Affirmative Action Essay Research Paper Affirmative ActionA

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Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper AFFIRMATIVE ACTION A NECESSARY POLICY TO PREVENT DISCRIMINATION AND INEQUITIES OR A DISCRIMINATIVE AND INEQUITABLE POLCY INTRODUCTION Historically, there have been arguments about what Affirmative Action (AA) really is. The basis of the argument for the most part, debates the goal(s) of AA. Is the goal of AA to erase past inequities for the disabled, minorities and/or women without protest? Or is Affirmative Action a culture or spirit that rewards diversity and differences? Basically there are two definitions or schools of thought for AA. The first school of thought is that AA is an umbrella term for laws and policies that the United States Executive, Judicial, and legislative bodies have mandated. Specifically, AA is a series of

social policies and statutes that regulate activities and laws with the primary intent to achieve equity and increase opportunity for all. The second school of though is that AA is an umbrella term defining a broader set of activities whereby public and private institutions voluntarily incorporate practices and polices to increase diversity, opportunity and equity. Under this school of thought, AA is in spirit and an institutional policy. The intent of this paper is to address the serious and profound arguments of both schools of thought. In addition, this paper will address issues relative to determining whether or not AA is necessary instrument for the demise of discrimination and the formation of justice and whether or not AA needs to be maintained, modified or terminated. I.

Affirmative Action Background A. A Brief History of AA in the United States of American Contrary to popular belief, the concept of AA actually began prior to the executive order signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1961. The concept of AA began upon the signing of Amendment XIII of the Constitution. 1. The Late 19the and Early 20th Century America began to deal with the inequities and lack of justice for mean of African decent in the 1800s. In my opinion, the initial and most significant policy or law relative to AA was Amendment XIII to the Constitution. The 13th Amendment states, ?Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their

jurisdiction? (US Constitution, Amendment 13, Section 1). Further cited, ?Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation?, (US Constitution, Amendment 13, Section 2). While the intent of the 13th amendment was to abolish slavery and begin the long process of just and equal rights for all American citizens. Historians cite various reasons for the 13tha amendment, some say it was Lincoln?s understanding and belief that slavery was wrong. Other Historians cite that Lincoln had no choice but to free the slaves in hoes of African American men joining the losing forces of the North during the civil war. Whatever the reason, slavery was now against the law. Soon after the execution of the 13th Amendment, the governing forefathers once again determined and

agreed that it was necessary to clarify citizen?s rights. Directly resultant, the 14th, 15th, 16th and 19th Amendments were executed. All of these amendments were necessary modifications to the highest law of the land to establish justice and equity for all Americans. 2. The Middle of the 20th Century By the midpoint of the 20th century America still did not truly realize the intent and fruition of equal rights for all. As such, once again there was a need to clarify the rights of Americans. The late 1950s and early 60s there was a television in over 70% of homes in America. This forum of mass and popular media brought about an all time public knowledge of racial injustices. One could say that the television a proponent of civil rights, as directly resultant of its popularity,