Comparing Washington and Dubois Based on what you understand from reading The Atlanta Compromise and W.E.B. DuBois’s critique of Washington, answer the following question: Do you think that Washington or DuBois had a better perspective on how African Americans should have progressed after slavery? Why?
It is critical that African-Americans dedicate themselves to hard work in order to progress
It is important for African-Americans to learn to do greater intellectual work and aim high in their education.
It is important that black Americans and white Americans have harmonious relationships
It is important to acknowledge that in the past, black and white Americans in the South have had relationships based on loyalty and love
It is critical for African Americans to have political equality (all the rights of citizenship).
African-Americans should be striving for social equality with white Americans
By Dan Froomkin Washingtonpost.com
Affirmative action is the nation's most ambitious attempt to redress its long history of racial and sexual discrimination. But these days it seems to incite, rather than ease, the nation's internal divisions.
An increasingly assertive opposition movement argues that the battle to guarantee equal rights for all citizens has been fought and won – and that favoring members of one group over another simply goes against the American grain.
But defenders of affirmative action say that the playing field is not level yet – and that granting modest advantages to minorities and women is more than fair, given hundreds of years of discrimination that benefited whites and men.
What Is Affirmative Action?
Affirmative action refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin"into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group "in areas of employment, education, and business". It is usually justified as countering the effects of a history of discrimination.
Born of the civil rights movement, affirmative action calls for minorities and women to be given special consideration in employment, education and contracting decisions.
Institutions with affirmative action policies generally set goals and timetables for increased diversity – and use recruitment, set-asides and preference as ways of achieving those goals.
In its modern form, affirmative action can call for an admissions officer faced with two similarly qualified applicants to choose the minority over the white, or for a manager to recruit and hire a qualified woman for a job instead of a man. Affirmative action decisions are generally not supposed to be based on quotas, nor are they supposed to give any preference to unqualified candidates. And they are not supposed to harm anyone through "reverse discrimination."
California, Michigan, Washington, Florida, and Nebraska have banned its use in public education and hiring
At this point in our nation's history, does affirmative action make things better or worse? "Angry white men" blame affirmative action for robbing them of promotions and other opportunities. And while many minorities and women support affirmative action, a growing number say its benefits are no longer worth its side effect: the perception that their success is unearned. The debate rages on.
YES America is dedicated to the principle of equal treatment of all its citizens by government. The Declaration of Independence proclaims that all men are created equal, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 requires that all Americans be treated equally "without regard to their race, color, or national origin."
Ironically, since the mid-1960s, this principle of equal treatment has been largely ignored to compensate for the historic discrimination encountered by racial minorities and women. These preferential policies are known as affirmative action.
In a 2003 decision, the Supreme Court called affirmative action a system of racial "preferences" and ruled that consideration of race must not continue indefinitely.
Surely, after the election of America's first black President, it is evident that America is committed to no longer judging individuals on the basis of skin color.
High school students applying to college and for jobs would be justifiably embittered if they were rejected because of the conditions of their birth—race, gender, or ethnicity. A civil society and a prosperous nation should insist that individual merit—that is, the particular qualifications of each individual—serves as the criterion for admission to college as well as hiring and promotion decisions in the workplace.
For every person who benefits from preferences based on race rather than merit, someone else is unfairly denied that same opportunity. As someone who is often characterized as a "minority," I want to know—and I especially want others to know—that my accomplishments are the result of my own efforts.
Until merit is the sole standard by which we are all judged, our country will remain divided. It is time to end affirmative action.
President, American Civil Rights Coalition
NO Affirmative action policies are vital tools for creating opportunity and developing a diverse workforce. We should not end them.
In November, Colorado voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have ended the use of affirmative action in public education, public employment, and public contracting. I opposed the measure because it would have eroded the racial progress we have made since the 1960s. This is no time to turn back.
The good news is that, thanks in part to affirmative action, more women and minorities are in the workforce, starting their own businesses, going to college, and participating in government at all levels. We all benefit when people of diverse backgrounds get a meaningful chance to succeed.
But we still have much work to do.
For example, in my home state of Colorado, the state's Pay Equity Commission recently found that women make, on average, 79 cents for every dollar men earn. And last year the Bell Policy Center in Denver found a huge gap between the percentage of whites and minorities who earn college degrees in Colorado: 50 percent of white adults, compared with 16 percent of minorities.
On the national level, census data show that substantial inequality persists: Blacks are three times more likely than whites to live below the poverty line, and the median income of blacks, $30,200, is less than two thirds that of whites, $48,800.
As we consider the future of affirmative-action policies, we must be mindful that we all still live with the legacy of past gender and racial discrimination. We should not jettison these policies until we have a level playing field for all.
—Bill Ritter Jr.
Governor Of Colorado
Arguments in FAVOR of affirmative action
Arguments OPPOSED to affirmative action
Homework Your homework tonight includes the following parts:
Based on our work today, write out the main arguments of Du Bois and Washington in 2-4 complete sentences each.
In at least two paragraphs total, summarize arguments for and against affirmative action. These can be drawn from the reading above or from your own thoughts.
Write down three points you might make in a discussion of Du Bois and Washington. (These don’t need to be complete sentences, but they should be more specific than “Washington was wrong.”)
Write down three points you might make in a discussion about affirmative action. (These don’t need to be complete sentences, but they should be more specific than “I’m against affirmative action.”)