities. In taking into account only a student’s “test scores and grade-point average,” one fails to account for the student’s potential “within the context of their opportunities” (Gryphon, Holzer, and Clay). As well as helping to provide equality where it is lacking, supporters of affirmative action claim that communities as a whole benefit. In promoting diversity, “students will learn that persons of the opposite race are…just like themselves” (Messerli). Also, evidence suggests that “minority doctors coming out of medical schools under affirmative action programs are more likely to serve low-income and minority patients in their community” (Gryphon, Holzer, and Clay). It is on these beliefs that Glenn C. Loury advocates affirmative action.
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In his support for affirmative action, Loury presents a persuasive argument. One can immediately notice his will to compromise through his desire to evaluate situations on a case-by-case basis rather than using broad systems such as quotas. In today’s society, while many people fear race guided policies for “historically significant reasons,” these exact scenarios are the reason we are in need of race conscious policies (Loury). Although some believe that affirmative action policies lead to a sense of racial separatism and awareness, Loury contends that it is indeed the opposite; affirmative action stems from racial awareness and seeks to mend this sense of separation. Powerful observations such as these provide the reader with an influential, alternative point of view to ponder. An astute scenario illustrates the fact that it is racial stigma, as opposed to the failure of affirmative action, which influences opinions. Consider
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This note was uploaded on 09/15/2008 for the course POLY SCI 198 taught by Professor Infranco during the Fall '07 term at Washington State University .

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Affirmative Action - Critical Analysis Paper #1:...

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