Who Benefits from Affirmative Action?

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Who Benefits From Affirmative Action?

Who benefits from Affirmative Action?
Affirmative action is the positive effort to recruit subordinate-group members, including women, for jobs, promotions, and educational opportunities. The phrase affirmative action first appeared in an executive order issued by President Kennedy in 1961. The order called for contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” However, at that time, no enforcement procedures were specified. Six years later, the order was amended to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex, but affirmative action was still defined vaguely. Today, affirmative action has become a catchall term for racial preference programs and goals. It has also become a lightning rod for opposition to any programs that suggest special consideration of women or racial minorities. Affirmative Action Explained:

Affirmative action has been viewed as an important tool for reducing institutional discrimination. Whereas previous efforts were aimed at eliminating individual acts of discrimination, federal measures under the heading of affirmative action have been aimed at procedures that deny equal opportunities, even if that are not intended to be overtly discrimination. Its requirement has been aimed at institutional discrimination in such areas as the following: • Height and weight requirements that are unnecessarily geared to the physical proportions of White men without regard to the actual characteristics needed to perform the job and, therefore, excluded women and some minorities. • Seniority rules, when applied to jobs historically held only by White men, that make more recently hired minorities and females more subject to layoff,” the last hired, first fired” employee and less eligible for advancement. • Nepotism-based membership policies of some unions...
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