Affirmative Action: It Began in 1961 by President Kennedy

Topics: Affirmative action, Discrimination, Reverse discrimination Pages: 2 (574 words) Published: October 8, 1999
Affirmative Action

Affirmative Action was started to eliminate discrimination in the workplace by hiring workers on a nondiscriminatory basis. It began in 1961 by president Kennedy when he issued executive order number 10925 to make federal contractors take affirmative action(Altschiller, p.5). The goal of affirmative action is to allow "the victims of discriminatory conduct to the position they would have occupied in the absence of that conduct" Rehnquist said. Should such policies be legal and deemed as good or looked down upon as a failed attempt to solve our racial problems? Affirmative action does not eliminate discrimination if anything it makes it more of an issue.

Although the concept of affirmative action is good, the result of it on whites has been bad. In a survey in 1984, one out of ten white males claimed to have personally felt reverse discrimination. Reverse discrimination is the term being used to describe discrimination towards whites. Many of these reverse discrimination cases have been brought to court, the result is just more confusion. This is because there is a lot of gray in the law concerning this topic. Sometimes courts allow someone to choose the minority if they are less qualified, while in other cases they don't allow it. For example in a supreme court decision, it was allowed for a Michigan school district to layoff non- minority teachers in order to hire minority teachers with less experience(Altschiller, p13). If a similar case were to appear again the result would most likely be different.

In no case should the person who is less qualified be hired. It also doesn't make much sense to try to do away with a racial problem by using race as the important factor. When it's looked at from the logical point of view most people do see it as a bad thing. Like when the question "Because of past discrimination, should qualified blacks receive preference over equally qualified whites in such matters as getting jobs...

Cited: Altschiller, Donald Ed. Affirmative Action New York: The H.W. Wilson
Carter, Stephen L. Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby Basic Books, New
York, New York, 1991.
Hill, Herbert Race, Affirmative Action, and the Constitution McGraw-Hill, Inc.,
Terkel, Struds Race: How Whites and Blacks think and feel about the American
obsession The New Press, New York 1992.
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