In recent times, Affirmative Action has implemented policies of reverse discrimination to help oppressed minorities gain an advantage over majority groups in college admissions and in employment. However, is Affirmative Action, as many critics state, just passing on the oppression? The basis behind Affirmative Action is that because of past discrimination and oppression, minorities and women have difficulty competing with their white male counterparts. This just isn't true anymore. Why must white males be oppressed by Affirmative Action just because their ancestors enslaved and oppressed another race and gender, and be victims of reverse discrimination in college admissions and employment?
The U.S. Supreme Court has faced many cases regarding this controversial issue, including The Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. Bakke, a white medical student, was denied admission to a University of California medical school because of a quota system. Bakke claimed that he was a victim of "reverse discrimination" and sued.
In a close decision, the Court ruled that schools might not enforce a rigid quota system if whites are not allowed to compete equally. The issue was still muddied, however, because in the same decision, the Court ruled that race could be used as a factor. The various regulations and court rulings have made Affirmative Action one of the most conflicting issues facing America.
On one hand, differing local, state, and federal laws require employers to avoid discrimination in up to nine criteria: race, color, sex, age, national origin, sexual preference, handicap, veterans' status and religion. On the other hand, Affirmative Action rules also require certain employers, such as companies with federal contracts, to give preference to racial minorities, women, and others. Consequently, when considering both sides of the issue, it becomes apparent that reverse discrimination and preferential treatment of minorities is ridiculous...