Essay on We Still Need Affirmative Action

512 Words3 Pages
During the 1950’s and 1960’s there were major changes in civil rights taking place within the United States. In 1964 Congress passed the Civil Rights Act, which sought to create equal opportunity for minority groups in the nation and eliminate discrimination. Shortly thereafter, “the goal of the civil rights movement shifted from the traditional aim of equality of opportunity through nondiscrimination alone to affirmative action to establish ‘goals and timetables’ to achieve absolute equality between blacks and whites” (Dye 253). These goals and timetables were cemented with Executive Order No. 11246, issued by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965. This order is commonly referred to as the foundation for modern-day…show more content…
Two centuries of severe racial oppression cannot be remedied by four decades of governmental policy. Public opinion also seems to support the effectiveness of affirmative action policies. In a 1999 poll conducted by Newsweek, “both African Americans and whites say [that] affirmative action has improved conditions for blacks” (Race: Bills and Proposals). The effectiveness of affirmative action is also evident in employment demographics, as “there have been significant gains over the past 20 years in minority employment, even in traditionally segregated trades such as sheet metal and electrical work” (Race: Discussion Guides). Affirmative action programs have also played a major role in education, providing new opportunities that were once denied to minorities. Perhaps the most common argument against affirmative action comes from individuals who state that they had nothing to do with the oppression and hardships that were inflicted on minorities (particularly African Americans) in the past. However, these hardships were continued for years under our government’s rule, with very little action being taken. It is the responsibility of our government to correct the injustices of the past and provide greater opportunities to future generations of the sufferers. It is also the responsibility of the majority to recognize the past and support the efforts of present and future programs, which may rid the nation of

More about Essay on We Still Need Affirmative Action

Open Document