Affirmative Action

Essay by dehaaseCollege, UndergraduateB, March 1997

download word file, 6 pages 4.6

After the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act in 1964, it became

apparent that certain business traditions, such as seniority status and aptitude tests,

prevented total equality in employment. Then President, Lyndon B. Johnson, decided

something needed to be done to remedy these flaws. On September 24, 1965, he issued

Executive Order #11246 at Howard University that required federal contractors "to take

Affirmative Action to ensure that applicants are employed . . . without regard to their race,

creed, color, or national origin (Civil Rights)." With the signing of that order, and without

knowing it, President Johnson created reverse discrimination.

Affirmative Action was created in an effort to help minorities leap the

discriminative barriers that were ever so present when the bill was first enacted, in 1965.

At this time, the country was in the wake of nationwide civil-rights demonstrations, and

racial tension was at an all time high.

Most of the corporate executive and managerial

positions were occupied by White Males, who controlled the hiring and firing of

employees. The U.S. government, in 1965, believed that these employers were

discriminating against Minorities and believed that there was no better time than the

present to bring about change. This action, that started with good intentions, would later

lead to a different and more complex form of discrimination.

When the Civil Rights Law passed, Minorities, especially African-Americans,

believed that they should receive retribution for the earlier years of discrimination they

endured. The government responded by passing laws to aide them in attaining better

employment as reprieve for the previous two hundred years of suffering their race endured

at the hands of the White Man. To many people the passing of these laws was an effort in

the right direction. Supporters of Affirmative Action asked, "why not let the government...