Affirmative Action, A Social Issue
The black rights and women’s rights movements of the 1960’s fought against injustice and discrimination that had been suffered by minorities for years (Hudson). In response, President Kennedy issued Executive Order 10925 in 1961, creating a Committee on Equal Employment Opportunity and mandating that projects financed by federal funding would “take affirmative action” to ensure that hiring and employment practices were free of racial bias (Hudson). Two more executive orders in 1965 and 1968 prohibited discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, and gender, giving the federal government the power to enforce this prohibition (Hudson). However, in current times, affirmative
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70% of blacks and 63% of Hispanics support affirmative action, while only 44% of the total U.S. population does (Gallup 2003). Democrats support affirmative action, since they enjoy a large population of minority voters who desire to maintain affirmative action programs (Plous 2). Republicans also support affirmative action, in hopes of luring these voting demographics to their side (Plous 2). Many of these minorities believe that not enough time has passed since slavery and past wrongs suffered, and that affirmative action is still necessary in order to allow equal access to opportunities. “Such programs are...intended to compensate for the persistence of past wrongs in the present by desegregating American institutions and altering the opportunity and outcome structures in American society,” (Hudson). On the other hand, opponents of affirmative action believe that enough time has passed since the civil rights movement to justify abolishing racial preferences. However, until women and other minorities are granted the same opportunities as white males to achieve educational and economic successes, we believe that affirmative action programs must be maintained and improved.
RACIAL INEQUALITY IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM