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Assignment Questions

Affirmative Action

I must present both opinions of affirmative action, but will utlimately argue against it. Below, I have included my thesis statement and works cited page. They have been approved by my teacher, and the paper should follow the outline closely. Also, please include in the paper as many of the sources included on my works cited page. There may be other sources used, but I need to incorporate these sources that I have already found as much as possible. All of the sources were found on the internet and in public libraries. Also, when quoting from a source please incorporate quotation marks as observed in MLA form.

The Effects of Affirmative Action Programs
Thesis: Affirmative action programs have ultimately acted as a stumbling block for minorities and have essentially created a starker disparity in the struggle for equal opportunity between white people and other minority groups.
I. Affirmative action programs are beneficial
A. Affirmative Action Programs create cultural awareness.
B. Diversity is enriched through Affirmative Action.
II. Affirmative action programs harm minorities more than they help minorities.
A. Affirmative action increases racial tension between whites and minorities.
B. Affirmative action places lower expectations and standards of performance on minorities.
C. Some minorities may feel they got the job because of their race or gender and that others think the same, when in fact they actually were the best candidates for enrollment or job placement
III. Affirmative action is reverse discrimination
A. Definition
1. Discrimination is defined as ?making a difference in treatment or favor on a basis other than individual merit.?
2. Reverse discrimination is defined as ?discrimination against whites or males? (as in employment or education). [Consider this point: the term is offensive to many minorities because they feel it implies discrimination should ?only go one way.?]
B. Quota systems and set-asides violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
C. Under affirmative action programs, academic performance is considered second to race for college admissions.
IV. Future of Affirmative Action
A. L.A. Times [underline or italicize] survey indicates that all Americans disapprove of preferential treatment based on race.
B. Rice University adheres to admission policies that consider economic backgrounds and unique talents of students rather than race.
C. [I would think you need to mention the U Michigan case that is now before the Supreme Court]
[Be sure in your conclusion you make a recommendation, keeping it fair since your audience is composed of minorities who are worried about the outcome of AA decisions, as well as whites who feel victimized by AA.]

Works Cited

Beckwith, Francis, and Todd Jones, eds. Affirmative action: Social Justice or Reverse Discrimination? Canada: Prometheus Books, 1997.

Ewers, Justin. ?A Glimpse of Life Without Affirmative Action.? U.S. News and World Report 134.10 (2003): 48.

Lane, Charles. ?O?Connor Questions Foes of U-Michigan Policy; Justice Seen as Holding Likely Swing Vote as Court Weighs Affirmative Action Cases.? Washington Post 2 April 2003: A1.

Roach, Ronald. ?Living in a Post-affirmative Action World.? Black Issues in Higher Education 20.1 (2003): 32-34.

Urofsky, Melvin. A Conflict of Rights. New York: Macmillan, 1991.

Brainstorming Ideas:
? Affirmative action is commonly supported by liberals and it is commonly opposed by conservatives.
? Affirmative action has many positive benefits on society; it promotes cultural awareness, creates diversity, and it promotes equal opportunity.
? Affirmative action is simply another form of discrimination.
? Affirmative action creates opportunity, but it cannot create equality.
? Can the human race ever dissolve the notion of discrimination?
? Affirmative action is unconstitutional.
? Quota systems unfairly reward or penalize students, based on race.
? Rice University of Texas provides student admission to the private university by considering the unique talents, the life experiences, and the details of an applicant?s family life without discussing race. The result at Rice has been a cultural diverse student body.
? Advocates of AA support the use of percentage plans and set-asides.
? Opponents argue that promotions should be based on performance and college admissions should be base on academic performance.
? By lowering the standards of competency and expectations of minorities, affirmative action programs have presented minorities with even tougher obstacles to overcome in the race for equality.
? How can minorities ever compete equally with white counterparts if society places lower standards on minority groups?
? Some feel that an end to affirmative action could have a positive effect on the minorities in America.
? Without affirmative action some believe that minorities would become more competitive academically.
? Others feel that affirmative action is vital to maintaining a culturally diverse student body at institutes of higher education.
? Some feel that an end to affirmative action will cause greater divisions between Blacks and Whites.
? Title VII of the Civil Rights Act prohibits employment discrimination based on ?race, color, sex, or national origin.?

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