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Houstonian 1995
The Issues
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Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1995 - The Issues. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. University of Houston Digital Library. Web. November 28, 2014. http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/5767/show/5498.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston. Houstonian 1995 - The Issues. Houstonian Yearbook Collection. Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries. Retrieved from http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/5767/show/5498

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

Students of the University of Houston, Houstonian 1995 - The Issues, Houstonian Yearbook Collection, Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries, accessed November 28, 2014, http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb/item/5767/show/5498.

Disclaimer: This is a general citation for reference purposes. Please consult the most recent edition of your style manual for the proper formatting of the type of source you are citing. If the date given in the citation does not match the date on the digital item, use the more accurate date below the digital item.

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Compound Item Description
Title Houstonian 1995
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Language English
Format (IMT)
  • image/jpeg
Digital Collection Houstonian Yearbook Collection
Digital Collection URL http://digital.lib.uh.edu/collection/yearb
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Repository URL http://info.lib.uh.edu/about/campus-libraries-collections/special-collections
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name index.cpd
Item Description
Title The Issues
Creator (LCNAF)
  • Students of the University of Houston
Caption The Houstonian is the official yearbook of the University of Houston.
Subject.Name (LCNAF)
  • University of Houston
Repository Special Collections, University of Houston Libraries
Use and Reproduction This image is in the public domain and may be used freely. If publishing in print, electronically, or on a website, please use the citation button above. To request higher resolution images, please use the Request High Res button above.
File name yearb1995025.jpg
Transcript Affirmative Action the 20 year debate continues Affirmative action: any action taken to ameliorate the effects of discrimination in jobs, education and housing, political, judicial and social arenas. Reverse discrimination-, the notion that this amelioration somehow adversely and discrimina- tively affects white males. That is probably the most brief, most concise and accurate definition that one can give to outline the controversy that affirmative action represents. Of course some have managed to give it a shorter, inaccurate meaning: the practice of promoting the unqualified. Affirmative action was established in the 1970s to alleviate the discrimination women and minorities were subject to in almost every aspect of American life. Unfortunately, the further we get from that era of the civil rights and women's liberation movements, the more people allow themselves to believe-erroneously-that we've all truly "overcome." In twenty years, all the wrongs are supposed to have been righted and everyone should know that all people in this country, this land of opportunity, are really equal...at least, that's how the lie goes on. The opponents of affirmative action hardly ever make it a "gender" issue. Instead, it is almost unequivocally an issue of race. No one, they claim, should get ahead simply because of his or her race. People attack this argument on two grounds. First, rarely, if ever, do people progress just because of their race. They must have the qualifications for the job or the scholarship or whatever is at stake. Once they receive the award, they have to live up to the standards as everyone else. It is doubtful that minorities in high occupational positions were uneducated, happy- go-lucky individuals picked up out of a cardboard box on the corner and given a suit and a job. Recipients of "minority" scholarships are expected to keep the same grade point average and, of course, load as recipients of "white" scholarships. Secondly, affirmative action has not benefited minorities all that much. In fact, the people that have profited the most from affirmative action are white females. The number of managerial positions white females held rose to 36% from 27% from 1980 to 1990. In contrast, the number of managerial positions held by minority females and males only rose to 7% from 3% and to 7% from 3% of the total respectively. The weekly income of white women had more than doubled between 1979 and 1993, rising to $403 from $ 184. On the average, white women are earning more than black men and women. One reason, affirmative action is so hotly debated is because it challenges a basic American ideology that lulls us into believing that in this land, where all people are created equal and everyone can achieve, opportunities are based on merit and all people have the chance to get ahead. Of course, not all people are born equal in that sense. Some people are born in the best medical facilities possible while others are born in back alleys. Some people are born to happy, expectant families and other are born to resentful, rejecting parents. Some go home to mansions and others go home to dismal, one-room apartments. Some will be brought up as intellectuals, others will be brought up as illiterates, and worst of all, in this country, some are born female and nonwhite. In other words, we are not all born with the same opportunities, we do not all get the same education, we are not all nurtured and sheltered. Many people are made aware at an early age that in this society, that they are different and that their difference is perceived as a deficiency. We are all marginal creatures and now that the good white man has decided to give minorities and women a few meager opportunities despite their deficiencies, people are to be grateful and to accept that centuries of discrimination have been reversed in 20-something years. Minorities especially need to realize that we are now viewed as equal and just as good as white people in this society. We need to back off because now 20% of people are strongly empowered, and they are threatening the welfare of our beneficiaries, the good white people who only make up a measly 80% of the country and have only a lousy 90% of the jobs to compete for. That 10% quota is just ridiculous especially when 9% of it probably goes to the highly prestigious secretarial pool and other such departments. In addition to the earlier arguments against affirmative action, white males have come up with a nifty new term: reverse discrimination. Discrimination is a negative action taken against a group of people based on race/class/gender/sexual orientation, etc. Now discrimination, because it consists of action, cannot occur without power. There have been very few opportunities when women and minorities in this society had the power to do much of anything, even control their own lives. To suggest that they have somehow amassed enough power to discriminate against the dominant group is laughable. A lot of claims of reverse discrimination arise because white males see minorities and women in positions they desired and assume that they had to be infinitely more qualified. Now the truth is having white skin does not make one immediately more qualified. Opponents of affirmative action claim that it is dentrimental to those it benefits because it places people in positions they don't deserve and it assumes that, because of a lack of qualifications or skills, they cannot get ahead on their own. But their sweeping generalizations about affirmative action show that they assume minorities and women are unqualified. Under the pretense that affirmative action prevents everyone from reaching a level of self- sufficiency, the most avid conservative opponents rant against affirmative action. But their primary concern is retaining their own power, money and, of course, dominant status. Today, Black men still only earn 65% of what white men do. After taking into account that black men are under-represented in high status jobs, over-represented in low paying jobs and have higher levels of unemployment, researchers still cannot explain one- third of the pay difference. It seems it appears purely from discrimination. The same is true of white women who only earn 70% of what white males do. This is hard to believe in the land of opportunity. There must be something deficient in women and minorities themselves. If we all worked hard enough and believe long enough, we'd all have the same chances. Of course, everyone knows that discrimination has been completely eradicated in this country in the last 20 years, right? Or so the lie goes on... -LaGuana Gray The Issues 31