Affirmative Action in the Past, Present, and Future

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Affirmative Action in the Past, Present, and Future

Communications 220
May 22, 201

Affirmative Action in the Past, Present, and Future
President Lyndon B. Johnson said in a 1965 speech at Howard University, “You do not take a person who, for years, has been hobbled by chains and liberate him, bring him up to the starting line of a race and say, ‘you are free to compete with all the others,’ and still justly believe that you have been completely fair” (Calloway, 2010, p. 72). From the end of the Civil War to the middle of the 20th century discrimination in various forms was the American way of life, there were no laws to protect racial minorities or women from biased employers. Employers could disregard a Black worker for a White worker and hold a better paying job for a White worker (ACLU, 2011). Although racial and ethnic minorities have benefited from affirmative action policies, White women have benefited more than any other group (Wilson, 2008), present-day, White males are feeling the fallout of reverse discrimination because of the policies created to stop discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin in all aspects of employment (, 2011). Throughout history women and minorities have been mistreated, denied an education, and barred from employment. After the Civil Rights Act of 1964 White women had an advantage over other women and minorities, there acceptance was easier for that already majority White men. Their educations were further along than that of minorities and the opportunities were easier to obtain than for minorities. Although White women have benefited more than any other race from affirmative action they do not believe that this policy was their stepping-stone to success. Racial tension was not present for White women, but women of race, and minorities in general had to overcome this obstacle to be considered equal.

Despite the benefits for all women, white women have not defended affirmative action. If all women would support affirmative action, no politician would dare oppose it (Wise, 1998). The uncertainty and misunderstanding of affirmative action by many women has left the controversial topic vulnerable to elimination. Women of color continue to support affirmative action in which White women think that because they are doing so well that it is no longer needed. Affirmative action opened opportunities for all women—particularly white women.

From 1972-1993:
* The percentage of women architects increased from 3% to nearly 19% of the total; * The percentage of women doctors more than doubled from 10% to 22% of the national total; * The percentage of women lawyers grew from 4% to 23% of the national total; * The percentage of female engineers went from less than 1% to nearly 9%; * The percentage of female chemists grew from 10% to 30% of all chemists, and * The percentage of female college faculty went from 28% to 42% of all faculty (Wise, 1998). A report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the women’s labor force participation was at a rate of 33.9% in 1950, it climbed to 57.5% in 1990.In 1999 the rate reached an all time high at 60%; however in 2000 the rate declined to 59.9% and in 2005 it fell to 59.3%, the rate is projected to decline to 59.4% in 2020 and decline further in 2050 to 55.1% (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007). White woman hold a considerable advantage over all other races combined, the percentage numbers look deceiving but take into account the total number of people involved per race. White women have the advantage on higher paying jobs, and this could not have been accomplished without affirmative action. Data collected from the Bureau of Statistics, 2011 illustrates the difference in percentages of women by race employed in management and professional occupations.

2010 Household Data Annual Averages for women| | | | | Race| White| Black or African American| Asian|...
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