Affirmative Action Advantages

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As a topic of conversation that has consumed American politics for decades, affirmative action has served as America’s letter of apology to minorities that have faced such harsh discrimination through the years. Affirmative action serves as a historical turning point in the United States, and has closely addressed the issues that race, class, and gender minorities have faced for centuries. However, there is immense controversy that comes with the idealistic concept of affirmative action. While many researchers find it to be beneficial, others view this concept as erroneous. According to Saint Leo University, affirmative action was introduced to the United States around 1965. Its purpose was to combat racial discrimination and employment. As…show more content…
It describes affirmative as an active work in progress, aiming to improve the quality of life of those belonging to a minority. The National Conference of State Legislatures refers to the purpose of affirmative action as, “efforts to improve opportunities for historically excluded groups in American society. Affirmative action policies often focus on employment and education” (Hultin, 2014). Institutions of higher education aim to make the college admission process an equal process for all, regardless of race, class, and gender (Hultin, 2014). After providing a basic definition for the concept of affirmative action, the National Conference of State Legislatures provides a thorough description of the historical background of the concept. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, affirmative action is an outcome of the Civil Rights Movement during the 1960s. The idea first arose nationally in 1961 when President Kennedy used the term in an Executive Order which established the President’s Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, which is now referred to as the Equal Employment Commission (Hultin,…show more content…
Board of Education decision to outlaw school segregation in 1954. By 1965, only five percent of undergraduate students were African American, and President Lyndon Johnson was no longer able to tolerate this issue. Therefore, he signed an Executive Order, which according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, “required government contractors to use affirmative action policies in their hiring to increase the number of minority employees” (Hultin, 2014). According to the article, Affirmative Action, Race or Class?, President Nixon took Johnson’s actions a step further. He directed government agencies to provide contractors with information regarding the percentages of minorities in the local labor market. While this was not a requirement, those who agreed with Nixon’s request were offered an advantage in the bidding process. In 1972, affirmative action laws were extended outward to local, state, and federal governments. These policies still cause heated debate today
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