Should Affirmative Action Be Dismantled?
In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 1124 requiring employers to
actively seek the inclusion of qualified minorities among their pool of applicants when hiring
("Affirmative Action" 18). This act signaled the birth of affirmative action. Broadly defined,
affirmative action refers to the efforts to increase educational and employment opportunities for
minorities. More specifically, it applies to various policies and programs designed to increase the
number of minorities admitted into colleges and universities ("Affirmative Action" 16). The
origin of affirmative action programs was dependent on one's race but subsequently extended to
sex, national origin, and religion ("Affirmative Action" 122). However, with this context the
focal points will be how affirmative action affect African Americans, how it bolstered the equal
opportunities for an ethnic group that has been historically discriminated against, and the
the conventional efforts of affirmative action to increase the educational employment
opportunities for African Americans.
Today's opponents of affirmative action decry its practice of minority preference, and call for a
return to colorblind and merit based policies of the past, yet such policies never existed. When we
turn to the real world, we find not centuries of color-blindness and objective merit but centuries of
racism, slavery, and discrimination. America's history is marked racism and discrimination, and
eliminating or curtailing affirmative action would only halt the forward progress minorities have
been able to achieve.
The Declaration of Independence asserts that "all men are created equal" "Declaration of
Independence" 546). Yet America is scarred by a long history of legally imposed inequality.
Captured from their native land, transported thousands of miles into slavery, Blacks in America
were reduced to the legal statues of farm animals. A Supreme Court opinion, Dred Scott v.
Stanford in 1857,made this official...