Story of Bakke: Racism at University

In 1964 and 1965 President Johnson signed the Civil Rites acts, and these acts included affirmative action. While affirmative action may have been needed then it is now superfluous.

Affirmative action has been questioned several times. One time was Bakke verses University of California Regents; Bakke claimed he wasn”t admitted to University California-Davis because he was white. Also prop 209 passed in California in 1996. You have the civil rites acts of 64 and 65.

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Affirmative action has recently been challenged at the University of Michigan.These are just several times that Affirmative Action has come into to play. In case of Bakke verses University of California Regents, Bakke attempted twice to enroll in the University of California Medical School at Davis unsuccessfully. “The school reserved sixteen places in each entering class of one hundred for “qualified” minorities, as part of the university’s affirmative action program”(www.

plhs. esu3. org).In other words they wouldn”t always take the 100 most qualified people, since 16 students entering the school must be a minority.

Bakke’s qualifications exceeded those of any of the minority students admitted in the two years Bakke’s applications were rejected”(www. plhs. esu3. org).

This was the basis of Bakke’s case. Bakke argued that he was kept out of University of California Medical School at Davis because he was white.His attorneys brought up this question, “Did the University of California violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, by practicing an affirmative action policy that resulted in the repeated rejection of Bakke’s application for admission to its medical school? (www. plhs.

esu3. org). When the Supreme Court decided on Bakke’s case they returned with one of their most hypocritical decisions.No and yes Four of the justices contended that any racial quota system supported by government violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr. , agreed, casting the deciding vote ordering the medical school to admit Bakke. However, in his opinion, Powell argued that the rigid use of racial quotas as employed at the school violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

The remaining four justices held that the use of race as a criterion in admissions decisions in higher education was constitutionally permissible. Powell joined that opinion as well, contending that the use of race was permissible as one of several admission criteria (www. plhs. esu3.

org). In other words the racial quota was unconstitutional, but if using race was only part of the admissions process then it was perfectly fine to help decide who can gain admittance. This is one of several affirmative action problems in California.On November 5, 1996 California went to the polls and passed prop 209 with a 54% to 46% final count.

Prop 209 was written to remove affirmative action from the state of California. The prop stated, “The state shall not discriminate against, or grant preferential treatment to, any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin in the operation of public employment, public education, or public contracting”(www. cadap. org).

Once the prop passed it was taken all the way to the supreme court where they came back with this ruling, “On November 3, 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court denied certiorari in the case, letting stand the Ninth U. S.

Circuit Court of Appeals decision of April, 1997 which strongly upholds the constitutionality of the measure”(www. cadap. org). This prop limited the civil rites acts of 1964 and 1965.

In the mid 1960’s President Johnson had several ideas that found there way into the civil rites acts. One idea was affirmative action, he said, “Some form of affirmative action would be needed to help minorities overcome decades of prior discrimination”(www. civnet. org).

Affirmative action had it pros and cons like anything. Some of the good things brought to a reality is, Because of prior discrimination in education and employment, women and minorities are handicapped when they apply to good schools, seek decent jobs or look for promotions. Therefore, to overcome the results of this past discrimination, colleges and employers ought to give some sort of preferred treatment to minorities, either by actively seeking minority applicants or by setting up a quota of jobs or school spaces reserved for women and minorities.Only by making this effort to bring minorities into the mainstream, goes the argument, can the effects of decades of discrimination finally be erased (www.

civnet. org). At the same time there are several negatives to affirmative action some of these problems are, The white male must lose his chance at entrance to a particular college or job is being penalized unfairly. He had nothing to do with slavery one or two centuries ago, and may not have anything to do with discriminatory practices today.

Why should an individual be penalized for what the society has done; conversely, why should the individual minority member benefit today for what was done to his or her ancestors decades ago (www. civnet. org). The ramifications of these acts are still felt today.

Affirmative action has been challenged once again on college admissions. This time the problem is at the University of Michigan. The problem is the, “Use of affirmative action to increase minority enrollment at its law school”(www. nytimes.

com). The question being raised is, “Do race-based preferences in college admissions violate the equal-treatment standard”(The Mercury News).The problem that raises this issue is a scale used to help decide admissions; a controversial part of Michigan’s admission policy was a 150-point scale used to grade an applicant’s record. African Americans, Latinos or Native Americans automatically received 20 points for their race, which could have raised their grade a full point on a 4.

0 scale (CNN. com). This is just one of many ways affirmative action affects Public colleges today. In conclusion affirmative action was correct solution for an old problem that is not as prevalent in the United States as it once was.

In the case of Bakke verses University of California Regents the Supreme Court was forced to contradict itself. Prop 209 was one of the first laws to work against affirmative action. While the civil rites acts of 1964 and 1965 are great acts to start the ending of discrimination, the affirmative action they brought has started discrimination against the white male. Finally affirmative action is still keeping qualified people out of graduate schools.

These are just several reasons why affirmative action is the wrong answer now to a largely archaic problem in the United States.

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Story of Bakke: Racism at University. (2018, Mar 07). Retrieved from