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Affirmative Action Essay

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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 programs. In 1965, Lyndon Johnson signed an executive order requiring government contractors to diversify its staff by hiring more members of the minorities. President Nixon implemented a system in which the government could monitor the progress being made by businesses in hiring minorities. Eventually, high level educational institutions would also see the need for Affirmative Action and the benefits of a diverse student body. Affirmative Action was designed to overcome the issue of discrimination in education and the workplace by giving less fortunate members of the minority an opportunity to level the playing field and achieve success similar to that of their counterparts in the majority. Affirmative Action programs, which encourage the inclusion of minorities in education and at all levels in the workplace, are vital in the effort to eradicate discrimination and provide equal opportunity.
The need for Affirmative Action is based on very clear statistics which indicate a racial imbalance in...


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...ase Against Affirmative Action." One Minute Cases. Web. 24 Feb. 2011. 3. THE JUSTIFICATIONS FOR AFFIRMATIVE ACTION." Welcome To The White House. Web. 23 Feb. 2011. .
4. Wood, Theodore. "The Need for Affirmative Action- Strong as Ever!" Autoredirect to Main Site. Web. 23 Feb. 2011. .
5. "Ten Myths About Affirmative Action." UnderstandingPrejudice.org. Web. 23 Feb. 2011. .
6. Kelley, Raina. "Why We Still Need Affirmative Action - Newsweek." Newsweek - National News, World News, Business, Health, Technology, Entertainment, and More - Newsweek. Web. 23 Feb. 2011. .


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