Affirmative Action vs Reverse Discrimination

Topics: Affirmative action, Discrimination, United States Pages: 5 (1600 words) Published: August 26, 2011
Affirmative Action or Reverse Discrimination

Colleen Koehn
Business Law 1038
Instructor Jackie Sexson
March 1, 2010
South University Online

There has been a large debate in recent years if affirmative action has gone against the American way, has affirmative action caused reverse discrimination? The establishment of affirmative action was put into place to create equal rights for racial minorities, ethnic minorities, women, the physically disabled and those who served in the military. Affirmative Action was born during the civil rights movement to give special consideration to minorities and women in the work place and education. In order for businesses and schools to increase their diversity they put in place quota systems. The quota system put admissions officers in a position to hire or select students based on their race or sex. Affirmative Action was put into place to equal out discrimination and give all qualified applicants the ability to apply. It was never to be a quota system and for employers or schools to except a less qualified applicant over a highly qualified white man based on race. It was never to harm anyone thru reverse discrimination. Affirmative Action was put into place to guarantee equal rights for all citizens regardless of sex, race or national origin. Writer Dan Froomkin (1998) with the Washington Post brings up the question that affirmative action may not be correcting the problem, “Affirmative Action is the nation’s most ambitious attempt to redress its long history of racial and sexual discrimination. But these days it seems to incite, rather than ease the nation’s internal divisions.(paragraph 1) Has affirmative action gone against the American way, have we taken it so far that it has turned into reverse discrimination?

The origin of affirmative action started in 1894 with amendment 13 making slavery illegal and the amendment 14 giving all citizens equal protection under the law. President Roosevelt executive order in 1941 outlawed segregation in the hiring of minorities. Unfortunately this did not assure them of getting a job. America had a long ways to go to offer equality to all. Affirmative Action was introduced by President Kennedy in 1961. Back when the American Way was very one-sided. President Kennedys attempt was to strengthen the civil rights movement and allow all equally prospering. Affirmative action was put into place as a temporary remedy to give equal rights to all Americans. In a time in our history when racism was out of control affirmative action was needed to permit minorities the same opportunities as white males with employment, salaries, job promotions, scholarships and school admissions. This was America’s first attempt to give everyone the same opportunities in life. President Johnson stated, “We seek not just equality as a right and a theory, but equality as a fact and as a result.” In 1965 President Johnson was the first to enforce affirmative action in the United States and added voting rights to minorities. Then in 1967 women were added to the list of minorities and added to the affirmative action law. (now.orgsnationalNOWtimes). The term 'affirmative action' came into being in 1961 with John F. Kennedy's Executive Order 10925 in which he instructed federal contractors to take "affirmative action to ensure that applicants are treated equally without regard to race, color, religion, sex or national origin" (The History of Affirmative Action Policies 1). Three years later the Civil Rights Act or Title VII was made law; discrimination was made illegal but no program was put into place to ensure that minorities were able to compete on equal terms with whites (Affirmative Action 1). As an active program, affirmative action began with Johnson; Executive Order 11246 dictated that all firms under contract with the federal government take affirmative action against discrimination; it also created with Office of Federal Contract Compliance...

References: "Affirmative Action." Gale Encyclopedia of Everyday Law. Ed. Shirelle Phelps. Gale Group, 2003. 2006. 24 April, 2006. <>
“Affirmative Action History” The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © Brunner, 2007,ColumbiaUniversityPress
Brunner, Borguna (2006) Affirmative Action History, retrieved from
Froomkin, Dan (1998) Affirmative Action under Attack, Washington Post, retrieved from
Sykes, Marquita (1995) “The Origins of Affimative Action”Nation Now Times article retrieved from now.orgsnationalNOWtimes.
Find law Supreme Court Docket“Gutter vs.Bollinger(2003)
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