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An American Dream or America Nightmare - Essay Example

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No doubt Reagan's academic critics conclude that his efforts to roll back the size and scope of the federal government concealed his real hidden agenda of appealing to white racial resentment against blacks by attacking big-government policies, but this is also true that his efforts towards policy making in the favour of African Americans benefited them socially as well as economically, especially affirmative action policies, civil rights regulations policies, and welfare policies, mostly benefited people of color and the poor 1.
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An American Dream or America Nightmare
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An American Dream or America Nightmare

Download file to see previous pages... The policies introduced by Reagan in such aspect assured African Americans the right to fairly compete for access to all available economic opportunities. However, the government failed to guarantee the outcome of that competition: the state remained unable to require that a designated share of economic opportunities go to minorities and white women in order to correct socioeconomic disparities which are the result of America's past legacy of racial and gender discrimination 2. The government does not, for example, require that a certain share of jobs, government contracts, or university admissions be set aside for African Americans to rectify past racial injustices against blacks. The government only guarantee that African Americans are treated fairly, along with members of all other racial groups, in competing for economic opportunities, and that all individuals will be judged on the basis of merit, regardless of race 3.
Reagan took office determined to write a new chapter in America's long and troubled history in race relations. In the wake of a long history of discrimination directed primarily against African Americans, the United States embarked on a new path of race relations during the 1960s, marked by the establishment of affirmative action programs designed to guarantee equality of opportunity for all.
Given his adamant opposition to racial and gender preferences and quotas, one would have expected Reagan to make reforms in affirmative action, in light of the abuse, both potential and real, inherent in the program. However, this was not the case. The White House Domestic Policy Council failed to even make recommendations to Reagan concerning what reforms, if any, he should make in affirmative action .
By leaving affirmative action intact, the Reagan administration allowed all the potential and actual abuses in the program to continue. The most positive impact of such policies upon African Americans was the assured guarantee to provide African Americans with equal employment opportunity; employers may resort to the use of racial and gender preferences and quotas in hiring to assure racial diversity and gender balance in the workplace.

Civil rights regulations policies Impact
Reagan and Bush by representing themselves and the conservative cause as committed to the principles of equality under the law, provided the African Americans with a merit-based hiring system, and the right of every individual be treated fairly, regardless of race or gender, Reagan succeeded in attracting to the Republican Party millions of white working-class families, who had traditionally voted Democratic in presidential as well as congressional elections. These Reagan Democrats expanded the political base of the Republican Party, which, for the most part, had been confined before the Reagan presidency to business and the wealthy. During the 1980s, Reagan Democrats defected from the Democrats in presidential elections, convinced that their party had fallen captive to the demands of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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