Essay about Affirmative Action

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Affirmative Action has been an issue of contention since its inception during the Civil Rights struggles of mid 20th century America. Discrimination could no longer be tolerated and the Unites States government had an obligation to encourage equality at all levels of the social infrastructure. The main type of discrimination being addressed by Affirmative Action programs was racial discrimination. The Merriam Webster dictionary defines racism as: ‘a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race.’ The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibited discrimination of any kind, laid the foundation for the introduction of Affirmative Action…show more content…
However, Affirmative Action was initially created to tackle the discrimination of blacks. Over the years, random testing has been conducted to analyze America’s social structure and the level of racial divide. The Fair Employment Council of Greater Washington Inc. did some testing between 1992 and 1994. The studies discovered that blacks were treated worse than whites 24 percent of the time when interviewing for jobs. In fact, when a car dealership conducted interviews, the black candidate was offered a car washing position while the white candidate, with identical qualifications, was offered a sales position. White males maintain 97 percent of the senior management positions in Fortune 1000 companies. The unemployment rate of whites is less than half that of blacks. The poverty rate in the black community hovers around 26 percent. The poverty rate for whites is 9 percent. The inequality between white and black America is alarming and Affirmative Action is desperately needed to establish some sense of equality. The fight for equal opportunity begins with the government, and all government agencies have made a concerted effort to establish Affirmative Action programs. The United States Department of Labor offers this statement on its website: “For federal contractors and subcontractors, affirmative action must be taken by covered employers to recruit and advance qualified minorities, women, persons with disabilities, and covered veterans.

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