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Affirmative Action: Will It Every Work Right?

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753 words
Social Issues

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For Business Ethics
Taught by: Dr. J. Daiz

I. Introduction

II. Ethical Issues
Kennedy's Arguments

Positive debates

Sher's Argument

Negative debates

III. Summary


I. Introduction

From the time of it's original conception to the actual passing of the act or civil rights addendum. Affirmative Action has and continues to be an issue taking us into the 21st century. This paper is written with no bias to give an fair shake to the Affirmative action policies that have now taking hold of our society in the late Nineteen Hundreds. I will be discussing ethical arguments by economist Sher and Kennedy. I will discuss the positive and negative aspects and give a summary of these issues.


The history of affirmative action has its roots in the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (1) and stems from the United States Supreme Court Case of Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (2).
In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued Executive Order #11246 at Howard University that required federal contractors to undertake affirmative action to increase the number of minorities that they employ. He wanted to ensure that minorities are recruited to have real opportunities to be hared and then eventually get a promotion.
In 1969, the Department of Labor exposed widespread racial discrimination of the Construction Department so President Richard M. Nixon decided to incorporate a system of "goals and timetables" to evaluate federal construction companies according to affirmative action. This idea of "goals and timetables" provided guidelines for companies to follow and comply with affirmative action regulations.
During the presidency of Gerald R. Ford, he extended affirmative action to people with disabilities (3) and Vietnam veteran's (4) but there are no goals or timetables for these two groups. This type of affirmative action required recruitment efforts, accessibility, accommodation and reviews of physical and mental job qualifications.
President Jimmy Carter consolidated all federal agencies that are required by law to follow the affirmative action play into the Department of Labor. Before Carter did this, each agency-handled affirmative action in its own individual way, some are not as consistent as other agencies Are. He created the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program (OFCCP) in 1978 to ensure compliance with the affirmative action policies.
Affirmative action began to go downhill when Ronald Reagan and later George Bush came into office. Affirmative action lost some gains it had made and was more or less ignored by the Republicans in the White House and in Congress. Affirmative action was silently being "killed" by our federal administrators. But among this destruction there was one positive aspect, the passage of Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (5).
Finally to the Presidency of Bill Clinton. The Republicans are attempting to scare people into changing their party lines by misusing affirmative action. They are saying that affirmative action is nothing more than a quota or reverse discrimination (6).
As you can see, there have been many additions to the policy of affirmative action. People from the Vietnam War, people with disabilities, and minority groups have made gains in the workforce but more research needs to be conducted as to the qualifications of all of these people to make sure that race is not a determining factor in the giving and receiving of jobs. The best person for the job, no matter what race, should be given the job.

II. Ethical Issues

All Knowledge is ideological and as such, reflects the power struggle existing in this society. For minority communities to fairly compete for wealth and power they must participate in the production of knowledge and ideology. A lager number of intellects in the institutions that produce ideologies will most likely lead to an increase in the number of ideas beneficial to minorities. On views and values are most likely to be influenced by the social and historical experience of that particular group in which they belong to. Due to the statement that was just made these intellectuals of these minority groups will focus on ideas that strictly effect them and their community around them.

Positive Aspects

Affirmative action was implemented with the idea and hope that America would finally become truly equal. The tension of the 1960s civil rights movement had made it very clear, that the nation minority and female population is not receiving equal social ...

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