The Bakke Case and Affirmative Action Jitao Zhang

By the late 1970s, federal affirmative action programs, which intended to end and correct the effects of a specific form of discrimination, are under attack in higher education. After a decade in practice, the policies have doubled the number of black students attending colleges and universities. Yet some white applicants who are denied admission blame affirmative action for their troubles. In 1978, the Supreme Court hears a case filed by Allan Bakke, a man who has twice been denied admission to the University of California at Davis for medical school. He claims that affirmative action policies have kept him out, violating his rights. The case commands the nation's attention.

The portrait of Allen Bakke

" Mr. Bakke, a white, wasn't sufficiently well qualified to be accepted by the college under its regular admission program. But his undergraduate record and test scores were superior to those of most or all of the students under a special admissions program for racial minorities." --The Louisville Corier-journal, June 30, 1978

The court's decision is not clear-cut. It rules that Bakke should be admitted to Davis, and it states that affirmative action is permissible but not mandatory. For some Americans, the case is proof that the cost of remedying years of discrimination and inequities through affirmative action is too high. But more and more white American saw this case as racist attacks on Affirmative Action, which is important to help blacks improve their capability as completing persons.

Demonstrators from an organization calling itself Anti-Bakke Decision Coalition carry signs as they march before the federal court house in Foley Square in New York City on June 30, 1978.
Protesters march around the Detroit federal building during Supreme Court deliberations on the Allan Bakke Case, October 3, 1977.

"The underlying problem remains how to assist minorities prior to their entering colleges and graduate school, so that they will be better trained, more capable of competing as individuals, and later without the need for affirmative action programs." - -- president, Chicago chapter of the American Jewish Committee

The California state court did a smart decision on Bakke's case. If they blocked Bakke's demand at first, there would be tremendous number of racists attacked how Affirmative Action Programs was inequal to them, and it may threaten universities continually promoted Affirmative Action Programs to minority groups. e is proof that the cost of remedying years of discrimination and inequities through affirmative action is too high. There is no doubt that the programs make a positive impact not only on the student, but also on the civil rights movement because they provided chances for blacks to receive high level education and change their lifes individually.

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