Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Reflection on Affirmative Action: The Problem or the Solution

This week in class we watched the documentary  Affirmative Action: The Problem or the Solution in which Gary Anthony Ramsey goes into detail about the ongoing heated debate about affirmative action. The purpose of this documentary was to provide an objective perspective on the issue by presenting both sides of the case and letting the audience decide. The documentary defines affirmative action as a system put in place to remedy the wrongs that minorities have been subject to over the course of history that prevented them from getting a good education or doing certain jobs. With the help of affirmative action universities have been able to bring in a more diverse student body. However, there are some who are opposed to this system. They claim that the acceptance of these minorities into universities is harmful because " they're creating the environment that doing worse is still acceptable" (Duke Machado). The documentary provides a thorough explanation of all the arguments people have about affirmative action.
Personally, I'm very conflicted about this issue. I believe that affirmative action, in essence, is a well thought out system with the right intentions. However, the whole situation seems to me like a never ending cycle. Affirmative action is a system made to fight racial discrimination with the help of more racial categories. Isn't the very existence of such a system a sad truth about the once discriminatory nature of American society? Does the continued existence of this system not imply that nothing has changed? That we have not evolved into the colorblind society that many civil rights activists have fought for? One of the texts we read in class (source A) had a very intriguing quote that captures the situation perfectly. Affirmative action "is  a strange cure that generates its own disease." Affirmative Action has, without a doubt, been a much needed system in our society to fight racial discrimination, however, its continued existence is one that needs great evaluation.

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