How the branches of government contributed to the policy of Affirmative Action in the US
Affirmative action in United State focused mostly on issues of education and employment of the citizens. It is reported that the minorities groups and women had been largely discriminated in schools and business for a long time (Butto etal 237). This discrimination in schools had been evident through skewed admissions. Affirmative action had been on the forefront in addressing past discriminations and suffering of the minority groups. One of the goals of this policy was to ensure that the populations in schools, colleges and universities were a representative of the whole population in the country (Card and Krueger 417).
There were some policies that were adopted as affirmative actions and some that had been heavily criticized, for instance, use of quotas in college admissions. This had been viewed by many as camouflaged discrimination (reverse discrimination) and as such was been ruled as unconstitutional. According to the critics affirmative actions were put in place to address past discrimination and that they are no longer required as it leads to more discrimination and favoritism.
It is eluded that the government of the United States is composed of three independent branches of judiciary, executive and the legislative arm (Oosterom-Staples 152). All the branches of government had been instrumental in coming up, implementing and supporting affirmative action policies.
The judiciary arm of the government contributed immensely to the affirmative actions development in the country (Oosterom-Staples 155). It can be remember that in the year 1978 in a case that involved the university of California and Bakke, the Supreme Court ruled that there was a violation of right through discrimination of setting aside fixed slot for the minority to get admissions into the university. On the same note the judge noted that affirmative action could be on the best interest of the university to allow diverse composition of students from different races. He affirmed that races could be used to assist in making decisions on the university admissions dilemmas. Here the judiciary game a thumps up for affirmative action to ensure equal access to university admissions. In other areas the courts contributed much in allowing for equal opportunities for those employed in companies and organization as the case of united steel workers of America that allowed 50 to 50 compositions of blacks and whites.
The judiciary segment of the government also contributed by discouraging unlawful affirmative action that required men to be released off duty to give way for women with the pretense of achieving gender balance. This was an issue that even affected those who worked in the admission department of colleges and universities. It is worth pointing out that affirmative actions also faced setbacks through the courts. To affirm this assertion is the Hopwood verses Texas case of 1996 that provided a ruling that race was no longer usable to make admission decisions in colleges. This was considered a setback as it was believed that setting aside specific admission slots would address discrimination to the minority.
The legislative arm of the government had contributed to affirmative action through formulating laws and performing amendment to the existing laws (Oosterom-Staples 157). The legislations that had been passed were largely aimed at providing equal educational opportunities through admissions for the minority groups of the population. Legislations were passed to provide solutions to the long standing discriminations in the educational sector. For instance, the proposition 209 of the year 1996 that was passed in California mandating that there should be no discrimination on public education and employment. This piece of legislation ensured that the rights of all population were protected and that there was not to be discrimination in any way. This is considered a great boost for affirmative action policies.
A constitutional amendment number 5 was an initiative that deleted the provisions that allowed the state of California to give preferences to certain groups in the educational admission system. According to this piece of legislation this could deny certain groups their rights to education. This amendment was later withdrawn from discussions in the senate and thus a boost to affirmative action in favoring the minority groups. The intentions of the legislative laws had contributed immensely in making the playing field level for everybody. It had been asserted that the laws were on the forefront in fighting racial discrimination that had been a problem for so long (Stacy Finz 4).
The executive arm of the government had also contributed in ensuring the coining of the affirmative action concept and supporting its implementation. President Kennedy made an executive order that referenced the need for equal opportunity in employment and education (Butto etal 177). Historically, President Johnson boosted affirmative action by signing an act that prohibited discrimination based on race and color (Butto etal 179). He went ahead to point out praising that affirmative actions were needed as civil right laws were not enough to fight discrimination. He made orders to contractors to ensure that there was equal employment to all groups of people (Butto etal 181).
When President Clinton took over the helms of power he produced a memo that eliminated programs that created equal opportunities to everybody thereby removing quotas and creating preferences to certain groups, this contradicted initial intentions of affirmative actions. The executive had been instrumental in supporting and modifying certain policies that looked like reverse discrimination.
How to bring back affirmative actions
There is need for affirmative action policies to the college admissions in California as universities and colleges would be in positions to reach out to more people, those who have not been fully represented. Such policies will also aid in promoting academic success to the special groups by offering financial assistance. It is my view that affirmative actions would result to doubling the number of the special groups getting admissions in colleges. This has been supported by the fact that since the state of California abolished affirmative action policies in 1998 the number of minority getting admitted in colleges and universities have fallen by 61 percent.
According to a research conducted many of the graduates have got good jobs and are living good lives courtesy of the opportunities they received through affirmative action. It is believed that it will fight the economic oppression and discrimination that have been witnessed in the past (Butto etal 184).
To go about this as an activist I will collect data on what has occurred in the admission to colleges and universities to ascertain how the minority groups have suffered due to lack of affirmative actions to support their admissions. As an activist I will organize for public demonstrations and processions to make the whole state of California aware that affirmative actions is needed to make admission decisions in colleges. This will be done in assistance with the minority groups after which we will petition for a bill to be discussed in the senate to help bring back affirmative actions with the help of our local political representatives.
Butto, J., Moore, K.N., Rienzo, B.A. Supporting diversity works: African American male and
female employment in six Florida cities. Western Journal of Black Studies. 2006. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
Card, D. and Krueger, A.B. Would the Elimination of Affirmative Action Affect Highly
Qualified Minority Applicants? Evidence from California and Texas. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, Vol. 58, No. 3, Festschrift in Honor of Orley Ashenfelter, Sage Publications, Inc. pp. 416-434, April 2005. Accessed from http://www.jstor.org/stable/30038596 on 12-03-2016 03:38 UTC.
Oosterom-Staples, Helen. To what extent has reverse discrimination been reversed? European
Journal of Migration and Law (Brill) 14 (2): 151–172. doi:10.1163/157181612X642358. 2012.
Stacy Finz. California Consequences: What If High Court Bans Race Preferences in College
Admissions? Cal Alumni Association, UC Berkeley. Posted on August 20, 2015.