Affirmative Action

Topics: Discrimination, Affirmative action, Racism Pages: 13 (3083 words) Published: June 15, 2014


Affirmative Action: Reverse Discrimination?

University of La Verne

Abstract
When observing the time after the revolution, the phrase, “all men are created equal” is ironic. While ideas of equal rights for minorities and women were in the air during and after the revolution, none of the new state constitutions granted women the right to vote and many blacks found themselves liberated but impoverished. The tension from the Civil War created a pressing need to provide equal social and economic opportunity to both minorities and women alike. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 paved the way for a new era of equal opportunity. Begun by President Lyndon Johnson, affirmative action programs grew from the belief that the Constitution guarantees more than just an end to illegal discrimination. The idea was to provide reparations to people who were part of the group that bears the scars of slavery and bias. Affirmative action, then and now, is meant to undo the continuing acts of discrimination - actions that are very often systematic and targeted at people solely because they belong to a particular racial or ethnic group. But, should preferential treatment be given to those in a specific group because of race? Such preferential treatment required that attention be paid to the same criteria of race, sex, and ethnicity that had previously been deemed irrelevant. Is such use of these criteria morally justified? That is the key question in a debate that has continued for more than two decades. Racism still exists, but is not as bad as it used to be. If students think that their being discriminated against, it brings about ill feelings towards the people who they think are discriminating against them, and further separates whites from minorities. This is why affirmative action is harmful, it makes minorities think that non-minorities are discriminating against them and will always discriminate against them. Thus the government act implemented to correct this, will cause minorities to further continue to distrust whites. Table of Contents

Abstract……………………………………………………………………………………….....2 Table of Contents..................................................................................................................…....3 I. History of Affirmative Action ...……………………………………………………..….4 II. Debating Affirmative Action …………………………………………………………....6 III. More Controversy ………………………………………………………………………..8 IV. Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………….11 References………………………………………………………………………………………..13

History of Affirmative Action
In 1964, President Lyndon Johnson issued an Executive Order prohibiting federal agencies from contracting with firms that were not committed to equal opportunity or “affirmative action.” The efforts were deliberate in nature to bring qualified people of color and women into jobs and educational opportunities from which they had been traditionally excluded. President Johnson further reflected the concept of affirmative action targeted African-Americans that bore the unique burden of slavery and its legacy (Affirmative Action). Further, in March 1964, President John F. Kennedy issued an Order 10925 which established the President's Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity. Their mission was to end discrimination in employment by the government and its contractors. The order required every federal contract to include the pledge that "the contractor will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, creed, color, or national origin” (Gutierrez-Jones, 2011). Additionally, the contractor will take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated fairly during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin. Unfortunately, the government’s effort to regulate on the basis of race has had unanticipated consequences. The intent of affirmative action was to...

References: Against Affirmative Action. (n.d.). Retrieved January 27, 2014, from http://www.snc.edu/socsci/chair/336/agaffir.htm
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Bush, G. W. (2004, July 07). President Bush Discusses Michagan Affirmative Action Case. Retrieved from White House News : www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases
Diamond, R
Eastland, T. (2012). Current Issues and Enduring Questions: Ending Affirmative Action. Bedford/St. Martin 's.
Gutierrez-Jones, C. (2011, October 8). Department of English. Retrieved from University of California: http://bedfordstmartins.com/barnetbedau9e/default.asp#t_603765____
Liu, G
McBride, A. (2006, December ). Regents of University of California v. Bakke (1978). The Supreme Court.
Wilson, J. F. (1998, January). The Backlash Against Affirmative Action. Retrieved from ACP Interest: http://www.acpinternist.org/archives/1998/01/backlash.htm
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