Affirmative Action

The Affirmative Action Debate
President John Fitzgerald Kennedy first used the phrase “affirmative action” in his 1961 Executive Order 10925, which required federal contractors to ensure applicants are employed, not based upon their race, color, or gender. Almost 50 years later that phrase “affirmative action” is one of the country’s most talked of and debated topics, with two sides emerging, those for and those against affirmative action.   Today, the public opinion polls are about even, with a slight edge of the population in favor of affirmative action, though there seems to be an overwhelming amount of opposition to this federal policy.   To determine which side of the issue has a more valid case requires us to examine the two sides and evaluate the legitimacy of their arguments and beliefs.
Affirmative action refers to a set of specific result-oriented procedures that are developed to insure that non-whites and women are not at a social disadvantage when pursuing education and employment opportunities. In the United States, affirmative action is enforced by the   Government placing goals on both the public and private sector for specific socio-economic groups regarding education, employment, or contracting.   The consensus of affirmative action was marked by three major pieces of legislation: the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and the Immigration Act of 1965.   Following these issued policies, the federal government arbitrated definitely in the South to end the resistance of the “White South” to full political, civil, and social equality for blacks (Glazer 3).  
Much debate has been focused upon the past state of the country and the unfairness that non-whites and women were subject to when searching for jobs or applying for colleges.   Nathan Glazer, author of Affirmative Discrimination: Ethnic Inequality and Public Policy believes “The fact that many blacks are ill-equipped to compete for decent jobs in a technologically...