This Argumentative Essay In Support Of Affirmative Action Including Bibliography.

1593 words - 6 pages

Should Affirmative Action Be Dismantled?In 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson signed Executive Order 1124 requiring employers toactively seek the inclusion of qualified minorities among their pool of applicants when hiring("Affirmative Action" 18). This act signaled the birth of affirmative action. Broadly defined,affirmative action refers to the efforts to increase educational and employment opportunities forminorities. More specifically, it applies to various policies and programs designed to increase thenumber of minorities admitted into colleges and universities ("Affirmative Action" 16). Theorigin of affirmative action programs was dependent on one's race but subsequently extended tosex, national origin, and religion ("Affirmative Action" 122). However, with this context thefocal points will be how affirmative action affect African Americans, how it bolstered the equalopportunities for an ethnic group that has been historically discriminated against, and thethe conventional efforts of affirmative action to increase the educational employmentopportunities for African Americans.Today's opponents of affirmative action decry its practice of minority preference, and call for areturn to colorblind and merit based policies of the past, yet such policies never existed. When weturn to the real world, we find not centuries of color-blindness and objective merit but centuries ofracism, slavery, and discrimination. America's history is marked racism and discrimination, andeliminating or curtailing affirmative action would only halt the forward progress minorities havebeen able to achieve.The Declaration of Independence asserts that "all men are created equal" "Declaration ofIndependence" 546). Yet America is scarred by a long history of legally imposed inequality.Captured from their native land, transported thousands of miles into slavery, Blacks in Americawere reduced to the legal statues of farm animals. A Supreme Court opinion, Dred Scott v.Stanford in 1857,made this official by classifying slaves as species of "Private Property"(Commager Documents 344-345).Even after slavery was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 American blackscontinued to be deprived of some of the most elementary rights of citizenship (Killian 30). Duringthe Reconstruction, after the end of the Civil War, the Fourteenth Amendment was passed in1868, making Blacks citizens and promising them the "equal protection of the law" (Killian 30).In 1870 the fifteenth Amendment was passed, which gave Blacks the right to vote (Killian 33).Congress also passed a number of civil right laws barring discrimination against AfricanAmericans in hotels, theaters, and other public places.As a result, in 1865 the South reacted by passing the "Black Code," which severely limited therights of the newly freed slaves, preventing them in most states from testifying in court againstWhites, limiting their opportunities to find work, and generally assigning them to second or thirdclass citizens...

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