With a 48 year history, affirmative action has undergone much praise, as well as criticism, in trying to solve the problems of racial inequality. Affirmative action has been used in the United States to enhance the opportunities available to minorities, by means of favoring them, with regards to promotions, hiring, college admissions, and government contracts. These policies are set to eradicate the discriminations of the past and present, based on race, color, ethnicity, religion, gender, or national origin. For the most part, affirmative action has been used by businesses, educational institutions, and governments, in order to resolve discrimination against a particular group, whether that be a corporation or group of people.
Prior to the mid 1960’s, there were many legal obstacles that stood in the way of minorities from obtaining certain jobs, as well as entering the educational institutions. This also held true with women, as well, however not to the extent as racial minorities. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 barred discrimination in employment and civic accommodations. A section of this legislation, known as Title VII, began the development and introduction for affirmative action. Also under the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Office of Federal Compliance (OFCC) were created to enforce affirmative action.
The term “affirmative action,” was first established by President John F. Kennedy in 1961, as a way to resolve discrimination, which was prevalent, despite the civil rights laws and the constitution. President Kennedy used this term in Executive Order 10925, which was created to promote racial integration of the workforce, with regards to contractors hiring on projects that are funded by the government. While this goal was supported by the Civil Rights Act of 1964, many people felt that the long-standing discrimination needed more severe measures, such as affirmative action, to...