A Means Of Redressing Systemized Discrimination
There are some facts about American society and the American economy that cannot be denied. One is that in the competitive global economy, we cannot afford to ignore the potential contributions of all Americans including women and minorities. Another is that despite efforts toward equality, women and minorities still face an uneven playing field when it comes to educational and economic opportunities. Still another fact is that affirmative action is the only guarantee of leveling the presently uneven playing field in order to take advantage of the contributions possible from all Americans. This is not because affirmative action is a cure-all for prejudice and racism. It is because after centuries of oppression and educational, legal, economic and political discrimination against women and minorities it is one of the only means of counteracting the dire effects this has had on women and minorities in the workplace and in the halls of academia. Even President Clinton accepts this past abuse and affirmative action as a means of redressing it:
The President put the debate over affirmative action in its proper historical context, and reminded the nation that women and minorities were victims of official discrimination for centuries before the civil rights gains of the 20th century. He correctly pointed out that…a look at the plain facts, including continuing wage and unemployment disparities, proves that discrimination on the basis of race and gender has not yet been eliminated. Furthermore, he announced that the review he ordered some months ago of affirmative action programs administered by the federal government revealed that the programs were generally fair and nondiscriminatory, and that they had substantially increased the numbers of qualified minorities and women in government workplaces and agencies.
Despite facts like these, those who are typically white and in posi...