Affirmative Action

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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Affirmative Action Before the 1960s it was hard for a member of a minority to get a job. President Kennedy stated in 1961 that federal contractors should, "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and employees are treated during their employment, without regard to race, creed, color or national origin"(Finkelman). This is when the term affirmative action was first used to describe the "quota" system of hiring minorities into the workforce. The national policy on affirmative action should be changed because it is no longer needed and it can put a less qualified individual into a position.

In the years following the civil rights movement, there was still a lot of prejudice in the country. Encarta encyclopedia wrote, "in 1969 the Nixon Administration developed the Philadelphia Plan, requiring that contractors on federally assisted projects set specific goals for hiring minorities" (Finkelman). Supporters of affirmative action believe that it is necessary to "ensure an integrated society" (Finkelman).

This is untrue. Martin Luther King's dreams of brotherhood and cohesion can be seen throughout today's society. Plans such as affirmative action are no longer needed to provide diversity for businesses and colleges. Affirmative action is in effect throughout the country but has been tested by the Supreme Court on many occasions. In most cases the programs power has been weakened. Many critics say that these policies, which give people preferred treatment based on their race, go against the constitution's writings that "all men are created equal" (Finkelman).

With affirmative action in place, a less qualified individual can be accepted into a school or hired into a position. By setting numerical goals for job openings and college admissions this is possible. For example, a white male student with a 3.9 G.P.A., an high MCAT score and a long list of community service...