Affirmative Action began in 1965 when President Johnson signed the Executive Order 11246 in to law. The Executive Order 11246 “prevents Federal contractors from discriminating against any employee or applicant for employment because of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.” This is when the phrase ‘affirmative action’ was first used, because it “requires federal contractors to take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are not discriminated against based on race color, religion, sex, or national origin.” When Affirmative Action was created, it only included minorities. In 1967, Johnson decided to expand the program to include women, because women have received some of the same discrimination as men in the workplace.
There were also earlier laws that were passed to ensure equal rights. The 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act are two examples of these laws, but they were a little behind considering the Fourteenth and Fifteenth amendments to the Constitution were passed much earlier. The Fourteenth amendment guarantees equal protection under the law and the Fifteenth amendment forbid racial discrimination in access to voting. Also, there was the 1866 Civil Rights Act, which was passed one hundred years earlier to ensure equal rights to all men.3
Secretary George Schultz and Arthur Fletcher, a top deputy, were the architects of some federal hiring and contracting regulations that added to the Affirmative Action regulations. In 1969, Schultz and Fletcher created these regulations under the Nixon administration to “redress the unfair treatment of minorities and women in the workplace.”4 Even though America is the land of freedom, minorities and women did not fully receive these freedoms until the mid 1960’s.
The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs...
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...been a short-term solution to discrimination, but it has out lived its benefits. It is now encouraging reverse discrimination by setting quotas on the number of minorities required for a firm, contract, or school. America is now ready to become a color-blind society, and judge people on them, not their race or gender.
The Census Bureau. www.census.gov. December 2, 2000
Executive Order 11246 - Equal Employment Opportunity (1965. 30 Fed. Reg. 12319)
Harris, John F. and Kevin Merida. “On Affirmative Action, New Perspectives Strain Old
Alliances.” Washington Post. April 5, 1995, page A01-2.
Morin, Richard and Sharon Warden. “Americans Vent Anger at Affirmative Action.”
Washington Post. March 24, 1995, A01.
The Origins of Affirmative Action. www.now.org. December 2, 2000.
Regents of the University of California v. Bakke. 438 U.S. 265 (1978)
Vote 96. www.vote96.ss.ca.gov/vote96/html/209/. November 13, 2000.
www.idfla.com/209/. December 1, 2000.
www.idfla.com/tdemog/html December 1, 2000.
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