Affirmative Action: a Way to Stop Discrimination

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America is the land of opportunity, but to be fully qualified for the status, it needs to be "color-blind, race-blind, and gender-blind." Affirmative Action began as a way to stop discrimination, but as new laws have been added to it, it has become reverse discrimination. Everyone has the opportunity to be a great addition to society. It is an immense injustice for people to say that someone of a different race or gender is not capable of achieving the same status in life as a white male. Through this paper, the concepts of affirmative action will be analyzed and discussed. Affirmative Action began in 1965 when President Johnson signed the Executive Order 11246 in to law. The Executive Order 11246 "prevents Federal contractors from discriminating against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." This is when the phrase ‘affirmative action' was first used, because it "requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are not discriminated against based on race color, religion, sex, or national origin." When Affirmative Action was created, it only included minorities. In 1967, Johnson decided to expand the program to include women, because women have received some of the same discrimination as men in the workplace. There were also earlier laws that were passed to ensure equal rights. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act are two examples of these laws, but they were a little behind considering the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution were passed much earlier. The Fourteenth amendment guarantees equal protection under the law and the Fifteenth amendment forbid racial discrimination in access to voting. Also, there was the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which was passed one hundred years earlier to ensure equal rights to all men.3 Secretary George Schultz and Arthur Fletcher, a top deputy, were the architects of some federal hiring and contracting regulations that added to the Affirmative Action regulations. In 1969, Schultz and Fletcher created these regulations under the Nixon administration to "redress the unfair treatment of minorities and women in the workplace."4 Even though America is the land of freedom, minorities and women did not fully receive these freedoms until the mid 1960's. The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs was established to require compliance to affirmative action. The Executive Order required that companies "with more than fifty employees and doing more than $50,000 in business directly with the federal government or as a subcontractor prepare goals and timetables." Periodic reports are also required to show progress toward these adversity goals. The OFCCP investigates into the complaints and lawsuits against companies that have been accused of discrimination. It requires that annual reports be submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The OFCCP analyzes these reports and then audits about 4,100 firms in connection with the federal government each year. So, not only can a company get into trouble by people filing complaints, the OFCCP looks for companies that it thinks are not abiding by its rules, which are not always written clearly. The general public, because of how the OFCCP has gone about auditing companies, has come to know some of these goals, as quotas. Goals are the precepts of affirmative action, but the goals are sometimes enforced to the point of looking like quotas, which are numeric targets for the racial composition of the work force. An example of how the OFCCP works is in the case of Aaron Woodson, an African American. He applied for a job at Solectron Corporation, but did not get the job. He was a qualified applicant, but there may have been a better one. When the reports were analyzes, the OFCCP decided that the company had "a low percentage of minority workers compared to other similar companies in...
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