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Affirmative action, which was introduced by President Kennedy, has raised hot debate from various individuals ranging from provocative researchers, scholars, politicians as well as the judiciary. Affirmative action plays an integral part in eliminating the numerous discriminations and unfairness experienced almost everywhere across the world in various set ups. It acts as the best tool of fighting racial, ethnic and gender inequalities and was first used in 1960s (Debate.org Web). It is undeniable that affirmative action has proved to be a very effective tool in redressing several injustices experienced in the past and even currently against the disadvantaged group.
The federal government, state governments and other relevant institutions have strongly step forward in improving the opportunities for the minorities and even women have now been given preference than before. According to “Debate.org” special consideration for the disadvantaged group and levelling the playing ground for the groups in various factors including public service composition and government contracting decisions (Web).
Giving preferential treatment to minorities is not an easy task and its success has not been achieved in as much as policies were put in place several decades ago to give the disadvantaged a boost. However, the diversity of the current society attempts to indicate some elements of success making some people argue that the policies are no longer needed as they trigger many problems. One of the outstanding examples was the issue regarding the University of Michigan admissions criteria of rating potential applicants on a point system. Minority students got double points in achieving a perfect SAT score as the school official argued that diversity was significant and affirmative action was the best thing to do (Brownstein Web). There are indeed various other court decisions and events regarding affirmative action experienced by almost everyone across America and globally.
Although various countries describe affirmative action in numerous terms, the concept still remains unchanged which is of ensuring that the minority groups are fully represented in various institutions, employment decisions, admission to educational organizations and many other vital arenas where affirmative action is deemed effective. There is likeliness in that even the disadvantaged group have equal opportunity to succeed just like the so called advantaged group though not fully confirmed because of the affirmative action.
Looking at the institution of affirmative action, it is undeniable that it arose due to particular assessment of past injustices in a nation. According to American Civil Liberties Union affirmative action has always been meant to provide a vital compensatory measure in cultures and groups, which have experienced a past discrimination or denying them opportunities based on their economic disadvantage brought about by their race and or national origin (Web). Restoration of complete equality amongst various races has been widely practiced in numerous countries although it has received almost equal criticism. The lines of argument have continuously been changing since its conception and the social and demographic demography context has been transformed into a more complex and consequential manner.
According to Brunner and Rowen, affirmative action has had major milestones that involved allocation of resources and jobs to disadvantaged groups since 1960s to the latest cases witnessed in the courts (Web). In March 6, 1961,the executive order 10925 made the initial reference to affirmative action which was issued by President JF Kennedy to create the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and mandated that all the government funded projects take affirmative action. Executive Order 10925 was to eliminate discrimination against hiring and employment practices based on race. In July 2 1964, Civil Rights Act was signed by President Lyndon Johnson prohibiting biasness based on race, colour, religion, or even national origin. This marked as the most effective and sweeping civil rights bill after the Reconstruction and was believed to greatly eliminate discrimination of various kinds.
UClIrvine explains that President Johnson further gave a defining concept of affirmative action on June 4, 1965 to the graduating class at Howard University where he posits that civil rights alone could not be enough to eliminate biasness (Web). He later issued Order 11246, which was meant to reinforce affirmative action for the first time where contractors were required to take responsible and non-discriminatory measures while hiring. Additionally, there was the 1969 Philadelphia Order that was initiated by President Richard Nixon to guarantee fairness in construction jobs since construction constituted several offenders against equal opportunity laws.
The regents of the University of California v. Bakke in June 28, 1978 were a landmark Supreme Court case that enforced restraint on affirmative action. It was argued that offering opportunity to the disadvantaged groups was not supposed to be enacted at the expense of the majority and that affirmative action triggered reverse discrimination. The University of California, Davis and Medical School had different admission pools including the pool for standard applicants and the other for minority as well as the economically disadvantaged groups. It was noted that Allan Bakke who was a white applicant was twice rejected despite some minority groups being.............
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