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Affirmative Action Policy - Term Paper Example

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Until relatively recently,persons of color,minorities,were not allowed equal access to employment opportunities.The cultural philosophy that justified and imposed racial segregation is the reason that affirmative action,what some consider reverse discrimination…
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Affirmative Action Policy
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"Affirmative Action Policy"

Download file to see previous pages Without this ideologically divisive legislation to help ensure equal opportunity in the workplace, the balance of power in this nation would still more heavily favor the ethnic majority and occupational segregation would still continue much more blatantly than it still does today. A society’s evolution is dependent upon social acceptance on a widespread basis, a slow process that doesn’t appear to happen naturally without the introduction of affirmative action policies. From the time of its implementation, affirmative action laws have succeeded in balancing the scale of employment opportunities available to persons of all ethnicities. The main tool of affirmative action policies, the quota system, is used by governmental offices. It reflects the specific region’s ethnic demographics therefore allowing for legitimate equality that is not biased towards any specific race. Even though the majority ethnic group, white persons, may today think they are being treated unjustly because they have undeniably lost a little ground from an financial perspective, the scale of justice has been adjusted closer to the center thanks mainly to affirmative action hiring policies which demonstrates the need for this system to continue. The expression “affirmative action” first appeared in 1965 on Executive Order 11246 signed by President Lyndon Johnson. The Order mandated that federal government contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin.” In 1967 Johnson expanded the Order to shield women from discrimination too. The Order reads, in part, “A contractor in violation of E.O. 11246 may have its contracts canceled, terminated, or suspended in whole or in part, and the contractor may be debarred, i.e., declared ineligible for future government contracts.” 1 From its inception, affirmative action hiring policies have helped many thousands from formerly disadvantaged segments of society who have since achieved access to civil service jobs that had been denied previously. This includes persons of color, other ethnic minorities and women who had been excluded from jobs or denied the equal opportunities for advancement within the government institution once attaining access. These employment gains have translated to very real improvements not just in individual person’s lives but in the progression of society’s concept of justice for all. Affirmative action programs cannot hope to eliminate racist attitudes but can mitigate the effects caused by institutional racism. These programs and policies vary with regard to their directives and extent of conformity according to the nature of the chosen organization when applying to the Federal Government. By utilizing this adaptable approach, contractors who maintain a business relationship with the Government may have to adhere more strictly to affirmative action precepts than those of the private sector. The concept of affirmative action has had its opponents and implementing the policy has had its problems, but to eliminate this guiding principle of equal opportunity would be to erase the hard fought successes of the Civil Rights Movement and return to blatant racism present in the country prior to the 1960’s. Arguments involving affirmative action policies are more extensive than just the legality of the issue. It is the ethical responsibility of every person and institution in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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