Spanish-Surnamed Americans in Science: Availability and Barriers
My intent is not to delve too deeply into history—scholars exist who can do that better; however, it is useful to keep Santayana’s lesson in view and avoid repetition of mistakes. If we keep in proper perspective the nature of those attempts made to increase minority representation in science, perhaps eventually a meaningful effort can be found that will be acceptable to all. It is becoming evident that the legal statutes adopted to deal with the problems associated with the lack of comparative representation of minorities in all professions have not provided an increase of our numbers within the ranks. Before the legal statutes associated with equal opportunity were adopted, minorities were on the defensive—forever protecting what little they had and inching onward to gain what small additional respect was possible. It was not much and it was not in proportion to the increase in our population, but it was something. When the legal statutes were enacted, a new hope was seen. It then seemed worthwhile to initiate an offensive, now that the legal route was available. Just as quickly as the offensive moves were started, we saw the opposing team take extraordinary defensive moves that all but neutralized the newly enacted legal muscle. Now the federal agencies responsible for equal-opportunity and affirmative-action programs are so backlogged with litigation that for all intents and purposes the legal course is now barely visible.
KeywordsMinority Group Minority Student Scholastic Aptitude Test Opposing Team Legal Statute
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