Election Time And Affirmative Action This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   In recent months, front page headlines and leading news stories have turned our attention toward chattering politicians all uttering the same two words: affirmative action.

With 1996 an election year, candidates are getting fit and in shape for the battle on November 5th. Guess who they're using for their punching bags? Minorities, poor women and children and immigrants. Yes, these people will do just fine as examples of what happens when the government decides to flex their bureaucratic muscles.

Republicans on Capitol Hill are calling for an end to affirmative action, and many people agree. President Bill Clinton agreed to sign and make into law a harsh new welfare bill that will force recipients off assistance within five years and practically offer no help to immigrants. All of these revisions have been made, but have given recipients no alternatives since there is no mention of government-funded educational programs or training, or talk of job expansion.

So what are millions of poor mothers and children to do when they stop receiving assistance? It has been estimated that this bill will force millions more into poverty, most of whom are children. What will happen when affirmative action is done away with and minorities and women who otherwise would not receive a fair shake in society are left to fend for themselves?

There is no doubt in my mind that this system could use some revision, but without affirmative action, many people who need and deserve a chance may go unnoticed. The key now would be to change, not obliterate, what may be the only chance for a struggling child, student, or parent. It's time that people stopped destroying and learned to build hope, pride and unity. It's time to affirm a new agenda for action! ?


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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