Affirmative Action 5 Essay Research Paper Affirmative

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Affirmative Action 5 Essay, Research Paper Affirmative Action Affirmative action, by definition, is a program designed to favor minorities and remedy past discrimination (Cummings, p.192). It started in 1961 with President John F. Kennedy, by instructing the federal contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that all people are treated equally regardless of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. Ever since it started, for more than thirty years now, it has been a controversial issue regarding employment practices (Anniston). This research paper will discuss the history of affirmative action, the pro’s and con’s of affirmative action in the workplace and in the educational system, and proposition 209. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy was the first to use

affirmative action. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred discrimination by universities or others that received federal assistance (Cummings, p.192). After it came the Voting Act of 1965, Immigration Act of 1965, The Fair Housing Act of 1968 (Nieli, p.5). In 1978, President Carter created the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) to ensure compliance with the affirmative action policies by the department of labor (Brown). Also in 1978 was the Bakke v. Reagents of the University of California, where Supreme Court upheld that use of race as one factor in choosing among qualified applicants for admission and reserving certain seats in each entering class of students for disadvantaged minorities were unlawful. Affirmative action began to go downhill and fading away

during the presidency of Ronald Reagan and later George Bush. The republicans in the White House and in congress ignored the affirmative action. Finally to the presidency of Bill Clinton, the republicans were attempting to scare people into changing their party lines by saying that affirmative action is nothing more than a quota or reverse discrimination (Brown). Just by watching the history of this issue, one can come to a conclusion that we’ve come a long way in regards to racial and gender discrimination. Affirmative action programs offer individuals such as women and minorities a chance at equal employment opportunities and representation through positive, results-oriented practices that purposely take race and gender into account (Anniston). In the work force, minorities

and women are source of cheap labor. The employers higher them to work with very little pay and little or no benefits. Higher paying jobs were always filled with white males. Even when women wanted to be as successful as that of men, they had a limit hanging over their head called the “glass-ceiling”. But through affirmative action, women and minorities were able to get higher paying jobs and even promotions and some even going up to the professional jobs. For example, women have made significant progress in recent year; in 1963, women earned fifty-nine cents for every dollar earned by men. Today, women earn on average seventy-one cents for every dollar earned by men (Curry, p.179). Affirmative action may reduce racial tension forcing people to interact together and work as a

unit in a professional and intellectual level across racial lines (Lewis). This program gives the minorities the opportunity to join the competition in the “white” American society and to defy the stigmas and stereotypes cast upon them by others. Some people believe that affirmative action is wrong because it discriminates. For example, and employer hires anyone because he/she is a minority, even if someone else is more qualified for the job. In this case, the employer is not discriminating against the minorities but against the majorities. Some also argue that affirmative action programs incite racial tension (Lewis). Since employers are very sensitive about affirmative action programs and if a white male is more qualified for the job than the minority, it may stir up some