Previously, segregation in America was a specific policy but many would argue that it continues today through racial and class descrimination. Alabama's first African American female chief of police describes the obstacles she faces, even in her high powered position. Initially, she reached her position with the assistance of affirmative action. Affirmative action is a government programme that aims to give people from ethnic minorites access to employment and education. There is debate that the practice is itself discriminatory. Broadcast in February 2006 as part of the programme: Modern Studies: International Issues – The USA.
Use this clip to illustrate Affirmative Action and Positive Discrimination. At the end of the clip, the Chief of Police says 'Affirmative Action is positive. To me, it means you are not lowering your standards. It means you are giving people an opportunity to positions which would otherwise have been denied'. Encourage class and group discussion centred on this quote. Do students agree or disagree. What evidence have they used to reach their position? Students could undertake further research and compose a written extended response into the pros and cons of Affirmative Action for American citizens. Discuss whether affirmative action would help problems on racial and gender inequality in the UK.