Affirmative Action Essay Research Paper Affirmative ActionDon

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Affirmative Action Essay, Research Paper Affirmative Action Don Smith May 1, 2000 ENGL 112 Ms Schemer Affirmative action is a set of policies designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy established a committee on equal employment opportunity that was dedicated to the removal of discrimination in employment. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 broadened this concept and removed overt forms of racial discrimination in public places, as well as race and sex discrimination in employment (Fullinwider, Civil rights and racial preferences: A legal history of affirmative action 10). President Lyndon Johnson first used the term affirmative action in 1965, when he required all government

contractors to ensure employees were not discriminated against. In 1971, President Nixon required all government contractors to develop an affirmative action program that would detail when the contractor would correct disparities in the amount of minorities employed (Fullinwider, Civil rights and racial preferences: A legal History of affirmative action 11). Popular support for affirmative action has gone down in recent years (Galston 6). While attempting to end discrimination and give all Americans equal opportunity, this country began discriminating all over again as more and more changes were made to the original affirmative action laws. Affirmative action laws worked for a while, and changed business forever, but their time has passed. Affirmative action programs no longer

accomplish what they were intended to accomplish. Becoming an extensive system of anti-white preferences, double standards, and quotas, affirmative action is now widely rejected. In the 1960 s and 1970 s, affirmative action won popular support as a way of redressing the historic grievances of the black community (Zuckerman 88). Most people now feel that there really is no viable way to make amends for the wrongs that had been done to the blacks in this country. In an attempt to rid this country of discrimination, affirmative action has inadvertently magnified the problem by bringing race into the forefront of everyday life. The Supreme Court, and other courts, has dramatically narrowed the scope of affirmative action (Zuckerman 88). Two states, Washington and California, have

abolished affirmative action altogether. In a third State, Florida, measures are being looked at to abolish affirmative action as well. People are realizing that affirmative action programs are causing more problems than they fix. Proportionality is often regarded as a hallmark of affirmative action policies (Wasserman 32). Hiring individuals in order to proportionately reflect the surrounding community sounds good at face value. Looking deeper, this procedure has a detrimental effect on businesses by forcing them to hire less qualified individuals. The understanding in the beginning was that affirmative action programs would be temporary and justified for a single generation at most (Galston 8). The intent of affirmative action was to motivate firms to detect and eliminate

procedures that excluded minorities and women (Fullinwider, Civil rights and racial preferences: A legal history of affirmative action 11). Once those procedures and policies were removed, it was believed that women and the black community would quickly become an equal part of the workplace. Salaries would increase, as well as opportunities, and the color-blind America would no longer need the affirmative action programs. The rapid expansion of the black middle class was supposed to reduce or eliminate the need for affirmative action programs for their children (Galston 8). As minorities earned higher salaries, they would be able to send their children to college. Affirmative action programs also affected college admissions. In essence, once minorities had money, their children