Justice For All? Over the last thirty years, minorities have been given a better chance to succeed in America by way of Affirmative Action. Recently, there has been a surge of non-minority Americans claiming reverse racism. Affirmative Action is now being called preferential treatment. In the beginning, it was designed to help minorities have a more equal opportunity in the world. A group of non-minority Americans in California claimed that they were being denied admittance to universities in the admitting process. This led to Ward Connerly, a member of University of California Regents, promoting the anti Affirmative Action message (NLSPAC, 1). Proposition 209 bans both discrimination and preferential treatment to various minorities on the basis of race, creed, sex, or place of origin (NLSPAC, 1). Connerly does not clearly structure his mode of thought.
His understanding of reality is not real pertaining to minorities. The social context of Affirmative Action is its origin in the Civil Rights Movement. It was designed to give minorities and women special consideration for contracts, employment, and education (Froomkin, 2). Connerly is not a woman and he does not acknowledge the fact that he is African American, a minority. Connerly owns a consulting firm and only divulges his race when necessary, I felt that it could be damaging to my business to be identified as a minority firm, he says (Pooley, 4).
Connerly does not understand or cannot relate to other minorities about the struggles that minoritys face getting into corporate America. Since Connerly has already received his degree, owns his own business, and does not reveal his race for contracts, he does not understand what minorities who do not have these things go through. Therefore, his mode of thought is completely obscured and distorted. I consider Connerlys group to be minorities. However, he cannot relate to his group because he does not speak the same language as his group. By language, I mean social attitude.
Most minorities try to accept all of the help they can get. For instance, the government will defer a companys capital gains taxes indefinitely if that company sells a cable system to a partnership controlled by a minority (Birnbaum, 1). There have been other programs like this one where minorities benefited. This too will end if Affirmative Action is ended. Connerly does not understand that minorities still need special privileges to be as successful as non-minorities. He does not realize how much minorities stand to lose.
The meanings or opinions of a situation depend on which group you belong to in society. There are two different opinions to the same situation. One is held by minorities and the other by non-minorities. Connerly associates himself with the non-minorities. Connerlys inherited situation changed twice during his childhood. When he was four, his mother died and he was taken in by his middle class uncle and aunt (Pooley, 3).
At age twelve, he went to live with his grandmother who was in the lower class bracket. It was during this time that Connerlys work ethic and also hate of his race began (Pooley, 3). He worked to help his grandmother and resented the fact he went to a lower income household. Connerly could not further his ways of knowing in his inherited situation because he disassociated himself from others in his race. This is due to struggles that he faced. Connerlys struggle with nature is one of his biggest problems.
It is a natural fact that he was born a black male in the late 1930s in a lower class family. Civil Rights had not been established and he was considered an inferior citizen. Connerly wishes he could live in a colorblind society. Therefore, he could not be classified by something he wishes he were not. The struggle of an individual with another individual happens on a daily basis.
Minorities and non-minorities compete for contracts, educational, and employment opportunities on a daily basis. This causes major conflict between people. Critics of Affirmative Action claim that schools rely too heavily on racial double standards (Gwynne, 2). Now that Affirmative Action is helping minorities, non-minorities are feeling the same effects of not getting jobs and contracts that they had been getting previously. The playing field is more equal and non-minorities are getting upset. They are the ones who are being passed over for jobs, contracts, and educational opportunities. That is how Connerly got involved with Proposition 209. His friends, Jerry and Ellen Cook, (a white family) were upset that their son was not accepted into the school of his choice (Lynch, 1).
Helping the Cooks became his mission. This is another example of struggles between social groups. The particular issue, Affirmative Action, always leads to clashes between race and gender. America has many problems and race is a large part of many problems. People of different races have been arguing since the forming of our country.
It has even lead to a civil war. Gender is another problem since women are steadily moving up the corporate ladder. People have been trying to overcome the limitations imposed upon them by society for centuries. Non-whites have to prove themselves worthy and competent. Society has labeled them as slackers, lazy, and inferior. Women have been trying to overcome being seen only as domestics and homemakers.
This has taken many years. Women could not even vote until the twentieth century. It has gotten better for women, but there is still a glass ceiling that they reach. Connerly has a problem with the struggle regarding his understanding with his group. He does not fully understand the true day to day struggles that minorities go through.
The human possibilities are endless for minorities if given the chance. The government has come to realize the detrimental effects that would come if Affirmative Action were abolished. Social groups are very practical about their concerns. Peoples basic concerns are making a descent living and providing for their families. This is why minorities are upset that Connerly is supporting Proposition 209. Social groups are close knit groups.
When something happens to effect the group the bond gets closer, however there is backstabbing, and mud slinging among them. When Connerly went public, there was an outcry from minorities all over the country. They rallied together and tried to stop this initiative. Rev. Jesse Jackson organized rallies and others got petitions together.
Social groups exist for very real purposes. Hispanics and women are gearing up to lobby together to save as many programs as they can (Birnbaum, 1). Individuals in this country have not been very successful fighting for causes by themselves. Connerly is just another example of one group using a person from an opposing group to make a point. Connerly chose to help end the very program that helped him start his own business. Connerly has been very successful at his consulting firm.
He does not realize that by ending some of the positive effects that has come from the program. The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies shows that Affirmative Action programs opened new opportunities for blacks, but the measurable benefits in terms of wages and employment have been quite small (Birnb …