October 17, 2012 by kguzman707
In addition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s also gave birth to the policy of affirmative action. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, affirmative action seeks to “secure racial diversity in educational settings, workplaces, and government contracts, to remedy continuing systemic discrimination against people of color, and to help ensure equal opportunities for all people”. Others view it as the nation’s effort to right the wrongs of the past with regards to historic discrimination against minorities like people of color and women. Yet another definition is that affirmative action takes into consideration race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin into consideration in order to benefit a minority group in areas like employment, education, and business. There is not an exact way with which to completely right the wrongs of the past and affirmative action is only a tiny offering in the effort to alleviate the burden for minorities. Indeed, I do not think affirmative action should be eliminated or reduced in any way. Minorities already have it tough enough. There are some who say that we do not need affirmative action anymore because the playing field is already fair. A student also said that affirmative action is pointless because it defeats the purpose of the Equal Opportunity Act. First of all, the playing field is definitely not already fair. Women are still not paid the amount men are paid in the same occupations. Latinos, Asians, blacks, native americans and other minorities are still present in cases of discrimination. The argument about whites having it unfair when it comes to choosing between a minority or a white person with the same credentials is nonsense because if you put hard work in something and you fight for it you should achieve whatever it is you want. Employers and other institutions should not choose someone well qualified over a minority for the sole purpose of “diversifying”. That’s not correct, either. However, affirmative action does possess valuable opportunities for recognizing minorities. There is the Goizueta scholarship that benefits Latino students and recognizes them and their achievements and provides for a way to afford college costs. Another example is the Hispanic Scholarship Fund that offers scholarships specifically for Latinos. The Gates Millenium scholarships provides Asians, blacks, and Latinos with scholarships taking into consideration their race. Affirmative action should not be reduced in any way because their definitely is a high possibility that Latino rates in higher education institutions get lower than they already are. And since many scholarships out there are indeed race specific, Latinos would be even more discouraged about pursuing higher education. This not only applies to Latinos, but all minorities.