Sample Essay on Racism Affirmative Action & Reverse Discrimination

Racism, White Privilege, Affirmative Action, and Reverse Discrimination

Fleming, Nasir (2014). The Moment I Realized What It Means to Be a Minority. Retrieved from:

This article argues that, in United States, people are not equal and the perception of “race” still institutionally and socially puts citizens of color at a disadvantage. After harsh realization of the assassinations of Emmett Till, Mike Brown and many other people of color, unjust public incarceration rates, huge poverty gaps, de facto separation of neighborhoods and lack of color diversity between people in social and economic power the author believes that people of color are not equal. The modern society according to Fleming was literally created for white people to shine and be successful than people of color and it is crucial for all to be aware of this fact. The article then recommends that, all people, irrespective of their color should question their understanding of race and how race influences them, whether in a positive or harmful influence. This article relates with the above topic in a manner that, it acknowledges there is still a problem of racism that should not be ignored. In addition, it explains the unearned advantages that’s comes along by belonging to white society. The article supports affirmative action as a way of not just compensating the past injustices but also the continuing injustices.

Why does LBJ institute affirmative action policies in the 1960s?

Affirmative action can be said to be a product of the 1960’s Civil Rights groups, planned to present equal opportunities for citizens belonging to minority groups in education and employment. Affirmative action policies were instituted by LBJ to develop opportunities for Black Americans in employment and education sectors. During his speech LBJ explained that his decision was driven by the fact that, in many ways American Blacks were treated like they belonged to another country which was deprived of sovereignty, crippled by detestation and the its doors of opportunity closed.

Why does Nell Irvin Painter support Affirmative Action?

Nell Irvin believes that affirmative action made a lot of sense since discrimination against blacks and women was long-drawn-out and thorough. In addition, she confesses to have been a beneficially of affirmative action. She is a black and female, yet she was employed by two history departments that had no black workers before affirmative action was institutionalized back in the late 1960’s. She believes that, affirmative action has opened regions that were formerly reserved for white men only. According to Irvin, without affirmative action, large research university would not have considered her for specialized employment, regardless of her degree, languages, publications, appeal, and credentials.

Why do these two articles above (LBJ & Nell) reject the belief that affirmative action creates a stigma of inferiority for those who receive its benefits?

The two articles above oppose the belief that affirmative action creates a stigma of inferiority for those who receive its benefits. For example Nell Irvin is a beneficially of affirmative action and she does not show any sign of inferiority stigma. Conversely, the articles suggest that, diversity in higher education presents an educational gain for each student, both individually and intellectually. People live in a global, diverse society, and so as to attain success, employers and workers should be able to work efficiently with the diverse society surrounding them. These articles’ standpoints are supported by the fact that, graduates who are beneficiaries of affirmative action programs state that they have secured better jobs, earned more income, and ultimately are living enhanced lives due to the opportunity they obtained.

Why does Glazer characterize affirmative action as “affirmative discrimination”?  Explain

The Glazer’s idea of characterizing affirmative action as “affirmative discrimination were driven by an idealistic and unrealized fear that ambitions and timetables for black minorities would bring in a system of impartial representation that would impose great damage on Jews. He further illustrates that Affirmative Action rules prohibit the treatment of people on account of their personal merits and that governmental stipulations for Affirmative Action infringes1964 Public Rights Act. He also suggests that such conditions prevent employers from discerning qualified candidates from incompetent ones. Glazer indicates that although Affirmative Action is believed to help minorities, it does not mean preference for minorities in general and all citizens are members of some marginal group.

Why does Supreme Court Justice Lewis Powell think that diversity is a permissible goal for affirmative action?

Since classroom diversity is a compelling national interest, Powell stated that affirmative action was generally permitted under the Constitution. While reflecting on the program itself, Powell resolved that it was not merely a goal, as the university had asserted, but a racial qualification. Powell asserted that since the university had confessed that it could not confirm that Bakke would not have been selected even if the school had no special admissions plan, the segment of the California Supreme Court’s verdict ordering Bakke’s admittance was appropriate, and was upheld. However, the state was entitled to deem race as one of numerous factors, and the part of the California court’s ruling, which had ordered the contrary, was dismissed.


Do you think there is a place for race-based affirmative action in our nation?   Why or why not?

Racial-based affirmative action has generally failed because of lack of political will. A number of conservative politicians are opposed to affirmative action, viewing it as an infringement on the 14th Amendment civil rights of to fairness of opportunity, moving away from the meritocratic civilization that they think exists in United States. Even though Fisher v. University of Texas was a sign of political determination for affirmative action to prolong, there is an observation within various circles that university scholarship organizations favor racial minorities to such a level that it is not possible to obtain a scholarship if a person is a Caucasian male.

What does Peggy McIntosh mean by “white privilege”? Do you agree or disagree with her? Why?

Peggy describes white privilege as an advantage that a person gets just because he/she belongs to a certain human circle especially white. She further describes the term as unearned advantage and bestowed dominance. I agree that there are some situations where “white privilege” is absolutely applicable. I also think that McIntosh’s assertion that if an individual who is a minority succeeds, people perceive them, as an exemption to their race is mainly true. While people who say this perhaps mean well, it is essentially very offensive since it suggests that most people who are a minority are not successful which is not true

These documents raises several questions, first, can affirmative action be said to favor black people? Has affirmative action met the goals in which it was designed for? Does the issue of Racism still exist in the United States? Lastly, can the ongoing debate relating to affirmative action bring a lasting solution?