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Affirmative Action

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Affirmative Action

Affirmative action- a plan to offset past discrimination in employing or educating women, blacks etc. (Websters New World Dictionary.)

The history of affirmative action has its roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and stems from the United States Supreme case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka Kansas. In 1965, President Linden B. Johnson issued Executive Order #11246 at Howard University that required federal contractors to undertake affirmative action to increase the number of minorities that they employ. President Johnson wanted to ensure that minorities were recruited to have real opportunities to be hired and then eventually get a promotion. (Internet www.sru.edu) In 1969, the department of Labor exposed widespread racial discrimination of the Construction Department so President Nixon decided to incorporate a system of "goals and timetables" that provided guidelines for companies to follow and comply with affirmative action regulations. During the presidency of Gerald Ford, he extended affirmative action to people with disabilities and Vietnam veterans but there were no goals or timetables for these two groups. This type of affirmative action required recruitment efforts, accessibility, accommodation and reviews of physical and mental job qualifications.

President Jimmy Carter consolidated all federal agencies that were required by law to follow the affirmative action play into the Department of Labor. Before Carter did this, each agency-handled affirmative action in it's own individual way; some were not as consistent as other agencies were. He created the Office of Federal Contract compliance Program (OFCCP) in 1978 to ensure compliance with the affirmative action policies. Affirmative action began to go down hill when Ronald Regan and later George Bush came into office. Affirmative action lost some gains it had made and was more or less ignored by the Republicans in the White House and Congress. The Republicans are attempting to scare people into changing their party lines by misusing affirmative action. They are saying that affirmative action is nothing more than a quota or reverse discrimination. (Internet www.sru.edu)

Affirmative action was implemented with the idea and hope that America would finally become truly equal. The tension of the 1960's civil rights movement had made it very clear, that the nations minority and female population was not receiving equal and social economic opportunity. The implementation of affirmative action was America's first honest attempt at solving a problem it had previously chose to ignore. Affirmative action has had its greatest amount of success in city, state, and government jobs. Since the 1960s the area of law enforcement witnessed the greatest increase in minority applicants, and in jobs offered to minorities. The influx has been greatest in the area of government, state and city, because this type of work is easier for affirmative action to watch over and regulate. Affirmative action has experienced considerably less success in integration in big business. This is do to the

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