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I Have A Dream

‘I have a dream’…AND…it’s not affirmative action!

Many claim that one of the only ways to promote racial equality in America is through the social theory of “affirmative action”. Affirmative action is defined as “any effort taken to fully integrate our society by expanding educational, employment, and contracting opportunities to the multitude of gender, ethnic, national origin, and handicapped-condition groups that have been and remain locked out of full economic, social and/or political participation” (Shelton MhG). Nonetheless, many feel that affirmative action is no longer necessary because Title VII of the Civil Rights Act provides protection against discrimination and because we have become less discriminating as a country over the past thirty years. Many argue affirmative action is unnecessary, especially for groups considered minorities like women, who actually make up a majority of the population. In his I Have A Dream speech, King, Jr. did not advocate special privileges for the disenfranchised (what affirmative action equates to). Instead, he argued that “every” American and “all” Americans should have equal opportunity and equal access to it. As he says of the founders of the nation, “they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir” (King, Jr. 16241).

Those who support affirmative action argue that racism still exists and programs like this are needed to help balance the injustice against minorities. However, King, Jr. did not make an appeal for special treatment of blacks. He wanted to restructure the social system in general, one that did not grant equal access based on merit, but access based on race, color or creed. He wanted equality for “all”, not special privileges for the abused, “Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make ju


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I Have A Dream. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 01:06, March 26, 2019, from