Affirmative Action

Affirmative action is the set of public policies and initiatives
designed to help eliminate past and present discrimination based on race,
color, religion, sex, or national origin. Affirmative action was set into
place during the 1960’s by President Johnson as a way of redressing
discrimination that had persisted in spite of civil rights laws and
constitutional guarantees. Focusing in particular on education and jobs,
affirmative action policies required that active measures be taken to
ensure that blacks and other minorities enjoyed the same opportunities for
promotions, salary increases, career advancement, school admissions,
scholarships, and financial aid that had been the nearly exclusive province
The pro and con affirmative action is often intense.Proponents argue
that the policy is still necessary to create a “level playing field” for
all Americans.Minorities and females still don’t make as much money as
men do and we live in a society that often hasdifficulty accepting
individuals with different race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.
Angry oppoonents counter that affirmative action is an ineffective racist
policy that is no longer needed.This group believes that affirmative
action often favors the middle and upper class, allows unqualified entry to
academic institutions and businesses, and promotes and fosters further
Recently, the Justice Department challenged the affirmative action
admissions policies at the University of Michigan stating that they
“demonstrate the pernicious consequences that result when public
institutions deviate from this court’s precedents by ignoring race-neutral
alternatives and employing race-based polices that amount to racial
quotas.”[2] Other anti-affirmative action criticism was fostered by a
report that the benefactors of affirmative action are predominately middle
and upper class individuals who don’t’ need …

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