“All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” The classic line from George Orwell’s novel, Animal Farm, still rings quite true today. American society has constantly plagued itself by overextending its gratitude for wrongs committed all too long ago, and is therefore still suffering the repercussions. Remedies are all too often far too generous and even tending to breach those same boundaries it is trying to protect. Such is the case in the sensitive issue of Affirmative Action. First mentioned by President Kennedy in 1961, this controversial topic has remained at the forefront of politics since its spawning. As defined by World Book Encyclopedia, Affirmative Action is, “policies aimed at increasing the number of people from certain social groups(primarily minorities) in employment, education, business, government, and other areas.” While initially an admirable attempt at incorporating participation from minority society, Affirmative Action has become more of a political tool than a social program, and its intent is far from what it once was.
The Federal Government first began taking a stance on civil rights issues in the 1960’s with the introduction of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This set the first standards for non-discrimination in public, though private discrimination was, and still is, allowed. Undoubtedly, this was a superb achievement for the United States. Equality became a decree, and the Constitution’s words finally rang true, “All men are created equal.” Affirmative Action first began to emerge in the early 60’s under the leading 300 corporations in the nation who then coined the name Plans for Progress. The standards they set for themselves would eventually be incorporated by the OFCCP in 1970, and at that point the responsibility became that of the United States Government.
Under the OFCCP, the enigma of Affirmative Action began. The standard to be enforced was named numerical goals, and was to be a program that would hopefully encourage employers to open up the job market to offer more accessibility towards minority groups. Quotas were in no way enforced, and under no circumstances was it initially intended that under-qualified employees were to be hired to fill positions in order to meet these goals, but history would prove to be quite different.
During the seventies, Affirmative Action was introduced into politics, where it remains a rampant topic of discussion to this day. In 1998, California representative Frank Riggs introduced an amendment to do away with Affirmative Action, counting on the backing of J.C. Watts, the only African American Republican Representative, but Watts quickly took the opposite side, and the bill died in congress. In 1996 California adopted the controversial Proposition 209, which abolished state-wide adherence to affirmative action. Just a few days ago, the State Court of Appeals may have offered some finality to the Proposition...