Decades after affirmative action began, the Supreme Court is now poised to rule in a case that could radically change these policies. Advocates for and against affirmative action await the ruling by the Supreme Court on the potentially landmark case Fisher v. University of Texas, which alleges discrimination against white applicants in admission to the University of Texas.
The question of whether blacks have achieved equality in the professional world is probed by Nelson D. Schwartz and Michael Cooper, who examine the low numbers of African Americans in law and other spheres for the recent New York Times article "Racial Diversity Efforts Ebb for Elite Careers, Analysis Finds." In their investigation of the current state of professionals and race, the reporters cite data analysis from Social Explorer's Andrew Beveridge:
While about 12 percent of the nation’s working-age population is black, about 5 percent of physicians and dentists in the United States are black — a share that has not grown since 1990, according to an analysis of census data that was prepared for The New York Times by sociologists at Queens College of the City University of New York. The analysis found that 3 percent of American architects are black, another field where the share has not increased in more than two decades.
After detailing other statistics of the lack of African Americans in the legal field and the end of affirmative action programs, the authors write, "Such numbers raise the question of whether the private sector’s commitment to affirmative action and diversity programs is eroding, even as the Supreme Court again considers a high-profile case involving a public university."