Argument: Greater ethnic representation at all social levels is beneficial
- Debate: Affirmative action, Is Affirmative Action legislation in the United States a good idea?, pro.
Extended argument and supporting evidence
- Civil society demands diversity at all levels:Achieving a civil society demands that there are extensive social spaces in which citizens from all origins exchange ideas and cooperate on terms of equality. This is an essential social condition of democracy itself. But, unless this is stimulated to occur through programs such as Affirmative Action, existing exclusionary practices will continue to self-perpetuate inequalities and an immature society.
- A representative government is best when in relative proportion to the diversity of its population. This allows a leadership to truly represent its people. But, this is only possible if there is a proportional diversity at a country's universities and in the general work-force, as such qualifications are requisite in the people's eyes to leadership. Because this is not the case now, our leadership is not sufficiently diverse, and subsequently fails to be fully representative. In order to change this, diversity must be had in universities and in the workplace, and affirmative action is the best social tool to make this happen.
- A government is only legitimate in the eyes of the people if it is seen as representative: US Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor advanced this argument, saying that the very legitimacy of state institutions comes under a cloud if important segments of the population—long excluded from participating at the highest levels — remain excluded.
- The common good can only be uphold if its leadership is truly common or representative: If the leaders who frame the political agenda and shape public opinion remain uniformly white, there is really no common good.
- Minority leadership won't work if whites view a black or brown face in a position of leadership as a novelty rather than a commonplace result of true integration: Thus, true integration must be achieved before a healthy form of minority leadership can be achieved. Affirmative Action is a means to this occurring, as it attempts to accelerate a minorities' progression to true integration.
- "Michigan Mandate": University of Michigan's mission to prepare Michigan's future leaders: The main reason the University of Michigan seeks reasonable representation of minorities on campus is because of the way it conceives its mission: to prepare Michigan's future leaders. It's mission is:
- The leadership of the state ought roughly to represent the state's population, ethnically and racially.
- As the state's premier training ground for leadership, the University ought to graduate rising generations of future leaders that conform to this representational goal.
- To graduate such rising generations, it needs to admit racially and ethnically representative classes.
- US Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said that Universities and Law Schools “represent the training ground for…our Nation's leaders...In order to cultivate a set of leaders with legitimacy in the eyes of the citizenry, it is necessary that the path to leadership be visibly open to talented and qualified individuals of every race and ethnicity. All members of our heterogeneous society must have confidence in the openness and integrity of the educational institutions that provide this training.…Access…. must be inclusive…of every race and ethnicity, so that all members of our heterogeneous society may participate in the educational institutions that provide the training and education necessary to succeed in America." (Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U. S. 306, at 336.)
- William Bowen and Derek Bok. "The Shape of the River: Long-Term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions." - They argue that Society will be stronger and more just if the ranks of its leading citizens include a racially and ethnically broader range of people than it does now, and that making this happen is necessary starting with mainstream state institutions such as universities.
- Elizabeth Anderson. "Integration, Affirmative Action, and Strict Scrutiny": Argues that it is a "compelling state interest" of the state to have diversity in leadership, and thus to employ Affirmative Action as a means to getting there. And, unless disadvantaged racial groups are integrated into mainstream social institutions, they will continue to suffer from segregation and discrimination, at a loss to both them a society at large. Society will fail to fully realize civil society, with extensive social spaces in which citizens from all origins exchange ideas and cooperate on terms of equality — which is an indispensable social condition of democracy itself.
- More blacks in the police department would enable it better to serve the community.
- More female professors in the classroom would inspire young women to greater achievements.