Sunday, March 24, 2013

Is There Still a Need for Affirmative Action?

The term “Affirmative Action” was first used by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, in an executive order that instructed federal contractors to take “affirmative action” to ensure against discrimination. The policy was implemented in 1964, when the Civil Rights Act was passed and signed by Pres. Lyndon Johnson. The Act provided that government contractors and educational institutions receiving federal funds must develop programs prohibiting discrimination in the workplace or in college admissions. The EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunities Commission) was set up in 1965 to enforce these provisions of the law. Other changes to the program have occurred over the ensuing years, many restricting its scope..

The theory behind affirmative action was meant to overcome the effects of past societal discrimination by allocating jobs and resources to members of specific groups, such as minorities and women. You could say, that the government wanted to give a “leg up” to some who might’ve been discriminated against previously. This brought about the establishment of “racial or sexual quotas” in the name of affirmative action. The implementation of these “quotas” brought about charges of so-called “reverse discrimination” by others, mainly whites, males, and Jews, who felt that they were unfairly deprived of legitimate jobs, job advancement, and in college school admissions. These laws did accomplish the goals that it set out to do, namely, it did increase jobs and college admissions of minorities.

Like most all government programs, once they are instituted it is almost impossible to undo them even when the evidence seems to prove that the reasons behind the programs, in the first place, no longer are valid or needed.

A white backlash has come about over the last 30 years or so, and a number of court decisions have narrowed the scope of programs in college admissions and in the workplace. The black community, by a good percentage, still believes that affirmative action is still needed, whereas most whites and males think that the time has come to end this program which many call “reverse discrimination”.

Many people who are against the policy point to the changes that have taken place in the past 50 years. We have elected a black president (twice), we’ve had a couple of black Secretary’s of State and a couple of women in that position, we’ve had a black and an Hispanic Attorney General, and many corporations have had or have many blacks and women in positions of authority. Many of our elected representatives on the federal and state levels are blacks and women and other minorities. Widespread discrimination in government or private businesses are not a major problem today. Yes, you can always point to certain situations where discrimination raises its ugly head, but those are the exceptions and not the rule anymore, so why perpetuate a program that causes strife among the races or the sexes? Blatant discrimination can and should be confronted and prosecuted by the laws we already have on the books.

Well then, with all these success stories, as it pertains to minorities, why should programs of affirmative action and “quotas” still be in effect here in the 21st century? Many people feel that “quotas” that have not been judicially created to remedy specific, proven acts of discrimination, only result in more discrimination and violate the concept of equality of opportunity for others who are not in that specific category.

I therefore conclude, that there is not a need to continue this very divisive program called “affirmative action”.

Conservative commentary by Chuck Lehmann

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Paul Santoli said...

Make the rules fair for everybody and the best people will achieve whatever their color or gender. Today the word "minority" is merely a label used to justify giving complainers anything they demand - meaning special advantages. That is not the American way.

Bill Whittle Fan said...

Princeton University made the former Michelle Robinson's senior sociology thesis, titled 'Princeton-Educated Blacks and the Black Community,' unavailable until after Election Day 2008, thanks to affirmative action. I guess affirmative action put her into quality schools yet she was still not proud of the Republicans for stopping Slavery. She was however proud after America elected a Community Organizer with racist and terrorist friends.