Social Inequality and Political Change

The topic that I have chosen is that of End Affirmative Action. This measure if passed would prohibit the state government from discriminating against or granting preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity, or national origin. This would apply to public employment, public education, and public contracting. Basically what this is saying is that certain groups should not be protected from discrimination and should not be given preferential treatment over any other group. This measure passed in the state of Colorado by a margin of 51% to 49%. It also passed in the state of Nebraska by a margin of 58% to 42%.

Colorado Amendment 46 was launched back in April of 2007 by Sen. Dave Schultheis and Rep. Kent Lambert, both Colorado Springs Republicans. In March of 2008 the measure was certified by the secretary of state and placed on the November 4th ballot. The Nebraska Initiative 424 was introduced in January of 2008 by a state senator and was certified to be on the November ballot by the secretary of state in August 2008. In Nebraska there was some public push back along its way to being certified and put on the ballot. There were several groups that tried to rally against it, but ended up falling by the wayside in the end.

Social inequality has been seen throughout history in the areas of gender, race, ethnicity and social economic class. Tremendous progress has been made in trying to make people aware that such group based inequality is wrong. Social policy has been the key to eliminating these inequalities. Affirmative action policies throughout the years have been put into place to eliminate differential treatment based on the basis of group membership. They have also had the goal of proactively improving the status of certain target groups. There has been an assumption that good intentions are not enough to ensure equality representation and status (Iyer, 2007).

Although there has been a push to generally educate people there are still widely believed stereotypes about the competencies of certain groups. Prejudice can be expressed in both open and covert ways. The subtle ways are often hard to identify and regulate. But prejudice can lead to discriminatory behavior and so it must be dealt with (Iyer, 2007).

It is currently thought that the Affirmative Action policies and practices are biased and thus are doing more harm than they are doing good. And even though there have been good attempts at impartiality at the individual level there is still bias in policies and practices that favor certain groups. If these biases are left unchecked the social inequalities that are present will continue to happen. It is felt that these inequalities need to be addressed and dealt with. It has been suggested that monitoring programs be put into place to assess whether Equal Opportunity exists. Discriminatory policies and procedures need to be eliminated. And proactive things need to be done to increase representations of the target groups (Iyer, 2007). If these things were to be put into place it would eliminate the need for the Affirmative Action laws that we have in place today.

The problem with discrimination is that it is not always recognized and challenged. Equal opportunity expects victims of discrimination to come forward so to identify and challenge their unfair treatment. This doesn't always happen though. People do not always recognize their own disadvantages and they don't always file formal complaints. This is because they often have the lack of knowledge or resources. They find discomfort in causing adversity and they fear outcast or retaliation from there coworkers or authorities (Iyer, 2007). Putting proactive programs in place would also help to eliminate these things from taking place and hopefully put an end to discrimination as we know…