Affirmative action was born out of the civil rights movements of the 1950s and 1960s. The purpose of affirmative action was to give special consideration for minorities and women in the selection for employment, educational and contracting opportunities. Government institutions and businesses usually set goals or timetables to fulfill their goal for increased diversity in their institutions. Generally affirmative action calls that when faced with two general equal applicants that the minority or woman be chosen over that of the equally qualified male applicant. Affirmative action should not be based on quotas or preference given to unqualified applicants.
In the mid-1960s, there were numerous legal barriers prevented several of the racial minorities from entering many jobs and educational institutions. While women were rarely legally barred from jobs or education, a substantial amount of employers and universities would not admit them or hire them. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 the most far-reaching bill on civil rights forbade discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, gender or national origin.
A section of the act, Title VII expressly prohibited discrimination in employment and established the groundwork for the succeeding actions under affirmative action.
President Lyndon B. Johnson first applied the concept of affirmative action in 1965 with executive order 10925. This order defined the process that federal contractors should "take affirmative action" to ensure that job applicants and employees "are treated without regard to their race, color, religion, or national origin." In 1968 gender was added. While the original goal of the civil rights movement had been to remove barriers so that all people may compete equally. Simply ending a long-standing policy of discrimination did not go far enough for many people. President Johnson described in a 1965 speech, "You do not take a person who for years has...