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Affirmative Action Essay

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"Affirmative Action"

The term "affirmative action" was first introduced by President Kennedy in 1961 as a method of redressing discrimination that had persisted in spite of civil rights laws and constitutional guarantees. It was developed and enforced for the first time by President Johnson. Affirmative action refers to policies that take race, ethnicity, or sex into consideration in an attempt to increase ethnicity or other forms of diversity. The focus of such policies ranges from employment and education. One of the most important issues with Affirmative action is the practice by institutions of giving preference to racial minorities accepted into the state universities in order to have a campus with diversity of students. However, California's Proposition 209, a law that was established in 1996, prohibits any use of racial preferences in admitting students to University of California schools. In my view, I agree with Proposition 209 because students need to be treated as individuals not as a group, race or gender.

The first problem with affirmative action is the obvious fact that it is an attempt to end discrimination with discrimination. Paul Kivel begins his article by arguing that, "Affirmative action works". He also says that the vocal minority is not challenging traditional forms of preference and discrimination that favor the rich, the educated, white people and men. His major argument is that "affirmative action measures were established to fight racial discrimination". However, Affirmative action is the governmental legislation of the active discrimination of one person over another an unacceptable and dangerous double standard.



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