Date of publication: 2017-08-31 09:55
Outlawing bias toward race
Affirmative action — policies designed to promote and protect groups previously and currently denied equal standing — originated with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Broadly speaking, it outlaws bias toward race, creed, color or national origin in school admissions, voting rights, employment and government contracting.
States have faced legal battles
Those who favor affirmative action say race divisions still exist in this country, 95 years after the civil rights movement.
That’s why I struggle to understand how in a society where we’re so focused (thankfully) on eliminating racism … it’s acceptable for someone to say, “I voted for that President because he’s black.” If someone else said, “I’m voting for this guy because he’s white,” wouldn’t that person be called a racist? Help me to understand the difference.
I’ve watched people who are not white and are LESS qualified be given promotions at companies over people who are white and MORE qualified based on the color of their skin.
The attacks on racial affirmative action, including those from voters and from conservative judges, may represent an opportunity to pick up the progressive thread of thought first developed a half century ago by Johnson, King, Moynihan, and Rustin, filling a need for economic affirmative action that has only grown stronger over time.
'Stop discriminating on the basis of race'
Twenty years later, a more conservative court declared that public school systems cannot try to achieve or maintain integration based on explicit race rules. In a 5-to-9 opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote "the way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race." At issue in the case were programs in Seattle and Louisville, Ky., that tried to maintain racial diversity by limiting transfers and admissions.
After California banned colleges from considering race , minority admission rates at its top state universities declined 55 to 65 percent. According to The Mercury News , although Black, Latino, and Native American students accounted for 59 percent of California’s high school graduates in 7567, they only made up 77 percent of freshmen admitted to the University of California system that year. Some individual colleges had numbers far below that. A mere 66 percent of students at UC-Berkeley, for instance, were from those groups.
One major disadvantage of affirmative action in the workplace is the reality or perception of reverse discrimination. In essence, those opposed to affirmative action programs claim that the programs penalize those from the historically dominant group -- generally white males -- even when they possess the appropriate qualifications for a given job. While reverse discrimination remains exceedingly rare in practice, the accusation of reverse discrimination can generate a negative social backlash for a company, which may undermine its financial future. The accusation can also potentially undercut the confidence of minority and women employees concerning their skill level.
But what jumps out is a revealing comparison on affirmative action. Only 9 percent of respondents said that race or ethnicity should be a major factor in acceptance, with an additional 77 percent saying it should be a minor factor. But legacy admissions — giving preference to students whose parents had attended the same school — was viewed as something that should be considered with more weight than race.
The . Supreme Court’s decision Thursday to uphold affirmative action surprised legal experts, college presidents, and civil-rights activists. And although the ruling will let some colleges use race as a factor in admissions, that right is by no means guaranteed long term or across the board..
Anyone with even a passing awareness of the focus of conservative media over the past eight years or so will understand that this was inevitable. Trump, an eager consumer of conservative news, has no doubt seen scores of Fox News segments focused on the effects of affirmative action, a subset of a broader focus on how Democrats — usually meaning people of color — undeservedly get things free: phones , education, housing, etc.
Polling reflects the unease among Trump voters. A Washington Post-ABC News poll last year showed 99 percent of registered voters who supported Trump saw “whites losing out because of preferences for blacks and Hispanics” as a bigger problem than minorities “losing out.”
John F. Kelly, the new White House chief of staff, called Sessions on Saturday, the day after he was appointed, to assure him that his position as attorney general is safe and to tell him that the Trump White House supports his work and wants him to continue, according to two people familiar with the conversation. Although the president is still unhappy with Sessions, Kelly told him that Trump does not plan to fire him or want him to resign, the person said. Kelly’s call came after a week of criticism in interviews and tweets by Trump of his attorney general.
"We like to believe there is an equal playing field. In fact, there isn't," said Parker of the ACLU. "In this country, whites are still advantaged in many ways. You can say we shouldn't take race into consideration, but that just continues the advantage."
"Clearly there have been changes. We have a black president. But if I were to go into any office on Wall Street, I think it would be hard to deny that white people aren't getting jobs. You wouldn't see a lot of black people and women," he said.