By Alan Marzilli
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These benefits are not theoretical but real, as major American businesses have made clear that the skills needed in today’s increasingly global marketplace can only be developed through exposure to widely diverse people, cultures, ideas, and viewpoints. . What is more, high-ranking retired officers and civilian leaders of the United States military assert that, “[b]ased on [their] decades of experience,” a “highly qualified, racially diverse officer corps . . ” . . The primary sources for the nation’s officer corps are the service academies and the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC), the latter comprising students already admitted to participating colleges and universities.
Supporters say that so-called equal opportunity laws are broken constantly, as employers silently discriminate in hiring, pay scales, job duties, promotions, and firing. Because catching discrimination is so difficult, they argue, affirmative action is necessary. Annie S. Barnes’s book Everyday Racism chronicles the racism that African Americans face daily in the United States. In a chapter on employment discrimination, Barnes tells of a woman, Lucerne, who saw a help-wanted sign in a store window and, having two years of experience in retail, asked the manager for a job application.
The Supreme Court’s ruling in the University of Michigan Law School case was destined to have an impact far beyond the university or university education in general: The case also would help to determine the face of American justice. Many people believe that the court system is biased against minorities. Although lynching has all but disappeared, minorities in many communities are still not likely to receive a fair trial when accused of a crime. Minority defendants are more likely to be convicted and receive harsher sentences.
Affirmative Action by Alan Marzilli