Since the early 1960's, Congress has sought to ensure have equal access to employment and advancement in the federal government for all people despite their race. In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Executive Order 11246, it was a central concept of the Great Society programs of the Johnson administration. The order stated that government contractors should be employed "without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin."(Ginsburg) It was based on the assertion that the high levels of unemployment and ongoing discrimination that women and minorities encountered were hindrances to the vision of the Great Society. The federal government therefore devised "affirmative action" programs to remedy such discriminatory practices and their consequences. Although affirmative action programs were created to give a boost to minority employment, they create a sense of color consciousness and inequalities even in minority employment. Affirmative action does have beneficial effects, it encompasses much more than the diversity programs practiced by public institutions. It gives corporations and private universities a tool they need in order to select people best suited to their institutions. Affirmative Action alleviates the amount of history-created obstacles that minorities must overcome in order to make an honest living. Affirmative action was never meant to carry the weight that society has thrown on its shoulders. The programs were not designed to rescue the poverty stricken, enlighten the illiterate nor were it constructed to feed the hungry. It was an attempt to give qualified minorities who have been held back because of their ethnicity a boost in the selection process. The problem was that America had adapted a more abrasive form of affirmative action than the one proposed by John F. Kennedy “that involved eliminating discrimination and expanding educational and employment opportunities.”(Gitsis) Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader...
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