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Affirmative Action

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“An action or policy favoring those who tend to suffer from discrimination, especially in relation to employment or education” - affirmative action, also commonly referred to as the paradox positive discrimination.1 Affirmative action was designed as a temporary measure to insure a “leveled playing field” for all Americans specifically minorities and women. The affirmative action measure was created to be a catalyst in ending racial and gender discrimination in the workplace and was to be retracted once the presumable “playing field” was leveled. However, through various flaws and shortcomings in the policy, it grew into a form of reverse discrimination where individuals that were well qualified for positions were turned down in lieu of minorities. When it was created, the affirmative action policy was a necessary step in insuring equality for all, but twenty-first century America has many restrictions and guidelines to prevent employers from discriminating against someone based on their race, gender, religion and national origin, proving affirmative action to be irrelevant. The essayist chose this topic because of her interest in the diversity of America’s current workforce. After various courses in economics as well as a course on public policy she became interested in programs designed to enhance social welfare in the United States of America. Also with growing concerns of immigration and the dwindling of whites as a majority in the United States, the topic of changes in the American workforce are sure to arise. The idea of affirmative action has drawn many supporting and opposing views since President John F. Kennedy first introduced it 1961 with the Executive Order number 10925. The order commanded all federal contractors (the public sector) to take “affirmative action to ensure that applicants are treated equally without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin.2 As years went on, the progressive Civil Rights’ movement evolved the idea of...