History of Affirmative Action

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  Affirmative Action was created in 1961 of the United States. The first anti-discrimination executive order was amended several times by President Kennedy and it gradually became an important act, affected millions of Americans until today. It mainly focused on education and employment. It took care of ethnic minorities, Native women and other excluded groups.     

        President Johnson made a speech at Howard University in June 1965. He set out the need for employers to take "positive actions" to overcome the historical prejudices and disadvantages of African Americans in employment. This speech is widely known to be the beginning of the "Affirmative Action" in the United States. Since then, schools across the United States have formulated admission policies. They gave extra consideration to students' race or ethnicity. Some universities began to give African and Latino students point explicitly. In essence, the Affirmative Action transferred resources from the majority to the low-represented minority (URM) students to higher selective colleges and universities.

         Since the Affirmative Action published, almost all famous universities and colleges have realized that they must play a role in training minority students, take the initiative to recruit more minority candidates even though they have lower scores than most white students. These universities in addition to trying to correct past racial inequalities. Besides, it has two other reasons that are closely related to school traditions: the first one is trying to create an educational atmosphere for all students, including different races, different educational backgrounds, and different perspectives. Second, they belied that enterprises, governments, and schools require more minorities, and they may have special opportunities to become leaders in all walks of life.

         Why are ethnic minorities important for higher education? Why is it that universities do not simply select students based on their grades and scores without considering diversity? Supporters of pluralism believe that Affirmative Action brought many benefits including the positive role of pluralism in education. High-quality universities can make use of more and better resources to bring benefits to minority students with low representation. Promoting ethnic interaction and ethnic participation in leadership made the development of society.

       Ideally, Affirmative Action is quite reasonable. Ethnic minorities had inexplicably experienced historic oppression, discrimination in social status and low level of education. If they are not compensated by external, it is difficult for these people to change positively. Affirmative Action improved the social status and education level of minority groups in the short term. The purpose of it is to break the vicious circle of poverty (> lack of money to go to school > lack of jobs > continue to be poor for the next generation). However, Affirmative Action is actually a real obstacle, a constant controversy, and compensation for minorities of the United States. It has undoubtedly stimulated the corners of the traditional middle class, such as white people. In this situation, the internal contradictions of most of the minorities will become worse.

        Affirmative Action essentially implements different standards for different races, which is the opposite of equal rights. It gives African Americans and Latinos great privileges and seriously harms the interests of Asian Americans, especially Chinese Americans. How big is the privilege? In 2009, an Asian who scored 1600 in the SAT exam had the same chance of being admitted to top schools as a white person with 1460 or a black person with 1150. According to the data provided by the college board, only less than 0.07% of the candidates can get the full score of 1600, while 28% of the candidates can get the exam above 1150. The gap is extremely incredible. Asian students are 1/3 as likely to be admitted to top schools as white students, 1/6 as Hispanic students and 1/15 as African students. This discriminatory treatment truly is "racism" literally.

        In my point of view, there have possible things to do. First, Tuition fees for black students in public universities can be cut in half, but the admission standard is the same as that of the whites. Second, if blacks are willing to study in technical majors (such as CS and medicine) which are relatively scarce in the American, the government are not only made the tuitions free for them, also pay for them. The government can set up high-quality, well-disciplined free secondary schools for black children, with the goal of applying to universities. The policy of the United States should be to help black people who are willing to work hard and only give very little help to black people who are unwilling to work hard.

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History Of Affirmative Action. (2019, Dec 18). Retrieved December 4, 2023 , from

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