Does the American education system owe something to Black Americans? There is a history of racism and discrimination in this country, and some say that paying reparations is the only way to rectify the situation. Another possibility is more accessible education; that is the argument for affirmative action. As Black Americans were forbidden from learning during slavery, and then denied access to many institutions later on, affirmative action was then put in place to make sure that they were no longer discriminated against in this space. Now, some people believe that this is no longer a necessary fix and that Black and non-Black students are limited. Others think that despite having had a Black president, etc., we still need these systems to promote equity.
A case for affirmative action
As recently as the 1960s, Black Americans could not go to many colleges. No college meant no access to many well-paying jobs. Essentially, just a generation ago, the system was actively working against Black people’s betterment in this country. Affirmative action was an imperfect system put in place to at least right this one wrong, and hopefully, bring some equity to millions of Americans. Now, a lot more Americans are seeking and receiving an education. Black graduation rates are at a high. Black women have actually become the most educated group in America. Can we thank affirmative action for these accomplishments?
A case against
Some people no longer see race as a limiting factor to success, considering the many Black individuals thriving today. Considering where Black people started in America, many people see the current status as a marked improvement, and therefore initiatives such as affirmative action seem archaic and unnecessary. Even with these programs, the wealth gap between Black and White Americans isn’t closing anytime soon. A lack of generational wealth and access to property is a major issue that still holds many Americans down. Considering all of these factors, is affirmative action still a viable answer?
Let us know what you think!