Looking for essays on social inequality? We have thousands of essays on this topic and more.
Affirmative action works. There are thousands of examples of situations where
people of color, white women, and working class women and men of all races who
were previously excluded from jobs or educational opportunities, or were denied
opportunities once admitted, have gained access through affirmative action. When
these policies received executive branch and judicial support, vast numbers of
people of color, white women and men have gained access they would not otherwise
have had. These gains have led to very real changes. Affirmative action programs
have not eliminated racism, nor have they always been implemented without
problems. However, there would be no struggle to roll back the gains achieved if
affirmative action policies were ineffective. The implementation of affirmative
action was America's first honest attempt at solving a problem, it had
previously chosen to ignore. In a variety of areas, from the quality of health
care to the rate of employment, blacks still remain far behind whites. Their
representation in the more prestigious professions is still almost
insignificant. Comparable imbalances exist for other racial and ethnic
minorities as well as for women. Yet, to truly understand the importance of
affirmative action, one must look at America's past discrimination to see why,
at this point in history, we must become more "color conscious".
History Of Discrimination In America: Events Leading To Affirmative Action. The
Declaration of Independence asserts that "all men are created equal."
Yet America is scarred by a long history of legally imposed inequality. Snatched
from their native land, transported thousands of miles-in a nightmare of disease
and death-and sold into slavery, blacks in America were reduced to the legal
status of farm animals. A Supreme Court opinion, Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857),
made this official by classifying slaves as a species of "private
property." Even after slavery was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment in
1865, American blacks, other minorities, and women continued to be deprived of
some of the most elementary right of citizenship. During the Reconstruction,
after the end of the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed in 1868,
making blacks citizens and promised them the "equal protection of the
laws." In 1870 the Fifteenth Amendment was passed, which gave blacks the
right to vote. Congress also passed a number of civil rights laws barring
discrimination against blacks in hotels, theaters, and other places. However,
the South reacted by passing the "Black Codes, " which severely
limited the rights of the newly freed slaves, preventing them in most states
from testifying in courts against whites, limiting their opportunities to find
work, and generally assigning them to the status of second or third class
citizen. White vigilante groups like the Klu Klux Klan began to appear, by
murdering and terrorizing blacks who tried to exercise their new rights.
"Legal" ways were also found for circumventing the new laws; these
included "grandfather clauses", poll taxes, white only primary
elections, and constant social discrimination against and intimidation of
blacks, who were excluded form education and from any job except the most
menial. In 1883, the Supreme Court declared a key civil rights statute, one that
prohibits discrimination in public accommodations, unconstitutional. And in
1896, Plessy v. Ferguson (163 U.S. 537 ), the Court declared that the
state of Louisiana had the right to segregate their races in every public
facility. Thus began the heyday of "Jim Crow" legislation. In Justice
John Marshall Harlan's lone dissent, he realized it was a mockery. He wrote,
" We boast of the freedom enjoyed by our peoples above all other peoples.
But it is difficult to reconcile that boast with a state of the law which,
practically, puts a brand of servitude and degregation upon a large class of our
fellow citizens, our equals before the law. This thin disguise of 'equal'
accommodations for passengers in railroad coaches will not mislead anyone, or
atone for the wrong this day done." Not until sixty years later, in Brown
v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (347 U.S. 483 ), was Plessy
overturned. Chief Justice earl Warren declared the unanimous opinion of the
court by saying: "We cannot turn the clock back to 1868, when the Amendment
was adopted, or even to 1896, when Plessy v. Ferguson was written." In
today's world, "separate educational facilities are inherently
unequal." This decision sparked racial tensions all across America. in
1957, President Eisenhower had to call federal troops into Little Rock,
Arkansas, after the state's governor forcibly barred black children from
entering white schools. In 1955, Rosa Parks was arrested and fined, for not
moving to the back of a public bus, ... more
Find essay on Social Inequality
Animal Farm As A Social Criticism
Writers often use social criticism in their books to show corruptness or weak points of a group in society. One way of doing this is allegory which is a story in which figures and actions are symbols of general truths. George Orwell is an example of an author who uses allegory to show a social criticism effectively. As in his novel Animal Farm, Orwell makes a parody of Soviet Communism as demonstrated by Animal Farm's brutal totalitarian rule, manipulated and exploited working class, and the pigs' evolution into the capitalists they initially opposed.
Totalitarianism is a political regime based on subordination of the individual to the state and strict control of all aspects of life. It was used by Stalin and the Bolsheviks in Russia during the 1920's and 30's and is parodied in Animal Farm by Napoleon, the "almighty" leader, and his fellow pigs and their ridiculous propaganda and rigorous rule. In the book, Napoleon is deified and made superior to all other animals on the farm, for example he is called emperor or leader while everyone else was referred to as a "comrade", and all the pigs were given higher authority then the rest of the animals. An inequality between the pigs and rest of the farm was that the pigs lived in the farm house while the other majority had to sleep in pastures. A certain pig Squealer who could "turn black into white" was in charge of propaganda, and he would often change the commandments of the farm so that they would fit the actions of Napoleon or the "upper class" of the farm which was supposedly classless. For example, at one time a commandment read "No animal shall drink alcohol"(P. 75), but soon after Napoleon drank an abundance and almost died the commandment was changed to "No animal shall drink to excess." which made it seem as though Napoleon was within the rules. Another instance where Napoleon showed severe rule was when everyone on the farm who had either pledged for or showed support at one time for Snowball, the exiled former leader, was executed on the spot. This act was a humorous resemblance of The Great Purge in Russia where all opposition was killed off. The governing system of the Animal Farm was truly corrupt, but it did not stop with the propaganda and executions.
At first on the Animal Farm, it was promised to the majority of the animals who were neither Napoleon or a pig, or the so-called "working class", that "from each according to his ability to each according to his needs", no more, no less. In other words, if all the animals worked to their capabilities they would get the work back in rations. This system worked for a while, but stopped when Napoleon and his Totalitarian government took over, and the system was manipulated. Napoleon and his fellow pigs gave the animals unfair hours of labor and unfair rations for their work which corrupted the system. Napoleon attempted to keep the animals intact by inspiring them with slogans, "Napoleon is always right." and "I will work harder."(P.40) This seemed to work because no animal would refuse to do their job because of the fear of their food supply being cut as a penalty. As an example, Napoleon announced that all animals would have to work voluntary Sunday afternoons, but any animal who absented himself from it would have his ration reduced by half(P. 42). Napoleon gave the animals long, many hour days so that the farm could move toward industrialization with the building of a windmill, much like The Five Year Plan of Russia. This act was made comical because much like in Russia the plan kept on failing, but the government proceeded in actions anyway. The so-called "working class" of the Animal Farm which at first had a bright future was turned into more of a "slave class".
Animal Farm started with a dream, a dream of old Major's which was for the animals of England specifically the Manor Farm to rebel against the humans, take over the farm, and live at peace amongst themselves. This dream soon became a reality for the animals of ... more
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