Affirmative Action

explanatory Essay
1649 words
1649 words

After the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, it

became apparent that certain business traditions, such as seniority status and

aptitude tests, prevented total equality in employment. Then President, Lyndon

B. Johnson, decided something needed to be done to remedy these flaws. On

September 24, 1965, he issued Executive Order #11246 at Howard University that

required federal contractors “to take Affirmative Action to ensure that

applicants are employed . . . without regard to their race, creed, color, or

national origin (Civil Rights).” With the signing of that order, and without

knowing it, President Johnson created reverse discrimination.

Affirmative Action was created in an effort to help minorities leap the

discriminative barriers that were ever so present when the bill was first

enacted, in 1965. At this time, the country was in the wake of nationwide civil-

rights demonstrations, and racial tension was at an all time high. Most of the

corporate executive and managerial positions were occupied by White Males, who

controlled the hiring and firing of employees. The U.S. government, in 1965,

believed that these employers were discriminating against Minorities and

believed that there was no better time than the present to bring about change.

This action, that started with good intentions, would later lead to a different

and more complex form of discrimination.

When the Civil Rights Law passed, Minorities, especially African-

Americans, believed that they should receive retribution for the earlier years

of discrimination they endured. The government responded by passing laws to

aide them in attaining better employment as reprieve for the previous two

hundred years of suffering their race endured at the hands of the White Man. To

many people the passing of these laws was an effort in the right direction.

Supporters of Affirmative Action asked, ”why not let the government help them

get better jobs?” After all, the White Man was responsible for their suffering.

While this may all be true, there is another question to be asked. Are we truly

responsible for the years of persecution that the African Americans and other

Minorities were submitted to? I am not so sure.

It is true that past generations of White Men are p...

... middle of paper ...

..., and other

policies benefiting families with young children. Widely supported programs

that promote the interests of both lower and middle class Americans that deliver

benefits to Minorities and Whites on the basis of their economic status, and not

their race or ethnicity, will do more to reduce Minority poverty than the

current, narrowly based, poorly supported policies that single out Minority

groups. However, if this, or another remedy is not taken sometime in the near

future, and Affirmative Action continues to separate Minority groups from Whites,

we can be sure to see racial tension reach points that our history has never


Works Cited

“Affirmative Action at the University of California at Berkeley” Online.

“Civil Rights” Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia. (1996).

[Computer Program] SoftKey Multimedia International Corporation.

United States. Commission on Civil Rights. Affirmative Action in the 1980's:

Dismantling the Process of Discrimination. Washington: 1981.

United States. Nebraska Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on

Civil Rights. Private Sector Affirmative Action: Omaha. Washington: 1979.

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that the country was in the wake of nationwide civil-
  • Describes the hundred years of suffering their race endured at the hands of the white man
  • Opines that while this may all be true, there is a question to be asked: are we truly?
  • Opines that males are not responsible for the past. it is just as unfair and suppressive.
  • Opines that two wrongs can make a difference.
  • Opines that strictly what it was set out to do, that would be fine, but all it seems to be.
  • Asks why do i need laws to get a job? why can't i become successful on my own?
  • Explains that male has been fired, he has to go out and find a new job to support his family.
  • Explains that males, and thousands like them, need more skills to get the same job.
  • Explains that executive has one goal in mind, and that is to maximize profits.
  • Explains that the university of california is a perfect example of this.
  • States that if it has been unclear up to this point, they would like to make it clear.
  • Opines that giving some an easy way out and others a firewall that can be difficult to break.
  • Opines that we can be sure to see racial tension reach points that our history has never.
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