Affirmative Action Essay

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Affirmative Action

Affirmative action has been the federal governments attempt to ensure every American a chance at a good job and financial security. Since it's inception, it has been greatly debated and modified to meet the changing times. Advocates of affirmative action say women and minorities deserve government-backed preferential treatment because gains in the workplace still lag behind those of white males. Critics, on the other hand, say preferential privileges have outlived their usefulness, create a rift in race relations and lead to the unfair treatment of whites. The state of Florida, along with California, has been a leader in new affirmative action policy. Last week, governor Jeb Bush proposed banning all
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in the name of social equality where Martin Luther King delivered his famous speech "I Have a Dream." The Civil Rights Act of 1964 banned the segregation of public facilities and was used in court actions against racial discrimination in the workplace. In 1965, Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order 11246 which required contractors doing business with the federal government to practice affirmative action: conscious and deliberate efforts to bring qualified minorities into jobs and educational opportunities from which they had been traditionally excluded. In 1970, Richard Nixon's Department of Labor required companies to create goals and timetables for the increased hiring of minorities. In 1971 affirmative action was extended to include women. In 1978, affirmative action came under attack when the U.S. Supreme Court voted on the Allan Bakke case, a white man who challenged a California medical school admission quota. The usage of quotas became illegal. In 1989, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a case involving Richmond, Va., that the city's affirmative action remedy programs had to first prove a past record of discrimination against minorities and women. Also, contractors who could demonstrate they had tried but failed in their affirmative action efforts should not be denied government business. Cities and states scrambled to change the emphasis of their programs toward goals and away from mandates. In writing the majority

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