Afiirmative Action.

Essay by CalcVictimHigh School, 12th gradeB+, December 2003

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Once upon a time, there were two people who went to an

interview for only one job position at the same company. The first

person attended a prestigious and highly academic university, had

years of work experience in the field and, in the mind of the

employer, had the potential to make a positive impact on the company's

performance. The second person was just starting out in the field and

seemed to lack the ambition that was visible in his opponent. "Who was

chosen for the job?" you ask. Well, if the story took place before

1964, the answer would be obvious. However, with the somewhat recent

adoption of the social policy known as affirmative action, the answer

becomes unclear. 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)." When Lyndon Banes Johnson

signed that order, he enacted one of the most discriminating pieces of

legislature since the Jim Crow Laws were passed. 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 its peak. Most of the corporate executive and managerial positions

were occupied by white males, who controlled the hiring and firing of

employees. The...