The History of Affirmative Action Essay

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Affirmative Action

Affirmative action- a plan to offset past discrimination in employing or educating women, blacks etc. (Websters New World Dictionary.)

The history of affirmative action has its roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and stems from the United States Supreme case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. In 1965, President Linden B. Johnson issued Executive Order #11246 at Howard University that required federal contractors to undertake affirmative action to increase the number of minorities that they employ. President Johnson wanted to ensure that minorities were recruited to have real opportunities to be hired and then eventually get a promotion. (Internet In 1969, the department of Labor exposed widespread racial discrimination of the Construction Department so President Nixon decided to incorporate a system of "goals and timetables" that provided guidelines for companies to follow and comply with affirmative action regulations. During the presidency of Gerald Ford, he extended affirmative action to people with disabilities and Vietnam veterans but there were no goals or timetables for these two groups. This type of affirmative action required recruitment efforts, accessibility, accommodation and reviews of physical and mental job qualifications.

President Jimmy Carter consolidated all federal agencies that were required by law to follow the affirmative action play into the Department of Labor. Before Carter did this, each agency-handled affirmative action in it's own individual way; some were not as consistent as other agencies were. He created the Office of Federal Contract compliance Program (OFCCP) in 1978 to ensure compliance with the affirmative action policies. Affirmative action began to go down hill when Ronald Regan and later George Bush came into office. Affirmative action lost some gains it had made and was more or less ignored by the Republicans in the White House and Congress. The...
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