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Affirmative-Action Programs - Initiatives aimed at encouraging diversity in classrooms and workplaces and increasing opportunities for minorities and women People against affirmative-action programs say It encourages discrimination against whites and men so-called reverse discrimination Its no longer necessary for diversity in the classroom and workplace It takes opportunities away from more qualified applicants Support for Affirmative Action Programs In a 1965 commencement speech at Howard University in Washington DC President Lyndon Johnson discussed the importance of affirmative action for remedying past discrimination against minorities You do not take a man who for years has been hobbled by chains liberate him bring him to the starting line of a race saying you are free to compete with all the others and still justly believe you have been completely fair he said Thus it is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates Liberals and Democrats say that race- and gender-conscious policies are the most effective way to encourage equality Other Support Gaps between minorities and whites persist in educational and occupational attainment Ending affirmative action will only ensure that those disparities remain in place and could even eliminate some of the advances that minorities and women have achieved White Advantages 1 I can if I wish arrange to be in the company of people of my race most of the time 2 If I should need to move I can be pretty sure of renting or purchasing housing in an area that I can afford and in which I would want to live 3 I can be pretty sure that my neighbors in such a location will be neutral or pleasant to me 4 I can go shopping alone most of the time pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed 5 I can turn on the television
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