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Affirmative Action as a Solution to the Race Issue

The issue of race has always been a source of concern within the American community. Due to years of oppression and the legacy of slavery, which affects the relationships between African Americans and white Americans to this day, the necessity to reconsider the current approach toward the provision of equal opportunities and the distribution of social befits becomes obvious. Since social well-being and the chances to avoid poverty are often predicated on the extent of social capital allotted to an individual, and since African American people often become the target for social insecurity and the threat of poverty due to the presence of prejudices and discrimination within the American community, it is central to create an affirmative action that will serve as the leverage for offering extra support to the specified demographic as highly vulnerable.

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The inclusion of affirmative action into the context of modern American society will help to focus not only on obvious economic inequalities but also on the underlying social issues that prevent people from perceiving African American people as complete and independent members of society. Specifically, with the use of the affirmative action model as a template for managing the relationships between African American people and the rest of the U.S. community, the possibility of the gradual deviation from the current framework for seeing the accomplishments or problems of African American people being tethered to their race may eventually disappear (Warikoo & Allen, 2020). Specifically, as Williams (2015) rightfully mentions, both the successes and failures of Black people are typically connected to their race and ethnic background, with the emphasis on the observed success being an extraordinary phenomenon: “When a middle-class black person becomes a gymnastics medalist, people won’t say it’s because of that extra African muscle she is rumored to have in her buttocks; instead she’ll be lifted up as a role model of focus, aplomb and very hard work” (Williams, 2015, para. 3). In turn, the introduction of the affirmative action as the means of controlling and addressing the instances of social injustice must be seen as a crucial change that will gradually allow managing the problem of racism and social injustice in American society.

Even though Williams (2015) specifies that the wealth gap is not the only marker of the current presence of inequality within the U.S. community, it is still essential to consider the manner in which financial well-being and the threat of being subjected to racism are correlated. Indeed, despite the fact that overcoming the financial gap is possible for a range of African Americans, a substantial part of the target population is still affected by the socioeconomic issues caused primarily by racist attitudes, namely, the inability to get the opportunity of proper education, the lack of chances for a lucrative career, and similar concerns, as the critical theory of race suggests (Christian et al., 2019). Therefore, the economic factor as the foundational core of concerns should still be seen as the most evident sign of the need to implement affirmative action and create extra opportunities for the African American community to succeed.

However, reverting back to Williams’ argument, it is worth noting that the wealth gap is by far not the only factor that determines the extent of discrimination experienced by African American people. Indeed, the fact that in areas such as sport, the specified population is still subjected to racism, which shapes the audiences’ expectations and the perception of African American people’s success, subsequently diminishing it, proves that affirmative action is, indeed, needed. One could argue that the introduction of affirmative action will not erase the presence of prejudices and, specifically, racism within the American community. Indeed, as a legal measure rather than the social one, it only introduces the opportunity for African American people to gain extra opportunities in certain areas (Salter et al., 2018). However, once firmly integrated into the setting of the American community, affirmative action can also be viewed as the precursor to a stupendous social change. Namely, as soon as the principles of Affirmative action are enacted and a new system of distributing social capital is launched, a change in the attitudes toward African American people is likely to occur.

When it comes to analyzing the factors that will make the application of affirmative action particularly necessary and enhance the effect of change that it will produce, one should mention the idea of colorblindness that has been nearly perpetuated within the U.S. community. Although being seemingly well-intended, the refusal to acknowledge the presence of differences between African American people and white Americans may lead to the erasure of the very fact that the latter demographic still suffers serve discrimination. Moreover, the promotion of colorblindness will imply the neglect of the legacy of African American history, which includes the history of racial discrimination. As a result, the promotion of equity and equality will become impossible in the context where race is regarded as insignificant (Moore, 2018). For this reason, affirmative action must become a part of state policy.

Overall, the integration of affirmative action into American society must be seen as an indispensable step in managing the extent of racism that African American people face. With the introduction of affirmative action as the critical step in managing the problem of racial inequality and the resulting presence of social injustice toward African American people, chances for the target population to be perceived as people first and be judged on the merit of their accomplishments and not their race. At the same time, it is important to secure the legacy of African American history and culture so that the challenges faced by the target population could be acknowledged and that the rights and freedoms of African American people could be well respected.

Due to the continuous discrimination to which African American people are subjected as a result of racism has become deeply ingrained into the core of American society, creating affirmative action as the means of leveraging the chances for African American people to succeed is vital. Despite the presence of examples of African American people being successful not only on the merit of their unique qualities but also from the perspective of their wealth and income, the specified demographic still has to face a devastating amount of racism and prejudices. Therefore, building a platform that will allow not only equality but also equity for the African American population is essential. Thus, Williams (2015) is entirely correct in her assertion that an affirmative action is an indispensable tool in addressing the problem of racial inequality, particularly, the discrimination of African American people, within American society. Once the basis for equal treatment of African American people and the rest of the U.S. community is provided, the chance to address the massive injustice observed currently within the U.S. setting will be possible.

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Christian, M., Seamster, L., & Ray, V. (2019). New directions in critical race theory and sociology: Racism, white supremacy, and resistance. American Behavioral Scientist, 63(13), 1731-1740. Web.

Moore, W. L. (2018). Maintaining supremacy by blocking affirmative action. Contexts, 17(1), 54-59. Web.

Salter, P. S., Adams, G., & Perez, M. J. (2018). Racism in the structure of everyday worlds: A cultural-psychological perspective. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(3), 150-155. Web.

Warikoo, N., & Allen, U. (2020). A solution to multiple problems: the origins of affirmative action in higher education around the world. Studies in Higher Education, 45(12), 2398-2412. Web.

Williams, P. J. (2015). We need race-based affirmative action. The New York Times. Web.

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