Affirmative Action Essay

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Affirmative Action Analyzing Affirmative Action in America doesn’t just mean looking at how to make equality, it also means understanding how inequality has been made. Race and gender are not inherently disadvantageous; one cannot get “more or less race” or “more or less gender.” How do we define this inequality of race and gender? These socially constructed equalities are linked very strongly to real, tangible inequalities such as education, jobs, income, class, and social mobility. Another concern, therefore, is what inequalities are acceptable? These material inequalities of income, education, housing, etc. are necessary to a multi-class capitalist society, but the unacceptable cultural inequalities of race, gender,…show more content…
As a result, most legislation promoting equality and Affirmative Action comes after the Civil Rights movement. The first instance the term was used in any form was the Kennedy Executive Order 10925, which prohibited the use of discrimination against people based on their race, creed, color, or national origin by government contractors (Holzer 485). This Executive Order created the Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity, which was designed to make sure that the order was being followed by federal contractors (Bishop 230). Kennedy’s Executive Order was modified and reinforced by Johnson Executive Order 11246 and 11375, the latter of which eliminated gender discrimination by federal contractors (Hudson 270). Perhaps the two most important pieces of legislation passed dealing with equality were the Civil Rights Act of 1964, specifically Title VII (clinton2.nara.gov), and Title IX, passed in 1972. Title VII prohibited discrimination by race, creed, color, or national origin by all federally funded programs but also large private corporations (clinton2.nara.gov), while Title IX made gender discrimination illegal. President Nixon and then Labor Secretary George Shultz drafted the “Philadelphia Plan,” which set timetables for the implementation of Affirmative Action (clinton2.nara.gov). These laws were subsequently challenged in the Supreme Court. The first major case dealing with affirmative action came with Regents of the

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